Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Saturday Spent Mostly Outside. Plus, A Beautiful Video

And that's my good wrist, oh ye people of young years. I sent that picture to a friend with the accompanying text, "I am doing yard work and self-flagellating at the same time. Multi-tasking."

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to just get into the dense places in the yard and do away with a few thorn vines, a few invasives. I'd read an article in the paper on Friday about an invasive called Ardesia Crenata and looking at the picture I said, "Oh. Well. So that's what that plant is."
It's all over my yard.
It's a very pretty plant and was exported from Japan and Northern India as an ornamental. It does have a medicinal use which is that if you get bit by a cobra, chewing on the root can help. We don't have many cobras here.
So anyway, I got out there and started yanking up that crap and then I got distracted by thorn vines and that's where I got my wound. I don't really care to clean out all of the yard's border areas because they are safe havens for birds both wild and domestic. But still...a little tidying seemed in order.
I soon grew weary of this impossible (for me) task and moved on to trimming roses. I have no idea if this is the proper time of year to trim roses nor do I know how to properly trim roses but fuck it- I have clippers and gloves and so I did my best. They always seem to survive and they don't get enough light anyway so it doesn't really matter.
I also trimmed up some sago palms which have needle-like fronds which, when they pierce my old skin, cause an allergic reaction.

So, all-in-all, it's been a great day!

No. Really. I just loved being outside and feel the better for it.

And now it's Saturday night so you know what that means. Yep. My beloved Garrison Keillor.

I went out a little while ago and picked a nice bunch of salad greens and actually pulled a few carrots. CARROTS! The first time I've ever had any success with them. They are still very much baby carrots but golly, they're pretty.
And Maurice nibbled on the tops which I have saved in a baggie in the refrigerator for soup.

I love the winter garden so much. You can have cooked greens or raw and they're better than anything you're going to buy at the store. I wash my greens in a sink full of water and then put them on a towel and wrap them lovingly and put them into the refrigerator for them to crisp all up and I'll make salad in a little while. The best salad. Ever.

And tomorrow morning Jessie and Vergil are coming out for pancakes and bacon and then Jessie is going to sleep in our bed because she's working all night tonight. If there is anything more precious to a mother than feeding her grown-up child and then tucking her into bed I don't know what it is. Hell, I'll even read her a story if she wants.

Mr. Moon is sitting in his chair, relaxing a little bit because he worked hard all day. Bug came over and between the two of them, they took a fender off a car.
Surgery on Monday, taking a car apart on Saturday.
It's sort of a drag having such a workhorse of a husband. It makes me feel guilty if I malinger. Which I've been known to do.

Anyway, yes, it's been a good day and being outside worked a charm and Bug posted the video he made of pictures of Kathleen for the service and I'm going to share it here. Watch some  of it. See how gorgeous she was. Notice how, in almost every picture she is holding on to someone with such love. Mostly Bug.
I still can't believe she's gone but in a way, she never will be. If it's true that as long as there is someone who keeps you in their heart after you are gone, she will be here for a long, long time.

As long as I'm around and that's for sure.

Celebrate it while you can, people.

Love...Ms. Moon

How Slow Can You Go?

Perhaps I should clean my lens.

It is another practically perfect day and my husband has been in town for hours already, doing stuff, getting stuff DONE and I'm sitting here all blah, blah, blah. Taking pictures.

Lilly and Willy. They were having an animated conversation. As you can tell.

Camellias and cat. 

Camellia without cat.

Elvis and one of the Chi-Cha's. 

Mick is perfecting his crow. He's a nice rooster. 

That's about as far as my brain will take me today. I'm operating on about a four-year old level. Oh well.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, January 30, 2015

From Where I Am

I've been anxious today. The sort that makes you clench your jaw and not realize you're doing it. The kind that knots your stomach and makes it hurt. The type that made posting anything this morning impossible.
The kind that sucks. Not that any anxiety doesn't suck. Some sorts just suck more than others.

But. It's been a good day anyway. I kept it tamped down when the boys were here and I was easy-going and we had a really nice afternoon. Lily got here early and so we walked down to the post office and here's the requisite picture of the boys posing in front of the red door at the old train station which houses our PO.

I should go back and find all of these and make a collection. 

After their mama left, we went out to explore the railroad tracks, to see what they've been doing back there. 

See all those ties? Those are the ones which have been replaced. A few of them, at least. 

Then I made the boys get on one of the logs of the part of the tree which fell a few years ago in the back yard. 

The posed. 

And what came next. 

Both boys were very loving today and we had good times on our adventures and I made them pancakes and bacon for their lunch. They filled up the ducks' little paddling pool and it was so sweet just to have them here. To see their beautiful little bodies, growing so fast, as they run across the yard, as Gibson dug in the driveway for treasures, as Owen pretended to ride his horse down the railroad tracks. I love pretending to be a waitress, serving them their pancakes, their juice in the pretty, sturdy glasses I got at the Goodwill because I knew they would like them. 
"Enjoy your meals, sirs," I say, and they very solemnly answer, "Thank-you!" I love to cuddle with Gibson while he looks at silly videos on my phone. "You lay down with me?" he asks. "Yes," I say, and I do. "Are you going to give me a hug and a kiss before I leave?" asks Owen. And of course I do. He has to make one last run to the hen house to see if there are any more eggs before he gets in the car. We found two fine brown ones today and he asked if he could take them home. 

He and his dad and Gibson and their Uncle Chris are going to have Super Dudes Night tonight. Darling Lenore will be there too but she is very much welcome to Super Dudes Night. They are going to grill steaks and enjoy all sorts of dudish behavior. 

Those boys have such a good life. I'd add, "and they don't even know it," but I think they do. Somewhere in their hearts they know that this is the sort of life they're supposed to be having, just as when I was a child I knew that the sort of life I was having was not the sort of life I was supposed to be having. 
Children know. 

And now it's Friday night and I'm waiting for Mr. Moon to get home. He put in a full day today. Four days past surgery and he's put in a full day. He's going to bring us home one of those Costco pizzas with all the mozzarella and basil and tomatoes and that will be our supper. And speaking of eating, here's what Chef Will's mama posted on Facebook that he made with six of the duck eggs tonight.

"Moon Farm deviled duck eggs with sorghum-and-black-pepper candied turkey bacon with hints of Malaysian curry powder and smoked paprika."

Note that he piped those yolks back in there. 

Jeez. I've never piped deviled eggs in my life. My darling Lis wouldn't think about not piping but it just never occurs to me. This is why I call myself a good cook but would never dream of calling myself a chef. 

And on a completely unrelated topic, a Facebook friend messaged me today to ask how I so consistently post on my blog and what do I get out of it?
I answered, "Because it is joy for me. And that answers both of your questions."

And it does. But. 
It's so much more. 
It's being able to say out loud, "I am anxious as hell today. I feel crazy." Or, "Here are my grandsons. Aren't they beautiful? I love them so much." Or, "This is what it's like to get older. Here is what is good about it. Here is what really, really bites the big one." Or even, "These are my chickens and my ducks and aren't they pretty?" 
And of course to be able to tell the stories I know. Of births and of illnesses. Of joys and of deaths. Of the petty annoyances and the great good miracles and blessings. Of how these things affect us all. The stories of people I love who come together and fall in love. Of the way I, one human being, has experienced what life has given her, who constantly falls down but who gets up, every goddamned day. Who has a family who is like none other, as all families are, and who love each other with every fiber of our beings. 

To be able to say, "Here is what the moon looks like from my little bit of earth tonight."
And to be able to ask, "And what does it look like from where you are?"
And to get answers. 

Here is what the moon looks like from my little bit of earth tonight. 

What does it look like from where you are?

Let's all sleep good and wake up in peace. Let's try really hard. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Just A Little Bit Pissy

I've felt all bitter today. Maybe that's the emotion I'm feeling. Bitter. Or maybe angry or maybe just really annoyed and I'm not sure who at but it might just be me.
My hips hurt. This is what happens when I walk. Fuck it. I'm still going to walk. This morning on my walk I saw the things I usually see. One of these is a wig. Like some gal got her hair snatched off and the hair got thrown out the window. Bitch! Boom! I can never walk by that without wondering. Also a bag of that yellow stuff they use to make the markings in the road. It fell of a truck, I guess. Now it just lays there on the side of the road quite close to the wig, as a matter of fact. By the way, that wig has a LOT of hair in it. Long, too.
This morning I also saw a new road kill. No, I'm not saying this is exciting. I'm just reporting. Armadillo.
Why did the armadillo cross the road? Because he was depressed.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To show the armadillo that it can be done.
This armadillo was not only hit, it was smashed flat. It's shell was about two feet away from its body. Again- BOOM! Now I'll get to watch the process of decomposition. This is a process I am pretty familiar with by now. I try to just avert my eyes but I can't help but glance at things. You know?

I went to the Costco. I had lost my card. They gave me a new one. They weren't annoying at all.
I went to the library and they weren't annoying either. In fact, very sweet.
I went to Publix and got to hug Lily and bought Maurice a cat toy which she has no interest in playing with. That's not all I got but that's one thing I got. None of that was annoying except the part about Maurice not wanting to play with her toy mouse stuffed with catnip.

Then I came home and a woman I know and her darling son came by. The son, who is like eleven years old, is a chef. I'm not kidding you. That child makes foods I don't even know what they are. He is making rabbit confit this weekend. As well as two other types of rabbit preparation. Anyway, his mama, my friend, posts pictures of his amazing culinary creations on the Facebook and I noted that he does things with quail eggs so I asked the mama if he would like to try some duck-egg cookery. She said that he very much would! So they came out today and I gave Chef Will a dozen duck eggs and some chicken eggs too. Also, a few greens from the garden. I can't wait to see what he does with these things. Some children just make you believe in reincarnation because how in the hell does an eleven year old child know how to cook these things? Oh sure, anyone can watch cooking shows on TV and anyone who can read can follow a recipe but I know damn well that if you don't have some sort of inner knowledge of cooking, it just won't happen they way Chef Will makes it happen.
So none of that was annoying. In fact it was terrific! Here are some pictures that Lisa sent that she took while she was here.

Best picture of Mick that's been taken. You can truly see his loveliness.

Part of the flock.

And of course, the ever-photogenic Elvis.

But here's the best one.

He's already gotten in the kitchen. That's a fried duck egg, arugula (from the garden) and homemade Georgia pork sausage.
See what I mean? See why he's called Chef Will? Good GOD! HE IS NOT IN MIDDLE SCHOOL YET!

So I don't have the slightest idea why I am feeling bitter/angry/slightly annoyed. It's been a beautiful day and I honestly don't have one thing to complain about. I'm cooking pinto beans with a hambone which is about my favorite thing to eat in this world and more greens from the garden and I have bread rising. My honey's doing very well and the boys are coming out to play tomorrow. And on top of all of this goodness, Dovie came out of the coop today and actually walked around some!

Maybe I'm just suffering from the ghost of PMS past. Maybe something I read on Facebook early this morning just pissed me off. Maybe I'm just...a human being. Maybe someone needs to come and snatch my wig off and yell BITCH!


Honestly, I hope that doesn't happen and it probably won't because I don't wear a wig and I haven't been mean to anyone that I know of.

Time to put the chickens up.

Carry on.

Love...Ms. Moon

A Mermaid's Offering

Jessie gave me that pretty mermaid for Christmas and I think you're supposed to put a candle in her shell but it called to me to put a bit of green in there. On my walk today I dug a little fern from a place where I'd stopped to pee, gone off the path deep into the woods and I found a discarded Milky Way bag to put it in, the roots clinging to mud. When I got home though, I decided to put that fern in a small pot and I scraped some Resurrection fern and the bit of rotting wood from which it sprang and put that in the shell instead, gave it a few sips of water.
I have no idea if it will live.
We shall see.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Not My Normal Wednesday

I just had the best visit with those two boys. They are (from L-R) Larry and Caleb. You know, for someone like me, having folks I like come to see me is just perfect. And they did and it was.
I served them leftover soup and also sweet potato biscuits with cheese, all toasted and nice, and we sat in the kitchen and we caught up. As I said in my previous post, I met these fellows at the Opera House about six years ago when they were still in their teens. They're grown up men now and have been through a lot.
Larry had an accident at work which resulted in losing three of his fingers on his left hand and he told me all about how that had happened. He has different prosthetics which are unbelievably cool. The ones he wore on Saturday were his cosmetic fingers. They look totally and completely real but don't do anything. The ones he wore today were his X-Fingers (real name) and they can do things. It was a horrible accident but he's doing all right and I sure am proud of the way he's adapted. Had to switch from being right-handed to left and he's in a lot of pain still (the accident pulled nerves and muscles and tendons all the way from his shoulder) but he has a Tens Unit and I think he's going to be all right. I told him about my grandfather who lost all the fingers on his left hand as a young man and that I wished he'd had some X-Fingers but such things were unheard of when Grandaddy was alive.

Caleb is a musician. And a very interesting fellow. A few years ago, or maybe last year, he went out west and herded sheep on a Navajo reservation which was an incredible experience for a boy born and raised in the deep south. Mountains and desert and living on a reservation and being taken in by the people there who wanted to adopt him and marry him into the tribe and he wants to go back badly. The music he loves is old time music and Woody Guthrie is his hero. He brought his 12-string and played some tunes in the hallway of this house and it was beautiful and I got to talk music with him and if you know me, you know I do love a musician. Larry used to play piano and has a gorgeous voice and so for a little while my hallway rang with that 12-string and voices. Caleb and I discussed the fact that we may be related and that was nice. I gave the guys a tour of the yard and we spent some time watching the chickens and ducks get ready to go to bed. They both loved my house, my yard, the chickens.
It felt so good to be able to share this with those boys. I told Caleb about friends of mine who are musicians and how they've managed to make music their lives and who support themselves. He said, "I'd love to have porches like this," and I said, "Well, you can."
It felt really good to be able to let them know that their lives can become a reality built on dreams.

When I took their picture I asked them if I could use their picture in the blog and they said I could.
I just feel really blessed that these men would take the time to come see me and when they left, they promised they'd be back. They thanked me for the soup and I told them that I love to cook for people I care for and they said, "Well, now we know."
And they do.

Mr. Moon is doing way better than I imagined he would be at this point. He's off to the basketball game. And here I am, chickens put up and the thick peace of the night descended. Dovie is still alive but barely. She spent the last two days in the coop and tonight I put her to bed in the hen house so that she would at least be a little warmer. I might have to bring her in tomorrow and put her in Mr. Moon's bathtub with little bowls of water mixed with vitamins. We shall see. I have a very strong philosophy that if an animal is really sick and needs to die, then I should let it go. But then I remember how when Elvis was a tiny peep and was sick and about to die, Mr. Moon fed him Centrum Silver mashed up in water with an eye-dropper and look at him now.

I want to do the right thing. But the tough part is knowing what the right thing is.

It's been a remarkable week and it's only Wednesday.

Hang on to your dreams. Know that you are stronger than you could ever imagine. Trust that if you buy a house because you know how incredible the acoustics in the hallway must be, folks will come and prove that to be true. Sweet folks. Good folks. And that you can feed them soup to thank them for the music.

Love...Ms. Moon

The Walk Of Life

I put on my walking stuff this morning and actually went out for my constitutional. As you can see, it is a most beautiful morning.

I left Mr. Moon in the care of Maurice.

She is an excellent nurse cat and makes sure that he stays where he is and that his legs are warm.

He is feeling much better today and plans to go into town not once, but twice. Business and basketball. He will be watching the basketball, not playing it. And he is about to take a shower. He looks like my man again, standing straight and tall, great color, smiling again. 

And I feel so grateful on this beautiful morning and it was a joy to go out and walk. I was not the only one who had walked the dirt roads this morning.

Raccoon? I think so. 

The chickens are scratching beneath the bird feeder, Trixie is singing her little song. The ducks are happily paddling about the tiny pond, dipping their heads to eat the duck weed. 

Two good-looking lads I know from the Opera House are coming out to visit me this afternoon. When I saw them on Saturday, I said, "I'd really love to catch up with you two. Hear all about what you've been doing."
And of them said, "What are you doing on Wednesday?"
And so...they are coming out. I am looking forward to this so much. I feel as if Kathleen and I had been their old aunties for awhile when they took part in different productions and she and I always had the deepest affection for them. One of them has the last name of "Vaughn" which is a strong family name for me. I wonder if we are related. We shall have to discuss that. 

I went out to take a picture of the trillium a few minutes ago and by golly, guess who was already out there.

Can she now read my mind? 
This morning, as she rested on the blanket in Mr. Moon's lap I said, "Oh Maurice. It is such a shame that you picked our house to come and live in. We barely love you at all."
She looked up at me with an expression that could have said, "Oh really?" Or, "Fuck you." Or, "No shit."And then she closed her eyes and lowered her head down onto her crossed paws and went back to sleep.

Whatever. We are fools for that cat. And she may not suffer us gladly but she does suffer us, in her way.

Grateful. So very. For this good day and for healing and for chickens and ducks and an orange cat and friends coming over and the love I have for all of it. If it is the wealthiest people who have everything they could ever need and are satisfied with all they have, then I am the wealthiest of all. 
On this day, at least. 

Much love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Community Service. I Know You've Been Missing Our Boys

You make room for the extra guitar and the extra guitar also makes room for you. 

Busy And Happy

Well, I have been sucking at answering comments or commenting to comments and I beg forgiveness but I've been some busy. This morning I woke up after eleven hours of sleep and felt like something a dog had dragged home and then eaten and then puked up and then eaten again but pretty soon I rose like an angel biscuit and after I'd taken care of Mr. Moon as best I could, I ran into town. Actually, no. I did not run. I drove in my automotive vehicle. Lily had a dentist appointment and I stayed with the boys while she went and we had a good time.
"Oh, Owen, are you so tired of being sick?"
"No! I love being sick. I don't have to go to school to learn!"
Huh. And of course now his fever is almost gone.
Gibson was full of hugs and kisses and we did a puzzle and played the fishing game and hide-and-seek and sidewalk chalk and tickle monster and outdoor swinging, etc. Here's Owen on the swing in his sick boy clothing.

I tried to take Gibson's picture but he was having none of that. 

After their mama got home I went to the liquor store and the feed store. Vodka at one place, chicken food and chicken wormer at the other. Dovie is not right. She hangs out all day beside the hen house and today would not come out of the coop. So...worming? I don't know if the poor little hen is depressed or has worms or is deathly ill. We worry. 

Then I went back to Publix and bought stuff and came home and tended my husband some more. He HATES being out of commission. Hates it. But I think he is doing very well and I sort of like being able to take care of him. Teas and ice bags, kisses and snacks. 
I went out and mixed up the chicken wormer medicine and gave it to all the chickens and refilled all the waterers and cleaned out the hen house and washed the dishes and ate some of my soup from last night. Which was delicious. A sort of Southern, grilled chicken Greek avgolemono creation. Made with duck eggs and collard greens and lemon juice. I also gave Dovie some left-over egg salad and took the trash and recycle and picked greens for our dinner tonight. And stripped the bed and am washing the sheets so that Mr. Moon can sleep in very clean sheets as we took the gauze off his incision site this morning. 

And it's been a wonderful day. I think that for me, having a fine balance between tending others and self-tending is the way to be. God knows I need to be needed. 

And self-tending includes sitting on my porch and seeing things like this. 

And going for another sunset walk with my sweetie. We found blooming white violets and looked at the new ties on the railroad tracks and noted the swelling tips of the Japanese magnolia, the ash magnolia, the spirea (which is not a venereal disease) and the blooming daffodil. 

I live in heaven. No wonder I never really want to leave.

Gotta go put up the chickens. Gotta go get supper moved on to the next level of preparation. 

And did you SEE the British Baking Contest last night? Those meat pies! And the one with the haggis in it? Okay, that guy got sent home. 

All is well with me. I hope with you too.

Much love...Ms. Moon

Monday, January 26, 2015

He's A Tough One, That Man

Ah. We are home and have been so for several hours.
The surgery went well and quickly, too, once it got started. They have these monitors in the surgical waiting room now and you get a patient number and you can look and see if they are still in surgical holding or in the OR or if surgery has started or finished and then when they are taken to Recovery.
All very modern and convenient and the coffee in there still tastes like burnt shit.

God, I hate that room. Some people seem to think it's Party Time! when a loved one is undergoing the knife or a procedure. One family had a clan there as well as a pastor who was wearing one of the worst rugs I'd ever seen. In my life. Oh dear. Well. I ended up knowing about the daddy of the family across from me who was getting an MRI and he was dying of a brain tumor and they'd lived on a toxic waste dump site for years but no one told them and now everyone who lived there is getting horrible diseases. They are going to sue. I sure as fuck don't blame them.

I ran into a woman I've vaguely known for about thirty years or more whose daughter is probably brain dead from things I don't feel comfortable going into but she was drinking coffee, the woman I vaguely know, and saying, "But I'm the mother! I don't give up! Miracles do happen! I'm not going to put her down like a dog! I don't even put my dogs down!"
Oh god. Broke my heart. And what do you say? She won't even go home to take a shower and has been at the hospital since last Saturday. I hugged her and told her I'd be thinking of her. She asked me to pray for her daughter and I didn't know what to say so I just hugged her again, my eyes filled with tears.

And there were at least two more stories I heard, neither of these as awful but still, enough to make me so fucking grateful that I was there for the reason I was and not one of these horrible, dire situations.

The nurse who admitted Mr. Moon at six a.m. was a bit too perky. She came extremely close to what I would call, "Slappable."
But she was trying and she did a fine job and of course everyone on the floor had to ask my husband how tall he was and WHERE DID HE GET HIS SHOES? OH MY GOD! I'VE NEVER SEEN SHOES THAT BIG! and so forth. A little much at six a.m.

Various of my kids offered to come and sit with me but that damn surgical waiting room was crowded enough and I just sat there by myself, not really nervous anyway, just becoming sadder and more annoyed by all the people and some of them were actually laughing and well, that's all right. I don't know. I was tired.

Eventually, the doctor came out and told me how everything had gone, ("He did real well. He behaved himself the the whole time." Hahahaha!) which was fine and they've put him all back together again. He gave me some post-op instructions and advice and said that he'd probably be in Recovery for an hour and then I called Jessie and she jumped on her bike and came and met me. By the time we got back up to the room where he was going to be after he got out of Recovery, he was already there, looking good. The nurses became concerned about his heart rate which was, to put it mildly, extremely low. Slow. Whatever. But his Oxygen saturation was 99% and when he got up to go use the bathroom he didn't feel faint or woozy or dizzy and his color was good. Still, though, after three different nurses and/or techs took his pulse, they decided an EKG was in order.
This did not sit well with my husband.
"I'm fine!" he said. "I just have a low heart rate." And he does.
They kept asking him if he was a jogger or a runner.
By the time the EKG guy got to the room with his little machine, Jessie had informed her daddy that he could refuse it if he wanted to. And so he did. And then his heart rate came up nicely and we got to leave.


We stopped by Publix and I got his pain med prescription filled and then we came home and I tucked him in bed with tea and ginger ale and the ice bag and the remote and he's been there ever since. Well, except for getting up a few times and once going outside to fill his bird feeders.
The doctor said that walking was the best thing he could do. And so he shall walk. We're about to take a walk around the yard. A sunset walk.

I am so damn grateful that this is behind us. I was never really worried but hey- surgery.

So we had our walk around our little manor, looking at coming buds and the trillium which is already sprung forth and the chickens and the ducks and the trees.

There's that sweet man. I've made him chicken soup which is what he wanted tonight and we'll eat some and hopefully get to bed early. I'm exhausted. I wanted so badly to lay down but I knew if I did I would not wake up until morning so I've kept moving, making the soup, tidying, taking care of the man, watering the plants, starting laundry.
It will be so nice to lay down beside him tonight, knowing we can sleep until we don't want to any more with our cat beside us. She was so kind to me last night, Maurice was. She curled right up under my arm and let me pet her and pet her. She seems to know when I need that although for all I know, she was just itchy. Whatever, I did need the comfort of her silky fur, her warmth. And she allowed me to have it.

Another day in the life. And here we are and isn't that fine?
I think so. I really do.

Love...Ms. Moon

It is dark as ink and when I went out to get the paper, I had to stop and stare in wonder for a few minutes at the black sky sprinkled with stars. When was the last time I actually looked at the stars?

The roosters are crowing. Elvis in our yard, then his son in the yard next door, both of them mature and confident.

And then Mick, his young rooster voice cracking on the uptake.

Good morning.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hearts And So Forth

Somewhere out in the world, Sarah Palin is not-too-coyly stating that she, with her "servant's heart" would not rule out a run for president. That she is "seriously interested."
Her servant's heart which told her to quit her term as governor of Alaska.
I tell you what- this part of the election cycle for the Republicans is just like walking into a roach-infested kitchen on a dark night and switching on the light.
Watch 'em scuttle!
For the money.
Backers are what it's all about and trust me- I am under no delusions that this is unique to the Republicans but Lord, the candidates that they throw out there to test the waters is just the most, well, interesting, to be kind, collection of human cockroaches I can even imagine.
Yeah, Mitt! The USA is ready for you NOW so get those suits out and brushed and tell us how concerned you are with poverty, the middle class. Did your god provide you with a change of heart? An epiphany?

Fuck alla y'all.

Anyway, I'm not really upset about any of this. Mildly and sharply amused. So to speak. Interested to see who really does get the title of Republican Daddy (or Mama!) To Run For President. Put some damn lipstick on those bulldogs and let's get this party rolling!

Here in Lloyd tonight it is calm and fine. Mr. Moon is cooking chicken outside and I'm going to make us a salad and maybe some sweet potato biscuits. We went to the grocery store together today which is something we never do mostly because he doesn't care to and I don't have the patience for his price comparing shopping. But today I felt patient and loving and merely perused the tea selections while he checked the price per ounce on all the cereal boxes. It was almost like a date. Then we drove home the long way, slowly, like Sunday folks out for a drive in days of old. We looked at houses and land, driving down the country roads. He's always wanted a place on a river or a lake or better yet- with a spring-fed pond on it. A place with plenty enough acres to hunt on, fish on. It's a dream and it's always nice to indulge a dream's consideration on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
He is also looking out for a place for Lily and Jason.
"I want my boys to have a yard to run around in," he says.
And I know he does.

We came home and napped and now it's dark and I feel as if I am more worried about getting up at some ungodly hour to get to the hospital at six than his surgery. The hospital, as we all know, is the Temple of Doom for me but when you get right down to it, it is the Temple of Doom because people have to undergo things like surgery there and yes, I am concerned that he has to undergo this knife, even though it will be welded by a surgeon who has been doing this for so long that he could no doubt do it in his sleep and that it is, relatively, an uncomplicated thing.
He's not getting a heart transplant, for goodness sake.
But you know- this is MY man, my lover, my darling, the father of my children, the grandfather of my grandchildren, both present and future, and as such, I have to worry some. He is so damn precious to me. He cut his hair very short the other night and I helped him with the back part, clumsy as always with the clippers. But cupping his beloved head in my hands, feeling his arms around me, I can't help but hope with all of my heart that I go before he does because let's face it- he is the anchor which holds me to this world. He is the safe haven of my life. He is quite simply, why I am still here.

Listen- older age does nothing to pale the passion of love. It only makes the colors of the passion more and more intense. It is a sharp knife which cuts away the bullshit of petty grievances and annoyances. It reveals that which is truly and surely and honestly important.

Well, that's all I need to say about that.

I'll report in tomorrow after all is well. I need to make up a bag with my knitting, my book, my magazines, the Sunday crossword, some almonds to take with me.

This morning when we were going over the pre-op instructions, when we got to the one about leaving your valuables at home, he said, "I need to leave you here."

Corny as hell. And I will never forget that. Hopefully.

He is my valuable, better by far than all of the diamonds and rubies and emeralds in this world.

He is my heart. I can't say it more honestly than that. I do not have a servant's heart. I have a woman's heart which fills over and over again with the love in my life, the love of my life.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon


Owen has the flu now. He's running a pretty high fever and he feels just miserable. I talked to him on the phone and he is a sicky boy. 
Lily said that last night he woke up thirsty and she told him that the cup was beside the sink and he said, "Would you walk with me in case I fall over?"
And he was so happy and full of life yesterday. During the service he kept going downstairs to bring up food for us. Stacks of cheese, cookies. He drove home with Vergil and Jessie and Boppy and me and he talked the entire way.
"And one time..."
The stories unspooled, some of them based more in fact than others. He has such an imagination. 
I told him when I spoke to him on the phone to take the medicine his mama gives him, to just stay cozy and get rest and get better.
He said he would. 
He's been sick so infrequently that he was not prepared for this. 
I talked to Gibson too and asked him if he was going to be a good brother and help take care of Owen. 
"No," he said. 
"Well, that's all right," I told him. And it is.
Yesterday when Preacher Andy asked from the stage at the Opera House if anyone else had a story to tell about Kathleen, Gibson spoke right up and said, "NO!"
I said, "He's two. He says no to everything."
It was that sort of service. 

Mr. Moon and I went over the pre-op instructions this morning again. We have to be at the hospital tomorrow morning at six a.m. which sounds a bit insane to me. But by this time tomorrow, hopefully, it will all be over. 

So here it is Sunday and once again, it is mild and cloudless, a perfectly perfect day. 

Here are some pictures of the life around here. 

The garden, finally looking like a real garden. How I love the greens of the winter plantings.

Elvis. Posing as he does. He is just the perfect rooster and such a handsome fellow!

Maurice, just happening to be at the same place I was at the same time. Funny how frequently this happens.

Mick Jagger. The coming-up rooster. He's hanging in there. He's a smart fellow and I do believe he is going to be astoundingly good-looking. 

Mr. Moon and I are sitting here on the back porch, watching the birds. Tit-mouse, cardinal, woodpecker, sparrow. Chicken, duck. 

What could be nicer than this? 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I Hope She Would Have Been Proud

It was odd how calm and non-emotional I've been about this celebration today. I've made sandwiches and called people and asked them to bring flowers or greenery from their gardens and yards. I've been all Kumbayah about it. It will happen. It will flow.
And then about an hour before we were supposed to be there I suddenly began to weep.
I thought about our Colin and how much I miss him and how when Kathleen directed the last play I was in with him, she did such a good job and we had so much fun.
I thought about how in rehearsal for that play and we were trying to figure out the logistics of a direction and we did the best we could and it ended up with Colin's face in my crotch on a sofa and for a moment we were all stunned and from the theater, Kathleen said, "Works for me. How about y'all?"
And that's how we did it.

I thought about all the times Kathleen and I did our act as the Miller Sisters Foley company and we smashed cabbages and kicked garbage cans and trotted coconut shells and made wind sounds and ray-gun sounds and fighter pilot sounds and made avalanche sounds by dumping a wheelbarrow full of gravel into a kid pool into the orchestra pit below the stage and on and on and on.
Whatever we could do to make the sounds and more importantly, make the audience laugh by our dead-pan delivery as we performed our roles with our 40's lady's hats on, our crochet needles and knitting needles working up and down between our sound effect moments, our passing of the flask between us, the flask holding redbush tea, I thought about all of it on the stage where people came to speak about her. Tell stories about her.

All my kids were there and Owen and Gibson as well. And Jason and Vergil and can I tell you that by the time the service began, the sky was as blue as the eyes of Paul Newman? Not a damn cloud in sight.

(Owen was hiding.)

Whoever wanted to got up and told a Kathleen story. I told one. And it was about how when I was in the terrible and terrifying place of anxiety, she used to come over and just sit on the back porch and tell me stories.
And oh! The stories she told! They wavered and they wandered and they involved people whom I had no idea about and sometimes I would think, "Can this possibly be true?" and finally I realized that there was no reason for me to try and tie the names and places in the stories together and that if the stories weren't true, it was not for me to judge. They were good stories.
And long before I figured out that the stories WERE true, back when I was literally dying of anxiety and panic, those afternoons on the porch, just listening to her voice was so soothing. She didn't try to offer suggestions to help me with my anxiety. She just came over and acted like everything was cool, let's have a beer or a cup of tea, and did I ever tell you about the time I went to see B.B. King and there was a gunfight in the street and...

And her voice just soothed the hell out of me.

And then she brought me chickens. Little baby peeps and next thing you know, I was in love with the soothing voices of hens and the proud crow of roosters and it was like a whole new world had been opened up to me. A world that I had no idea I'd needed. A world I so obviously needed.

One of her former coworkers got up and spoke about her. About how she changed the good-ol'boy situation in the department of agriculture she worked in. How she asked him, not long after she became a supervisor, "SO, Charlie, is it true what they say about black men?"
And he was like, "Oh, god. Here we go." And said, "Yes. We are really good at picking cotton," and they laughed and laughed and became good friends forever. He told about how she refused to leave her home on a tiny spit of land on the Gulf when Hurricane Charley came through because she couldn't take all of her dogs, her chickens, her cats, her a shelter with her.

I cried and I cried. Kathleen was a conundrum. But here's another thing I said about her- if she did something, she did it with all of her heart and all of her energy and all of her love.

And by god, she did.

Bug got up and gave the most beautiful tribute to her that I've ever heard. It was loving, it was funny. It was true.

And after all of the speeches and stories were given and the last video was shown which was of Kathleen roto-tilling her garden and then grinning hugely and waving, May and I spooned out little bags of her ashes to whoever wanted them. And so many did. And we heard the stories of where people were going to place them. Under camellias, in rivers, on beaches. And so forth.

And when everybody who wanted ashes had gotten some, I licked my finger and dipped it into the bag and took that which stuck to it and rubbed my gum with it.

There could not have been a better tribute, a better day.

And there could not be a better friend than Kathleen was. And I got to hold so many people whom I love and who loved Kathleen to me, tight and hard, my arms and hands clasping them to me.

My heart, fitting them into their spaces, adjusting itself to the rearranged furniture within it.
And my eyes, overfilling with what is in my heart.
And it's good.

Love...Ms. Moon

Dang but it's gray today. Pewter. Heavy. But the rain is gone and they're back working on the railroad and the birds are flocking the feeder and Mr. Moon found ten duck eggs underneath the straw in the hen house. I've been wondering where those chucks have been laying. They still continue to delight us with their waddling ways.

I need to get in there and finish up the sandwiches. If you're gluten intolerant you are shit out of luck for this food at this shindig.
Well. There will be cheese.

My heart is a little heavy. Like the sky.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Memories Like Yesterday

Egg salad made and cucumber sandwiches made and ham sandwiches made and clean sheets and a nap and martinis and heart-shares with my husband.

The rain has ceased and I am going to go saute onions and mushrooms and peppers and steam spinach and toast bread and poach eggs.

Tomorrow we give tribute to Kathleen.

Here's the picture I want to print out and take to the memorial.

Dr. McCutiePie who had the curiosity and intelligence and love to figure out how to keep our girl alive long enough to live an entire lifetime's worth of joy in four years.

Thank you, Dr. McCutiePie.

I love you to pieces. I wish you were going to be there tomorrow but I know that your practice has taken you far away. May you be well and your darling family too.


It's A Bit Yikey! Here Today

We are having a storm here with rain the likes of which I'm not sure I've ever seen outside of a hurricane. I thought it was raining hard about forty-five minutes ago when it looked like this.

Now it looks like this.

And this.

Look at the rain sheeting off that front porch roof!

Jesus. I hope the DUCKS don't drown. 

Even Maurice is disturbed by amount of water falling from the sky.

What a week. What a long, long week. But here it is Friday and I doubt we'll float away. And the garden and the trees and all of the plants will get good soakings. Let's just hope none of the trees, heavy-laden with all the water, take it upon themselves to fall over. 

Speaking of trees, things are already budding up around here and it is so premature. It's still January and we're bound to get a few more freezing nights. But I've seen Redbud blooming and Japanese Magnolias are swelling and so are azaleas. This could turn out to be a very funky spring with nipped buds and no blooms. It happens. 

All right. Time to get busy and accomplish something. I'm a little fuzzy on what that might actually be but it might involve some housework and some...uh. I'm not sure. 
It's a day that would be finely spent in bed reading or watching old Rolling Stones videos or sitting on the couch and knitting. Or better yet, curled up in bed with my sweetie. Too bad he has to work. 

Maybe I'll make egg salad. 

The rain has slacked again but thunder rumbles off to the southeast. Another band of the storm announces its arrival. 

How's the weather where you are? 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dreaming My Life Away Sounds Pretty Good To Me

These were the whateverthehelltheywere's on the tracks yesterday. Does anyone know what they are and what they do? Each one was manned, ready to go and I never did see what they did but I am sure they must have done something. The work continues on the railroad and the scent of creosote still fills the air and today the smell of asphalt joined it in a delightfully toxic salad of stink.

Oh well, in a a few years I am sure that the odor will dissipate.

Two more pictures from yesterday which feature my grandson, Owen.

Here he's helping his Boppy by removing switch plates in preparation for painting.

And here he is with the darling Lenore, his tiny cousin. Check out those high heels. Lenore adores Owen and why wouldn't she? He and Gibson both love her too.

My phone yesterday would not send my pictures to my email account which is how I get them on my computer. Is there an easier way? Probably. This method usually works fine but for reasons unknown to me (genie in the phone?) sometimes it just does not. And then a few hours later, or the next day, they will suddenly appear in my email inbox. A few days ago I got a text from a friend with a picture and I responded to the picture and she was like, "What the fuck? Where did THAT come from?" So it turns out that she sent the picture about three days before it got to me and she had forgotten by then that she'd sent it and my text, which was completely appropriate for someone who had just gotten that picture, sounded completely insane. 
Again- phone genie? 
Oh who knows? 
Shit happens. 

As I predicted this morning, it has been a full day and now I am about to make our supper which means that bedtime is in sight. I do not feel especially depressed but I sure do want to sleep a lot. Maybe I'm just tired. Lily and I were discussing tiredness today and how it seems to run in our family. "We're tireder than most people," she said. 
I can't help but agree with her. 
Yet we function, we manage to keep going for approximately sixteen hours a day (okay, let's be honest- less for me) but we sure do love to sleep. You guess that's genetic? Everydamnthing else is. I  look at people who brag/complain about only needing four or five hours a sleep a night and think, "Jesus. What is wrong with you?"
Be we are all different and I am no longer ashamed of my need for lots of sleep. I love to go to bed, to relax down into the bedclothes, knowing that for awhile I will be practically unconscious and that the world can go on without me for a spell. I mean, it is simply my favorite moment of the day. So what? At least I get to experience it once a day. Two if I'm lucky and get a nap. 

So. That's my report for the day. 
Oh. Here's one more picture.

Boiling eggs, both chicken and duck for the egg salad sandwiches to be served on Saturday. And yes, Dear Jo, I do feel like Kathleen is contributing to her own memorial service in a very real and tangible and lovely way. 

And I think she would like that. 

Be well, sleep sweetly. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Life's Graces

Up early for me and we're going to town to do the pre-op appointment.
Sign this, consider your mortality, etc.
I don't know what all.
Whatever. I have a very full day ahead of me and I may wear my boots in order to walk through the world as if I knew that my steps carried weight.

I am thinking about how, if Kathleen were preparing food for this event, she would be candying violets and so forth.

No one did things the way she did.

She did 'em pretty. She was grace-full.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

This Small Day

It's been a real full day for me. I met Bug in Monticello along with the sweet preacher man who works for Hospice and was in a play with Kathleen and me about one million years ago. Also Jan, of Jack and Jan, The Lovers. We were supposed to meet in the Opera House but the guy who works there didn't seem to be around so we just took the meeting over to the coffee shop across the street where I saw my dear friend Liz's son who was stocking up on coffee and bagels. What a handsome lad he is! How sweet! We agreed that he has the best mama in the world. This is a fact, Jack. He's going to come by and talk chickens soon. I'm looking forward to that.

Anyway, Bug and Jan and Andy and I all sat at the table with our beverages and notepads. Bug has done almost everything that can be imagined to get ready for this event on Saturday. Andy wrote out a loose schedule for the program and I wrote one thing on my note pad. It said, "Food."
We had decided to have some finger foods. Real finger foods. No spoons or forks needed. No dips, no sauces. Jan's going to do the sweet things, I'm going to do the savory.
Because Kathleen was a good southern woman in every sense of the word, I think I will make little ham sandwiches. Ham is what you eat in the south when someone dies. It is the way of it.
A person dies, a pig must die. It is a tradition based in Paganism, I would imagine. And Kathleen would approve of that too although she did not eat red meat.
I might also make egg salad sandwiches because Kathleen and eggs? Yes. They go together. And that would be most fitting.
For the rest of it, I'll probably get some Costco stuff. It'll be fine. We kept telling each other that it is best to just let all of this flow. I think that is true.

After our little meeting broke up I went with Bug out to their old house and got Kathleen's soap-making supplies. Essential oils and the soap molds and the plastic she used to line them. Lye and coconut oil, a little scale to weigh out ingredients. I hope to god that I will actually make soap with these things. Please remind me if I ever seem bored or at loose ends.

So after I loaded up the car I thought, "Hell. I'm going to that wedding." When I saw my friend Judy yesterday, the Judy who works at Publix with Lily whom I always stop and gossip with, she said, "You should come!" And I said, "Well, maybe..."
But shitfire! There I was, right in Monticello so I went to the CVS and bought a card and then to a restaurant run by a woman I know and admire and bought myself lunch and a gift certificate to put in the card as a gift and then I drove to the office where Judy's bride works which they turned into a little wedding hall for the event. It was just charming as hell. There was a cake and there was champagne. There must have been about ten ladies there and the woman who did the service was so darling I wanted to ask her if she'd be my new best friend. She said the words which Judy had written and it was remarkably short and then the brides kissed and we all whooped and hollered and the officiant said, "Let's do it again!" and so she did and we whooped and hollered all over again.
It was fabulous!

Here are the newlyweds. And yes, I asked them if I could use the picture.

Aren't they gorgeous? I was so proud to be there. So honored. And the other women there were all just so awesome. The lady who opened the champagne did it very professionally and when we all praised her technique she said, "Yeah, I'm good at this. I have a headache today because I was so good at it last night." While we were eating cake and toasting the newlyweds, some of the friends slipped out back and decorated Judy's car and they said they were going to drive right up to the courthouse and circle around and around it and then go in and deliver their notarized license to the clerk by hand.

Dang. I'm getting teary just thinking about it.
It was just...beautiful. After twenty-eight years of life together, Diana can now get on Judy's health insurance at Publix.
Of course their gay marriage is probably going to destroy my straight marriage because, well, I don't know. The conservatives keep saying it will.
I'll let you know how that goes.

When I got home there were railroad vehicles lined up on the tracks from East to West as far as I could see and I have no idea what those vehicles were for. They were working equipment of some kind. It was terrible bad noisy. They've all gone away for now but the tracks are torn up and they've got the road blocked at the crossing.

I unloaded and put up all the soap-making things and did the stuff I always do around here and now Mr. Moon is home. He reports that Owen helped him in his painting today. He went around and removed all the switch plates off the wall. I know he loved that. At one point he said, "Boppy, I think I'm going to go make us a snack." And then he came back with apples and carrots and crackers. How can he be growing up so fast?

So that's been my day and I feel good about it. A small day in my small world but some of it felt really large and important.
Where there is love, there is always importance.
Well, that's what I think.

Love...Ms. Moon

And It Was Very, Very Good

I sat in front of the TV last night and knit as our president made his State Of The Union speech. I thought about how I used to try to listen to Bush doing his and how after about ten minutes of his marble-mouthed destroying of the English language, not to mention his deceitful gaze and blatant lies, I would change the channel or go wash the dishes or go take a bath with plenty of bleach in it.

But last night I watched every moment. I watched Obama's face, my knitting laying in my lap, I watched the faces of Biden and Boehner behind him. Biden looking as merry as he always does, Boehner looking as if his head might explode at any second. I watched the members of Congress do their aerobic dance of standing up and sitting down to applaud. Well, the Democrats. Not so much the Republicans who mostly refused to stand even when Obama said things that no one in their right mind could find fault with about our people, our country, our planet.

No one in their right mind being the operative phrase here.

I've seen a few presidents. I've lived through some administrations. And if I've ever seen a president who represented the people I know and love better than President Obama, I do not remember.
Even Bill Clinton and god, I loved him.
Still do.
And beyond that, the man can speechify. And he's just a damn good looking man. And he makes sense. And he calls 'em as he sees 'em. And he put the ball in the Republican's court. And he is the very essence of cool. And as this article says, he is out of fucks.
Which may be a beautiful thing.
The most beautiful thing of all.
Yeah. He ran two campaigns.
And he won both of them.

Good morning from Florida where the things he proposed could certainly change a lot of things around here for the better. Were the Republicans listening at all or were they trying to merely keep their heads from exploding, trying to keep their shriveled excuses for hearts from expanding by one molecule of human kindness?
We shall see.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Moving Along. Vaguely

This week has already lasted a month and it's only Tuesday. That's the way it is sometimes.

Here's a picture I took on my walk yesterday.

It's nothing but a little drain-off holding pond that runs into a tiny rill but if there's no visible trash in it, it's a pretty thing and I always remember to admire it. 

I walked again today and saw a hawk on a branch and he saw me and flew away. I came home and took a shower and went to town and Jessie and Hank and I went to lunch at a Mediterranean place and it was good. I didn't talk much. I feel like being quiet mostly right now. Maybe I'm hunkering down into myself and that's the way that is sometimes. I know I'm apprehensive about my husband's surgery and also, Kathleen's memorial service is on Saturday afternoon and I wish like hell that neither one of those were necessary but they are. 
Hernias don't heal themselves and people die. 
Dammit to hell. 

I saw Lily at the store when I stopped in to get a few things (and ended up getting more than that) and she looked still quite sick. She hates to have to call in to work. I hate seeing her sick. I also saw a friend who is marrying her sweetheart of over thirty years tomorrow in Monticello. I asked her if she was excited. She said she was getting that way but that after the ceremony, she was going to play Mahjong. They're getting married for the benefits but I believe that she's sort of happy to be doing it. Last year she and her sweetie got rainbow bands tattooed on their ring fingers. They consider themselves wed and have for a long time but this is another thing and now they'll be protected by law. I'm excited for them. 

And here I am and the sun has set and I haven't gone crazy and am feeling okay, although tired. 
Tomorrow I'm going to Monticello myself to meet with Bug and a preacher-friend at the Opera House to get things all planned out for the service. Bug asked if I would mind doling out bits of Kathleen's ashes to anyone who wanted them as she had requested to be done. I told him I did not mind a bit and would be honored to do so.
And I will.
I will take a teaspoon myself although I am not sure where I will place them. 
I will not snort them as Keith Richards did with a few lines of his dad's ashes. But I understand why he did it. 

Maurice says hello.
Nah. That's a lie. 
But if she could talk and had any manners or gave a shit about humans she might. 

Lots of mysteries in this world of ours and cats are part of them.

Be well, y'all. Have sweet dreams tonight. 

Love...Ms. Moon