Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween, 2016

By the time I realized I hadn't posted anything this morning it was already about 12:30 and then I realized that no one on this god's green earth gives a shit whether I post anything anyway so fuck it.
Well, it wasn't really a fuck-it as much as it was just a who-the-fuck-cares, plus I was really hungry and after I ate my lunch it was even later so there you go.
Or, there you didn't go.
Okay. So, speaking of giving a rat's ass, about four days ago I went into my little library to look for a book and I thought to myself, "Something is dead in here." The odor is unmistakable but it wasn't overwhelming and I did not have the emotional resources to deal with a dead thing at that moment and so I did what we often do when we absolutely know there's a rotten potato or onion in that bag somewhere but we just stick our head into the sands of denial and shut the cabinet door and pretend we didn't smell what we just smelled.
So yesterday, after our beautiful trip to Panacea, Vergil and Mr. Moon had to go sight a gun (I say this with great authority as if I knew what "sighting a gun" is all about and I suppose I have a vague idea but in fact, it must a far more involved exercise than I know because it always takes a very long time and must be done at a friend's house where Mr. Moon and Vergil and Jason sometimes hunt) and so Jessie and August and I hung out at the house which was fine because August was being his goofy great self and showing great interest in the chickens which he now calls "bawks"

and booty-dancing to the Rolling Stones in the hallway and turning the knobs on the record player with great DJ skills and also playing the piano while sitting in his mother's lap and so forth and at one point (could this sentence go on any longer? stick around and find out) we went into the library and I knew without a doubt that yes, something in there was dead and it was behind the love couch as Owen calls the love seat.
So, I did finally look behind the little sofa and yes, there was a dead thing and it was a rat's ass.

I told Jessie and she looked at it too and agreed that indeed, it was a rat's ass (the tail, oh the tail!) with some of the connected part of the rat still attached and I said, "I am not dealing with this. Your father can deal with it when he gets home."

Which he did. For some reason (God hates me) I almost always find these grim and gruesome cat gifts when Mr. Moon is not just down the road sighting his gun but in fact, in either another state or another country entirely and thus, I am always having to deal with this shit by myself but in this case, all I had to do was shut the doors of the library and wait until he got home which I did.

So. Why did I just tell you this story?
I have no idea.
Just like I have no idea where the really pretty hand towel I just found while I was tidying up the dishtowels in the cabinet where they live came from. Or the white linen napkins I found. I have absolutely no memory of these items but there they are and I do not think that anyone's trying to gas-light me but in fact, I am simply losing my mind.

That is ALL handwork! The embroidery and the crocheted edges. It's like it would have taken a Belgian nun a year to do that and obviously, no one in this world has ever wiped a dainty finger on the towel and where did I get it?
If you gave it to me, please let me know. It will relieve me to have that knowledge but then I will forget again and there you go.
I should frame this thing it is so beautiful.
I'm not even going to begin to discuss the white linen napkins which are also beautiful.

So this is what it's like to be Ms. Moon at the age of 62. I had a very nice day of staying home and I took a walk and I hung all the laundry on the line and I weeded some in the garden and I picked and thinned some more microgreens for our salad tonight and I have cooked garbanzo beans to make our supper with and yes, I tidied that cabinet where I found the towel.

It is indeed Halloween and I keep forgetting that except for hoping that no one comes by Trick or Treating (they never do) because the bag of Dove dark chocolate pumpkins I bought for emergency distribution has been depleted to almost nothing by Mr. Moon and also the boys and yes, I've had one or two myself.

I better go start that Greek chicken stew with cauliflower which I am making tonight without chicken but with garbanzo beans. I hope it's fit to eat. Luckily, I have a husband who is grateful for everything I make and always thanks me for whatever I put in front of him.

I do not have much use for Halloween with its fun/scariness and perhaps that is because simply living my life is scary enough and no costume needed.

Dark chocolate, however, is.

I hope all of your Halloween wishes are coming true, whatever the hell that may mean, and may all of your cats eat the entire rat and not leave any for you.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pictures Of A Great Day

Tucked away under the pines near the Dickerson Bay in Panacea, Florida is Jack Rudloe's Gulf Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. It truly did start out as a marine specimens lab and Jack would collect all sorts of things from the bay and the sea and pack them up and send them to universities and labs all over the world for study.
He still does.
He and his wife Anne, a Buddhist, a scientist, an author, a professor, who died a few years ago, raised their children there beside the bay and expanded the lab into a place where school children could come and actually touch sea creatures in various tanks and look into other tanks to see everything from octopi to sharks to rays to turtles. Jack especially loves the turtles and his book, Search For The Great Turtle Mother, is one of my favorites. Fishermen bring him injured turtles they find and at the lab they are treated and taken care of until they can be released back into the ocean and when those days come, it is always a special occasion and Jack wears a suit as he wades into the water to give back one of these most precious creatures to the world in which it belongs.

I've been taking my kids to the Specimen Lab since they were little and it's grown and changed some, but not too much. There's a very cool gift shop and a few things for kids to play on in the front of the building and some picnic tables.

It is, as you can imagine, a favorite field-trip destination.
There is also a dock which Jack wrote about in his book, The Living Dock, and speaking as someone who spent much of her childhood, and certainly most of the happiest parts of it, on a dock over a river, I have to tell you that this book, too, is worth reading.

So that's where we went today, all of us but Hank who is still thrust firmly into his work with the Gaines Street Festival and it couldn't have been a better day unless he too could have been there.

The fiddler crab enclosure. Owen could not keep his hands out of it. He was creating entire kingdoms of fiddler crabs in his imagination and there was in fact a King of that kingdom who pinched Owen with his kingly fiddler crab claw.

August desperately wanted to get into the tank with the horseshoe crabs.

One of the juvenile turtles waiting to be released.

The family watching the stingray get fed. 

It was very dramatic. Gibson loved the stingray. So much. 

"I am so happy," he told the sweet young lady who was feeding the ray. 

 Miss Maggie June.

 Some of my handsome lads. 

August with his crab from the gift shop. It made him wriggle and wiggle with great delight. 

After an hour or so, we were all starving and headed for a local...seafood restaurant. Of course. 

Owen instructing May and Michael concerning Pokemon stuff. I think. Hell if I know.

August holding up the world. 

It was simply the most beautiful of days. Cool enough and warm enough and simple enough and amazing enough and a wonderful continuation of the time Mr. Moon and I got to spend with Owen and Gibson this weekend. On the way there and back, Owen helped me with the Sunday crossword puzzle (damn, that child is smart) and leaned his head on my shoulder as we figured out the clues and filled in the spaces. 

This world is so filled with anxiety and fear and horror and trouble right now and I feel as if we stepped away from it all for a little while into this tiny but extremely real and important world where a very good man and his very good wife and now their children have spent and do spend their lives trying to educate the old and the young as to the importance of our seas and our marshes and our bays and our rivers and the creatures who live there. 

The message is given over and over with art

and with words and mostly with the creatures themselves in such a way that everyone can understand. 
It is truly a treasure, this place, and if this planet does survive, it will be because of people like Jack and Anne Rudloe and certainly not the politicians. 

And that's all I need to say about that. 

Yours in gratefulness and love...Ms. Moon

Someone Needs To Be Fired

1:11 a.m. and the landline rings.

My heart in my throat, I get up and stumble across the room.
Dear god. What fresh hell is this?

"Hello!" A chirpy robo voice chirps. "This is a call from Drug Free America!"

Someone's smoking crack and it ain't me.

Good morning from Lloyd where pancakes are being made.

I think we're going to go down to the Marine Specimen's Lab in a little while. I'm going to knock wood and hope that the Sunday Curse has been broken.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Gibson eating an ice cream sandwich: "I am so lucky!"

Kumbaya, Y'all. It's A Party

Owen has come to spend the night. Gibson decided to go to his other grandma's so that he could play with the darling Lenore. Although we miss him, it is lovely to have Owen here. I think he's having a good time. He's had his hand in a lot of different things today. I say "hand" because he's still got a bandage on the hand he cut last Sunday. He's being very good about keeping that one clean.
His feet are another matter.

He helped me in the garden some.

We pulled up the sweet potato vines and dug around and this is what we found. Well, these and some rotten ones. 
Thank god we don't depend on those to sustain us through the winter. We would die. 
Oh well. It was a noble experiment. 
He also helped me with some weeding. There's a sort of shamrock-y weed that has the deepest root which looks like tiny garlic buds which I happen to think is a pretty fun thing to dig up. Of course, I'm weird. I showed Owen how to do it and he thought it was okay fun too. So he did that for awhile. 

Then we moved on to the kitchen where we washed our hands really, really well (or in Owen's case, hand) and made bread. He liked pounding the dough. We set that to rest in the bowl and I did remember the yeast today. 

After that, it was pumpkin carving time! At first, Owen declared that pumpkin guts were the grossest thing ever and he refused to touch them with anything but a spoon. 

This aversion quickly passed and before I knew it, he was kneading those guts between his fingers like he was getting paid. I hadn't carved a pumpkin with a kid in a long time and I have to say that I've missed the experience.
As I have said here more than once over the years, I am a pumpkin-carving traditionalist. Don't even talk to me about those fancy pants stencils and shit. I do not want to use surgical instruments to create a work of art. I want to make a goddam Jack O Lantern and that is what I make. Triangles are involved.

We did get a little jiggy with it and used some of the innards as puke coming out of the pumpkin's mouth AND nose. (That was Owen's idea.) 
This is an innovation I approve of. 
We shall light the candle when it gets dark. 

Somewhere in all of the activity Boppy and Owen did some bike riding. Mr. Moon has been looking for a bike to ride and let me tell you something- they don't make bikes for men who are six feet, ten inches tall. However, the other day at work, he was telling someone about his search and another employee overheard the conversation. It turns out that a relative of that person who is also six feet, ten inches tall had had a beach cruiser and no longer needed it due to an extremely unfortunate event and so, would Mr. Moon like the bike? 
Well yes, Mr. Moon would. And so the bike was shipped here and he has worked on it some and he is enjoying it although the seat is still not tall enough for him as his legs are 3/4's of his height, at least. 

Still, he is delighted by it and has ordered a thingee to get that seat up a few inches. Last night he rode it down to the old truck stop and reports that there are many, many cats there, some of whom look a lot like Maurice and Jack. 
Go figure. 
Anyway, Owen got his bike out and they rode around the yard together. 

And Owen helped me get clothes off the line and gather the eggs and since I posted that last picture we got a call that Gibson had decided to come join the fun so Jason brought him over and Maggie's here too, but just to visit. Not spend the night. 

And dear god, now they've all gone out to light the brush pile and there's a smaller fire to cook steaks on and the bread is made into loaves and is rising and Owen and Gibson are going to help me mash potatoes and make salad (so they say) and I've had some very, very good conversations with my oldest grandchild and the brush fire is popping like it's got firecrackers in it (bamboo?) and the chickens are going crazy

 and well, it's just another peaceful night in Lloyd. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Oh Well

I am afraid that we have left Shabby Chic so far behind us that you couldn't see it in the rearview mirror if you used the Hubble telescope.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Being Careful With Myself

The old jail in Monticello where we early vote was fairly busy today. The ladies behind the counter are ON IT! and efficient and when I started filling out my ballot I got so emotional. Just seeing that name on the official piece of paper made me want to whimper with anger and with fear and with the absolute disbelief I still have after all these months.
I admit- Trump has caused a lot of nasty PTSD in me and I feel shaken to my core that there is any possibility whatsoever that this predator has the possibility of being our president. Obama has been such a grace-full, steady light of humanity in our White House and the thought of...that man...taking residence there where those two beautiful girls grew up, where their mother and father presided over this country as if they had been born to the task makes me want to puke.
Anyway, I filled out my ballot, darkening the circle perfectly beside Hillary Clinton's name, put it in the slot, returned the folder, got my sticker, and walked out of the building, my eyes filled with tears.

I spent some time in the little town which is the capitol city of our county and I went back and bought Lily the other set of the Corning Ware leftover containers at the Humane Society thrift store and wandered around a few other places, feeling lost and aimless. I wanted lunch but couldn't figure out what I wanted and even went into the place where they sell locally sourced everything and healthy everything and standing there at the counter and looking at all of the ladies who lunch, I just couldn't do it and walked out and ended up at a pizza joint that was almost empty and got a chicken salad sandwich AT THE PIZZA JOINT and it was decent enough and chicken salad is comfort food for me and I sat and ate it and read my New Yorker magazine and was grateful for the peace and the fact that someone else had made my food for me.

I came home and took a nap. A long nap. I slept and slept and slept deeply and when I woke up I did not feel much refreshed but it's just one of those days. I let it all go and did hardly anything productive but I did vote and I've done my minuscule part and and I am at peace with that.

Here. I just got this from Lily.

Maggie June in her magical unicorn costume. They are at a Halloween concert event in Tallahassee and all of the children are in their costumes. Look at that tender darling girl who is magical even in her very own bare skin. I look at that picture and my heart gets as melty and gooey as the chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers with a toasted marshmallow and sometimes, that's all you need. The melted heart, the recognition of tender magic, the acceptance that if nothing else, this is as much or more a part of your reality than anything else going on in this world and my god! what sweet peace there is in that.

Love...Ms. Moon

Who Dreams About Cabbage Salad? I Do, That's Who!

Just went to put on my walking clothes and then realized...I...just...can't.

I'm exhausted. Flat-out done, toasted, cooked and not up for it.

I dreamed this morning that I was sick and my mother walked into the house and said, "You're high! You've been smoking pot and you're high!"
And I was like, "No. I'm sick. I don't get high."
She wouldn't believe me. I was so mad.
Then I dreamed I was in a foreign land. Don't know which one but I was still sick and I had the rattiest dog you've ever seen or smelled. I had to catch that dog and hold it while I was eating at a restaurant which was in a former church and the table was outside, absolutely beautiful, and I was served the most delicious salad of chopped cabbage with a very simple dressing and the server was so nice and kept offering me more tea and water and soup and I kept thanking her over and over.

Maybe I need some nurturing.
Maybe I'm about to die.
I don't know but I do know that I don't need a dog. Of this I am certain.

I think I'll slowly, slowly make my way to Monticello to actually and truly early vote. I was going to do it yesterday but my damn bread-making interfered. Sometimes it seems like I spend half my life waiting on bread to rise. Oh well. There are worse things in the world.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Can't Complain

Good Lord but what a day starting with actually last night when I heard something flinging itself against the door of the hen house accompanied by chicken distress so I sent my husband out there (of course) and he reported that there was a possum in the hen house and Otis had been the one trying to escape out the closed door which is what I heard.
Now, for those of you who do not know, a possum can tear up some chickens, especially small ones and I have six of those so Mr. Moon took matters into his own hands and well, that possum won't be eating any of MY chickens, sorry Mr. Possum or Ms. Possum and life is tough out here on the range.
We don't know how the critter got in there although he was probably hiding out in the run/coop which he/she would have had access to all day long and then crept in after all the chickens were in their doze coma.

So this morning I had to make the decision on whether or not to go with my friend who just had surgery to an appointment which had become available very suddenly and I hemmed and hawed and then I went and I was so glad I did because the news we got was absolutely best case scenario for the situation and we were sort of stunned into relief and the doctor was wonderful. He pulled out the foot of the exam table (no one was ON the exam table) and used the paper on it to draw us diagrams and pictures and outlines about everything that has gone on and is going on and he spent at least thirty or forty minutes explaining everything in a way that made such sense and was so thorough that we barely had any questions. Hey! I learned a LOT!

Such was my relief that when I finally got home after going to the store and made my bread dough, I realized right as I went to set it to rise that I had forgotten to put the yeast in it and so back into the mixer it went and I kneaded it some after that and although it took longer to rise than it normally would have, it did indeed rise and I eventually delivered soup and bread to some happy people and we hugged and gave great thanks and now I am home and pretty much exhausted because I've been going at it all day long with one domestic chore or another, not to mention the two hours in a MEDICAL FACILITY where I had to pretend to be an intelligent adult, etc.

So it was an excellent day and I got a lovely package in the mail from a blog friend which included such love and charm that I felt loved and charmed to pieces and when I was talking to Mr. Moon in the Glen Den just a little while ago, Maurice darted into the fireplace after something and I got some pictures of her.

It's like Day Care Cat in the Fireplace.

And so it goes. A day that I had thought was going to deliver us news we did not want to hear but which delivered news which was sweet and there is nothing better than that.
Also? Clean sheets on the bed for when I finally get to lay my head down.

Here's what the sunset looked like over the garden.

Fire in the trees and peace in the heart and cat in the fireplace and crab legs about to go into the pot and a little loaf of bread and salad with micro-greens from the garden and a sweet man to sleep with and golly- who knows what tomorrow will bring?
I probably shouldn't say that, should I?

I wish everyone in the world could enjoy a day like this. At least now and then. I said, golly. 
Now if these fucking gnats would just go away and quit tormenting me and if the possums stay out of the henhouse, it would all be about perfect but life is rarely perfect and good enough is absolutely good enough.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Antidepressants You Don't Need A Prescription For

I was stuck in my darkness today until I went to town to stay with this big-eyed guy for a few hours. He was asleep again when I got there so I settled in on the couch with a New Yorker and read an article or two but before long he started peeping and so I went to his room and he held his arms out to me, seemingly not surprised at all to see me instead of his mama, and we went to the kitchen and he was as happy as a child can be to eat all of the crackers and some popcorn. I know how much he loves to put the lids on things so I brought him a recently emptied out Mentos gum container and he played with that thing for over an hour. I put popcorn in it and this delighted him. He'd eat and close the lid and then open it up and fish some more out.
We got popcorn and cracker crumbs everywhere. The child knows the sign for "more" and it was used frequently.

He loves the couch. It is his rock gym, his playground. I would take him and set him down on the floor with his toys but he'd go right back to the couch and climb on.

"You goof!" I'd tell him and he'd laugh and sign for more crackers. 
We started looking at some books and he backed himself into my lap so we could read them together better. He liked the sea creatures book the most and the turtle is his favorite in that. "Where's the turtle, August?" I would ask him and he would point that little ET finger at it. 
He was wearing a little owl sticker on his onesie and he would pat it and say, "Hoo-hoo!" 
Brilliant child. 

His Boppy came over for a little play time and snuggles too. 

He showed his grandfather the turtle, the owl, and made the sounds of it. He shared his cracker with the giant teddy bear and also sat on its back and rode him like a horse and hugged him, too. 
He drank water from a glass like a big boy and he was just in the best mood, never a tear or even a fuss. 
When his Boppy had to leave, he waited until he got into his truck to begin to wave and say, "Bye!" and to throw kisses. He even grabbed my hand and kissed it and tossed it into the air. I took him to change his diaper and he was well behaved and I ate all of his toes and tickled his tummy and he showed me where my nose was. 

Soon after that, his mommy came home and we watched her get out of the car and cross the yard to the door from the window and he shimmied and laughed and reached out for her and she took him and he settled in for some nursies because it had been HOURS! and he was happy. 

Such a precious boy and it makes me feel so good to know that he feels comfortable with me now and trusts me and does not worry about where his mother is when he's left in my care. I think I was deeply scarred in my childhood when my mother had to be away for one reason or another and I'm sure that it was because my childhood was so fraught with unhappiness and the threat of so much uncertainty due to the situation we were in at that time. One of my most piercing and lasting childhood memories is being left in a church nursery while my mother attended the services. I can remember the kindly (and I knew she was kind, I sensed it) attendant trying to get me to stop crying by offering me Play Dough and I didn't want to play with the Play Dough, I wanted my mother and finally after an eternity, all of the parents came to collect their children and it seems to me that I was the last and I can remember looking out the doorway, so afraid that my mother would never come and when at last she did, she was limping because one of the heels on her shoes, her fancy church shoes, had fallen off, and my relief was enormous. 
I do not even remember her coming into the nursery to get me, only that sight of her coming down the hallway, my mother, my savior, my comfort. This experience is burned into my brain, and I am very loathe to be the one left with a child who only wants his or her mother and so when August holds his arms out to me to be picked up, when he settles into my lap happily to be read to, when he laughs at me hiding popcorn in the Mentos container, I feel as if a great blessing has been bestowed upon me. 
He has not been in my care since infancy, the way Owen and Gibson and even Maggie, to a much lesser degree have been but it is obvious that he is old enough and accepting of me now for me to take care of him and that brings me much joy. Because he has been loved so well and so fully by his parents since birth, he knows he will be taken care of and seems to think of my tending to him as nothing more than a little adventure. 

When I left, he was outside, stealing spinach from his parent's raised bed garden.

And I was the one who was loathe to leave him. I kept ducking back for a kiss, for a sweet nuzzle but he was as happy for me to go as he had been to see me when he woke up and he waved and he blew kisses and he said his "Byes!" and I drove away, feeling as if I was the luckiest Mermer in the world, as indeed I am, and my spirit was restored and my heart was happy and I continue to be in a much better mood as I have made the biggest pot of venison and vegetable soup to share with my friend who had surgery and her family. 
I mean, seriously. Biggest. Huge. Trust me. It is the biggest and hugest. It will be the best biggest and hugest. And see? I can even make jokes about Trump again and let me say that I probably got more joy out of hanging out with my grandson and coming home and chopping meat and vegetables and putting them all together into this soup than Donald will ever experience in his incredibly successful life. 

Amen. Hallelujah. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Pink Against Gray, Against Green

It is the season of the sasanqua, it's deep pink petals fragile as tissue paper, the flower does not hold its shape very long but drops itself upon the ground so that even if you do not lift your eyes, you will still be aware of the blooming.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Donald Trump Is Fucking Up My Life

It's my anniversary today, thirty-two years married to that man.
Over half my life, at this point. The best half, without a doubt.
We met for lunch at El Patron with Jessie and August and Hank and Lily and Maggie and Gibson.
"Happy anniversary!" said Lily. "If you hadn't gotten married, there wouldn't be all of this."
And she gestured to take in the babies, the sweetness of it all.
"I want the cheese sticks!" said Gibson. To the hostess as she sat us at the table with our menus. Because really, that's what matters and the sooner he can order them, the better.

I take it in and I am so grateful for it and still, I am having a rough time of it. I just can't seem to cope with anything right now. I realized a little while ago that I should have planned at least a special dessert but did not and I could cry about that but I could cry about anything right now.

Trump is speaking in Tallahassee tonight and his minions have been lined up all day, waiting to bask in the reflected Cheeto-lit glory of his face. I hear the traffic is fierce and poor Lily has to be at work and her Publix is literally right across the road from the venue- an antique car museum owned by Tallahassee's most ardent supporter of anything that doesn't restrict his ability to make money. People keep saying that they hope he got his money from Trump up front but I'm thinking that he's the one who paid to have him here. That's the only thing that makes sense to me but fuck if any of this shit makes any sense.
I just read that the traffic on I-10 is backed up for miles and see? This is what is still scaring the living shit out of me. I don't care what the polls say- if he has a chance in hell then I'm scared.
My next door neighbors have put a Trump-Pence sign out front of their house. I knew this was coming. And the damn thing is- I like these people as neighbors. You could not ask for better.

It's all so fucking fucked up.

I'm going to cook some pork chops. What the hell else is there to do?
Apologize to the world, take care of your babies, sweep the floors, love and kiss the ones you love as much as you possibly can.

Be grateful that you married a man who voted early so that he could be sure that his vote for Hillary counts.
I swear to god- even after thirty-two years, as much as I love him, as darling as he is, if he voted for Trump, I might have to leave him and that would make me sadder than I can say.

And Lily reports that she still hasn't been able to get to work due to traffic and sheriffs and blocked roads.

I'm just going to stay drunk for the next two weeks.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 24, 2016

Having Visited The Church Of Pain

I got up in the early dark morning, having barely slept for the proceeding two hours and got dressed in the chill and drove to town, to the hospital, where I finally found where I was supposed to be and got to see my friend in pre-op. She was in the room with her brother and cousin and I just went in and kissed her, told her I loved her. There is a two-person visitor limit in pre-op and I did not want to take a space which rightfully belonged to a kinsperson.

And then, for the next three or so hours, we waited. I cannot give details because my friend is very private and has told no one but a few family members about what's going on and that is her pure and simple right. But it was a lengthy surgery, and some of it came out better than we had feared and some just as we had thought and the path before her is not going to be easy or pain-free.
I was a bit surprised to see that the surgeon was the same one who did Mr. Moon's surgery a few years ago and had done another one on him many years ago and indeed, on May when she was but a bit of a little dancing girl, and so it comforted me to know that he had been the one welding the scalpel.

After he spoke with us in the surgical waiting room, I left and came home and ate some leftovers and laid down on my bed and read for awhile until the words were making no sense and I closed my eyes and slept and then woke up and felt as if I could not move. My bones were so cold, the bed felt as safe and protecting as any mother's arms might have felt and I laid under the heavy covers in a position such that I felt no pain at all and anyone who had observed me would have thought me deep, deep in sleep, my breath regular, my eyes closed, but I was awake, and not even near that line where dream and reality blend, that dozy drugged-like place, but simply still.

Here is what I was thinking of- cake.
I desperately wanted a piece of cake. Spice cake, heavy and dense with nuts and raisins and a white frosting.
Perhaps it was the old A&P Spanish bar cake I was wanting and I kept thinking I could get up and get out of that bed, that state of near catatonia and make a cake. Not the Spanish bar cake from my childhood, but a good cake, nonetheless and I could almost see the fork, cutting into a slice, the moist crumb of it, and could almost taste the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the spices, the dark sweetness of it, the ridiculously sweet and silly frosting.

Finally, I opened my eyes and tentatively moved a leg, an arm. I closed my eyes again and went back to that cake place but finally, I got up and went to the kitchen but I did not have what I needed for the frosting and so I gave up on the idea and went about my chores, my laundry, my dishes, my floors. My husband came home. He had gone to Monticello to vote and we talked about that a little bit, and I wanted him to put his arms around me and comfort me but I did not know how to ask him and he is in the garage now, doing something with machines and hammers.
I swept the porches and their steps.
I am heating up soup for our supper.

I am still thinking about cake and what I am thinking is that the cake has taken the place of sorrow in my soul but of course, not really. And even if I made that cake, even if it was as good as the one in my mind, it would not, could not fill that place where sorrow lies.

I think yesterday was Kathleen's birthday. There is no celebration this year, of course.
I think of the friends whom I have lost over the years and this sorrow encompasses their absences from my life. I think of all the time I've spent in that hospital and today as I walked the hallways, waited in the waiting rooms, I realized, as always, that except for the maternity/newborn unit, there really is no joy in hospitals. Everyone has a sadness about them, everyone is there waiting to hear news good or bad, waiting to hold the hand, kiss the face of someone they love as they face something they would rather not.

Well. So it goes. And hopefully, my friend will come back from this particular surgery in less pain and with a clearer picture of what is ahead, with hope instead of the fearful dread she has lived with for too long now.

We're all just doing what we can to keep on, aren't we? Sometimes we need surgery and sometimes we need poetry and sometimes we need to lay in the bed, still and quiet as a newborn whose mother checks them for breathing because they are so deep in their slumber.

Love each other, y'all. That's all we really have.
And cake. Or at least the idea of it.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Life Is What Happens...Part 247

So I was getting ready to go over to the coast this morning when I got a call from Lily. Owen had cut his hand on some broken glass he'd found outside and she thought he might need stitches. He was screaming in the background as only a child whose blood is leaking from his own personal body can scream.
Ooh boy. Really? ANOTHER trip to the doctor?
I'm not a person who rushes to get stitches every time someone gets cut. I mean, I'll do just about anything to avoid the situation myself (that super glue they call Liquid Bandage is pretty awesome stuff) but when Lily sent me a picture of the cut I said, "I'll come stay with Maggie and Gibson and you can take him in."
I got to the house and Owen had calmed down some. He was able to show me the cut and sure enough, I thought he should go get it all sewed up.
So I played with Maggie and Gibson while his mama took him to the Urgent Care where a very nice doctor did a beautiful job in my opinion and said that if it had gone any deeper, they would have had to do surgery on the tendon.

Lily reported that when they gave him the numbing shot, everyone in the building heard Owen's reaction. I felt so bad for him. He's gone through so much in his short life when it comes to things like this. 

Maggie and Gibson were good and I have to admit I let Gibson watch way too much Sponge Bob but whatever. We did go outside a little bit. It was such a beautiful day.

So. That's what happened on this particular Sunday. Among other things. 

May and Michael stopped by the Urgent Care while Lily and Owen were waiting, to give a little moral support to the boy and May gave Lily something she bought for me at Goodwill last week. She'd texted me and told me that she'd scored THE VERY BEST THING FOR ME EVER but she wasn't going to tell me what it was. So when Lily and Owen got back to the house, Owen's hand all neatly bandaged, he handed over a pretty blue bag and I reached in to find this dress.

An absolutely beautiful and flawless Johnny Was dress that if I'd seen it in a real store, I would have cursed Johnny Was himself for making such beautiful shit that I can't afford but it's MINE! I believe I will wear it every night when we are in Mexico. I mean, EVERY NIGHT! 
Can't you just see me on the back of a moped wearing that piece of confection? Oh yeah. 
Best Goodwill find ever. It was on the "boutique" rack but it was still less than twenty bucks and I feel as if fortune has fallen upon me and I am so grateful to my daughter for finding it and buying it for her old mother who never feels beautiful but might just feel a little beautiful, wearing that. 

So I came on home and cleaned out the hen house and watered the porch plants. 
Here's a picture of one of the confederate rose blooms. I post at least one every year but have not gotten a good one this year. 

Still not a great shot but they're so fine and fancy. Speaking of confection. 

I got out in the garden and got enough thinnings of my little baby seedlings to be part of our salad tonight and I did a little weeding and Maurice came out to help me. 

I was so pleased for her company until the bitch attacked my hand. Twice. Why, Maurice? Why? She gave me two good puncture wounds and I let her know that I was not happy with her. Not at all. And I'd just given her some tuna juice not an hour before! Dang that cat. Why do I even put up with her, much less love her?
No idea. She's just crazy. 
I guess maybe I can relate to that. 

Mr. Moon is home again and did not shoot a deer but had a good time in the woods and hanging out with the dude friends. I am so very, very glad to have him home and I think that he's always happy to get back to his wife and our animals and funky old house after a few days away although I have to say that he certainly isn't unhappy when it's time to leave again. 
Well, on Tuesday we will have been married for 32 years so I guess it works for us, whatever it is. 

I won't be doing a morning post tomorrow as I am going to be at the hospital with my friend who is having surgery. I am hoping so hard that all goes well. But I'll probably report in tomorrow night. 

Life just keeps throwing us curve balls, doesn't it? I remember when Hank was just a very little guy and he said to me, "I don't know why people even make plans, Mama. They never seem to work out."

Of course, he is now one of the biggest planners I know but he had a point. 

Let's all stay well for awhile, okay? No more diseases or viruses or cuts or broken bones. Or any other damn thing that I don't even want to possibly invoke by saying the names out loud. 
Come on, people. We can do this. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Just A Day

I didn't work hard today but I worked steady, using my clippers on the twisted and braided vines of the confederate jasmine, the sturdier twined almost-limbs of it. I hauled the cut vines and did it all again, cut it all back hard but still didn't get to part of it.
I listened to my book, I took phone calls that raised my anxiety higher.
A friend in need, a friend who is getting surgery Monday morning.
I am covered in the dried sticky milky sap of the vines from my head to my feet, quite literally. I feel as if I may never get clean but eventually, what soap and water cannot take off, time will peel away.

I'm cold. I am a Floridian and although it's what most of you would probably think of as a balmy and tropical 65 degrees in my house, I'm still cold but not stupid enough to turn on the heat. I have on some Goodwill cashmere over my sap-stiffened clothes and am even wearing my slippers but I feel freezing in my bones. I've made a big pot of chicken soup so maybe that will help and last night I pulled my duck, the down comforter, out of its summer coma in the plastic bag it's been stuffed in since last winter and I will be fine and cozy once I go to bed after a good hot shower.

It's just one of those days and we're planning on going down to the coast tomorrow to visit the touch tanks in Panacea and have lunch and that will be delightful but right now I can't really imagine doing it although it will be the best thing for me. Even May says she's coming and I haven't gotten to spend any time with her for awhile so that's good.
And it will be good and everything will be okay and that's my mantra tonight-everything will be okay- but the dogs in the neighborhood are barking and howling and moaning and I hope I've worked hard enough at least to sleep well tonight and I usually do and all twelve chickens are huddled up in the hen house wearing and sharing their own down and feather clothing and everything will be okay.
And everything will be okay.
And everything will be okay.
And I can't come up with a line with which to end this mess to save my life but that, too, will be okay.

I'm sure.

Chop Wood, Haul Water, Try Not To Think Too Much

The Firespike is coming into its own right now, shining in the morning sunlight as if it were lit from within.

It's absolutely a beautiful morning and I am planning a day of being outside and trimming the confederate jasmine and maybe thinning the seedings which have come up in the garden and I don't know what but all good stuff and my anxiety is thrumming through me like a taut string stretched too tight in the wind. It is singing a constant note which hurts my ears and roils my gut.

It's okay. It's just a feeling.

I sure wish this feeling would fuck off. My life is too beautiful to be messed with like this. I get so angry at myself for this sort of ridiculousness. Or at least the part of me that won't let me enjoy the incredibly simple miraculous gifts of my existence.

It's so odd. It's so hard. It's so wrong.
I think, however, it may be best to just live with it when I can and it would seem that I always can, one way or another and for that, too, I am grateful.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Oh, My Heart!

It has simply been a most beautiful day. The air has been moving, the earth breathing, bringing us drier, cooler weather, the sky so blue, everything sharper and clearer than in months. We had such a good time at the Greek food festival. We ate good things and we ended up sharing a table with my ex- and his wife who were there with their granddaughter and she and Owen and Gibson played on the church playground together and they would run back to the table for another bite, to ask again for us to explain how they are all related which is difficult, but also easy, in a way.
I have said it countless times and I will say it again- one of the blessings of my life is that these people are part of my family. We share an easy comfort together, we are friends and there is true affection among us all.

The festival was heavily attended but it is a smallish thing and we all felt comfortable and never crowded. There were things to look at for sale and there was Greek dancing and Greek music and there was face painting.

"Oh Mer! Please!" 
What are grandmothers for but to pay for face-painting? Gibson was concentrating so hard to stay still, to keep his eyes shut when they were supposed to be shut, to not touch the paint and ruin it. He did a good job. 

Hank recently gave Owen an old leather satchel he'd come into possession of, something that looks as if it had been used in the military and it has places in it for notebooks, for pens, for scissors, for pencils. I bought a notebook and some markers and colored pencils for Owen to carry in it and he brought it today and spent a good deal of time sketching. 

He is suddenly looking so much older to me. Today he resembled some hipster artist and I can see him pushing the physical bounds of his existence, dashing off to the great consternation of his mother and his grandmother, to explore on his own. WHY must the inevitable trip from nest to world start so early? So persistently? 
Because it must. 
Wings do not develop suddenly and on their own. They grow, they are tested, they become stronger. And this is the reason we have children. We are raising them to be their own people, adults who can survive and thrive in this world but it's so easy to forget that, to be distressed, even, about it when just about two blinks and a nap ago they looked like this.

And even those two babes spent half their time on the ground crawling away from their mamas to explore what looked to be like someone else's juice box or snacks or simply something of interest. They crawl away, we scoop them up and bring them back, they are content for a moment or two and then away they go again. 

After we had spent all the time we needed to spend at the festival, we left for the Costco and on our way there, Gibson, who was at that moment eating bites of delicious Greek desserts, asked if he could get samples at Costco. 
"Yes," his mother told him. "You can."
"Oh, good," he sighed with contented anticipation. "Those samples are so good."

And samples were sampled and Owen collected his, as he does, to save for the drive home and the coldy room was cold and made Maggie grin and we looked at the toys and I didn't buy one thing, having already been this week and I'm not sure why, but we always have such a good time at the Costco. 
Samples probably have a lot to do with that. 

And so- that was my day. So simple and so easy and when I got home I texted Jessie and Lily and thanked them for sharing their lives with me. It truly is one of the most amazing things to me that my children all live nearby and that we do things together and that I can be a part of their lives, my grandchildren's lives. When Maggie or August hold their arms out to me, I melt and I reach for them and I hold them against me and pat their little backs or tummys and nuzzle them and pretend-bite them and it's like a distillation of the love I felt for their mothers when they were babies, but with so few of the real responsibilities, simple joy left in the sweetness of the brew. Same with these older boys as they hug me, talk to me, tell me things, listen to me tell them things, show me things, share with me whatever they want to share. 
It's a fucking miracle is what it is. 

So here I am in Lloyd and the chickens are settling themselves into the roost. I can hear their twittering as they settle into their sleeping arrangements. 
And, as if on cue, Jessie sends me this.

Oh Lord. There will soon be no stopping him and thus, here we go.
Those little drunken sailor steps will turn into more confident ones and those legs- oh god! Where will those legs take him in his amazing life?

Away and back, as they are supposed to do.

I am so grateful for this day, for this life, for these moments and for this ability to mark them down, to say this happened on this day and for this moment, it was everything it was meant to be. 

All love...Ms. Moon