Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bless Our Hearts

Such a very good day it has been for me, this last day of the calendar year. Tonight we will sleep on clean sheets and the laundry is done and the plants are watered and the chickens have fresh hay nests and there is a lemon meringue pie cooling and I have made curtains for Lily's daughter's nursery out of this very cheerful bird material.

The curtains look homemade and they are. I am so grateful that the old Singer performed so steadfastly for me again. I have to get the belts replaced. The main one is frayed and every time I go to start a project I just hope it hangs together for a few more seams but these curtains were made as easily as anything I've ever sewed and the belts continued to do their job.

It is raining now and should continue to do so through the night and into tomorrow when I will cook black-eyed peas with the rest of the Christmas ham and a pot of greens and a loaf of bread to have on hand for whoever wants their peace and riches for the new year. 

Mr. Moon is going to grill us some steaks tonight and I am going to bake potatoes and make a salad out of our garden greens. And then, of course, there is the pie. And without a doubt, we will be asleep before the clock ticks over to midnight plus one and that is fine with me. 

The older I get, the more I cherish that which is mine to tend, to love, to live with. God knows I have been given more than I deserve and if I could make a wish, it would simply be to take care of what I have already from house to chickens to garden to children to friends to grandchildren to husband to myself. To be what Stephen Gaskin called a "householder yogi" and to pay attention to the sanctity of these small and infinitely important tasks. To realize truly and honestly that there is nothing more important to me than this. To remain curious and open, to accept that which is before me and around me while not disregarding my heart's wishes.
One of which is to continue writing here which brings me more pleasure and sense of rightness than I can possibly express. This space gives me a sort of satisfaction and of shared community and of deep pleasure which I cannot imagine living without. 

May each one of you who comes here to read, whether you comment or not, realize how important you are to me. I rarely check my statistics but when I do, I am amazed. 

So. Whether you are reading this from a place on the planet where New Year's is done and passed or whether it is hours away- thank you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your joys, your despairs, your worries, your interest, your wishes, your advice, your hopes, your dreams. Whether you are someone I will never meet or my child whom I may see tomorrow. 

Just thank you.

We are all just clinging on to this beautiful blue marble with all of our strength and passion. 
And as such, we are all brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors, and if we just do unto each other as we would do unto ourselves, we might just make it. 

Happy New Year. 

All love...Ms. Moon

And Yes, That Cat Is Still Here, Annoying The Shit Out Of Me

Well, well, it's New Year's Eve day and I have nothing profound or cosmic to bring to the party and in fact, there shall be no party.
Everything is fine. I am in a good mood. I took a decent walk although the humidity was 98% and it was a bit like trying to snorkel without a snorkel and everything looks gray and dead against this eternally gray sky although the fungus and mushrooms and resurrection fern are having glory days.

It is damp and wet and supposed to start raining and perhaps get a bit cooler and I am too old to make a big fuss over another New Year's with all the attendant resolutions which I will not keep. If I don't even have the energy to make a resolution, I seriously doubt I'll have the energy to keep one. This is not my first rodeo. 

But of course I am grateful for so much that happened in 2015 and am looking forward to some of the things which are about to happen in 2016 but I look upon the way we measure time as a rather nebulous necessity in order to get to our appointments at the proper moment and so each day is as good an opportunity to try to do one's best, to try, perhaps, to do even better, to love more, to be kinder to others and to ourselves. 

I'm sure tonight when I've had a celebratory cocktail I will probably wax far more poetically about it all but for now, I need to clean the hen house and do other amusing chores around here and so I will let these pictures represent my hopes for the new year.

And of course, this next one to come, our little woman baby who will be born when she is ready and who doesn't know or care one bit what the calendar says and that is exactly how it should be.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I Highly Recommend The Jalapeno Bean Box

We went to the Japanica! today. Owen asked me if I was going to get my usual "jalapeno bean box." He meant curried tofu Bento box but that was close enough. I did not. I got the curried shrimp Bento box. It was excellent! Owen, as usual, ate his weight in miso soup, salad with ginger dressing and sushi. So did Gibson. August watched us all and had a little nursies.
It was great fun.

Then we went to the dreaded Walmart because Jesus, we're stupid. But I wanted to get Gibson a new big-boy booster car seat for my car and Lily wanted curtain material and so did Jessie.
August had a great time at Walmart. Owen is enchanted with entertaining Baby August and he kept him smiling most of the time.

Look at those toes.

And I found this fabric.

Why did I not know that they make Virgin of Guadalupe prints? Huh? No one told me. But there it was and I bought two yards. Perhaps I will make some curtains too. I don't know. But I had to buy it. 

And after Walmart we went to Costco and yes, all we do is lunch and shop. Lunch and shop. Lunch and shop. And we have fun. Costco had more food out for sampling than I've ever seen in my life. One of the things they were giving out was a small cup of vanilla ice cream with a cookie in it. 
"Cookies and ice cream!" said Owen. "What a treat!" 

The boys were completely done after that and so were the rest of us. 
"MerMer's house!" they demanded and so to MerMer's house we came where that damn cat is still hanging around and he has threaded himself around and around my legs and seems determined to stay. I told Mr. Moon that his name shall be Jack as in "Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more."
I do not want this cat. I am not kidding you. I don't want to pay to get him neutered, I don't want another animal to take care of. And yet- what do I do? I know the shelters are overrun with cats now. I suppose I'll call both the Leon County and Jefferson county Humane Societies tomorrow to see what they suggest. He is not feral. He is too friendly. Neither of the other cats wants a thing to do with him and I don't blame them. They barely tolerate each other.

Well that's enough drivel. 
I have bored myself. But at least there were pictures. 
I will try to do better tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Bet Your Mama Don't Know

Do you see that cat? That is not Luna. Luna, still alive, is napping unawares on a chair in the yard. She has already been in to eat and since I realized that my cats hate the cat food we got them at Costco and replaced it with Meow Mix, she has been eating a little bit again.
Not much. But a little bit.
This cat, this pretty little gray and white, is a cat I've never seen before. He/she looks healthy but is very hungry. He/she ate all the rest of the Meow Mix and is now eating the Costco food that I refilled the bowl with.
WTF is it with cats around here?
She (let's just call her she) is a bit skittish but not freaky skittish.

Lily and the boys are coming over. They have a flea problem that they've been dealing with for a few weeks and Jason is going to do the full-on extermination solution today so the pregnant lady and children need to be out of the house. Lily's time is coming close to hand. That is just all there is to it. Will this birth be like Gibson's where she was in a sort of prodromal labor for a day or two and then, suddenly, he was being born? We can't judge how things went with Owen because they induced her. She felt crampy last night and I went to bed fully expecting to be woken up in the middle of the night, but no. Still- soon we will be seeing that little woman baby. We can't wait and yet, we must.
All will unfold as it will.

Cat still here. Very tidy little animal, white bib and belly and paws. 
Okay. Now he's let me pet him.
He. Balls attached. 
No. I do not want a male cat with balls. 

Lord, Lord. 

We are going to meet Jessie and August at Japanica. We are all craving Japanica. Here is what August has learned to do.

Jessie says that all he wants to do if you put him down is roll. He can roll halfway across the bed. I looked up milestones for babies where I learned (you'd think I'd know this) that babies of four months may be able to roll from back to front. He is at least a month early on rolling from back to front and three months early rolling from front to back. 
Jessie walked at eight months. I have a feeling her son may do the same.

So that's what's going on in Lloyd today. 

But here. My gift to you. 
One of the nastiest, loveliest songs ever written or performed. 
The Rolling Stones, Stray Cat Blues. Appropriate, no?

"Bet your mother didn't know you bite like that. Bet your mama don't know you scratch my back."  

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Repairs, Falls, and Sorrow

Well. Today was a today of repairs and crashes. Okay. Merely one crash. Not even really a crash but a humiliating graceful fall which was not really a fall but sort of a fall in that I did hit the ground.
More on that later.

The dentist got me in and he took a look at my tooth. Part of a filling had come out and he said, "I can patch that right now." And he did. The novocaine, the filing down of the old silver, the insertion of "compound", the tap-tap-tapping. The open wider. And it was done and there you go and there I was, numb and happy.
Tra-la, tra-la, I felt like trilling, and because I had accomplished something so very difficult for me without much pain or problem, I decided to go visit my young friends at the Computer Doctor and get the screen on my iPhone replaced.
Oh dear. I cracked it weeks ago, just a tiny crack, but still- and I had not wanted to tell my long-suffering husband but I pulled up my big girl panties and did and he texted back to ask me to please have them put a screen protector on it as well, and I did, and in thirty minutes- that was done too!
I went to the library and the grocery store. Which is where the almost/sort of fall occurred.
I was hurrying out with my cart and it had been raining and was wet and there are these big white stripes in the parking lot which I KNOW my old crocs slip on and before I could even remember to be careful, I had done a half-split and was on the ground with my right leg stretched behind me, my left leg under me, and my hands still on the bar of the cart!
You know. Falls are so weird. I mean- you have just enough time to know that you're falling and then it is done and there you are and of course your first instinct to is to jump up and declare, "I'm fine, I'm just fine!" and do a little twirl perhaps, and settle your skirts and proceed on with your day.
I am too old to jump up and I did not twirl but I did haul myself up and settle my skirts and wave my I'm okay! to the guy in a car behind me and proceeded to my car and unloaded the groceries and I was okay. I am okay. Simply fine. I may be a little sore tomorrow but no damage done, except to my aging sense of any dignity and that may as well be kicked to the curb while we're at it.

When I got home I put everything away and took a little nap because I had undergone so many stressful experiences. Haha!
Mr. Moon is on his way home and a friend is coming over to watch some FSU basketball on the TV and I have made chili and bread is rising and salad greens are picked and I have the damn darn air conditioner on again because it is still as muggy as a frog's crotch and too warm too.

I have tried to write about Tamir Rice but I cannot. I simply cannot. I don't feel that I have a voice which is worthy to do that. All I can say is that I do not know why I was born in this life, given this skin color which has allowed me to live in the way that all people should be allowed to live which is without fear that neither I nor my husband nor my children will be shot and killed for no reason by someone who will suffer no consequences.

And so, even as I feel so very fortunate in my life, my protected life, I cannot help but feel the great sorrow and pain that so many others, by mere accident of birth, must suffer.

Let us try to be kind. Let us not forget. Let us make whatever changes we can through our daily lives. Let us see each child as our own, let us reach out our hands and say, "No. This is outrageous. This is not right on any level whatsoever."

Be well, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

And Back To Town Again

Raining here and I've taken trash and done dog care and let the chickens out, and the dentist office called to say there'd been a cancellation and could I come in earlier?
Well. Of course.
Luna and Maurice are having a showdown/face off about the almost-empty yogurt container I put on the floor.
I guess the old gal isn't ready to die yet.
Lloyd- where animals never die.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 28, 2015

I Am Growing Old And Falling Apart. What Are You Doing?

So. My going to the store ended up being hours in town. Why does this always happen? Well, on Mondays Mr. Moon frequently needs a ride out to the airport where he rents a car to drive to Orlando for the auto auction on Tuesday. So I gave him a ride today and then I decided to pop by the New Leaf market to buy nutritional yeast because I was almost out and I was starving and so I bought some spicy Japanese noodles which were so salty as to be almost inedible and also some flax/millet crackers and while I was eating one of those I realized that I was chewing on something that was neither flax nor millet but something extremely hard and after I cleared all of the cracker material from my mouth I realized that what I had been chewing on (and which I had swallowed) was in fact either a small bit of tooth or of filling.
Fuck me.
It's so weird. There is something about having a problem of the teeth which causes a physical reaction in my body which is more like what you would imagine having on receiving the news of a cancer diagnosis.
I quickly talked myself down. I mean really- this is probably not a big deal, and I went about my errands, my tongue constantly searching that jagged tooth edge. It's on the backside of my tooth in the upper portion of my mouth and although I should probably try to look at it in a mirror, I am just going to go to the dentist and let him see what is what. It is what it is and I have an appointment at 12:30 tomorrow. I am in no pain whatsoever, there is just a sharp edge and perhaps a hole where there should be smooth solid enamel.
Anyway, la-di-dah and so it goes and when I got home I called the dentist immediately and made that appointment and unloaded my groceries and made Mr. Moon's snack bag and his popcorn with nice fresh nutritional yeast on it and kissed him good-bye and bade him drive safely and then did some chicken-coop tending and a friend dropped by and I let a neighbor's dog out to pee and poop and fed him as they are out of town and then a friend of mine called whom I NEVER speak to on the phone although we have been in constant communication since 1972 either by letter or now e-mail.
"What's wrong?" I asked him when he called.
"Nothing. Nothing at all!" he said and he chuckled because he knows my tendency to panic over nothing and we discussed our grandchildren and he asked me about Luna the cat (he reads my blog) and we talked about David's visit because David has been a part of his life as well.
Speaking of Luna, she has come into the porch several times in the last few moments to lap a bit of the milk and fresh new nutritional yeast! I mixed up for her. She stays for a few seconds and then flees as if I were going to kick her which I have never done and would never do.
I have no idea what's going on there but I wish she would go towards the light, go be with Jesus, step on the rainbow bridge, and, in short, pass on to a better world in a peaceful manner. 
Well. I am not god, and neither are you. Unless you are or unless as Michael Valentine Smith said in "Stranger in a Strange Land," we are all god.

I have no idea and do not want that sort of responsibility or indeed any responsibility at all although life hands us each plenty.

So. Here we are in that vague and misty week between Christmas and New Year's where almost nothing gets done and we consider New Year's resolutions while eating the rest of the fruit cake.

I have nothing more to add than what Michael Valentine Smith might say which is this:
May you never thirst.

Love...Ms. Moon

Let Us Choose Carefully What We Trust

Nothing much to report here today.
It is gusty and warm and I took a little walk and will be going to the store.
I've been thinking a lot about Facebook and how so much of what is posted there is utterly false. What does that say as us about a society?
Nothing that I want to believe.

Well. There's a camellia. Nothing about it false at all. It truly is that pink.

And here's a baby.

He is too young to pretend to be anything that he isn't. He doesn't need to be. He is perfect.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, December 27, 2015

And He Gave Me A Copy Of Sticky Fingers For My Seventeenth Birthday

Some people are just so damn entwined in your life that you can't pick their colors out of the fabric if you had to. Impossible. And it's not just them, it's their mamas, their brothers, their step-brothers and step-sisters, their daddies and step-daddies and so on and on and on, all twisted up together and if you DID manage to pick their colors out, the entire cloth of your life would be destroyed.
You simply would not be who you are or where you are and that is the simple truth.
And when a person like this, whom you have maybe (definitely) known for oh, say forty-five damn years, comes to visit you, even if you haven't seen them in 12 years or so, you can still put your foot in their lap and get a foot massage.

That's what this man is in my life. David. 
This morning I drove even farther out in the boonies where David's mama and her husband live to pick him up along with his newly adopted son, Darius, to bring them home to make pancakes for their breakfast. I had never met Darius and was excited to see this young man whom David has taken as his son, who indeed, calls David Dad, and who says he never had a daddy until David came along. 
A bit unorthodox but trust me- there is nothing about David which has ever been orthodox in the least and that is just the way it is.

What a wonderful day. I fell in love with Darius immediately. 

Is he darling or what? 

We ate pancakes and bacon and sausage. We sat on the porch and talked and talked and talked. We fed the chickens scraps of leftover pancakes and walked around the property and Darius was taking pictures of everything. The goats next door enchanted him. "I want a goat!" he kept saying. He loved the old oaks, the honey tree, the camellias. He munched raw mustard and arugula and kale from the garden and made David taste it all too. When Darius was an eighth grade science teacher, he had his students make a garden so he knows far more about those things than David does. They both live in Atlanta and live a far more city-life than I do. David was not that impressed but Darius seemed to love it all. When I told him that this house is my dream house, he said, "This is what my dream house looks like too."
So you know I love him. 
After the yard ramble, we talked some more. Darius knows far more about his father's past than he did before today. Let me just say that David and I, along with our friends back in high school, did some pretty outrageous stuff and it is a bit of a miracle that neither one of us ended up in either prison or just plain dead. 
But here we are. David teaches at a historically black university in Atlanta. He has a PhD. I am a grandmother. 
And oh, how we laughed and laughed, the stories pouring out of us and Darius told us some of his stories and showed me pictures of his beautiful little daughter. 
I mean- who could ask for a better day than that? I kept tearing up and telling David I love him. He is a rather brusque man and his emotions are not as close to the surface as mine but he didn't mind. And I know he loves me too. 
And he rubbed my feet. 

When I took them home, I visited some with David's mama whom I have known as long as I've known David and with his step-daddy too whom I have known possibly longer than either David or his mother because he was my eye-doctor, back in Winter Haven. He is also the father of another very close friend of mine from another marriage.
The twining. The braiding. The history. 
David's mama is an incredibly beautiful woman who seems to be simply ageless. And she is so sweet. She said, "You can't be a grandmother. You are still our little Mary Miller."
Oh Lord, y'all. 
And her husband, Dr. D., might be in his nineties. I don't know. But he is still a damn good-looking man and now he manages thousands of acres here in North Florida and keeps cows. 

So. That's what I did today and I didn't wash the breakfast dishes until almost six o'clock this evening and guess what? The world did not come to an end. 

I have begged David and Darius to come back and stay with us. I want to take them down the river in Mr. Moon's boat and drink beer and eat shrimp and oysters. I want to drive them around to see the little towns and let them meet (or in David's case, re-meet) my children. And my grandchildren. 
I want to laugh some more with them. 
Darius has told me that they will. 

I am trusting in that. 

And if all of that wasn't good enough, I saw the biggest pig I've ever seen in my life today when I was on my way to pick up the fellows. That pig was as big as any cow I've ever seen. 

Plus- we're having pizza tonight. That I am making. 

Oh glory. What a fine, fine day. 

I hope yours was a good one too.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boxing Day Events In Lloyd

Lunch on the porch. Soup and biscuits and crackers. Etc.
That was the only break those men took today but all of the porch roofs are dried in and the tarps are gone and some light can leak into my house again.
I got the Christmas tree undressed and the ornaments put away and the magnolia branches which were twined in the stairway railing taken out and all of the wrapping accoutrement hauled back up to the upstairs closet.
Please remind me next year that I have enough Christmas wrapping paper for the rest of my life and not to buy any more. Okay?
Thank you.
Jessie and I hung out and played with August and we went to Monticello and visited a few antique shops and went to the Winn Dixie. There is no Publix in Monticello but the Winn Dixie is not so bad.
Tomorrow is going to be a big day for me. I am going to get to see one of my very, very oldest friends and I will meet the son he has recently adopted. I am going to make them pancakes and bacon and introduce them to my chickens. I am sure they will be incredibly impressed. This should be fun.

And now I have pinto beans simmering and am about to go make cornbread and a salad. Mr. Moon is bone tired and has had a shower and is in his chair, relaxing. May he sleep well and deeply tonight. He deserves no less.

Life in Lloyd.

Love...Ms. Moon

Men On The Roof

Baby in the house.

Cat still in the bed. 

I guess I will put Christmas away today. 
And on we go. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Christmas I Hope Never To Forget

I had really thought I was done posting for today but then the sky did this. And I wanted to talk about some of the presents I got this year because they are so deeply beautiful. And I also wanted to say that it's been, for me, the most peaceful Christmas I have experienced in many, many years. This is nothing short of a miracle for me. I usually spend Christmas afternoon weeping and being filled with anger and sadness. I mean, that's just the way it generally is. That has gotten better lately but this year is the first year that, to be frank, I did not have one suicidal thought.
That's sort of huge, isn't it?

But it is true. It's just been a gentle and good day and there were a few moments today when I did feel a small but true sense of joy. Several of these came when I was in Lily's house and a song came on from the Christmas play list that Hank had made which gave me pause and brought tears to my eyes. John and Yoko singing "Happy Christmas (War Is Over If You Want It)," Bruce Springsteen singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," Aaron Neville, B.B. King.

And when Vergil said, "This family is brutal about fighting for babies," as Glen and Hank and I all held out our arms for August. And watching Gibson playing with that toy, making up his own Gibson story that the figures were acting out. And watching Owen go into complete ecstasy as he opened each present, declaring that it was exactly what he wanted. And lying on Lily's bed with her and August as they napped, the baby inside of Lily cuddled up next to her cousin who baby-snored gently in Lily's arms.

And the presents. I said the other day that no present is perfect, no present can express our love as perfectly as we would wish it could, but hey- the presents I got this year came too close to disproving that not to mention.

The baby feet plaque that Jessie made for us.

It is hung now, directly under some door-frame angel babies and star lights that stay up all year round here. As will that sweet proof of how small August's feet once were.

The picture Lily gave us of Owen and Gibson right after they'd moved into their new house, Owen's stuffed white snowy owl perched on his arm. And the boys helped decorate the picture with glitter.

Their exuberance, their delight in their new family kingdom. Which continues. When Owen found out that he got a trampoline today, he said, "This yard is a great yard to have a trampoline in!"

And this.

May made me and her sisters beautiful necklaces, each with different jewels, but all with tiny blank books that she found online at a dollhouse furnishing site. How precious! How gorgeous! How thoughtful. How perfect. We can wear the books of our lives, to fill in the pages as we would wish.
I was gobsmacked.

And this.

Hank has a friend who makes jewelry and very, very small precious things from the parts of old watches and typewriters. He traded a typewriter (Hank has many, many typewriters and as he said, he may not have a lot of money but he is rich in love and in typewriters) for this necklace charm for me. I am thrilled and it is on a silver chain around my neck with my May book necklace right now.
And this is what he gave to Mr. Moon.

A little bitty man, perched on his butt and his feet, perfectly balanced with a fish on the line. I have taken custody of it to sit on a miniature bottle that Bethany Mott sent me a long time ago on my shelf of treasures above my kitchen sink where I will see it twenty times a day. It delights me and my husband too.

I swear to you- nothing in the world, not precious jewels of immense cost or expensive electronic devices or anything I could imagine could please me as much as these presents do.
And Mr. Moon and I gave each other simple things this year. Candy and rum and shirts and jig saw puzzles and a beautiful wooden spoon and my favorite espresso and things like that.
We exchanged our presents when we got home and we laughed and we kissed and then I made phone calls to people I love and now I'm going to make some ham and corn chowder.

And look who's still alive.

But I fear not for long. She hasn't visited her food bowl in days and when I took her some food out where she was lying she sniffed it, and then darted back under the old shed.

Well. Another Christmas. And it simply could not have been better, even if we have been using the air conditioner, even if the mosquitoes are torments, even if I couldn't wear red velvet. That red garment I was wearing last night in those pictures was made of silk and I got it at the Thomasville Goodwill and I wore it again today.
Red velvet, red silk.
Jewelry made by hand. Children's delight. A baby's chortles. A love for whom I am going to make soup. A sunset like fire in the sky. A new baby coming so very soon. A granddaughter.
A peaceful Christmas without pain.

Again I say- I could not, would not, ask for more. And quite frankly, I am astonished at it all.

Love...Ms. Moon

I Believe It Is Nap Time

Breakfast on the deck.

And then presents. The first present Gibson opened was one that he had wanted so much that we could barely get him to open another.
"Here Gibson! Open this one!"
He played and played and played with that present. Some sort of Hulky thing. I don't know. He sure did love it. When we left, he was still playing with it while the fellows were setting up the trampoline.
Yes. A trampoline.
Oh dear.

Hank made Owen and Gibson knight costumes. Gibson couldn't bring himself to try his on. But Owen did. That boy was wild with joy. Wild, I tell you!

And what did I get everyone?

Down pillows! Wrapped in old tablecloths I've collected over the years which is pretty funny considering that one year I wrapped everything in pillow cases. 

Everyone found them very squishy. And laughed. 

Now Mr. Moon and I are home. He seems to be suffering from whatever it was that I was experiencing yesterday which was a bit like Flu Extremely Lite. He's sitting in his chair (with his new pillow) and relaxing. And I, for once on Christmas, feel at peace. 

I hope you do too.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Kiss, I told them. They did.

It was a beautiful evening.

 Two of my girls and me.

Our friend Kelly and her gorgeous Mini Me, Wiley Cash. 

Our Taylor and August.
 Owen in front of the tree.

Another shot of Jessie and Vergil and August.

Hank and Owen doing pirate things.

August, standing up. 

Gibson, having a mama moment.

Soon to be a family of five. Can you believe it?

May, Michael, and his mama Chris. What a beautiful woman!

Boppy holding his August. 

I am so tired. And that's okay. 

Love...Ms. Moon

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Luna is still alive. She will never die. I don't know where she's been eating. Or if.
But, whatever and however, the girl is still with us.

Here's the chicken salad.

Christmas, 2015.

We're about to get dressed to go over to Lily's.
Wish I had a red velvet tank top.
God, it's hot and muggy.

Love...Ms. Moon

Go Elsewhere For Your Spiritual Needs Today, My Friends

Christmas Eve day and this humidity has mashed the energy out of me. I feel like a sponge that needs wringing out over a sink. We actually turned the AC on last night. This is fucking ridiculous. I'm sorry but you shouldn't have to risk getting Dengue Fever at Christmas. My cashmere sweaters are lying in sodden puddles about the house. Luna still hasn't made an appearance and if she's died under the house we're going to know about it. Soon.

So I've wrapped everything that I have to wrap and today I need to make the chicken salad which should take about twenty minutes and my house is dark because of those tarps and it's gray outside anyway. Tonight we're going to Lily's house for a Christmas Eve cocktail and whores durve party.
Hors d'oeuvres. Which, according to Google is how you spell that word. Spell check seems to agree. I like whores durve better.

Do you realize I have not eaten one Christmas cookie?
No. Do not congratulate me on my will power. I simply haven't been anywhere where one might be offered. Such as a party. I imagine I'll eat a few tonight.

And ham. Mostly I am looking forward to ham.

I should take a walk.

Oh hell no. That is not going to happen today.

Carry on.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wishing Us All Light. And Love, Of Course

Angel biscuit dough has been made and chicken boiled for the chicken salad. A trip to the Monticello Tractor Supply was taken where chicken feed and scratch were bought.
Is this a conflict of interest?
The big news for today is that I have not seen ancient old Luna, the almost-feral cat since yesterday. She has not come to the porch once today for her food and this is not a good sign. She is not a wandering or a traveling cat. She is just a very, very old cat who lies mostly in the yard and sometimes on the porch, watching things and drowsing and occasionally getting up and making her way to the food bowl to make the most pitiful sounds imaginable although not that long ago, she killed a squirrel which surprised her as much as it did me.
Once, she did disappear, a long time ago, and we thought she must be dead and then we found a dead gray cat and Mr. Moon buried it and then we realized that that had NOT been Luna who showed back up the next day.
Cat magic?
Who knows? Not me.
But she is (was?) seventeen years old and has not been to a vet in at least twelve years and has lived outside almost all of those years and so I think she may be gone. This will not disturb Maurice in the least. She and Luna have had an uncomfortable relationship to say the least, and there has been spitting and hissing on both their parts since Maurice moved in.

Well. Time will tell if she is gone or not.

And so it goes.

It is 72 degrees here and I have never, in all of my years in Florida seen the mosquitoes as bad as they are right now. It is intolerable, the way they swarm and bite. They are hungry and fierce and make being outside nothing short of torture. This is certainly a Christmas for the books.

I have nothing else to report. I am still wrapping presents in my own not-quite-approved method. Slowly, but surely, I am getting things done. As are you, I feel certain.

I wish we could all get together and have some festive beverages and snack and laugh and chat about the things we've always wanted to talk to each other about. But since we can't, I just wish for all of you that you manage to get a few hours at least, of peace and perhaps a bit of joy. I read a beautiful piece by Garrison Keillor today about Christmas and you can read it too, right here.
As I pull away more and more from the madness of what Christmas has become, I find myself softening towards the actual day itself a bit more. There is absolutely nothing in this world wrong with celebrating the birth of a baby or the change of a season or the growing light day by day. There is nothing wrong with getting together with loved ones and celebrating.
And I do so love red velvet.

All right. That's enough.

Be well. Hang in there. Know that you are enough and that there is no perfect gift and no matter how much we wish there were the perfect gifts to give to express our love completely, it cannot happen. And so we make do with imperfect gifts and food and drink and love and kisses and sparkly lights and that will do. Quite nicely, in fact.

Love...Ms. Moon

And He Is Remembered

When I took my walk today, I decided to go visit the little hidden graveyard to see if the Santa hat which had decorated this gravestone last year was back again for Christmas. It was not, but there were two sweet poinsettias.

I took this picture and came on home.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Shopping Done Right

Here is a sight I saw at the Costco today. On my first trip.

I saw this guy from the front, first, and then, in a very synchronistic way, realized I was following him to the restrooms after I had made my purchases. I pulled my phone from my purse and surreptitiously snapped his photo.
When I first spied him, in his belted bathrobe and sweat pants, he and his wife were sampling some of those delicious marinated vegetables. The eggplant and artichoke hearts and peppers. 
"Low fat and no gluten!" said the sampler guy. 
Low fat? They were marinated in OIL.
Probably yes, though, they were gluten-free. 
Bathrobe. He was wearing a fucking bathrobe. A belted bathrobe. What the fucking fuck? 
I thought about yesterday when we were in Thomasville and it seemed like every other woman we saw was wearing leggings, a large top, and boots. 
"This look isn't working for me," said Lily.
"I understand it," said May. "I, too, frequently wish I could just wear my pajamas all day."
This guy just took it one step farther. He got out of bed and belted on his bathrobe and said, "Okay, I'm ready. Let's go to Costco."
People. Please. Show a little fucking respect to your fellow humans. I mean, really. 

Anyway, on that trip to Costco I bought a ham and pimento cheese and frozen strawberries and tomatoes. I had looked for presents for my children. I mean, there simply has to be something under the tree from their mama or the world will come to an end. I feel certain about this. I went down all the aisles I rarely visit, hoping beyond hope that something would spring up and say, "I am it! Buy me!" For any of them. 
Nothing did, although one item sort of tickled my fancy. 
But. No. I did not buy it. 

I left the Costco after taking that picture and using the restroom. 
I drove down the road closer to town, thinking, Hell, I'll go to Target.
I was hungry. I stopped at a sandwich place and got a sandwich and ate it while reading from the book I keep in my car for just such occasions. I felt anxious and horrible and worried and stupid and inadequate. Then I thought about that item I'd seen at the Costco. And I started to laugh. 
What if? What if I got every one of my children one of that item and also, one each for their beloveds?
No. I am not going to tell you what that item is but I will say it is practical and a bit luxurious and it will make everyone laugh. 
I hope. 
I got back in my car and returned to the Costco. I went immediately to the place where that item was. I counted out what I needed and put them in my cart. The woman selling fancy purses saw me and she laughed. 
"Christmas shopping done!" I said to her.
She laughed some more. 
"That's great!" she said. "I love it!"

Me too. 

I felt so relieved you have no idea. I went to Publix where I saw a friend of mine, a woman who works there who is going through chemo. We stood in the aisle and talked and talked and we hugged more than once. I bought the pickles I need for my chicken salad, and the grapes. I bought orange juice and fancy mustard and Dixie Lily self-rising flour and full-fat buttermilk and potatoes. I loaded everything up and drove home. It took me about fourteen trips to get everything into the house. I didn't care. My soul was light and happy. I have presents for my children and for my grandchildren and for my husband. I have the ingredients to make food for Christmas eve, including angel biscuits. It is still raining and also this- when I stopped by Lily's this afternoon on my way into town and she was showing me the nursery, I asked Owen what he was looking forward to doing with his sister. 
"Guess," he said. 
"Hold her?" I asked him. 
"No," he said. 
"Calling her Beauty?" I said.
"More than that. Guess!" 
"I don't know! Tell me."
"Read to her," he said. 
He is learning to read and he is so proud of that. 
I grabbed him to me and I said, "You just made my heart explode."
And he did.

All right. Off to wrap presents. 

It is almost Christmas and I am ready. 

Love...Ms. Moon