Sunday, December 31, 2017

Here We Are And Tomorrow Here We Shall Also Be

Maurice in the garden. 

So. New Year's Eve.
Where that once meant going out and listening to music and dancing and partying and wearing black and eye-shadow as glittery as a mermaid's tail, it now means that tomorrow I will be cooking black-eyed peas.
And that is that.
Mr. Moon is undergoing treatment for Lyme disease and cannot drink any alcohol whatsoever with the medications he is on so he will be as sane and sober as anyone could be tonight. I did make him chocolate chip cookies and that will be his indulgence.
He's been taking these meds for about a month and a half now and will continue on them for about that same amount of time. I don't know if you remember but two years ago he went through almost a year's worth of testing for every sort of illness known to mankind which could explain the neuro-muscular symptoms he was experiencing and nothing came up positive. His neurologist was admittedly baffled. In the two years since, he has gotten worse. The muscles in his legs have weakened and walking has become more difficult.
And then he spoke with a woman he met in Georgia who'd gone to a doctor there who'd treated her for Lyme disease and the woman has gone from being almost crippled to fine. So Mr. Moon made an appointment with this doctor and when she met with him, she said that she was going to treat him for Lyme because nothing else had come up and he'd been exposed so many, many times.
And he is noticing some improvement. It is a process. Nerves regenerate very, very slowly. But. Any improvement is so encouraging.
And if I wish for anything this year on a personal level, it is that my husband does get better. He hasn't given up any damn thing at all. He has continued to work and to hike through the woods and to build things and to fix things and to hunt and to fish and to go to the gym but it has been getting harder, although he never says much about it. He just pushes on.
He is the strongest man I know.

I've always suspected that some tick-borne illness might be the cause of his problems because it fit so many profiles although Lyme, especially, can present in so many different ways. It is a wily and horrible bacteria and I don't think that "modern medicine" has caught up with it yet, but it would make sense that a doctor in a very rural area in Georgia sees a great deal of it and has experience with diagnosing and treating it. Ten years ago you'd have a hard time finding a doctor in this area who even admitted that it existed this far south. At least that much has changed.

Anyway, that's a long story to explain why Mr. Moon is not having a celebratory drink tonight. I'm going to cook some shrimp we bought at the coast on Friday when we went down to see the sea creatures. First we ate some delicious, tasty, fried sea creatures, then we saw and touched some sea creatures, then we bought some sea creatures and tonight we will eat those.
Bless the sea creatures.

And bless us all, we whose ancestors made their way from the salty womb of the ocean trillions of years ago (that's just an estimate on my part) and slowly and inexorably changing, cell by cell at a time to become the crazy creatures we are today who make calendars and call one day the end of one year and the next day, the beginning of another.
Of course, I believe that aliens were involved but that's another story.
Still, the sea calls us and our blood is salty and before we are born we float in a sort of personal sea within our mothers and when we cry, we release tiny drops of ocean from our eyes. All of this gives me comfort when I think about the horrible things going on in the world today. We, as a species, are so fleeting in the great span of time and I can't help but hope that if we do indeed make our planet completely inhospitable to humans, eventually the oceans will recover enough so that perhaps some different sort of creature will will belly itself through the sand and find a way to breathe whatever is left on earth to breathe and there you go- Bob's your uncle- and life on this planet will continue even if it's a sort of life we would not begin to recognize.

Talk about your new beginnings!
Well, Happy New Beginnings to you and to yours.
And peace, and love. All that hippie shit which I actually mean with my whole hippie heart.

I've posted this before but I'm posting it again. I do believe that this was the first world-wide broadcast via satellite. Can you imagine something like this happening now?

Well. As dear John said, "Imagine."
And as he and Yoko said, "War is over if you want it."

Sounds simple, right?
Simple has never meant easy.

We persevere. We carry on.

Much love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Strange And Possibly Beautiful Days Of The Year's Ending

We ended up spending most of the day with the Weatherfords so of course it was a good and sweet day. How could it not be? Mr. Moon and Vergil and Jessie, too, watched a basketball game between FSU and Duke. Vergil went to Duke and Jessie went to FSU and of course we all live here in Tallahassee and it was a festive occasion for all concerned. I believe that Duke won and in fact, I'm almost sure Duke won but I got that from a secondary source (Mr. Moon and Vergil) so I'd check the internet if you're really concerned about this.

I read August some books and one of the books I read him is a very old one and our copy is so worn that the cover is naught but gray cardboard. When it still had a cover, it looked like this.

It was one of Owen's and Gibson's favorite books and I read it and read it and read it and read it. I have an entire act I do when I read it which includes pretending to hold a hankie up to the readee's nose when it comes time to act out that particular passage with the words being, "Blow, Blow, Blow!" It truly is a genius book, the words being as rhythmic and percussive as drumming. It is simple and silly and kids just love it. August found the tambourine in the toy basket and we used that as a drum to pound out the rhythm of the book. 

I read it to him at least four times and then his daddy read it to him at least three times, all at his request. 

He wanted more of it but his father told him to save it for next time which would make it more special. 

In food news (always important) there were refreshments for the game. Vergil brought over chicken wings he'd prepared to bake in my oven. Jessie had made Buffalo wing sauce and I made blue cheese dip in my food processor- its virgin trial. No one really needs to make blue cheese dip in a food processor but I was aching to plug that baby in and give it a test run. 
It performed magnificently. 
There were carrots and celery and snow peas and red pepper. I ate a wing and August instructed me to take the tail off. I believe he was getting chicken wings confused with yesterday's shrimp but I knew what he meant. He also showed me how to blow it to make it cooler. 

Levon did what he does which is to nurse and to smile and to talk and to sleep and to do it all again. I held him for a good long while as I read to August and he sat there on my lap and was completely content to look and to listen. He is so beautiful, that little guy. We are thinking that he may actually have blue eyes which would make him my only blue-eyed grandson. Vergil told me that out of all of his grandma's grandchildren, something like fourteen, he was the only one to have brown eyes. Genes are so amazing. 

The only time he spent not in someone's arms was when he was getting his diaper changed. No wonder he's such a happy little guy. 

August took a very, very long nap on my bed and when he woke up he was smiling and happy and cuddled down into the soft blanket for a few seconds and then he popped up and said, "Where Boppy?" 
"He's in his chair," I said. "You can go and see him."
And he hopped off the bed and ran like Tigger, bouncing all the way to see his Boppy. 
I asked him if he wanted some Mac Cheese.
"YES!" he said, with perfect pronunciation. And then he said it again, "YES!" 
And so I made him some mac cheese and when it was ready he had to get the high chair to sit in because that is his ritual. 

And that was my Saturday, the next to the last day of 2017. 
I do not even care to do any sort of wrap-up tonight of the year. No review, no lookings-back, no philosophical musings on what the year meant to me and the world at large. 
Suffice it to say that despite all, I am grateful to the outer edges of space and back that my grandchildren are all safe and healthy, that my newest one was born without complications or problems for either mother or baby, that my children are all here and living their lives and loving each other, that my husband still appears to love me, that my garden is producing, my chickens are still amusing me, and I still have this place to write and that I find a community here which I cherish with all of my heart. 
And last, but not least...Keith Richards is still alive. 

And please, indulge me. But this video is incredibly relevant, in my opinion, to what's happening now. 
And yeah, Keith is in it.

Don't croak, Keith. 
We need the reminder of what rock and roll can be and can do. 
It's time for a palace revolution. 

Dum ditty, dum ditty, dum, dum, dum. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Jessie: "Mom, do you ever make New Year's resolutions?"
Me: "Of course. Don't you remember the year I resolved to use the word cocksucker more often?"
Jessie: "Oh yeah. How did that go?"
Me: "Not so well."

Friday, December 29, 2017

Grands. They Can Wear You Out

Levon, upon arriving at MerMer's house. Right after this picture was taken, he fell completely asleep.

"Smile, August!" I said. And he did. When he gets here, the first thing he does is put those binoculars around his neck.

Boppy went and picked up Owen and Gibson and then they loaded up in my car and everybody else, which was Jessie and August and Levon and Mr. Moon, got in Jessie's car and we caravanned to the small town of Panacea on Dickerson Bay where the ghost of who I was when I was twenty-one years old still lives in the palmettos and pines on a lot where an old house used to stand but which has fallen into ruin and back to earth now. It was in the process when I lived there and only certain rooms could be safely trod through and there was no electricity and no running water but still, I could write a book about the time I lived there and whether that was a week or three months, I do not know. That time in my life was as hazy as the fog rising off the bay on cold winter nights although some things do stand out in sharp relief, memories I will never forget and when I get close to that spot, they flood my heart and time gets very iffy and far less exact than it generally is.

Gibson eating shrimp and cheese grits and french fries.
Gibson is like no other child in the world. He is as affectionate as a puppy. He is as loud as a Klaxon horn continuously being squeezed. He is as funny as any child I've ever met.
Typical conversation with him:
"Yes, Gibson?"
"If I was a thief and I busted a hole in a door near the door knob and reached in and unlocked the door would that be smart or stupid?"
"Stupid, I think."
"YES! Because it would be easier just to bust the door down!"

All of the boys except Levon. They are, I think, a very fine-looking group of fellows.

The little lion riding a dolphin. He had such a good time today. He was absolutely merry.

I am loving the way Owen interacts with August these days. He'll get down on his knee when he sees him and say, "Hey little dude! How's it going?"
And of course August is starting to worship Owen, the big boy. The cool boy.

A sting ray named Stella. You may touch her if she comes up right beside you and offers her wing.
Gibson is in love with Stella.

August carrying the little footstool around to see into each touch tank. I asked him if he wanted me to lift him up and he said, "No!" and set his stool down next to a tank and climbed on.

Like this.

So it was a good day. It was a fun day. We saw all sorts of cool creatures and touched many of them and were amazed.
On the way home, we talked about a tank of eels we'd seen. There were SO many eels, poking their heads out of the shells and coral they were sheltering in.
I wondered what all the eels could be named. I suggested things like Creepy, Snakey, and Slippery. Owen suggested Cranky because they do all look rather pissed off.
And then Gibson shouted, "DONNY!"
I almost wet my pants.

As you may imagine, I am exhausted. Trying to keep up with where everyone was (mainly Gibson) in the scheme of rooms and areas made me a little crazy and I do not know why. It's not like I was worried about them disappearing or falling into the shark tank which holds only nurse sharks or being abducted by one of the grannies or moms or dads there with their flocks of children. But it did and that is the way it is.

If I have one piece of advice tonight, it's this- encourage your children to give you grandchildren before you are old and completely worn out. Because if you weren't feeling old and worn out before they get here, you will be in a short time.
But god, they are just so wonderful.
Yesterday when I went to pick up the boys, Maggie ran to me as she does and I scooped her up and she nuzzled me and patted me and crooned my name. Her father was standing about four feet away and she said, "Daddy!" He was talking to Lauren and didn't respond and she said it again as loud as she could, which is about the same volume as Gibson uses. DADDY!!!!! And then again. DADDY!!!!
He looked at her and patiently said, "What Maggie?"
And she held me more tightly by the neck and as sweet as Shirley Temple almost whispered, "It Mer."
"Yes, Maggie," he said. "It's Mer."
And she smiled in complete contentment and hugged me harder.

Lord, Lord.

Love...It Mer

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cold, Wet, And As Owen Said Today, "I've Used All Of My Weapons On My Friends"

About two weeks ago my thirty-year old Cuisinart food processor finally and completely died. Well, actually, the motor runs fine but the little plastic pieces on the bowl lid broke too much for Mr. Moon to fix and things flew off of it and without those pieces, the processor, she will not run.
My food processor is not an appliance that just hung out on the counter taking up space. I used that thing a lot, mostly for chopping and also, for making some types of bread. I use it to puree soups and ingredients for soup. I use it for the Traditional Chicken Salad which I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of this year but I did forget. It basically looked like all of the Traditional Chicken Salads I make so if you've seen one, you've seen them all. And I had to borrow Jessie's food processor to make it. I believe that Mr. Moon's mother put her chicken through one of those meat grinders that you bolt to the table which looked like this.

It was, for its time, a very fine piece of kitchen equipment. 

However, I do not have one nor do I want one. 
I wanted a new food processor. 
So we did a little research on-line and found the one we thought would suit my needs best and Mr. Moon found a website that offered them for almost eighty dollars less than the usual price and I thought the whole thing looked a little sketchy but damn if the thing didn't arrive today, right on schedule. 
See picture above. Maurice likes the box. 

And I guess the message here is- I got a new food processor which is hardly earth-shaking but I am looking forward to using it. I have had to look at several videos for complete instruction because instruction manuals leave a lot to be desired these days and in fact, they advise you to look at the instructional videos to learn how to completely operate your machine. 

The boys and I did not go to the coast today because the weather WAS nasty but I picked them up and we went to the Lighthouse Home For Bad Girls Who Get Saved By Jesus because they just did not get enough toys for Christmas. I got them both a toy and also a Curious George jack-in-the-box to keep here for the little ones because who wouldn't want a Curious George jack-in-the-box? It plays the same thing that my old jack-in-the-box played, which was Pop Goes The Weasel but when George pops up, it does not make that horrible sound that scares little children to death and is probably the reason that most of us are terrified by clowns. 
Remember this? 

Honey, every time that sucker popped up I lost at least three months of my life-span. 
It was awesome! And horrible too. 

And then we came home to my house and had grilled cheese and tomato soup and to be honest, the boys mostly watched some kids' Netflix stuff, the rain coming down and making the cold outside chilling to the very bone. We did play the matching game but Owen was sleepy although after the game, they asked to play on the swing porch, and I let them, but the next thing I knew they were outside in the rain and I made them come in and they did not really fight it. There were more snacks (apples and pickled okra, Ritz crackers and peanut butter) but I did not let them have any candy as they have OD'ed on it since Christmas. Jason told me that he'd finally thrown the rest of it away. 
I wonder if the boys know that? 
Well, they got none here. I was mean MerMer. 

And now they are home with their parents and their sister and I am extending the leftover chicken soup into more soup and it's still raining. I hope we can go down to visit the sea creatures tomorrow. I think that Boppy is going to have to stay home and fix the busted water pipe under the garage. I suppose it broke when we had that freeze a few weeks ago which is sort of depressing. It's going to be freezing here again soon and that does not make me happy. It's going to be a REAL freeze. A HARD freeze. And for us, that is just, well, annoying as fuck. 

And that's what happened in Lloyd today. 
What happened where you live? Is it cold? Is it warm? Is it snowing? Is it balmy? 
What are you having/did you have for supper? 
I'd like to know. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fortunate One

On Christmas Eve when we went over to Lily's, Magnolia came running to greet us, as she does and the first thing she said was, "Where August? Where baby?"
And today, when I met Jessie and August and Levon at Costco, the first thing August asked me was, "Maggie go?"
At least Levon didn't ask for anyone else.
I love how these two-year old cousins really are quite fond of each other, even if they are so very different. Maggie is determined to kiss and hug August and August is wary of this. If you haven't seen Maggie in fifteen minutes she'll run to you, calling your name as if you are her most cherished beloved whom she hasn't seen in a quarter of a century and want you to pick her up and she will pat you on the back with her pudgy little baby doll hands and smile and smile and smile. August, on the other hand, will grudgingly offer his cheek for a kiss IF he is in the mood and if he is not, he will pretend he did not hear you ask for one. But how can you not want to kiss that little lion? When I saw him I said, "Oh! It's not a boy! It's a lion!" and when I took his picture and showed it to him he said, "Not a boy. A lion." And we played that game in Costco.
"Oh, Mr. Lion, please do not bite me!" I would say and he would pull his hood off his head and smile at me and I would say, "Oh! You are not a lion! You are my boy!"
And he would laugh.

I got a sudden serious craving for Japanica! today and so after we were done at Costco and Jessie had changed Levon's entire wardrobe due to a major poop and then nursed him a bit, we met up with Lily and her three, and Mr. Moon too to eat some delicious miso soup and salad with ginger dressing and whatever else it was we wanted. Here are Magnolia and August.

And that just about sums it up. Maggie hugging Santa with all of her might, burying her face in his beard and August standing there with a look on his face like, "What is wrong with this child?"
Oh, my god. I love them both so much that it almost kills me. 

We all got our favorite foods and of course I got the curried tofu Bento box because that's what I always get and August helped me eat my salad and sushi and Owen tried my rice which he did not like (he only likes rice when it's in sushi) and my tofu, which he did like. Levon got passed around and at one point, Boppy was holding him and trying to eat with chopsticks with his right hand even though he is left-handed, and even when Levon fell asleep, he didn't really want to let him go. 

And after all of that, Lily and I met up at Publix and Owen helped me by pushing my cart and he did a great job. We had a strange moment by the yogurt when Owen started coughing. He hasn't been sick but he did cough and an older woman (meaning about my age) standing about ten feet away said, "Jesus!" and made a motion as if she were pushing away germs. 
"I heard that," Owen said to me with big eyes. 
"That was rude," I told him. "You did nothing wrong." 
His feelings were hurt though. 
And of course I love him so much that it almost kills me and I could have knocked that old woman (meaning about my age) into the yogurt case and been happy to do it. 
I restrained myself and merely hugged my boy and shot a glance at the aged biddy (meaning about my age) that told her exactly how I felt. 

We all survived and it's chilly and it's drizzling and I hope that tomorrow isn't too nasty and I hope that Owen isn't getting sick because I have planned to take Owen and Gibson down to the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab and aquarium tomorrow. I was just going to take the two of them for a sort of Mer-Boy date but others may go with us. We will get lunch and look at the "nursing sharks" as Owen said today, remembering our last visit, as well as the rays and the sea cucumbers and the rescued turtles being rehabilitated. I love this funky little place and it does such good work in the areas of education and efforts to protect our mother which is the sea, and the life within it. 
Plus- they save turtles! 

Well, we shall see what happens tomorrow. 

These camellias have started blooming and I am in glory-love with them. 

I picked those this evening in the rain and their color and their delicacy knock me out and I've put them in a little cruet and set them on the hallway altar table with the other camellias I've picked lately and every time I walk by it I feel as if I have the most beautiful works of art imaginable, right there for my own selfish pleasure. 

I am a fortunate woman. 

Drip, drip, drip says the rain. 
Bubble, bubble, bubble say the pinto beans. 
And I rise! says the bread. 
And it does. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Day Of Pieces And Peace, Too

Well, the Christmas tree is back to being just a potted plant and all of the decorations and wrapping accoutrement have been taken back upstairs where they live. This took approximately half an hour.
I have found two books that I'd thought I'd gotten for August and Maggie but didn't find until just now and I wish like hell I could find the two calendars that I know I bought.
I would blame this kind of thing on getting older but I know that I do this almost every Christmas and always have. I stash things away and then either forget I've bought them or forget where I've stashed them.
It never really matters but dammit, I paid good money for those calendars and I want them!

I tackled the dang possibly-castor-bean plants today and now I can barely walk.

As I texted to Lily and Jessie, "I dug up a million. Only a million left to go!"
Which is about the truth. 
Lis says they are castor bean plants but I have been told by others that they are not. I do not know but I do know that this year they got entirely out of control and I also know that when I pull them, they sprinkle the air with some sort of dust-like substance that gets in my nose and my mouth and it's probably toxic. Who knows? Not me. But if I die, you'll know why. 
They are not that hard to dig up. A few good well-aimed thrusts of the shovel and I can easily pull them but when you've done that a million times, it gets tiring. Plus, I know I am leaving plenty of roots which will produce more but as god is my witness, I am going to pull them each and every one when they are babies from here on out. I do admire their giant lovely leaves but come on! This is just too much. 

So yeah. I'm tired. 
So what? We are put here to work until we are tired and then to go to bed. 
I guess. That's my philosophy, anyway. 

Lily sent me some pictures from yesterday that I cannot not post. So. Christmas, Part II. Or III if you count the Christmas Eve post. 

This makes me swoon. Look how tenderly Gibson is holding his little cousin. Look how he's loving him.

Gibson and the Pringles!!!
I told you he was happy.

And here are Owen and Maggie at the buffet table at their other grandmother's house.

Lily said that Magnolia did the sensible thing and just pulled up a chair to the table. 
That girl is smart. 

And I suppose that's all I really need to talk about tonight. I had no real poetic or deep or profound thoughts today. I made no deep or cosmic connections. I did laundry, I put it away. I De-Christmatized my house. I swept floors. I cleaned a mantel. I pulled up plants. 
But honestly, it was a good day in that I got things done that I wanted to get done and also, I hung these on the wall above my bed where I keep my totem treasures and pictures. 

This is what May made me for Christmas. A teeny cashmere sweater with a heart and a rose. That heart isn't as big as a penny. Look at those stitches. May is an unbelievable artist in so many ways. Her writing, her painting, her textile arts. She has made me dolls that are absolute works of art. She made me a book years ago that would be the first thing I'd grab if there was a fire. It is that precious to me. 
And now the little sweater is part of the wall-altar, because that is what it is, of the last things I see before I go to sleep and the first things I see when I wake up and which I know are there in the darkest nights. They calm me, they soothe me. They remind me that I am loved and the mother of amazing children. They watch over me as I dream. 

I just went to shut the chickens up and the moon is one half of a silver cake and she, too, will watch over us all tonight. I promise.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Very Fine Christmas

I woke up this morning to a true Christmas miracle. The Great and Terrible Maurice came to greet me in the bed and she presented her butt to me and turned and kneaded as cats do and then settled down beside me and if I put my head up against her chest I could hear her purring and it was amazing and I was so happy to have her there. Mr. Moon came in and said, "It's eight-thirty!" and I said, "I know, I KNOW!" and he kissed me and I kissed him and then he pulled up the sheet on his side of the bed and made it all straight and tidy and I can take a hint and I got up, loathe to leave Maurice alone but ready to get on with this Christmas day because my heart was not sad nor broken and I felt (dare I say this?) cheerful and excited to go see the grandchildren open their presents.

I got dressed and had coffee and we drove back to Lily's house and everyone was excited and happy and I made hashbrowns and sausage and Lily cooked eggs and heated pastries and May and Michael and Hank showed up and then Jessie and Vergil and August and Levon arrived and it was all wonderful.

This is what a beautiful day it was and although you can't really see it, Hank's hair was shining like a newly minted penny in the sun. 

While we were cooking, there was music on and when Aaron Neville's "Oh Holy Night," came on Lily told Owen, "This was my favorite Christmas song when I was a little girl!" and I did not know that but still have that CD and she and Owen danced in the kitchen together, mother and son, to that angelic voice and I held Levon against me as he drowsed, swaying my body and patting him gently and after about ten minutes of that I felt as mellow and stoned as any old hippie who'd been at the bong for hours. 

We ate our breakfast and then the present unwrapping began and yes, it was chaos. I think my favorite thing was when Gibson unwrapped what Jessie and Vergil had given him and Owen both, which were goodie boxes of Yoo-hoo's in cartons, beef jerky, some other things that I don't remember and a full-sized container of PRINGLES!!!!!
Oh my god. You would have thought Gibson had received a gold cadillac! 
"My own Pringles!!!!!!!" he screamed. 
"Better not pop the top; I hear you can't stop," said May sagely, from the floor where she and Michael were sitting. 
"Thank you!" Gibson shouted at Jessie in his Gibson voice which is about the same decibels as a jet. 
He was so happy. 
And many beautiful presents were unwrapped and our children gave Mr. Moon and me a year's pass to all of the Florida state parks which is absolutely the most thoughtful and wonderful gift I can imagine. I was gobsmacked. 

And here is August, solemnly and carefully examining his new farm. 

Maggie was wild with the joy of tearing paper off of presents. She got a farm too, of course, and a baby doll and all kinds of crazy good stuff. This is what she'd looked like at 8:00 a.m.

so you can imagine what she looked like by 11:00. 
And if that child isn't a baby doll herself, I do not know what a baby doll is. 

Here's Owen holding up the markers that his Uncle Hank gave him and if you look closely you can see a tiny bit of the joy that Gibson was experiencing when he discovered that Hank had given him a frog backpack THAT HE COULD PUT ALL HIS SNACKS IN!

So it was like that with Levon being the center of calm and sweet joy. 

Here's the present that May gave to her brother.

It's a tiny painting that she did and it blows me away. She said she'd always wanted to give Hank a library and thus, she has with Hank's cat Johnny Karate sitting on a rug in front of a fire. "See?" she said. "Johnny laid a fire!" and look at the tiny pictures on the mantel. It's just so perfect in all regards. May is unbelievably talented in so many ways. 

And finally, Hank and May and Michael had to leave to go to their dad and their stepmom's house (which is just down the road from Lily's house) for the celebration there and Boppa and Mer took their leave too. I was so incredibly sleepy for some reason but Mr. Moon and I unwrapped our presents for each other when we got home. I got him silly things like flashlights and new underwear and pralined pecans and a bird feeder and he got me rum and dark chocolate and my favorite espresso and...
oh my. 

A beautiful ruby ring to wear with my gorgeous Cozumel-sea-colored emerald that he gave me on my birthday a few years ago. I sent this picture to Lily and Jessie, and Jessie said that my hands look like a rock-and-roll pirate queen's hands and I love that. Beautiful jewels on my old hands. 
I can't stop looking at the ring. I love it. I even love my old hands, as gnarled and wrinkled and age-spotted as they have become. They have done so much for me and still do from digging in the dirt to making so many meals to comforting babies to changing diapers to holding hands with those I love. If there is one part of me which deserves decoration, it is these old hands. 

And so it has gone this Christmas and it has been as sweet as any Christmas I can remember in forever. I'm going to go and cook (with these old hands) some scallops and pasta for me and the sweet man to whom I am married. 

Here's Aaron Neville singing "Oh Holy Night" if you have a yearning to hear an angel's voice. 

I wish you peace and I wish you joy and I wish you light and I wish you love.

Thank you for being here and part of my entirely fortunate life.

Mary Moon

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

That is a picture from our Christmas Eve celebration at Lily's house.


No. Not really. It looked more like this.

And so much more. 

I'm exhausted. It was precious. 
We ate party foods and we drank festive beverages and there were at least forty-five thousand children running around eating sugar straight from the sugar bowl. Well, okay. They might as well have been. Maggie gave August a bite of her chocolate coated pretzel rod and he chewed it thoughtfully and said, "Me chocolate?" And yes, he got his own chocolate covered pretzel. With sprinkles. 
Lord, Lord. 

And now I have to go to bed so that Santa can come. May and I told Gibson that Santa won't come if there are any children awake. And he said, "OH! COME ON!" 

May visions of sugar plums dance in your head. Or whatever makes you smile in your sleep. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Miss Honey The Christmas Chicken

Suddenly she thinks she owns the place.
And I don't have the heart to chase her out.
She's such a curious Christmas hen.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

I Should Probably Just Go Watch The Peanuts Christmas Special Or Something

Jessie and Vergil and the boys got home last night and so you KNOW what I did this morning. I needed to run by Publix again anyway and so a trip to town was completely necessary and my little car made its way straight to the house where August and Levon were simply sitting, twiddling their thumbs, waiting to see their MerMer.
Sort of.
Not really.
When I got there, August was naked as the day he was born and his daddy was trying to get him to hold still long enough to get his clothes on and after I greeted them and got some hugs, I went in to where Levon was also getting dressed and I talked to him as he lay on his changing table and he smiled at me and all was well.
"Can I have him?" I asked Jessie and grabbed him up before she'd even said yes.
Oh, that perfect weight of a baby on the shoulder! There is nothing in the world like it.
Then August found me and he was dressed in human clothes and he took my arm and said, "Come," and so I did. We went into his room and his daddy started putting stars that will light up at night on the ceiling above August's bed. He held August way up high and let him stick a few stars to the ceiling too.
After about half a dozen, Vergil decided that it would be a good bedtime ritual to put one new star up every night and that is what they are going to do.
Levon and August and I sat in the rocking chair and August got me books and we read. He is now reciting the books as you read, excited as he can be that he knows the words. I, too, was impressed.
I was so happy to sit there and hold one brother and read to the other.
We did this for awhile and then Levon started fussing and acting as if he hadn't eaten in about ten minutes, which his mother informed me was about the truth. So I handed the boy over to her, and August and I read some more books and then did a puzzle thing and then it was snack time and there was hummus and pita chips and pistachio nuts which August has a great fondness for and I got to hold Levon again, his tummy full and he being content.
I could have stayed all day but that would have been rude and I knew I had things to do at home so I made my thirty-minute good-byes. It is such a difficult thing to leave them.
Here are those boys.

I did go to Publix and when I got home I did one of the things I dislike the most which is to wrap presents but by god, I wrapped them all! Every one! And they are relatively tidy! 
I say relatively.
Instead of looking like a two-year old wrapped them, they look like perhaps an eight-year old wrapped them which is a vast improvement. 
I did not, however use bows or ribbon. 
So that is done and I am cooking the chicken for the chicken salad and it is night and it's one of those days where my heart feels as tender and as sore as it can be and everything I think about makes me cry. I cry about how much I love my family. I cry for the missing of the father I never had but whom, as a child I always thought would magically appear on Christmas but who never, ever did. I cry for feeling as if I am not nearly as good a wife or a mother or a grandmother as I should be. I cry for all of the things I have not nor ever will accomplish in my life. I cry for everyone who is hungry or cold or who hurts whether in mansions or in the streets. I cry for our planet, our country, for the dreams of what could be and those who would stifle those dreams for the sake of their greed and their inability to see or care about the suffering they are causing. I cry for beauty and I cry for sorrow. I cry for having to try to explain racism to an eight-year old. I cry for the finality of death and I cry for the absolute limitless possibility of birth. I cry for those I can no longer dance with as they are not here any more. I cry for the memories of the dancing we did together. I cry for a world where Beethoven could exist as well as Hitler. I cry for the many times I have failed and I cry for the fact that I have tried with open heart and mind. 

Like that. 

Well. It's Christmas. 

Let's all just try to love one another without bullshit or reservation.
Let's try.

Love...Ms. Moon