Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Back On My Knees In The Dirt


I took about an hour and a half walk this morning but please- that is so misleading. I spent at least half that time talking to my favorite Lloyd ladies.
I took Miss Liola some eggs and pickles and we chatted for a while about the storm and the grandchildren and local gossip and so forth and so on. She is a merry woman and laughs a lot and for some reason, has just loved me from the start. She always hugs me before I leave and I cherish those hugs. I took a picture of the fally-down house after I left her yard and if that tree on the side wasn't there, having grown into the little old cottage, it would have surely collapsed by now. That right bottom corner is coming apart and the whole place is leaning more and more precariously.


I will be sad when it goes entirely. Then again, that may take another decade. Who knows? The earth has its own time to reclaim what it wants. 

Miss Mable was out in her yard when I walked by and I stopped to chat with her too. It took quite a while for her to come to trust me and feel comfortable around me. She's a different sort of woman than Miss Liola. She's a proud and stridently independent woman and her house and her yard are her constant concerns. I swear, every oak leaf that falls bothers her. She pointed out a limb that had fallen in the woods that encroach her yard and told me she has to get someone to take that out because a bear could hide behind it and she can't have that. I didn't have much to say about that. It is true but I doubt it's going to happen. Still- who am I to say what a bear will or will not do? 
She asked me if I knew how to get rid of a vine and I couldn't figure out what kind of vine she meant so she took me around to her back yard and showed me. It was one of those damn invasive potato vines and I told her I had them too and the best way was to get a goat but if that wasn't practical, to do her best to pull the roots and gather all the damn potato-looking fruits it drops and burn it all. They are a horror show. I did not know that her backyard had once been a sort of nursery before she bought it and there are lovely plants back there. Rose of Sharon and Confederate Rose and camellias and sagos and all sorts of things. We talked about plants and roofs and yards. She pointed out another branch that had almost fallen, but not quite, in a tree in her front yard and said that she had to get that taken down. It was driving her crazy. "You're so funny!" I told her. "I'd just let it be until the day it dropped and it wouldn't bother me at all."
I never would have said that to her when we first were getting to know each other but I said it today and she just laughe. I need to take her some eggs and pickles too. 

When I got home I cooled down some and then got to work out in the garden and it almost killed me but goddam it, I NEED TO PLANT ME SOME GREENS! I yanked the spent eggplant and okra and hauled it to the burn pile at which point a swarm of red ants attacked my arm. They'd been crawling all over the okra and I hadn't noticed them. I about gave up at that point but for some reason, although they looked horrible, the bites didn't affect me as strongly as they usually do so I just carried on. 


They still look like a mess but they aren't itching so I'm fine. 
I sweated through my clothes and my hair and my hat but I got maybe a quarter, at least, of the garden cleared and I'd love to get the rest of it done this week so that Mr. Moon can till and then I can plant. I am sick and tired of the sad salad greens in the store. Even the ones in the fancy plastic jewel boxes, even the organic ones, are way past their peak even when they're still in the store. I opened a fresh package of arugula the other day and took one sniff and threw it all out to the chickens who probably didn't eat it. 
It wasn't fittin' as we say around here. Not even to throw into soup. 
I also cleaned out the hen house and gave my sweeties fresh hay. 
I mended a sheet and I did laundry and I just feel pretty darn accomplished for the day although I know that by bedtime I'll be doing some quiet moaning about how my hips hurt but fuck it. It's been worth it. 

Oh! I have been communicating with the lay minister but I'm done with that. His whole thing is the cliched belief that if all you believe in is science and evolution and that we humans are nothing but animals, there is absolutely no reason to act in a kind and loving manner. This always strikes me as the thinking of a person who has a great fear of doing horrible things. Of course I told him that that was insulting and pointed out that the Bible is full of rules and crap that we just simply do not follow these days (such as slavery and stoning to death your recalcitrant child) and also asked him which god I should follow, there being so many. 
He suggested a "simple" book I could read to show me the light but I told him I'd already read the Bible and that that action had actually made me the nonbeliever I am today. 

He has the religion gene. I do not. 
He also obviously has a great need to be told what to think which is something I have never been able to tolerate or understand. 

And so it goes, as dear Kurt Vonnegut so often said. 
And so it is. 
We move on. 

Love...Ms. Moon




Monday, September 18, 2017

Jessie's Face Tells The Story


What a day. We went to the ultrasound place and a very, very quiet tech began the procedure and showed us the heart and the spine and the feet and the hands and all of those parts which are so very important for a baby to have but of course, she being the tech, couldn't make the final decree on how things looked. She did say that the placenta was far away from the cervix which was terrific, and that the little guy is head down for now, at least. Then the doctor came in. Oh my goodness! He was so ebullient! He shook all of our hands and introduced himself and got right to work. He would say, "There's your sweet little baby's heart!" and "There's that wonderful brain!" He was so excited! It was beautiful. He said everything looked perfect. "You have a sweet, wonderful baby!" he said before he left, and then he shook all of our hands again, including August's and we all felt cheerful and grateful. You can see it on Jessie's face.
August of course had no idea what he was looking at but he was very patient and very good and very quiet. He and his dad sat and ate goldfish crackers and watched the proceedings just as if they were at the movies eating popcorn and watching a serious film.


Then we went back to Jessie and Vergil's house and ate soup which was delicious, and then Diana, the midwife came and all was well with that appointment. 
Except...Jessie went into the dining area to get her water and kicked a piece of furniture by accident and broke her toe. She didn't even curse. Probably because Diana was there although Diana is one of those people for whom some well-placed profanity would not be offensive. 
But honestly- poor Jessie. 
Vergil got her an ice bag and snugged it to her foot with an Ace bandage. He's such a good husband. But I felt terrible for her. 

So that's mostly been my day although I did do some ironing while watching a little crap TV when I got home and I'm mighty glad that I got to go and see that little baby although mostly he looked like a sea creature. I think his forehead reminds me of August's. Jessie says the nose is cute. 
I am sure that it is. 

Here's a picture of Maggie I stole off of Facebook because I know we all miss that little cherub. 


She was standing by her daddy watching Owen at baseball practice. Those curls. 
Sigh. 

I feel extremely wealthy in grandchildren tonight. And most everything else as well. Definitely eggs. My lovely hens gave me seven today with colors ranging from blue to green to brown to ivory to white. 
Oh hell, here's a picture with Maurice as lagniappe. 



I am very rich woman. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Monday In Lloyd


That's another picture of hurricane lilies I took yesterday. They are spectacular this year and seem to be popping up in places I've never seen them before which is odd. But each one is a nice surprise.

I'll be going into town soon to go with Jessie and Vergil and August to an appointment for an ultrasound. At one point, Jessie's placenta was lying a bit low and her midwife wants to get a look at where it is now. And of course, we want to get a look at King Richard although to me, ultrasound pictures always make the baby look like an alien. "See the nose?"
Uh. Not really. 
The visual sense is not my best sense.
But it will be fun.

Maurice and Jack had a spat this morning and Maurice ran into the porch and "accidentally" slashed my foot while she was in super attack mode. She also slept on my head all night.
The chickens are talking and bawking and I do believe I would find two very fresh eggs if I went out and checked the nests.

And that's the news from Lloyd this morning. A lot of nature but not too much.

Hope your Monday is going well.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Don't Ever Touch Anything That Looks Like Donald Trump's Hair, Plus Other Stuff, All Somewhat Accurate

So I was out there picking up and raking up limbs and twigs and pulling some oak and cherry laurel sproutlings and also dewberry and Virginia creeper vine when I came across this.


Not a great picture but I thought, "Oh, that's so cute." It was a fuzzy little caterpillar and I sent the picture to Jessie and Lily who both immediately wrote back to inform me that I should NOT TOUCH IT and Jessie sent a link to an article entitled "Mom Hears Bloodcurdling Scream, Finds Boy Stung By Poisonous Caterpillar." 
Did I know about this creature and have just forgotten? It all seems vaguely familiar but anyway, after reading the comments on this article, I don't think I'll forget. Many of the commenters seem to agree that it's like being stung by 100 bees at the same time and thank-you, I'd rather not. Spasms, puking, and "a lump the size of a grapefruit" are also mentioned. 
It's a "puss caterpillar" and it looks like Donald Trump's hair. The adult version is the "flannel moth."
Here's a better picture which I did not take.


Now I'm sort of afraid to go outside. They can drop out of trees and bushes onto you, they can hide beneath a tree like that one I found, they can rest on a chair or a tarp or anything outside which the unwary person then picks up and...
I don't know why this is freaking me out so much but it is and now I have psychosomatic itching all over my body like you get when you find out your kid has head lice which is a whole other story but I think I am allergic to the fear of being stung by the puss caterpillar which may be a new one for the books. 

Okay. Here's something I found on FB that made me laugh. 


I mean sure- go ahead. Figure out what tree you are and read what that means. IT'S SOMEWHAT ACCURATE!
What the fucking hell? 

Here's another piece of information: Owen cut his own rat tail off today. Just cut it off and threw it in the toilet. That sucker was halfway down to his waist. His mother reports that he just didn't want it anymore which is the very best reason to cut it off. 
That's my boy. 

So, for a Sunday this has been a pretty good day. I did indeed get the front yard sorted out and I cleaned up the sidewalk area too which still had downed limbs and twigs on it. Only took me a week! Can you believe that it's only been one week since that storm did what it did, which thankfully wasn't much? 
I can't. I bet the people in the islands and Cuba and Key West and Miami can, though. 

Here's another other thing. Yesterday there was an opinion piece in the newspaper written by a local "lay minister" who asked the question "Where Was God During The Hurricane?" And then answered it with typical religious apologist bullshit basically saying that God does not punish us for stuff (Jesus already took care of that part) but does indeed offer us experiences which allow us to prove our faith and which can be a sort of divine discipline. I found the article so ridiculous that I sent him an e-mail (his address was given at the end of the article) asking about the innocent babies and children who had died or lost their homes during the hurricane and whether God thought their faith needed proving or if they needed some of that discipline and he sent me back an e-mail saying that he would respond to me when he got to a "real" keyboard but so far, I guess he hasn't. Gotten to a real keyboard, that is. 
I don't know why I do things like that. It doesn't help anyone. 

I'd like to comment on Trump retweeting a tweet from a user called @fuctupmind and I'm sure you've seen it but if you haven't, it's a "joke" wherein Trump hits a golf ball which then violently hits Hillary Clinton. Why is this man still in the White House? Why isn't he in jail? 
Who knows? Not me. 
It makes about as much sense as a caterpillar which looks to be designed to make little children want to pet it and which then sends them to the hospital in unbearable pain. 
Which is yet another example of intelligent design. Intelligent for the caterpillar, at least. 

And to end up here, finally and at long last, after I discovered what a horrible creature that caterpillar is, I tried to find it so I could kill it. I did. I really did. 
But it had disappeared. 
Don't know if I'm pissed or relieved. 

I'm going to go make a salad. 
Talk to you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon


Retail And Cuddles


That's Jack the cat who is so fat he fills up the entire chair seat.
That cat.
Maurice still tries to whip his ass. She weighs about as much as Jack's ears. Maybe a paw.
It never comes out well for Maurice.
It's funny that my roosters get along better than my cats.
Maurice was born to be an only cat. I don't know why Jack sticks around. I guess because we feed him enough that he's grown to obviously over-large proportions. He'll eat and eat and eat and then throw up and then go eat some more. Maurice looks at him with huge and disgusted disdain from her perch on the kitchen island as he goes about his eating disorderly conduct. But that's how she looks at everything. One night after our guests left she came and slept with me the entire night. Every time I tried to move she'd make that warning growl in her throat. She just wasn't given enough love as a child. And I can't help it. I love her tremendously. I love Jack too but Maurice is my very own familiar.

After the shower yesterday I went to two drugstores and a (shudder) Walmart to try and find a new fan. Neither of the drugstores had any fans and the ones that Walmart had were too big. So I ordered one off of Amazon this morning.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The first review of the fan I ordered was this:

I'm quite a large man, my temperature's hot
My blood boils and churns like a cast iron pot
The last fan I had, made hardly a breeze
As sweat pools collected and I smelled like wet cheese
It made lots of noise and drowned out all sound
While meanwhile a sweat pool dripped onto the ground
I could no longer take it, my face was on fire!
I felt like a bonfire that was fed with a tire
So I looked up this fan, It had good reviews
And it could ship quickly (really good news)
It came in the mail and I plugged it right in
And felt the cool breeze make its way to my skin
I was cool! I was comfy! My attitude shifted
I felt like a schoolbus or house could be lifted
So if you are warm, or got forbid hot
PLEASE BUY THIS FAN, it's the best one I've got."

How could I not buy it?

Walmart had rows and rows of empty shelves. I think it's mostly a matter of trucks not being able to make deliveries but it was weird. Mr. Moon went to return a small part he'd bought at Lowe's and he said the line would have taken three hours to get to the front of. People were returning plywood and generators and chain saws. I can understand that people would want to return them if they really couldn't afford them but honestly folks- you're just going to have to go through that whole pain in the ass of going back to the store and re-buying these things when the next storm comes. And it will.




That's what's going on right now. Hurricane season doesn't end until November 30. 

Ooh boy. 

But today is a gorgeous day and I'm going to try to finish cleaning up the front yard at least. And here's a gorgeous picture of a gorgeous boy greeting this gorgeous day from his front stoop. 


That picture cracks me up. He's standing just like his daddy does. 
And since Jessie posted a bunch of really cute pictures this morning on FB, I might as well share this one.


He approves of his brother's new blanket. Jessie said that when she showed it to him, he laid down on it and said, "Cuddle. Nice."
Don't you just want to scratch that little back so softly?

All right. I better get out there and pick up some sticks. 

I know. I KNOW! I lead such a glamorous life. It's insane. Try not to be jealous.

Love...Ms. Moon




Saturday, September 16, 2017

We Celebrated


What a perfect baby shower! There were only eight of us there and we were missing a few ladies who couldn't make it but being such a small group of us made it so sweet. We could all join in one conversation and there was much laughing and eating and...
facials and foot massages!
We don't need no stupid shower games.

Liz's house is just amazing. It is as colorful and as interesting and as eclectic as she is. Two of my daughters have lived with her. Jessie rented a room with her when she was in college and May and her first husband lived with her when they moved to Tallahassee. Living with Liz has to be the best of all worlds. You are absolutely protected by a supreme mother bear and you are surrounded with music and art and fun and the most wonderful people. Liz was with me when I had Jessie and I'll never forget that.

Here's a present Liz got me recently in Asheville.


Perfect or what? 

Here's what our food looked like. 


All of it was catered by Costco and Publix. I had so much fun in Costco buying the party food which always looks like so much fun but which I never have an excuse to buy. Fancy cheeses and crackers and baguettes and organic berries and smoked salmon and quinoa salad and shrimp cocktail AND a Tres Leches cake. There was so much food left and Lily and Jessie took a lot of it to serve tonight at the deer blind raising event. 
Which I am gracefully declining to attend. 
Mer needs some alone time and Mer is getting it right now. 

So it was a simply beautiful day and oh! here's the blanket I made for the baby yesterday. 


I'm calling it a scrap blanket because I made it out of flannel scraps from quilts I've made the children. It's sort of a hot mess but it is soft. I just cannot wait to meet this new child whom I am still calling King Richard. Gibson really does think that Jessie and Vergil are going to name him that. They still haven't decided on any names yet. Vergil is most particular about this process. He doesn't want to use any name that comes from the Bible which eliminates approximately 95% of all of the names in the world. I suggested today that they name the baby Mohammad but I'm pretty sure that that one isn't in consideration along with all of the other names I have suggested. Vergil did suggest that they name the child Jesse because Jessie was named after her grandfather, Jesse, who was named for his Aunt Jessie. I see a beautiful symmetry in this and if Jessie can get over her feeling that this would be too egocentric, I think it would be a perfect name. And her daddy would be so happy to have a baby named after his daddy. 

At the end of the day, this is Jessie and Vergil's decision. Not Gibson's nor mine nor Mr. Moon's. And just as with August, they will settle on a very fine name. Of this, I have no doubt. 

And before I sign off, I must inform you that August Glinden had his first official poopy on the potty today. 
Are we proud? 
You bet!

It's the little things. 

Love...Ms. Moon



More Hot Air

I took my shower last night (hot water!) and got in my bed with the AC vent right beside it and turned on my bedside fan which  is as big and powerful as a fan that'll fit on a small bedside table can be and it made a horrible screeching noise and then stopped.
Dead.
For those of you who have never experienced the joy of midlife hot flashes which never quite go away, this probably doesn't sound like a big deal.
But some of you, I feel, may relate to my despair.
I have another small fan and I went and got that and plugged it in but that sucker is USELESS. It wouldn't flutter one piece of toilet paper if you held it in front of it. It wouldn't blow a gnat off a tomato.
But I made do.
Some universal force is determined to not let me have cool air blowing on me.
Well.
I told that theory to Mr. Moon and he said, "Nah. Shit happens."
I love him.

So. I need to get to town and buy things for Jessie's shower and go help Liz get set up for it. After the shower I hear that there's some big deer blind project going on at Lily's. Mr. Moon was vague about that but somehow I think it's going to involve Vergil, Jason, and of course, the blind-builder himself, Mr. Moon. I may gracefully decline to participate.
Hunting season may not have officially begun but around here it is well begun. I've already been told to stop using scented laundry products.

Okay. Things to do. Places to go.

All love...Ms. Moon

Friday, September 15, 2017

Just...Grand!


Well, that's what the scene looked like in the cafeteria today when we ate with Gibson. I bet that we were the only people there who had a jar of homemade pickled okra. Or...okra of any kind for that matter. Gibson was thrilled for us to be there and hugged us both about ten times apiece. Or maybe more. He would eat a few bites and then, as if overcome with it all, he'd hug one of us again. He's such a lovey boy.
Boppy had to go back to work after Gibson's lunch so I stayed to eat with Owen and that was fun too. He was the door holder today.


I swear- that kid has grown at least another inch every time I see him. We discussed the fact that usually he has three grandparents at lunch on this special day but today it was only me. I think he was okay with that. 
The thing I like the most about grandparent's lunch day is seeing all of the other grands with their grandbabies and also, talking to the other kids at the table. As Owen and I noted, grandparents come in all shapes and sizes and ages and colors and we all love our grandchildren. It's just palpable. One little girl who ate with us when we were sitting with Gibson broke my heart though. She sort of played with her food and didn't eat a thing and finally I said, "Aren't you going to eat anything?"
Another little boy said, "She never eats."
And then she said to me, "No. It's my meds. I need them to focus but I can't eat." 

Yeah, speed'll do that to you, as I recall. 

What the hell are we doing to our kids? Is medication really the best way to help children focus? 
I don't know. If so, we need to figure out why the hell so many of them need that help although I'm quite certain that the pharmaceutical industry likes things just the way there are. 
She did finally accept a little bit of cantaloupe that I offered her although I know I should not have been offering food to other kids. Still- it made me feel good to see her eat that little bit. Honestly, she did not eat one other thing nor did she take a sip of her chocolate milk. 
She seemed wistful, that little girl, and so sweet. 

After the lunches, I came home and not long after I'd been here, the AC man showed up. Oh, how I could have covered him in kisses! Okay. Not really. But metaphorically, at least. 
We laughed about this air conditioner in a most rueful way and shook our heads even as we laughed. He's worked on it before. 
He found a burnt wire that had gone through the capacitor and knocked it out and he rewired the wire and replaced the capacitor and blessed cold air is coming in through my vents again. 
I gave him a big glass of ice water and he went on his way and although I had thought to go out and work in the front yard some more, I changed my mind and took the wimpy way out and sat down and made something for Jessie's shower which is tomorrow. I can't tell you what it is because she might read this. 
Hint: It doesn't look that good but it's very soft. 
Haha!
But oh, how I enjoyed myself, sitting and sewing. Truly, that has become one of my favorite activities. 
And...it helps me focus. 

So that's been my day and if it hadn't turned out the way it has with the AC fixed, I would be a weeping pile of sweaty misery. But, we shall sleep cool again tonight and tomorrow is Jessie's baby shower and that will be sweetness. Her Aint Liz (not to be confused with her fairy godmother Lis) is throwing the party and I'll be going over early to help her. Costco food is going to be in evidence. I will do my cooking after this baby is born. The chicken soup, the traditional postpartum salad and bread and prune cake. 
It won't be too long now. 
Her baby is growing so fast and she is so beautiful. She is absolutely regal and majestic and that's all there is to it. I cannot wait to meet this new little fellow she's carrying so splendidly. 

Ah, it is raining and I can't believe I'm saying this but that's so nice. 

May all be well with you and yours. 

Love...Ms. Moon

More Whining

Beautiful morning, just starting to get warm and humid. It's Friday and today is Grandparent's Day at Gibson and Owen's school and now that Gibson is in school we get to have lunch with both boys but an hour apart and it's going to be almost ninety today and...I don't know.
I might just fall apart.
Not because of the lunch which will be fun. I've bought chicken roll-ups at Costco and have Oreo's and fruit and tortilla chips and apple juice to take for the boys and for Mr. Moon and me too, but because I'm just overwhelmed, which- face it- takes about one mosquito more than usual to occur.
A week ago we were all freaking and preparing for doomsday and then we didn't have doomsday but we had all the stress and then the work of trying to put everything back together and then the power came back on and then the AC quit and I'm feeling like a little girl who wants a mommy or a daddy to come and make sure I take my naps and my baths and puts me in clean pajamas at night and has nourishing food to eat, maybe something with rice pudding involved, and why is my house developing strange odors and speaking of, there's something dead out in the yard over near the chicken coop and I'm just so tired, no matter how much I sleep.

Well, I need to go pack lunches and get dressed and get over to the school because Kindergarten eats lunch at 10:52 and we have to check in early to make sure that we're not terrorists (Steve Reed- are you and Dave okay? oh my GOD what sort of world do we live in?) and I know for sure that my boys are going to be so glad to see us and that will help. That will help.
To be loved just for being the grandparents.
And bringing Oreos, of course.

I think I need a backbone transplant. I think I need to pull it together. I think I need to shut up and cowgirl up, cupcake, because this is life and right here, right now, it may feel overwhelming but in reality, it's all just fine.

Happy Friday (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Are You Kidding Me?

Even though I got to hang out with this guy for a few hours today



and he did not make one fuss, not ONE, and we had a very good time and threw goldfish crackers into each other's mouths which is hysterical, and read a bunch of books and played with toys and made a fort...even though all of that...

I am SO PISSED!

Why? (First World Problem Alert) My air conditioner is not working. 
This damn thing has been one problem after another for thirteen years and everyone who works on it says the same thing, "Well, I've never seen this happen with this unit before."

Whatever. 

I'm sure life will go on. 

But I'm still pissed. 


So Far Today


Hurricane Lily in sunshine.


From left, clock-wise: Eggs by Trinky, Darla, Nicey, either Owl or Lucy. 

They do good work, those girls. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Better

I feel like a completely different person this evening.
I certainly didn't get everything done I wanted to but I did enough to make me feel better. Lots of laundry, two freshly made-up beds, a few floors swept, kitchen tidied, and one cartload after another of twigs and branches and limbs picked up and hauled to the burn pile. I also did a bit of pulling of weeds and trimming of palm fronds as I went and I also went through sheets and took out a pile that need to be given away or donated because I don't have those sized beds anymore.
The front yard is far from done but I made a good start and no one's going to fire me for not finishing it up in a timely manner.

Then I came in and drank an iced shot of espresso, took a warm shower, not a freezing cold one, washed my hair, dried off with clean towels, and then...turned on the air conditioning.

Lord. You would think that I'd been out in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, living rough under a rock, instead of having to suffer without full electricity for TWO WHOLE DAYS!

I'm so spoiled. And so are most of us, to tell you the truth.

Well, at least I know I am and it's good to be reminded of that fact now and then. It renews your appreciation to go without for a few days, whether we're talking about electricity or coffee. That coffee part is purely speculative, by the way.

Want to hear something funny? My big toe on my right foot has been hurting and I honestly thought there was a splinter in it but Jessie looked yesterday and proclaimed that it merely had a small crack in it and what I thought was a splinter was dirt. Okay. Sure. I walk around barefooted or in flip flops all the time which explains the dirt but I could not think of how I could have hurt it. And the other toes on that foot sort of hurt too.
I figured out why just now.
It's been such a rainy summer that all of my doors are swollen to the point that some of them won't entirely shut and it's hard to open them. When my AC is on, I shut the back door to the porch and I go through that door about a hundred times a day. During the hurricane and the cooler temps and the lack of power I mostly didn't shut the door but since I turned the air conditioner on, I did. And when I just went back into the house from the porch, I went to open the door which was sticky and kicked it at the bottom with my right foot which I now realize I've been doing for weeks and weeks and that's why my toes hurt.

Mystery solved. I'll start kicking it with the other foot now.

Love...Ms. Moon

The Subject Of Power And Luck


We were just snuggled into bed last night being grateful that it was cool enough to sleep comfortably when suddenly, my bedside fan came on.
A miracle! Electricity!
I was ready to take it for what it was and go on to sleep but Mr. Moon got up and unplugged the generator from everything, plugged everything back into the house current, took the snaking power cords we'd been living with and tripping over back out to the garage, and even set up the coffee for this morning's brewing.
That man. He just takes care of business.
Meanwhile, it felt like a struggle for me to plug my phone in.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

Instead of being simply grateful for what we have, what we avoided, I am on the verge of tears every moment. I look at the branches I need to pick up and instead of just being silly with glee that all I have to deal with are branches instead of a damn tree in my house, I am overwhelmed. I see all of the tracked-in dirt everywhere in the house and sort of want to die while at the same time, feel incredibly guilty that I feel this way when so, so many people have lost everything to flooding and are having to rip their houses apart to dry and repair them. I open my cold refrigerator and upon seeing that still vast vat of soup, wonder why in the world I made so fucking much of it. I put another load of laundry in and yes, I am so aware of the fact that I CAN DO MY LAUNDRY inside of my own house but also overcome with the knowledge that laundry is never done and also that almost no one else in Jefferson County is able to do their laundry today and according to reports, may not have that ability until next week. Hell, I'm sitting here writing this soul-dredge on my charged-up laptop and have wifi!
My children, my grandchildren, my chickens, my cats- all fine! I didn't lose so much as a carton of ice cream. Hell, we had so much food that my chickens are feasting on the remains of this leftover and that one. So far they've had watermelon, cornbread, field peas, and salad.
And one giant cockroach that I discovered in my dishwasher when I went to start putting dishes in it. Miss Dottie snatched that beast right up, swallowing it down her craw as she ran being pursued by the other jealous hens.

I guess this is just the way of it when depression and anxiety ride your back like an immortal monkey who holds on with a grip that never loosens. He whispers in your ear things like, "Yeah, this time you made it. This time it was all okay. But what about next time? These storms are just going to get bigger and more frequent. And why are you so lucky? You don't deserve this. You don't deserve electricity or running water or food or the health of your family or your husband or any damn thing in this world more than anyone else. The shit will come down on you eventually. Just wait and see. Just wait...and see."

And this is simply how it is.

And so, you download a new book on your phone (another undeserved perk of the universe from being born in a first-world country) and plug in your earbuds and you do the laundry and you clean things up and you go outside and you pick up branches and haul them to the burn pile and you stop to take the cloth from your pocket and wipe your brow and fold it back and put it back into your pocket and suddenly you feel as if you are channeling your grandfather whom you saw do that exact same thing a hundred times at least as he worked in the yard, slowly and steadily, throughout your young childhood, often after a hurricane or storm had wreaked havoc on his trees. You do what needs to be done and you are always grateful and you are constantly yelling at the monkey that no, you may not deserve any of your blessings and the shit may indeed come but this is just life and goddamn it, shut up.

Having said all of this, I remember an incident which I'm sure I've talked about before and it was the straw that truly broke this camel's back when it came to my relationship with my mother and is so very illustrative of why I probably have these feelings because I feel certain that the same message was given to me my entire life.
It involved money, of course, and this money had come from a trust that my brother and I received upon the death of a great aunt on my father's side of the family. We had known this money was coming and C., before he and my mother divorced, had talked my brother and I into giving my mother (and thus, him) a share of what we were to receive. Long story short, Mother did not end up getting the amount of money she thought she deserved and she was angry. We were talking on the phone and she said, "You did NOTHING to deserve this money. I was the one who had to put up with that family and your drunken father!"
"But Mom," I said. "That's what an inheritance is. It is based simply on blood."
"Well," she said, "I still don't think you deserve it."
And then I said, "I didn't deserve to be sexually abused either, but that sure happened."
And she hung up the phone and that...was...that.
Things were never the same again. Or perhaps, they were, just more so.

And now I'm going to go get my life better back in order and I have to remember that my mother did work hard and saved hard and was always thrifty and that somehow, money meant love to her in some way because she had had to do without much of it for some frightening parts of her life.

And I am a lucky woman and I do indeed have power.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Post Storm Report

Well, we still don't have power but that's all right. We have the generator and we have water and we also have the phone line back which means that we can access the internet which is good because I was feeling lost and bereft.
I hate to admit that but it's true.
Our company left early this morning and made it home to Tampa. They have power but a lot of people down there don't.
Everything in Florida is down to that right now- Do you have power?
I picked up some branches this afternoon and hauled them to the burn pile and then strolled to the end of the block to see if I could see any Duke Energy repair trucks glowing like holy things on the road, but I did not. Mr. Moon saw some on his way home from town.
When I was walking back, a woman in a truck stopped and said to me, "You got power?"
"No m'am," I told her. "Do you?"
"No. I live in Monticello. My son in Tallahassee just got his back on."
"That's good. Did you get any damage?"
"Nah, just a few branches down. Everyone saying that storm was gonna be so bad. It just wasn't."
"I know. It was crazy."
"Everyone going crazy," she said. "They need to trust in GOD!" She pointed to the ceiling of the truck. "The man upstairs!"
"That's right!" I said with all of the unbridled enthusiasm of a river-baptized, five-nights-a-week-church-going BELIEVING woman.
What the fuck ever.
Tell that to St. Martin.
I guess we just have real good prayers here in the Florida Panhandle.

We did all freak out but fuck if they weren't telling us to. Except for one local meteorologist named Rob Nucatolo. I came to love that man. He does FB chats and the weather on a local channel and he'd say things like, "Look, they keep saying we're going to get hurricane force winds and massive flooding up here and it's just not going to happen. If you want to get all freaked out, go up a few channels. They'll be glad to help you."
Then he'd discuss things like SCIENCE and PHYSICS and tell everyone to calm down.
I wanted to believe him with all of my heart.
And he was right.
He was right about where the storm was going to go and who would be affected and how. He didn't make light of anything but he just told what he, as a long-time meteorologist foresaw happening.
He helped me for sure.

Anyway. Shit. I've got the blues for some reason and I have no right to them at all. We had no real damage and I didn't even lose sleep. We ate like royalty and our freezer full of stuff is absolutely fine. The temperature is mild. I have running water! I don't have hot water but so what? I turn on the faucet and it comes out! Water! I have internet! I have about a thousand branches to pick up but that's no big deal. I even went to town and got to hang out with Jessie and August and then we went to lunch with one of her housemates and Lily and Owen and Gibson and Maggie.
I took pictures but they all suck.
So why am I feeling this way? I have no idea.
Adrenalin-drain hangover?
We sure were pumped up for about a week beforehand. Irma took over our LIVES! Our highways were filled with evacuees. Our town was filled with evacuees. We bought everything on the shelves at Publix and Costco. We prepared and then we prepared some more. We boarded windows and cleared the yard. We put mattresses in hallways. We watched the Weather Channel incessantly. We checked Irma's progress and the forecasts online like we were being payed by the hit. We cut down trees and trimmed branches. We drained the entire state of available gasoline and canned ravioli.

But. It's so much better to be over-prepared than it is to be under-prepared. And there were parts of the state hit hard and it's going to be a long time before things are anywhere near back to normal.

I tell you what, though. Those two kids who stayed here may have had one of the best times of their lives. They were just precious. They loved my chickens so much I couldn't believe it. They loved our house, they loved our trees, they loved the train tracks, they loved it all.


That's them, Grace and Cam in front of the big oak in our front yard. They really are that affectionate and loving towards each other. Cam asked if they could take home some of the eggs they'd gathered and I told him of course and packed them all up for the trip to Tampa. He wanted to show his daddy. 
Their parents have done so well with them. 

And speaking of chickens, they're all fine. If Dottie was a mammal, I'd say she's weaned her babies. She's pretty much completely disconnected from them and it seems as if the transition has been painless. She's a very fine mother. 

So that's the news from Lloyd where I can't complain but somehow do anyway. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, September 11, 2017

Irma has turned out to be a beautiful non-event for us except for the pre-terror, the massive preparation, and the power outage. We still don't have power and I have like zero communication ability with my kids bracause my always-dependable landline is dead which means that even if we plug the modem into generator power we can't access wifi. My cell reception is never dependable here and seems to be even less so today.

But we're good. I have to admit I slept a lot today, probably recovering from the anxiety we've all been experiencing for weeks. Lisa has too but Mr. Moon has been busy, operating the generator, making us coffee, picking up limbs and branches and taking the plywood off the windows. 

Lisa and her kids are going to leave to go back home to Tampa tomorrow. She was able to call her husband and they, miraculously, have power. Slightly ironic in that the place evacuated to does not. It's been a lesson and an eye opener for all us to have no communication to speak of with the outside world but the kids have been happy, playing games and messing about with the chickens and collecting eggs. 

I am just incredibly grateful that we got such gentle winds and rain and that it's so delightfully and unbelievably cool and that our generator can make lights and phone charging possible. Also, that I have a gas stove. I'm cooking field peas and brown rice and am going to make some skillet cornbread here in a minute. 

We are good. We are so very, very good. 

Love...Ms. Moon
We are very well this morning. Power's out but nothing too heavy going on. I hear that we still have yet to see the most of the winds and rain but that by late afternoon it should have passed and is now just a tropical storm. 
We are so fortunate. 
I'll check back in when I can. 
Love alla y'all. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Literal Calm Before The Storm

Still quiet here, gentle rain, an occasional gust of wind but nothing big.

I think the storm has been downgraded to a Category 2 which is still a very strong storm but not as strong, of course, as a Category 5, and as my own personal favorite meteorologist keeps reminding us, its trip up the coast over land is going to weaken it a great deal.
The SW coast of Florida, however, has had a terrible hit and there will probably be flooding although as of now, the storm has sucked all of the water OUT of Tampa Bay and in fact, a lot of bays and rivers, and it's all just very, very surreal. They are having flooding tides in St. Augustine which is at the entirely opposite end and length of the state. I am sure that science can explain this but I can't.

Mr. Moon and Vergil boarded up the windows at Vergil and Jessie's house today and then moved on to Lily and Jason's where they made what I'm calling a "hunker bunker" out of the living room. Then they came over here and boarded up the windows in our bedroom, the dining room, and the bedroom where Lisa and her children are sleeping and I have to tell you that I am SO damn glad that it's so unseasonably cool right now because when that power goes out and those rooms are boarded up, it could be a hell. A safe hell, but a hell. But it is so cool that we've got doors open now and we're all wearing long sleeves.

And so here we are with power and lights and cool air and so much food and we wait. I imagine that I'll wake up at some point tonight to hear the winds and rain and discover that the power is off. I keep telling myself that in 24 hours most of it will be behind us. The storm, at least. Then the work of clearing and possible repair work and waiting for the power to come back on will begin.

I will try to post what I can tomorrow. Maybe I'll be able to post something from my phone. We shall see.
But I'll be in touch as soon as I possibly can. I promise you.
And all will be well.

Love you to pieces...Ms. Moon

We're Still Here

Lisa-Lisa, Redheaded Lisa Whom We Adore got in last night with her two kids who are awesome children. They are about ten and twelve, I think, and they are absolutely entranced with the chickens. They have fed chickens, they have gathered eggs and we have eaten eggs.
They're a great age, pretty independent but very mannerly and I think they like being here a lot, which is good.

The sky is gray and we're still getting gusts but they are gentle gusts. I think our whole crowd is staying for the storm. Jessie woke up and thought she might want to leave and they packed up what they needed but then Vergil went and got plywood to board windows and they have tons of supplies AND a basement AND a generator AND their house is brick and on high ground so they should be good and I think they're going to stay too. Mr. Moon has gone into town to get a sheet of plywood to board up the one window in the dining room and we can make that our bunker room if we feel it's necessary. Lily says she's already cried a few times and has been in and out of the bathroom but she's okay. Publix decided to close at noon instead of five so Jason will be home soon and she'll feel better. I think we need to make yet another scale for a storm- the toilet paper roll scale.
If you are going through more than one roll of toilet paper a day for a small amount of people, there's probably stress happening. The more rolls, the more stress represented.
Right?
I have lots of extra toilet paper.

And so we wait. We should start seeing some real weather late tonight and the brunt of it should be here by early afternoon tomorrow. I've seen predictions as scattered as pick-up-sticks on the floor. Pick the one you like- winds of 110 mph or winds of 65 mph. Everything in between.

As long as a tree doesn't fall on us, we'll be okay. And frankly, people rarely die when a tree falls on their house. As May pointed out, the tree has to go through the roof before it hits you which lessens the impact. And in our house, it would have to go through the top floor, too.
Not that I want a tree to fall on us. I really don't.

Now excuse me please. I need to go to the bathroom.

Love...Ms. Moon




Saturday, September 9, 2017

This, Too, Is What A Hurricane Feels Like

Leon County, the county just to the west of us, has declared a volunteer evacuation for anyone who does not feel that they have the supplies or resources for at least 3-5 days of being unable to get to a store or live without electricity.
This is, of course, a worst-case scenario but it has added to the feeling of anxiety around here. At one point today I got a phone alert which literally said, "Evacuate immediately." I hear that it was a mistake alert sent in Jefferson County which is where I live.
It didn't help.

Everyone is on edge. People are snapping at each other and it's completely understandable. Throw in people being in closer quarters than usual and things can get unpleasant.

The problem is, is that this storm is not doing what it should be according to those who know. And among those, there is vast disagreement about how the storm is going to affect our area. I've read it could arrive as a Cat 3 or Cat 5 and I've also seen it said that no, no, it will only be somewhat like Hermine was last year but not as intense. And all of this depends on whether Irma slips back onto land as it travels northward which would deplete its energy or if stays on the nice cozy warm waters of the Gulf which would only strengthen it.

Well, it is what it is and it will be what it will be and I have people driving up from Tampa right now. The storm isn't supposed to hit the keys until daybreak tomorrow but we are already getting some light gusts. Mr. Moon spent all day long gathering up stuff outside and taking things to the trash. I wisely spent some of my time cleaning my old office space FOR ABSOLUTELY NO APPARENT REASON except that it's been needing doing for a long time and why not? It felt sort of good to get that done. And then, when I got the news about my dear Lisa-Lisa coming up with her mama and her children, I made soup. Of course.


I told Mr. Moon that I really hope we don't evacuate because I'd hate to leave that soup behind and lose it. 

Well, since I started this, the Ativan I took earlier has kicked in and I'm sipping a vodka, cranberry, pineapple, and tonic and I feel a lot less stressed. If you want to judge me about my mixing of meds and booze, you just go right ahead and do that. Meanwhile, I'm grateful to have some relief of the simmering panic I've been feeling all day although I just went into the kitchen to stir some spices and seasonings into the soup and the guy on the radio is warning us that things can be replaced but our families can not. 

Breathe. 
We're going to be all right. I can almost bet the ranch on that. 

Much love...Ms. Moon

Being Here Now. For Now.

Irma is tracking ever more westerly and if it enters the gulf, we're going to have to think about leaving. Which is a horrible thought. Traffic is gridlocked.

This is absolutely maddening.

I just talked to a dear friend down in Tampa. She has two children and her husband is determined to stay there with the house and she doesn't know what to do. Of course I told her she can come here but...what if we have to leave?

No one knows what the right thing to do is. No one.

We have absolutely no rooms in this house that don't have windows. The center hallway was built for cross ventilation which...well.

The good news is that when this house was built they used real wood and built it strong.

Anyway, I need to breathe, to try and calm down. If you looked at me right now you would not see an overtly freaking woman but inside I'm a mess.
My babies.
My friends.

It's going to be all right. Mr. Moon promised.
"We'll be fine," he said.

I need to ground myself. I need to stay focused and not float away on a cloud of disassociation which would do not good for anyone.

All will be revealed. Breathe. Etc.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hunkering Down

Almost every Floridian has stories of hurricanes we've survived. Tales of huddling in our houses as candles flickered and winds roared outside, fearing that our windows would not withstand the pressure, our roofs, our walls. Hearing the sway and crack of trees as they bend under pressure too great for them to bear and waiting with held breath that horrible second to see if something comes through the roof.
Ay-yi. It's not a joke and the people of Florida are not fooling around about this storm. The roads are packed. I've read stories about people having to turn around and go home.
And it's not just the storm itself which is absolutely bad enough. It's the inconvenience afterwards, the still so very hot and muggy late summer days which have to be borne with no air conditioning, not even a fan if there's no generator. The food that goes bad in the freezer. The cold showers if you're lucky enough to have water. The constant reaching for the light switch which does not work, over and over again. The mountains of limbs and debris covering the yard and the house and the cars and everything. The smell of mold and mildew, the roads not passable due to fallen trees and branches. The ugly air-splitting sound of generators and chain saws.
This is when we realize how extremely spoiled and puny we modern day humans are when our faithful and trusted services fail us. We have absolutely no idea how useless we are without our electricity and internet and TV and cars and well-stocked grocery stores until we have to do without them.

And the waiting for it all to happen- I've compared hurricanes to labor and I stick by that comparison. Like labor you're never quite exactly sure when or where it will begin and you don't have the slightest idea how things will go. And then there's the factor of not being in control. Just as the body has a mind of its own when it's time for a baby to be born, the storm has a mind of its own as it travels and wreaks its destruction and there is nothing to be done to hasten that or to avoid it. The timeline is not ours.
It must just be endured.

And so now we are waiting. Things shouldn't really start to get interesting here until Sunday and Monday. A whole other day to wait and not grow either complacent or overly anxious. Neither of those will serve us. I can't even begin to imagine how the people in south Florida feel right now.
Well, I can begin to imagine.
I can.

Mr. Moon and I just had a walk-about in the yard, discussing what we still need to do. Park the cars as far away from trees as possible which is a bit difficult in that we have trees everywhere. Try to figure out how to get Dearie and his two hens into the chicken coop because trying to ride out a hurricane on a tree branch is probably not going to work very well. Bring in the wind chimes and hanging plants. Board up the shed whose door has rotted off.
And so forth. We looked up at the canopy of branches above us and I said, "Well, we're going to be getting a lot of free tree-trimming."
We both sighed.

I've found the old phone which does not require electricity and plugged it into the phone line and got a beautiful dial tone. After some storms, we don't get cell reception at all due to towers being down and we don't get it that well under the best of circumstances so a landline is still a necessity to us and I am grateful to have it.
Also, in preparation for the storm I have made an angel food cake with leftover egg whites. Just what everyone needs for a hurricane- an angel food cake. Right?
Ah well, we do what we do to comfort ourselves, to try and stay busy, to cast magic spells of normalcy and safety and domesticity.

I just saw on FB that Publix's will be closed at five o'clock on Sunday. I've never seen this happen before but I'm glad they're doing it. As the mother of a Publix employee and the mother-in-law of another, I am grateful that Lily and Jason will not be trying to drive home during high winds and rain but will be with their family as they should be.
Thank-you, Publix.

Now. We'll just have to see what the Waffle House Hurricane Index shows.
Don't laugh. It's a real thing.

And they say that by tomorrow morning they'll be able to predict more accurately where Irma is going to turn and where she looks most likely to go.

We're hanging on to our hats...
We're Floridans so we're already batshit crazy.
I'll check in tomorrow morning while things are still relatively sane.

Love...Ms. Moon










Whachu Gon' Do?

As far as I'm concerned it does no good whatsoever at this point to try and figure out where this storm is going to hit Florida and what it's path is going to be. Right now it looks like it's going to hit south Florida and then come right on up the spine of the state.
Tallahassee hotel rooms are filled to capacity and I hear that gas is scarce. Some people are in Tallahassee to ride out the storm, more are probably here to pause before heading to parts farther away. The word "gridlock" is being tossed around.

I wonder if Trump will be spending the weekend at Mar-A-Lago?
Hahahahahahaha!

Meanwhile it's a beautiful, relatively cool day here with clear skies and I need to take a walk and try and shake off some of this worry. We're all in the same boat here, so to speak, and won't really be getting much wind or rain until Sunday, most likely.

I'm going to need more beer by then.

Thank you to everyone for your concern. This is just living in Florida and by golly, I lived through one of the worst hurricanes in history when I was six years old and have survived plenty since then. This is not to say that if given the choice I'd never sit through another but unless I decide to move to another part of the country that's not going to happen. Plus- if it's not hurricanes it's earthquakes or forest fires or tsunamis or tornados or...

As dear Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say


Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon



Thursday, September 7, 2017

Freak or Fly? Who Knows? But Here We Are

This whole storm-watch thing is maddening. We pin our hopes and our plans on one forecast track and then, a few hours later, the computer models show a different track. One which has us thinking about evacuation again, or at least more preparation.
Florida is running short on gas. Many stores run out of bottled water the second they unload the truck. This sort of disturbs me. What's wrong with tap water? I am filling up juice bottles and freezing them and whatever else plastic bottles I can find to wash out and clean. They will help the freezer stay colder longer should we lose power for days and when they thaw, we can drink them if need be. You can be damn sure that I'll be filling up the bathtubs. Flushing toilets without running water is a problem and quite frankly, one I'd like to have a solution for that doesn't involve bottled water.
We've got plenty of food and I'll just lock the chickens up in the coop if it comes to that. It's pretty sturdy and for that, I am grateful to Mr. Moon. There are things in the yard which should be tucked away somewhere but some of them are just too big for any space we have. A few vehicles and a boat, for sure.
I hear the highways are filling up with traffic and when I came home from town today the westbound lane of I-10 was notably busier than the eastbound.
I need to move my porch plants. I'm not sure where. I guess back to the wall of the porch. A few of the lighter ones probably need to come in.
And all of this depends on...the forecast.

Of course.

Sigh.

Meanwhile, as I keep saying, life goes on.
I had to get my teeth cleaned this morning and although I dreamed last night that I missed my appointment and then could not find my phone nor remember the name of my dentist, I made it there with plenty of time to spare and remembered my dentist's name easily and my hygienist's too.
That was just one more little anxiety trigger but I survived and my teeth are fine.
After that I met Jessie and August for lunch at the buffet which has everything from curries to fried rice and one freezer with desserts and one refrigerator with desserts. August enjoyed everything today and he wanted Jello for his dessert. He'd never had Jello before. Never even seen Jello before, so we were interested to see what he did with it.
He poked his finger in it mostly. That made him happy. What a fun food!


He didn't really like the taste so much, though, and didn't eat much of it. He much preferred the miniature cheesecakes which are the size of a candy. 
The boy has good taste. 

After lunch I went across the road to the Goodwill which I have not done for a long time. I got some nice things including lace curtains for Lily, a shirt that might do for Jessie after her baby is born, soft and easily nursey accessible. I found a braided rug and some beautiful placemats which inspired me to throw out some of my oldest ones. I also got a nice linen dress and a small leather bag which I looked up online and which you can buy new, now, for almost two hundred dollars and I paid nine. It's obviously been used but not abused and I rather love it. 

And so overall, it's been a good day and even the temperature and humidity have been a lot more comfortable but in a way, that only adds to the feeling of things not quite being real. It's as if we are caught here in some land between knowing and not-knowing, action and in-action, paradise and terrifying hell. They're saying that until Saturday morning, we really won't know for sure where this storm is going. 
And even then...

I wish we had more flashlights but forget finding a one on the shelves around here. Some lamp oil would be good for my lanterns but again...it's all been sold. And thus, we shall just make do as needs must. 

Here. Look at this.


A blue egg to go with the green one I got yesterday. Owl and Lucy are in business. 

Talk to you tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Mr. August And Mer Have A Whole Lot Of Fun


So. How can you be too worried about anything when this little goof is playing with you?
We had so much fun.


He's definitely going through a stage with his mother wherein he doesn't want to do anything that she wants him to and there are tears and NO's involved but that's the way it is with Mama. My theory is that children know that their mothers will not kill them; everyone else? Questionable. So with me today he was as sweet and agreeable as a child can be. Everything I suggested he was completely onboard with except he did not want to lay down on the bed and read books! No! We could sit on the couch and read books or sit in the swing and read books but NOT ON THE BED! Because, you know- he might fall asleep. 
And we read a lot of books. 
We fed chickens. He already knows Mick by name and can also say Joe Cocker. We found Dearie next door in a fenced area by my neighbor's chicken coop and as soon as Dearie saw we were passing out treats, he slipped through a gap in the fence and came to beg for the cornbread.


I don't know if that rooster is smart to stay out of Mick's way or if he's just craven. Either way, he sure is a handsome fellow. Mick and Joe Cocker seem to have worked out their relationship quite well. They appear to coexist fairly peacefully and I am glad of that. 
And oh, I am quite sure that our Trixie is gone. I have not seen her in days and days. I think she went off to die and probably did. 
Rest in peace, you sweet old singing hen. You were Mick's favorite and Elvis loved you too. 

But back to August. I let him stand on the step stool where he couldn't burn himself to help me cook while I was making his macaroni and cheese. That's when I took those pictures at the top. 
"Shell?" he asked. 
"Yes," I said, and then I showed him how I use the shell as a spoon rest and next thing I knew, he was stirring pots with every wooden spoon available. 


I would sing a little song about stirring as I attended to the macaroni and then I would tap-tap my spoon and lay it on the spoon rest and then he would stir his pots and sing a little and sure enough, tap-tap his spoon before he lay it down. 
He was almost frantic to get in the high chair, which he loves, and I got him in and gave him his plate of macaroni and cheese and pieces of watermelon and he was beside himself with joy. We both ate vast quantities of macaroni and cheese and don't tell Mama but sometimes we even ate like a bear with our fingers. 


There he is demonstrating his method of sucking air through a noodle. He is very good at this. Probably world-class-professional-good. 

He patted the cats and Maurice appeared to be appalled but did not scratch him. Jack of course, barely noticed as he was taking his daily eight-hour nap on my bed which prepares him for his nightly eight-hour nap on my bed. 

We went back outside and he played on the play set and it had already rained and it was wet and filthy and soon, he was wet and filthy too. But happy as he could be. 


This is when he was relatively clean. I asked him to stand by the hurricane lily and let me take his picture and he did. He looked pensive in this picture so I asked him to smile for another one and he did. The boy has a pretty good fake smile if you ask me. 


We gathered eggs and found one just laid and I held it up to his cheek the way I've always done for his cousins so he could feel the warmth. He carried it to the house and then very, very carefully laid it in a bowl. 

We walked to the post office and he almost fell asleep but did not so we came in and played with little dinosaurs and tigers and zebras and then his mama came. He was so happy to see her but ran to the other side of the house so that she had to chase him and take him up in her arms and they kissed and he was merry with the joy of it all. 
He did not want to leave and when Jessie was buckling him into his seat he said, "MerMer drive." 

It is lovely being the grandmother where you can do things like eat macaroni with your fingers and encourage such foolishness in the children without regard to their table manners. Table manners are not my job! My job is to get on the floor and play with dinosaurs and kiss toes and show babies how warm eggs are when they are fresh out of the hen's butt. My job is to encourage silliness and reward it with laughter and more kisses. My job is to make the mouse puppet talk and kiss him and to help open the flaps on the pages of books that have flaps and to sing songs while I stir and to be right there when the child goes up a ladder or learns to climb on the rocking horse. My job is to notice and celebrate each accomplishment, each smile, each question. 

It's a very, very good job to have. And the rewards are endless. Plus, it's fun. 

And to top it all off, after August left with his beautiful mother, I did another egg sweep and found a gorgeous new green egg which means that either Owl or Lucy are laying now.


I have still been checking the tropical weather websites way too frequently. The latest projections continue to have it heading east but these are early days and those storms will do what they want. We had a little rain and wind this afternoon and lost power for over an hour just as a result of that.
Practice run?
No. Just Lloyd.

Everyone be well. Everyone stay safe. Don't be afraid to eat macaroni with your fingers. Hold a fresh, warm egg up to your cheek. Celebrate all accomplishments.

Love. Do that. Love.