Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In Which We Sneak Off To The River By Ourselves

This has just been the best day. Lunch with the babies, Costco with Jessie and August, and then Mr. Moon got home early and we decided to drive down to the river all by ourselves for a dip in the cold, cold water.
And we did.

It was threatening to storm and there was much drinking of beer and young-man-testosterone-fueled-giant pick-up-truck-displaying and frisbee-throwing going on. Mamas and kids and old men talking about their glory days and kayakers coming in and going out. As always with watering holes, all sorts of animals come to drink and cool off in peace and we plunged our bodies into that river and it was heaven. 

Wow. You know. We can really do things like this if we want to. We forget that sometimes. 
But today we remembered. And what a lovely thing it was to hug each other after we'd jumped into the water, skin to skin. We may look like old people but we don't always have to act like old people. Unless you redefine what old people act like and I think that we should ponder that. 

Here's a note that I found which Owen wrote yesterday.

Shall I translate?
It says, "Mermer and Bop are rich."

The boy is a genius. 

Love...Ms. Moon

If It's All Chemicals, I'd Like The Ones I Have Today, Thank You

I am at my mother's house. She has recently died. The place is a huge mess. Jessie has just given birth and needs me. One of my younger brothers shows up and he somehow got out of a hospital and has an infection on his back and needs to return to the hospital, although I think to myself that I could probably heal him with Golden Seal poultices. He is at once man and boy. There are other children there who need tending. And feeding. And I am trying to find important documents about my mother's death. And there is SO much mess. (In real life, my mother was very tidy.) I can't find my phone. I keep mistaking a remote for the land line phone. I need my husband. He does show up and I say, "LOOK! This is just like all of those dreams I've been having!"
Everyone needs to go to bed. The beds need sheets on them. Everything is filthy and the washing machine doesn't work. I need to get to Jessie. 

I wake up from this mess when Maurice meows at a door which has somehow gotten shut in the night. She is done with her hunting and wants in to eat and snuggle.

Thank god. Thank god. Thank Maurice. For once, the crazy dream has simply dissolved into a fairly humorous memory instead of hanging about in my head and trying to drag me back into that nightmare place.

I don't think you need a degree in psychology to figure out these dreams.

Meanwhile, it is a beautiful day in Lloyd. My mind is fairly peaceful. I am going to do laundry and take trash to the trash place and tend chickens. Seventeen chickens is a lot of chickens for one old lady. And the conundrum now is that the three Barred Plymouth Rocks are big enough to go out of the coop but their coop mates are not. They are all, as Mr. Moon says, "cat-sized," meaning not that they are the size of cats but they are of a size which cats could easily snatch.

It's more complicated than it sounds.

Jessie is leaving for Asheville on Thursday. We are trying to get everything in before she goes. We are meeting at Persis for lunch, then going to Costco.

My life feels full and over-full and good.

I am so very grateful for it all. And for the fact that my washing machine does, in fact, work. And for the fact that I'll get to snuggle and kiss and hold this boy for two more days before he takes off with his parents for the summer.

Oh hell. I better start making reservations for a place to stay in Asheville now.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, May 30, 2016

Kissing Babies For Non-Political Purposes On Memorial Day

"Memorial Day should be a day for putting flowers on graves and planting trees. Also, for destroying the weapons of death that endanger us more than they protect us, that waste our resources and threaten our children and grandchildren." Howard Zinn

This morning I struggled to write a post about Memorial Day and as happens sometimes, things just got murkier and murkier and the points I was trying to make got lost in the dusky haze of my words and I finally just deleted the whole damn thing. And then I read that quote on Facebook and I realized that that was exactly what I wanted to say. 

So. There. That. Memorial Day. 

I did not plant a tree today but I did have fun with some of my kids and their kids. Lily and Jessie came over with the babies and boys and in the first twenty minutes they were here, Owen and Gibson and I had gone out to see the young chickens, feed them bread, gathered eggs, come in and CRACKED eggs to cook which resulted in an eggsplosion (haha! right?) which THEN resulted in floor cleaning and Gibson taking a shower and finally, the cooking and eating of eggs. 
And that was just part of it. 

But soon, things had calmed down enough to look like this.

It was so much fun. We discussed many things such as my idea that if I deep-cleaned this entire house (except for the upstairs- do you think I'm stupid?) one room per day at a time, I could finish the whole house in about two weeks. That would include porches. Which, by the way, I did sweep today. Okay, I swept three of them. The kitchen porch could use my attention for about an hour and it's only about five feet by three feet. 
You could make a blanket with all the spider webs by my kitchen door. I am not kidding you.
Lily listened to my idea and said, "You couldn't deep-clean this room in a day."
"Why not?" I asked her. 
"You'd have to take all of these books and things off the shelves and dust each one and then clean the shelves. And that's before you cleaned the floor and mopped it."
I insisted that I could do all of that in one day. I mean, I have hundreds of books, not thousands. 
This lead to me asking them if they were ever going to get all of their stuff out of the library. Like old yearbooks and college textbooks and notes and music stuff. 
"But that's what a library's for!" said Ms. Jessie Moon Weatherford who still has an entire room upstairs filled with stuff. 
No deep cleaning was done today. I assure you of that. 

Somehow we moved from the library to the hallway. Perhaps the chaos of the clutter got to us. We sat on the floor and played with babies all afternoon.

We laughed so much. It was ridiculous. August and Magnolia were obviously entertained as well. We discussed many things including PMS and how do we know if the real us is the one with the PMS attitude or the non-PMS attitude? and of course, I only spoke on the topic from memory, not present-day reality but listen- you never forget that shit. 
And I always think about St. Roseanne Barr's quote about PMS which was, "Women complain about PMS but I think of it as the only time of the month when I can be myself."
I remember wondering at one point, as I was going through menopause, whether I would be left in a state of eternal and constant PMS or the other fairly loving, far-more-contented side of the hormonal fence. 
I still don't really know. All I know is that now I can't blame my crazy on being premenstrual anymore. I can't tell my husband that I'm so sorry for whatever the fuck I just said and blame it on the fact that I'm just about to start my period. 
Let me just say it's a good thing I'm a fairly decent cook. 

While we were in the hallway, Owen came in and announced that he was giving foot massages for fifty cents. 
Jessie and I immediately signed up. Here's a picture I stole from Jessie, also off of Facebook.

Those are her feet and legs. She and I both still have our beach-blue toenails. 
Owen's massage was totally worth fifty cents and I tipped him an extra quarter. 

August is crawling all over the place and pulling up and trying to bite electrical cords. 
i.e. You can't take your eyes off of him for a second. 
Maggie is just about to sit up by herself and tried a crawling maneuver which freaked her out a little bit and made her cry but we were very proud of her. That girl loves to be sung to, even by old Mer with her croaky old voice. She smiles and laughs and if she is laughing at me and my silly songs, that is fine with me and I kiss her neck and make her laugh even more and my life is complete.

Mr. Moon came and packed and got his snack bag and kissed and hugged and received kisses and hugs and hit the road to Orlando. I made popcorn for him and popcorn for us and Jason called to say that he'd gotten home from work and was trying to locate his family because he thought maybe they'd been raptured. 

No one was raptured. We were all just here, enraptured, perhaps, and giggling like middle-schoolers.

Lily and Jessie packed up the babies and the boys while Gibson pleaded to have a tea-party with me. I promised him a tea party for sure next visit and I walked out and kissed every one of them before they left and then came in and tidied up.  

So that was my Memorial Day. I didn't decorate a grave, I didn't plant a tree, but I sure did love on some babies. I didn't destroy any weapons of death but I did have a conversation with Owen about how sometimes things are so beautiful that they make you cry.
He knew what I was talking about.

Time to put the chickens to bed.

Love and peace...Ms. Moon

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Home, Musing

Well, as you can see we are home in Lloyd now and it was a very nice weekend away and as always, I am happy to be here although after being in the extremely tidy and uncluttered old house where we stayed, I am in despair at the disarray and clutter and dirt in my own house.
So of course I worked outside where the dirt and poop is supposed to be and in fact I dealt with dirt and poop to the betterment of my garden and also to the chickens and goats next door who received a nice bunch of wormy kale which I have finally and at last, pulled entirely.
I spread out composted chicken shit and pulled a few weeds and picked some green beans and fertilized the tomatoes and peppers and squash and as I did all of these things, I thought about the couple we met this morning on the front porch of the guest house where we were all staying.
It's always so odd to me- this artificial throwing-together of people in places where they are all taking accommodation and which is why I avoid B&B's. I am not worth talking to before I've had my coffee and trying to make small talk with strangers in such situations is not relaxing to me in the least but this was a little different in that we were all on the porch and they had their coffee pot from up in their room and we had our coffee pot from the kitchen and we were outside, as it were, and not trapped in some overdone dining room with the smell of scrambled eggs and muffins assaulting us before I was ready.
I do like to meet new people. I truly do. It's interesting. For someone who is as agoraphobic as I am, it's a little strange that nothing makes me more curious than contemplating the lives of others. And I had done so with this couple.
We had met briefly when I let them in when they arrived on Saturday and had crossed paths but that was all. This morning we actually spoke though. He is obviously older than she is and it turns out that she's from Canada and he is from the U.S.,  somewhere in the south and they live in Atlanta now. When we first began talking, I decided that he was a bit of a blow-hard and that she was far more intelligent than I had assumed. And far more intelligent than he, for that matter, but she seemed to be somewhat reserved, a little nervous, but friendly all the same.
We discussed this and that- mostly his work and Apalachicola and the little calico cat who lives on the porch and then we drifted into politics and he was the one who brought up Trump and we all agreed that he's a scary son-of-a-bitch but the man we were talking to has accepted that he might be an alright president because he'll just hire people who are really good at things to actually run the country. 
I said something like, "I doubt it. He's not even a good business man. How many times has he gone bankrupt?"
And the woman said, "Ten that I know of."
"Well, anything's better than that president we have now," said the guy and I felt Mr. Moon tense up because he KNOWS I not only adore our president with all of my heart but that I am also not loathe to speak my mind.
I took a deep breath and decided not to get into the bloodshed portion of such a beautiful morning so quickly and then the other woman said, "I love Bernie!" and I said, "Oh! I do too!" and we were off on that tangent and I did say, "I am extremely liberal," and I said it in such a way that I assumed Mr. Talk-Talk knew exactly what I meant and after that we mostly just discussed where to get breakfast and then we all wished each other well and went off on our separate ways.

So I've been thinking about this all day long, not in any sort of very negative way, but just wondering how in the world a woman like that can be with a man like that.
She told me that she grew up on the coast and loved pulling in mussels and clams and fish and that she loves the water so much, the ocean, the sea. Her eyes lit up as she told me about it and I saw the little child in her, living in a tiny town in Nova Scotia and I told her about how I grew up in a tiny fishing village too and I felt a sort of bond with her.
I hope she is okay. I hope that the man she's with treats her well and with respect. One never knows. He mentioned children from a former marriage and they mentioned a dog they have and it is easy to imagine their life together- she a sort of trophy girlfriend, he the Talk-Talk Man who seemed to be proud of the fact that he collects speeding tickets the way way some people collect art. She's so far away from home. I wonder what she sees in him? She was a pretty woman, but so very thin, and had a nervous habit of pulling at her very blonde hair and has had those lip injections that made her look as if it must be difficult to eat, and thus I assume that she may have issues with self-esteem.
Who knows? Not me. I am not a psychologist but human behavior does interest me to no end and I am endlessly curious about the subject.
As Yoko Ono said, "Everyone has a story to tell."
And it's true. And almost all of them are fascinating.

So here I am home in my life and going about the things I go about here- chickens and garden and yard and catching up with children but I tell you something- I am going to be thinking about that woman for quite some time.

Last night before we went to sleep, as the itching in my feet finally calmed, I went down the hallway to pee and found her, squatting on her heels before the bookshelf where there were books and movies for guests to borrow. I was in my old-lady white cotton nightgown and she was in one of her tiny clingy dresses and we exchanged a few words about how much we loved this old house, how comfortable it was, and wished each other a good-night.
That image is going to stay with me. Her vulnerability somehow in the hallway as she crouched like a child. I felt, for once, no desire to be her age again, to be young again, but grateful with my sturdy older self, my graying hair flying loose, my good husband waiting for me in the bed after he'd gone out to buy me Benadryl and cookies. Simply glad to be who I was, where I was, both in space and in time.

And I still do. And I wish her well.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, May 28, 2016


My beloved, my husband, my man, my hero went out into the dark, mean streets of Apalachicola where everything closes at 10:00 pm except the bars and found me some Benadryl. 
And NutterButters. 
He saved my life. Once again. 

My Kingdom For A Benadryl!

I love this place where we're staying. It's a beautiful old home which has been restored but not to the point of defunkification (a sin in my book) and it smells of old wood and the coffee we brew. Although it's a guesthouse, it is not like one of those overly decorated B&B's which look, as my dear Colin used to say, as if "a doily factory had exploded" in it. 
And there is not one bowl of potpourri anywhere in it. The furniture is a mix of old and vintage and nothing makes you feel as if a stern headmistress is going to pop out and remind you to put a coaster under that drink. 
Comfortable and lovely. Fairly simple and elegant. 
There are a few things about it though which are a little funny. One being that since the walls have no plaster or sheetrock every sound travels everywhere. Last night we had the whole place to ourselves which made us feel like naughty children in a house in which the parents have gone away, but today a couple came in who had rented the upstairs. 
Ah well. We are trying to keep our steps and voices low. 
Still- it is a bit disconcerting as well as funny if you look at it the right way. 
Another thing is that our room does not have a bathroom in it and we must go down the hall a few yards to use our own very private bathroom and so we must be decently clad when we make that small journey. 
This is not a problem but we have been advised to keep the bathroom door locked at all times (and I would hate it if someone were to steal my travel-sized bottle of Dr. Bronner's lavender soap) but this means we must remember to take the key which is not really a problem either as we recieved two sets of keys on our arrival which included keys to the front door, back doors, our room and the bathroom. PLUS there is a bathroom key hanging beside the door in our room on a chain AND this note. 

Which is all wonderful but the really amusing thing about all of this is that when you check in, there is no one to greet you, simply a big-ass white envelope with your name on it WITH ALL OF THE KEYS INSIDE in the mailbox right outside the front door. 
Small towns.  

So it's been a nice day in all regards and I went shopping while Mr. Moon worked on the lot, sweating in the heat as he toiled. I did not feel guilty at all and bought two linen summer dresses, one which I'd had my eye on for about a year and which finally went on sale. It still cost way too much but I bought it anyway. 
When I'd done all of the shopping I could do without going into a complete diassociative state, I came back to the guesthouse and read. 
When Mr. Moon returned we went and had lunch and talked with some people from Chicago who have recently bought a house nearby here in what I can only describe as scrub-swamp. I wish them well. 
We sat at the bar where the oysters were being shucked and Mr. Moon was given a huge oyster to slurp from the shell which he did with great enjoyment and the oyster had a tiny pearl in it which I wrapped up and will take home to put in a locket. The man from Chicago was also given an oyster and although I could tell he would have just as soon have swallowed a raw frog, he had no choice but to also slurp the living salty goodness in a manful way. Jokes about Nature's Viagra abounded. 
Welcome to Florida!

And so it goes. We've been sitting on the porch here and wouldn't you know that a damn yellow fly attacked my feet and ankles? I killed that motherfucker. Or at least one of them. I don't even have a Benadryl. 

Oh, Florida. I love you so much, even with your vipers, your horrid insects, your cockroaches the size of chihuahuas, your hellish heat, your sand spurs and cactus, your corrupt government, your condos and over-development. 

We still have this. 

Jesus- how can anyone write this much blah-blah on an iPhone? 

No idea. 

Love...Ms. Moon

What This Town Needs

Is a new breakfast place. Or, to be more specific- another one. Or two. Or five. 

We're waiting on our breakfast in the coolest place in town as far as I'm concerned- Cafe con Leche. 
Here's a piece of art on the wall here. 

Article from Garden and Gun magazine:

And just like that, our own arepas show up. 

Love...Ms. Moon, reporting in from Apalachicola, FL

Friday, May 27, 2016

So Here We Are

Staying in a beautiful old house. 
Playing cards on a lovely porch. 

With a cat. 

I feel right at home. 
Of course instead of chickens I hear osprey.  

Change is good. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Why Is It So Hard To Leave?

I just wrote our friend who is house-sitting about five pages of instructions, 90% of which is chicken-related. The woman has a PhD and I'm sure she'll do fine and the bottom line is, if we did nothing, the chickens would probably live but they are my babies, as you know.

Anyway, we are slowly making our way towards a departure. Slowly being the operative word.

Here are two pictures I stole from FB.

Owen on his first day of kindergarten and today, his last day of kindergarten.
My handsome little man! His parents were told at the last parent teacher meeting that he is a "dream student."

Of course.

All right. I better go pack something.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Let There Be Light

Oh, Japanica! never fails to impress. We came in, a party of seven with two babies and they took care of us royally. Not only did Owen get early release today but so did Jason! His manager had messed up the schedule and so he got sent home and Mr. Moon came to lunch too. August had his first experience (I think) with sticky rice and he got it all over himself and loved it. That child is eating everything. He has a top tooth in now, sharp as a little razor, and munches away happily on whatever his mama will give him. He still loves nursing, of course, but is at that stage where if anything else is going on he wants to pop off the breast constantly to see what everyone else is doing. He is such a fine little man, so thoughtful. I know I keep saying this, but he is.
He just is.
I said the other day that he would be starting to pull up soon and Jessie corrected me- he already is and had started when we were at the beach. Why did I not notice this? I don't know.
But here he is in the Goodwill bookstore which we visited after lunch because that is what we always do.

Isn't he a love?
Oh yes, he is.
Ritual is so important to children. Humans must crave it. After lunch Owen and Gibson begged me to go sit on the comfy couch with them and so I did and they snuggled up to me when I said, "Give your old Mer a cuddle. She needs it."
Owen didn't cuddle for long but it was a good cuddle. Gibson, however, pretended to be asleep on my old bosom and whispered, "Look at me, Mer," so that I would notice his closed eyes.
"Oh, are you asleep?" I asked. He nodded, eyes still shut tightly. They popped right open though when Owen announced it was time to get the lollipops.
It was mighty sweet while it lasted.
I did not get a picture of Magnolia today which is too bad because she was wearing her lady-bug outfit with matching red hair flower. As you can imagine, she was precious.
And I'll have to start getting more pictures of Owen. He is growing so fast. We all agreed that he is going through a growth spurt. Lily says he's eating so much. He had TWO bowls of miso soup today and TWO bowls of salad with ginger dressing and all of his sushi.

So here is what Gibson did at the bookstore.

He found a giant pink unicorn and wrestled it to the ground and rode it like a rodeo cowboy. August watched intently, taking notes in the art of unicorn riding. 
I got Owen a book on mythical monsters and a video and Gibson a Toy Story book and a video. This has become our ritual too- Mer buys each boy a book and a video. 
Alas, we found no treasures today like the sterling silver teething bell we found a few months ago.
But it was still fun as it always is. I love that place. 

I went by Publix on my way home and I felt like I might die of exhaustion as I got out of my car and crossed the hot parking lot to the store but when I got inside, there were two of my favorite ladies, employees whom I have met through Lily. The sweetest women. We chatted a little bit while there was a lull in customers. One of the women has recently gone through major surgery and chemo for cancer and she reports that she is now feeling better than she did before she got sick. 
What cheering news! 
I got good hugs from both ladies before I left and between all of that and the love I got from my family today, I feel so much better. Tired, but better. 

And tonight Mr. Moon and I are having frozen pizza for supper if you can believe it. I just can't imagine cooking. We had our vegetables at Japanica! and our fruit this morning in our smoothie. Life will go on. And tomorrow we will go to Apalachicola and we have a sweet friend who is coming out to house-sit and chicken-sit and cat-sit. I texted her today to ask her if there was anything I could get her at the store to have here that would please her. 
She said maybe some Dr. Pepper and so there is plenty of that. 
I am so looking forward to going away. Jessie asked me today what we were going to be doing in Apalachicola.
"None of your business!" I said. We tittered like Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble. She and I are like fifth-grade boys when it comes to such matters. We embarrass everyone around us at times. And this, too, is one of the joys of having grown children.
We have our boundaries, as all children and parents should, but we can dance around those boundaries with great hilarity.

And last but not least- Mr. Moon has gotten Tearful and Mrs. Tearful's camper van which he bought, running nicely and it is now parked in Lily and Jason's yard and tomorrow night Jason and the boys are going to camp in it. A good way to begin camping wherein you can run into the house if you need to poop. The boys are beyond excited. They are going to sleep in the loft area! Their daddy is going to sleep in the bed beneath them! 
I love this. It makes me so happy. 

Do you know what? 24 hours ago I could not even begin to imagine anything ever making me the slightest bit happy again. 
And here we are. 
I still feel a bit dazed and hives have broken out on my arms (a not-unusual reaction after I have what I suppose I could call a depression/anxiety attack) but I can think of things which make me happy. 

Mick is trying to round up the sister-wives to go to bed now. The frogs are starting to croak. The evening birds are singing themselves to sleep. Guess I'll go attend to the onerous task of preheating the oven. 

Love...Ms. Moon

That Dam Burst

Last night I cried and cried and although that is so not fair to my husband, sometimes it must be done and today I feel subdued but better. I just cleaned out my baking pans cabinet and tidied it up. It had gotten to that point where if you pulled out a cookie sheet, the whole mess fell at or on your feet and why are the tops of feet so very, very sensitive?
I don't know but that won't be happening this week at least. Just as with earbud wires and necklaces, there are specific demons which fuck that shit up while you're not looking. This is all somehow related to the parallel universe which lurks in purses (and sometimes refrigerators) where items disappear and then reappear, sometimes months later.
I also hemmed that dress I pinned yesterday and that turned out to be a quick and easy thing.

I will be meeting up with Jessie and August and Lily and Gibson and Maggie and Owen at Japanica later on. Perhaps Mr. Moon, as well. Owen has early release day today and tomorrow and so we can go to his favorite restaurant. After tomorrow, he will be done with kindergarten and will be moving on to first grade. And Gibson will be in Pre-K next year and I can't wait to see how that goes.

I am not walking today. Walking seems too violent, too hot, too hard.
I feel as if last night's crying has left me with the nervous system of a newborn. I think it would be nice if someone swaddled me tightly and rocked me to sleep. Don't we all wish for that sometimes? I am listening to Amy Tan's The Bonesetter's Daughter, and as in all of her books that I have read, there is a complicated relationship between mother and daughter. It may not be the best thing I could be listening to right now. The mother, throughout her daughter's life tells her, "Maybe I die soon," which is her method of demanding behavior she deems suitable. And is probably a symptom of deep depression.
I am quite aware of this method of mothering, this symptom of depression. It does not make for sane children. The last time I spoke to my mother she told me once again that she just wanted to die.
And then she did.

Mr. Moon and I are going to Apalachicola this weekend for two nights. I am glad of that. We need some time alone. You would think that by our age and in our stage of life and marriage that it is not as necessary for a couple to go away together but, at least in our case, it is important. It is good to let the everyday things go by the wayside for a little while. To recreate that time when all you needed was each other. To remember why and where this love came to be which has led to so much life.
And more love.

I feel emptied, I feel quiet, I feel tender and still and vulnerable.
That's okay. That's good.
The calm after the storm.
And soon time to kiss my babies.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Looking Up As Well As Inward

I walked the magical number of seventy minutes this morning or something like that and I took that picture to send to a friend as I walked and I told her that I know how lucky I am to have roads like this on which to walk.
I did not take nor send a picture of a car-flattened rattlesnake on the same road. I wonder if it is the one I saw last year, sunning in a spot not far from where I saw the dead one. It made me sad to see the dead snake. It had meant no harm to any humans, I am sure.

As happens when the depression settles in, my body aches and is tired. Chemicals. All chemicals. I didn't get anything done today. I took trash, I picked beans. I took a nap. I do have a dress hem pinned to sew. The thought of getting out the sewing machine is too daunting. Or the hand stitching of so long a span.

I have eggplant cut and salted and supposedly draining. Does that do anything? I don't fucking know. I am going to make a sort of Parmesan with it. Eggplant Parmesan. I wish I had mozzarella cheese but I do not. So what? Dip those slices in milk and egg, then bread crumbs, bake them until crispy, make a sauce, grate what cheese I have, layer it all in a dish. This I can do, no matter what state my mind is in. My hands know how to do it.

I told my friend today that I KNOW I need to see about changing up my medication but then I think about how the last time I went in to my NP I had that horrible anxiety attack afterward, so scary that I had to park my car and call my husband and what sort of damn illness is it that makes getting help the very source of anxiety?

You know what? Sometimes I feel like I'm just a baby, a weakling, an avoider of work and of commitment, and sometimes I think that I am as strong as anyone on this earth as are all of us who suffer from the invisible illnesses which we call mental and who yet get out of bed and go about the business of life, albeit in a small and often very restrained way which so often seems to us meaningless and less than productive. And then I doubt that with all of my heart and tell myself to "Snap out of it!" goddam it.

And these are the days I look to the trees and these are the days when pictures like this make me feel as if, okay, I am not out in the world doing and providing and creating and making-better but because of me there is this.

The sweetest little girl in the world who loves to hold her mama's face for minutes and minutes at a time and who, when she falls asleep, wants to be holding onto a hand with her own perfect little one.

Yeah. That's something.
Something beautiful.
This is truth.

Love...Ms. Moon

And So It Goes

Last night for a few moments, even...dare I say...an hour?
I felt cheerful. I felt fucking cheerful.

I laid in bed cuddled up to Jack and thought about adventures Owen and I could take this summer and how I really might hire a housecleaner to help me with the cleaning and the plans that Mr. Moon and I were making to get away this weekend. And it all seemed so doable. So...just...nice.

I woke up this morning and it was all gone. Every bit of it seems impossible.

This is the life of depression and anxiety.

Time to take a walk.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Very Good Day

Could May be more beautiful? I think not.

Oh, we took over El Patron like it was ours. We love that place. When we got there, Hank had told them we were coming and there was a table all set up with a basket of chips for every two people and dishes of salsa for everyone. And there was our May, looking like a birthday queen, so pretty, so happy, with her sweet new husband. There was so much baby-squishing and some of us had margaritas and some of us did not but we all delicious foods and there was cake and there were presents and our server was wonderful and we gave her a big piece of cake and a nice tip. El Patron has, along with the Persis Grill, become our go-to spot. It's about two blocks from Hank's house so he goes there quite frequently and we love the outdoor patio. And they have food that when I eat it, I am reminded of Mexico and so throw that little detail in and you have heaven.

August chillin' on Uncle Hank.

Look how long that boy is getting. 

He got sweaty and his mama wisely took his clothes off down to the diaper and he looked like a baby Tarzan. Here he is, gouging his Boppy's eyes out. Vergil got to come too. He was late due to work but we had so much food that he didn't even have to order anything. We just kept passing him food we couldn't possibly eat.

On the kid's menu they have a new offering- fried cheese sticks with french fries. 
I know. Right?
But it's now Gibson's favorite and he ordered "a hundred cheese sticks." He got about eight and ate about two. I brought the rest home and cut them up for my chickens who shared them with the cats. It's all good. 

I wish I had a picture of the cake but I do not. It was good. Trust me. Gibson helped me to decorate it and we lit the candles and sang Happy Birthday and Gibson helped May blow them out and then May got to open her presents. Silly things and sweet things. 

And here we are, or at least, some of us. Doesn't Gibson look happy? 

May and Michael.

The newly weds. Still newly wed. 

And so it was a lovely lunch and then this evening I went to Owen's last T-ball game for the season and while Owen played ball (quite well, I might add), I got to hold Maggie and she fell asleep, holding my hand. Did I tell you that she has a new tooth? 

There is no way that thirty-eight years ago when I gave birth to May I could have imagined such a day in the future. 
No way. 
And yet, here we are. 

I got my Mother's Day present from Lily and Jessie today.

Two more silver charms of my newest grand babies. 
I remember when I was in Cozumel last time and was wearing this necklace with the charms of Owen and Gibson on it and a different Virgin of Guadalupe. We were at Playa Corona where we have been visiting for twenty-eight years and Rogillio, the owner, looked at the necklace and said, "Esta religioso."
"Si," I told him. "Verdad."
"Keep on living, Senora," he told me. 

So far, so good, Rogillio. 

Love...Ms. Moon

My Heart Is Filled With Her Today

Today is May's birthday and here's a picture I stole off Lily's Facebook.

My girl, my baby, my doppelganger, my darling, my precious and beloved May.

In 2008 I wrote down the story of her birth and you can go back and read that here if you want. 

One of the four best days of my life. 

One of the four best things I've ever done in my life. 

Happy birthday, my love. Thank you for being my smart, precious, beautiful, amazing May. 

Always...Your Mama

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hen? Rooster? Sixty minutes? Seventy? Who Knows? Not Me

When I went to the therapist who made me feel incredibly dowdy she recommended exercise for my anxiety. I told her that I was walking about an hour a day and she said that it appeared that for anxiety and women, the magic number of moments to exercise daily was something like 70 minutes. I could be wrong about that number.
I tried it for a few days. It seemed ridiculous.
If 60 minutes (plus the yoga I was doing then) didn't do the trick, why would 70?
Ah, lah.
The things we try.
But I do very much believe in exercise and more than that, perhaps, I believe in being outside for a part of the day and if one can spend that time in woods and fields, all the better. Sometimes I despair that it helps me at all and then I wonder if I would be so much worse if I did not do this.
Can't hurt, can it?

I went to the library today to see why my Overdrive account was blocked and to return some things and renew some things and check out some things and as always, I did not mind being in the library at all. The young woman at the tech desk was absolutely lovely and helpful. I remembered that Owen's school had artwork exhibited in the children's section and so I found his piece.

I really wanted to grab someone and show it to them and say, "My grandson did this!" but I didn't and honestly, it looked very much like all of the other kindergarten classes' Hungry Caterpillars although Owen had put food in there for the caterpillar to eat, which was a very nice touch, I think. And thoughtful. And he is a very thoughtful boy. 

And that was about the high point of my day. 

Here are two of the Barred Plymouth Rock teens. 

Aren't they pretty? I am thinking that the one on the right might be Luke Skywalker. His (?) legs are thicker than the legs of the one on the left (Mona Lisa?) and look at the different shapes of the heads. Mona's is rounder, Luke's is more elongated. 
And I could be completely wrong about all of this and seriously, I don't know shit. 
I am quite certain, however, that they both look like tiny dinosaurs. 

Tomorrow is my darling May's birthday and so this time 38 years ago I had been in labor for approximately forever and the midwives and a few friends were gathering in my little trailer about ten miles down the road from where I am living now. I will never forget that. I must have walked fifty miles that day, trying to get my baby to come on. I just took her cake out of the oven a few minutes ago. This year she actually wants a cake, rather than a pie and she knew exactly the one she wanted and I pulled out my old, yellowing recipe, cut from a newspaper a long time ago. It's a cocoa cake and has a glaze. It is deadly good as it has coffee as well as chocolate in it. We are all meeting for lunch tomorrow and I am so looking forward to that and giving her her silly little fun presents. 

And so it goes. We keep on going, we keep on living, we keep on walking whether to get the baby to come or to keep the life going as best we can. We notice the butterflies feeding and we mix the chocolate and butter and sugar and flour and eggs and vanilla, and we change the sheets and we remember to buy detergent and we read the books and we think about things or try not to think about things. We have dreams and we wake up in wonder and we drink our coffee and no matter the internal weather, we do what we do and there you go and here we are and it's always a mystery somehow, to some of us at least, and I suppose that as long as there is mystery, there is reason to keep on with it all.
The mystery and clean sheets. And cake. 
Something like that.

Love...Ms. Moon

A Chicken In Every Pot

View outside my kitchen door this morning. Mick crowing his head off for me to come and give them treats.

I took them some tortilla chips. 

Everyone is the boss of me. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

August, Pancakes. Etc.

August ate Mermer pancakes today for the first time. Sweet potato, banana, oat bran. And he loved them. I bet he ate at least one whole pancake, maybe another. He would have eaten more but his mama said, "That's enough, son." He's still only got two teeth but he manages quite well with those two teeth. His first top teeth are right there. You can see them. They just haven't come through yet. They will soon.

I had thought that Vergil would be coming too, and possibly Lily and her children but it ended up just being Jessie and August and that was fine too. We had a good time playing with the boy and picking beans and showing August the chickens. He is so studiously observant about things. You can just watch him thinking about things, trying to figure them out. And then of course, because he's a baby, he tries to get them in his mouth.

Or kiss them. He kissed that baby doll like it was his job. 
He's crawling all over the place and I'm sure he's going to start pulling up soon. It's so funny how even after raising four and observing Owen and Gibson and now Magnolia, too, I am still amazed watching babies change and grow, doing the things that all babies are supposed to do. 
Geniuses, every one!
It is good to retain a sense of amazement, whether it concerns babies or chickens or the okra coming up in the garden. 

I've had some weird anxiety today and I don't know why. Does one ever know why? Oh, sure, if you have an event coming up that you dread but I don't. It felt like that, though. My stomach felt as if I was about to go onstage all afternoon. 

Anyway, it's coming to evening time again and I'm going to make some stuffed peppers with the incredible risotto I made last night. I'm not kidding you. That stuff is GOOD. I like the magic of it, the stirring in of one ladle of broth or a splash of wine at a time until all of that is absorbed and then adding more, watching the rice become creamy and soft. 

Last night I actually got the teenager chickens to go up the little walkway to their roost place by themselves by using grapes as an incentive. I could not have been prouder of myself had I invented the wheel. The little chicks made their own way back into their coop by themselves and I was proud of them, too. We shall see what happens tonight. I have more grapes if that's what it takes. 

My husband is home and I am so glad to have him here. I think the cats are too. Jack, especially, has become his special buddy. 

Mick is calling the girls in and the sun is going down and once again, I need to get in the kitchen. 
It's been a good weekend, despite yellow fly bites and anxiety. A bit lazy, a lot restful, and time spent with my August and his beautiful mama. 

Peace be unto us all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Can We Go For 6,400?

Six thousand, three hundred and ninety nine.
That's the number of posts I have posted including this one and it is my ninth blogoversary.

Where is the cake and the magic candle?


Sunday morning in Lloyd and all is well. Jessie and Vergil are bringing August out for pancakes and I'm not sure if Lily and the boys and Magnolia are coming. Lily had to work last night and is probably still exhausted.

I wonder if I've made as many pancakes in my life as I have written blog posts?

Someone could do the math but not me.

Anyway, just marking the occasion but I need to get busy in the kitchen.

Thanks, y'all. If it wasn't for you I'd just be shooting these things off into the universe for no reason whatsoever.
Maybe blogging is my form of prayer. Would that make all of you god?
Sort of. For sure.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, May 21, 2016

When You Have One Plan And The Universe Has Another. (Not That I Believe Any Of That)

I knew I should not have gone out into the world. I knew it! But I figured it was safe to walk down to the Post Office. Right? That's like one block away if we had blocks in Lloyd, which we do not.
But I wanted to check the mail and also, my across-the-street neighbor texted me that he had bought too much Romaine lettuce and did I want some and I texted back that sure, I did, and that I'd stop on my way back from my stroll to the Post Office.
When I got to the corner I saw that a church was selling mullet dinners and I asked them how much and they said seven dollars and I said I'd be back and then went to check my mail and then by Paul's and we stood and chatted in his yard for a bit (mostly about how much our hips hurt and how aging just purely sucks because we are aging) and I guess I didn't realize it but I must have been bitten three times by a yellow fly because by the time I came home, got my money for the mullet dinner and went back and was waiting on my mullet to fry, I had three places on my own personal body that were itching like motherfucking hell and nothing itches like a yellow fly bite.
I had a pleasant time talking with the young people who were at the mullet dinner set-up while the older lady did the actual mullet-frying about astrology, of all things, plus a few other things and by the time I got home with my styrofoam take-out container, I knew it was time to hit the Benadryl. Which I did.
Both topical and a pill.
The mullet dinner was, I have to say, disappointing.

First off- no cole slaw. Secondly- frozen french fries instead of cheese grits?
What kind of church was that? I did ask what church it was and they told me and I asked, "Where is that?" and that lady said, "Down the road," which did not clear up a damn thing in that there are approximately twenty-eight churches down the road from here. I acted like I knew what she meant though.
Anyway, not only was there no slaw and no cheese grits (or grits of any kind), the mullet was not the best mullet I ever ate. I am thinking it was caught yesterday or the day before and that would be fine for most fish but if you know anything about mullet, you will know that unless it goes from water to plate within a short few hours, it isn't very good whereas if it is cooked and served a few hours after it's caught, it is the most divine white meat on the planet.

This mullet was not divine. And what can you say about frozen french fries? Oh well, I donated my seven bucks to the cause of summer activities for a church and therefore, I did my job. Also, my chickens got some nice mullet and white bread and french fries. Which they loved.

BUT, that is not what I came here to talk about. I came here to talk about my yellow fly bites. I am highly, highly reactive to those motherfuckers. This is what the insect looks like.

(Picture stollen from the internet because hell, no, I am not letting one of these horrors stay on me long enough to take a photo.)

Bigger than a mosquito and smaller than a horsefly. And they can draw blood when they bite. 

Even though I had taken the Benadryl and used the cream on my bites, they became an itchy hell. Plus, swollen up. Here's a picture I took and sent to Jessie (because you have to do this- send pictures to someone of your swollen yellow fly bites, right?) of my hand. 

My feet weren't quite as bad but just as itchy. I contemplated taking another Benadryl when I started feeling the sleepy/slightly stoned effects of it and the bites were still driving me crazy but decided against that because this is a process and it just has to work itself out. 
So I cleaned out the hen house and yes, the baby chicks had flown the coop (so to speak) and the teenager chickens were now in there, eating all the baby chicks' food. 
And then I decided to take a nap (sleepy and slightly stoned as I was) and let time have its way with me and so I did and my feet bites look a lot better and are not itching and my hand bite isn't itching but it looks like when you take one of those rubber doctor gloves and either blow it up or fill it with water and it's so funny like a cartoon hand which is somewhat appalling when it's attached to your wrist but it's not really bothering me and I feel certain I'll live. 

So here's two more pictures which I took when I was out picking peas for the possible risotto I might make tonight if I ever get hungry again. 

Can you see the little anole? And bonus points for spotting Maurice.

It's really time to pull those peas because they are done and have aphids all over them but the ladybugs are so happy eating the aphids and quite possibly the anoles are so happy eating the ladybugs that I am loathe to do so. But I will soon and the chickens will love them because pea vines are delicious. I'll probably use some myself in a salad. When, you know, Mr. Moon comes home and I actually make a salad. I have plenty of Romaine. 

So it's been a far more exciting day than I had anticipated. I had never anticipated discussing astrology with members of the Elizabeth AME church nor had I anticipated being bitten by those hateful bugs. I am in a cheerful mood, perhaps despite and because, both, and also, I got to talk to May on the phone and we make each other laugh and cackle like two witches, mother witch and daughter witch, and my fat little glove hand isn't bothering me much at all. And then there was the nap and if there's anything more delightful than taking a nap on a Saturday afternoon and waking up and realizing that no matter what time it is, all is well and it doesn't matter, I don't know what it is. My baby chicks got to explore some of the bigger world and I know, at least, which one I want to name Georgiebelle.
And hey! I got a 20% off coupon in the mail today for Bed, Bath, and Beyond! Can you believe that? How lucky can a person get????

I think I WILL make risotto. Just for the pure pleasure of it. With fresh peas. 

All Love...Ms. Moon

I Am Being Here Now Today

I feel very, very quiet today. As if I need to slip through the air as gently as possible. I not only do not care to control anything in this universe, I don't even want to disturb it although of course by my very breath and movement, I do.

I am leaving the lid up on the baby coop today to see if they want to take a little fly-out. They are almost as big now as the banty chicks. They are starting to be distinguishable in their coloration and markings. I suppose it is time to figure out which one is Rosabelle, which one Georgiebelle, and which one Lucy. I would take them out of the little coop myself but as I said- I do not want to disturb that which is today. I doubt they'll leave it on their own but if they want to, they can.

I truly must clean out the hen house and I suppose that's a disturbance but one that will mostly be ignored by the gods of this air, this light, this green life and animals which surrounds me.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tell Me, Baby. Tell Me The Truth

So this quiz is going around Facebook and it's one I actually participated in.

Fired a Gun X
Been Married X
Fell in love X
Gone on a blind date X
Skipped school X
Watched someone give birth X
Watched someone die X
Been to Canada
Been to Hawaii
Been to Europe X
Been to Las Vegas X
Been to Washington D.C X
Been to Nashville X
Visited Florida X
Visited Mexico X
Seen the Grand Canyon in personX
Flown in a helicopter
Been on a cruise X
Served on a jury
Been in a movie X
Been to Los Angeles X
Been to New York City X
Played in a band
Sang karaoke X
Made prank phone calls X
Laughed so much you cried X
Caught a snowflake on your tongue X
Had children (a child) X
Had a pet X
Been sledding on big hill
Been downhill skiing X
Been water skiing X
Rode on a motorcycle X
Jumped out of a plane
Been to a drive-in movie X
Rode an elephant X
Been on TV
Been in newspaper X
Stayed in Hospital X
Donated blood
Gotten a piercing X
Gotten a tattoo
Driven a stick shift vehicle X
Driven over 100 mph
Been scuba diving
Lived on your own X
Rode in the back of police car
Got a speeding ticket X
Copy and paste as your status. Put an X if you have done it. No explanations

All of those X's are mine. 
But you know- there's so much that this survey/quiz does not cover. I'd like to add my own categories. At least a few. 
Here we go. 

Did LSD or peyote or mushrooms?
Realized what "all is one" actually means?
Survived a family which was so toxic that bleach should have been used as mouthwash?
Once got beat on the butt because you had to poop?
Spent half your childhood in trees? 
Wanted to be a mermaid as a child?
Thought that if you tried hard enough you COULD be a mermaid as a child?
Have ever jumped into a spring so clear and so cold that your heart stopped beating? 
Jumped in again? 
Voted for Jimmy Carter? 
Lived in a house with no plumbing? 
Used an outhouse? 
Didn't just "watch" someone be born or die but actually held and helped in the process?
Realized that love is love, no matter what the gender involved was? 
Cried at that realization? 
Breast fed? 
Written a poem?
Written a novel?
Fell in complete love with a fictional character?
Had your life changed by something you read?
Grown something in the dirt that you could eat?
Eaten an egg that just came from your chicken's butt?
Fell in love with someone so inappropriate that you're grateful you survived and yet at the same time, grateful you fell in love?
Gotten completely stoned before listening to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band or Beethoven's 9th Symphony or Stravinsky's Rite of Spring? 
Danced with such abandon that you fucked up your hip for life? 
Seen Bruce Springsteen live? 
Seen The Rolling Stones live?
Seen Ladysmith Black Mambazo live? 
Seen The Neville Brothers live?
Seen Bob Dylan live?
Shaken B.B. King's hand? 
Had your life saved by music?
Smoked a cigar in Mexico?
Climbed the steps of a Mayan pyramid? 
Cried your fucking eyes out at the sight of Michelangelo's David? 
Made love in a broom closet?
Lived long enough to be astounded that you're still alive?
Found true love?

Oh hell. I have a million more categories but that's a start. 

This is what happens when my husband goes out of town.

Love...Ms. Moon