Friday, January 31, 2014

Pictures Of Many Miracles


Today has been the miracle of the day. Truly.
The sun came out, it warmed up, my boys and I had a beautiful time and almost everything Owen asked me if I wanted to do with him I could honestly answer, "Absolutely!" to instead of internally thinking, "Oh god. Really?"
My spirits...oh. They have been good.
Should I begin to wonder if increasing my hormones for two nights could have done this? Should I just give credit to the sun, the warmth? To the fact that it's Friday and I know I'm going to get a martini tonight?

I have no idea and I have no interest in analyzing it.

The boys came late because Gibson with his hivey self presented with a rash-ring that I thought (upon close examination of a picture sent via text) should be checked out by the doctor. Alarmist Mer Mer that I am. Of course by the time Lily got him there after calling into work that she'd be late, the rash was gone almost entirely and Gibson was his merry little self. But I had those hours before they got here to get pinto beans (my favorite) simmering and greens picked and washed and when they came in, I was making bread dough and Owen helped me pound it, as he calls it.

He wanted to play with his Beatles that Jessie and Vergil gave him and so he set them all up in the hallway with the "house" I'd made yesterday out of a Blue Moon beer box and I said, "Would you like to listen to the Beatles while you play with them?" He did.



There was something so magical about that. Listening to old, old Beatles on the record player singing "Love Me Do" and "Eight Days A Week," songs I sang to as a child, and seeing my grandson, my grandson! playing with those dolls, listening to that music as the sun poured into the hallway to light the floor like silver. He knows them all by name. John, Paul, George, and Ringo. He knows the names of all the Rolling Stones as well. One day when he is grown, it may be pointed out to him that he knew all of this information before he knew how to count or his ABC's. And of course he knows more about Power Rangers than the law allows. He knows exactly what he wants to know. The rest will come and in fact, is coming. He and I played cards today too, a matching game that we invented ourselves and he is learning his numbers. He also started learning clubs, hearts, spades and diamonds today. I remember playing cards with my own grandmother. I remember that every blessed time I shuffle a deck. I think about that and I am happy. 

Boppy came home to get ready to go hunt and Gibson helped him. 


The love affair continues, unabated. 

We fed the 33-year old mule next door. Hilary, is her name. When she sees us, she shuffles slowly our way, knowing there will be carrots or an apple. The boys are in awe of her giant teeth, her ability to crunch an entire apple before their eyes in a minute. But they love her. "Hey mule," Gibson says, and throws his carrot to her. They are afraid of letting her eat from the flat of their hands as I show them but they love to stroke her soft forehead, her ears, which she allows them like a benevolent goddess. "You the best pet in the entire whole universe!" Owen said today. 
They played in the bamboo jungle, hitting the bamboo and trees with sticks. It is an adventure every time. 



They work at this job with great attention and effort. Boys and sticks. No toy company in the world will ever be able to patent that particular joyous combination. 

And Owen helped me make the loaves from the risen dough and the TV never even got mentioned and we fed the chickens and found two eggs and when they left they were happy and smiling. And I was smiling too because I knew I was about to go take a nap, which I did, and when I got up, I had a cup of Lady Grey tea (and what is the difference between Earl Grey and Lady Grey and this is a rhetorical question- I don't really care- they are both delicious) and tidied up the house and cut up the greens and put them on the stove and now the bread is baking, oatmeal bread, three loaves, one made by Owen which I have promised to take to him. I am waiting for my husband to get home and he sent me a text earlier saying, "Battery's about to die. No charger. Don't worry about me." And I won't. If he is late coming in, I will assume he got a deer and I hope he did because we are almost out of sausage and a year without venison sausage is a horrible thing to contemplate. We are spoiled. 

The frogs are chorusing and the sun has set and the chickens are in the nest. Here is Elvis and if you look closely, you can see Miss Trixie to the left of him. They have been sleeping together lately and I have to say, she is looking fine these days, her comb red and perky, her feathers smooth and sleek. 


I found out yesterday that Elvis fathered a baby next door. "Elvis is a daddy," my next door neighbor told me. He obviously cheated on the sister-wives with one of the little banties next door and there is a lovely growing-up hen with his distinct markings. I will try to get a picture. I will not tell Trixie. 

For this moment, for this one moment in time, all is well and I can feel that in my very bones and that is the miracle. I feel, for this moment, reborn. 





Comments And So Forth

Dammit, dammit. I went to add a few replies to comments this morning and all of the replies I'd left last night were not there. I either did not post them properly or else they got disappeared by Blogger.
I am sorry.
I spent a good half hour doing that last night- replying to comments on my yesterday morning's blog and felt guilty because I hadn't replied to the comments the day before. I cherish the comments y'all leave me and because of the topics discussed lately- anxiety, depression, doctors, medication- I've gotten a lot of them and I've gleaned something from them that I could never get anywhere else. Your experiences have mirrored many of my own and they give me comfort and things to think about and validation and new avenues to explore and they are priceless in my mind and if I ever thought about the amount of time I spend here, writing out my life and wondering if its worth it, all I have to do is realize that I am touching the nerves of many, quite obviously, and I know it is. Worth it and worth it and worth it.
Which is why it's so important to me to answer comments. I don't even know if people come back to read what I've said. Sometimes that doesn't even matter. I just want to know that I've done my part in the conversation. I have acknowledged your effort and made it clear how much I appreciate it.

Does any of this make sense?

Anyway, care-taking the boys takes a lot of energy. The long days leave me with not much more than the energy to cook our supper, tidy up and take a shower. But as I do these things, I think about all of the things you all have said. And last night I did grab that half hour while supper was cooking to sit down and write my thoughts back to you and now they're not there and well...that's the story.

I'm feeling okay this morning. Not what I'd call cheerful or overly energetic but okay. The boys are coming again soon. It will be another long day but it's going to warm up and I can hear the mockingbird calling full-throated. I think it's a mockingbird. Some lovely liquid notes and the tiny birds and cardinals are rushing the feeder and although the sun is not out and the sky is gray, there is a lifting of the feeling of dense heaviness which the last few days have held. Yesterday's ice has all melted and I have actually seen Japanese Magnolias trying to bloom and soon the redbud will burst forth and I will be shocked once again to see it.

Thank you, all of you and I keep saying that and I mean it with all of my heart. You keep me from drowning sometimes and as I write these words my eyes fill with the fullness of my heart which comes from your words. You may not always know how much they mean to me but trust me- more than you can imagine.

All right. Let's have a good Friday.

Much love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tired Mer Mer

video

His brother's a genius too.

In HIndsight

I am angry this morning. I woke up some time in the night and I started thinking about how that appointment went. How I spent a good fifteen minutes describing my particular anxiety disorder. How it's a low-grade terror which makes it difficult to eat, to think. I never once mentioned the term "panic attack." How when I asked for some medication to help, I got ten pills which are not the medication currently thought to be the best for such situations. How this medication would be impossible to take on a day like today when I have my grandchildren to tend and yes, I did mention that I take care of my grandchildren. How when she gave me the 'script she said, "In case you have a panic attack."
Which is not currently my problem. And which, as I said, I never complained of.
It seems to me that it has always been this way for me and doctors with a few exceptions. I think I can convey my symptoms in an educated, thoughtful way and then I am sent away with little help. And that's not just one doctor or nurse practitioner but many over the course of the years. How pains have been poo-pooed as if I had made them all up in my head. I do make up pains in my head but those are not the ones I take to a doctor.
The NP did suggest that I up my dose of the natural hormones for the progesterone and I have started doing that. I hope it helps. I don't want Xanax or Ativan to misuse it. In fact, when I have taken it it did not feel like a party drug. It wasn't perfect. It didn't turn me into a happy, blithe, ecstatic person. I would never take it unless I truly needed it. And I told her that.

And I'm thinking of all of that today and I am feeling angry. I know there are doctors who over-medicate their patients. Who write out prescriptions like candy. I don't want one of those doctors. I want a doctor or a practitioner who listens like that dentist did. And I truly thought I'd found such a person in this NP. She is educated, smart, and open to new things and alternative treatments. But I do not think she is educated about anxiety.

Well, that's me today.

The boys are coming very soon and it is still very cold although the frozen stuff is no longer falling from the sky. It will start to warm up today and maybe soon we shall see the sun. I need to get my head in the right place to be a good grandmother. I have made deviled eggs for Gibson and there are oatmeal cookies too. There is a little bit of watermelon and some Annie's organic macaroni and cheese which they might like although I doubt it's much better for them than Kraft. There are carrots and there is peanut butter and we have cards and dominoes and paper and paints and crayons and of course, as a last resort, we have Sponge Bob.

I am angry but I cannot be angry at my boys. And I am not just angry. I feel frustrated and I feel sad and I feel condescended to and I feel as if once again, I have been told that my feelings, my problems, are not real and not worthy of true attention. Which is a very familiar feeling and I do not like it.

And I do not want to go doctor-shopping again which is a problem in and of itself.

Here we are. And as always, we go on.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

And This Is Where All You People From Canada And Michigan Can Laugh Real Loud

I swear. You want a health care provider who accepts the idea of some alternative forms of treatment, right? I mean, I do. And mine does. Perhaps to a degree that, well...
Okay. When I start talking about anxiety, she starts talking about supplements and electrical devices and, and, and...I don't know. I mean, sure, things like that might help.
But when the best two days of your past month have been the day you got oral surgery and the day following it, I just don't think that something I hook up to my earlobes to send an electric current through them is  going to cut it. I could be wrong. I surely could be.
But you know, it was okay. I got my basic exam which is not much and boy, do I need to lose weight! although she didn't say anything about that and my slips of paper to go get the mammogram and the blood work and she likes the lipid panels where they explore all different sorts of profiles instead of just the regular ones so that's good and I've already made my appointment for the mammogram and I MADE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A RETIRED PHYSICIAN WHO DOES ACUPUNCTURE AND HYPNOSIS! At the same time.
I am not kidding you.
And I asked for some anti-anxiety medication and she consulted with her back-up doc who is pretty darn alternative himself and they gave me...wait for it...a 'script for ten Valium!
Hey! Valium are cheap. Or at least the generic version of them. The ten of them cost me $1.43.
Do people even still take Valium? I guess we're fixing to find out.
Anyway, I feel pretty good and in no need to take anything at the moment, although I'm exhausted. The moral fiberous energy it took to walk in that office just about drained me. And then I went and had some documents scanned and sent and more on that later. And I ran by Fanny's to give Taylor a birthday card because it's her birthday and I love her and I also took her and May both little flowering plants from the Publix which will die but before they do, they'll be pretty. May is still sick and I should have taken her Sudafed but I didn't. I doubt the plant is going to help her very much but it won't hurt her either.

Okay. So finally we got some ice stuff falling from the sky here. Every one in the blog world and on Facebook from Tallahassee is posting pictures like this





because we are so fucking amazed that ICE STUFF is falling from the sky.
So of course I had to as well. Just out of curiosity- is this what you call sleet?

Lily took the boys outside to play in it. She probably told them it was snow. She said they liked it for a few minutes and then that was enough and they wanted to go inside.
Gibson is going through a deviled egg stage. I got a text from Lily today that said, "Just had to make Gibson deviled eggs in like 5 seconds because he was screaming eggy and throwing himself on the ground."
He ate three halves of deviled eggs when we were at Fanny's yesterday. He would eaten fifty if we'd given them to him. The boys are coming over tomorrow morning and I've already boiled some eggs to make the child eggy. He did not want me to leave when I dropped by there for a short visit this afternoon.
"Mer-Mer!" he screamed, holding his hands out towards me. He was just tired. Owen barely looked at me. He had a friend over and he was too busy playing. I demanded a hug and he gave me one but I'm not sure his heart was in it. Oh well.

So it didn't turn out to be the worst day of my life. Not by a long shot. And I'm sure that my NP would prescribe me an antidepressant if I asked her for one. I'm just thinking/hoping that this run of anxiety is going to run its course like a bad case of the measles and I know I've had some good days in it and now I have a little back-up panic medication which is, in and of itself, a calming thing. Once I get this blood work and mammogram over with, I think I'll be okay.

All right. Time to make the supper. Chickens are up, all of the water spigots are dripping because it's supposed to get down to 22 degrees tonight. Speaking of chickens, they do not like the cold ground on their bare feet. They were all high-steppin' it today. Here's a picture of Elvis. Just because. Isn't he a handsome thing?


I think so.

I have one more thing to say- I want to sincerely and truly and really tell all of you who have commented with your own stories of doctor and dentist fears, of anxiety and depression and the difficulty in getting through the most mundane of situations and days sometimes- I love you. You have made me feel so much less alone. You have given me hope and reminded me that I am probably not dying, just experiencing something which is so very human and which so very many humans experience.

Dang! I love you!

Ms. Moon

Not Exactly A Winter Wonderland


No icicles, no snow, no sleet. Not here, at least. It's not even quite freezing but damn, it sure feels cold to the bone out there. A day in which its hard to believe that the sun will shine again, that it will be warm, that spring will come. 

My appointment is in a few hours. I keep making the calculations in my head for the timing of when to shower, when to leave. I want to leave early so I can drive slowly. I hate this. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I drank some smoothie. My stomach feels terrible. 

When I was talking to my friend yesterday she told me that she loves reading my blog. I was a little surprised. I didn't know she did read it but she does and she told me that when she was sitting in the hospital with her sister, she would read it and that it was a comfort to her to read about the grandchildren, the chickens. "Don't stop writing," she said. "I won't," I told her. 

Sometimes I wonder why I do this at all. Who cares if I have anxiety? Who cares if my chickens have begun to lay eggs again? Who cares if my grandsons, according to me, are adorable and hysterical and that I love them so much it doesn't even seem possible? 

I don't know. 
Why am I talking to myself? Because that is, essentially, what I am doing. 

Today I am talking to myself about getting this appointment over with. I have other things to do in town too. I really want to just curl up into a ball and sleep through it all. The appointment time, the in-town stuff, the cold, the rain. Just sleep right through until spring. Wake up hungry and curious about the world instead of this constant drudge through all the mess of what's in my mind; what's outside of it. Did you know that before there were anxiety medications one of the last-resort treatments for this disorder was to put people in a sort of drug-induced coma so that they would sleep through days and nights with very little waking in hopes that they would heal and recover while unconscious?

I understand that. 

Well, that ain't happening today. 

The birds are still flocking to the feeder, even in the gray wet cold. I am trying to look upon them as portents of color and goodness and hope. It is hard. 
I wish with all of my heart that I wasn't so crazy. I wish I knew how to flip the switch, to slip this bitch, this crazy-mind. 

I am grateful to be able to write it all out. Or, to at least leak some of it. 

Onward. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

One Of Those Messy Days

I just got off the phone with one of my oldest friends in the world. Her darling younger sister died on Sunday and I am heartbroken for the family. This sister had gone through several bouts with cancer and it's been a miracle, having her as long as they did. Which is no real consolation when someone you love that much dies.
It's just hard.
It's just so hard.
Anyway, I am thinking of them, this family that I've known since I was a child and I know they midwifed that sister girl on out the best anyone could and with love all around. That is something to be glad about. To be proud of. To know they loved her into death. I would so wish that for us all.

It's been a day. Steel gray sky all day long, temperatures dropping. They've ordered the schools closed tomorrow, the bank where Mr. Moon has his office will be closed until eleven. I guess this is a big deal although it really doesn't seem like such. Atlanta is getting snow and things have shut down there. We're just not set up properly here in the southern climes for such events. Well, it's going to be what it is.

Pete Seegar died yesterday which I guess everyone in the world knows by now. What can I say about the man that hasn't been said already a million times? He was ninety-four so he had a good long span of this stuff we call life and he used it well. I hear he was chopping wood ten days before he died. He never gave up the fight for what he considered to be right and he fought with music and smiles and if that's not the right way to do it, I don't know what is.
Bless him.

I went to the dentist this morning and despite the fact that I knew nothing scary at all was going to happen I got myself into a frantic tizzy by the time I got there. All was well, of course, and I talked to the girl who was checking my tooth and told her I was going through a lot of anxiety again. I swear- they are just so incredibly compassionate and caring there. She went and talked to the dentist and he gave me a 'script for four Xanax and just having that piece of paper in my purse made me feel about ten thousand times better. When I go see my NP tomorrow, I'm going to discuss all of this with her. Part of me feels ridiculous for needing medication for something like anxiety which sounds like needing medication for a hangnail but fuck it. When something takes hold of you so hard that you don't know what you're doing or what you've just done, you need some relief. I got the prescription filled and it's tucked away and I'll take a bit of one tomorrow before I go to my appointment but not too much because god knows I don't want to die on some icy road because I'm too stoned on anxiety medication which I needed because I was going to talk to my primary care provider about getting some anxiety medication because I was so anxious.

After the dentist I went over to Lily's and we got those boys dressed and we went and looked at a house Lily and Jason sure would like to buy. Maybe. The house needs a lot of work on it but the yard- Lord. There must be at least twenty camellias in that yard, all of them twenty or thirty or maybe forty years old. Maybe older. Owen could climb them and did. They have become a forest. There's also fig trees and a satsuma and a grapefruit and live oaks and pines and it's a glory. We didn't go in the house but peeked in the windows. The kitchen's a flat-out mess and probably hasn't been redone since the house was built in the fifties but that's the sort of thing you can work on as time goes by and money becomes available. It was easy to see a dream form in Lily's eyes as we walked around that yard. We went to the library and then we went and picked up Hank and headed over to Fanny's to see what Taylor was cooking. May was there and should not have been. She ran fever all last night and was sick as a dog. She wasn't getting near customers or food and was just there to do the office work but I wish she'd been home in bed. You never ever get over fretting about your babies, no matter how old they are. This is just a fact of life. We sure had a good lunch, though.

And then I came on home after I got my four pills and groceries. All anyone can talk about is this possible storm of ice and cold. Good grief- it's supposed to be back up to seventy by Friday. Doesn't take much to get us riled around here.

Well, it's raining full-on now. Coming down hard. This is what the weather radar looks like at the moment:


Animated and everything.

But this is true rain, no ice or snow or sleet involved. Yet. Messy night. Mr. Moon is on his way home and I'll be glad when he's safe and beside me again. It's the kind of weather where you want all your chicks to be under your wings, or at least safe in their own nests.

It's been a complicated day, full of every sort of thing and I am grateful to have been a part of it, even the parts which involved sorrow and anxiety.

If we wake up tomorrow to find icicles hanging from the eaves, I'll be sure to take pictures.

Sending love to everyone tonight. That means you.
Ms. Moon


Monday, January 27, 2014

This has been a get-through-it day. It helped to get through it in that it has been beautiful. So warm I opened up the doors and let the sweet clean air  rush in to sweep my floors and walls and it was such a pleasure. I did not have to let the dogs in and out and in and out one million times. They could simply step through the doorway as they chose.
That helped.
I took a walk. I can barely remember it. That's what anxiety does to me. It takes away my ability to think and process information properly. I think it must be like one of those functional black-outs they talk about which alcoholics experience. Maybe? I think that I reach a point with the anxiety where I simply have to check out and so I do and I am capable of doing dishes and taking walks and whatever simple tasks must be done but there is not a lot of cognition going on.
But I did walk. I know I did and I know it was beautiful. It must have been and besides that, I do actually and truly remember one purple azalea which had prematurely burst forth on a bush in front of an empty house on Main Street.

It's so hard to believe that tomorrow at noon cold air is going to start pouring in and then the rain which according to a National Weather Service advisory will be, "bringing a thin glaze of ice as far south as the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend." We have no clue as to how to drive on ice around here. You might as well tell us that the roads are going to be coated with a thin glaze of cream cheese or olive oil or cherry Slurpee or okra or canned ham. That's how rare this event will be if it does indeed happen. The weather predictions lately have not been very accurate. Hard freezes are predicted and then maybe not. I hope this one doesn't happen. I looked at my own azalea bushes today and they are starting to bud and some of them are even showing color.

I remember an unexpected freeze we got once a long time ago when I lived in a different house in Lloyd. This was a house which my then-husband and I had moved from Monticello to our property in the woods about ten miles from here. He and a friend of ours restored it into livability, replacing rotten sills and putting on a front screened porch and I loved that house. It was just an old Cracker house but until we moved here, it was my favorite house ever. There was one large bedroom, one tiny bedroom that Hank and May shared, one very plain bathroom, a decent kitchen, a living room. And our friends David and Karen had come to visit one warm March day with their children and spent the night and we woke up the next morning to find that temperatures had plummeted and we had icicles hanging from the roof and we had already gone through all of our firewood (we heated with a wood stove) and it was crazy cold. I had already planted the potatoes and the peas and they were sprouting and here was all of this ice. I think we burned an old table the men broke up for fuel. I swear, I believe that's what we did. We were so young and it was an adventure and we bundled the children up and we burned that table and it was all fine.
It will all be fine if it actually freezes tomorrow too.

It has started to rain a little, as I write this, a gentle patter, a sound so soft it is barely discernible.

Another thing I did today was to sweep and tidy up what I call my office. It was originally the kitchen of this house, which was separate from the main building because of the risk of fire, I would imagine, and also because in the summer, the heat would be too much. It is such a gift- that room, even though I do not really use it very much. The boys love to play in it. Owen finds some of my treasures- an incense burner in the shape of a stone turtle, some quartz crystals, tiny booklets- and he puts them in a metal box I keep in there and we pretend Happy Birthday. He gives me the presents and then I give them to him. The boys run around the room in circles, screaming in joy, and Owen finds pens and paper and turns on the fan which is industrial strength and sounds like an airplane engine and scares Gibson to death and he runs to me and hides in my bosom.

Before my then-husband and I moved into our beautiful Cracker house, we lived in a ten-by-fifty foot trailer on our property. It was small but it was adequate. May was born in that trailer. I say "adequate" because before we lived there, we had lived in a house with no plumbing, no running water, an outhouse, barely functional electricity and no heat at all except for fireplaces which, when you lit them, caused all of the cold air to pour through the cracks in the walls and the floors, drawn by the fire in some scientific way which I do not exactly understand but swear to you- it was true. So that trailer with its relatively good insulation and its bathroom which we plumbed with running water from our well (and the day I figured out I was pregnant with May I was digging ditches through the hard red clay to run the PVC) was not a bad place to live. For awhile. But while we lived there, I would have dreams of finding a room I did not know existed. I would find a door and open it and there would be an entire room, spacious and light-filled and when I woke up from those dreams to the reality of my tiny 10 by 50 foot tin trailer, I would be so depressed. And now I have this house with rooms to spare and that one, that old kitchen, the room which is mine and mine alone, is like those trailer dreams come true. This house wends and winds its way from one end to the other. There are so many doors in it that I can fall asleep, counting them in my head. They lead from one room to another, they lead to porches and a deck. There is no shortage of doors or rooms and I cleaned one of those rooms today. My lagniappe room.

My mind is wandering tonight like the pathways in this house. When I take the folded laundry from the tiny laundry area off the kitchen to our dressers, our closets, I can choose one of two routes. I can go through the house itself or go through the back porch where I spend half of my life. Wandering. Wending. Winding.

Mr. Moon is out of town. There is nothing but the sound of the rain, now just dripping from the tin roof and those crazy frog-birds, their voices sharp notes in the darkness. I made an appointment today to start what for me is a terrifying process wherein strangers will know the darkness of the parts of my body which are hidden by skin which destroys completely my beloved illusion that we are, as Tom Robbins said in one of his books, filled not with blood and bones and organs and veins and miles of pink intestines and all of that gucky, real stuff but with white light. Pure white light. I did that. I walked. I picked some camellias, I threw away the old, browning ones, I put the new ones in vases. I printed out some documents I needed to print. I swept and tidied. I used Fabuloso and vinegar and KaBoom! I sprayed around the toilet that Owen uses and got on my hands and knees and wiped the floor and toilet clean because it was smelling like the men's room at the Texaco station. I gathered two eggs, one blue, one brown. I fed cats and dogs. I crumbled bread I had made for the chickens. I ate some food, and I can't remember what. I spent way too much time on the internet reading a blog written by a woman who is perhaps even more desperate than I am about how we need Jesus in our lives and also articles about what Madonna wore to the Grammys and how to deal with anxiety. Hope. Believe in hope. I took the trash. I made my husband his snack bag and stood at the stove and used the Whirley Pop to make him a huge bowl of popcorn and I made his coffee drink so that he could drive to Orlando without falling asleep. I have read quite a few pages of Alexander McCall Smith's newest book in the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series which is a little like taking a sweet, mild anti-anxiety medication.

The rain is pattering again. Those frog-birds are frantic. I am going to eat a left-over pork chop with a left-over sweet potato. Tomorrow morning I go back to the dentist for a final (god I hope) check there. And then Lily and the boys and I are going to do something and if we go to lunch, you can be sure we will call Hank to join us.

Getting-through-it.

Here's the thing- I don't want my life to be a getting-through-it proposition. It is far too filled with goodness and richness and love for that and to merely get through it is a sin. I know that.

Well. There is hope, isn't there? For me there is not Jesus but there is hope.

On we go! Chin up! as my mother used to tell me.

Love...Ms. Moon













Double Down, All In On Crazy

I just did something I've been needing to do for forever.
I called my primary care provider (a Nurse Practitioner) and made an appointment for a physical. It's been way too long and I need to do that and I need to set up appointments to get blood work and a mammogram and since I'm turning sixty this year, a colonoscopy and all of that stuff which absolutely terrifies me.
That is not an exaggeration.
I am shaking at this moment.
Quivering.

But. I did it.

Wednesday at eleven.

And how's this for irony? I am going to have to ask for medication to help with this anxiety and it's because of the prospect of walking into that office that I have the anxiety.

This has been going on for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, perhaps eight or nine, my stepfather said that I should go see a psychiatrist about my fear of doctors and I can remember the terror I felt then- going to a doctor to get help with my fear of doctors?

I don't even visit Dr. Google. I am not that sort of hypochondriac. I have said this before and it's the truth- I will rearrange my route somewhere so I do not have to pass the hospital. That's how bad it is.
And yes, I AM a registered nurse.

I am gulping Valerian root tea at this moment. I am going to take a walk. Beyond that, I am going to hang in. I know I am being illogical and ridiculous. In short...insane. This is how crazy I've been lately- my husband is talking about us taking a trip to Cozumel sometime in late spring and I can't even wrap my head around the concept of that.
That is how completely insane I am.
The prospect of the Yucatan, of the magical island of Cozumel, is something I can't even bring myself to believe in at this moment.









Sunday, January 26, 2014

Life In Lloyd, Part Whatever

My kitchen smells of pancakes and bacon and I have a new tablecloth on my back porch table and the birds are eating seeds with the enthusiasm of truly hungry stoners at the Golden Corral All You Can Eat Buffet. Elvis is crowing and a hen is on the nest and although the sky is not blue, it is not doomy, either.

It is a Sunday and I am not doomy myself. Which may qualify for Miracle Of The Day.

It was so nice to come home last night after the bridal shower. The food at the shower was plentiful and delicious. Everything from cut up fruit and vegetables to those absolutely disgusting and absolutely amazingly delicious meatballs simmered in: one jar of Welches grape jelly mixed with one bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce. If you've never eaten those, you haven't lived. I've even made them with veggie meatballs and honey, they were good too. Lily made those as well as fresh salsa which was as good as any I've ever made and she made those little wedding cookies which are so perfect. She also made the rum punch (equal parts orange juice, pineapple juice, ginger ale and rum with Grenadine) and that stuff was POPULAR! I saw one lady, older than me, drink at least two big glasses of it. I sampled it (for quality control purposes) and it was not for the faint of heart and it was delicious. She'd even made ice cubes of orange juice with Grenadine to go into the punch and they were so pretty. The Grenadine settled to the bottom and the cubes looked as if they had been made of peaches. Where does Lily get this girly-ability to make pretty things? My food is good but it's not that pretty. It's plain. As I was making the deviled eggs, I thought of how my darling Lis would have piped those deviled yolks into the whites and would have had a small heart attack at the way I was just spooning that gunk in there. I didn't even GARNISH! Okay, I used some dill weed and paprika on top but that's not really garnish.


That's just what you do. 

Anyway, it was a fun shower and all the bases were covered including the girlfriends making the bride a wedding dress with veil and bouquet out of toilet paper. I've never really understood this ritual but it seems that at most showers it must be done. And like I said, it was good to be home and Mr. Moon gave me a beer and turned on Prairie Home Companion for me and we settled in to some card-playing and radio-listening and that was perfect. I'd brought him home a few meatballs and deviled eggs and said, "There's your supper- haha!" and he ate them and was satisfied although after cards we did heat up a bowl of that stew which is slowly being whittled away. 

Okay- here's something funny that happened at the shower (according to me, at least) and just proves the point that Lily is often wary of taking me out in public- the women at my table were talking about their dogs which I think were rescue dogs. They were discussing all the horrible things these dogs do like pissing on the wood floors and destroying them, barking too much and getting under their feet all the time. And so of course I added my sentiment which was, "I hate dogs."
Now despite the fact that these women had said not one good word about their rescued dogs, they were slightly appalled at my statement. 
Why? 
I don't get it. 
I told Mr. Moon about that and he said, "You were just the life of the party, weren't you?"
He knows me so well. 

No showers today and I'm not sure what I'm doing now that the pancake part of the day is done and the dishes are washed. Oh yeah, laundry. Beyond that, no real plans. Which is fine. I could plant potatoes but I'm not in the mood and it's about to freeze again with that possible snow but I don't believe we're going to get snow. I just don't. And I need to trim my nails because they have become claws. I told Mr. Moon last night that in my next lifetime I am going to marry a manicurist.
"A small Vietnamese man?" he asked. 
"Or woman," I said, studying my cards. "If that's how it works out." 

I hope that wasn't racist. Or sexist. Whatever. 

Well, let's all get on with it. Whatever "it" may be. 

Have a decent Sunday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon






Saturday, January 25, 2014

Brief

One of the games played at the shower (yes, there were games) was a check-list handed out entitled, "What's In Your Purse?"
Points were assigned for things you might be toting around with you in your bag. Things like gum and mints and mirrors and lipstick and pennies and so forth. Up to and including things like measuring tapes, screw drivers and a change of underwear.
The woman who won had something like 147 points.

I had 12.

Haha!


Saturday Randomness


This was the headline in one of the sections of today's Tallahassee Democrat. To sum up the article, most religious leaders would say, "No." But it's just so ridiculous to me that anyone would waste space to even discuss such a thing. The headline might as well have read, "Does Mother Goose care who wins the Super Bowl?" Or, "Does Thor care who wins the Super Bowl?"

I'll tell you one thing- I don't care who wins the Super Bowl. I don't even know who's in it. Two teams, I would imagine.

So it's Saturday morning and Mr. Moon has already spent approximately two hours on a bird-feeder project. He also straightened up the birdbath which was tipping precariously. The birds are appreciative, ganging and flocking to the feeder. Finches and wrens and cardinals and red winged black birds and the occasional redheaded woodpecker. We've had quite a year for birds.

They say we might possibly get snow on Tuesday night. That would be the first time since 1989 which I remember quite clearly. It's a big deal when we get snow, trust me.

I need to get in there and make those deviled eggs. Approximately four thousand deviled eggs. Not really. Maybe two thousand. Mr. Moon did a quality control test of the brownies last night and proclaimed them fit to eat. I ended up making stew and still have about a container-ship-sized vat of it left. I would not care if I never saw it again. Why do I continue to cook too much food? I made too much food when I had six at the table every night. You can only imagine the storage problems now that there are only two of us. They don't make Tupperware in adequate sizes. And yes, sometimes I freeze portions but then I forget they're in the freezer and two years later I throw them out. This is a variation of the way it was in my house growing up wherein a microscopic portion of anything left over would be put in a container in the refrigerator, no matter how slim the odds were that it would ever actually be eaten. Until that food grew a mold-cover it was a sin to throw it out. After the mold appeared, it was okay to dump it. Unless the food was cheese. Mold is not harmful to cheese as we all know. Cut that shit off and make your cheese dog in the toaster oven.
Yum

All right. I better get busy with the egg deviling. It's Bridal Shower Day and I would like to go to the Big Library before all of that begins. I adore our branch library but the selection isn't great. I think I've listened to every audio book on the shelves which I may have even the vaguest interest in. Plus a few I really didn't have even the vaguest interest in. I finished listening to The Lacuna again yesterday and I almost wept with sorrow when the last word was said. I love that book more every time I read it, whether that be with eyes or ears. The shower is probably going to be fun. I know there's going to be some good food with lots of bacon involved. Bacon is the bride's favorite food. There is also going to be wine and rum punch but I doubt I'll be drinking any. I am allergic to wine and although the rum punch sounds delicious, I have to drive. Luckily, bacon does not impair my ability to operate a motor vehicle. As far as I can tell, at least.

Have you noticed that my "Miracle Of The Day" posts have not been showing up lately?
Boy, that was a short-lived feature.
I still continue to register miracles daily but mostly I'm just keeping them to myself due to the fact that what I consider to be miracles are probably not, by real definition, miracles.

It'll be a miracle if I get those eggs done and get to the library and to Lily's on time.

Love...Ms. Moon


Friday, January 24, 2014

Winter Day



It took me until noon today to talk myself into getting into my walking clothes and getting out there. It's been cold all day and I doubt it ever got near fifty and as always, I have to give the caveat that yes, I know, forty isn't that cold but it is for us here in Florida and we don't have the right clothes for such temperatures but mainly I'm just a big wimp.
I had taken the trash and just that little jaunt in the car left me chilled to the bone and slightly miserable. But as the day progressed, that sun kept cheerfully shining and every peak of sky I glimpsed through the window was as blue as blue could be so I finally gave in and put my shoes on and my silly not-an-athlete walking wear and went out into it and I was so glad I did.
Here's what the sky looked like:


How could I ignore that? And wouldn't it have been a sort of small sin if I had?

I was so glad I went. Everything was clear and sharp and holding the true winter essence of itself, unadorned by spring's gaudy exuberance or summer's almost embarrassing (if we get enough rain) rich profusion or fall's golden changes. Just the brave green of the pines and oaks, the still-glossy leaves of the magnolias. All of them different somehow from summer's green. 

It was a wonder.

There is a very short road not two blocks from my house which I had never really explored in the ten years since I've lived here until recently. It's not much of a road, more of a dirt driveway that leads to a few houses, one an old Jim Walters, falling in, a few trailers, and then this:


Its lines are still so straight and true that I am tempted to think it is a new place, built to look old but the chimneys look ancient and it has the sense about it of having been there forever. The trees around it are spreading and moss-draped and I take delight in the sight of it every time I see it. It would appear to me that someone is living there although I have seen no cars and the yard is fairly devoid of stuff. Most of the yards on that road hold at least one old car up on blocks along with the detritus which men so typically are loath to give up- to be specific- old crap that no one is ever going to use again but which could, possibly, if someone took the time and the effort to restore it could be. Old tractors, old above ground pools, old swing sets. Etc. 
This yard has little but a tire swing hanging from a lower hanging oak branch over to the side. It looks spare and yet, not abandoned. 

Anyway, it was a good walk and it cheered me immeasurably to have gone out and taken it and when I got home and went to check the hen house to see if my prophecy about getting an egg today might be true (Miss Sharon had been on the nest when I opened the door for the chickens this morning) I found this:



Four eggs from my five hens! This hasn't happened since sometime last summer! Two blueish ones, one sage green, one pale ivory. I have no more idea what triggered this bounty than I can discern what triggers my moods. I felt as if rubies had fallen from the sky as I gathered them up and took them into the house. 

And so it has gone today. Cooking has been a trial. Some days are like that and again, I do not know why. My eggs that I boiled to make into deviled party eggs would NOT peel and I spent forty-five minutes trying to be delicate with shell and membrane and whites. They are not going to be the prettiest deviled eggs in the world and so they better be good. I will finish them tomorrow. I have just pulled the brownies out of the oven and even they don't seem to be quite right but you know- we do what we can and anything made out of chocolate and cocoa and butter and eggs and flour and vanilla and pecans will be good unless it is burnt and these are not burnt so there is that. I have a huge pot of something on the stove which is either going to be soup or stew and I am not yet sure which. If it is stew I have to make a gravy to thicken it and the way things are going in that kitchen today, I am not sure I should even bother.

Ah-lah. It's all okay. These are the merest of circumstances, not even fit to be called problems. I am waiting for my husband to come home. It is Friday. There will be martinis, real ones, not fantasy ones, and whether the pot of venison and vegetables ends up as soup or stew, it will be good enough. Winter food, like winter woods- stripped down to the essence, no need for fancy pretension. Two bowls, two bread plates, a bottle of hot sauce. That is all a table needs on a winter's night. 
Well, those and love and having all of these things and in abundance, I know and acknowledge my riches. 










Because

Somedays you wake up and you know? Nothing is really going to explain your meaning here in life. None of the pieces is really going to fit together and even though the sun is shining like butter on mashed potatoes and just running pure dairy buttery de-light over everything and you're thinking the hens might lay an egg today and yesterday you adored humanity, you're just not really feeling it.

Those are the days you just need to watch a little Bill Murray. Am I right or am I right?

Last night Mr. Moon and I were flipping through the channels and just happened upon Zombieland, one of my very favorite movies of all times. Woody Harrelson plays a guy named Tallahassee and it's ridiculous and part of it was filmed just a few miles up the road in Georgia at a sleazy fun park called Wild Adventures that my kids used to guilt me into taking them to and lots of zombies get shot and best of all- it's got Bill Murray. Bill Fucking Murray. So we watched the part I've found with absolutely no problem on the glorious Youtube and I swear to you, if all you do is watch the first 27 seconds where Tallahassee dances (badly) and demands (in vain) that a girl help him take off his boots, I guarantee you'll have a better day, mashed potatoes with butter and sunshine or not.




Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This Happened

During what I think of as the "When will their father be here?" hour.



video

Then I shook up a few dirty martinis (the boys love olives) and the three of us sat around, sipped, ate a little pate and discussed politics until Jason showed up.

It was a good afternoon.


Update

Just read this on Facebook:

his message is from Stephen's daughter: "Love and gratitude to all the sweet messages and tributes here here. I visited with my dad yesterday and the day before along with my daughter, my sister, our brother, and our cousin. Dad is certainly frail and in recovery mode from a hospital stay, but as I understand it, there is no medical reason to believe he can't rally. He's eating again, was very happy to see us and fun to be with, and even cracked some jokes. Please hold a good thought for his appetite to maintain and for a return to health, knowing none of us last forever."

Which just goes to show, you can't trust everything you read or hear.
And maybe that old Shaman Farmer has some more good years in him yet and if so, I will be glad of that.

Sometimes I Love Humanity

I am now stitch-free. That took about two seconds. Hurray! 
I just have to say that this dentist's entire staff is absolutely wonderful. Every one one of them (and all female except for the doctor) are just as sweet as sweet can be. Reassuring, comforting, professional, and gentle. 
I am grateful. 

After I was through with that tiny chore, I drove over to a friend's house for coffee but I stopped on the way at Whataburger for two breakfast taquitos. This friend and I met while working at a birth center and the Whataburger was about a block away and after a long night's birth, we would sometimes go over and get these delicious and unhealthy taquitos with eggs and sausage and cheese and eat them with the picante sauce that comes in the little plastic tubs and it's a fine memory so I got them for us today. When I paid, the lady in the drive-through window said, "You have a good day, Mama!" 
I loved it! 
None of the ickiness (for me) of being wished a "blessed day" which often happens in these here parts. I mean, it shouldn't be icky. Hell, this is blessourhearts but I am pretty sure that it's meant in the Jesus connotation, not the hearted one in these instances. However, being called "Mama" is just pure goodness to my ears. 

So my friend and I got to sit and chat and eat our taquitos which are as delicious as they ever were and it was wonderful. I'm down to about two friends in this world whom I am not directly related to but they sure are good friends. The best. Liz just returned from the Florida Keys where she was doing work-related things in the wilderness and on the ocean and part of that was participating in a kayak paddling adventure where one of the guys had been part of Diana Nyad's kayak team. HOW COOL IS THAT? I got stories only once removed from the source and let me just say that my belief that Ms. Nyad is the world's greatest athlete has only been confirmed. I cried again today, hearing stories of her incredible endurance and strength and humor. And of her team! 
I sure hope that Diana is working on a book because I want to read it. 

So I'm home now and the boys are coming out soon and once again, my day is full. I hate to admit it, but I do best under those circumstances. 

And I want to add that I am not sure at all that Stephen Gaskin has died. He may still be in the transition phase. If news of his death was premature, I apologize but everything I said about him stands true. I might go get my old copy of Hey Beatnik! This is the Farm Book out and go through its tattered pages once again. 



These stitches are making me crazy and I am not Bob The Cat so I am going in to see the dentist AGAIN and I have become, obviously, their most needy patient.
I swear.
Anyway, good morning, we slept in huge, sweet, long gulps last night and again, it didn't get nearly as cold as predicted and you just never know, do you?
Later, loves.

Ms. Moon

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

He Was A Very Fine Hippy




Stephen Gaskin and his wife, the mother of modern midwifery, Ina May Gaskin

I'm finding it very difficult to say what I want to say this evening but I guess what I want to say is that I had a wonderful day with Lily today and we got to see May too, and it is one of the truest, best blessings in my life that I have the relationship with all of my children that I do and I think that one of the reasons is that they were born at home (except for Hank but we got home pretty darn quick after he arrived) and I got to hold and love and nurse them from the very first second and that never would have happened if Ina May Gaskin hadn't started delivering babies for the women of her community which her husband, Stephen Gaskin, formed way, way back in the day. 

And from what I am hearing, Stephen left this world today and I'm not devastated but I am honoring him, I am thinking of his wife, Ina May with whom he shared his life and world for so many years, and I am saying thank-you, in my heart, for how his life has affected mine and my family's and I am grateful for his time here on this earth. 





None Of These Things Are Related

It didn't get as cold as they said it would and I woke up about fifty thousand times last night and so did Mr. Moon and I suppose we rested in tiny little sips of sleep and I am not at my most mentally stable this morning.
But it's beautiful outside and the gas dude is here, filling up the tank and that'll cost as much as a week in Cozumel but what are you going to do?

When Lily and I talked yesterday she mentioned going to Target to buy the bride for whom she's giving this shower a present and I was like, "Oh god. I forgot that part."
I'm losing my mind. Bridal showers are NOT all about deviled eggs and silly games. Those things are merely the backdrop for presents.
Duh.
We will be going to Target today. And on Friday I will be making deviled eggs.

Did you hear Terry Gross's interview with Joaquin Phoenix yesterday? If you didn't and are maybe snowed in and have an hour to spare, you can listen to it here. 
I'm not sure that Joaquin enjoyed the experience that much but Ms. Gross and I sure did.

Here's a picture I stole off Facebook.


That's Hank and Billy in the foreground and other people in the background, including Billy's lovely sister in the middle of that group. They are all at karaoke. Singing. Could you just die? 

Okay. Let's see. What else? 

My dogs are still alive. Obviously. Because they are immortal. 

The stitches in my jaw seem to be coming unraveled or something. No. I have not looked in there. But my tongue can feel them. I am not going back to the dentist until my next appointment. If they come out, they come out. Whatever. Once I had a cat named Bob who was the most personable of all of the cats I've ever owned. He had a huge personality. It wasn't a very sweet personality but it was big. Anyway, once he got hit by a car and his jaw got completely jacked and the vet put everything back together again and held it in place with wire and a button. A button like the sort you keep your shorts on with. Before it was time to take him back to have this whole bizarrely engineered contraption removed, Bob somehow removed it himself.
"Never seen that before," the vet said. 
Bob lived about another fifty years after that. 

Well, I better quit rambling. I need to go through that pile of crappy clothes to find something decent enough to wear to town so I can pick up Lily and we can go do our bridal shower errands. I have a new debit card. Do I dare use it at Target? 

And it just occurred to me that if I was in Cozumel I wouldn't need any gas for heat. 

Loving every damn one of you...Ms. Moon




Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another Day In Which The "L" On My Forehead Becomes More Permanently Etched




About the most interesting thing I have done today is to run into the brass swinging lock thing on the back door with my thigh. It hurt.
"Shit," I said, and went on with my boring day.
I have been useless. USELESS!
I threw that dress away. It is now in the garbage along with all of the scraps and the pattern. Bu-bye, ugly dress! I had run it through the wash to see if that process might make me like it more. It did not. It made the fabric scratchy. I laid it back over the ironing board to contemplate my options and then a little while later in a fit of who the fuck cares? and what does it matter? I gathered it up and I tossed it in the trash can.
We can take "seamstress" off the list of things I might possibly be when I grow up.
Oh, but how that list is dwindling.

Beauty Queen
Rock Star
Movie Star
Famous Actor
Famous Writer
Stand-Up Comedian
Creator Of World Peace
Seamstress

This pretty much leaves things like:

Woman Who Can Still Walk At The Age Of Sixty
Uh...I Can't Think Of Anything Else

So, yeah. I've been completely useless today and have accomplished nothing beyond clearing the sewing things out of the dining room. I wiped down the wall behind the kitchen sink where all the tiny black ants are marching in columns but within ten minutes, replacements plus had shown up. I have no idea what that's about. Nor do I really care. I know that nothing I can do is going to stop their determined madness and they will disappear at some point. 
Nature.

I was talking to May on the phone a little while ago and I said, "I just want to get out of here! I want to flee! I want to leave it all behind!"
She said, "Do you want to change your clothes, your hair, your face?"
"Yes!" I said. "Well, I like my hair okay. But god. My clothes! I need to throw them all away. I wear things like overalls that are so worn out they're held together with diaper pins!"
"That's all right," she said. "You live in the country."

The country of the having-given-up, obviously.

So that is me today, tonight. Mr. Moon is on his way but will only race into the house to get his truck keys and drive to town to watch an FSU basketball game.
And it's going to freeze like hell tonight and I'm not even going to say, Oh, but I know it's so much worse in other parts of the country.
It's always worse somewhere else. You can just bet your ass on that. So what? In the mood I'm in, I don't care. I am here. Where it's going to be really, really cold.

Well, that's all right. Tomorrow I'm going to town to help Lily get things together for a bridal shower she's giving on Saturday. This will make me feel needed, it will make me feel as if I have a life! It is all illusion, it is all but a moving dream behind a hazy scrim or some such shit but who doesn't need an illusion? God knows I do.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon







Not Much

This day can't make up its mind. I woke up to chill and a sky that looked, if I still lived in Denver, to portend snow. It has warmed up and the sun has busted through it all for a few seconds at a time but now the sky is dirty cotton again and it is supposed to get so very cold tonight.

I stopped for a second and talked to another fellow walker this morning as we crossed paths. He has but one leg and yet he walks regularly into Lloyd from where he lives down the road a piece. We have a gentle banter we practice, we do not share much it would seem except that we both live here, we both walk and that is enough, plenty, to have a few words to say to each other.

The soaring of my spirits, the pulse of energy I have been feeling due to the cessation of the anxiety has faded somewhat today. I feel the beast trying to get its claws back into my back. Perhaps it is merely this dull dense sky. Perhaps it is only that.

There are things I need to do which I have been avoiding and although I know in my heart that it takes so much more energy to avoid, I choose quite illogically to do that. I have to get over this. I am going to be sixty years old this year. Will I be a prisoner of my own devices until I die?

Here is another thing I will be a prisoner of until I die, it would seem:
My pets.
Why? Why do they keep on living? I never take my animals to the vet unless there is injury. We do not medicate them, not even their vaccinations. We feed them whatever food is cheapest without actually being made of chicken feathers and pine needles. And yet (or because of this?) they live forever. A cat who lives outside whose age we cannot even comprehend. Two dogs who are at least fourteen, blind as bats, running into walls, still going, still living, endlessly scratching at the door to be let in, to be let out. Barking at nothing, stinking to high heaven.
They will not die.
Our boxer, Pearl, lived to be twice the age of the lifespan of the boxer breed.
No, I am not kidding you.

Well.

Good morning. Here's your fun fact of the day- the very first Swimsuit Edition for Sports Illustrated was shot fifty years ago on the then, almost unheard of and sparsely populated island of Cozumel in 1964. The model was Babette Beaty.


She became very close friends with the Rolling Stones.

She is now a painter.

Love...Ms. Moon


Monday, January 20, 2014

Lloyd is lovely quiet tonight. There's something that sounds like a bird making a one-tweet note but I think it's a frog. I am not sure but it is a pure, whistle sound and wait...now there are two. A conversation.
I should be disturbed that I don't even know if it's a bird or a frog but actually, I'm sort of happy not to. In my mind's eye I am free to imagine a beaky, feathered frog like something from a Mayan dream and it is beautiful.

It's been a good and very busy day. My house is still in disaster-mode, the boys having had their way with it for some hours. It's not really that bad and we had a good time together. When Owen had been here for about half an hour he said, "It's good to be back at Old Mer's house again."
He hadn't been here since Saturday, you know.
Gibson did something today that charmed my heart. I was sitting on the couch and he asked me for some milk and so I said, "Okay, I'll go get you some," and as I went to stand up, he held his little hand out and said, "Help?"
Such a tiny gentleman.

I've been thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr. all day. I've been thinking about these words he said all day too:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. . . . The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
- From Strength to Love, 1963
I have to believe these words. Their message is the very essence of what I believe to be true. And I remember when he was assassinated, this man who (as Yoko Ono said of her husband, John Lennon) changed the world with his mind, thinking that the world as I knew it was crumbling and that all hope must surely be lost with his death. I remember this feeling of despair quite clearly and yet, thankfully, all hope was not lost because the world remembers him, his words, his voice, and also because he lived a life based on those words. A very human life, but one always aspiring in true action to that incredibly high belief. He did not live in vain and his message was a clear one to all humans of all colors in all countries and his words have wrought change in this world of ours. We certainly have not abolished hate or darkness or war but I do believe that we, as a species, are still capable of learning, of change, of trudging towards light and love and acceptance and perhaps, even someday...peace. 
Those days, those sixties and seventies days, were so filled with so much of the same message coming from so many different sources. We took that message in and we sang it, we danced to it, we tried, so many of us, to incorporate it into the very fiber of our being and of our lives as we lived them. 
Hell, I don't know. Humans are so very flawed, all of us in one way or another. But we all need something to rest our heart on, to hang our hat on, to choose to believe is true. And even in that choosing, I think we make a difference. 
I'm tired. But I'm good. When the dentist looked at my mouth today he said it all looked fine and everything was as it should be and that the stitches would be coming out next week. I was grateful. And then I said, "I want to tell you something that sounds crazy."
"Okay," he said. 
And I proceeded to tell him that as he surely knew, when I first came to see him, I was a person in a very scary anxious place. That it really had nothing to do with the bad tooth, the bone abscess, although that whole situation did not make it easier. 
"Well, everyone has anxiety," he said. And this is what people who have never experienced what Matt Haig calls not anxiety but Anxiety, says. I tried to explain to the doctor the difference but I am not sure he got it which is fine. If you've never experienced it, you can't know. And if you don't know, be fucking grateful as shit. BUT, what I wanted to tell him and what I tried to tell him, is something that I've been thinking about very seriously for about a week now which is that I truly believe that the very potent cocktail of anti-anxiety drugs they gave me before the procedure allowed me to somehow break free of the horrendous and hideous panic I had been experiencing for weeks. The complete relief of that panic, that Anxiety for the day and a half it took my system to clear itself of the drugs, somehow cut the misfiring of my brain and allowed it to rest, to heal, to cease its terrorizing message of insanity. To reboot and reset my mind. 
Is this possible? The dentist listened to me and he didn't have any answers and he told me that he was glad it had worked that way for me and I appreciated his listening. And the sweet angel-child assistant listened too and we discussed it a little more after he left the room to go on to his next patient. 
"Someone should do a study to see if such a protocol could work for other people," I told her. "Because I was fixing to have to go and get back on anti-depressants and beg, BEG for Xanax or Ativan and who knows how long I would have had to take those drugs? I couldn't keep on living that way."
She got it. She is very young but I can tell that she is also very empathetic. I touched her hand when I left. I have sort of fallen in love that child (whose name, by the way, is Jessie) who, when she prods the most tender parts of your mouth, does it so gently and so skillfully that you can't even feel it. 
And so that's been my day. A day as full of doing and thinking as any day I am capable of having. Trying, as always, to figure shit out and failing miserably. Making and doing and holding and kissing and hugging and touching and washing and laughing and talking and feeding carrots to goats. Thinking about lightness and dark, love and hate. 
In other words, a very good day. 
It's still lovely quiet in Lloyd tonight. I hope there is peace where you are too. And light, until the time comes for you to close your eyes and let peaceful darkness come upon you, the sweet kind of darkness which does not destroy but which heals, renews, and sustains. 
Time to go clean up the mess. 
Love...Ms. Moon




Here's what I've done today:
Had a follow-up dentist appointment at nine, had a breakfast date with my husband, drove him to the other side of Leon County to get his rental car to go to auction, drove to Lily's, went to the grocery with her and the boys, drove the boys to my house, unloaded the groceries, put them away, made Mr. Moon a snack bag, coffee drink, and his lunch and have made the boys their lunches.
Okay. So when I say "lunch" I am talking about peanut butter sandwiches and cut up watermelon.
Still.

So I've been just a little busy but all is well and I have no doubt I'll have more to talk about this evening should anyone in this entire universe be interested.
Haha!

Love...Ms. Moon


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reflections On Things

I have been working on my Make-It-In-Two-Hours! dress for most of the entire day and I probably would have finished it by now if I hadn't decided to put pockets in it and the pattern did not come with pockets but pockets are easy. Of course I screwed up the pockets so half an hour with the seam ripper and then putting it all back together and by god, if I were in the eighth grade I probably would be done with it by now but I am not.
I am also remembering how much I hate facings. I hate those little fuckers. And they always end up screaming HOMEMADE DRESS! no matter how carefully you interface and trim and iron and sew.
My mother had a saying, "Ugly as homemade sin" and it is one of my favorites. In this case, I do believe this dress is going to be a homemade sin. And as ugly as that implies. Oh well. It can always be a beach dress, should I ever go back to the beach again. Or perhaps I will just donate it upon completion to a thrift store so that some bargain-hunting round woman with no taste can buy it for 25 cents and wear it to slop her hogs in.
At this moment, I hate sewing and besides that, the old, worn rubber belts of the antique and beloved Singer are going to come apart. They are fraying noticeably. I need to find some place to have the whole machine refurbished, belts and hoses replaced, tires rotated. I know that I at least have to make Gibson a name blanket and so will need it again although I seriously doubt I'll be sewing another dress in the near future. If one could still find beautiful fabric it might be a different matter but I think that day has come and gone. At least in Tallahassee. I hear you can buy fabric on the internet but how can you buy fabric without touching it? I have always bought clothing by feel more than by look. That is just the way I am.

Ah-lah. I have spent a Sunday, shoulders hunched over seams and seam-ripper, iron and machine and as I have worked, I have been listening to Barbara Kingsolver reading The Lacuna in my ears and so that is not a bad day, no matter what the dress ends up looking like. (Shit.) This is the second time I've listened to this recorded book and before I ever listened to it, I read it in print and guess what? I love it just as much as the first time. I love how Ms. Kingsolver does the voice of Frida Kahlo as well as the faithful secretary Violet Brown. She is a damn fine narrator, Ms. Kingsolver, and it thrills me to hear her voice as she gives voice to the characters she has brought to life with her writing.

So that has been my day along with a little laundry, even some hung on the line, and filling up the chicken waterers and that is about it. But I am not complaining in the least. It has been a day with little to no despair or anxiety, just a bit of normal frustration and also some guilt that I have not been outside more on such a beautiful day. The air has been of that sweet cool temperature and shade of moistness that foretells spring and whispers that the dirt is warming up, getting ready. False whispers, of course, but still, I could have done some trimming and tidying, cutting back and making ready.
But really- what does any of it mean? These are merely thing we do in our lives as the minutes and hours of them pass. We can play solitaire or bake cookies or paint pictures or write poems or repot plants or plant trees or make dresses or stitch designs into muslin or read or watch TV or study Latin if that is what we so desire. Some days are not meant for earth-shaking purposeful intent and we are but the tiniest of not-visible-to-the-naked-eye specks in the great river of time in this universe.

Or maybe I'm just a complete lame-ass.

Whatever.

Love...Ms. Moon


Brunch


My Lord but we slept late! Nine o'clock and that is unheard of around here but we didn't get to bed until fairly late, having watched Silver Lining Playbook until eleven. Again- for me at least- unheard of! Have you seen that movie? I know that Elizabeth did. She is my LA movie reviewer correspondent. Of course she sees things the second they are released whereas we get around to watching things when they pop up on HBO. For some reason, I had no idea what that movie was going to be about. One would think I would have had a clue, but no. And what was the deal with Robert Dinero in it? His character was odd and I could see his acting gears all going at once, the scrunched up face, the rounded shoulders. And that mother? Did she have a line? I can't remember.
Anyway, we enjoyed it. I added another inch to the fuzzy pink possible-hat I am knitting. Lily teased me about it yesterday. "So, are you making it for me?" she asked. Pink is her favorite color.
"Maybe," I said.
"I don't wear hats," she said.
"Perhaps you should start," I told her.
My knitting projects have no true purpose other than to keep my fingers busy. I made Owen a scarf once but he claims it is scratchy.
Ah-lah.

It began to rain this morning, early, when it was still dark. I was surprised and then came the thunder, rumbling and the rain poured down. I went back to sleep again and again, each time I woke snuggling back into the cave of covers, into the sweet unconsciousness.

But now we are up, the animals tended and I have started cooking those stone-ground grits. They take an hour! But they are worth it, creamy as pudding when they are done. I had to give Mr. Moon a yogurt as a snack to tide him over until breakfast will be ready. So what? It is Sunday.
Brunch was invented for Sundays. May works at a restaurant where the brunch is famous and well-attended. She tells me tales of people waiting for an hour for the chance to sit and drink mimosas or bloody mary's and eat grown-up breakfast foods. Sounds good but who can drink in the morning or even early afternoon? I would be back in bed by one and maybe that's the point. I don't know. But I can't imagine getting dressed and driving somewhere to wait in line for a drink, for fancy eggs unless I am on a vacation. In New Orleans, perhaps, where they serve bloody mary's with a pickled green bean. Yes. That I would do. But I am glad that people do like to go out for brunch. Restaurants and servers and bartenders and cooks and chefs and dishwashers depend upon them and there is nothing wrong with a bit of of Sunday luxury, of enjoyment.

But here in Lloyd there will be no such foolishness. Just those grits and a piece of sausage and biscuits I make myself with buttermilk and some eggs our hens have laid. No bra required, and we can make and drink as much coffee as we want and there will be no contaminating of the orange juice with cheap bubbly. The cardinals and finches and a red-headed woodpecker are at the feeder, armies of them, and the squirrels leap from pecan tree to fence to skitter down its length. The chickens' voices swell with rusty crooning. They want out of the coop to take part in this Sunday's brunch of the fancy foods they love so much- the bugs and tender shoots of grass and weeds. We will eat our breakfast on the back porch because although it is cool, it is not cold, and the sun is shining full-on now, and it is Sunday and I am so hungry and we shall eat in a moment when the biscuits are brown and so, the day has well-begun and hello.