Friday, March 31, 2017

The library field trip was just swell and made even sweller by the way the classes paid attention and followed directions and were respectful to the space, the librarian, their teachers, and each other.
Quite frankly, I was shocked.
First we got a little tour and then everyone was allowed to pick out books to read for a few moments. Owen and I read about snakes for a bit. We sat next to his best friend Chase, and his mother as they read their books on the bench. This is the same boy that eats his lunch in the classroom with Owen, the one who went and got an adult when Owen had a seizure. They are just the sweetest boys together and I love watching them interact.
After the tour and book reading, we went into the activity room where there was singing with sign language, as you can see above. I was quite shocked that Owen participated. But he did and quite enthusiastically. That's him there to the left of the boy with the red shirt. He has a new haircut. It is quite a haircut. His dad did it for him and he refuses to get his rat tail cut and now the sides of his head are shaved and...well...he reminds me of a little Native American boy which is odd, because when Lily was young, she too reminded me of a Native American child.

His teacher and Chase's mother both told me they love it. Owen himself seems to be a bit unsure about whether he likes it or not. Last night, he did not, and in retaliation, shaved his dad's head bald, which I suppose Jason just accepted with grace because that's how he is.

Anyway, after the singing there was a question and answer period and again, I was surprised at the very intelligent questions the children asked about the library. These are first graders!
Then we all lined up and the children got back on the bus and I met them at the park where we all ate our lunches and then the children played. I talked to Chase's mother for quite awhile and honestly, I really enjoyed it. She's as sweet as her son and I felt very comfortable with her. We were allowed to take our kids home from the park if we wanted and so I signed Owen out and we went to the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus thrift store which we haven't visited in a long time and Owen got some toys and I got a very cool poster which I am going to give to Lon and Lis for their studio if they want it. Then I took Owen home and he and Gibson began immediately to play with a game we'd bought and Maggie was delicious and adorable in a beautiful little April Cornell dress that I bought her last year in Asheville when I was visiting Jessie.
Did I get a picture?
No. I did not.
By the time I got around to it, her mama had taken her dress off to put her in her high chair to eat her lunch.
I kissed everyone good-bye and thanked Owen for letting me come with him on his field trip and he thanked me and then I came home to deal with juvenile chickens.

The babies that Kelly brought me yesterday turned out to be older than the ones I had out in the tractor coop and really far too old for the bathtub so I let them spend one night in there and then when I got home this afternoon, I moved the big chickens' feeder and waterer outside and blocked off entrance and exit to the big coop and took Nicey and Dearie and Nora and Trinky and Tronky and Hawk out of the tractor coop and set the feeder and waterer from there in the large coop and gave them a huge bolted arugula plant and then went and got the new chicks (as of yet nameless) and put them in the new coop too. They are being shy, of course, and hiding under the little roost house but I gave them all fruit and my babies seem to be perfectly happy in the bigger space. I sat in a chair I pulled into the coop and threw them watermelon and honeydew and they pecked away, mostly at the fruit but sometimes at my toes.

Ah, the baby-bird shuffle.
The older birds are mystified as to why they can't get into the coop but I got three eggs today so they're not too disturbed.

I have cleaned out the tub again and washed the bedding towels and would not be surprised at all if I found my way back to the Tractor Supply to get six Barred Rock babies.
We shall see.

And no, it never did rain and yes, it as dry as ever. But the wisteria has come back out although the blooms are not as profuse as usual due to that nipping little freeze we had.

Mr. Moon is home and we just made a Friday martini and went out to the coop and fed the babies some grapes and they chirped and fluttered and enjoyed themselves and their evening treat. 

I think about how when we moved here thirteen years ago we had no grandchildren and no chickens. We had four dogs and two daughters still in high school. 
Those daughters are mamas now, those dogs long gone and buried. I can't miss any of them because I see the daughters all the time and have as good or a better relationship with them now then I did then and of course it goes without saying that I don't miss the dogs. My house is filled with toys and books, and Owen and Gibson know this house as well as I do. It's a house that needs and wants children. When Kelly brought the baby chicks yesterday, she brought her son Wiley Cash and he walked around this place like he'd been here all his life even though I think it was the first time he ever visited. 

Owen asked me today if when I "passed" (and where did he get that word?) I'd leave him the love couch. I told him I'd just leave him the whole house. 
"Wow!" he said. "Then I can live for free and get a job!"
Well, something like that. 
Who knows?
Not me. 

I can feel summer's breath breathing on us. I can hear the music from the church next door. I can hear the young chickens as they try to figure out their sleeping arrangements. I can hear traffic and dogs, and cardinals as they snap seeds at the feeder. 

I'm going to cook pork chops and sweet potatoes. 
Get out the cinnamon. 

Friday night. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Mer Day

I'm going on a field trip with Owen today. We'll be going to the local branch library and then to a park for a picnic lunch. I've packed some fruit and his favorite chicken roll-ups from the Costco and let us hope for a good and fun time.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Springtime Prayer

We need rain. We need rain and I need to hear rain and smell its blessing on the dirt because everything else seems so upside-down and wrong and even evil right now.
Not right here, not in my house or in my family, but in the country, in the world at large and I have to admit that as I snapped the beans, three snaps- one for each end, one in the middle, a tiny crisp repeating song, I could feel the evil rising up in me or perhaps it is merely the air with its need to rain or maybe it's the pollen which, ever since my walk this morning has plagued my eyes and head making them feel swollen and scratchy and heavy and present in a way they should not feel and maybe it's the guys next door with drums and amplified guitars which cut through the still air like knives to my gut or maybe it's...
I don't know.

Just...rain. Please.


Jackie Dip

So, yes, Steve Reed asked me what "jackie dip" is and although I think I have mentioned it before I will explain again and it's just silly but here you go.

One time Lily was texting me about how "janky" something was and auto-correct thought she might be saying "jackie dip" and so that's how it came out and we decided that we liked the expression.
I get an image, when I hear it, of Jackie Onassis enjoying some chewing tobacco which is about the most bizarre and disturbing and simply wrong image I can think of so there you go.

I sincerely doubt that Merriam Webster will be adding it to their dictionary any time soon.

May your day be free of any and all jackie dip situations.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

They Soothe My Soul

Finally got to see every one of my grandchildren today PLUS Darling Lenore who came over with her Aunt Lily and her cousins which was a treat. I know that's not much of a shot but that's when they first gathered on the back steps so I could get any picture at all and Magnolia was already in the car.
Here's the posed shot.

The light was all wrong and so on and so forth but at least no one had their finger in their nose. 
I find it a bit scary how much Owen is looking like someone who is going to be a teenager in about a minute and a half. 

So. Dang. I've already got this post all jackie dip because before those children came over, Jessie and August came to see me this morning. We hung out and fed chickens and ate grapes and stuff for awhile. 

August kept running to the bathroom where the little chicks had been to peer over the bathtub to look for them even though we'd showed them to him in their little coop. I don't think he can make the connection yet between those gangly birds and the tiny peeps he saw last. He did like the ganglies, though, and carefully and thoughtfully went back and forth between the chicken feeder where the big birds eat and the little coop with one piece of chicken food at a time to give to the young'uns. 
"Treat," he would say, and head back for another tiny morsel. 
His vocabulary is exploding and he just slays me, that boy. We went to Monticello and had some lunch.

The restaurant where we ate is right across the street from the City Hall and it is encircled by a roundabout. We ate outside which was perfect for a small boy as we got to see many, many trucks at close range as well as about four people get pulled by the local cops. 
It must have been Speed Trap Day in Mayberry Monticello because it was ON for the PD. 
After lunch we strolled over to the Humane Society Thrift Store, Wag The Dog, and look what I found for Lily!

Two framed and matted Bessie Pease Gutman prints, all ready to hang in Maggie's room. I couldn't even believe that. Fifteen dollars for the pair. 

After that we drove down to the Tractor Supply where I bought another bag of Chick Starter feed. My new babies aren't coming until tomorrow but as much as the older babies are eating, I knew I was going to need more food. I almost, almost, bought six baby Barred Rocks and I'm sort of sorry I didn't. I might go back and get them later on in the week. The problem is you HAVE to buy a minimum of six chicks or two ducks and really, I only want three or four but hell- chickens aren't quite like children. Once you have everything set up you might as well get some because it's not like you're going to have to be responsible for their educations and wardrobes and dental care. 
Well, we shall see after Kelly brings me the new babies tomorrow.

August fell asleep on the way back to my house and so Jessie went on home and then Lily came out with the four she had with her and they had such a good time. The boys showed Lenore the chickens and the toys and some of the secrets of Mer's. I don't think Lenore had ever been here before. She's a doll, that one. Her grandmother told me that Lenore told her that she likes Mer because Mer hugs her. So you know my heart melted when I heard that and I hug her every chance I get now. 
Owen showed her how to pick carrots and I picked Lily collards and kale to go in her smoothies and salad greens to make salad. I also made cheese toasts for all of the children including Maggie, and they ate them up. 

And so that's what happened today and it was a good day. I feel better in all ways which is no surprise at all. There is absolutely no way to feel terrible when I can get such sweet August kisses and Maggie hugs and big kid hugs and hang out with some of my daughters and find treasures at the thrift store and give away some of the bounty of my garden. It feels as if some balance has been restored to my life, once again. And on top of all of it, Jessie and I watched a Swallow-Tailed Kite float over our heads this morning from the back yard, a bird so majestic that one feels as if one has been graced by its presence. 

All right. I'm about to go pick some salad greens for our own supper tonight. 

I'm okay. Are you okay? 
I hope so. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Keep Moving

Anxiety? Depression?
Anxiety? Depression?
Let's call it anxpression. 
For when you don't know which is the overriding malady of the day.

So whatever you want to call it, it's pulling me down and over and through. Sometimes anxiety is described as a sense that something horrible is about to happen any/every moment.
But sometimes, it seems to me, that anxiety feels more like something completely elemental and necessary is missing. Or about to go missing.
Something so important that it may be glue of sanity, of life itself.
I don't know.
I do not know shit.

But this morning I thought about what I could do to try and feel better and I decided to cut some greens and take them down to Ms. Liola because I hadn't seen her in forever and I knew she must be worried and besides that, I feel so guilty because I haven't been back to see her since I tried to help her get an AC last year and realized that if you plugged an AC unit in that trailer, the whole thing would
(a) collapse, and
(b) burn down.

So I cut mostly collards and some mustards and kale and wrapped them up and tied them with string like a green bundled baby and walked down to her place. I saw the Sheik, out in the yard and called to him and he said, "Where you been? We all been worried about you."
"I'm fine, I'm fine," I said. "Is Liola home?"
"She's home," he said and went to the trailer and called out at the door, "Lee! Someone here wanting to see you."
And she came to the door and oh god, y'all. She was SO happy to see me. I can't even tell you.
Which made me feel worse than I had before.
We talked and caught up and she laughed, remembering the time I brought Owen and Gibson to visit her. I don't think she'll ever forget that. I asked about her grands in Texas and she said they might come visit in June and her son's trying to help her figure out how to get a new trailer or something. Move her to Texas maybe.
I would hate to see her move but someone has to help this woman. I don't know how in hell she could last another summer in that falling apart metal box.
Then we got to talking about the election and I told her that I hadn't been right since that day and she said she felt the same. We began to talk about the things going on, the scary, horrible things, and I cried and she felt so bad for me and kept saying, "I know! I know! I feel the same way. But you're going to be okay!"
"I want everyone to be okay!" I said. "Everyone!"
Which I know is completely ridiculous but I do and then she kept telling me that if I ever needed anything, to call on her which shamed me so bad because I have everything in this world I need and she doesn't even have floors she can walk on in certain places.
Fuck. What a world.
And of course all of that made me cry even more and I'm crying now and does it seem sometimes as if all I do is cry?
She finally came down from her steps and put her arms around me and said, "I got to get me a hug now," and I said, "Don't let me breathe on you. I've been sick."
And she said, "That's all right."
And what a hug it was.

We ended up with her telling me she was going to cook those greens today. I asked if she was going to make cornbread to go with them and she laughed and said, "You know it."

And then I went on and walked a short and fairly slow walk. The fally-down house is getting closer to gravity every day.

I wanted to take a picture of the end on the right side where the only thing holding it up seems to be a tree which has grown up there but it's surrounded by poison ivy and I wasn't risking that.

So. That was every bit of anything worth doing that I did today. I feel like I'm going to come out of my skin and I feel such despair at the thought of everything. That man, that horrible, horrible man, is determined to kill us all with his deregulations on the environment and we're just sitting here letting him and the drug industry is doing everything it can to addict people to its products and deny us the right to cannabis and people like Ms. Liola are in dire straits already with the tiny pittance that Social Security and Medicare may provide and are in danger of losing even that while The Braggadocio in Chief swells and swells with pride and gluttony and vows to stuff even more money down the glutted craw of the military and build a wall to keep out his perceived enemies, the very people upon whose backs his fortunes have been made in many instances, and you don't need me to tell you.
You know.
We all know. Even the ones who hold their hands out to steady him as he totters off to his golden toilet in his golden palace, who bow their heads at his passing and pat his back with feigned affection and we all know, we all know, that no one in this world has any real affection for him at all but are only there because the winds of fortune and power seem to be blowing that way although it would seem to me that it is apparent to even those toadies that this is an ephemeral wind indeed and in the end, history will report that all of the King's horses and all of the King's men could not even begin to put that man back together again once he has fallen from that golden throne.

I am getting a few more chicks tomorrow. I think I will get to see August. Maybe Jessie and I will walk down to show him off to Ms. Liola who, when she met him last year, was charmed by his baby ways.
I am not going to lose hope. Not for any of us. I am going to remember how, upon parting, I took Liola's hand and we patted each other as softly as a mother pats her baby's bottom.
I am going to try and be the person Liola says I am which is a loving and caring person. I am going to try and use whatever anxiety and depression I have to make me a more empathetic and aware person. If I must suffer it, then goddam it, I want to reap some benefit.

We're going to be okay. We're going to be okay.
We are going to be okay.

Believe. Breathe. Don't give up and don't forget to look for beauty, to hold out your hand to another, to absolutely not give up.

Love...Ms. Moon

Mixed Media

Poem of the Day: Blackout

When life seems gray
And short of fizz
It seems that way
Because it is.

I can't even tell you how much I love that poem. 

Not to change the subject or anything but here are the baby chickens enjoying their greens. 

From top left you see Nora, Trinky, Tronky, Dearie, Nicey, and Hawk.

I'm having one of those days. Mr. Moon asked me if I have any plans for the day. 
"No," I said. "Not really."
I lied. 
My plan is stay alive if at all possible because surely things will be better soon. 

How about you? Do you have a plan? I'd love to know. 

Yours truly...Ms. Moon


Monday, March 27, 2017

Babies, The Beach, Birds, And So Forth

My time in town went quite well. I hit the wall just as it was all winding down and I could come home, which was lovely because I put everything away and laid on my bed and read for awhile and then went to sleep. Mr. Moon had already come and gone to go to auction so it was just me and a quiet house.

But oh, how sweet it was to see Magnolia and Gibson. Maggie came running to me when I got to Lily's house and I picked her up and loved her. She's such a fat, ripe peach of a girl. She's getting curls now and with those and her rosy little bow mouth, she looks like a Bessie Pease Gutman baby and, true story- when her grandfather and I had been seeing each other for about a month, we went to New Orleans together and while we were there we did a lot of things including having the strangest shared psychic experience of our lives at a drug-dealer's house, drinking many, many Irish coffees, eating every wonderful food that New Orleans has to offer, telling each other we loved each other for the first time... and buying this print.

That picture hung over our bed for many years and a year after buying it we were married and I was as barely yet positively pregnant as a whisper with Lillian Rose who is now the mother of Maggie June whom, I hear, when it is time for bed now, walks to her crib and when she is set in it, she lies down and goes to sleep. 
I had heard of mythical babies like this but I have never met one before. 
Here is what she looked like today, eating an ice cream cone.

We think she figured that the cone was a cup of sorts and that the soft ice cream was to be drunk from it and so she leaned back in her stroller and proceeded to experience a sort of heaven. You can't see her little curls but they are at the back of her head. Trust me. They are there. 

And here's her big brother Gibson, eating his ice cream cone, which he served himself, being five now. I take it that turning five means that one is old enough to self-serve self-serve ice cream. 

He had wanted chocate and valilla. Which is what he got. 

I could hardly keep my hands off those children today. I took any excuse to kiss and touch them. I even showed Gibson how Gomez Addams romanced his wife Morticia by kissing her arm and passionately calling her, "Quierda mia," using his arm to demonstrate. 

Oh Lord. I just realized how creepy that sounds. 
Oh well. Fuck it. I am not creepy in the least when it comes to my grandchildren. I merely want to eat them alive which is as normal as normal can be. 

I told Gibson, "You are so handsome."
"Yeah," he said. 
And he is. 

And when he and I were in Publix after our lunch with Hank and Rachel, he said, apropos of absolutely nothing, "My mommy has a beautiful face."
He felt compelled for some reason to inform everyone that I was his grandmother. I think it might have been because he didn't want anyone to be under the misapprehension that such an old woman could be his mother. 

And so it was. I didn't get to see Owen because he was still in school and Jessie and Vergil took August to the beach so I didn't get to see him either but look at this.

And this.

I am SO glad that Vergil could take the day off and they could go. My little beach monkey. When they go up to Asheville for the summer he will get to play in creeks and rivers and on mountains, and when he is here, he gets to play at the beach and soon, we'll be going the Wacissa to dip in the beautiful, cold spring fed river there. 
A lucky boy. 
A beautiful, lucky boy. 

And I am such a lucky grandma to have these gorgeous blossoms of children to love. And my children, too. It was a joy to see both Lily and Hank. I felt as if I hadn't seen them in years instead of a week. 

So. Here I am. Sun just setting. Chickens getting ready to go to roost, some already in the hen house. Speaking of hens, I bought this planter at Publix today.

I almost want to buy a flock of them. I'm not sure what I'll plant in this one, but it will be fun to figure it out. At ten dollars apiece, I could even buy a small flock of them to put somewhere in the yard or on a porch. 

The birds are trilling their night songs. There is call and there is response, tree to tree. 
And for this moment in time, despite quite a bit of evidence to the contrary, I feel as if all is right with the world. 

I wish that everyone everywhere could know this feeling for at least a heartbeat. That doesn't seem so much to ask, does it? 
God, I wish it weren't. 

Love...Ms. Moon

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