Man. People REALLY get into Halloween. When I was a kid, it was just the children who dressed up. Now it appears to be everyone on Facebook. What's the deal?
I really like Halloween. Not that I participate in it beyond buying that bag of candy in case a child comes to the door which hasn't happened in years since the kids across the street got too old to go trick or treating. I like Halloween because it creates no sense of guilt in me whatsoever and I don't have do anything except buy that bag of candy which is bullshit because, like I said, no one ever comes by any more. I didn't even get a pumpkin this year for the first time in my adult life. I feel sort of bad about that. I do love the way the pumpkin smells when you cut into it and the chickens love the seeds. I think it's pretty swell to put a candle in that grinning jack-o-lantern (I don't go in for this fancy stencil-assisted pumpkin carving) and set it out on the fence post to burn all night.
I have fond memories of trick or treating as a child. Parents would buy their kids those cheap masks at the grocery store that hindered your breathing and made you sweat (it's not cold in central Florida in October) and you'd put on some witchy clothing or whatever sort of went with your mask. My best friend, Lucille Ferger's mama would load all five of her kids and me and my brother too up in their incredibly rusty and ugly brown Studebaker station wagon and drive us down the bumpy sand roads of Roseland and let us out while she sat in the car and smoked cigarettes so that we could hit up all the houses nearby with our plastic pumpkins for candy. It was awesome, especially when it was your turn to sit on the folded out rear door when we drove to the next spot.
I mean, that was some FUN, y'all.
Or at least we thought so.
Somehow I've never been a costume person. Even when I'm in plays I'm not that fond of them. I'm not sure why. I remember one play I was in that I played the part of about six different women of varying ages and description. Kathleen sat backstage and organized everything for me so that I could come offstage and she'd have everything ready that I needed. Clothes, wigs, jewelry, shoes. I am still grateful to her for that. She was so amazing at organization. AND at costumes.
But honestly, in real life, I just don't like costumes. I think maybe one of the last costumes I ever wore for Halloween was when I was married the first time and wore my then-husband's Goodwill suit to a party and someone told me I looked just like a New Orleans bull dyke which was sort of cool, although since I was at that time a nursing mother whose baby was with her, it was a bit disconcerting.
Bull dyke. Is that politically incorrect? I watched a little clip of Bill Maher talking about the PC police on Halloween costumes. You can watch it here if you want. It's pretty funny and I tend to agree with him. Seems like the only PC costumes these days are super heroes and TV characters and princesses. I hear that now hobo costumes are offensive to the homeless. Really? Jeez. Whatever.
Anyway, blah, blah, blah. I'm tired. I did work in the garden and I did not get it all done. Between each row I hoed with that crazy awesome new-fangled hoe we have and then got down on my knees and did hand-weeding between the plants themselves and then went and raked up a full Rubbermaid cart full of leaves and hauled that back to the garden and mulched the area I'd just weeded. So. Bending, raking, hoeing, kneeling, lifting, hauling. Repeat. I have about three more rows to go and I'll do that tomorrow. The kale and arugula are looking really good. The carrots and beets are doing okay, the rainbow chard and French Red Leaf lettuce are coming along and the mustards and collards are shooting up nicely. I finally put my gloves and the Rubbermaid cart up a little while ago and turned on the sprinklers. We are so dry. That little bit of rain we got last week didn't do much, to tell the truth. A garden is a lot of work but we've already eaten a few salads from it and there's nothing to compare to the way those greens taste so it's worth it.
We turn the clocks back tonight. Why do we still do that? It's so ridiculous. I mean, I do appreciate the extra hour we get in fall but come spring, it'll all suck again. I texted Mr. Moon to remind him of the time change and asked if this means that he'll have to get up at 3:30 a.m. instead of 4:30 a.m. because the deer are not aware of the clock turning. Is that right? Let's see. If he usually gets up at 4:30 to go hunt, wouldn't that be 3:30 tomorrow? Why is this so confusing?
Because it's bullshit. That's why.
So. Here are some pictures.
Owen as one of the Wild Kratt brothers in his jaguar incarnation. I don't really understand any of this, but I am assured that it is a real thing.
Wild Kratt brother in bat incarnation. As Lily said in the text, "Bats need to sleep when it is still light out."
And last but not least, Baby August as a skeleton.
Here's another picture of that boy which Jessie sent me today.
I feel certain that that is the face he made when he heard that he was going to be seeing his Mermer soon. They are coming home tomorrow.
Well, I've shut up the chickens for the night and they are all there in their favorite roosting places. I've turned off the sprinklers. Maurice joined me for these activities. I've set two of the clocks back already- the oven clock and the coffee maker clock. It seems completely absurd that tomorrow at this time it will only be 6:30.
It doesn't just seem absurd. It is.
And if I stay up until midnight, it will only be eleven and so on and so forth and here we all are, sheep in human clothing, agreeing to this absurd change.
I have naan rising to go with last night's curry thing. I hope I have the energy to cook it.
Enjoy your extra hour tonight.
I know I will, despite my bitchy bitchyness.
It's Halloween and I have not yet eaten the entire bag of candy which I bought just in case we get a trick-or-treater this year.
I am listening to an interview with Keith Richards done by Kirsty Young with Desert Island Discs. You can listen to it here.
He brought recordings of songs that he'd want on a desert island for the interview and so far I've heard Etta James, Hank Williams, Aaron Neville, and someone else whose name I've already forgotten. Very nice way to spend forty-five minutes on a Saturday morning.
The interviewer just asked him why he decided to get married to Patti Hansen and he answered that he loved her and that he knew that if he wanted more babies, this was the woman. And that she has the warmest heart he's ever known.
Now he's playing the first movement of Valdi's Four Seasons.
Very good interview.
When asked about his bent and gnarly fingers he said that it's a sort of benign arthritis and that it does not hurt but it does make playing guitar...different.
And when asked if he thought that it was "seemly" for a seventy-something year old man to play rock-and-roll he answered that he'd never worried about being seemly.
Halloween is a good day for listening to, pondering on, Keith Richards. The man who has cheated death so many times, who wears a skull ring on his finger, hoops in his ears and black eyeliner, who can't seem to get through a sentence without chortling.
Light and dark, life and death. There's a thin curtain between these things. This time of year that curtain seems to become even thinner, less substantial, doesn't it?
Well, here it is noon and I need to get out in the garden.
The other day when I was walking, I ran into the Sheik, just as he was about to take the path through the woods that leads to his brother's house. Again, he asked me where I'd been and was I okay? I assured him that I was and he told me that Ms. Liola was worried about me.
"I'll take her some eggs," I said, and he went down his woods path and I headed towards mine.
Ms. Liola, as I have said before, is an older lady although when I say "older" I really have no idea. She could be younger than I am or twenty years my senior. I just can't tell. But she has some definite physical disabilities and moves as slowly as I probably will be in about five years. She lives in a single-wide trailer, tucked longways into a tidy yard and I met her as I walked when she was out working in her yard and we have become, if not friends, good acquaintances and when she does not see me, she worries. I have taken to walking a different route to add a little distance to my walk and we rarely see each other these days and I hate to think that she's worried about me.
So this afternoon, after I got home from a lovely and lively time with Lily and Gibson, I took the trash and recycle and then drove over to her house. The Sheik was actually out in her yard, his elegant and sturdy silver-topped cane propped up against the steps of Ms. Liola's trailer and he was raking leaves for her. I know he's not related to her but I see him visiting her frequently. I think they take care of each other in some way, or at least, watch out for each other. I greeted him and said, "I brought eggs!" and he smiled and I walked up to the door after I got out of my car and Ms. Liola came out and we hugged and chatted. I showed her pictures of little August and she cooed over him and we talked about aches and pains and how hard it is to get going when we've been sitting down and how our yards look better than our houses because we love being outside and that kind of stuff. We laughed and talked and at one point she said, "If you ever need any help, you just let me know. You're such a sweet lady."
I was a bit stunned. What in the world could this lady help me with?
I'm still not sure what she meant. I told her, "Well, you're such a sweet lady too!" and we went on from there but I am still pondering this.
I gave her the eggs I brought and told her that when my greens really came in, I'd bring her some of those too, and she said, "You don't always have to be bringing me things. It's just good to see you."
And I was in the best mood when I left after hugging her again and I said good-bye to The Sheik as he hauled a trash can full of leaves to the burn pile and I came home and worked in my garden for awhile, hoeing between rows and then getting on my knees to pull the tiny weed sproutlings between my tender, baby plants, and then doing some raking myself and using those leaves for mulch.
I didn't get that much done, but enough to feel as if I'd made a start. And as Ms. Liola and I had agreed earlier, the getting started is always the hardest part, no matter what.
As I write this, I realize that Ms. Liola has no idea how much she does help me. It's hard to explain. She has taken me in as part of her world, her community. She has met Owen and Gibson and she watches over me, in a way, as I have said before. Her brother lives across the street from her and I see him fairly often too but I can tell that he is still very suspicious of me and has no need to try and get to know me. This may just be his way. I know that in his way, he too, watches over me, and he has taken the time before to warn me that I shouldn't walk in the woods and I've never been sure if he worries about me encountering a bear or someone who has come off the interstate to hide in those woods. Either way, I am grateful for his concern, but he doesn't make me feel the way Ms. Liola does.
Lloyd is a special place in some ways. There are people living here whose families have lived here for generations, African Americans and white folks. I have only lived here for eleven years but I lived down the road a few miles almost forty years ago and I remember the Sheik from back then. The lady who takes my water bill is the daughter of the woman who ran the general store when I lived here all those years ago whom I knew and had grown to sort of love when I was a young hippie mother. She herself lived in this house at one time.
Lloyd is not anything like a neighborhood you would find in a city or a town or many villages. And I learned a long time ago when I lived in a mostly African American neighborhood north of here that there is a sense of minding your own business which is very strong. And yet, that does not preclude the fact that if you need help, your neighbors are there for you and that you should be there for them and that people are keeping an eye on things. It is not an attitude of non-caring. It is a protective thing, I believe, which may perhaps spring from slavery itself when there was no such thing as a private life for people with dark skin. Perhaps this attitude is simply a remnant of the times when if you were black, your very life was not your own and therefore, your actions were not either and so, this ability to lead a life not under the eye of your owner (can you imagine that? being owned?) has left many people with the desire to keep to themselves. To not trust out of hand.
With freedom came privacy. Within privacy there can be freedom.
I think of when I lived in that other neighborhood and okay, a guy who lived in the house with my ex-husband and me was growing pot out behind all of our houses in a cow field that belonged to a rich guy who never walked that property and one day we woke up to discover that the pastures were being bush-hogged and that that pot patch was history. Turned out that our neighbors knew all about it and they laughed with us about it after it happened. They no more would have turned us in than they would have reported any other crime that wasn't hurting anyone. Many of them had to live in a sort of shady place outside the law themselves just to be able to scrape by.
When I lived in that house, I did a needlepoint of the Bob Dylan lyric, "To Live Outside The Law You Must Be Honest."
I understood what that meant and I still do.
I have no idea where I'm going with this. I guess it's just to say that I live in a small community which has unwritten laws which are strong and that when one of my neighbors accepts me, watches over me, I appreciate it more than can be said.
Okay. Enough of this ambling ramble. I'm going to go make some sort of curry.
And here's Bob.
Where are you tonight, Sweet Marie?
Right here in Lloyd, Bob. Right here.
Good morning, dearies! Here I am and it's a beautiful day and I'm going to Costco with Lily and Gibson and you know how much I enjoy that. The sun is shining and it is relatively cool and I went to take the plastic skeleton out of the little Harry Potter room underneath the stairway but it is not there. When did we lose our skeleton in the closet?
I read way too late last night, which is what I do when Mr. Moon is gone. I am reading the third in the Coromoran Strike series by J.K. Rowling writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith and I'm finding it very hard to put down. Rowling is very, very good at writing in the detective novel genre. Her characters are complex, her murders are hideous, and there is a love story.
What more could a hunting widow lying in bed with her cat ask for?
All right. I need to hustle. Lily has to be in Owen's classroom at 1:30 which doesn't give us much time. I find it slightly unbelievable that one of my own children is now a mother with children in school who goes in to help with parties and so forth. The years I spent volunteering in the classroom! Oh my god.
And now it is Lily's turn and then it will be Jessie's turn and some things never change.
Saw this on the internet the other day and since it combines three of my favorite things, Anthony Bourdain, Stephen Colbert, and the Waffle House, I am passing it along to you.
After I went and got my teeth cleaned by my sweet dental hygienist and she assured me that my gums look great and we showed each other pictures of our grandkids and caught up on the news and so forth, I took myself to the Goodwill because you know- getting out of any medical appointment makes me manic with relief and I have to use that energy to do something CRAZY and in my case, that usually means going to the Goodwill.
I love to browse through the "bin" part of the Goodwill which is where they keep things like aprons and tablecloths and napkins and place mats. People get those things for gifts and never use them and in fits of trying to simplify they donate them and I snap them up. I found Lily some very pretty place mats and I also bought her a Christmas tablecloth which someone had made, sewing little Santa's by hand all over it and I got myself a new cotton made-in-India tablecloth for my back porch table where I spend a good part of my day. I washed it and put it on the table and I think it may drive me mad. The tiny checks are like optical illusion patterns or something and fuck with my depth perception. I'll try to live with it. We shall see. If I start getting migraines, we will know why. I also got a cashmere sweater which is not the greatest color in the world and it has a tiny hole in it but when it gets cooler (theoretically, it will get cooler here, although it reached 85 degrees today) it will be nice to grab and put on. It's a cardigan and will make a fine chicken-feeding sweater.
So there was that. Then I went to lunch with my husband at Sonny's barbecue because someone had given him a fifteen dollar gift card and that was okay too. It was nice to be with him but I swear to you- being around people is difficult for me. I am constantly checking everyone out, trying to figure out their stories and today we were across from an old lady in a wheelchair and what I assume was her daughter and a little girl, no doubt her grand daughter who was three years old. I know she was three years old because at one point the old lady was tickling the little girl who complained and said it hurt and the old lady said, "What? I've been doing this for three years and now you say it hurts?"
I did not like that old lady. She kept making the child eat coleslaw before she'd let her eat her macaroni and cheese as if Sonny's coleslaw is one bit better for the human body than macaroni and cheese and she was feeding her although the child was obviously old enough to eat by herself and at one point the old lady gave the little girl a "look" that scared the girl who turned her back and hid her eyes and it scared me too. I think that the old lady was giving her "the look" out of playfulness but let me tell you something- that look was like a super power and should not be used unless it is absolutely necessary.
So I decided that their story was that the old lady ruled the rest of them like a spiteful and malicious queen and it made me sad. Plus, she had a really annoying accent.
See? I get way too wrapped up in all of this shit and I have to wonder what made that old lady so mean and was she always that way or just since she's had to be in a wheelchair and so on and so forth and honestly, it's mostly for the best if I just don't go out.
When I got home, I rustled up a venison meatloaf for my husband to take up to the hunting camp which he left for a few hours ago. Long story. Don't ask.
Okay, ask. It's for him and his buddy to make sandwiches out of and for him to have bragging rights about his wife's meatloaf. My meatloaf.
Why does "meatloaf" always sound obscene?
And then I continued the saga of trying to get my phone replaced and finished up the online claim process but was told that after review, it was determined that my claim was not valid for some stupid reason that was NOT TRUE so it was being refused.
Let me just say this- insurance companies could suck the joy out of the Dalai Lama's heart. Any kind of insurance company. They all make it as difficult as humanly and technologically possible to make a claim as they possibly can so that eventually, you will just give up and say "Fuck this shit, I can't take it any more."
I am not telling you anything you do not know already.
So that was my day which was pretty darn so-so.
Except for this picture that Jessie sent me.
She also sent me a video which of course I cannot post because I have pissed off the gods of technology in some way. But in it, he was trying to talk, quite obviously, and he is officially one month old today. Also? They better bring that child back home soon because I am dying from LOA (Lack of August) and it hurts my heart.
May we all have sweet dreams but let me point out that I do believe I had my first third-person dream last night and was observing rather than participating which is extremely interesting but it was not satisfying.
I will say no more about that. Wouldn't be fittin' for a grandmother's blog.
So. Let's see. I have an appointment with the dentist at ten. Well, just for a cleaning. Does this make me any less anxious?
My garden is covered in weeds. Covered. Millions of weed sprouts. Trillions. More than the number of dollars in the Federal Budget.
I seem to have an infestation of those horrible small German roaches. They just crawl in from outside.
Luna, the Feral Cat, has suddenly decided to be a pet and wants to rub all up against me. I am allergic to her.
It is overcast and nasty-looking.
My house is filthy.
I started in with the claim process for my phone last night. That involved one long-ass phone call in which I never got to speak with a human and then got kicked off and one long-ass online process in which I stalled after I printed out the shit I have to fill out and sign and then take pictures of to send via e-mail.
My husband is going hunting. Today? Tomorrow? For how long? Who knows? Not me.
These are, admittedly, first-world problems. Well, except for the roaches.
However, they are my problems, and as such, I cherish them.
1. You can indeed judge a book by its cover. I do it all the time. Works for me.
2. Really rich motherfuckers who inherited tons of money and who think that people who work blue collar jobs somehow deserve a minimum wage that won't support themselves, much less a family, need to shut the fuck up. As I walked past the local car repair shop I wondered how long someone like Donald Trump would last in that metal building even on a relatively cool day like today rebuilding an engine. Or even changing tires. How many of our policy makers could last one day in a classroom or working on the floor of a hospital? Or in a welfare office? Or how about doing roofing work in the broiling sun or the freezing rain? In a chicken-processing plant? Behind a cash register or as a server in a restaurant where the entitled patrons think that their waiter or waitress is in fact, their slave for as long as they sit in that seat? The list of incredibly difficult jobs that people do for barely any money is endless. And unless you've done some of them, you have no idea how most of the people on this planet live.
3. This shit is the bomb. It even makes spider shit stains disappear. I do not want to know how toxic it is. I just want to put it in a pressure washer and attack my entire house with it.
4. Emoticons are proof of the idiocy of the modern human. This said, I still use them sometimes.
5. Nothing in this world feels as good as the act of creation whether that means painting a picture or building a wall or planting a garden or writing a story or writing a song or making a baby.
6. It occurred to me when I was pregnant for the first time that because men cannot create life in their own bodies that they have become convinced that the ability to take a life is the most powerful thing there is. I feel sorry for them.
7. Anyone who doesn't have a uterus or a vagina doesn't get to make laws, judgements, or policies telling people who do what they can and cannot do with them.
8. Everything does not happen for a reason and GOD does not NOT give you more than you can bear.
9. "It was meant to be" is pretty fucking flawed logic.
10. Vegetables are in fact good for you. Until you deep fry them. Then, not so much.
11. Sex is truly weird when you think about it.
12. Those coffee drinks they sell at Starbucks? All they are is milkshakes with coffee in them. Also? Coffee does not negate the calories in a milkshake.
13. You can't roll a joint on an iPod. Okay, maybe you can but it just sounds like a really bad idea.
14. People who think that America is the greatest country in the history of the world need to do more traveling outside the country.
15. One thing that my mother always said that I totally agree with is that death is not the worst thing.
16. Eric Clapton is not God although he is a really good guitar player.
17. Jimi Hendrix may have been a god although he may have just been an alien.
18. Another thing that my mother always said that creeped me the fuck out was, "I complained that I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet."
19. Men with no feet don't need shoes. So there is that.
20. Love may be all there is, depending on how we define it and I don't think that we, as mere humans, can. I'm a little blurry on this one, but I'm pretty sure that's true.
Well, that's enough for today.
Wait. Here's your lagniappe.
21. Plucking a hair will not discourage its future growth. Trust me.
So I went to town and I swear, it was like I was on Thorazine or something which I most definitely was not. I wasn't on a damn thing but every place I went I had to sit out in the car for a few minutes to rally myself to get out of the vehicle and go into the building where I needed to go. I was going to take myself to lunch at a local sandwich place but it occurred to me that there could be the possibility, however slight, that a woman I used to know who lives in that area MIGHT BE THERE and I restarted my car and drove away.
I mean, it was probably like one chance in a million but I just couldn't take that chance. Nope. Could not.
So it took me quite a while to do everything I had to do, understandably, and the only person I ran into that I actually know was Togi and that was a gift, not a dreadful occurrence. As many of you know, Togi is someone with whom I feel completely comfortable and whom I trust with all of my heart and he also gives very, very good hugs.
So. Thank you, Togi. It was really good to see you.
When I went to Verizon to see about my phone, I had to wait a little bit but not too long and a guy named Will came to help me and he reminded me somewhat of one of my brothers. Whenever I go to Verizon I really do not want to be perceived as one of those really old people who have no idea how to operate one of them new-fangled computerized machines who should probably take one of their classes on how to use your device.
I doubt I fool anyone.
Will was very nice and when I told him about my camera issue he checked it out and said that yes, it needed help and I could take it to a local repair shop and they could possibly...
"Stop," I said, holding up my hand, palm out like a traffic cop.
"I've been told that since we have insurance, all I have to do is send it in and they will send me a new one. I understand there will be a charge."
"You can go that way," he said. "I'll get you the information."
And he did. And then I asked him how to get all my stuff from my old phone onto the new phone and he told me I could do it either by saving all the information to my iTunes on my computer or I could do a Cloud back-up.
I asked him how to do the iTunes back-up. He told me.
I came home and I did what he said and I see absolutely NOTHING on my computer that says that I transferred all that information to it although it went through the little screens telling me that I was BUT now, on my phone, I seem to have every app I ever bought or had, including the ones I've long since removed.
So then I did a Cloud back-up on the phone which I do not trust because WHAT THE FUCK IS THE CLOUD? REALLY? WHAT IS IT? It's like the Holy Ghost. Everyone has heard of it and many of us pretend we know what it is but honestly, no one does.
No. Not even you. And if you think you do, you're wrong.
And supposedly, if I call the number that Will gave me before 10 pm and pay the fee, they will send me a new phone by tomorrow.
I'm not sure I'm ready to take this step.
Just like my trip to town today, I have a feeling that all of this is going to take far more time than it should. Not because of anything but me and my own incompetence and device anxiety.
I'm going to go make egg rolls now. I am capable of that, I feel certain.
Do you realize that August is four weeks old now? Jessie reports that she and Vergil got him to smile a few times today. Mr. Moon texted her and told her to tell those people in North Carolina to look at him real good so that he can come home now.
And Jessie sent us a beautiful little video of that boy which I cannot (how fitting!) seem to post here. But trust me. It reminded me of what is important and what is just complete and utter needless crap.
Come home soon, little Gussie Glinden. And bring your parents with you. We miss you so.
Raining/not raining. Weird. It pattered most of the night but I doubt all of it added up to much. Still gray today and occasionally, gusts blow hard enough to make me pay attention, rouse me for a few seconds from my near catatonia.
I dreamed again last night of a friend of mine who is dead. I am getting very tired of these dreams. She appears and I am amazed- how did she do it? I saw her in her death bed. I know that. And yet...here she is and quite angry at her husband whom she claims (in her bewildering but not bewildered not-dead state) that he has stolen from her and she wants to get things back. My dream last night took a different turn. I went with her to a doctor and said to him, "See- she's alive! How can that be?"
He and another doctor agreed that she did look very much alive but that it really and truly was just an illusion. Something like a hologram. And as they told me this, she disappeared into a mist.
I wonder if I will dream of her again.
Soon it will be Day of the Dead when in Mexico they expect their deceased loved ones to come back and visit. They take food and candles and drink and flowers to the cemeteries, they clean and tidy and decorate the graves, they hang out.
Sorrow. I think I feel sorrow. I knew a girl once who had been named "Joy" at birth. Later on in her life, she changed her name to "Sorrow." Then I think she changed it to Noah. Or maybe Noah came before Sorrow. I don't know. I can't remember.
I think I would like to lie in my bed and pull the covers up like sorrow over my body and let my pillow be sorrow and allow the mattress to be sorrow and lay swaddled in sorrow. Just...be sorrowful for everything and nothing.
I need to go to town. I have to take my phone in. I have to buy magnesium in hopes that it will help my restless legs that wake me up at night. Library. Groceries. That stuff. All that stuff. The thought of talking to anyone makes me weepy.
All this stuff and all this life and maybe this is just the time of year when the lines between worlds blur, the rain/not rain, the dead/not dead, the life/not life.
And somehow, I can't really bring myself to care.
The boys are here and eating pancakes and bacon because their papa is going to be a little late today. Pancakes and bacon have become the default dinner for them around here and no, it's not very healthy but I did put oat bran in the pancakes and a little of this morning's smoothy so there's a tiny bit of fiber and nutrition in them.
I asked Owen how they tasted and he took a bite and chewed thoughtfully for a moment and then said with quiet authority, "The best."
It still hasn't rained but has been gray and heavy as prison walls all day long. The radar seems to show that it is inevitable that we will get rain tonight and the ground is gasping for water so please all-gods-that-be, let some rain finally fall from this cement sky. I feel like my soul needs the relief as much as the dirt does. I also feel like I feel too much and make too much out of it.
But. That is me.
When the boys and Greta got here today Owen wanted to do the puzzle that I got last week at the Costco. It is a one-hundred piece puzzle of a beautiful folk-art picture of Noah's Ark so not too difficult but certainly not completely simple, either. We got straight to work and we loved the images of the monkeys and pigs and elephants and alligators and even two dinosaurs (not of the same breed which explains a lot- DUH, Noah!) and I asked him, as we worked, if he knew the story of Noah's Ark. He did not and I told it to him, the basic outlines of it, and when I finished I said, "It's not true, but it's a good story."
He agreed that it was and he also agreed that it was a bit far-fetched and we discussed how much poop would have been in that ark after forty days and forty nights.
It gave us a lot of pleasure.
When Gibson and I were in the car alone waiting to pick up Owen, the little man did a funny routine and it cracked me up.
"My arm hurts!" he would say.
"Oh no! Not your arm!" I would say.
"My leg hurts!"
"Oh no! Not your leg! Do we need to go to the doctor?"
"My hand hurts!"
"Oh no! Should we go to the hospital?"
When he got to "my little toes hurt," I lost it.
"Oh no! Not your little toes!"
I love these boys so much. I love watching them grow. Owen and I played cards too and he knows his numbers now. He knows which number is higher than another. He also did "experiments" and he has gone home now with green hands.
"Tell my daddy why I have green hands," he said.
"You tell him," I said.
"I'm embarrassed," he said.
I no longer have any food coloring. I'll just say that.
I have split pea soup simmering and focaccia bread rising. I suppose we could have eaten pancakes and bacon for supper but I don't really want that. I want to charm stormy weather, cooler weather, rain, into coming down with my soup. Sometimes I feel like a witch-crone, trying to use all of the powers at my commend even if they are so prosaic and plain, to use as spells. Soup and garden-planting, story-telling and kisses.
I went in and kissed Gibson on the head while he was playing with some toys and he actually said, "Thank-you, Mermer!"
"Seven things you don't know about the Kardashians!" bleats an online headline.
There are seven million things I don't know about the Kardashians. I am probably not even spelling their name right and I don't care.
I do not know so many things but I do know how to make soup, to make bread and pancakes, to tell stories, to kiss grandchildren, to root plants, to make a bed, to stroke a cat in the middle of the night when bad dreams come and the cat presents herself to me for comfort.
I don't really know how to cast spells.
I am not really a witch.
But I am, I think, a crone.
That will do until something else comes down the road.
I think I am having a mid-old-age crisis.
Not much to say about that except it's every bit as frustrating and confusing as any other mid-life crisis.
Or perhaps I am just making this up.
It is gray here and warm and the dirt trails are soft sand and hard to walk and I think we're going to get rain from Hurricane Patricia as it makes its way from Pacific to Gulf to Atlantic, it's tendrils and trails and traces and tentacles, some of it bringing water and perhaps wind. I do not know.
Mr. Moon and I are home from our three-day weekend in beautiful Apalachicola, Florida where the weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and we had a very fine time celebrating our anniversary which is actually today although we're both either so exhausted or so relaxed (hard to tell) that neither one of us can stop yawning and I swear, we would both love a nap but are too ashamed to admit it to the other.
I mean a deep-sleep-drool-on-the-pillow kind of nap, just in case you're wondering. Not the other kind.
This morning as we were walking to breakfast at the crack of 9:30, we saw the truck with the kayaks AND the bicycles on it and Mr. Moon said, "Huh! We're up before they are!"
"I doubt it," I said. "They're probably out for a run."
However, we met them on their way back from the restaurant and it looked to me as if they'd already had a run and THEN their breakfast and so I could understand if we were those people, as to why we're so sleepy but let's face it- we are not.
When we were entering the restaurant, the two women I like the most in all of Apalachicola were coming out and they recognized me and I felt so honored. One was the Bookstore Lady and one was the lady who owns the coffee shop and about three other places and when we build our house there, I surely hope I get to be friends with both of them.
We shall see.
There sure were a lot of dogs around this weekend. Local dogs and tourist dogs. Yesterday when we were sitting on the porch, a couple came up from the lobby with their two Yorkies who were barely big enough to support the barrettes in their hair. One of the dogs was very, very old and after climbing the stairs, she absolutely refused to take the ten steps to the room. She just sat there while the woman kept saying, "Come on. Come to mommy. COME ON! Get in this room!" Finally the woman walked over and scooped the dog up. I doubt the dog weighed more than a hankie and I couldn't understand why she didn't just pick the poor creature up to begin with.
It seems like one of the requirements for retiring in Apalachicola is to have a dog. Another is to have a golf cart to drive around in. The third requirement is that you have to drive around with your dog in the golf cart.
What's a chicken-loving, cat owner to do?
I'll never fit in. Never. Ever.
Speaking of cats, Maurice disappeared as soon as Hank got here to house-sit. I mean, he did not see her all weekend. I wasn't too worried because she's done this before but to be honest, I was a little concerned because she's my cat. As soon as we got home, we started calling her and sure enough, she popped back into the yard and seemed to be relieved to see us. I won't lie and say she seemed to be happy to see us. Just vaguely relieved. I don't think she really likes us that much but we seem to represent some sort of security for her. As she does for us.
And so we are home. The chickens all seem to be intact. The garden is full of weeds. We're so dry that everything is wilting and drooping and turning brown and not in a glorious fall kind of way. In a drought kind of way.
Nonetheless, it is grand to be home where our bed is, the most comfortable bed in the world, and where I am not forced to eavesdrop on the conversations of rich women who order a lot of food and then drink wine and eat a lettuce leaf while discussing where they're going skiing this year and then proclaim themselves too full to eat another bite, their entrees sitting in front of them, sad and unwanted and untouched.
Yes. Those women do have skinny butts. And everything else.
Someone cooks me a damn flounder with sea scallops I eat that sucker. You hear me? I EAT IT! I may even moan with pleasure and close my eyes and THEN I ORDER DESSERT!
Okay. We took the dessert back to the room.
AND WE ATE IT.
It was, in fact, a very hedonistic weekend in all ways and I don't regret one moment of it. We are getting a bit too old to be wild and certainly don't shut the town down (which in Apalachicola happens at approximately 10:15 pm) but we liberally enjoyed all the good things that time and opportunity presented us with. We even had a good walk on the beach and I started knitting a baby blanket with such thin and delicious yarn that it may be done in time for Owen's first baby.
Yawn. And yawn again.
We had a very, very good time and last night as we held hands across the table, we neither one of us had to say much. We both teared up, incredibly aware of how very lucky and grateful we are.
And then we ate all the food.
My dreams follow me wherever I go, no matter what bed I sleep in. This seems unfair to me, having to worry about children and chickens and everything else in the world that my mind wants to fret over when it is left untended, even when I am on vacation.
I decided last night that I don't like people so very much. We were eating our supper and while it was good enough and fancy, too (the things that chef did with chicken and collared greens was nothing short of saucy abomination) I couldn't relax into the pleasure of it with the server being so damn transparently fake-nice that I could hardly bear it and the couple sitting across from us- she young enough to be his daughter- he so solitious and puffy proud to be with this beautiful blonde GIRL and when he touched her, my skin crawled.
I know. I should not have looked.
None of my business anyway.
This is, I suppose, why I mostly stay home.
But here we are on the Gibson Inn porch and it is cool and the birds are twittering and we're going to get breakfast and walk on the beach and it will be lovely and yesterday I bought a new book and some beautiful silk and wool yarn at the bookstore I love here which is owned and attended by a woman that I do like so much that I feel like an unworthy and silly, babbling teenager around her.
As our Lon says, "I like people. OUR people."
And I love my people and right now and especially this husband of mine.
I should be packing. Mr. Moon is in town doing a half-day's work (and we shall see what that ends up meaning) and I should be putting things in a suitcase but no, here I sit, but I'm thinking about it.
It's been quite a morning already. Luna, the Oldest Living Cat, managed to kill a squirrel. She's laying out there now, guarding it/ regarding it, probably amazed that she did it, as am I. There's another squirrel in a tree above her, pissed as hell and probably grieving.
Whole lotta nature.
Jessie and Vergil are heading out of town today too, as I mentioned earlier this week. They're taking our Gus up to North Carolina for a wedding party and to introduce the newest royalty to the family there. They will be gone for ten days and so of course, when they get back, Gus will be a completely different baby.
I dreamed this morning that I was pregnant. I told a woman that here I was, sixty-one years old and about to give birth. She was Catholic and told me that I'd done the right thing and praise GOD! I told her I wasn't religious at all. I just like babies.
Boy. Am I glad I'm not pregnant.
Hope I don't get pregnant this weekend. Now THAT would be a hell of a thirty-one year anniversary celebration result!
Pretty sure I won't. Then again, Luna did catch that squirrel and I would have bet the ranch that couldn't happen either.
Okay. I'll shut up now.
I'll be checking in from historic Apalachicola, Florida. When I'm not busy eating, drinking, sleeping or possibly getting pregnant.
I hit the wall today. Hit it and hit it hard, laid down and slept and dreamed dreams of cluttered kitchens, half-thawed chickens, last wills and testaments, slum town tenements.
Got up and had a coffee, cleaned out the henhouse, took down the laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, put more laundry in the dryer, finished the sweeping I started before I hit it.
What is wrong with me? This sounds like a lot but it's not. Just a bunch of light-weight chores that I always do, couldn't even drive over to Lily's to see her and the boys and Jessie and August. Could barely make it to the front door to close it before I laid down for that nap.
Mama's tired, y'all. Mama's just tired.
The thought of packing for three days away in order to relax exhausts me.
God. I need a vacation.
Today was a picking-flowers-walk day. I did a bit of strolling rather than pushing myself. Some days, I think that is all that needs to be done. To walk more for the soul than for the body while still moving the body in a way which will benefit it more than doing nothing at all. I put the flowers in the red pitcher that my Lynn gave me, so many years ago.
She gave the best gifts.
Tomorrow Mr. Moon and I are leaving to go to Apalachicola to celebrate our anniversary. I am looking forward to that. Perhaps, since we have an extra day, we will go to St. George and swim in the water there. I crave the water, the beach, the horizon stretched out forever or as far as the eye can see. It will be good to be in Apalach, too, at the old Gibson where we can be just with each other, leave everything behind but ourselves for a few days. To eat delicious seafood and shop in the most desultory way, to nap and lay about, to perhaps play some cards on the porch of the old hotel, to just...be.
To be loving.
We have heard from the geneticist. Mr. Moon has neither of the syndromes/diseases that he was tested for. It would appear he is completely fine.
His feet and legs, of course, proving this not to be true.
One of the markers for Lyme Disease was a bit high so I suppose we will pursue that as a last resort. Why not? Tick bites are a regular occurrence around here and have always been.
We laugh. Last night he was complaining of his back hurting and said that it was probably from his work-out and I was complaining about my hip hurting saying it was probably from my walk and we realized how funny that was- the things we do to prevent old age from completely taking over cause us such pain.
Well. You have to find it funny or you'll just go sign up for the old folks home now and find a comfortable chair and sit in it until you die, I suppose, watching Wheel of Fortune.
Not an option. Not yet, anyway.
We go on and if we go on more slowly, at least we have a better view and more appreciation of the paths we take.
When I first read Ina May Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery back in the seventies, one of the things that struck me first was when Ina May's husband, Steven Gaskin, said that every baby is born a baby Jesus, a baby Buddha, if we just pay attention to that fact.
Ina May, later on in the book, talked about adoring babies, in the sense of the Adoration.
I have thought about that so often. I remember when I had baby Hank and my close-knit hippie community came to visit me, everyone so incredibly respectful and how they welcomed that baby with such love and even honor. I thought about that word then. Adoration.
And I, myself, spent hours in adoration of my baby as he lay on his back watching the dancing patterns of shadow and light on the walls of our rooms, cast from the tree outside as it moved in the breeze, as he nursed at my breast, as he slept beside me or in my arms.
This happened with all of my babies. I will make no excuse for thinking of them as worthy of adoration while at the same time, believing fervently that all babies are worthy of such.
And now, with my grandchildren. The same.
We went to lunch again today- Lily and Gibson and Hank and Jessie and Gus. We went to Fanny's so that we could eat outside and see May. And it was so delightful. When Gus needed feeding, Jessie fed him, when he needed changing, she put a pad down on the grass and she changed him and May and I knelt there on the grass and watched this most mundane of activities- the changing of a baby's diaper with nothing short of adoration.
We praised his perfect baby body, his fingers, his toes, his feet. We touched him and marveled at his perfection under the sweet blue skies of October.
Of course all of this is a trick of nature, of evolution. The more people who come and meet the baby, who bond with the baby, who love the parents of the baby- the better the chances of the baby's survival.
I know this trick and yet, I am as completely enchanted by it as if it were nothing but a miracle, which of course, it is that too.
Lily is proving to be very good at getting her nephew to sleep.
And would you look at that swirling curl of crown-perfection on his head?
Uncle Hank adores him too.
And Gus seems very comfortable there in his uncle's arms.
We are a family who adores babies in every sense of the word. We note all of the signs of his changing and growing. He already seems more aware of the world around him, taking it all in with those eyes as dark as eternity. He had a hearing screening today and we rejoiced in his passing the test with flying colors. We cheer when he burps, when he manages to get his hand in his mouth, and yes, even when he poops.
We love each bit of him, each completely normal and miraculous human bit of him.
And we cannot stop kissing him, touching him.
And why should we?
And as they grow, we celebrate each and every milestone. The first words, the first steps, the learning of letters and numbers, the found ability to pretend and create stories in their own minds. All of it is a damn miracle and we are aware of that and call us ridiculous or whatever you want to call us.
We love babies. We love children. Together we form a strong and unbreakable web of love and support for these children.
Here. Lily sent me this this afternoon.
Owen is learning to ride his bicycle. Can you hear him chanting, "Keep going, keep going, keep going!"? He has already internalized the words we would be telling him. That message- keep going!
And then he falls but he falls well and does not hurt himself and all of us are so very proud of him.
I do not believe in telling children that they are "the most" anything. Smart, special, amazing, talented, whatever. We may think our own babies are all of those things. I would hope that parents do think those things about their children, but we don't have to burden our children with these tags.
But what I do believe in is telling children that they are as loved and precious and as cherished as any baby ever born on this earth. And of course, as with almost everything, words without actions to prove them are meaningless.
And thus- we come together to adore them. Not to spoil them, not to turn them into little twits who suffer from self-importance or entitlement, but to allow them to be the spirits and humans they were born with all of the potential to be.
A good walk, a strong walk, I think I will live another day, perhaps, maybe, whatever.
I went down a wood's path to pee and damn if there wasn't a sign warning me No Trespassing! No Horses! No ATV's, No Foot Traffic, No FWC, Smile You're On Camera!
To make the matter even more clear, a wire was stretched across the path.
I should have smiled, pulled down my britches, squatted and peed right there but did not. I turned around and peed in another spot.
Going to town to help Jessie shop. She and Vergil are taking Gus up to Asheville this week for a wedding and much meeting of the tiny prince. Jessie needs some new clothes and I am honored to help her. I haven't seen that baby in days and am suffering from the lack.
The moon must be in Phones Fucked. Mr. Moon dropped his and the screen cracked, despite the heavy-duty case it's in. And my camera isn't working.
A train is thundering by. I need to hang clothes and take a shower. I am listening to yet another Phillipa Gregory tome on audio book and so am in the world again of 16th Century England with all of the Marys and Margarets and Annes and Henrys and Boleyns and Tudors and Plantagenets and curses and fevers and childbirth and loss and power and strategies and so much praying endlessly for healthy sons.
I love it. I can't help it.
It is candy for the brain, it is faux-history for the uncaring ignorant.
I remember when words used to fall from my fingers like sparking jewels.
Or so it seemed at least.
Now they seem like great clunks of broken chunks of cement.
Thud, thud, thud.
I am the giant woman of heavy clumsy words, dropping them as I walk. They fall on the path and clutter the way of anyone coming behind me.
This is what it feels like today.
I wish I had the courage to go to Dog Island by myself, the way I used to, before all the bad things that happened to me there happened. Back when the wind whistling through the dunes and pines sang me to sleep and the sound of the waves lapping lulled me into peace and I could play with the words and walk for hours on the beach, in the woods, alone and find such perfection in that aloneness. Just me and the birds and the water and the light and the little cozy house that held me and amused me with its poltergeist, its lumpy couch, its fine-enough kitchen where I would slap out dough on the flour-covered counter just for fun, just for me, the sulfur-stinking shower, the pile of books beside my bed a promise of hours of pleasure.
Mr. Moon is home from the woods and I started cooking small navy beans this early afternoon to make venison white bean chili. It is one of our favorites. I am missing cilantro and also green chili peppers which I usually use but I added a jar of very good salsa verde and that will have to make up for them. Thank god I realized at an early age that there are no cooking police.
I've also got a loaf of bread rising. Olive oil and rosemary bread. I am lazy, unlike Rebecca, and use my Kitchen Aid to knead it. I used to knead all my bread by hand but haven't lately. Sometimes, for a small loaf of bread or pizza crust, I even use the food processor. It's a decades-old Cuisinart and it is one of my favorite appliances.
I do love my appliances, don't I?
And I just spent some time in the garden on my knees, thinning again.
I think we can now call these micro-greens.
And there is still more thinning to be done and this is the first year I've ever really made a concerted effort to do this in a careful and conscious way and to use the tiny sprouts that I pull. It makes me feel good to already be using something green from the garden in our salads. It's time-consuming but so what? I have the time. Might as well put it to good use.
It's supposed to get down to 48 degrees tonight. Try not to laugh but this sounds a bit shocking to me. I may have to get the duck out. For those of you who don't know, the duck is my down comforter and I love it but my husband fights it. We are such different people in so many ways, one of them being body temperature.
He sleeps with a sheet while I sleep with a quilt doubled over and a down blanket. When I get out the duck, he will sometimes pull up the cotton blanket which I have added to my pile of covers.
And yet...I want the window open over my head and the fan on too.
Lord. How do any two people actually merge in a marriage and make it work?
I guess you just need a king-sized bed and a sense of humor and some fooling around and a whole lot of love.
Martinis don't hurt.
A week from today, we'll have been married for thirty-one years.
I have been in the best mood today. Perhaps I should just get ten hours of sleep every night. Who knows?
Anyway, I went to Costco and while I was waiting for Jessie in my car, a guy pulls up in front of me, gets out, and MY GOD! IT'S MY FRIEND RICH, WHOM I HAVEN'T SEEN IN FOREVER!
Oh, how we hugged! And we talked and we laughed and then he got to see Jessie and meet August and Rich is just the sweetest man in the world. We met when we were both in Casablanca at the Opera House and he and Kathleen and I just bonded like superglue and we went on to be in a few other plays together. It was a tonic to my soul to see him.
Just pure good.
And Jessie and I walked around the Costco and Gus was in a Moby wrap and was sweet and quiet the whole time until he woke up and decided he wanted nursing so in the middle of the breakfast cereal aisle, Jessie rearranged him so that he could get to the bosom and we proceeded with the rest of our shopping. We sampled everything that wasn't sweet. Neither of us was in the mood for sweet. I personally wished that they'd be passing out samples of angus burgers but they weren't. Dang.
You CAN'T always get what you want. The ravioli with cheese, however, was proof that you can sometimes, get what you need.
We loaded the cart up with some vegetables and some limes and beer and cheese and other stuff I can't remember and we also looked at all of the Christmas stuff because we thought it was funny and we found an artificial tree we both liked.
It's an 8 foot tall "Winterberry" tree with five hundred and four fairy lights. We agreed that if you're going to get a fake tree, get a fake tree! But hell no, neither one of us is going to pay $149.00 for a fake dead tree with five hundred and four fairy lights. I can find a real dead tree with no difficulty if I really want one and could probably decorate it with five hundred and four fairy lights for about thirty bucks.
Merry Christmas! Ho-ho-ho and ha-ha-ha!
I was thinking about going to Lowe's after Costco to find some relatively cheap pots to put some rooted plants in but it was far too beautiful of a day to mess with traffic so I did not. I went to the Bad-Girls-Get-Saved-By-Jesus thrift store instead which is on my way home and I bought August a pair of shoes for when he goes camping with his mom and dad.
He'll look just like his daddy.
I also bought a vintage bag for three dollars with wooden handles
and a red satin lining I could live in. Because...look:
That is what I love about vintage bags. The linings. They were like fabulous lingerie, only in purses.
Okay. Speaking of lingerie, I can't find my damn Coobie bra. It has completely disappeared. I've looked everywhere and cannot find it and suspect that it may have slipped into the parallel universe where my simmer mats now reside. How can you lose a bra? Or a simmer mat for that matter?
So I drove home the long way because it was such a beautiful day and when I got home I took my time and did the little things that needed doing and just enjoyed every slow thing I did from pulling up the spent Four O'Clocks in the yard to finding the day's eggs. And okay. Here's a confession: I had to text my husband to call me to help me figure out what the hell I did to the TV and remote last night and this was not the first time I've had to do this.
I am such an idiot.
He called me from a deer blind and so our conversation was whispered but he led me through the steps and I can now, in theory at least, watch TV again. I whispered to him, when our conversation started, that I'd fucked it all up so badly that I was pretty sure we'd have to buy a new TV and remote. He whisper-laughed at me.
Thirty-something years later and I can still amuse him.
I need Owen to come and live with me as my service animal. Obviously. He can now open my box at the post office, gather the eggs, turn on the garden sprinklers, and take my arm and lead me in the dark. I am night-blind. He is not. Plus, he does make-overs. And I'm pretty sure he could deal with the remote.
Here is a picture of that boy and his brother at the local pumpkin patch:
Lily sent it to me. I love it. Aren't they growing up so fast? Stop it, boys! I can't deal with this growing up stuff. Owen has just moved up in kindergarten to the reading group. This is a big deal. It means he knows all of his letters and their sounds and is ready to start learning to read.
His teacher told Lily yesterday in their conference that he is a wonderful, sweet, terrific boy who is good at learning and everything else.
We already knew that but it's nice to hear it from a third party.
Can you believe that Gibson will be in preschool next year?
This guy's mama asked me if I'd like to go to Costco with them.
Guess what I said?
I didn't get up until ten (again, it's the fault of the cat who lays against my back, sleeping after a hard night's hunting) and so I need to bolt down the rest of this coffee and get dressed in something that doesn't look like it was worn by a cast member of the Grapes of Wrath.
A male cast member.
Friday night and the Super Dudes just left my driveway. I've cracked a beer and have Keith on the record player.
I swear to you- at least two of the songs on his album are about Mick Jagger.
He's been married to Patti Hansen for thirty-something years but he's been married to Mick Jagger for over fifty. Say what you will about Keith but when he falls in love, he stays that way.
Something to be said for that.
Anyway, Super Dudes. Yep. We had quite a day. We did go to Japanica! and I finally figured out why I can't take a decent picture. My iPhone camera is just fucking fucked. It will not focus. I feel completely lost. Isn't that ridiculous?
Here's a blurry picture of Owen drinking miso soup.
And here's a blurry picture of Gibson sitting in our friend Tom's boat which has been in our yard since gator season.
Okay. That's all the blurry pictures. I hate blurry pictures.
Mr. Moon's back in Georgia so it's just me and Maurice and Keith once again, now that the boys have gone home with their dad. And that's good. It's fine. It's been a long and interesting day. There were archeological digs and dirt-face-painting followed by showers and a walk to the post office and egg gatherings and garden-sprinkers-turning-on and a puzzle was done and most of a book read and chickens fed and so forth and so on. As usual.
I think I got an egg from every one of my layers today which does not include Lisa Marie because she's missing. Mr. Moon went to close all the chickens up last night and Lisa was not cuddled up with Elvira in the little nook where they go to roost. I haven't seen her all day either. I called my next door neighbor who also has chickens and she hasn't seen her but she'll keep an eye out. I can't even imagine what took Lisa Marie. She's a damn big hen, at least twice the size of Chi-Chi or Cha-Cha and I don't think a hawk could grab and carry her off and since she disappeared during the day, I find it hard to believe that a fox or coyote got her but something did unless she wrapped her possessions in a bandana tied to a stick, put it over her shoulder and jumped a freight train. I'd love to think that's what happened to her, but I sort of doubt it.
And so it goes, once again. Somehow today I still managed to wash the sheets and remake the bed even though Gibson wanted to lay on it and giggle while I tried to put the sheets on, and so I have clean sheets to look forward to tonight. I also read an article in the New Yorker about Henry David Thoreau which I loved because it was highly critical of old Thoreau and his faux getting away from it all there on Walden Pond which was lively with picnickers in the summer and ice skaters in the winter and where he was a twenty-minute walk to his mama's house where he'd go at least once a week to eat some of her cookies and visit with his family. The man was not right, y'all. And I have a theory that probably one out of a thousand people who quote him have actually read his most famous book because it's virtually unreadable and so full of self-righteousness and poppy-cock.
To be kind.
I never could get past the first chapter of that book and so reading the article for me was like hearing someone else pointing out that the Emperor was not wearing a stitch of clothing, no matter how proudly he strutted in the parade, his virginal dick swinging in time to the music for all to see.
Oh! Ms. Moon! How you speak!
Yes. Yes I do.
The chickens are put up. No Lisa Marie in sight. Maybe she's in New Orleans, strolling down Bourbon Street, or pecking discretely at the crumbs of beignets at Cafe du Monde. Which makes me think about the trip Mr. Moon and I took to New Orleans when we were first falling in love and the strange and magical things which happened there.
Luna The Longest Living Feral Cat and Maurice are having a howl and mewl face-off right now and the sky has grown dark. Hissing has ensued.
Here's a picture I took of the little hook-and-eye moon with a "real" camera.
And here is the gratuitous picture of baby Gussie Glinden that Jessie sent me today.
Look at that pretty long, skinny boy. Take it in now because he's going to be fat as a little sopapilla before we know it.
Poor Henry David Thoreau. He probably just didn't get enough tittie.
Oh dear. It's not the best picture and not even in focus but it's what I have. Hank and Jessie and August and I met at the Indian buffet and we ate while August was mostly sleeping and so we sat and talked for forever.
Yes. I do go out to lunch with my kids a lot but it's how we connect, frequently. It's a good thing and we laugh and we talk and we eat mostly delicious foods and now we have that little Gus boy to come along with us and that makes it even better. Tomorrow Owen has a day off of school because it is teacher planning day and Lily has a parent-teacher conference with his beloved teacher at 10:00 and so I'm going to go stay with the boys while that happens and then we're going to Japanica! because Owen hasn't gotten to go on one of our lunch dates in forever, he being a grown-up school kid with a real schedule and all. And then the boys are coming home with me because Mama has to work and Papa doesn't get off until later and besides, they need to come here and play and be with their Mermer because that's the way it should be.
And it makes us all happy.
I've been in a lot of pain today. One of the things we talked about at lunch was how we wished we could transfer our pain to someone else for just a little while. Ten or twenty minutes, maybe, to see what they thought about the pain level. Not necessarily to get sympathy but perhaps to be told, "Oh yeah, that isn't so bad," which could reassure us. Wouldn't it be something if that's how our practitioners diagnosed us? If they could feel what we are feeling and use that to figure out exactly where our pain is? Sure, it's a shamanistic idea or maybe a Star Trek idea but it would be an interesting method of not only diagnosis but also one that might further empathy in a pain-trained doctor. I doubt many would sign up for that particular ability though. I mean, I'm not sure I would.
But anyway, la-di-dah, and here's what I spent at least forty-five minutes on this evening.
Tiny thinnings from the garden which I washed and thumb-nail snipped the roots off of and that will be going into our salad tonight. It delights me that the mustard seedlings already taste like mustard greens, the arugula seedlings already like arugula. This is not unlike a baby's personality which is not completely apparent at birth but a little bit. The sproutling will grow up to be who he or she is at birth, but of course always affected by whatever nurtures or doesn't.
I'm rambling. I'm sorry. I'm tired and as I said, somewhat in pain. It's actually been a terrific day and I'm sure tomorrow will be too and please, please, please dear god and goddess of dreams, give me a fucking break. The physical stuff I can take a few Ibuprofen for. The mental stuff, not so much.
The worst dreams. Stuck in an urban area in a dump of an apartment with two children and the locks don't work and people just walk in, demanding to see someone who doesn't live there and I can't protect my children and before all of that was another dream and I can't even describe it but I couldn't find my bed where I was staying and lights on and people talking and so am I pre-worrying about getting housed in a nursing home?
I don't know.
All I know is that sometimes I think my brain is just wired for fear and loathing and disappointment and worry and was wired that way when I was too young to try and connect it all up in a different way and I was born with a sense of responsibility that was way out of proportion to reality and I will never in this lifetime be done with trying to keep everyone from myself to my children to my chickens safe and protected.
And that there is always a mess to be cleaned up and it is always my job to do it.
Well, obviously not in real life.
A beautiful morning here and I am going for a walk to try and shake off the dream demons, try to align myself back into the reality of where I live which provides calm and peace and safety to all and where the messes are not so bad if I keep up with them a little bit.
Where my children are grown and quite capable of taking care of themselves and their children too. Where if my chickens need a place to be safe in, my husband will build it.
Where tiny children do not lie in bed and hear the yelling and crying of adults and look over in the gloomy darkness to the little brother lying in the crib and worry about his safety.
Where a light on in the house at night does not mean that an abuser is still awake and could come silently into the room where I lie unable to sleep from fear.
Where all are provided for.
Where there is even a sort of comfortable beauty.
Where even the old trees offer reassurance that there is continuity and wonder.
Where I can write my way back to a sort of sanity and get on with life.
This life. This real life.
On such a beautiful day.
Quiet day balanced tenuously between yearnings and contentment.
Domestic chores moved slowly through and then a nap and then a coffee and and then a kiss and then a pie now resting in the refrigerator. I had leftover sweetened condensed milk from Lily's tres leches cake and leftover chopped almonds and flour from some cobbler, lemons and eggs. A bastardized key lime pie with meringue over all and sour and sweetness and smooth and crunch and the air is cool and going to be cooler and my heart is all over the place from here
and it is time to slice cucumbers.
October has always been the witchiest and richest time of year for me.
My soul gets lost but it always comes home. And the laundry gets done.