Saturday, September 30, 2017

Party Time

The birthday party couldn't have been better. We had it at a cozy park with a play ground and tables and benches and lots of shade and not too many people came but the ones who did were really nice. I think that August had a good time and that is the most important thing, of course.

He kept telling Boppy and me to sit beside him with that little pat-pat he does on the seat and so we do, of course. He knows how much we love him. He delights in it. He returns it.

He is a generous boy and always remembers to put dip on the chip (in this case guacamole and salsa) before he serves it. He sang the birthday song again and loved it when we sang to him and he was very serious about blowing out the candles and he did a good job. 

Jessie made him a delicious hummingbird cake. It was the second cake she made this week, having made a chocolate stout cake for Lily and Vergil which was beyond amazing. I look at her life and at Lily's life and all the things they do for their families and their children and I wonder how in the world they do it and then I think, how did I do it? How does anyone do it?
But I will tell you- there is doing it and there is doing it with grace and Lily and Jessie do it with such grace. 

August got wonderful presents. Books and tools, mostly which are two of his favorite things in the world. 

I got him a doll house thing that I saw in Target and which I've been dying to give him. I think it's genius. It has four doors that lock and real keys with which to unlock them. Each door has a number which goes with its key and each door has a different doorbell. AND there are four little rag dolls to go into the four rooms of the house. So. Mechanical skills, number learning, doll play. And doorbells! What could be better?
I think he liked it.

Unlocking doors takes great concentration. 

Of course Lily and Jason and Owen and Gibson and Magnolia were there. And Shayla and Waylon and a couple who are friends of Jessie and Vergil's who had a darling baby named Cordelia. The guy looked so familiar but it wasn't until Jessie pointed out that he works at the library where I have seen him about one million times that I realized why. And some other nice folks too. There were bubbles and playing with balls and swinging and sliding and monkey bars and snacks and pizza and all-in-all, it was a perfect two-year-old birthday party. 
Here's what happened when Maggie tried to hug August good-bye.

He really was not in the mood and had more important things to attend to. Poor Maggie. Her other little boy love won't let her kiss him at all any more. 
They'll break your heart. 

After almost everyone had left August looked around and then at me and said, "Birthday go?" 

Ah well, little man, you'll get another one next year. 

And then we came home and I almost finished clearing the garden so that Mr. Moon can till it so that I can plant it and that is my goal for next week. 

All right. The Grand Week of Birthdays is over and it's time to cook the supper. 
Tonight we are having more red snapper with coleslaw and I don't even know. I'll figure it out when I get in the kitchen. 

God, I'm tired. 
Let's all sleep well tonight. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Birthday Performance

As you can see, August appears to be having quite the celebratory day. This was at the splash pad at the park and all the practice he's had in singing the Happy Birthday song has certainly paid off. Also, he definitely knows how old he is. Now where he learned to sing into the mic is a bit of a mystery. Probably up at music camp on the mountain where he went with his parents this summer.
And just think! Tomorrow he will have a party!
I can't wait. Presents, pizza, snacky food, a cake, two candles, and a song.
And this many deviled eggs:

Hurray, hurray! 
Bring your party hat, your stretchy britches, and your finest singing voice. 
We are going to party down!
And it is going to be awesome. 


A Boy Turns Two And There's More Love

August is two today. There he was, two years ago, so fresh that he may have been the newest being  on the planet, right there where his mama birthed him, his daddy caught him, on the floor of their beautiful bathroom, surrounded by love.
And just a little while later, here was the little family, tucked up in their bed, the happiest people on earth.

Two years can fly by so fast that a blink could cover the time twice. I think about this and I choke up and hot tears sting my eyes. I would not trade this little guy for anything.

But oh! How I still love this guy.

August has been a joy and a gift to this family and with his birth he made a whole new family.

Which, as we all know, is about to get bigger. 
So soon. So very, very soon. 
And then they will be a family of four and August will be a big brother and the beautiful, miraculous miracle of it all will begin again. 
More to love, more to love, more to love. 

And one more picture.

That's Jessie and Lily when they were littles. Do you think August looks a bit like his mama? 
But I surely do see his papa in him too. The way he stands, his deep love and obsession with tools. He now owns four tool sets and I feel that before we know it, he'll be like his father and grandfather in that given the proper tool, he will be able to fix anything and to make anything. 
He loves books and his stuffed animals and his dog and digging with a shovel and chickens and his family. He loves music and blowing out candles and the Happy Birthday song. 
He is two years old. 
He is our beautiful, brilliant August. He is a perfect result of the love of his parents. 
And he could not be loved more. 
Until tomorrow when he will be. And then the day after that when he'll be loved even more than that.
And so forth. 
Which is exactly how time should be measured. 
Infinite love plus a day's more worth. 

Yeah. Like that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Soup Night In Which Meals Are Repurposed

So May loaned me a book to read called An Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler and I'm enjoying reading it. May said when she lent it to me that the whole concept of the book is what we pretty much always do anyway, which is to take what's left from one meal and turn it into another meal on subsequent days and so on. And this is true. I have always said that one of my greatest talents is taking leftovers and making more leftovers out of them.

Tonight's version of an example of this talent of mine can be found in that soup pot. Soup, of course, is the easiest way to incorporate bits of this and that to be wedded together into something new. That started out as a venison roast I cooked with onions and garlic and potatoes and then added green beans and leftover zucchini and yellow squash which had been cooked with tomatoes to the broth of the roast. So, for at least one part of the soup, it is representing leftover leftovers already. 
I did cook some lentils today to add to it, along with more garlic and and have also added some leftover quinoa, some cabbage, and some corn. Oh. And a few chopped baby sweet potatoes. 
It will be a decent enough soup and I'll freeze a goodly amount to save for after Jessie's baby arrives. 

So obviously I have felt better today and even went to town to run a few quick errands and then scooted home as fast as possible.  

And that is what's going on in my incredibly boring life today. I will report that Maurice slept with me the entire time I was sick and did not scratch or bite me once but merely curled up either by my butt or my head. She did make that threatening noise every time I moved but that's just Maurice. She also kissed my face and lips on the first night of my illness as if she were trying to comfort me but we all know that's not possible.

Tomorrow August will be two! His party is on Saturday. 
Can you believe that? That little sprite is going to be two years old? 

Well, he is. 

I will get pictures to prove it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Feeling Just So Grateful

This is the oddest virus we've had. It's hit everyone differently.
Jessie spent an entire night in the bathroom with all of the symptoms of a vile stomach bug. Owen and Gibson both puked one time and were restored to normalcy immediately. Hank and I have run fevers and felt like hell and had the body aches and a few stomach-related issues.
And yet, it must all be the same virus, I am thinking.
Anyway, after yesterday where I spent 90% of the time in bed, mostly sleeping, and ate a yogurt, a few crackers, and a little bit of soup, I woke up this morning feeling a tiny bit better and determined to get the hell out of bed and move around some. Which I have done. I've even got the sheets in the laundry so that I won't be tempted to go lay back down for at least a little while. I've eaten some eggs and toast and I'm glad to be alive but I'm sad because today is Lily's and Vergil's birthdays and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to feel like going to Owen's first baseball game of the season and then going to dinner with everyone to celebrate.
But who knows? Maybe a miracle will occur.
I have to say that my husband took very good care of me last night. He bought three kinds of soup and Ritz crackers and ginger ale and he heated up my choice of soup for me and checked on me about a hundred times. I appreciated that so much.

And now because it is Lily's birthday and because I love thinking about the days my babies were born, I'm going to repost this from four years ago. It is as beautiful today as it was the day she was born and if it's even possible, I love her more now than I did then. And it even gives a little birthday love to Vergil, a man I feel so incredibly lucky to know and love and have as part of my family.

Birth Day

When Mr. Moon and I got together, we got busy. By the time we'd been married for one year, we had a one-month old and a business.
Well, I had the child. He had the business.
We both knew we wanted a baby and he knew he needed to start a business in order to support us. He did his part in the baby-making and I did...uh, nothing, in the business.
This was because
(a) I had a nine-year old, a seven-year-old, and a new-born, and
(b) My business sense was in direct inverse proportion to my ability for procreation.

We were both, Mr. Moon and I, thirty-one years old when Lily was born. I thought I was a pretty experienced baby-haver and mama.

And the universe laughed and laughed.

Lily was my fastest birth. Only about fourteen hours of labor. But the child weighed over ten pounds and she had her little hand up by her head which I knew because I could feel it down there, punching my bladder for the last few weeks. It took me a very long time to push her out and when her head finally emerged, her shoulders got stuck. This is a very, very serious problem and can lead to all sorts of problems, including death. But the midwife was fast-thinking and had me flip over to hands and knees (the Gaskin maneuver) and Lily was born. She needed resuscitation. She was blue, she was still.
It was scary.
Outside the day was as beautiful as a day in late September can be. A day like today, in fact. Crystal clear of sky and air and there were lavender roses by the bed and a cradle, hand-made by her papa lay in wait.
Here's what Hank remembers about that day:

The day you were born, May and I stayed home from school. Mom was in labor, and we played out back all day. We pretended to have a traveling cart, with a team of horses, and we kept ourselves entertained while Mama did her job. Dad had made a screened porch into a master bedroom, and that's where you made your appearance. We didn't know your name until Mama used it to conjure you. 

And that's exactly what I did. While our midwife was giving my baby oxygen, she said, "Talk to her. She needs to hear her parents."
And so, even though we had not settled on a name, I called to her. I said, "Lily Rose. Breathe. We love you." And we touched her and she took a breath and she wailed and she wailed and turned rosy pink and the room became clearer and joyful and we all laughed and I took her to my breast and there she was. Perfect and fat and pink and gorgeous and sturdy and strong and given a name. 
Lillian Rose Moon. 
And Hank and May were called in from the backyard to come and greet their new baby sister and I was delirious with joy and determined NEVER GO THROUGH LABOR AGAIN and her father was so happy that when I told him we were never having sex again, he accepted that, and his parents came to see her and they were so pleased and even my mother was there and she took Hank and May to Wendy's and brought us back hamburgers and they were the best hamburgers ever eaten on this planet in the history of all hamburger-eating. That night Lily slept in the bed with us, and it was a miracle every time Lily moved and breathed and nursed and her father and I barely slept, too incredibly stoned on the sheer wonder of her being there between us. I had never loved him so much. 

And today is a day like that one was. Cool and clear and I am thinking of that birth, thinking of that baby, all grown up and a mama times two herself.  I am thinking of the sheer wonder of it all again. The love that ignited the spark of life, the pain and work of labor, the glory of that day, the fear when she did not breathe, the joy when she did. 

Every time I've ever had a baby I felt with their births as if I had been reborn myself. If there is one thing on this earth I am proud of, it is that I know in my heart that I started my children off right, having them at home where the love that got them in there got them out and they were born in love and received in love and they have known love their entire lives and are able now to give and receive love knowing that it is their birthright. 

They were birthed right. 

Happy birthday, Lillian Rose Moon, daughter of my womb, mother of my grandchildren, friend of my heart, glory on this earth. 

It is a beautiful day. And it is Vergil's birthday too. Today is the anniversary of the day he was born and who knew that a little baby boy, born on a mountain in North Carolina in his own mama's bed would grow up and fall in love with my last baby (yes, I did have sex again) and make her so happy and I just sent his mother an e-mail thanking her for bringing him into the world and raising him so right. 

Well, I'm all teary again. 

I've had a walk. There is not one cloud in the sky. My only sorrow is that I had to take down the web of a Golden Orb weaver because it was right in the path of where we walk to get to the clothesline, the hen house. 

I waited until she was safely on that red bucket and I feel bad because I hated to undo her work but I really do not want to run into her when I go to shut the chickens up in the twilight. 

It seems cruel to be mean to a mama today but she can build another web.

I am thinking of all the women who are laboring right this second to bring their own babies into the world. I am sending them and their children love. I am astonished at the way this works, the miracle of it, every time. I would wish with all of my heart that every baby born, every day, is born into love.

What a beautiful day.

Happy Birth Day to us all, even as we are merely reborn into each new day, and especially to Lily and to Vergil.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Some horrible dreaded stomach virus has hit our family.
Jessie was up all night with it, I've been laid real low, and now Owen and Gibson are puking.
And it's Owen's real birthday.
Bless his heart.

Anyway, that's the silence.
I've done nothing but sleep all day long. And drink half a ginger ale.
It was delicious.

Monday, September 25, 2017

At Least My Feet Are Smooth

One of our favorite birthday activities around here is to go and get pedicures. Today Lily and May and Lily's good friend Kelly and I all went and did just that. Jessie didn't come because she and Vergil and August went to the beach. Vergil has Monday's off and that's what he wanted to do and it's his birthday week as well so off to the beach they went which I am sure was just a huge sacrifice on Jessie's part.

The suffering is simply and painfully obvious, isn't it? 

Meanwhile, we were looking something like this.

What is it about getting attention paid to your feet? There is part of me which always feels so guilty, sitting there in that chair that massages my back while some poor soul has to deal with my inhuman feet. I mean, of course I tip really, really well but still...
May and Lily and Kelly all work on their feet for eight hour shifts (or more) and their feet deserve and need this attention a few times a year and bless those people who do that work. It is holy work, in my opinion and I respect them with all of my heart. 

And now we all have beautiful feet. Mine actually look human. 
We went to lunch afterwards, as tradition requires, and it was a good time. 

I really don't have much else to talk about today. I got eight eggs. That's pretty big news. Mr. Moon had to replace some sort of complicated electrical outlet in the kitchen which is of supreme importance because it's where I plug in the coffee pot, the espresso maker, the food processor, the blender, and the toaster oven. I never run them all at once. Ever. But it quit working today and it was a frustrating job and I know he's in pain. Still, he persisted and persevered until he got it all fixed and tidy. I have no idea what I'd do without this man. The house would fall down around me and I'd end up living in a van by the river, as I always say, and it's just the truth. 
Also, the van would not run and the tires would be flat. 

And I think that's about all the words I have for today. There's so much going on in the world which is beyond unbelievable and distressing and every morning when I look at the paper I think to myself that I have lived so long that things are repeating again and again and that nothing ever really changes. A few things get better, then get worse again, a few things get worse, and then a little bit better. 
I guess I blinked and missed the Age of Aquarius. 
But I swear- I remember the dawning of it. 
It was something. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Most Successful Celebration

For some reason, there were an awful lot of children at this party today. I don't know how many. Hundreds, perhaps. But I have to say that despite some outbreaks of joyous kid play, they were incredibly well-behaved and not even overwhelmingly loud.
Owen seemed to have an excellent time. His best friend Chase was there along with a little girl who has been in love with Owen for at least a year. She came to his birthday party last year.
"She's certainly faithful in her affections," I told her mother.
She sighed.
"Did she make him another love card this year?" I asked.
"Yes. But I told her she could only put one heart on it."
She is smitten by our boy. There was another girl there who may or may not be Owen's official girlfriend. I can't keep these things straight. He just told me a few days ago that he didn't have a girlfriend but he may have been protecting his tender feelings.

The food was terrific. Much salad was eaten and although there were no steaks, there was plenty of chicken. It was delicious. The cake was excellent. Lily made it last night when she got off work at 11:00. Six layers of chocolate with a butter cream frosting.

Here's Maggie eating three layers of cake and some vanilla ice cream before she gave up the utensil concept and just went at it with her hands. 


The ceremonial lighting of the candles. August got really excited about this. He loves the happy birthday song better than any other. He sang it for quite awhile after everyone else quit. 

You may note that Owen and I wore matching shirts. (Thanks, Steve!) Maggie spent a lot of time on Boppy's lap. And some time on Mer's lap too. She's a lap baby. 

August sneaking around the big oak on the deck.

And here he is having a discussion on nursies with his Aunt May. He was curious about whether or not she has milk in hers.
Then he wanted to go and sit on Mama's lap and discuss nursies too.

He is not nursing anymore but he obviously remembers. 
I will never forget when Lily was about two and asked our well-endowed friend Anne if she was SURE there was no milk in those nursies. 
Maggie is still nursing and when she wants to nurse she does not ask for them by name although she is very verbal and I'm sure she has the words. Instead, she makes a funny old-man throat-clearing sound which is impossible to mistake for anything else. I have never seen a child do this but Magnolia June is her very own woman who has her very own ways. 

So. How did Owen like his record player? 
Well, before he opened the records and the record player, he opened what Hank brought him which was a typewriter. A real, honest-to-god typewriter in a case which coincidently is the exact same model and color as the one I took to college. He was thrilled with it. 
And when he opened up the records he was a bit mystified. 
"But I don't have a record player!" he said. 
And then I gave him the other present and he ripped it open and he seemed thrilled. 

Before I knew it, he had it out of the box, plugged in, and had Let It Bleed on the turntable. 
Someone asked him what his favorite presents were. 
"Hank's typewriter and Mer's record player," he said. 
A toy is a toy but a real thing is a real thing and Owen knows the difference. 

And so it was a good party and I did enjoy it and Billy and Shayla and Waylon were there so I got to see them (they both have birthdays this week too, as do Lily, Vergil, and August) and there was not one medical crisis although I think someone did need a bandaid. 

Mr. Moon's back is tender but I think he's going to be all right. It probably did not help him to be bending over and picking up grandchildren but hey! When your grandchild wants to be picked up, you pick up your grandchild. 

When we got home, I somehow got talked into doing something I never in my life would have thought I'd do. I mean, NEVER! 
And yet...I made six curtain panels from camo fabric for a deer blind. 
I am not even fucking kidding you. 
My love obviously knows no bounds. 
For some reason, I really like this guy I'm married to. 
Which is a very good thing. 
Plus, he made me a martini so I guess we're even. 

I raise my glass to us all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Do You Do This?

The potato salad is made and sprinkled generously with paprika and the records and record player are wrapped. I am going to give Owen the records first to string the surprise out a little bit. The dishwasher is chugging merrily along and the chickens are talking about their eggs. Mr. Moon is on his way home and it is a beautiful day and soon I will get out my knife and cutting board and prepare the salad bar vegetables in bowls to cover and take.

What could be more delightful than having a sweet birthday party with family and friends for my first grandchild on a mild and lovely September day?

Not much.

And yet.

I woke up with the familiar stomach-roil and dread of anxiety.

I hate this. I hate it. A day that will be as simple and sweet as a day can be and instead of greeting it with appropriate anticipation, I am struck almost shaky with, well, if not dread than at least dread's younger, less lethal cousin.

It occurs to me that I have spent most of my life fighting or just falling into these feelings and that they have stolen so much joy from me. I used to think that it was all temporary. That at some point, these emotions would go the way of the dinosaur, leaving me to enjoy the simplest things that I deserve to enjoy, just as any human does. Now I realize that like the dinosaurs, my fears and anxiety and depression will not really ever depart even though they may grow much smaller and more manageable the way a chicken is far smaller and more manageable than a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

But I am quite sure that just as these things will always be with me, I will manage to get through them. I may need a nap before this day is over but I will be so glad to have gone, to have witnessed Owen's happiness at having a party and getting presents, to have seen my children and my grandchildren and friends. To be able to hold my husband's hand and look around at what our love has created.

But I tell you what- it is never, ever easy.

But that's the way it is.

And I would no more skip celebrating a grandchild's birthday than I would forget to breathe.

Pictures to follow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Both First World And Real World Problems

Free range chickens who lay happy eggs.

I woke up this morning knowing that I had to take my phone in to the repair guys because it would not take a charge. I'd done all the stuff you're supposed to do and I'd limped along for a while with it as it would charge on one charger but not another and then vice versa or in the car but not via an electric outlet and then, last night, it just quite taking a charge anywhere. 
"Nope," it said. "I am not charging." And it wouldn't. 
I'd already planned to go to town because I needed to get some things for Owen's birthday party which is tomorrow although his birthday is Tuesday. When Lily asked him what he wanted on the menu for his party he said, "A salad bar and grilled steaks, pork chops and ribs."
Okay. Wow. What happened to hot dogs? I guess almost-eight year old boys have more sophisticated tastes than seven year old boys. Or at least meatier tastes. 
I had volunteered to get the chips and stuff like that and then I volunteered to make potato salad and macaroni and cheese so a visit to Costco was in order. I envisioned having to leave my phone and driving halfway across town to Costco and Publix and then back to get my phone and so forth but it turned out that all my phone needed was a good cleaning out of the charging port. 
And yes, I had tried to do that but I obviously did not have the correct and needed tools to do so. 
So the sweet guy at the repair place took my phone back to where the magic happens and cleaned it out and brought it to me and I was so happy I wanted to kiss him but I did not. 
Then I went on to Costco and Publix and got what I needed, including macaroni and cheese at the Costco because they were sampling it and it was delicious and why not? Hell, yeah! 

When I got home Mr. Moon texted me to ask if I was home and I replied that I was and he said, "I'm going to call you," and of course that was a bit worrisome but I figured that he'd run into some project and wouldn't be coming home tonight which is what he had planned, but tomorrow. 
Well, I was halfway right. 
It wasn't a project, it was a fall from a ladder directly on his back on the hard clay ground when some wasps swarmed him. 
"Oh my god!" I said. "Do you need me to come and get you?"
"No, no," he answered and then proceeded to tell me that his hunt-buddy, who works in some medical-off-shoot field had him iced and Ibuprofened-up and had given him Benadryl for the wasp stings. All the very things I would have done. 
He told me the whole story and I could tell from his really peppy voice that the fall was bad enough for his body to release those natural morphine-like substances which are so very, very delicious while they're dancing around in our bloodstream. 
So. He IS spending the night in Georgia but insists that he'll be coming home tomorrow for the birthday party and I made him promise that if any of about ten things happened, he'd go to an ER. You know- numbness of hands (his feet already are numb), vomiting, seeing blood anywhere that he shouldn't be seeing it, etc., etc. 
He said he would and I trust his friend to keep watch. 
But damn. 
My poor baby. 

And then I took a nap because, well...I could. 

Ah, life. 

I've got potatoes and eggs for the potato salad cooked and my phone is charged to 98% and I got six eggs today and I need to wrap Owen's presents and President Petulant Child is threatening nuclear war and also NFL players with equal ferver and here are two pictures. 

Firespike. I have rooted and transplanted this particular plant all over my yard. This is one of the ones I planted by the front gate. Nothing makes me happier than seeing things which I have planted thrive.

And I have no idea what this plant is. Do you? I stole some from the yard next door where they grow abundantly, when the house was vacant and I believe this is the third year it's been in the ground and the first year it's bloomed here. I can't find it online. 

I suppose I should go chop celery and onions and pickles and eggs. 
I surely hope my man is okay. 

Who sent this book to August and me?  

It came to the Post Office today with no identifying sender other than Amazon. 
It's such a darling book. I can't wait to read it to August and Maggie, too. 
Please let me know if you did. I would like to thank you properly. 

See you tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, September 22, 2017

And I Didn't Even Tell You About The Fried Pickles

My dream for the week came true today when Jessie and August and Lily and Magnolia AND Jason and I all went to the small and very fine little town of Monticello. And oh, it was everything I wanted.

We started out at the animal shelter thrift store and we got lots of treasures and August and I played tea party for quite awhile, pouring pretend tea into a miniature mug and stirring our pretend milk and honey and sugar into it with a souvenir spoon and tasting it by turn. I love watching children begin to understand pretend. It is truly one of the most fascinating things. That look on their faces when you first start to play these imaginary games with them and then, the quick way they jump right into it and want to do it more and more and begin to offer you sips and spoons and want to pour the tea themselves.

After we finished our shopping at Wag The Dog, we went to lunch and sat outside and August and Maggie each went from highchair to bench, back to highchair and back to another spot on the bench, generally depending on where the best food was at the moment. They also seemed to have the need to kiss all of us in turn, prompted by some inner voice, I guess, which would send them scuttling around to deliver the kisses. Especially Maggie who is the kissiest baby I've ever met and a very good influence on the more reticent August. She still likes to kiss him too, although she does not squeeze him to death while doing it the way she used to.
I believe he appreciates that and sometimes, he even initiates the kisses himself.

It was just wonderful. I love being with the babies with parents around because that is when I get to be most relaxed about it, not being responsible for their lives quite as intensely as I am when it's just me and them. I am mostly responsible for making them happy and holding them and loving them and having conversations with them and just...simply...looking at them.

So. Ms. Moon- What is one of your favorite things to do? 
Well, I'd have to say that looking at my grandchildren is one of my favorite things to do. 
You mean, watching them?
No. Not necessarily. Just looking at them. 
Looking at them?
Yes. Looking at them.
Why is that?
Isn't it obvious? Now go ask someone else stupid questions.  

After lunch Lily and Jessie and August and I went into a little shop while Jason watched Maggie. It's a shop that sells lady's clothing and jewelry and handbags and shoes. The lady working there was very sweet to August, playing peek-a-boo with him with the dressing room curtain and talking to him and then she said, "Oh! You have to try on the wigs!"
And boy, did she have some wigs.
At first August didn't quite know what to think. Okay. He didn't know what to think by the time he'd tried all the wigs on either, but he tolerated it and no one forced him and every time the lady would put one on his head and I'd say, "Go show Mommy," he'd trot over to where his mama was and show her and then he'd take it off. And of course, I had to take pictures.

He held his head so still and was so serious about it.

It freaked Jessie out to see him in the purple one because she used to have a purple wig and she said that when she saw him in it, she felt like she was seeing herself.

This one was my favorite. The Cruella DeVille wig. Quite fetching, don't you think? 

After Lily bought some new shirts and a pair of pants she had to leave because they had to go to the grocery store before they picked up the boys, and Jessie and I came on back to my house where we fed chickens and looked for eggs and played with toys and read books for a little while. 
And then they went home and I actually did the smallest amount of housework, oiling the piece of wood furniture my bathroom sink sits in and doing just the tiniest amount of dusting and sweeping and I cleaned a few mirrors and none of it added up to much at all but still, there's a sense of tidiness that there wasn't before. 
And is this time of year again. 

The pine cone lilies are back! The hallway altar is now decorated in a new seasonal arrangement. 

Fall, for me, has nothing at all to do with the dreaded pumpkin spice and everything to do with beauty berry, hurricane lilies, pine cone lilies, the bloom of the firespike, the blooming Confederate roses, and the Sasanqua camellias. The fire spike is beginning to bloom in my yard with its flower which looks like a hummingbird's invitation to the best buffet luncheon in town and I noticed the other day that my neighbor's Sasanqua is beginning to bloom, it's fragile blossom dropping pink petals on the sidewalk almost as soon as they open. I saw my first Confederate rose today, opened fully on the tree-top tall bush beside my porch as I was kissing August good-bye. "Ah," I said. "The prom queen of the flowers," which is what I always say and I probably always will. The camellias are budding up and it all reminds me that people who think that Florida does not have seasons just do not pay attention. 
As so many beautiful things are, the changes are subtle, but so very real. 

I have nothing profound, much less cosmic, to end with tonight. Not that I ever really do. It's just been an ordinary day in a ordinary life filled with all of the sweetness that that such a life can hold. 

Love...Ms. Richer Than Midas Moon

Praise Song For A Friday

I slept like a rock last night, my sturdy fan blowing any dreams into oblivion and mist, even though right before I went to sleep I read a New Yorker article about North Korea and then a short story about a grandmother who, in a state of dementia, almost killed her grandson.
Lord, I thought, as I turned out the light. Why did I do that?
Didn't matter. Someone could have come and stolen the kitchen sink and I would not have awoken from my slumber.

There's Dearie, the rooster who mostly hides during the day. He is so beautiful with the one exception of having (in my opinion) rather inadequate tail feathers.

How I love my splendid little dinosaurs.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Do Not Fuck With My Sleep.

Last night the power went out right around midnight. I laid there in the deep darkness in my incredibly comfortable bed and I just could not sleep. Even though the fan I was using wasn't worth a damn at moving any air, it had at least made a somewhat soothing (although insufficiently loud) sound and I do admit that I depend on that noise to soothe me into sleep. Every time I did drift off, my husband would turn over and that would pull me back into full consciousness or else an Amber Alert would override the settings on our phones and tell us once again to watch out for a certain vehicle because maybe, you never know, that sucker could just drive right into our bedroom.
After awhile I just got pissed. I wanted my fan back on, I wanted my air conditioner back on. And I wanted them THEN! I just could not find my lotus flower (as Lis would say) about the whole situation. And I knew I was being silly. Earlier in the evening it had rained harder than it rained during our entire little Irma experience and frankly, I was surprised that the power hadn't gone out sooner. Still, I was pissed. I was pissed at Duke Energy for not getting it back on immediately, I was pissed at Jefferson County for having so many damn trees. I was pissed at my husband because he appeared to be sleeping, albeit restlessly.
And of course I was pissed at myself for being pissed.
I finally did get to sleep and had one of the most detailed dreams I'd ever had. I won't bore you with all of those details but I will tell you that I dreamed that Mr. Moon was gone and that I'd been asleep and someone came and stole everything in our house, including (and I am not making this up) the kitchen sink. AND the bathroom sinks. Everything.
Of course babies were involved and I could not for the life of me get 911 to respond and finally, when someone did show up in a patrol car, it was just some random guy who drank all our beer and admitted that he wasn't a police officer, he just liked the "really hot car."
And oh, it went on. And on. And on.
When I woke up I knew I had to GET up so that the dream would leave me and so I stumbled in the pitch black to the bathroom and stumbled back to bed and finally, at around four a.m. my useless fan came back on and I was happy.

But anyway, this morning when I got up I was still relatively pissed. I was pissed because Mr. Moon was packing up to go up to Georgia to the hunt camp and I was pissed because it was taking him so long. I was still pissed about the power and extremely pissed that my fan had not arrived from Amazon. And I was pissed because I needed to go town to look for Owen's record player and I doubted seriously that Target would have one and then I'd have to go elsewhere and it would turn into an all-day event.

I got through all of that pissed-offedness and checked the post office (no fan) and drove to Target just praying that they had a portable record playing device and they did and I almost cried.

I surely hope that boy likes it. I'm going to give him a few albums from my vast collection, too. Maybe one Beatles and one Rolling Stone and who knows? Maybe one Bach. 
I walked around Target and got birthday cards because everyone in the world has a birthday next week and toilet paper and then I thought, fuck it. I'm buying a fan if they have one.
They had one. 
I bought it. 
When the one from Amazon gets here (if it does) I'll simply have a back-up fan. Ain't nothing wrong with that. 

Oh! I am so happy! 
It's absolutely amazing what fifteen dollars worth of plastic can do for your mood.

Mr. Moon is indeed in Georgia and I hope that no one comes and robs my house tonight (Warning! I have a gun and I know how to use it!) (That's a lie.) (No, really!) (Not really.)
Okay, okay. I have a Rottweiler. And fourteen bulldogs who wear spiked collars. 
Who are armed. 
But if they do, I hope I sleep through it with my lovely fan blowing on me and making a sweet, sweet sound that drowns out the sound of everything else. 

Speaking of sound, it's thundering again right now and I've gotten two more Amber Alerts about this green Toyota. If any of my kids ever go missing, I hope people pay attention to those things but dammit, I live in LLOYD! I'm not going to see that green Toyota. That's all there is to it. Especially not from my back porch.

Anyway, I've gotten some niggling little chores done today and my kitchen positively reeks of Fabuloso and vinegar which makes me so happy and when I open the cabinet under the kitchen sink (which hopefully no one steals tonight) I don't exactly want to die because I tidied it up and threw some stuff away and also? I got eight eggs today. Eight. 
Here's a picture of Joe Cocker who has the most magnificent comb. 

He is a very lovely rooster and I am proud of him for hanging in and working things out in a peaceful manner with Mick. And I am proud of Mick for not killing him when he was a youngster. 
I wish they could be an example for a certain Kim and a certain Don whom I do not think have the maturity or ability to understand the consequences of foolish threats and posturing to themselves and the flock that these two roosters do. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Surviving The Apocalypse

I seem to have moved on from house dreams to dreams of resorts or motels or hotels. Some of them on the beach and all of them odd in one way or another. Perhaps my brain is tired of concocting story messages centered in the houses, even with their basements of Titanic furnishings and ghosts, sitting at table, eternally drinking and eating and luxuriating in tuxedos and evening gowns, pearls and diamond tiaras. Or in houses filled with antiques or garbage and many stoves and sinks and refrigerators, none of which really work but with which I must create meals for many.
I have no doubt that these will return at some point but right now they have made way for these resorts which are one part old Catskills resort, one part funky old Florida beach motel, and one part which can only be described as modern, plain, ugly, and Clockwork Orangish.
I woke up from one of these this morning in which not only could I not find my suite where my entire family was staying including my mother and my stepfather (never a good thing in a dream) but wherein I kept stumbling into other people's suites where the most horrifying and bizarre things were going on. Pennyworth things. Ancient Roman gluttony things. Dirty, rotting, falling-apart things.
And I knew I had to go home but where was the baby (the ubiquitous baby I am responsible for) I had to take with me? And then news came of everyone being stuck there because the airports had shut down because a horrible storm was coming.
Much of this is easily available as to interpretation and influence. Some of it is a mystery to me.
Or maybe not.
Maybe not.
But that is what I woke from this morning and I could hardly speak for trying to pull the sticky web of it all from myself and I knew that I needed to get out of the house, away, preferably with babies. So I ended up going to Baby Time at the local branch library and that was the most perfect antidote I could have been given.
I met Jessie and August there (Lily was working) and we sang and recited nursery rhymes and there was dancing and leaves made of red and orange construction paper and that one toddler whose name, by the end of it all, everyone knew because he raced around and poked his cute little fingers in everything.
August was shy but he danced like a little fiend with his mama and he pulled me up to go sit with him in front when it was time to listen to a book and he patted the floor, the way he does, and said, "Sit," which I did, and my heart was healed by him and by all of the children and their mothers too.
After that, we looked for books to check out and then we went in search of a portable record player because that is what I've decided to get Owen for his birthday. I am so excited about this idea! He loves my record player and we can go shopping together at Goodwills and thrift stores for records and I hope he likes that. We went to Best Buy and they didn't have one and I determined I'd buy one off online but I can't seem to get one by Sunday when his party is. I know that Urban Outfitters has them and I will check at Target, too. We had a good time at Best Buy anyway, August running in circles around the refrigerators and stoves and dishwashers and washers, dancing on his little toes and laughing, laughing. I did get this.

It's the Rolling Stones' latest CD of old blues covers. The music CD selection at Best Buy has been "condensed" as the helpful employee said, but they had it. 
And then August took his mother home so that she could get him down for a nap and I texted Hank and he and Rachel were about to go eat their breakfast/lunch and I met them and that was a lovely bit of spontaneous perfection. 

I came home and did a few chores and it began to rain and then to pour and the sky cracked with deep, huge belly thunder and I laid down on the bed and Maurice came and joined me and kissed me on the lips and then settled down, her paw on my arm, and we slept and it was dreamless and sweet. 

Now I have pinto beans, cooked tender, simmering down to make the gravy and I'm going to make cornbread- quite possibly my favorite meal. 

Right now it almost seems as if we are living in a strange version of Armageddon. Storms and earthquakes and a leader who stands in front of the UN to make comic book threats which could easily lead to nuclear war. People are dying and suffering and the sea is rushing to flow across land in ways that no one has ever seen before, taking buildings and people along with it. The damn senate is again trying to take away the rights of millions of Americans to health care.
No matter how much we try to shield ourselves from these things, no matter how much we tell ourselves we can't do much about them, they are going to seep into our consciousness and our unconsciousness and disturb our sleep, our rest, our very souls. 
What to do? 
Go watch babies dance with their mothers and sit where they tell us to sit and be there as lap, as arms, as nest. Love each other. Believe in the things that are good and are true. 
Music. Books. Smiles. Touch. Beans and cornbread. Naps with cats while the rain pours outside our walls and windows. 
But mostly- I-love-you's, I-love-you's, I-love-you's. Don't stop saying it. Don't stop feeling it. Please.


Love...Ms. Moon

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