Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How It Went

That picture was taken early this morning at Nemour's Clinic in Jacksonville. The view from the waiting room is absolutely gorgeous and Jason and Maggie were taking it in before we got called back to the exam room which did not take long at all.
Such a nice clinic. They even have volunteers come in to do crafts with the kids while they're waiting and today was make-a-Valentine day.

The drive over went fine, we found the hotel, we found a Chinese restaurant (Owen's choice, of course), we found a Publix. Both Owen and Maggie have the damn cough that Mr. Moon is almost recovered from and we needed cough syrup like nobody's business. Also, we'd lost Maggie's pacifier and that was not working out too well.
Anyway, we all got good sleep and had our complimentary breakfast at the hotel which was almost food-like and then we drove the few blocks to the clinic and made our way up to the 6th floor where the neurology department is.

We met our neurologist- a young doctor from Bombay and she asked us questions and had gone over Owen's MRI and his EEG's and she watched the video of Owen's last seizure. Owen was uncomfortable in the exam room, having people talk about him and when he said he wanted to go get some water, I took him out and we got water and then he made a Valentine, carefully choosing the proper pre-cut hearts and gluing them carefully onto the white paper for his mama. We went back in and of course I wanted to hear everything the doctor was saying and we stayed for awhile and the Dr. wanted to examine Owen, briefly, and ask him questions which he answered to the best of his ability. She said that yes, he has epilepsy, a very common kind, and that she is going to put him on a medication and the goal is control of the seizures at the lowest dosage possible.
She gave us basic safety tips- no climbing anything above three feet high, no baths without someone in the room, of course no swimming alone, a helmet and supervision when he is riding his bike.
Like that.

Owen began to get uncomfortable again and wanted to play "I Spy" which is what we'd done on our last visit to the clinic (and don't play I Spy with Owen because you will not win) and when we went out and he perched on that window sill to look outside and begin the game I said, "So, dude. You have something called epilepsy and that's what causes the seizures. A lot of people have this same thing and they're fine and you will be too."
"Well, that's a relief!" he said. "I thought I was the only person in the world who has seizures."
"The only person in the world?" I asked, astonished.
"Well, at least in the United States," he said.
I was at once horrified and ashamed that he's been carrying this around with him. We've been not quite what you'd call reticent about discussing all of this with Owen but until we actually knew what was going on, we felt somehow inadequate to the task of trying to explain what we ourselves did not know for sure and we haven't pushed him to talk any more than he really wanted to.
And dammit, we should have.
But now he knows, just as we do, and I think it's a relief to all of us. He understands that his brain goes a little crazy with the electricity sometimes and that's what causes a seizure and that the medicine he's about to begin is an attempt to prevent the seizures.
He still didn't really want to talk about it today and I understand that.
But we did talk about it some and I told him that there were probably other kids at his very own school who have epilepsy and his mama kissed his head and said, "You have a special brain, Owen," and I know this is a lot for him to take in.
After the appointment, we went to a science and history museum where we saw so many things.

He carried his stuffed owl around with him and gave me a puppet show.

I think his favorite part of the whole museum was a tiny replica of a theater where they were showing old silent movie clips, one after the other, and whenever I said anything he told me to hush and he whisper-instructed me to tell him to hush when he said something, so I did. 

It was a silent movie, y'all. 

We had lunch after the museum and drove on home and of course we stopped at the Busy Bee. 
I had to take a picture of this.

That's what greets you as you enter the restroom area. Men to the left, women to the right. 

When we got home, Boppy was here, shoveling and spreading wood chips and Owen jumped out of the car to hug him and he said, "I have epsilepsy and that's what causes the seizures!"
"I heard," said his Boppy who told him that he knows people with epsilepsy too and they are just fine and that so is Owen and we are going to take good care of him. 

Owen and I went out and checked for eggs and found four and went out and pulled up a bunch of multi-colored carrots and I showed him the Parcheesi game and we discussed when we would be playing it and then the little family went off to collect Gibson from his other grandmother's house where the boy has been shacking up with his true love, Cousin Lenore. 

When I kissed Owen good-bye I said, "We had some fun, didn't we?"
And he said, "Yes we did!" 
And then he said, "If I ever need to go back to Jacksonville, I know who to call!" 
And then he gave me the biggest seven-year old wink a boy can give and I laughed. 

I had bought him a new stuffed animal at the museum gift shop, a possum, and he was holding on to it as he'd been doing since he got it. 
Seven years old. Smart as a whip. Still a little boy, even if he's not even quite a foot shorter than I am. But big enough to start to understand what's going on with him and we'll do a better job of that. 

And now I'm home and so glad to be here. The little hook-grin moon is shining as bright as it can be, rising above the naked branches of the pecan trees and the frogs are singing their early-spring song and tonight I'll sleep in my own perfect bed next to my beloved although it was pretty sweet to sleep last night in a bed with Owen a few feet away, his breathing so steady and deep. 

Mr. Moon held me for a few moments this evening and I finally had a little bit of a cry. It IS a relief to know what's going on and I do understand that this is not the end of this path by any means but it's a part we've struggled to since the day Owen threw up on the bus back in September and then didn't know who his daddy was and I immediately texted Elizabeth because even then, I knew in my bones what was going on. 

It seems as if it's been a long journey, but relatively, it's been so short, just as the trip to Jacksonville and back is, sitting between my Maggie girl and my Owen boy, playing baby games with one hand and holding on to my still snuggly little guy with the other, playing Animal, Mineral, or Vegetable. 

"Give up?" he always asks when it's his turn to have something in mind that we're supposed to figure out. 
And often, we do give up and let him tell us which makes him so happy because he's outsmarted us again but in real life, we don't give up. 

We hold on and we'll continue to hold on and we'll deal with whatever comes along and we'll learn and we'll grow and we'll even, goddammit, have some fun along the way and stop to take in the view. 

And we sure as hell know where the clean potties are when we need to stop to pee. 

Big love...Ms. Moon

Monday, January 30, 2017

Should We Buy An Alligator Head?

The air is as clear as glass today, the sky as blue as the eyes of Hippie Jesus.

This afternoon I will be traveling with Jason and Lily and Owen and Maggie to Jacksonville where we will spend the night in order to go to an early morning appointment at the clinic.

Hopefully we will get some answers. And for sure we'll be stopping at the Busy Bee for snacks and giggles and the glory of the Las Vegas bathrooms.

First though, a walk and some housework, and hopefully a lessening of the anxiety which has my stomach in knots, even on this clear blue day.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

You Can Call It Boring. I Call It Pretty Perfect

I've had a soul-day.
Which of course means that my overalls are in the wash and there's a huge crockpot full of soup simmering away on the counter. Chicken, deer sausage, four kinds of beans, onions, garlic, tomatoes, kale, collards, mustards, carrots...anything else? Oh yeah. Some cabbage. And zucchini and yellow squash. And broccoli. I am lamenting the fact that there is no room, not one bit of room, left for corn or celery.

And the garden is about as weed-free as it's ever been and I planted a row of more arugula and lettuce because those are beginning to bolt as well as some shallots that my friend Tom brought me from his garden to plant.

Here's two pictures that I got via text today:

Maggie the rocker and,

August the napper. Not rapper, although he often does a mean "E-I-E-I-O" from Old McDonald Had a Farm when he's in the mood.

Jessie reports that when he gets in bed now, he pulls his animals up underneath him and hugs them to sleep.

I believe they may both be in line for over-the-limit cuteness citations.

Then again, I am their grandmother.

Mr. Moon should be home soon and I know he's going to be ready for a martini, a shower, a bowl of soup and his own bed. Probably in that order.

In daily egg report news (what? you didn't know there was a daily egg report?) fairly ancient Miss Camellia laid me a pretty pale green egg today.

And if you worked outside in the dirt and were as old as I am, that's what your hand might look like too. And yes, I mostly wear gloves when I'm in the garden.
I also got another miniature egg from Darla but nothing from Dottie or Violet.
Lazy girls.

Aw, we all need a day off now and then, whether it's from doing laundry or forming an egg in our bodies and delivering it out of our butts.

And that's the way it's been here. Cool enough to be a delight to work outside, and going to be cold enough to snuggle up for sleep tonight. Quiet and easy and good for the soul.

May we all sleep well tonight and may all of our dreams be peaceful.

Love...Ms. Moon

This Too

The sun is out again, the courts overruled the tyrant, the azaleas are in bloom, I am going to make soup today.

For the moment, for this very moment, as the cardinals negotiate for room at the feeder and the neighborhood roosters crow their morning announcements, all is well.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Stupid, Fucking Day But Still There Is Reason To Go On

It's been a day.
And just about the best thing in it is that curl on Maggie's head. Lily said it's been there since her bath last night.
I sang, "There is a little girl, with a little curl/right in the middle of her top-head./And when she was good she was very, very good/ and when she was bad she was horrid."

Maggie likes to be sung to, as babies do. I make up songs to sing to them. "Maggie June is sweet as a spoon/ of honey."
And so forth.

Right. So.
Owen refused to play at the game again today. It caused him huge, huge unhappiness. He loves basketball and talks about how excited he is about it and then, when it comes time to get out on the court in the gym, he just can't do it. Is it the people watching? Is he afraid to make mistakes? He says he's scared. It's heartbreaking. And we don't make him play nor does the coach. Getting him to just sit with the  team is almost more than he can bear.
I think he's not socially ready. He is who he is. And I also think that he's going through a lot of stuff right now that he doesn't necessarily talk about but which he most certainly is experiencing. He knows we're worried about his seizures. He knows it's sort of a big deal, although he says it's not.
He's seven years old.
I don't think he needs any more pressure on him right now.

I looked at him, miserable across the gym, standing up against the wall, his arms crossed in front of his skinny chest, his face a mix of mad and sad and scared and defiant and all of it my Owen. All of it the face of my very deepest heart.

When the game was over, his mama had to get to work and his daddy took him and his sister and his brother in his car and we all told him we loved him and he said he didn't want to talk about basketball and we all went our separate ways.

I remember when being the mother to small children was overwhelming and sometimes I'd think what all parents think- eighteen years. What a stupid thing to think.
It's been forty years for me and my heart breaks just as badly for the hurt of my grandson as it ever did for the hurts of my own children.

This is what it is to be human.

And then I went to Joanne's Fabrics just to look at material and patterns and as I walked around the store I realized that I was having one of those ocular migraine things. The shimmering halos.
Ugh. Ugh.
I went out to the car and just sat for about forty-five minutes until it passed. I don't really get the headache, thank god, but still. It's disturbing.

I finally started up the car when my vision was cleared and finished my errands and came home, my head not hurting but feeling dull and spacey, flat and as dense as the heavy gray sky. The news is so awful. As bad as I thought Trump would be, I never could have imagined that he would twist our country the way he has in eight short days with his evil, insane executive orders.
Someone has to stop him.
How do we stop him?
I am terrified.

It's been a day. A day of gray and of cold and of rough edges and no answers to questions that catch and tear the mind and heart like the jagged edges of a cold, gray rock catches and tears the skin.

This, too, is what it is to be human.

But. Here are the good things:

Maggie's curl.

The way she holds her face to me so I can kiss it so softly, a hundred times.

My heater, which is working fine now, all fixed and blowing clean, I would assume, instead of dirty.

Three eggs I found today. One regular size, two tiny. I think that Dottie laid the big one, Darla definitely laid one of the tiny ones (I know because I caught her just leaving the nest in the pump house and there was an egg, small and as warm as her own body), and one from Violet, I think.

The cardinals, the blackbirds, the robins.

The pale hawk I saw, dipping over the highway as I drove.

The resisters.
The protesters.

The knowledge that even though all of it seems so overwhelming now, so frightening, so terrifying, so wrong and so unbelievable, the darkness cannot prevail.

Bless us all.

Love...Ms. Moon

In Solitude, I Am Grateful

This morning it sounded as if someone were raking the leaves in my backyard.
I looked out to see a flock of robins on their way back north, I presume. They were rustling through the dried leaves and it looked like a carpet, come alive.

They are gone now and the yard is still again.

The white violets are beginning to bloom. The purple ones will follow.

Before I know it, it will be time to kick the bamboo and the wisteria will be making fuzzy buds.

Even after all these years, living on this earth, my heart still feels tender at this knowledge.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Friday Mixed Assortment Special

My husband just pulled out of the yard towing this piece of machinery. I have no idea what it is but it will be used in the palm-tree-moving operation which he is going to begin this weekend down in Apalachicola. The combination of knowing that he's about to truly start breaking ground (in a way) on that project along with knowing that he'll be using that machine has made him about as happy as any man I've ever seen in my life.
In. My. Life.
"Do you know how much I love you?" he asked as I hugged him good-bye. "I am so happy."
"Yes," I said. "Do you know how much I love you?" And I smiled in such a way that he probably knows how happy I am too.
Here's what I know about marriage- it ain't a contest. And anytime a married couple gets into the "I'm right and he's wrong" (or whatever gender is appropriate) mindset, unhappiness is fomented and I don't just mean for one person. And the other side of the coin is that more happiness and more love makes more happiness and more love for both people.
Does this mean that for the sake of peace one person should always give in to the other?
Oh hell no. I just mean that if compromise can be reached, if boundaries can be shifted a bit, if minds and hearts can be opened, the results can be so much more satisfying than any amount of "I told you so."

Or at least that's how it's worked for me.
It's taken me years to figure all of this out. To realize that I may not have the slightest understanding of why my husband needs to do something but that I can purely and truly understand that he absolutely does need to do it.
And who am I to argue with that? It works both ways. He intuitively knows that and I think he always has. And a great deal of this has to do with our different upbringings. And I am so grateful for the way his parents raised him.

It's been a good day. Lily and Jessie came out with Gibson, who is still a little sick but not much, and Maggie and August, and we all went to Monticello and ate at the new pizza joint and then went thrift-shopping.
Here's August and me, walking out to see the goats before we left.

And Gibson and August on the porch, eating pickled okra, the newest favorite snack of all. 

Lunch was delicious and the thrift shop was good to us. Gibson got a glockenspiel and Lily and Jessie got some clothes and August got a bag of beautiful alphabet blocks and I got a game of Parcheesi (The Royal Game of India!) to play with my boys the way my granny played it with me. 

When Jessie dropped me off at home I went out to the garden and weeded for hours and so you know I'm tired and satisfied, contented and dirty. 

I stole these pictures off of Facebook. 
First, Jessie and August. 

"When your baby tells you very clearly (in his own way) to put your earring in your nose, you do it. And then you feed him some more and let him play with said earring/nose ring until he is too rough. Good times."

That's what she posted with the picture. August is fascinated by the tiny nose-jewel that Jessie has and as every woman who has ever nursed a toddler knows, after a certain point, the child gets bored with simply eating and absolutely must entertain themselves with whatever is at hand which usually involves Mama's face or hair or nose or other nipple. This is just the way of it. 

And here's what Lily posted. 

"Harry Potter helps a muggle baby"

A precious muggle baby. 

When Jessie brought me home, we sat in the car for a moment and talked about my blog. About how it's been so wonderful to have these reports of what goes on in our lives with the pictures, too. She told me she's gone back several times to read my account of August's birth and I cried. 
It's true. 

This blog is the record of one family in the United States of America in one period of time. Of how we live and fall in love, how we eat and how we work and how we play and how we stay in love. Of our worries and our fears, our joys and our struggles, our kisses and snuggles. Of how we are born and welcomed into the world, how we grow and how we change. What we dream and what we bear. What makes us laugh and what makes us cry. 

Here's another picture. 

This is what I find every night when I go to close the hen house. Mick, sleeping on Trixie. Bizarrely, I have never seen any poop on her when I let them out in the morning. I have no idea how that works. 

This is also a blog which acknowledges and celebrates the great mysteries. 
And chickens. 

Once again, thanks for coming along. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Book Character Day

Our very own Harry Potter.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

What Works For Me Sometimes

How to feel better:

Go for a fucking walk. Get off your ass and put on some old clothes and a pair of shoes and something resembling a sports bra or whatever and grab the walking stick your husband made for you and open the door and take one step, two, three...
And so forth.
While you are walking listen to whatever makes you happy. Podcasts, NPR, music, a book, nothing but the birds and bugs and your very own thoughts.

When you get home think, "At least I did that."

Go see a baby. Any baby would probably do but a baby that knows you by your grandmother name works best for me. Adore their beautiful, perfect hands. Pretend to bite and eat their beautiful, perfect toes. You will know if they like this because if they do, they will offer the toes to you between bites. Move on to fingers. They are tasty too. "Help" their mother dress them which is completely silly because she is a pro. But if she is sweet, she will go along with the game and give you a sock and a shoe to put on too. Kiss, kiss, kiss. Say, "I love you!" about a million times. Go shopping with the mother and the baby. Buy outfits for the baby and his cousin, another baby. For the boy, buy cargo shorts and a plaid, flannel shirt. For the little girl baby maybe get something like this:

And then, just because they have them, buy these too.

Because baby girls sometime need to get their grunge on when they're wearing their Rolling Stones T-shirt.

Could you just die?

So. After you've done all of that, say good-bye to the baby and kiss him a million more times and say, "I love you!" about a million more times and then...

Come home and put on your overalls. Go outside into the garden and get on your knees and weed. Again, listen to whatever makes you happy. Right now I'm listening to this:

I tried to read it with my eyes years ago and just couldn't get into it but now I'm loving it.

When you've weeded all you want to or if it is getting dark and you need to come in, pull a few small carrots and beets. Bring them in and wash them and cook them with vinegar and a little water and butter and salt and pepper and onions and sugar and some of the beet greens.

Also, roast a chicken in a big black skillet with potatoes and onions and Brussels Sprouts and lemon juice and garlic and salt and pepper and thyme and oregano. If you're like me, you don't really like Brussels Sprouts but at least once a year you try them again to see if maybe you do. If you do, eat them. If you don't, don't eat them. Whatever.

When your husband gets home, kiss, kiss, kiss. Tell him you love him. Listen to a story he has to tell about selling a guy a car which made the guy so happy and thus, him too.

Sit down and write about it all. This is what worked for you today. This is what made you feel better. Moving your body and taking deep breaths in the outside air. Loving on a baby. Buying silly little things that make babies' mamas happy. Getting your overall knees filthy in the dirt while getting to the root of the weed. Finding big fat worms as you weed and know that the work you did spreading mushroom compost and mulch was a worthwhile effort. Cooking and eating what comes from your garden along with other good food. Listening to good books read by excellent narrators. And knowing that you have a good book to read before sleep, this one with your eyes.

Have a little faith. There's magic in the night and in the day, too, sometimes.
You ain't a beauty but hey, you're all right.

And that's all right tonight. It's worked for me.

Love...Ms. Moon

Katydids and MTM

The Mexican hog snapper was amazing. I just dredged it in flour and spices and panko and pan fried it, one side and then the other and it was flakey and crispy and delicious.
My husband was happy.
And I was too because it was good and because it was something different to cook.
I'm afraid I've grown so tired of my own cooking. The daily chore of trying to decide what to fix for supper has become burdensome. So it was nice to do something different.

Today is gray and feels heavy. But then, there are these.

And this little guy was resting on the inside of the kitchen door. 

A katydid. I gently helped him outside. Maurice does love to play with a katydid but she is sitting on my chair on the back porch and is in a vile mood, attacking my arm whenever she gets the chance and yet, there she sits, sharing space with me. 

I do not understand this cat but I don't think it is the human's job to understand the cat. 
This is somewhat of a relief. I can simply love her in all of her moods and not have to waste one second worrying about the whys and wherefores of them. 

I found a pretty brown egg in the hen house this morning. Second one in three days. Perhaps Dottie is laying. I do not know. 

I sent a picture to Mr. Moon who replied, "Good. Now one of us can have breakfast."

These are the things I am pondering today- the origin of the egg, the cat's mood, whether I should take a walk or not. It would appear that the rain I woke up to has passed. 

Beyond these things, I can't really focus. 

Everyone is discussing the death of Mary Tyler Moore and talking about her roles in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and of course, her own show in which she played such a plucky single woman and I loved her in those shows but whenever I think about the role she played in the movie "Flirting With Disaster" I have to laugh. She was a comedic genius. 

And as I recall the movie ended with her giving, uh, oral pleasure to her husband and honestly, it's a great scene and it's a wonderful movie and if you've never seen it, today might be a good day to watch it.

A reminder that life can be so very confusing and so very funny and so very bittersweet and that we can be brave, each in our own way.

Good morning, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Nice Doctor Is Nice Again

Ugh today.
Well, it's over. It's fine.
And the whole deal was that I had a doctor's appointment- just a med check- with that sweet new doctor of mine. The one who seems so caring and focused and gentle. Still, I've been agitated and anxious about it coming up for days.
Crazy, much?
We went over some things and he's going to adjust my meds a little and add a low dose hyper-tension med because my BP is always high when I'm in the doctor's office.
Now- is it high because I'm there? Of course. Should I have been doing what he told me to do which is to take it at home? Well, sure. But the damn thing is, even the sight of the device crawls my stomach into a knot.
Fuck. I don't know.
You can't take your blood pressure without a device.
He said to try it for a week, see how it goes. That it may actually help with the physical symptoms of anxiety.
He also said that my aura seemed better today. Which is funny because he's hardly the hippie kind of guy. Or at least, he doesn't appear to be.
All I know is that I do truly like him. He ain't pushy. And he laughs.
And now I'm in love with his receptionist and instead of being offended when she calls me sweetie, I call her sweetie.
So that's all good.
And I had a long walk this morning and I did things like scrub toilets and put new sheets on the bed. Yes, I am bought new sheets again. We shall see if I like them. If I don't, I'll sure as hell return them. I got them at Costco, their regular Kirkland brand of pima cotton. Excellent price and they came with four pillowcases.
I'll report in on how they sleep.

I took Owen his Harry Potter cape and he's happy about it. He looks good in it and it fits him better. He's loving the book and his parents have been reading it to him every night so I need to catch up for our trip to Jacksonville on Monday night. Gibson's sick now. He's running a fever and sleeping a lot but says that nothing hurts. Jeez, but Lily can't catch a break. When I was there Lily told me to go ahead and see if I could wake him up to say hello, so I did, and he was happy to see me. I had taken a jar of pickled okra over as a present to the boys because they love it so and he ate one happily and then snuggled back into his mama's bed.

He'll probably live.

So now I'm home and I found a Mexican hog snapper at Publix, believe it or not, which is the type of fish that Mr. Moon ordered and ate with such happiness when we were at the beach club, Chen Rio on the wild side of Cozumel. He hasn't quit talking about that fish ever since we got back. I doubt it'll be nearly as good because that fish at Chen Rio was probably hours out of the water instead of days and also, I don't have the secret Mayan hog snapper recipe. I can't seem to find one online, either.
I'll wing it.

Thank all of you so much for your comments in response to my post last night. I want to answer all of them and I'll try. Once again, I feel so incredibly lucky that we have this community which is so caring, so empathetic, so wise and so willing to reach out, even in its diversity. I have felt cradled and counseled by you. I have felt comforted and inspired. You have offered me lifelines when you had no idea how much I needed them. You have made me laugh and you have made me think and you have made me feel surrounded by all sorts of love and friendship.

I quite honestly do not know what I'd do without you.

Now- anyone know how to fry a hog-snapper in the Yucatan style?

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How Does This Bizarro World Thing Work?

I have taken a vacation day in the country today.
The country of my-place-in-Lloyd.
I did all of the simple things I love doing and you know what they are. I walked, I did a little yard work, I cooked beans, I picked salad including those pretty little carrots, I finished Owen's Harry Potter cloak, I did laundry and hung clothes on the line.
I took a nap.

I am having a very hard time trying to figure out what it is I need to do about this whole DT thing. One thing I have decided is that I need to start calling him by name. His name is Donald Trump. He is the president. This is a reality. Although it feels as if I have woken up in Bizzaro World I am fairly certain that his is not a nightmare. In nightmares, I always end up trying to glue the tiny letters of my phone keyboard back in correct order because they have fallen off, and the last time I checked my keyboard is as virtual as it ever was and all of the letters and numbers and stupid emojis are exactly where they are supposed to be which is not helpful at all because even though in my dreams I just know that if I could get my phone to function I could call for help and rescue, in this case there is simply no one to call.
Oh sure. My congressmen.
I have so little faith in that path that I might as well trying calling god.

As I wrote a friend today, I think that the Republican lawmakers have their heads all UP in Donald Trump's pants. I really did have some faith in our system and in human beings in general until this election occurred but now I see clearly that our elected officials (or at least those of the Republican party) are the weakest and least moral of any humans I ever thought to contemplate and trust me- I did not think much of them before. But at least I thought that some of them might notice that the Emperor was wearing no clothes. I have no idea why I thought this.
I'm not stupid.
And actually, I would not be surprised to learn that many of them are quite aware that Donald Trump's ass is hanging out, his tiny junk on display for all to see and just don't care because they are finally getting the chance to do what they've been wanting to do forever which seems to involve sticking it to the black guy who was our president for eight years while at the same time, creating the world in their own wet dream of a country where they, the rich white guys, can say, "I've got mine (which would be money, status, the guarantee of a good education, fantastic health care, the ability to get and have sex with hot, smokin', much younger women, and all of the privileges which go with these things) and the rest of you can go fuck yourself."

Basically, this is how I see it.
And if you think for one moment that any of these people and the people who back them are going to let go of that dream for a millisecond now that the opportunity for success is so ripe and rich and royal and golden, then I think you're deluding yourself.

And also- I don't believe that any of these men (mostly men, let's be honest) are the brightest candle in the chandelier or the sharpest knife in the drawer or the hottest burner on the stove which means that in general, they can't see farther than their noses or their peckers, whichever one is longer, to understand that the decisions they make could absolutely mean the end of the world as we know it.
They feel fine.

You can't argue with these people. You can't educate these people. Their minds are shut, their opinions formed. Their bellies are full and their god obviously loves them.

So what do we do?

I don't know.

I have no clue.

And so I've spent a good day doing what I do know how to do which is basically the same things women have been doing for eons which is to take care of hearth and home, albeit with better tools and electricity.

What are you thinking? Are you writing your congressmen? Calling them? Are you contemplating running for office? Are you writing opinion pieces? Are you on your knees praying ceaselessly? Are you calling for refills on your Ativan? Are you trying to dialogue with people who are on the other side of the divide? Are you posting on Facebook? Are you tearing your hair out? Are you running an extra five miles a day? Are you eating chocolate and macaroni and cheese like there's no tomorrow? Are you reading escapist literature? Are you meditating? Are you trying your hardest to be the light in your own world? Are you thinking about taking in a rescue dog? Are you planning a move to Canada or Costa Rica? Are you sleeping twelve hours a day? Are you just living your life the best you know how, hoping that we survive the next four years? Are you convinced that denial is an excellent coping mechanism?
Tell me. Because I need to know what to do.

I'm lost and I'm drifting and I'm doing the best I can but it just doesn't seem to be nearly enough.

Yours In Confusion And Bafflement...Ms. Moon

Monday, January 23, 2017

From Bad To Better

Okay. Gibson said something else today that was hysterical.
How I wish I could remember what it was.
We were at lunch????
Or was it on the ride over there after we picked him up at school?
Or on the way home?
Oh god. A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

Oh wait! I just remembered! And it was on the ride to lunch. His birthday is in two months and so of course he's thinking about that a lot because he's four years old and four-year, almost five-year old kids' lives revolve around their birthdays and so he says, "I know what I want for my birthday."
"What?" asked his mom.
"An eagle!" he said.
"An eagle?" Lily and I asked.
"Yes. A baby eagle and then when it is grown, I will let it go free!"

Try explaining to a child that he can't own an eagle because not only is it illegal but also, it's a bird of prey. I tried to tell him how some birds, the birds they make pets of, eat fruit and seeds whereas eagles, which are birds of prey, eat things like bunny rabbits.

He didn't seem overly upset about any of this. I'm sure he'll think of something else he wants for his birthday.
Maybe a vulture.

Anyway, we met up with most of the family today for lunch at a Middle Eastern place (we are nothing if not multinational in our food tastes around here) and even May and Michael were able to come as well as Hank and Jessie and Boppy and Maggie and August and Gibson. And me.

We ate our dolmas and hummus and pita and falafel and Greek salads and so forth. Gibson got an order of french fries and a small container of black olives. Hey! That's what he wanted! I stole one of his french fries and after I dipped it in ketchup and began to eat it, he said, "Mer! I was saving that one for last!"
I felt terrible and shamefacedly returned the uneaten portion to his basket.

There were babies.

I wish I had gotten a picture of Hank. He is doing so well and I wish he'd post on his damn blog and tell you about it but he's so busy being all happy and dating and shit that he doesn't have time.
Anyway, trust me. He looks fabulous.

After I came home I put on my overalls and went outside to pick up a few of the branches and stuff that the wind blew down yesterday. Two hours later I said, "That's enough."
I took a picture of the pile of stuff I picked up, dragged and hauled but it doesn't look impressive enough to merit posting. Oh well. Doesn't matter. The important thing is that I did it and that I feel so much better for being outside where the sun came out to cheer me up and cheer me on. We are quite lucky in that the storms we had yesterday did a lot of damage and there may still be places in town where the power is still off. Big trees fell as well as branches and I hear a few cars were crushed.
You would have thought that the hurricane we had a few months ago would have taken out every tree that was going to go but no. These storms can spin off tricky little mini tornadoes that whip through in places that other storms did not bother and there you go. Tallahassee is rich in trees and although they are mostly cherished and loved, they sure can cause problems.

And that's the way it's been today. A day that started out with me not sure in the least that I had the will to carry on but now I am so glad I did. I got to kiss all my babies and I got to work outside and what I have to remember is that even if I wake up tomorrow with the blur of bad dreams, bad chemicals, and existential angst clouding my vision, things can get better.
And probably will.

All love...Ms. Moon

A Difficult Morning

Some mornings are bad. Some mornings are really bad. I find myself curling into a c-shape, sitting in my chair, bringing my shoulders together and holding myself with arms crossed, an attempt to make myself small and disappear, I suppose, a refutation of expanding into the day.

Today is that way. For absolutely no apparent reason except that it is what it is.

I took that picture yesterday evening after the main part of the storms we had had passed. Our power had already been out for awhile and we were without it for at least twelve hours. It came back on sometime after three a.m. and Mr. Moon got up and turned out lights which had been left on and came back and got into bed again until his alarm woke him up and he got up again and went to the gym.

The dreams, the dreams, the stupid fucking dreams.

And it was a fine day yesterday. Lily brought the kids over. Maggie was wearing the dress I made her.

Such a precious doll baby. 

And Boppy took Owen to a basketball court where they played for quite some time and had a good time and I laid out the black satin sheet that Lily bought at the Goodwill to try and make a Harry Potter cloak and by the time they got back it was somewhat constructed. 

There may need to be, ahem, (no pun intended) alterations. 

Supper was warmed up leftovers and a cornbread I made in a skillet on the stove. Thankfully, we have gas. Cards were played, showers were taken by flashlight. 

It is so gray today and the wind still gusts. Texts are going back and forth with plans for lunch and so forth and I sit here and type this and curl myself up and release myself again and the wind chimes ring. Today they sound like a warming. 
Of what, I do not know. 

Yesterday, as I sewed, Gibson came in and asked me if I was an old lady. The only other person he has ever seen at a sewing machine is his other grandmother and thus, he made a reasonable assumption- only old ladies sew. 
I told him that Vergil sews too. That Aunt May says. That anyone can sew. 
He was slightly amazed. 

When they were leaving, he looked up at the trees which the wind was having its way with and he said, his face a delight, "The trees are dancing! The trees are really dancing!"

Oh, to have his pure Gibson heart, his pure Gibson mind, so far untainted by unreasonable fears, or at least, not ones that someone who loves him can't hold him through, can't explain away. 

Too late for that. 

Time to unfold. Time to move along with this gray, strange day. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Across The Universe

Well, it's been quite a day. Owen had a bit of trouble wanting to play the basketball game in the gym with all of the people and all of the noise. He always does this. Remember how long it took him to go to pre-K without crying? And in his first games of T-Ball he refused to go up to bat?
His Boppy and his daddy and his mama tried to get him to go play but he just couldn't do it. Bless his heart. I think he played for a few minutes but then he retreated again to the sidelines.
After the game, one of his coaches said to me, "THAT'S a boy with heart. He's the one who's going to be something."
I fell in love with that coach.
We all went to eat lunch at China First afterwards and Owen rode with me.
"Need some water, buddy?" I asked him. He was being so quiet and I knew he didn't want to talk about it.
"No," he said.
"How about a glass of whiskey?" I asked him.
"Maybe," he said.
And then I told him that I loved him and was so proud of him exactly the way he was and for who he was and we didn't need to talk about it any more and he ate a whole bunch of noodles for lunch.

I hear that the Tallahassee March was amazing. Jessie and her boys marched and I am so proud of them.

Yesterday on Facebook, I wrote this:

I'd like to give a huge shout-out to all who are marching tomorrow. I wish I were the marching kind but instead, I am the stay-at-home kind. I hope that at least one of you will hold me in your pocket as you do what I seem unable to do. I thank you. I love you. Wherever you march, be safe. The whole world is watching.

And damn but this appeared on my timeline this evening, posted from Linda Sue Nelson Hoofnagle in Bellingham, Washington.  

Made me cry. 
On the other side, Linda said, was printed "Not Up For Grabs."

Which was perfectly perfect. 

Lord, but I feel carried along on the wave of all the people who took to the streets while I huddled in with my family and just appreciated so much the sweet coziness of my home when the crazy winds and rain came upon us. 

Mr. Moon and I sat out on the back porch this evening and played some cards which we have not done since we got back from Cozumel. 

Jack, who is getting so fat that when he jumps off the bed the floor shakes, cuddled up to his man and we have not finished this game but I begged off to start out supper. I'm cooking rice and spinach and am going to boil shrimp that we stopped and bought on our way home yesterday as well as three soft shell crabs which I have never cooked before but from what I read, the less I do to them the better. 

I will dredge them in some flour and seasonings and maybe a few panko crumbs and pan fry them in a little bit of olive oil and butter and I am going to simply boil the shrimp with Old Bay and garlic and lemon slices. I will make a cocktail sauce and a sort of crab-dipping sauce and will make a casserole with the spinach and rice. 

The rain has gone for now and the frogs of spring are whistling their eery bird whistles, looking for love. 

Aren't we all? 

Thank you. All of you. Who marched and who stayed home to do whatever your part in this is. 

Goddam. Ain't no orange billionaire with fake hair and a wife who obviously needs saving from his clutches going to change my world. 

Beatle Magic. And as I listened to this, the frogs joined in and the rain began to fall again. 

Dear god. We must believe in something.

Love...Ms. Moon

We Represent In The Way We Can

Gloomy morning and bad weather is coming towards us and I'm going to a basketball game of Owen's in a little while.
I am soul sick, my body is dancing right along with that, but I don't really seem to have it so bad.
I just feel quiet with the heartache.

Honestly, I do not feel like going anywhere but on Thursday, when I drove up to the park where Owen's basketball practice was being held, he ran to my car when I pulled up with all of the speed a seven-year old boy with long gangly legs can gather.

He still wants me to be there.

And I will be.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sometimes I Wish I Believed In Prayer

We went to Apalachicola and I did not watch one moment of the goings-on in the capital. I watched August. I sat in the back seat with him all the way there and back and we played Mermer-baby games and had lots of laughs and then we had lunch and August considered perhaps eating a steamed oyster but he made do with crackers and shrimp instead.

It was a good day although I felt devastated and flat and sad and scared. But being with that little boy helped and here he is in a field of flamingo yard ornaments which made him very happy.

Even as all of this was going on, this joy and life and color and light, I was checking my phone to see what carnage had already taken place. 
"Mama," said Jessie, "Stop it." 
I couldn't help it. 

This is the view from the little kid park a few blocks down from our property. 

It is beautiful. My life is beautiful. My children are beautiful, my grandchildren are beautiful, my husband and his love for me are beautiful. 
They are singing at the church next door which seems to be their worship. The windows are open and it is beautiful. 

I have nothing more to say right now. 

And that's enough. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What I Believe

I finished Maggie's little dress and although I am not happy with the well-this-is-homemade aspect of the neckline inside, it is bright and cheerful and since it is made of flannel, it will be cozy.

So that's what I did today. I had wanted to go out and weed in the garden, truly and honestly wanted to do that, but the dress kept me occupied and I slept for awhile this afternoon. My body asked me nicely if I would let it rest and I replied, "Why yes. Of course."

I've been thinking all day of what is coming tomorrow and I remembered the post that I wrote back when Obama got elected the first time and how much I was looking forward to seeing this family in the White House and so I found that post and reposted it this afternoon and oh, how the Obamas have fulfilled every one of my dreams about how it would be. They have been everything and more than I ever could have imagined and how beautifully those girls have grown up and he has been my favorite president ever and the coolest and the handsomest and the quite possibly the most intelligent and his wife has come into her own as to her presence, her words, her messages, her style, her grace, her obvious love for her husband and her children.
Her dancing.
Her smile.

And as I stitched on Magnolia's dress and gathered and pinned and ironed, I also thought about Obama's first inauguration day and I've gone back and found that post too and it's here if you want to read it. It was the day that Lily told me she was pregnant with Owen and it was absolutely one of the most wonderful days of my life.

I will not be watching the inauguration tomorrow. I cannot bear to watch that man with his asshole-shaped mouth (I say this as someone who has studied anatomy) and his model wife with her ever-present smirk, put his hand on a Bible and lie about what he will do which is to protect the Constitution which he has no more knowledge or regard for than he does for the Bible he's going to be swearing on which makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

Instead of watching that, I will be driving down to Apalachicola with my husband and my daughter Jessie and her son, August, to pull permits to begin building our house down there. Mr. Moon is so excited to begin work and thus, this part of our lives will begin. A dream thirty years in the making, a dream that it's taken me awhile to get onboard with but which I am now ready for, a dream that my husband absolutely feels he has to accomplish and which, in giving my support and heart to, has made him as happy as I've ever seen him.

This is what I want to say- there is no president which can change us or divert us from our dreams. They may take time to fulfill and they may change as the years proceed but in the end (and I do believe this) love will win and the love we take will be equal to the love we make and Donald Trump may have incredible power and influence after tomorrow but ultimately, it is We The People who have the power and to forget that is to hand it over to those for whom our dreams mean nothing and we cannot afford to do that.

It is more important now than ever to proceed with love which is not some hippie-dippy notion but a real and powerful force which propels us to take on the hard work which needs to be done to accomplish love's goals which may, perhaps, be best summed up in the phrase, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and which encompasses everything. Equality for all, justice, freedom, acceptance, respect, empathy, understanding...all of it.
And as we proceed with love, let us continue to shine a light to expose and dispel anything which distracts us from or directs us towards that which does not serve love.

If there is anything on this earth that I believe, it is these things. That more love and more light makes us better as humans, as mothers, as fathers, as friends, as spouses, as citizens of this planet, as reflective and deserving of the stardust we are made of.

"I have a dream," said Martin Luther King, Jr.
So does my husband, so do I, so do you, so does every creature on this planet, be it lofty and noble or prosaic and humble. All of those dreams together are what will save us.
One man can not destroy us.
Ultimately, if we make it so, truth and beauty and love and light will prevail.

Have faith, my loves.
Have faith.

What I Wrote Eight Years And A Few Months Ago.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our First Family

Can you imagine those old, creaky ghosts in the White House and the way their ectoplasmic juices are going to explode with surprise and then delight when these girls are giggling their way through their new home?
I can imagine the ghost of some old white-wigged president playing hide-n-seek with Sasha. I can imagine the ghost of his wife, reaching out to pat those children, sighing with frustration that she can't hold them in her spectral arms. I can imagine Malia growing up, those long legs getting longer and longer, that beautiful face becoming a woman's face.
I can see Michele, welcoming foreign dignitaries with that grace she holds in every atom of her body.
I can see lots of kisses in the White House for four (eight?!) years. Real kisses.
I can see Barack, with his thoughtful and intelligent mind, considering those babies, that wife, in every decision he makes.

John Lennon said that here in the US we go out every four years and elect a new daddy.

I like our new daddy. I think we done real good.

Bless our hearts. At long last, bless our American hearts.

Foggy Morning In Lloyd

Soft, cool, misty fog. Heavy enough to gather on leaves and fall in sibilant whispers.

Against the gray the camellias shine with preternatural colors as if they carry their own light within them.

The Pink Perfection.

The ants have found a home. 

Peppermint electrified. 

Azalea buds are purple candle flames. 

My home. Outside...

...and in. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stars And Planets And Being Out After Dark

Dear god. Different day. As usual.
Does that even make any sense?

I walked on the sidewalk today and what I thought was a three mile walk was a four mile walk. I wondered why it was taking me so fucking long. I did stop to chat to a gent who sits by the road, sometimes holding his great grandson. He's seventy years old and has been married fifty years. He was nineteen when he got married, his wife was fifteen. He enjoys married life. He has a twin brother. He has nine other siblings. He was raised in Monticello. He doesn't drink or smoke but he has diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a tumor in his brain stem but he's doing okay. Sometimes he gets headaches, but mostly he's fine.
Then his great grandson came out and I tied his shoes for him. He was awfully cute. Then I walked on home.

When I got here I realized the chip mulch fairy had indeed visited. He left me another huge mound of chip mulch.
Ooh boy.
I will tell you that it sure does smell good. Woodsy. Piney. Leafy. Green. Nice.
It's like two ginormous piles of fresh potpourri in my yard but it doesn't stink like potpourri. It smells delightful.

I worked on Maggie's little dress some. I did laundry. Two friends dropped by. Then I went to Owen's basketball practice. At five o'clock in the afternoon. Which is practically dark.

Here's what Maggie looked like.

Here's what Gibson and I looked like. 

Boppy met us there but he left right after to go to an FSU basketball game and Lily and I took the kids to a pizza joint where they have face painting on Wednesdays and part of the night's take goes to Owen's school. It was chaos. THEN I went to Publix.
Jesus. By then it was truly dark. I do not go out by myself after dark except to put the chickens up and look at the stars. But I did it. I must really like those grandchildren a lot. I must even love them.
A lot.

I got home safely and did not hurt anyone nor even run over a squirrel or anything.

I sure am glad to be home. I did go out and put the chickens up and looked at the stars which are brilliant tonight. They are like diamond chips scattered on jeweler's velvet.

Here's a picture Lily sent me of Owen, reading after his shower.

Another star in the firmament of my universe.

And oh hell, why not? Here's a picture I got of August today.

Maybe my grandchildren are not stars. Maybe they are planets, whirling and swirling and awash with life and salt water and light and soulshine.

All I know is, I love them.
A lot.

Love...Ms. Moon

And The Good News Is...Wait. I'll Have To Get Back With You On That

I think I'm getting sick, finally, after everyone else in the family has had it- the gack, the hoopacoodis, the whatever-this-virus-is that I'd convinced myself I had to be immune to.
It's foggy as hell and no mulch fairy came in the night and spread that stuff around which is also depressing.
Here's another thing- the house dreams are back in full (thanks, antidepressant!) and although the totemic houses are becoming combined in the dreams, the vast amounts of garbage and trash in them only increases. I am happy to report, however, that no one seemed to need me to cook for them and I didn't see one appliance so that's good.

Ah, Jeez.

I'm sixty-two years old and seemingly as confused about life, my own and in general, as I've ever been and as aimless and directionless as I've ever been and the world seems as weird as it's ever been although that's probably not true if you think about World Wars and the plague and stuff like that. I will say that there are plagues and there are plagues and some are bacterial and are carried by vermin and some are not bacterial but are still carried by vermin and both have massive negative effects on the planet.

Well, how's that for cheerful news?

I think I'll go take a walk in the fog, seeking enlightenment which makes about as much sense as anything.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cooking Greens While The World Falls Apart

I made but little progress on the huge pile of chip mulch. I texted my husband saying, "This may be a job for two men and a boy," and then, "I'm just not 58 anymore."

After my walk and then the small amount of work I did pitchforking mulch, I simply had to go lay down.
And sleep.
Which I did.

It was heavenly.

I got up and started on Maggie's little outfit. Little being perhaps the key word.

I'm terrible at visual spatial things, just awful, and I can't look at these and decide whether they'll go around Magnolia's tummy or not. I'll measure her again before I put the elastic in them and I suppose that if they're too small, perhaps that skinny monkey August could wear them for pajama bottoms, at least. I'm listening to Sunshine on Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith and one of his best characters in that series is a little boy named Bertie whose mother is an absolute nightmare, doing everything in her twisted power to make Bertie a perfect example of being a non-gender directed, male feminist genius. She takes the poor child to a psychologist, she reads child psychology endlessly, she won't let Bertie play any games which might be violent, she won't let him have his heart's desire which is a penknife, she won't let him join the Boy Scouts, she makes him take yoga and Italian, won't let him eat pizza and, insists he wears crushed strawberry-colored trousers. 
But I'm pretty sure that wearing pink flannel pants would not destroy August's boy-spirit in the least. 

Here's what we're having for supper.

Aren't those pretty greens? Isn't it wonderful that we call them "greens"? 
Those are collard greens, mustard greens, and kale. We do not say "kale greens" do we? Why not? Is it because kale is a more northernly-known vegetable? I do not know. But it may yet be proof that kale is an inferior green but that's probably just my prejudice. 

I am feeling extremely guilty that I am not going to the Woman's March in Washington. I don't even know that I'll go to the local march here. The last march I went to was for the ERA in about 1975. It was fine. I mean, I didn't suffer from anxiety then and we all walked up Apalachee Parkway to the state capitol where Alan Alda spoke and also some women and how telling is it that I don't remember who the women were. Was Bella Abzug one of them? 
God. I suck. 

Anyway, no. I am certainly not going to Washington to march although I wish I were the sort of woman who would tug my pussy hat on down over my head with determination and get on the damn bus. 

I do know that when I watch the video of the millions of women who are going to be marching not only in Washington but in cities all over this nation on Saturday, it's going to make me cry and hell, maybe I'll join the throngs here in Tallahassee. 
I don't know. 

Meanwhile, here I am, doing what I do and trying to do the best I can and I absolutely understand that in times like this, that is NOT ENOUGH. Being there in spirit is NOT ENOUGH. 
And I know that. 

Are you going? Or are you going to participate in a local march? Or...what? Anything? Everything? 

Just talking about all of this is making me anxious as hell. I am not only not 58 anymore, I am not 19 or 20 either. 

But I will say this- I am in awe of every woman and man who are going to be out on the streets that day, showing their disavowal of this man as their president. 

He's not going to be mine either, whether I march or not. 

At least that I know. 

Yours In Complete Wimpy Solidarity...Ms. Moon