Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pretty Much Chopped Liver

While walking today I saw these purple blooms and also this:

A tiny fossil rock embedded in the sandy dirt road, somehow as incongruous as the face of a cat on Venus. 

It's been a good day. I stumbled upon a live interview via Facebook with an old friend of mine, a musician in Tampa and I sat and watched it all, so glad to see him. I knew him when he was a boy and now he's a granddad, and I was with his wife when she had both their sons. And he's still gigging. 

I've almost finished made a duvet cover from old soft sheets and it feels so good to have the sewing machine back out. How I love that little old black beast. I have a meatloaf in the oven and tomorrow this girl will come over to spend the night. 

That was Maggie last night when they decorated the tree. She was stealing all of the ornaments she liked and hoarding them for herself. 

Also? Tomorrow I shall see Levon or know the reason why. 
Boy. That's a powerful threat, isn't it? I know the entire world is trembling in its boots. 
Well, it damn well should be. 

Love...Ms. Moon 

Questions On Questioning

I was listening to a book yesterday and a scene occurred where there was a tent revival and it astounded me once again how people are conned into giving money to those who promise salvation with promises which can never be proven. By playing on their emotions and gathering them into frenzies of desire to feel that they, too, have souls and lives which a heavenly god cherishes and loves and demands much from.

By a long and winding thought process, this led me to thinking about how, as children, we are told things with words and with unsaid but incredibly strong silent communication that we either recognize then or early on, are not true and in fact, bullshit. These words and messages may come from a place of belief in the adult who transmits them or, they may be used as a means of control and intimidation.
I am not speaking of things like the santa myth or the tooth fairy.
I suppose I am thinking more about religious beliefs and the necessity of keeping secrets within the home as well, I suppose, as cultural assumptions like racist or sexist beliefs. And I am very curious- did you experience anything like this? Would you share it? Would you speak a little of it, what you were told or what was starkly implied and how it made you feel? Did the trust you held for the adults in your life convince you of the truths of which they were speaking or showing you? What made you begin to question these things? Did this make you less likely to trust what you were told by authority figures? How did it affect your relationship with the adults who perhaps believed these things themselves or were in fact, simply lying? If they were cultural, did they make you begin to look at everything differently? Did you feel disdainful, condescended to, angry, distrustful, lost?

I would really appreciate any feedback here. For some reason, this is something I am really thinking about right now and I would like to know if others have ever thought about this subject in a way that relates to the experience and how it changed or formed their lives.

Thank you.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gravity Is Having Its Way

My hands smell of white vinegar and Fabuloso tonight because I finally got around to mopping the kitchen floor. The floor was in desperate need of a good cleaning, not only because of the usual reasons but also because of all the deer meat that was inadvertently dropped on that floor last weekend. You'd think that my cats would jump on those little bits of ground venison and eat them with great enthusiasm but you'd be wrong. Every other animal I've ever owned has loved venison above all other meats and we had a cat named Bob who looked to be dying and the vet said that he either had a brain tumor or some other terminal illness but then he ate about a pound of deer liver and lived for another five or six years. The chickens even flock around when deer is being cut up. They love it.
But Jack and Maurice, as I have often said, have the strangest appetites of any cats I've ever encountered. Maurice refuses most cheese, roasted organic chicken, eggs, and even ground beef, cooked or raw. However, she loves flavored yogurts, processed lunch meat and box macaroni and cheese. Jack is not very interested in what I would call quality foods either, but he eats so much Publix brand cat food that he frequently barfs it up and goes back for more.

Anyway, I had no intention of writing about cats and what they eat this evening. I'm just floating along on the stream of consciousness that seems to be the way my mind operates lately. I had a good walk this morning and went by the fally-down house with the intent to take pictures and I did. Last Sunday when Jessie and I walked past it, I noticed that it was tilting and leaning far more precariously than before. I walked all around it, fighting spider webs and thorn vines to get pictures and just as I wrote nine years ago about the place, it draws me in and yet, is somehow forbidding although as more and more light is let into it by falling boards and open places in the roof, the ghosts seem to be less active, more distant and disinterested.
The north end of the old place is naught but a higgle and piggle of planks, a janky snarl of timber.

Still, the place fascinates me and I wonder what life was like for those who lived in it when it was fresh built, smelling of the perfume of fresh-cut pine, and I have respect not only for the people who built it, inhabited it and made it their home but for the wood itself, some of which is still straight and true, still strong and in its way as beautiful as the face of an old person who has lived a life and still wakes up every morning to live more of it.

The peeling and tattered wallpaper, giving tribute to the woman who hung it.

They had stapled cardboard to the rafters to keep out the cold and the heat, too, most likely.

I showed these pictures to my husband and he said, "I'd love to get in there and salvage some of that wood." 
I wish we could. 

But for now, the old house is just slowly falling in on itself and someday it will be nothing but a pile of boards and window frames, stovepipe tin and silent history. 
I don't know if it will continue to stand for six months or six years. It looks to have been sturdily built and is taking its time to let nature have its way with it. 

Again, not unlike a person. We all know our eventual fate but never the time or the day or the hour, as the Bible says. 

Meanwhile, I have clean floors in my own old house, which still stands tall and strong, even as small things about it fall into disrepair. It shelters and holds us and delights me to no end. I am not new myself and every day I notice something previously unseen or unnoticed about me which indicates, if not rot exactly, then a tilting, a shifting, a sign of wear and tear or simply older age. 
This is the way of everything, eventually. 
And there is a modicum of comfort in knowing and accepting this, just as the earth will accept me back into itself, even as I try to stave it off as best I can. 

Time to make supper again. I wonder how many meals have been made and eaten in this house? An uncountable number, I would think. 
I am about to go add one more. 
And am proud to do so. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Smart Stuff And The People Not Smart Enough To Operate It

My email is all wacky so forget pictures today. I am sure there is some way to get them from the cloud or, the iCloud, to be exact but I don't know how.
I did just help set up a smart TV and we would have been smart not to buy it because the picture isn't even as good as the one on our old TV which weighs four thousand pounds and just seems so old fashioned but of course, we couldn't even do all the functions it offers.
Technology is pulling ahead of us by miles these days and when I say "us" I mean Mr. Moon and me. We got poor Vergil to come over and help with the TV set-up and he also brought his vacuum sealer for the summer sausages. And his son, August, who had a good time fooling around with toys and tools and eating some mac cheese and apples with peanut butter. As they pulled away in the twilight to go home to Mama and Brother, I thought, "Oh Jesus. Poor Vergil. We're pushing him into the sandwich generation, taking care of kids and old people both."

So the four thousand pound old TV is sitting in the hallway like some giant, lurking, extinct animal and I don't know what we're going to do with it. Mr. Moon is talking about putting it in our bedroom to replace the small TV in there but we don't turn that thing on from one year to the next. Mostly it's used to watch VCR tapes (yes, really) with the boys. We have about half the movies Disney ever made before 1987. Our DVD and Blue Ray player doesn't work but the VCR still does!

And so it goes, again and again and our smart stuff makes us feel stupid, especially us older people, but I got to see Maggie and August and Levon today and although they make me feel old, they don't make me feel stupid. At the Costco today I told Maggie, "I just don't even know which grandbaby to kiss!" and if that isn't a good problem to have, I don't know what is.
I ended up kissing all of them just about as much as they would tolerate and I also got to eat some August toes because he thinks that's hysterical.
"Again!" he says, when I've eaten about forty toes and he pushes his little foot up for me to take some more monster nibbles from them. I have a feeling he'd let me chomp on his toes for hours had I the patience and stamina.

Well, that's about all the news from here. The moon is rising, the new TV is flatscreening itself in the Glen Den and a basketball game is about to come on. Guess I better make some supper.

Wait! I just got my email back. Here's Ms. Maggie at Costco.

And here's August at Mer's.

According to August, the way to eat mac cheese is stab, stab, stab, eat!

Amen, little man. Good technique. 

Let's chat again tomorrow, shall we?

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cats And Rats, Dentists Who Care, Neighbors, Politics, And Turtle Shells

This was Maurice this morning, tapping on the glass to get my attention for me to come back inside to feed her. Sometimes she taps on the glass only to get my attention. I suppose. She is an odd cat, as we all know by now. Although she hasn't drawn blood from me in weeks, I think it is more of a situation where I have learned to get in and love on her quickly and then move away even more quickly. She does go sit in Mr. Moon's lap in the evening before we go to bed and she follows me out to the garden sometimes.

Here she was yesterday evening as I was picking greens for salad and she was pretending to inventory the small beet plants. 

And of course, she still brings me gifts of dead things. 
The last of one of these gifts led to a rather macabre event yesterday. Jessie and August and Levon and I were in the library, reading books to August and then watching him bounce on the horse and look for new books and Jessie and I were chatting away. I had Levon in my arms and I looked up to see that August was holding something and looking at it. It took me about ten billionth of a second to realize what it was. It looked exactly like a toy mouse or rat and although we do have a beloved rat puppet, I knew immediately that this was not that puppet but in fact, a real, formerly live, now dead rodent of the mouse or rat variety. 

"Jessie!" I yelled, although I was about one foot away from her. "He's got a mouse!"
Jessie looked up and yelled, "Drop it, August!" and he did and we immediately realized that we had not handled this in the proper way at all because he was paralyzed, his eyes welling up with tears, wondering what in the world he had done to make his Mer and his mama scream so. 
In other words, breaking my heart.

Jessie grabbed him up and took him to wash his hands and we babbled on and on, trying to comfort him and explain about how cats kill mice and rats and bring them in the house for presents but that they can be very dirty, and we shouldn't touch them, etc., etc., and that he, August, had done nothing wrong, nothing at all, and had done the right things. 
I scooped the poor creature up in the dustpan and we decided that we would go outside and show Boppy and Daddy the rat (which Mr. Moon confirmed it was) and tell them all about it to try and normalize the situation, which we did. He was still a little freaked out, but soon recovered, and when I threw the poor creature into the woods by the railroad track, we all said, "Good-bye, Rat!" 
And if August grows up to have a horrible neurotic fear of rodents, it will be all my fault and I've already apologized to his parents. 
At least this one didn't have any entrails hanging out. In fact, it looked perfectly intact. 

So that was too much nature, part GOzillion. 

In other cat news, my next door neighbor called me last night to ask if Jack was okay. She hadn't seen him in two or three weeks and was very worried. I told her that he was fine, as he is, and she said, "Well, okay. I figured you'd let me know if he was missing. Tell him to come visit me and I'll brush his hair for him."
She brushes his hair. 
She gives him canned cat food.
I have no idea WHY he hasn't gone to visit her. Forget the canned food, I'd go visit her if she brushed my hair. 

I should have told her that Jack had no plans to come and see her again until she took down the Trump/Pence sign in her yard but I didn't have the balls. 
They are such a conundrum, these people. They would literally get out of their beds on a cold night to help me find a chicken. I know they would. They give MY cat canned food and BRUSH HIS HAIR! They call because they are worried when they don't see him for while. They keep an eye on my chickens and let me know if anything is amiss. 
And yet, they not only voted for Trump, they still have his sign in their yard. 
What can you do? This is life in a rural area and just goes to show that people may be completely different from you in a thousand ways, and yet, still be good neighbors. 

So remember I was supposed to go get my tooth pulled today? 
Well, I went and as I sitting there in the chair, Doc came in and asked if the antibiotics had helped and I said, "Yes, they had," and he said, "Tell me exactly why you want me to pull this tooth."
"Uh? Because it's started to be a problem and I don't want to have to take antibiotics two or three times a year?"
He hemmed and he hawed and then he said, "Well, I just hate to pull a perfectly good tooth and it looks fine and it doesn't have a cavity in it and I'd like for you to be able to get as much milage out of it as you can."
I thought about it and said, "Makes sense to me," and he said to call if and when it started bothering me again and I said I certainly would and that was that. 

And then I went to the grocery store and took my own sweet time of it because I knew that Mr. Moon was finishing up the sausage making and I just really did not care to get involved and that worked out well because he had all of those giant summer sausages cased and tied and ready to smoke when I got home. 

And, I spoke too soon about Maurice. She came up and wanted some love and I was fool enough to give it to her and now my hand is bleeding. 
But not much. 

Here's an artwork which August created last night.

It is made of turtle shells, sea shells, and the painted rocks that Owen gave me. 
All of my grands have been fascinated by these turtle shells which delights me. Every single time I've found one in the woods I have felt blessed. 
And I have been. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Meat World

This is what is happening in my kitchen right now. Every bowl in the house is being used to hold ground deer meat or, deer sausage meat. 

Or something related to one of those two things. 

Jessie and the boys are here too and the men have been working on this project since about noon or maybe earlier, and I'm about to make supper if I can find enough counter space. I've had a good time with my daughter and two youngest grandsons today. We even went for a little walk down Main Street and saw Miss Liola. It's been the nicest, bluest-sky day you can imagine and here are a few more pictures. 

Levon is going through his baby acne or as I call it, his welcome to the planet skin adjustment.



Beautiful mama with two babies. You should see her with one on each hip. She's amazing. 

Off to cook grouper! Which Mr. Moon caught last night. And make a salad from the garden. And cook grits whose origins I had absolutely nothing to do with. But they'll be good anyway.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, November 25, 2017


I had my quiet day today. My husband got up at 4:30 a.m. to go grouper fishing with a friend and a nephew. He is not home yet but should be very soon. And I did not go to town nor did I have company but Lis called me and we chattered and giggled like Betty and Wilma for a good long time which is so good for the heart and the soul.

I knocked something off my to-do list today which makes me very happy. The entire floor of the landing upstairs has been covered in an old train set that doesn't work and isn't put together and I gathered all of it up and bagged it. I also cleaned out a little plastic bin-on-rollers of its bits and pieces of skeins of wool and bagged all of that up too to leave at the dump where people leave things that someone might be able to use. I swept the floor clean and hauled all the bags to be thrown away and that's where I got that picture of the sky which I think is majestic and gorgeous. Not the photo, but the sky as the sun journeys to the other side of the world. It's a picture of the sunset over the Lloyd volunteer fire department quonset hut and not a photo of the sun setting over the Caribbean in Cozumel, but it will do for my eyes tonight.

I weeded and weeded and weeded until my eyes wouldn't focus correctly and I watched the chickens peck and scratch outside the garden as I worked and I was happy to find many worms in the dirt as I went. I throw the grubs I find to the chickens but the worms I gently cover back up with soil and say, "Thank-you," to. The church next door had some sort of children's thing going on and all day I heard happy kids and clapping games and not once did I hear a whine or a cry or a fuss.
I've done laundry and have the next-to-the-last bag of frozen field peas from the garden in a pot with onions and a slice of cut-up bacon, simmering merrily and I'll add rice to the pot soon. I picked salad greens from the garden and maybe I'll make a cornbread. Perhaps one with jalapenos and onions and a little cheese. I THINK I have cornmeal but I'm not sure. The way things go around here these days is that I either have four bottles of something in the cabinet (right now that's ketchup) and not one container of something I need (possibly cornmeal). Ay-yi, but a memory is a terrible thing to lose. I remember when I was a girl and the big concern was losing one's virginity which trust me- wasn't nearly as life-altering as losing one's memory is. That sounds like a joke but it's not.

So I've had a cheerful day although I dreamed this morning that so many bloggers were meeting at my house and I was mortified because it was one of those horrible, cluttered, garbage filled houses I dream of and I hadn't washed the sheets for any of the many, many beds which were going to be needed and I had not cooked anything either. I didn't really know any of the bloggers which was another problem. They were all writers of really intellectual and important blogs and I couldn't figure out why they had chosen my house to meet in but they had and it was just a nightmare that I was so glad to wake up from.
That dream is probably what motivated me to get rid of that stuff at the top of the stairs, though, so it was a good thing.

Here I go to look for cornmeal.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 24, 2017

A Day Of Practically Sheer Perfection

Oh my Lord! What a day!
I drove over to Lily's this morning and she and the kids rode with me to the Junior Museum to meet Jessie and August and Levon and Vergil and Vergil's sister and her husband and their three kids and Vergil's daddy and stepmama.
It was a perfectly beautiful day, cool and sunny and crisp and I've never seen the lake and cypress trees look more beautiful and goodness knows I've been going to the Junior for thirty years. I've never been with that many children at once except for when I was on field trips with the kids' schools and it was a bit like herding cats but no one got lost or separated and no one fell into the bear enclosure. I did have to tell Owen to get his jacket sleeve away from the vulture but that wasn't such a big deal.
We petted a beautiful big rat snake and I even held her. I was thrilled! Now why is it that at the Junior I'll hold a snake and love it but if I find one in my hen house I lose my mind?
We saw fox and deer and a bear and wolves and a Florida panther playing soccer with a shiny bright tin can. We saw owls and sleeping otters and the vulture and a bobcat. We smelled the skunks. I don't even know what all we saw but it was beautiful, watching them go about their business in their own animal habitats with the fences keeping us out. Mostly they have animals which they are rehabilitating so I don't feel too bad about it all. I know they return the ones they can to the wild and keep the ones who can't be returned safe for the rest of their lives.
I would have gone for the cypress trees alone.

Even with all of the people there today and even with one baby or another on my hip (maybe especially with one baby or another on my hip), I stopped over and over again to take in and absolutely feel the energy and beauty of what I was seeing. It was almost like a feeling of electricity. Like being on the Wacissa on Monday. It was more than splendid. It was elemental and I loved it.

I started calling Vergil the Snack Daddy because he would announce, "Snack time! Line up if you want snacks!" and out of his backpack he would pull nuts and apples and pretzels. 

We visited the pioneer farm which I love every bit of from the cow and the pig and the geese which caused Maggie to burst into laughter every time they honked, to the big syrup boiling kettle and the blacksmithing place to the old cracker house which is truly my favorite. 

I think I could live in that house and truthfully, I did live in a house very much like it once. It had electricity but no plumbing. I pumped my water from an iron pump out back and we had an outhouse. I'm sure I've said that here fifty times but honestly, I think it is one of the best things I ever did. In some ways, I loved that house with all of my heart. You could see the ground through the floor boards but it still managed to contain life in a way that I'd certainly never felt before and I learned an awful lot about life and what's important in the year that I lived there with my first baby and my then-husband.

Moving on. 
The old caboose was explored and then the old schoolhouse and the old church. 

In the school house, Gibson wanted to be the teacher and sat himself at the teacher's desk. Some more people came in as he was sitting there, about to begin a lecture, and a little girl said to him, "I'm not going to do a thing you tell me to!" And then proceeded to sit down at a desk and listen.
And then Gibson gave a little lesson about fire, the point being that it can burn you. Everyone agreed that he's a natural lecturer.

In the church he took the pulpit, of course, and proceeded to preach. I told him to say, "Love one another," which he did, and then he was going to start preaching about Donald Trump and aliens but before he could really get started with that, I sort of discouraged him. He couldn't remember Trump's name but asked, "Who's that terrible president?"

Owen is not exactly sure about the sermon.

We ended up our time at the Junior with a group shot. Here are all the kids except for Owen (who is getting a bit old to want to be included with little kids and Levon who was wrapped up and cozied on his mama's chest.


To follow up a perfect day with even more perfection, we then went to a PIZZA BUFFET!!!!!
I am not even kidding you. 

And since I started writing this, Jason and Owen and Gibson have come over because Jason and Owen shot a trophy buck from the deer stand that Boppy built and put up at the back of Lily and Jason's property and all of the deer cleaning stuff is over here in our garage (I pretend none of this is happening, you understand) and Boppy was so excited that he could have died and so were Owen and Jason and then Boppy left for a basketball game and I have handed out snacks and made ramen noodles for the boys and drunk most of a martini. 

So. What a day. 

I will leave you with a Gibson story. It goes like this:

We were on our way to the museum in my car and we were discussing teeth as Gibson has recently lost one, as you may know. Owen was musing about what the tooth fairy does with all of those teeth she collects and then we started talking about the fact that you can't marry your relatives. Gibson announced that he was never going to marry anyone in his family and Lily and I told him that this was probably a very good idea and, being Mer Mer, the wise and knowing old crone of the family, I said, "You know Gibson, some day you will meet a person and your heart will say, 'I don't know why but I think that this is the person I am going to marry.'"

Gibson pondered this for a moment and then he said, "I hope my tooth grows back first."

Oh my dear god. I love that child. 

Happy Friday From the Almost-Pioneer-Almost-Farm in Lloyd, Florida.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Why Do I Inflict This Pain On Myself?

So full.
So, so, so full. Honestly, I ate more than I usually do at Thanksgiving and I do not know why but I did and it doesn't seem to matter- every Thanksgiving I feel the same way after the meal which is almost desperate to lay down.

Here's some pictures. Mostly of kids. Because kids are cute.

This is how Maggie looks when she's not getting her way. Lenore and Gibson were doing their best to prevent her from taking the wagon back to the mud. She was not happy. 

According to his parents, August went to bed for his nap with normal hair and woke up with this. Is he being inhabited by the spirit of Billy Idol? We have no idea but it is as soft and fluffy as a baby chick's and we love it. 

We love babies too. 

I'd show you some pictures of food but I didn't take any and at this very moment I never want to look at food again. 

Hope your Thanksgiving was everything you dreamed. 

Does Alka Seltzer really work?

Love...Ms. Moon

Thanksgivings, Past And Present

Little Man says, "Power to the People! Power to the People, oh yeah!"

Goodness gracious. Thanksgiving sure is different for me than it was a few years ago. Instead of being the first person up in a house full of people sleeping everywhere, I was the last person up in a house full of...two. Instead of having a list as long as my arm of dishes to prepare and check off as I go, I have one thing I need to cook today and it is in the oven. Where once chaos reigned on Thanksgiving morning now no one is even watching the Macy's Day parade. I'm sure there IS chaos happening at Lily's house and maybe Jessie's too but at my house there is peace and quiet and a cleaned up kitchen and a dishwasher chugging and instead of doing complete kitchen clean-ups ten or twelve times before dinner is even served, I'm done until I mess things up a bit making the gravy and whipping the cream. 
So weird. 
And yet...lovely. 

Okay. Turkey Fun Fact: Four days in the refrigerator is NOT ENOUGH TIME to thaw a frozen 14 pound turkey. Nope. It's gonna take a lot of hot water (I've never killed anyone yet) before you can even get the giblet Popsicles our of the damn thing, much less stuff it. Please forgive me, vegetarians and vegans. And yes, if I'd had to raise and slaughter that bird we'd be having some nice pinto beans for dinner. I am a big fat hypocrite but I am at peace with that. 
Anyway, the turkey is in the oven, filled with my incredibly non-gourmet, prosaic stuffing. This is one thing I just can't budge on. I am sure that stuffings and dressings made with homemade bread and currents and apricots and sausage and whatever else that people put in it are delicious but my god, I just love the Pepperidge Farm kind made with onions and celery and pecans. I do mix the Pepperidge Farm crumbs with a cornbread that I make the day before, seasoned with sage and thyme and crumbled up to marry happily with the commercial stuff. And I add a few cut up hardboiled eggs. I have made it with oysters before and I enjoyed that but honestly- I could just eat a bowl of this stuffing with some cranberries on the side and be completely delighted with Thanksgiving. 
Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way. And there will be THREE types of stuffing at Lily's house this afternoon and THREE types of gravy. There are going to be so many casseroles that the table will not hold them all. Two turkeys- my traditionally baked Butterball and a fried turkey. 
Yes. A fried turkey. 
Nothing could go wrong with that plan, is how I feel about frying a turkey but Jason and Lily are braver than I am. 

Oh, the Thanksgivings I remember! 
The year that a friend of mine drove all the way up from St. Pete to have dinner with us and got so perturbed when I pleaded with him not to replace the Vivaldi I was listening to on the CD player in a vain attempt to calm myself as I was making a meal single-handedly for twenty, with the blues he loved so much that he got in his car and left and went home. 

All the years that my friend Lynn would come over on Thanksgiving morning before she had to be at her family's gathering to dance a little bit and to do a shot of rum with me. She'd always say, "Yum rum! Whoop-ai-ay! and down it would go.

The year I tore my knee up dancing with Owen the night before Thanksgiving at our then-traditional Thanksgiving Eve party and could not stand and cook so the children put me in Mr. Moon's huge and comfy recliner and gave me pain medication and cooked the whole dinner themselves. This might have been my favorite Thanksgiving ever. I was so happy. 
Needless to say.

The year that Mr. Moon and I ran away to Dog Island all by ourselves, deserting our family. May made the kids' Thanksgiving dinner that year and I made a tiny chicken with stuffing and some green beans and potatoes for me and my love. I believe everyone may have been delighted with the stress free event that year. 
Except for possibly May.

The year my oven quit working on Thanksgiving morning and we had to use our out-of-town next door neighbor's oven and the turkey was so damn big that Mr. Moon had to take it back and forth in a little red wagon. 

This morning Mr. Moon went out to the garage to get the turkey from the refrigerator in there for me and I ran out to go with him. We held hands and went to let the chickens out. 

I have no idea why (last night's joy, perhaps, still leaking from my heart?) but I am feeling so tender and loving this morning and I said, "It wouldn't bother me if we just stayed right here and ate that turkey and the cranberry sauce and the pies all by ourselves."

We laughed a little, feeling guilty, but not very guilty, mostly feeling thankful that we still love each other enough that we truly would be happy to spend the day alone together. 

There are many, many ways to celebrate Thanksgiving and if you have something to be thankful for, the rest is gravy, as they say. 

But gravy is good and I'm sure that fried turkey is too and we have so much to be thankful for. 

And I am thankful for you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Went Out And Did Not Die And It Was So Very, Very Good

I was a whiny, bitchy baby today and did the things I needed to do and made the pies and the cornbread for the stuffing and drove to town and did some things there I had to do and then this evening, I pulled up my big girl panties and did the thing I knew I should but which, because I am who I have become, was so hard, and put on a pretty dress and some make up and jewelry and Mr. Moon and I drove back to town and first we went by Jessie and Vergil's house because I suddenly realized that I missed Levon way too much.

Vergil's sister and brother-in-law and their three children and Vergil's dad and his wife were all there, eating Thanksgiving Dinner Part One and they sang us the Thanksgiving Dinner Song which they'd all been singing and I got to hold Levon who looked at me as I spoke to him with those deep, deep eyes, and August grabbed his grandfather's arm and said, "Come," and Boppy followed him to see what he wanted him to see. We only stayed long enough to kiss and hug everyone and remind Levon of who we are and August wanted to come with us when we left.
"Mer's car," he said.
"Boppy and I are on a date," I told him. We will see you tomorrow."
"Auggie date," he said, and oh, my heart broke for having to leave him but he had his cousins and his aunt and his uncle and his mama and his daddy and his brother and his grandfather and his Go-Go and I knew he would be okay.

And then my husband and I drove to the place where people that I love were playing music and people that I love were listening to them and May and Michael were there and it was exactly the right thing to have done.
I could write an epic tome about the people there tonight and our history and how we are bonded, how we are bound, but over the years I've already done that and it was beautiful.

There were children of my friends and their children and even a grandchild, making my friends great grandparents and all of us old folks were younger than the children are now by far when we met. 
And here we were. Still here! And those fellows are still making music and it's music that came from a place of the complete joy of being together again- a once-a-year-event, and those of us in the audience closed our eyes and swayed and remembered and whistled and whooed! and clapped our hands and sang along with them, the words embroidered in our souls like the borders on a crazy quilt, like the various and splendored threads woven deep into a cloth which makes up our lives. 

Which they do. 

This is always my favorite part of all of the holidays. The catching up, the holding on tightly to each other, the music, the memories of so long ago (just yesterday), all we've been through since then and we are, here we are, here we are...celebrating new lives, paying tribute to those not with us anymore and still sorely and grievously missed, the spirits of them still around us, the spirits of those we were, still within us. 

Thanks Giving. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

How To Have Fun When You're Old

I had to get up obscenely early today in order to get to an 8:00 dental appointment which for some reason, I had absolutely no anxiety about. In February I was having trouble with one of my back molars and went to see the dentist then about it and he took an x-ray and said that it was not going to be around forever (I can't remember what was killing it but my best bet is old age) and told me my options, one of which was to just wait and see how much mileage I could get on it, which is what I did. He thought it would be good until June which seemed to just be a random month that he plucked from the air so here we are in November and it's been bothering me again and that's why I went to the dentist.
And it was the most hilarious dental appointment I've ever had and to be honest, sort of fun.
For one thing, no one was in the office but the doc and his court of beautiful hygienists and assistants and the desk lady and he was still wearing his workout clothes. He wore them into the exam room where I'd been escorted and had the Official Paper Bib chained to my chest and the first thing I said was, "Let me just say that I'm very glad you decided not to dress up for me today."
And I really felt so much more comfortable than I would have if he'd been wearing scrubs.
So he laughed and listened to my story and looked at the tooth and the old x-ray and asked me what I wanted to do and I said, "You're the dentist," and then he gave me my options and I said, "Let's just pull it."
"Okay," he said. "You want to do it now? I've got twenty minutes before my first patient comes in."
"Well, I have to go to Costco with a bunch of grandchildren," I said. "And it's about to be Thanksgiving."
So it was determined that he would give me some antibiotics and I made an appointment to get it pulled on Monday. And then we chatted about other things including grandchildren which he does not have nor does he want because he's vain and doesn't want to think of himself as a grandpa which he freely admitted. I thought that was hysterical. He's older than I am but not by much. We also talked about root canals which he doesn't think too highly of any more. And he had a few words to say about dentists who only see people with Hollywood teeth and what all they do to preserve the mouths of beauty which most regular people simply don't need. We also discussed Thanksgiving and Christmas and family gatherings and he's sitting there sprawled on the rolling doctor chair and I'm lounging on the exam chair with my feet pulled up and just being as comfortable as I can be and the assistant was standing at her post with very good posture and she was certainly wearing her scrubs and I think her eyes almost rolled out of her head with the shit-shootin' going on in front of her at 8:12 a.m. on a Tuesday.
I ran into my dental hygienist on the way out and we did a quick catch-up and hugged and I told her about Levon and I guess the doctor heard me because when I left he was singing the Elton John Levon at the top of his voice although, as one of the women told him, "That's not the right tune."
I don't think he cared and the desk lady told me that she had no idea what was going on with him today and that he was being embarrassing but like I said, it was the absolute very best dental exam I have ever experienced in my many years.

A little while after that, I went to Costco with Lily and her three precious hellcats. Look at Maggie!

She had pigtails and her pink overalls and a pinstriped button up shirt and she was the most adorable child in the world. And Owen and Gibson hugged me and hugged me and at one point, Owen just came up and held on to me like he was saving me in his heart for forever. 
When we were standing in line to get our purchases tallied with the receipt, a woman standing in line at the returns desk started to slowly, slowly, fall backwards. It was as if she were falling in slow motion. There were at least four people standing there and aware of what was happening and holding out their arms to catch her and help her gently down to the floor. She was a very lovely older lady, turned out and stylish, hair done, make-up on, and she'd just given blood that morning. I imagine she needed some fluids and maybe some sugar and I did not get involved as a nurse was right there, talking to her and all those arms were holding her as she sat on the floor. 

I hope she is okay. I imagine she is. 

And then we all went to China First and had a buffet lunch and Gibson said many things that made me laugh and now I can't think of a one. Here's something I find odd- at that particular Chinese buffet, my very favorite thing of all of the dishes is fried zucchini. They get zucchini which are almost obscenely huge and slice and fry them perfectly so that they are delicious crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. 

That's about all of the important things that happened to me today. Fun at the dentist's, shopping at Costco, eating zucchini, loving my grandchildren. Oh! And it rained! A beautiful, good rain and I will admit that I napped while it was happening, as content as Jack who napped beside me. 

Here's a picture of young Levon who has changed tremendously in the first week and a half of his life. 

Don't you think he looks like a history teacher named George? I do. And I love him so much it hurts. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 20, 2017

Down To The River To Pray, Again And Again And Again

It was chilly, chilly this morning but by the time we got on the river, it was absolutely perfect. There were only a few people at the Wacissa who were also putting in kayaks and canoes. Vergil inflated his kayak and gave August his paddle.

I put August's PFD on him and we got in the kayak and pushed off down the beautiful river. The water was clear as could be, there were so many birds, and the sky was gorgeous with clouds wisping like an old man's beard. 

The trees were starting to show color, especially the cypresses. I showed August the cypress knees and said, "Did you know that trees could have knees?"

I am not sure if he was suitably impressed. 
We saw a tree with nine white ibis in it and we saw a great blue heron. We saw lots and lots of the common gallinule and a couple of woodpeckers, doing their wing scoop flight from tree to tree. We saw small white herons and we saw birds which I am ashamed to say I did not know the name of. 
We saw beautiful flowers, too. 

Vergil paddled us down the river a ways and August wanted snacks so we broke those out in the kayak. It was one of those easy, whatever days. 

And then we slipped into the little side stream where the Blue Hole is. The Blue Hole is a bottomless depth in the river which, if we had been in Mexico would be called a cenote. The cenotes were sacred to the Maya as passageways to the underworld and the Blue Hole is sacred too. In the summer it can be a raucous place with boats anchored and tied up, people swimming and jumping from rope swings, music bouncing off the trees which form the bowl around the depths of the hole. But today, everything was quiet and at peace and we had the place to ourselves and could feel the holiness there, the wonder, the mystery, perhaps even a limestone passageway to something, at least, that can be felt but not seen. It was beautiful.
We tied up to the little floating dock and that's where we had our picnic which consisted of more snacks. Cheese and crackers and nuts and apples and grapes and tangerines and dark chocolate and of course, chips and salsa and guacamole!

We fed corn chips to the little fish who came to see what we were doing and those they ate but when we tried to give them little bites of grape, they would take them into their mouths and then spit them out. It seemed that each of the fish had to go through this process, not trusting the opinion of his or her brethren. A perfect lunch on a perfect day. 

We cleaned up all of our trash and got back in the kayak and headed to the shore. It had been a short but wonderful trip and I was proud of August who was calm and patient although he did ask about one million questions, many of them either, "Auggie doing?" or "That called?" 
Vergil is so patient with him, so sweet. 
He finally said, "Well, August, it seems like Auggie would know best what Auggie is doing," and so it would seem, but somehow, August needs to hear an objective opinion on the matter quite frequently. 

There were several times during our little voyage where we just sat and watched and silently took it all in. I thought about how lucky I was to have grown up on a river, near an ocean, and then a lake, to have had so much water in my life and all of the life that surrounds and inhabits water. That is where I find my church. That is where I am moved to tears, simply to be present and open to it all. I am also so very lucky to have a son-in-law who is so wise in the ways of the outdoors and who respects all that being on the river means. 

And then, to make perfection even more perfect, August sang to us on the way home. He sang both his night-night song which is about all of the people who love him and also, Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily...

Life is but a dream. 

And some days, that is purely the truth.

Love...Ms. Moon