Monday, March 27, 2017

Girding My Loins!

Well. I am going to leave the property today. I'm going to Lily's and then we're going to the grocery store and then to lunch after we pick up Gibson.
So. I'll get to see half of my grandchildren which is far better than seeing none of my grandchildren. Owen is in school and Jessie and Vergil are taking August to the beach today.

Wish me luck. Just tending the chickens and watering the porch plants has left me feeling a bit exhausted.

But I am determined!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Another Day

I have nothing to report except that I am some better and I think this is whatever-it-is-I-get-sometimes when I get a virus. Maybe an Epstein Barr thing? A remission and exacerbation thing?
I don't know.
Neither did all the doctors I sought help from decades ago when it started showing up and I doubt that they would be able to now, either. All I have to do is to be patient and take care of myself. Or at least, that is what experience has shown me.

And none of this is either here nor there but I did make the most outrageous arugula pesto tonight with pine nuts and pecans and I'm alive and because of Mr. Moon, the garden now has tomatoes and peppers and eggplants in it and if I don't get to see my babies soon, I'm going to die.

Here's what we're eating for supper tonight.

My obituary should read (take note!):

Whatever. She could cook.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Simple Pleasures

When I took some lettuce to the littles today, I found Trixie sitting on their coop. She just looked so pretty I had to take her picture. My oldest hen and she still sings little tunes to us. I will be so sad when she is gone. I can't remember how long ago it was that we got her but I do remember the situation. A guy Mr. Moon knew was about to move and he and his wife had to give up their chickens and hearing that we had started keeping chickens at our place, they offered them to us. We went to their house in the woods and waited until the birds had all fallen asleep at roost and we gathered them up and brought them home. I'm sure I wrote about it but Lord, how to find that particular post?
She must be ancient though. I found her sitting on the nest today and I laughed a little. I doubt she's laid an egg in three years.
She pays for her keep with her singing and that is plenty.

Mr. Moon built some beautiful stairs today. He took the old rotten boards up and swept off the even older cement steps that were under them.

These were obviously added to the house before this particular porch was put on because the entrance way to the porch is way wider than those steps and people would be falling off and breaking their legs constantly if they hadn't been replaced. I suppose it was just easier to build over them than to remove them. 
Anyway, here's what the new ones look like. 

Brand-spanking new. We're going to let them air for awhile and then maybe paint them. 

My husband can do just about anything that requires doing around a house. He can do plumbing and carpentry and even a bit of electric work. He can figure things out. He's amazing that way. Not a day goes by that I am not completely dumbfounded at my good fortune in having him as my husband. 
The day I met that ridiculously tall Tennessee boy was the luckiest day of my life. 
He's my own Tarzan and my own Daniel Boone and my own sweetheart for life. 

Last night we took a stroll out to the garden and after almost two weeks my beans had finally come up. I had completely given up on them due to the freeze we had but look at this-

The whole row of them is at least three inches tall. The cucumber seeds I planted have come up too, finally, as well as the few squash I planted. I am amazed! And the potatoes which the freeze seemed to kill are coming back just fine. I did a little weeding around them today. 

And so that's what's been going on here. I still feel like shit and if I don't improve dramatically soon, I'm going to have to go to the doctor for an actual illness which hasn't happened in I don't know how long. 
Oh god. 
But I haven't seen my grandchildren in days and days and I can't take that much longer. 
I miss 'em like air. 

The Bradford Pears are beginning to bloom. Seems like they just lost their leaves. 

Life goes on. 

Be well, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


An odd and happy carrot.

Replacing Back Porch Steps

Friday, March 24, 2017

I Might Live

I think I may finally have turned a corner. Not sure but I'm not worrying (too much) that I'm dying of some horrible illness at this point, and I have to say that the thought has crossed my mind more than once in the past few days. I'm still running a little fever but usually, late afternoon is the worst time of all for fever and it's not that bad today.

I didn't do squat again today except for moving the babies out to the coop in the coop and cleaning the bathtub really well and getting it ready for some more babies. A friend of Lily's and mine has become the ultimate chicken lady and she's offered to give me a few of her spring bounty and I'm pretty excited about that. She's incubated a bunch of eggs and at least one of her hens has given her babies and she not only works as a surgical tech but also has a not-quite two-year old, has a cottage business making preserves, and is now running what could be called a chicken ranch.
Some people have a lot of energy and this woman is one of them.

I'm not.

Which is fine with me. As I've said before, I am like Popeye in that I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam.

So tonight is the night that the little birds will be spending their first night outside. I'm sure they will be fine. Mr. Moon and I just went out and gave them some grapes to eat and the big chickens were already in the coop for their evening feed-snacking and water-drinking and for some reason, they don't seem to be concerned at all about the babies. I looked at Mick and said, "Well, boy, you ready for some new hens?"
He just looked at me, side-eyed, the way chickens do.
I like Mick just fine but he will never be Elvis. I'm sure that I projected every noble thing onto Elvis that I could possibly project onto a rooster but he was everything a rooster should be to my mind.
Plus- beautiful.

Well, I better go make us some supper.

It's getting late.

I hear an owl calling off in the distance.
I am grateful for this life, right here and right now.
Also- Obamacare was not overturned.
There are miracles both big and small. I'll leave you and history to decide which one that is.

Love...Ms. Moon

Not Much To Say

Here are the babies in their new outdoor residence. They seem to love it.
Violet went to roost last night in the hen house with the rest of the chickens so I don't think she's too upset.
And I'm still sick and am more than ready to stop being so.

That's it from Lloyd.

Happy Friday.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Daily News From Your Resident Chicken Handler

Y'all- I have been sick. I spent all day yesterday sitting on the couch watching The Real Housewives of NYC. I didn't knit, I didn't sew, I didn't do anything but watch spoiled brats with plastic surgery-ed faces and bodies do insane things.
Oh. I did take a nap.

I feel a little bit better today but to be honest- not great. Not great at all.

BUT. Today was the day. I couldn't take those stinky eggs any more and I don't have the energy to try and deal with going to the Tractor Supply and buying surrogate babies for the mental health of a chicken. I took Violet off the nest and Mr. Moon moved the little tractor coop so I could get the eggs (gloves were involved and thank god my nose is all stopped up because it was still nasty) and I threw them all deep in the woods and

Suddenly the bathtub babies are absolutely not peeps anymore.

Would you look at the feathers on Nicey? She's not even the same bird, it would seem. 
And it is time, past time, to take these chicks outside. The bathtub with its feeder and waterer and occasional treats of grapes and lettuce is not enough. I think today after all of the big chickens have settled down and are done inspecting the changes which have been wrought in their coop I will take them outside for a little field trip and bring them back in tonight. Chickens are extremely curious and mine are no exception. They are all in the coop right now, which is unusual for this time of day, walking about and chatting and exclaiming and exploring. Violet is eating. God knows she needs to. 

I have one thing to say about the attack in Great Britain yesterday and it is this- the British have much to teach us about fortitude, courage, and common sense.

Perhaps someday, if we are very lucky, we will be mature enough as a nation to learn from their example. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


You probably can't really see much from that picture but it's a guy standing on a train track repairing thing. It's connected to a giant crane-like machine and they're working right behind my house with great machinery noises and yelling and squeaking of brakes and occasional big blasty BLAMS! and I have no idea what they're doing but I swear to god it seems like they've been working on that little piece of track forever and ever since dirt was clean and chickens were dinosaurs.

It is annoying.

This cold or whatever I have is also annoying. I just feel so tired and shitty and not quite bad enough to get back in bed but not good enough to do anything. Mr. Moon sweated and froze for a few hours last night and did not eat any soup. He wanted some ginger ale and crackers so I drove down to the little store by the now-closed truck stop and purchased him some from the night-crawler lady who works there 24 hours a day, seven days a week as far as I can tell. She's not an albino, or at least I don't think she is, but she does look as if sunlight has not touched her in decades. The little store is owned and operated by the same family which has owned and operated it for one million years, or longer than they've been working on that little piece of railroad, and she has always been there. I have said before and I do believe this- I think she must sleep on a tiny cot in a back room.
If she is allowed to sleep.
Her fingers are practically translucent, her eyes never meet anyone else's eyes, but she sure can ring up your purchase and ask if you want a bag.
Also? They are now selling gator heads of various sizes at that store.
Lloyd is odd in some ways.
But. Back to Mr. Moon. So by bedtime he said he was feeling much better and he never did throw up and he's back at work again. I hear that Vergil never threw up either so this may be an entirely different illness than the one everyone else had because that illness certainly involved a great deal of throwing up, as well as other bathroom-related activities if you know what I mean and I feel sure that you do.

Violet is still sitting on those eggs. She appeared to have kicked another one out of the pile this morning and I took it and threw it in the woods. It's just a big pile of nasty mess at this point and truthfully, I need that tractor coop for Nicey and Dearie and Trinky and Tronky and Nora and Hawk because it's time for them to get out of the tub for at least a few hours a day and learn about dirt and bugs and so forth. When I went out to check on the situation a few moments ago, I found Trixie and Butterscotch perched on the side of the little coop.

They jumped down when I started inspecting the nest but they certainly seem interested in whatever-in-hell is going on. I wish they could tell me. Frankly I believe that putrefaction is the only thing going on there but I guess I'm going to give little mama a few more days. 
I have no idea why.

And that is all of the news from Lloyd although of course it's not. Every house and every mobile home and every residence of every sort whether man-made, bird-built or fox-hollowed has its own news and I would be most horribly speciescentric (I'm sure that's not a word) as well as egocentric and narcissistic to pretend otherwise. 

Can I go back to bed now?

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

We Should Be Quarantined By Law

I think that both Mr. Moon and I are getting sick. He is for sure. I went to the doctor (irony anyone?) and I think I am wearing out that darling young man's patience when it comes to when I'm going to get my blood work, mammogram and colonoscopy done.
"My boobies are fine," I told him.
"Why do you say that?" he asked.
"Because I nursed for one hundred and four years and have no family history."
Well, of course we both knew that was no guarantee. But still.

Anyway, I came home and fell in the bed and slept for two hours and woke up feeling like I was getting a cold. I've been trying to blame it all on pollen which it may be but I don't know. Then Mr. Moon came home with new lumber to repair the steps off the back porch and the first thing he said was, "I feel terrible. I think I'm getting the flu."
And then he went and sat in his chair and he's been asleep ever since.
This is a man who never admits to illness so he must really feel rough.

I'm making a chicken soup because that's what you do, right? So far it contains achiote paste, celery, onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots and chicken. Oh. And Kale and mustard greens. And green chilies. Rice and lime juice will be involved. Or lemon juice. I'm not sure yet.

This has taken approximately every bit of energy I possess.

And Jessie has reported in that Vergil CAME HOME EARLY FROM WORK because he feels sick, nauseous, and bloated. So either he's coming down with the stomach thing or else he's pregnant.
Darling Lenore threw up all Sunday night and now her mother has it.

Well, illness. The gift that keeps on giving.

Still no baby chicks. Violet's still smushed on that nest. The feral cat hasn't shown up since Jack beat the crap out of him and I got a new broom yesterday at the restaurant supply house.
And here's a picture of Maggie rocking a diaper and her amber beads.

It's THE look for summer, 2017.
A classic.

I'll let you know how this story unfolds.

Love...Ms. Moon

Maybe The Phone DOES Have A Cure For Medical Anxiety. I Wouldn't Be Surprised

Good morning. I have a doctor's appointment in two hours and although my doctor is the least scary doctor I've ever met and also very, very sweet and not bad looking and young enough to be my child, I am as anxious as I can be.
Of course.
BUT, in perusing FB this morning, I learned something about my phone which I feel I must share because it's the next best thing to a magical cure for medical anxiety I've ever seen and as far as I know there is no known cure for medical anxiety, magical or otherwise.

Do you have an iPhone? Are you over forty?
Okay. If so, proceed. Actually, you don't have to be over forty. This will come in handy anyway.

Go to Settings.
Go to "General" under settings.
Find "Accessibility". Open.
See "Magnifier"? Turn it on.
Close settings.
Hold your phone over something with small print. Click the home button three times rapidly.

What did I tell you?

I'll report in later if I don't have a stroke in the doctor's office.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Lot Of Things Going On

I listened to as much of the hearing today concerning the FBI investigation of the Russian involvement in the 2016 election as I could. I missed the part where Comey told the Intelligence committee that no, Obama had not "tapped" Trump's "wires" (what century does that man think we live in?) and I wish I'd heard it. Sure, I can go back and watch it but I wish I'd just heard it as it happened.
It sounds to me as if there is an amazing amount of evidence that not only was Russia involved in the election but that many of Trump's business minions were as woven into what was going on in that country as a strand of silk is woven into a Black-Widow spider's web.
We shall see. Time will tell. But finally and at last there is hope that this entire administration will be brought down.
I am old enough to remember Watergate and the furor of that investigation. I also remember when Richard Nixon resigned. I was living in a tiny shot-gun apartment right by the railroad tracks in Tallahassee, next door to Bill and Ruth Wharton on Park Avenue and Bill and I watched Nixon give his speech as his daughters played with my old Barbies and then, we listened to the Beach Boys.
Some things you just don't forget. A bad, horrible dream suddenly ended, the sweet summer sun busting through with the joyful harmonies of what might possibly have been the very opposite promise of American dreams as the ones Richard Nixon had offered.
Endless Cold War versus Endless Summer.

Here's part of the speech if you want to watch it.

I was surprised, when I looked the clip up on Youtube and began to play it, that the Miller Center was the one presenting it. The Miller Center was begun by my great uncle, Uncle Burkett, and seems to be a pretty big deal when it comes to presidential history. Not to stray from my subject, but Burkett was a very wealthy man by the time it was all over and I'll never forget the time we got to ride on his yacht from its berth in the harbor in Miami to a dock where we alighted and cut in front of everyone waiting at the fancy-pants restaurant there for our luncheon.
Burkett also gave a bunch of money to the city of Chattanooga where there is now a lovely park downtown which is named after him. I am glad that his money went to Good Works but I can't help but wish that he'd at least left me his house on Lookout Mountain or maybe the yacht because I'm selfish like that.

Anyway, just the thought that justice may be done in the case of Trump is a cheering thought and also, of course, it is Gibson's birthday. He wanted to go to the Chinese buffet for his birthday lunch and so I met Lily and Owen and Gibson and Maggie there (after a week of spring break, today was Teacher Planning Day) and we celebrated with traditional Chinese foods such as noodles and chicken on a stick and ice cream. Gibson wanted to get his own ice cream since he is now five and I accompanied him and he did a good job of dipping the scoop into the giant vats of what I am certain is the highest quality ice cream available and depositing it in his bowl.
"What a good job you did!" I told him. "Now that you're five, you can do lots of things you couldn't do before!"
He agreed and sat down and ate his ice cream, doubly satisfied for having served himself.

I spent a while this afternoon talking to my next-door neighbor. Yes, the Trump-Pence sign is still up in their yard but I can't help but like the woman. She's tough as a nail and is my go-to for all things chicken. She had called me and left a message that two of their chickens had been taken by hawks. She knew for sure because they saw one of the abductions occurring.
"That hawk was as big as a chicken!" she said.
And I believe her having seen a few hawks swoop, dive, and take a chicken of mine before.
I asked her what to do about Violet and she gave me what I consider to be some good advice. Give her another week and then, if none of the eggs hatch, to get a few biddies, the youngest I can find, and put those in with her so that she thinks that her eggs have hatched and will move on to that phase of motherhood while I dispose of the eggs.
The chicks in the bathtub are too old to fool her, I think, and I'm sure they are too old to bond with her as chicks should bond with their mothers.

And speaking of which, the bathtub babies are doing well and are now entering the awkward stage of getting their feathers and losing their fluff, the gangly chicken equivalent of human preteens, I think.

Nicey 3-3. I put a bug that came in with the sheets from the line into the tub and Nicey grabbed it and ran off to a corner and ate it.

Hawk stretching out her neck to see if I have any grapes, with Nicey and Trinky looking on. Trinky looks a bit like a founding father, doesn't she? That steely stare of wisdom and determination.

And that's it. First day of spring. Gibson's birthday.

I've enjoyed it all.

I hope you have too.

Love...Ms. Moon

Spring And A Perfect Birth Day

Five years ago today, THIS is what happened.

I am still reeling.

And goodness, Lily and Jason- you sure do make pretty babies!

Love...Mer Mer

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I Think Gibson Had A Good Time

The darling Lenore and Maggie.

Maggie in the dress I got her in Mexico.

The water balloon fight.

Blowing out the magic flower candle. 

And tomorrow, that boy will truly be five. 

Everything Seems A Bit Tilted

And just as I am walking around the yard accessing the freeze damage, I see that the bamboo is already coming up and about to get ahead of me.

Time to put on my kicking shoes and get out there and prevent this entire yard from becoming a bamboo forest.

It's been an odd Sunday so far with dream hangovers and Violet still determinedly stuck to that nest. Chilly and breezy and now the bamboo and then I need to make potato salad for Gibson's party and the use of a broom in this house would not be unwelcome.

I so dislike Sundays which seem to me to be made of the distilled frustrations and bad dreams of an entire week.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 18, 2017


Chuck Berry has died.
So many of you probably have no idea what that means to a whole lot of us.
I can't seem to stop crying.

Nadine. Baby is that you?
God bless you Chuck and your playing and singing and song-writing and duckwalking. You changed every fucking thing.

And it all needed changing so much.

And you never, ever truly got the credit you deserved.
But some of us know.

And we are grieving.

Love...Ms. Moon

A Saturday Which Has Served Saturday's Purpose

I decided to pickle a few carrots and onions with the beets and so when I went out to the garden to pull my beets, I grabbed a few carrots too. Those are the smaller beets, waiting to join their larger cousins in the simmering pan. I've never pickled beets before so I read a bunch of recipes and figured out how it should maybe go and went from there.
I couldn't find my canning kettle at first and so I texted Jessie whom I knew had borrowed it in the past, to ask if she had it. She that no, she didn't think so and I said, "Good! Then it must be here somewhere," and sure enough it was, just in a different closet than where it used to be kept. The kettle, the jar lifter, the canning funnel.

I cooked the beets and carrots until fork-tender and then peeled the beets. The skin came off easily enough after they were cooked and I sliced them up in a bowl along with the carrots I sliced and the onions I cut up too. I made a pickling solution with white and cider vinegar, pickling salt, sugar, a little of the cooking liquid, and a little water. And then, because so many recipes recommended them, a bit of cloves and cinnamon as well as some black pepper. I'm not sure I'm going go like that and in fact, I'm not sure I'm going to like this concoction at all, but I did it, at least, and there is great satisfaction in even a few jars of something preserved or pickled from the garden and not one beet has been wasted.
Here are the jars, filled and ready to be lidded and put into the canning kettle for their boiling-water bath.

And here they are, out of the water and waiting for the beautiful sound of success- the pop of the lid, indicating air tightness. 

I'll take some to Gibson's birthday party tomorrow and open a jar and if anyone likes them, they can take a jar home with them. If I kept them all they would never get eaten. Mr. Moon has a deep and profound aversion to both beets and cooked carrots (they taste like dirt) and I can only eat so many. 

And after ALL THAT WORK, putting up five entire pints and one half pint of beets and carrots and onions, I laid down on my bed and read for awhile and then, because I could and because no one in the world needed me and because my bed is so comfortable and my pillows so numerous and soft, my down blanket so perfect for the temperature, I put my book down and closed my eyes and slept for an hour. What heaven a nap is! Especially one where you know that you have no real waking-time. No matter how tired I am, if someone suggests I take a nap for oh, say- twenty minutes, I cannot fall asleep. I need to have the sweet knowledge that the world will go on as it will for as long as I need to truly rest, land-line unplugged and cell phone with the sound turned off, and today was that way and when I woke up I had a shot of espresso on ice and then got the laundry off the line and checked and found a Camellia egg in the nest and then I chopped up treats for my babies, the second time today.

I am really determined to make this particular tiny flock a bit more human-friendly so that the grandchildren can enjoy them more and as anyone who has done any sort of animal training knows, food is the key to all.

I chopped the grapes and lettuces and then knelt by the tub and, as I have been doing, made a special whistling call and let them cluster about and eat from my hand. 

This is not rocket science and they are already to the point that whenever I go in to talk to them, they run up and look at me with great expectation. I have always said that my chickens consider me to be a breathing food delivery service and that is fine with me. 

They get so excited about the exquisite deliciousness of grapes and lettuce that sometimes they jump onto my hand and eat from there. That's Trinky in my hand above. The other yellow one (and I think they will both be white when they mature) is Tronky. These names come from when Hank was a small lad and instead of saying that he was thirsty, he would announce that he was Trinky and Tronky. I have never forgotten this and cherish the memory and so, the yellow (for now, at least) chicks are Trinky and Tronky. The boys have named the all black one "Hawk" because she has amazing feathers when she stretches them out and of course the little orange one with the prominent wings is Nicey and the black one with the yellow cap is Dearie and the orange one without prominent wings is Nora. 
Nicey and Nora.
Trinky and Tronky.
Hawk and Dearie. 

And Violet is still sitting on her stinky eggs. I just did not have the heart today to go out and take them from her but tomorrow I'm going to have to. There is no alchemy as far as I know to make rotten eggs viable again. I wish there were. I would use it for that sweet and determined little hen. I remember when we got her last year from the Tractor Supply I felt almost certain that she would not live the night through and yet, here she is, the last one of that bunch still living, trying to be a mommy. 

All right. I need to stop anthropomorphizing and just do what needs to be done. The flies are already gathering. And right this second, looking out towards the coop, I see that Violet is off the nest and eating from this morning's scratch. Who knows but that she will be relieved and perhaps, after a period of rest and recovery, she may sit on another clutch? If not this year, then maybe next. 

This world is filled with so many tiny miracles and everyday marvels and mysteries. Certainly enough to keep me curious and observant and entertained. 
To say the least. 

And of course there are pickles. The definite and proven alchemy of seed to dirt and water and sun to jars of shining rubies. 

It's been a day of all of that. 
And I am grateful.

Love...Ms. Moon

The Men Fish And The Woman, She Sleeps

Saturday morning and I am being lazy, lazy although Mr. Moon and Owen, who did spend the night, got up so early and had coffee and cocoa, respectively and left me love notes

and drove off into the darkness to a lake all the way in western Leon County to go fishing on Mr. Moon's buddy's new pontoon boat.

Look at that beautiful boy! 
It makes my heart so very happy to think that he and his grandfather can have such adventures now. 
It's exactly what his Boppy has been dreaming of since the day of his birth. 

In other less happy news, when I went to let the chickens out this morning, Violet was the first one out of the coop and a few of the other hens were inspecting the eggs she's been sitting on and I noticed that they do not smell good. 
I believe this is a failed "having birth" effort. 
And now I'm going to have to deal with a whole bunch of rotten eggs. 

Ah lah. 

Well, all of these little cutie beauties are fine and well and thriving and growing.

Gibson instructed me with much seriousness yesterday to "keep Dearie alive."
I am doing my best. 

And now...onwards! Perhaps to pickle some beets. I am quite certain that the entire world is absolutely atremble over the possibility of me pickling beets. 

Stay tuned!

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, March 17, 2017

This Is Friday

Chicken on the porch. With toys and blocks.
My life, summed up in a picture.

Hank and Rachel and Lily and Jason and their three and I all went to Japanica and you know what we ate. Many salads with ginger dressing and bowls of miso soup and curries and sushi. And so forth.
Delicious, as always.

We went to Big Lots for some reason. Rachel needed something to wear at work for St. Patrick's Day. That was one reason.

I bought Gibson some birthday toys and then went to Publix where I bought him his very own jar of pickled okra because that's his favorite food. His party is on Sunday. Hank said to Gibson while we were in Big Lots talking about his birthday, "So, Gibson. How old are you going to be? Twenty-five?"
Gibson looked at him with a level stare and said, "No. Five."
He was not amused. 

I came home and our friend Anna came out with another friend, Joris, who is from the Netherlands. Joris has now been to Dog Island and Lloyd. He is getting the insider tour for sure. Jessie and August came out too. We did a lot of fun things, some involving looking at chickens and some involving looking at broody hens and some involving gardening and some involving just sitting around and drinking coffee and playing with August. 

We told August not to touch the poop so guess what he did? 
Yeah, he touched the poop. 
He also put some chicken feed into the little coop where Violet is brooding. He loves to gives treats to animals. 

He apparently wants to garden with all of his heart. Here he is with a hoe and a glove. He was very, very serious about using both properly. Jessie says that his favorite toys are a calculator and a hammer and he often walks around holding both of them. 
His father is an engineer. 
What more need I say? 
He is also currently in love with shovels. 
Yeah. The apple didn't fall far from that tree. 

He is the most curious and busy boy. In that, he reminds me of his beautiful mother. 

Anna and Joris and Jessie and I talked about a lot of things ranging from good southern buffets around here to US politics. 
Which made me cry a little bit because I'm so ashamed. 
I apologized for America. 
"I'm so sorry," I said to Joris.
"It's okay," he said. "I have learned that you have to separate American politics from Americans. 
He was being nice which I appreciated but I still felt terrible.

While we were hanging out in Lloyd, Lily and Jason took the kids bowling. I got these pictures.

Turns out that Gibson won the second game with Owen following and then Lily and then Jason.
Guess that Wii bowling practice has paid off!

Owen being especially sartorial today. 

Miss Magnolia did not bowl. She napped. 

In a bowling alley. 
Oh, to be a baby. 

So that's the way this day has gone. I finally went to cook the corned beef and realized that it takes 2 and a half hours, at least, and so it is now merrily dancing in the pressure cooker. The church next door has gathered its members and there is singing as well as drumming. Mr. Moon is digging worms for a possible fishing jaunt tomorrow. Owen might spend the night and get up early with his Bop to be a part of that or he might not. We shall see.
I bought jars and ingredients to make pickled beets and that too may happen or may not. 
Again, we shall see. 

But as god is my witness, there's about to be a martini. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Scattered But Felt Truly

Such a beautiful, beautiful day although the past two nights have killed the tomatoes and turned so much spring bloom into mush and also some of my potted plants.
Ay yi and what can I say?

Violet is still morphed into a flattened shape over her eggs and it appeared to me this morning that she had kicked two eggs out from underneath her. I removed them. Supposedly the mother knows when eggs are not viable and although I do not know if this is true in general or specifically in her case, she is certainly sitting on enough and as I said before, we humans just love to get involved, even when we have no idea what we're doing and that's just the way it is.

I have so much anger in me today and all of it directed at the president and his evil minions. I can't even begin to speak of his proposed budget and I am beginning to suspect that he truly is, if not THE devil, at least a demon of high order and if there are any Christians left in this country who do not see this, they are either blind or willfully going against the very words of their own Jesus who said (supposedly), "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

Of course I do not really believe in Jesus or at least, not in the sense that he is GOD, nor son of a god any more than any of us are, but I do believe that as humans we are here to help each other and I do believe in love which so much of what Jesus was purported to say espouses, and there is no hint, no single molecule or mote of any love whatsoever in the man we have elected as our president.
I say "we" and don't jump on me. You know what I mean.
My fellow Americans, as Lyndon Johnson used to say in his Texas drawl.

I am rambling and it is Friday and I don't know whether to laugh or to cry but if I was a praying woman I would pray that our planet can survive the destruction this man seems to want to bring upon it long enough so that love can achieve its balance once again so that the tides may move as they are meant to move under the spell of the moon, so that people may live in at least a hope of peace and freedom and enough to eat, and that hens can perform their miracles of the most simple and complex sort, the egg itself being a symbol of the rebirth of the sun and the light and love and plenty.

When Owen saw Violet yesterday, sitting upon her egg throne, he said, "She is having birth!"

And I would clean this up and make something more tidy and sense-like of it but I need to get ready to go to town and hold my own miracles, my own babies, because on a day like this, in times like these, there is nothing to do but to hold on to that which is true and which is real and to believe in it with all of our hearts, to close our eyes and pray/not pray with all of the love in our souls for the very love of them.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 16, 2017

I Was A Witness

I have become so remiss at taking pictures (except, perhaps, of baby chickens and broody Violet) and how I wish I had one of the hug that Magnolia June gave her brother Owen today when Jason came into the kitchen with her in his arms. She reached out and grabbed Owen to her and laid her head on his and hugged him and hugged him and smiled and smiled.
"Owee" she calls him.
Lily says that half the time when she's in a spot of trouble or wants something, she calls for her Owee instead of Mama or Daddy.
Do you remember after Maggie was born and Owen informed me that he had been waiting for this moment his entire life?
I thought that was sort of funny then. I know now that it's true. He and Maggie have an amazing relationship. It's so close and so special. Gibson loves and adores and takes care of her too, and I think of how lucky she is to have these two big brothers with all of their boisterous boy ways, their sweet boy love. She learns from them to be rough and tumble, she learns from them what it means to love and be loved.
And of course, the more love...the more love.

So. I didn't take a picture but I took a picture in my mind and there it is in words. Maggie wearing her golden puffy vest and hugging her brother with a look of absolute ecstasy on her face and he hugging her back, their heads together, their arms around each other.

These are the sort of children who, when they grow up, if they ever find themselves in the position of creating a federal budget will probably not make huge cuts to programs which help the people who need help, in order to build walls and more bombs and more guns.

At least, that's what I like to think.

I doubt that Donald Trump has ever been hugged in his life with as much true heart and emotion as Owen got hugged by his fourteen month old sister today.


Sleep Over

All is well here in Moonville, the boys slept very, very well and we have done many things including making a cake, playing games, feeding baby chickens from our hands, cleaning up their bathtub house, and having smoothies this morning.
I asked Gibson if he would like a smoothie this morning and he said, "Well, smoothies ARE good."

So anyway, just popping in to report that we are alive and well and happy and sunny and Violet seems to be fine and now Owen wants more food.

Love... Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Oh My Goodness!

Y'all. It's cold. And going to get colder. And it's windy. When I went to let the chickens out they were all in a nesting box that's set in the coop. They didn't want to come out. They did, eventually, when I threw the scratch for them but just like us- they were loathe to get out of bed.

And there's little Violet. She has rolled those eggs all up beneath her the best she can. What a determined tiny mama! I've got the entrance to that box semi-blocked with hay and truly, she's in the best place she could find but tonight Mr. Moon might run a light out there to help keep her birthing room a little warmer.
Being humans, we want to do something to help. Honestly, a little extra warmth might be a good thing but I think it's best to let Violet be the director of this show. Eons of evolution have not been in vain. She knows what she's doing.
I think.
And despite the fact that I sort of want to bring her and all of the eggs inside, I'm pretty sure that this is not the thing to do.

The other babies are doing very well.

I'm about to go cut up some lettuce and kale and grapes for them. They can't get enough of those treats. 

Lily reports that they are all feeling much better today and I think the boys are going to spend the night here tonight which will be fun. Hopefully, we shall all of us, chicks and children, stay warm and cozy beneath blankets and comforters, light bulbs and mama-wings, those of us already born and those still in the shell.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I Told You She Was Sneaky

Well. I found Violet. And also all of the eggs.

She's in the little tractor coop which is in the big coop and has been this whole time and I feel so stupid. I swear I thought I checked in there but obviously, I certainly did not.
And also obviously, some of the other chickens have been laying in there because those green eggs are Camillia's and the full-sized ones are not hers either.

Good Lord.

Poor little thing. Hormones and instinct are causing her to do this but she doesn't have enough sense to know that she can't cover all those eggs. But at least she's setting where there's food and water and it's a safe place and also, on the ground so that if some do hatch, they will be in no danger of falling. I want to put some more hay in there for warmth but I'm a little bit worried that if I interfere with her at all she'll freak and run.

It takes about 21 days after she starts sitting on them for them to hatch. I wonder if any of them will?

All these years of chicken tending and I really don't know much about broody hens and their hatching abilities.

In non-related chicken news, the Lily and Jason family have a terrible stomach virus. Owen had it last weekend and now everyone else but Maggie has it. Lily reports it is truly hell and they want to die.
I'm pretty sure she's not kidding.
This is not turning out to be a great spring break.

You know what? All I have to say is the most absolute and sincere bless our hearts that I have in me.

All of our hearts from hens' hearts to humans' hearts.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 13, 2017

What A Whiner!

It's been rainy here all day, mostly drizzling, a steady drumbeat, and getting chillier. It may freeze Wednesday night and well, that's why we aren't supposed to plant our tomatoes and tender squashes and beans before the pecans begin to leaf but this year so many of us have been tempted to go ahead and just do it anyway. I'm grateful that I only have three tomatoes in the ground and that my cucumbers, squash, and beans probably won't even be up yet by Wednesday. The potatoes and peas and greens and onions and shallots will all be fine and why some plants are frost proof and some are not is a mystery to me but it's just the way it is.

I went to lunch today with Jessie and August. We met at Japanica, just the three of us and we had a good time. I went completely insane and instead of getting my green curry tofu bento box I got teriyaki salmon with udon noodles and enjoyed it immensely. And the world did not come to an end.
August has become so very polite, saying "tant-tu," every time anyone gives him anything and in fact, he told the waitress "tant-tu" every time she brought anything to the table, even if it wasn't for him. Jessie reports that sometimes he even says it when he indicates that he'd like the other breast when he's nursing and she obligingly switches him over.
He ate miso soup and salad with ginger dressing and salmon and rice and noodles with great gusto.

After lunch we went to the Big Lots next door where we walked up and down the aisles and I bought a picture frame, a baby doll stroller for August, and...a Dirt Devil. This is big in that I don't have any type of vacuum cleaning device at all but instead, wear out an industrial broom at least yearly because I hate to vacuum but love to sweep. However, there are places in this house where a broom just doesn't do the job. Places where cabinets have been built leaving a space between old flooring and new, hidden and tucked under the fronts of the cabinets. God only knows what's lurking in those spaces. I'd be so happy if I could find, for instance, a beloved earring that I lost a good while back somewhere in this house. I'll probably find mostly cat food and dried up bits of cheese and veg but what the hell? Sixteen dollars and it'll be worth what I paid for it just to clean the couch in the Glen Den, not to mention Mr. Moon's Lazy Boy. There will be cat hair. And plenty of it.
Right now it's being charged for its requisite 24 hours. I'll report in if I find any treasures.
Don't hold your breath.

Jessie took August home for his nap after we went to the Big Lots but I walked on down to the Goodwill bookstore. It was a completely different experience without all of the grandchildren. No one begging me to buy this movie or this book. No one at all to disturb my shopping experience.
It was rather boring.
I bought one 99 cent paperback copy of one of my favorite childhood books- Rascal, by Sterling North. In my fantasies, Owen will read this book and fall in love with it. We shall see what the reality is.

And that's been about it. I cut up some lettuce and a green grape into teeny-tiny pieces and gave them to the chicks and they ate every molecule. This made me happy as the simplest things do these days, leaving me feeling guilty for being so absolutely content to find happiness in these simple things which do nothing to alleviate the suffering of my fellow human beings whatsoever. Clean sheets, a good meal, a book worth reading, the weight of a grandchild on my hip, the ability to comfort a grandchild, to provide something one of them needs for one short moment in time, a trip to the trash depot to take those things which we have gotten all of our use out of, the satisfaction of pushing a bean seed one inch into the ground and covering it up with a firm pat on the living dirt, a text message telling my husband how very proud I am of the fact that he got up at six a.m. to go to the gym.

I do not pray or meditate for my fellow humans. I do not write postcards to my congressfolk. I do not volunteer at soup kitchens or make art which inspires souls to express their own souls. I do not adopt pets except for the ones who show up at my door and I do not foster children which is something that I will always feel guilty about.

All I do is take care of myself the best I can (which hardly seems adequate) and the ones I love (which never seems adequate) and be as kind and loving as I can to all of those I come in contact with.

Ah well. This is what depression can feel like. A constant message that YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH and let's let it hold hands with its evil Siamese Twin, anxiety, which says, "None of it is enough and everyone will die."

Ah well, she says again. The rain is coming down harder and it is time to put the chickens up for the night and heat up some soup. Mr. Moon is out of town and it will be a good night to burrow down into the covers and read until sleep overcomes me and I will, for those hours of deep night and early morning, take comfort in my good excuse to let every bit of it go.

Be cozy, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Like Saving Daylight Is Even Possible

Woke up this morning anxious and still really pissed but at least I had a reason for that- the time change, of course.
Fuck that shit. I mean...
Well. Just fuck it.

But, I knew that the Lily and Jason family were coming out for pancakes and bacon and that was a cheering thought and since no one around here had any time frames, we just rolled with it and I made a bunch of pancakes and a lot of bacon and the kids got to meet the chicks. Owen approved of the Nicey I selected and Gibson chose the little black fluff with yellow on her head to be Dearie.

Maggie didn't know what to think about the babies. We let her hold one with a great deal of supervision but she was not exactly comfortable with the situation so that didn't last long. 

So we feasted on the pancakes except for Owen who didn't feel very hungry and me because I think I'm sick of pancakes to tell you the truth. Unfortunately I am not sick of bacon but I didn't go hog wild.
I'm sorry. That was ridiculous. 
What I'm saying is, I didn't pig out.
Okay. Someone needs to come and slap me. Hard. 

Here's my granddaughter. Isn't she beautiful?

At one point Lily and I were in the kitchen and we thought Maggie was in the Glen Den with all the fellows and we could hear her fussing a little bit, but thinking there were a bunch of guys who could deal with her, we ignored it until suddenly we both went, "Where IS that girl?"
She was not in the Glen Den but had gotten stuck trying to climb up some chairs in the mud room. We saved her and she was fine. 
I tell you what though- there sure are a lot of places for babies and cats to get into mischief in this house. 

And I guess that's all the news although actually, wait a minute! Today is May and Michael's one year anniversary. Can you believe that? Remember?
Oh, what a great shindig day that was!

And they are still newlywed sweethearts and will be going on a second honeymoon to St. Augustine in ten days. This time they get to stay for a week. 

And there you go. I haven't even started supper yet and it's almost (fake) eight o'clock. 
Stone crab claws tonight. And salad from my second planting of lettuces in the garden. 
Should be decent. 

All right. Don't stay up too late. Tomorrow will come shockingly early, as you are quite aware, I am sure. Unless you are a chicken in which case you won't care one bit. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 11, 2017

And I Can't Even Blame PMS

Bridal Wreath Spirea

Isn't that a sweet picture of a sweet flower? Each small blossom cluster does indeed look like a bridal wreath made up of tiny individual blooms. I'm sure there's a name for that. I'm certain I don't know it. 

Ugh. I've just been in an itchy mean mood all day. Luckily for the human race, I've not seen a soul except for two people who passed in front of my house walking a dog, NOT ON THE SIDEWALK! WTF? I only spied on them from the doorway. Not like I spoke to them or anything. 
Here's another thing that happened- about six fire trucks and at least two ambulances went roaring and screaming past my house this afternoon, heading west. I honestly did not know that Jefferson County had six fire trucks. I wonder what that was all about? I can only imagine something very dreadful. 

I do not know what the cause of my mood has been. Since I haven't been around anyone, there's been no one to piss me off so we can't blame that. I worked in the garden a little, working the dirt and getting it ready to receive some rattlesnake beans and cucumber and squash seeds and I planted those. I finished all of the monkey grass clearing I wanted to do around those roses, cleaned out the hen house and put the poopy hay around the bushes as mulch. 

I got this picture from Jessie.

They went to a book themed birthday party and Jessie made August into a little mouse from "When You Give A Mouse A Cookie." And even though that's the cutest mouse I've ever seen in my life, I still felt pissy. 

Hell. I even made soup and that hasn't made me feel one bit better. 
And now my husband's home and Hank and his friends are all delivered safely to the island for their stay and I should be happy, right? My husband even brought me back some shrimp and stone crab claws. 
And yet, I am still pissy.

Look at this.

Chickens in roses. What could be better? 

And this.

Which is pretty much the definition of happy-making. 

And then there's this.

No. Not the poop. The wings! I'm beginning to wonder if that chick is even of the chicken family. I've never seen a chick's wings grow as fast as Nicey 3-3's are. That baby is going to be flying around the bathroom in a few days. 

Well. Maybe. 

So. All of this should add up to be enough to at least make me contented if not ecstatically ecstatic, right? 

Ah. I'm just an old bitch. A bitchy old bitch. 
And this too shall pass. 
I hope it passes soon because Mr. Moon does not deserve the fruits of this bitchy bitter tree I've climbed and settled in. 
I think I'm going to make some Irish soda bread. 
And if that doesn't make me happy then I need to just go to bed. 

Love...Your Friend, Mrs. Bitchy McBitch Face, aka Ms. Moon