Sunday, December 16, 2018

Party And Chicken Report


What a beautiful day it was today in all regards! There are the host and hostess for our little Christmas party. Aren't they beautiful? I love those two people so much. I hadn't been in their apartment before and it was darling! A little full with our family filling it up but quite adequate. Jessie couldn't make it because she's not right in the tummy but Vergil brought the boys so all of the grandchildren were there, each one of them in their unique and shining differences.

I was terrible at getting pictures today. I kept losing my phone for one thing and then other things kept popping up and so please forgive me for not getting pictures of everyone.
Maggie was lovely in a red fluffy dress with black tights and purple sparkle shoes. She is her mama all over again in some ways. She is also obviously the youngest child in a family with two older brothers. She may look like a cherub with those golden curls, those pretty pouty lips, those dresses with ballet skirts but as her mother said today, "Don't wake the beast!"
Gibson wasn't giving up a chair which Maggie was quite sure was her chair. I do believe that Gibson gave up the chair to Her Majesty, Princess Magnolia. Which was all for the best.
I KNOW a took a picture of her and August playing and I can't find it. She was wrapped up in a cat tunnel toy and August was laughing his head off, holding a bucket with a stuffed animal in it.
You'll just have to use your imagination.
Gibson used his outdoor voice which is the only one he has. He and Owen kept sneaking into the kitchen to steal shrimp.
And Levon was overwhelmed at first and spent a lot of time in his daddy's arms or mine, observing everything with a bit of a worried expression on his face but after awhile he relaxed and started walking around and enjoying himself. When it came time to eat, he was positively merry.


That boy is going to surprise us all one of these days. I do not know how but I know he's going to do it. He's sort of staying under the radar right now but that's not going to last for long. 

The food was so good. Rachel cooked and cooked. She made shrimp and grits and delicious fingerling potatoes and gingerbread men with a bowl of icing to spread on them to your own personal desire. I think Maggie ate about half a dozen of those. And I could have too. There was hot, spiced cider and pasta salad and guacamole and chips and a black bean salsa that couldn't be beat. I made some biscuits and a sort of frittata, neither which would have won any prizes, but they were edible. Lily made a cinnamon roll and apple casserole. What else was there? I can't even remember. 

Here's a picture I took to send to Jessie to show her that her boys were all fine. 


We all laughed a lot, as usual, and I got to catch up with May and Michael a little bit. There was a lot of joy, being in Rachel and Hank's little home with their two cats. I think it was Lily who said, "Hank, this is the most bougie place you've ever lived!" and Hank agreed that it was. But I think it agrees with him although mostly it's Rachel who agrees with him. She is such a light in our eyes and lives. I love her for making my son so happy and it's that very spirit she brings to his life that makes me love her even more. She is beautiful in all ways and she is good and she is true and she is smart and she is funny and she is thoughtful and kind. 
We adore her. 

So that was our gathering. I was sitting by August on the couch and everything around us was the regular joyful chaos and I said, "Well, this is a party, August. What do you think?"
"Pretty good," he said. 

And it was. 

And now Mr. Moon and I are home and cozy and being in love. How can one woman deal with such sweetness? 

OH! All of the chickens showed up this morning. They are all fine. I am certain that Dearie is doing the bird version of weaning her children which upsets the entire flock but it must be done. I brought home a few tidbits from the party to give the nursery flock and as they ate I said, "All right! Raise your hand if you're a rooster!" 
Not a damn one admitted to being a male. 
But that's a problem for another day. 
This day has been too filled with goodness to sully with such foolishness. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Babies Are Sleeping With One Of Their Fathers


Just now when I went to shut the door on the hen house I did a check to see if all was well as I always do and no, all is NOT well in chicken world and I don't know what in hell is going on. All of the littles are there but their mother is not. Nor are four other chickens.
There was a kerfluffle when they were doing their going-to-roost rituals this evening but from where I was watching, I saw no one running for cover as they do if there's a predator and their voices were raised, for sure, but they didn't sound terrified, they way they can when something's after them. So what was going on? Has Ringo's coup extended to taking other hens to bed with him? Has Dearie decided that tonight's the night she's cutting the babies loose? Unless she's dead, that must be true. And it's time, I suppose. They're getting so big and squabbling amongst themselves and she's probably ready for a break.
I sure hope they all show up tomorrow though.
Anyway, the kids are sleeping with Liberace, Viv/Vera, and Eggy Tina. Well, most of them. Two are in a separate roost.

It's been a wacky day anyway. I haven't left the property. And I haven't really gotten anything of worth done, either. Just a ridiculous day where I sort of wandered around doing a little of this and a little of that and even took a nap although I got about ten hours of sleep last night. Mr. Moon, meanwhile, has done everything from getting a  trailer out of a spot that's blocked in by the tree that fell during the hurricane and still hasn't been removed, to getting the pews out of a rental property that we own which was abandoned by a church and in the same afternoon, giving them away and transporting them to their new home.
The man never stops.

I did make up a batch of angel biscuit dough to take over to Rachel and Hank's tomorrow to bake. They're having us all over for a lunch/brunch and we're all bringing something. I hope Rachel doesn't kill herself cooking. There's a lot of us. Fifteen including her and Hank. Is that possible?
Yep.
I'm looking forward to it. It'll be our last big gathering before we leave for Mexico and I do believe that Jessie and Vergil and the boys are heading to Asheville for Christmas which is good because those boys need to see their other grandparents and cousins and aunt and uncle and all of those people need to see them. Plus there might be snow and those half-mountain boys need to have some experience with that particular not-found-in-Florida substance.

I've got three more suppers to cook after tonight before we leave. Today I made a big crockpot full of a venison chili thing that's more like soup at this moment. I guess I'll make some rice to go in it. I wish I had some hominy and cabbage to throw in there but I don't so I'll just make some cornbread. Can you imagine not having to decide what to cook for supper for two whole weeks?
Of course we'll have to decide where to dine every night but I suppose I can manage that. There are definitely some restaurants that I can't wait to go back to and some new ones that I'm looking forward to trying. The restaurant we always go to for our first supper is no longer there which is a huge sadness. I loved that place. It's right on the square and I always got chilis rellenos but the owner died and I hear that the daughter tried to keep it going for awhile but wasn't able to. They had the best tiny but lethal margaritas there and it was just a part of our rituals, our enjoyment.
All things must pass.
Another restaurant we always used to visit was a place called Santiago's and Senior Santiago used to sit with us as we drank coffee and Kahlua and tell us stories about the Alux, the elf-like creatures who inhabit the Yucatan. I loved Sr. Santiago so much. Once he actually went to a grocery store while we were eating and bought me some Recado, a spice that is commonly used in cooking in the Yucatan so that I could take it home with me. He closed his restaurant many years ago and I often wonder about him. He was such a beautiful gentleman.

Mr. Moon just asked me if we usually take a hanging bag with us and I said that no, we do not. He said that he could just fold his shirts and pack them in his bag and if they need ironing we can do it there.
"We?"
I gave him a look and after thirty-four years of marriage he knew what it meant.
"That's a little too much like housework," I told him.
He can just deal with the wrinkles.

Anyway, I suppose I better get in the kitchen and do some housewifely chores like unloading the dishwasher and folding clothes and making cornbread. Mary Moon has a very different life than Maria Luna does. Instead of laundry and cooking, etc., I will be watching the sun set, applying eyeshadow and deciding which earrings to wear.
It will not suck.
Not in the least.

I'll report in tomorrow about how many chickens show up for their morning corn.

Love...Ms. Moon



Friday, December 14, 2018

Here And There

It's been as gray as cement today and raining constantly but I've been in a good mood.
For one thing, I slept last night as soundly as I can ever remember sleeping in my life. I don't even remember closing my eyes and the next thing I knew, it was time to get up.
I decided to drive into town to get August and Levon's Christmas presents. I got Maggie's back in October when we went to Thomasville, Georgia and I ordered Owen and Gibson's online. I had asked August what he wanted for Boppie and Mer to get him for Christmas yesterday and the first thing he said was that he wanted a doctor kit for Levon so that he would stop playing with his.
"Well," I said. "I don't know about that. But what do YOU want?"
And then he proceeded to describe a car he would like and it needed to have a button that made it go and he showed me with his hands how big it should be. Etc.
One would think one could find a car with a button that makes it go, right?
One would be wrong.
I drove my cart up and down the toy aisles at Target but every car was either remote-controlled and/or was emblazoned with some cartoon character on it that he doesn't even know about. I ended up getting him a car you can take apart and put back together. It has no button but it does have a drill. Also, I got him a tractor (also with no button) which comes with a little trailer.
Simple toys.
I got Levon a toy that you hammer balls into and they go through some tunnels and stuff.
And that was that.

And then, Lord help me, I went back to the cosmetic store and I bought a ridiculously expensive and expansive eyeshadow palette. I should probably watch some Youtube videos or something on how to use this stuff. Not that it matters.


And let's face it- I'll never have to buy eyeshadow again IN MY LIFE! 
Such a first-world comfort. 
I feel like a kid who just got the 64-Crayolas box. And you know what? That's fun. 
Fun. 
Hmmm...
What a concept!

So. I've got my linen dresses. I've got my reef-safe sunscreen. I've got my Mee-Maw bathing suit. I've got my books. I've got two pairs of Croc flip-flops, one with sequined straps. I guess I'm ready to go. 

Cozumel has changed so much since we first went there thirty-one years ago. I swear, in those days it was just a very sleepy little diver's secret. There were probably about ten good restaurants, maybe twenty hotels ranging from two big ones on the beach down to a bunch of little in-town places you could stay for eighteen dollars a night, one amazing disco, and Carlos'n'Charlies which was the most rocking bar I ever visited in my life and it was wonderful. The park which is now huge and contains everything from a dolphinaria (UGH!) to a spa to smaller-sized reproductions of famous Mayan artworks and pyramids to a representative Mayan home and garden with a real, true Mayan woman who makes tortillas over a fire, used to be a place to snorkel and get food. Period. 
I remember once when we visited, we had rented a jeep and as we were driving in, some Mexican police waved us down. 
Uh-oh. 
But no, everything was fine. They just wanted a ride into the park and we said sure and they jumped in the back of the jeep with their weapons and thanked us when they got out. 

Those were the days. 

Now there must be hundreds of restaurants and there are plenty of hotels and resorts. It's one of the world's most visited cruise destinations. At night in the zocalo, there is so much activity. Lights and music and businesses open, and where once it was mainly the local families who visited the square at night, now there are so many tourists and of course the businesses that cater to them. 
But. In many ways it is still the same. The store that sells perfume and high-end cosmetics which was there in 1987 still stands on the corner by the sea walk and leaves its door open so that when you pass by it, the cold air and the scent of every good perfume on earth washes over you. Casa Denis, one of the first restaurants on the island still serves Mayan specialties including the world's best lime soup. On Sundays families still gather on the public beaches with food and drinks and children and grandparents. The west side of the island is still without electricity and the beach bars there have the best fried fish I've ever eaten. If you go a few blocks from the ocean into the neighborhoods, you can still find the same grocery stores we visited thirty years ago, find the same little taquerias. The mercado still sells everything in the world from freshly butchered meat to pretty flouncy dresses for little girls and the lunch counters there are amazing. There is fresh fruit and there are fresh vegetables. There's a little booth where you can buy your spells and candles and others where you can find kitchen ware and basic pottery and cheap toys. There is the altar at the main entrance where a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands, candles surrounding her. And of course there is eternally (for now, at least) the water of eight colors, the incomparable sunsets where it always seems to me that the Mayan gods make appearances in the clouds, the coming-in at night of the dive boats, the clanking of tanks in the mornings as those same boats go out, the sight of mopeds being ridden by four family members and a baby at one time, the smell of lime and of fish, of garlic and of Fabuloso and most of all, there are still the Mayan people although now they carry cell phones. They still call out to my husband, "Hello, Shorty!" and "Hola, Senior Whiskers!" and "Do you want a free jeep?"
And they are so kind and at night the church-without-walls holds mass and the people come and sit and pray and the priest does his priestly magic stuff and the old, old women sit in the pews covered with their rebozos and I can't even imagine what their lives have been like. Are like. 

As the time for us to leave grows close, I am drifting back there. I find it harder and harder to concentrate on the here and now of my life in Lloyd. I have always felt as if perhaps I live in a parallel universe in Cozumel and when I visit, those universes come together in a way, bumpy and uneven at times, but always with a feeling of my heart being exactly where it is supposed to be.

I have five days to finish preparing to go and to pack. 
It is Friday night. It is pouring rain now. A week from tonight I will be staying in a hotel on the water. It is an older hotel. It is not huge. There is a lovely small pool, there is a dock where the dive boats tie-up and where I often watch the sunset. There is a restaurant where we take our breakfasts which overlooks the water. There is decent snorkeling. There is a cat named Bagheera and a dog named Lahlo who welcome everyone and often visit the rooms. There are birds that whistle and tweet in the palm trees from which the hammocks are strung where one can take a book and read in the shade until, without fail, eyes close and a nap is taken. 

But right now, I am here and it's time to go cook our supper. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon




Thursday, December 13, 2018

Wild Things In A World Of Domesticity

Oh, god. I am worn out. I couldn't sleep for about a third of the night due to anxiety-fretting about not having the house/cats/chicken-sitting covered while we're gone and meanwhile, we're leaving in one week. Also, I knew I had a check up at the GYN's today in order to get my bio-identical hormones refilled for another whatever length of time. So. Yeah. Anxiety through the roof.
I got up and whined to Lily and Jessie via text and then I went on a good walk which is the smartest thing I could have done. And look what I saw!



Never in my life have I seen mushrooms like this. I believe they are Lion's Mane mushrooms or, perhaps Bear Head mushrooms. Either way, they are fascinating to look at. I was so glad to have seen them. 

I cleaned the hen house and I got ready to go to town for the appointment which of course involved leg-shaving and thoroughly hygienic cleansing. You ladies all know what I mean. I got there ten minutes early and wasn't called in until forty-five minutes after my appointment time. This gave me plenty of time to strew and fret and worry but when I finally got back into the exam room, it didn't take very long and I have to admit that the doctor was truly, truly nice. We discussed Cozumel because when he asked me what my holiday plans were (and you have to talk about something when someone's down there, fiddling with your most sacred parts or up here, giving the old and also sacred bosoms their exam) and I told him I was going to Cozumel he told me that he and his wife had gone there on their honeymoon thirty one years ago- the same exact year that Mr. Moon and I visited for the first time. So that was a pleasant little connection and before I knew it, he was done and I was out of there but of course now I'm in the post-exam-anxiety crash phase and feel as if I could sleep for a week. 

I witnessed something else I've never seen today. Three of my young birds were going at it in a way that reminded me of nothing so much as a cock fight. Neck feathers were ruffled and pecking was happening and wings were being stretched. After awhile, one of the birds lost interest but the other two- one a yellow one, one a brown one- kept it up for at least twenty minutes, moving down to the hen house area and the last I saw of them before they went to roost, the brown one was chasing the yellow one through the woods. So, I reckon I have at least three roosters out of that little brood of eight. 
Ooh boy. 
I really cannot complain about this. The odds are good that at least half of them are males. But I really do not need or want more roosters. The two I have now get along beautifully but have split the flock at roosting time. I honestly think that Ringo and his ladies and Dearie are indeed jungle fowl and a friend sent me a very interesting article about those very birds. 
My favorite quote in it is this:

"The domestic chicken is descended from the red jungle fowl, which is native to tropical South East Asia. The bird was first domesticated around 8,000 years ago, and rapidly spread around the world, to be used for meat and eggs."

Although Ringo does not have all of the characteristics of the red jungle fowl, he has enough to be a close first cousin and as such, I do believe that he has all of the wild and wily characteristics of his very distant relatives and also displays the reasons they were able to be domesticated. 
I have a deep affection for all of these strange birds, especially Dearie as I have watched her brood and hatch and raise her chicks. She let the boys do what boy birds have to do today but kept a wary eye on them. One of the things I found so interesting about their tussling was how they demonstrated what in human boxers is called "clinching" when they seemed to take a period of rest, but with their necks instead of arms wrapped around each other for a few seconds before one of them would begin fighting again. 
I wonder if the dinosaurs which are an even far more ancient ancestor of the chicken fought like this too. Can you imagine humans using the same techniques and strategies to fight that dinosaurs did? 
I can. 

Well. Enough of my theories and musings. 

It's going to rain again tonight. 

May all chickens, jungle fowl related or not be safe wherever it is they decide to spend their night. 

And all of us too, we pathetic humans who have no fur or feathers, no claws or talons, no beaks or wings but do certainly have the ability to build and create shelters and weapons and libraries and art  and invent pap smears. 
And brains with which to wonder about how all of it came to this and where in the world it is all leading. We laugh about how children go through the "why" stage, asking why in every situation, but if we are honest, and if we are curious, we never grow out of it which is one of my favorite things about people. 

Love...Ms. Moon







Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Chickens And Babies, Same As It Ever Was


There's Ringo, posing in a spot of sunlight in the fallen Bradford pear leaves. I guess I might as well give in to the idea that he and Viv and Vera have gone rogue. I wonder if he's plotting to get Dearie and her babies to join him in a flock all of his own. A jungle fowl flock. It would definitely be a coup in that he'd suddenly have eleven members although how many of the eight juveniles are female is far from having been determined yet. 
Time will answer all of these questions, I am sure. 

Clear and cool today. It froze last night and this morning the rain which had frozen on the leaves thawed and dripped and dripped which was a disconcerting sound as the sun shone so brightly. 

Jessie and the boys came out and we asked them if they'd like to go to Monticello. Levon had no real opinion in the matter but August said that he'd like to go to Cello. And so we did. We stopped at the beautiful little library which always seems terribly empty of patrons. They even had the new Barbara Kingsolver novel in the New Fiction stacks and I would have checked it out but I'm leaving for Mexico a week from tomorrow and already have books I'm reading. The little kid rooms are just charming as hell and I do not understand why they are not more utilized. There's one room with wonderful books and a puppet show theater and bean bags and a two cozy big chairs and a small table and chairs and stuffed animals. 


There's a bathroom for small people and a nursing nook with a comfy chair and even a baby gate on the door so that the littles can't escape while Mama (or Daddy or Grandma or, or, or...) is busy tending other children. There's another room right next to it with some computers with games for children and a big activity thing on the wall and soft blocks for babies and small children. 



We read a few books and August played around with the computers and I followed Levon around the main part of the library as he explored. I have mentioned the librarian there and I always love seeing him. He is a huge man with dark skin and Levon stood and stared and stared at him today, taking him in as he does with strangers. He is the sweetest man and he called Levon by name and tried to get him to high-five him but Levon was a bit overwhelmed. He is a shy boy, or at least a cautious one and besides that, the poor child is getting about six teeth in at once right now and I can only imagine that this must be a miserable thing to do. Molars AND incisors. 

After we had finished with the library we of course went to The Rev for our lunch. The server asked for our drink order and August said, "I'd like some french fries."
He got some french fries. And fish and shrimp and vegetables and he was quite well behaved. So was Levon. He sat in a high chair almost the entire time and ate the same menu as the rest of us. 
After lunch, our routine is to go visit Wag the Dog, the Humane Society thrift store. Always a trip. August glommed on to a Star Wars laser weapon which had no batteries in it but that certainly did not bother him at all. Levon discovered the joy of crawling under racks of clothes to appear on the other side of them and there was much merriment there. Jessie found a few shirts and jeans for the boys and for once, I did not find one thing that I felt was worth bringing home with me. 

Jessie dropped me off on their way home and I told August that I really appreciated him coming out to see me. I told his mama the same thing. 
It is absolutely a sort of miracle to me that my children appear to like my company. I surely do love theirs. Every one in my family is so very different but the one thing we all have in common is a wicked sense of humor and, well, a liberal outlook on life as well. It really is the blessing of my life that my family is so close, so supportive of each other, so funny and loving and smart. No one can make me laugh like my kids can although my grandchildren run a close second in that regard. 

Lucky. I am so very lucky. 

And I never forget that for a moment, even in my darkest hours. 

And just as I told August this afternoon- I appreciate all of y'all coming here to see me. So much. So very, very much. We may be different in many ways but somehow, we all connect with our hearts and that is the very best way in the world to connect, the truest and purest of all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sure. Let's Call Them Survivors. Sounds Good, Right?


It would appear on first glance that one of the wise men dipped into the sacred wine a bit too freely but if you look at the expression on the camel's face, it might be that the animal, resenting his long trip across the desert with a guy on his back, kicked him while he was down.
Who knows?
Magi Guy is obviously out of commission and the camel ain't talking.

Oh, the things I see on my walk.

Have any of y'all listened to the NPR podcast "Believed"?
It's about the Larry Nassar case. He's the guy who sexually abused/assaulted hundreds (if not thousands) of girls who were his patients, many of them gymnasts. At one point he was a team doctor on the USA Olympic Committee and was also employed by the University of Michigan and an organization called USA Gymnastics.
Unbelievably, Nassar got away with his evilness for decades EVEN THOUGH HE WAS REPORTED FOR YEARS!
He was so well-respected and had such a reputation for being able to "fix" bodies that he would literally respond to some of these accusations by taking a power point presentation into the police who were questioning him which (according to him) demonstrated what he did in his work and how it could have been misconstrued as being inappropriate which it CERTAINLY WAS NOT, NOT EVER, EVER, EVER! NO WAY! NO HOW!
And the police bought it. And the institutions who employed him covered up, destroyed documents, defended him, and ignored the women and their parents who made the accusations.
The crazy, most insane thing about all of this is that much of this abuse happened while parents were actually in the room while these treatments were happening.
This man would use his own body to block the parent's view of what he was doing and the girls trusted him so much that even if they knew that what he was doing felt wrong, they never said a word. Or else they were so shocked that they couldn't speak.
Or else, they did not think that if they told anyone they would be... believed.
And they weren't. Even if they told their parents and their parents went to the police, Nassar's reputation was so sterling and his defenses made so much sense, that he was released, over and over again.
It's just a sickening and heart-rending story but he was eventually arrested and convicted and sentenced to 40-175 years in prison and the judge, a woman named Rosemarie Aquilina allowed every victim that wanted to, to come and address Nassar personally in court after his sentencing.
It took seven days for the more than 150 girls and women to testify about how this one man had affected them and their lives.
And now the organizations and institutions for whom he worked are being investigated and the shameful truth is coming out- that he was protected by them even as he abused more and more girls.
The shit has hit the fan and the mess is going to contaminate the reputations of these organizations for years to come and let's not even talk about the lawsuits that are probably going to arise.

There are so many things I could say about this situation, about how it's merely a monstrous magnification of how abusers get away with what they do. I doubt I have anything new to add to the conversation, as we say so glibly, as if we could simply converse our way into understanding and perhaps some sort of resolution.
I don't think that we, as a society, have begun to scratch the surface of the reasons that sexual abuse of all kinds still exists so persistently in our society. We don't understand the basis of why abusers abuse or why girls and women (and little boys and men, too) feel so powerless to report, to confront. We do know that when it occurs, the effect it has on the victims is life-long and poisonous, sometimes fatal as those victims are more prone to suicide or behaviors which are unhealthy.
We also know that it is incredibly common and that abusers are so very often trusted and are even respected and revered members of society, which makes it all the more difficult for them to be reported or arrested.
And I don't have any answers and I don't have any solutions and I wish I did.

Well. That's one of the things I've been thinking about today as I've gone about my chores and my life.
It makes me so sorrowful and so angry to know that even when victims do come forth and tell someone, whether they be young or older, that they are so often not believed. Or even if they are believed, told that, well, what happened to you wasn't so bad. Or...it was your fault. Or made to understand that one man's reputation and the good that he may do is more important than the harm he did to a child.
There is nothing more important than dealing with the harm an adult may do to a child.
Nothing.

And I'll say one more thing about this- anyone who protects an abuser in any way, be it a parent, a teacher, a church member, an organization, an officer of the law, a co-worker, or a friend or mother or father- is as guilty of evil as the abuser.

Back to our regular programming tomorrow, most likely.

Love...Ms. Moon


Monday, December 10, 2018

More Life In North Florida


This is what the frost-killed bananas looked like this morning against the gray, gloomy sky. The bananas aren't really dead. I'll cut them back and they shall spring forth again in the spring. I've never gotten a banana from them but I do love the plants and the way they look and the way their leaves turn and sway in the wind.

The sky has looked like snow all day long although I am sure we aren't getting any. It just has that heavy gray look to it that I remember from Denver the two miserable winters I spent there. I was not meant to live where it gets so cold and mountains do not call to me. I don't mind admiring them from a distance but when it comes to climbing them, rock climbing on them, or skiing down them- well, no thank-you.
Y'all have fun with that.

I'm waiting for Mr. Moon to get home from Tennessee. He flew up but he's driving back which is a work-related story. I think he's had just the very best time. He told me last night that he and his friend have laughed and laughed. That alone would make a trip worthwhile, I think. I hope he isn't too sad to come back to Florida and his wife and home. Maggie asked me yesterday if Boppy was coming back to "me Mer's house."
I assured her that he was. She was glad to hear that.
I have some chicken soup simmering on the stove and a Meyer's lemon pie cooling in the refrigerator. I use the same recipe I use for a Key Lime pie but with the lemon juice instead of lime and it is delicious. I also have whipped cream in a bowl to go on top of it and that, I am sure, will make my husband happy. Jessie and Vergil have a lemon tree in their backyard and it is always overabundant which is a delicious problem to have.

Speaking of Jessie, I met her and the boys at Costco today. What in the world would we do if there were no Costco? We companionably pushed the cart together through the aisles, all of us feeling the incredibly soft fleece jackets which we did not buy, examining the crabs closely. Examining the crabs is something that August and I MUST do in Costco. With our fingertips we trace the sharp bumps of the animals under under their protective plastic and talk about what sort of crabs they are.
It never gets old. Don't ask me why. It's part of our ritual.

Jessie decided that having lunch out today was probably not the best idea. August was in a bit of a mood and when she went to put Levon in his car seat he wailed in rebellion. But I wasn't ready to come home and I had stopped at the post office on my way in and had a brand new Esquire magazine with Bruce Springsteen on the cover and so Bruce and I had lunch together at a local Mediterranean place. I was vastly disappointed in my falafel gyro and dolmades (how can dolmades be disappointing?) but there were very few people there and I did enjoy just sitting and reading, eating what I could of the meal and taking my time with all of it. The article didn't tell me anything I hadn't learned from his tome of a memoir that I read a few years ago. Mostly it's about how a parent can fuck you up good and then you can go on to still love them hugely.
I guess.
Poor Bruce. He's had his horrible struggles with depression and what he calls "agitated depression" but which sounds like terrible anxiety to me.
Well, god knows it hasn't prevented him from being who he is which is most definitely The Boss. On November 15, Netflix is going to start streaming a special of his Broadway show which will be ending on that day. On Broadway. And you know damn well I'll watch it.

Speaking of fathers, I dreamed of my own father last night. The biological one, that is. I'm not sure I've ever dreamed of him before. At least not since I've become an adult. In my dream he was telling me that he was going to be having another child and I got so mad at him. I told him that he'd done nothing whatsoever to help support or raise my brother and me and how dare he just go around fathering children that he was just going to abandon?
This makes me wonder if now I'm going to have to start unpacking my feelings about him which honestly, I've always felt like I'd already done.
It never really ends, does it?

And now Mr. Moon is home, jittered up with coffee and being on the road for ten hours. I hope he can get unstrung before bedtime. He does seem to be pretty happy though, so that's good. And it's good to have him home again.

Ringo and his jungle hens showed up this morning, fine and fit but they've chosen to spend the night outside again tonight. I wish they wouldn't do that but as I said yesterday, there's not a thing I can do about it.
I'm not even the boss of my chickens.
Or my dreams.

Let's all have sweet ones tonight, okay?

Love...Ms. Moon


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Babies, Babies, Babies! And Pancakes!


I invited the grandchildren over for pancakes this morning and they all showed up with their moms in tow. I hadn't cooked for anyone in at least two days so I guess I needed to make sure that I still had my skills.
It was so much fun. There's just something about watching all of the cousins interact that makes my heart happy. And I love to feed the people I love. That's just how it is.
I made pancakes and bacon galore and cooked eggs with potatoes and peppers and onions and mushrooms and asparagus and broccoli and we feasted. There was not one pancake nor piece of bacon left when it was all over and only a tiny bite of the eggs. Maggie was the only one of the kids to eat some of those. She does love her eggs.


Maggie sharing her breakfast with Levon.


I have no idea why Levon was giving her that look but it's rather adorable. She's so good with him. She alerts Jessie to tell her if Levon is doing something she thinks might be dangerous and he was playing with a fork and she took it away from him. She was born with a protecting and nurturing soul and that's all there is to it.
So was Owen. He carries that little boy around and watches out for him. He's going to be such an awesome dad someday and I know a lot of that comes from watching how his own daddy is with him and his siblings. Jason is as tender and caring and diaper-changing and outfit-picking-out as any mama could be. I admire that in him so much.
Gibson was into being in videos today. I must have made four of them myself. And at the end of them he says, 'Don't forget to like and subscribe to my videos at Gibson dot com!"
Of course that little bit of internet property is already held by the Gibson guitar company but the kid has his eye on the future.

Owen wanted Aunt Jessie to braid his hair and so she did. We all gave our rousing approval and admiration and I showed him pictures of Snoop Dogg in braids. Owen had no idea who Snoop Dogg was but we assured him that he's just about the coolest guy in the world.
"Plus he's friends with Martha Stewart!" I told him.
"I have no idea who that is," he said.
I didn't even try to explain.



Owen is NOT afraid to be a trend-setter. 
Lord, I love that child. 

August was in a cheerful mood. He brought the Rudolph stuffed animal that the guy at the thrift store gave him and his mother had put a battery in the thing so that his nose lights up and he plays music. August is absolutely enamored of it. He showed it to me as soon as I opened the car door to help him out of his seat. 
"You smell yummy," he said. 
I had just sliced an onion. 
He ate four pancakes and one and a half pieces of bacon. I have never in my life seen such a small person able to eat so much. 


Levon is walking better every day.


He toddles after the big kids and wants to do whatever they're doing. This is pretty fine until they go up the stairs. I walked right behind him about halfway up today, holding on to his britches and then I picked him up and took him back down and tried to redirect him. 
Redirecting toddlers is not easy. 

It was, of course, complete chaos while they were here. Three adults, five children- you'd think it would be easy to keep track of all the kids, especially with Owen's help. But no, it's not.
"Where's Maggie?"
"Where's Levon?"
"What's August doing?"
And so forth. 
I am very proud to say that we did not lose any of them. Not a one. 


After they'd all packed up and gotten into their cars (and Maggie can actually buckle herself into her car seat and tighten the straps by herself) and I'd kissed them all and told them I loved them I walked back into the house which was pretty much destroyed. 
Jessie and Lily had offered to clean up but I told them that I didn't have one darn thing I had to do for the rest of the day and that I'd be happy to do it myself. 
The girls, realizing that it would probably be easier for me to clean up than to deal with their children while they cleaned up wisely allowed me to do it. 
So I slowly made order from the chaos and and tidied and swept and put dishes in the dishwasher (have I told you lately how much I love my dishwasher?) and did some laundry and then I did the Sunday crossword in the local paper which is easier than the Monday crossword in the NYT's and enjoyed my solitude and my house. 
I love being the kind of grandmother who has toys and books everywhere, who has a house that welcomes five children playing with their favorite things and floors that don't matter when syrupy pancakes get dropped on them and a high chair for the youngest to sit in and a hallway and kitchen that invites little ones to drive a tricycle through. I love that my grandchildren each have their favorite cups and plates and know where everything is and how everything works and yes, I even love how they all know how to push my buttons and they're all the boss of me and they are loving and kind and funny and smart and beautiful and curious and they know how much I love them and they love me back. 
And sometimes, they even listen to me. 

After I'd tidied up, I picked a few camellias to put in the hallway. 


Do you see my favorite? The Pink Perfection? 


Is it not a glory? 

And so it's been a most excellent Sunday although I'm a bit disturbed because three of the jungle fowl did not make it into the roost tonight. Ringo and Viv and Vera are out there somewhere I guess, in the cold drizzling rain. Perhaps they have decided to make their own flockette and when that happens, there ain't much I can do about it. I'm going to try not to worry. One of the Viv/Veras spent the night outside last night and she's probably talked the other two into establishing their independence although I am not sure why. I certainly haven't seen much disagreement between Ringo and his brother-husband, Liberace, and indeed they have slept in the same nest box forever. 
At least Dearie and her brood are safely in the hen house, cozy in their own private nest. 

I'm going to go make some risotto. And then I plan to eat it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, December 8, 2018

This Day In HIstory


Family Portrait 

This morning Dearie and her children came to visit me on the porch and before I knew it, that mother hen was pecking at my sweater buttons, trying to get my attention. She wanted food for her and the young'uns and she wanted it NOW!
I have to admit that I gave in and sprinkled some oats on the floor which they all gobbled up like it was candy and then they went for a rest on the chair in the corner. I got that chair at the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus thrift store a long time ago and probably paid about fifteen dollars for it. Mr. Moon said, "It'll rot on the porch," and I said, "So what?" and it's still here. I did have to clean some chicken poop off of it today but again...so what? 

It's been a quiet day here in Lloyd. I've just puttered around, doing little things that have needed tending to like unwrapping the porch plants and watering them and doing a little weeding. That garden is a complete and utter failure. Even the dang kale and arugula which always seem to grow no matter what, have remained tiny and insignificant and helpless. And I can't blame it on the weather. I walk past a little greens garden plot about two miles away that's growing like crazy. 
I look at it and despair. 
What have I done wrong? Is it because I planted the rows east to west instead of north to south? Can that really make such a difference? 
I don't know but I'm embarrassed. 
And frustrated. 
Still, it was not too unpleasant, kneeling in the dirt and pulling out micro-weeds by their hair-like roots which even in their miniature state are about to overtake what I planted. 
Harrumph. 

It's been overcast and wet-chilly here today. Not cold by any means but the kind of damp that gets into the bones. Supposed to rain again starting tonight. We've been having record-breaking amounts of rain in the last few weeks and I suppose that is about to continue. 
I'd rather have too much rain than not enough although I suppose that's a vague, blanket statement that does not really cover all of the possibilities of what "too much" and "not enough" could mean. 

So it's December 8th which can be a tricky day for me. Forty-three years ago today I went to Georgia with my boyfriend and we got married at a courthouse by a judge who waived the requirement for us to get blood tests because I was pregnant. No friends, no family, no flowers, no money. We just got 'er done. That night some friends of ours took us out for Chinese food and that was that. 
The marriage didn't last but we had two beautiful, amazing children together and that's something I'll never regret in any way, shape or form. We had a lot of problems, most of them stemming from the fact that we were really too young to get married and and on our fifth anniversary I woke up, took my run, got the newspaper out of the box on my way into the yard and saw that John Lennon had been shot. 
And killed. 
I couldn't believe it and I still can't believe it. 
My world crumbled around me and it took me years to pick up the pieces but there's no picking up the pieces when someone who changed not only your mind but your life and also the world is assassinated. 
How could such a bright and beautiful flame be so quickly snuffed by a crazy man with a gun? 
Not a question that we haven't had to ask ourselves countless times in the thirty-eight years since then. 
It's impossible to explain to someone who did not grow up when the Beatles came on the scene how much they meant to us. Simply impossible. And John was, well, what would you call a saint who isn't a saint? A leader who never wanted to lead? A torch in the darkness who was so often surrounded by darkness? An advocate for peace who struggled with his own anger? A genius who was constantly misunderstood? 
You would call him John Lennon and there was no one like him and he never did what anyone else thought he should do and when he met and married a Japanese conceptual artist instead of a super model just as the binding restraints of being Beatle John were becoming unbearable, the world went insane and vilified him for that choice while he blithely and whole-heartedly joined her in her art as she joined him onstage and in the studio and their very lives became their art. 
Ah. The world did not know what to do with him. 
But my god, we loved him. 
As always on this day, I think of Yoko. How can I not? She is eighty-five now. Still making art, still making music, still saying, War is over, if you want it.


Theirs was a love story the likes of which we'll probably never see again. Stormy and tempestuous at times but when he was killed, they were together and as close as two humans can probably be, the parents of a five-year old boy whom they had gone to the moon and back together to have. John had spent most of those five years being a house husband and Sean's primary care-giver, probably hoping to give his son the love and care and attention and nurturing that his own mother had never been able to give him. 
John wrote so many incredible and complex and extraordinary songs but this one is one of my favorites. It is a very, very simple thing. It is, as Paul McCartney might say, a silly love song. I think it is beautiful. 



Although it is so tempting to wonder what John Lennon would be saying about the world today if he were still alive, it's a pointless exercise. I think it would be a different world today if he were still alive but that, too, is impossible to know.
He gave us what he gave us and then he was taken away.
And I am forever grateful that he gave us what he could and what he did.

So. For all of us who do remember and for all of us who still grieve and especially for Yoko Ono and their son, Sean, and his oldest son, Julian, I say this: I am sorry for our loss. The world is a much poorer place without him, a much richer place because he was here.
You can't imagine.
Well. Maybe if you try.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, December 7, 2018

Thoughts And Stuff

I watched Twenty Feet From Stardom last night and it was good.
It was also rather sad as it demonstrated once again that women, especially women of color, no matter how much unbelievable talent they may have are not going to get their due in this lifetime.
So many of the women who were (and are) the vocal talent on zillions of hit records and who make a live concert come alive are relegated to being, yes, twenty feet away from stardom and will never get the recognition, fame, or riches that they deserve.
And that's just the flat-out truth.
You know who DID start out as a back-up singer who went on to have a fairly successful solo career?
Sheryl Crow.
And I have to say that I truly do not believe that it was because of Sheryl's fantastic vocal abilities that she got the deal and the attention. Know what I'm saying here?

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong.

Well.

This is not to say that a precious few of the amazing back-up singers who were the go-to ladies for recordings and concerts haven't done well. Some of them have.
A precious few.

Lisa Fischer is one of them. She never did get the solo career she wanted and deserved but she was asked to join the Rolling Stones and that ain't nothing. It's something. I mean look- Mick Jagger tried to have a solo career and it didn't work out for him but that band thing has been fairly successful.
And Lisa is still singing with them.

So. It was interesting and rather heart-breaking at times and Bruce Springsteen was part of it and so was Mick Jagger and so was Stevie Wonder. But mostly, it was the women telling their stories and my favorite parts were when they would get together in their older age and sing, spontaneously, and the hairs rose up on the back of my neck.
It is one of the greatest regrets of my life that I cannot, for the life of me, sing harmony. It's not in me. If I do get a next lifetime and if I'm not a lichen, I swear I hope I can sing harmonies. That's it. That's my entire wish. Because it seems to me that being able to close one's eyes and be a part of the weaving together of voices in song is about the highest achievement one could attain whether on a stage in front of thousands or on a back porch in front of no one. Just the magic that happens when two or more people can dance around and with each other with the music that comes forth from their lungs, their guts, their hearts, their souls.

Well.

I drove over to Jessie's house this morning and the boys were climbing all over the sofa cushions whose covers Jessie had in the wash due to peeing incidents.
August is being a bit stubborn about the potty training. He CAN do it and he does do it but sometimes he doesn't want to do it and there you go. He's not worried about it and he's certainly not ashamed about it. Why should he be? He's got a mommy who will take care of any and all problems that may arise due to unforeseen accidents.
And sofa cushions are just as much fun to play on without their covers as they are with their covers.
But we decided, after everything was dealt with for the moment, to go to a thrift store and that was okay although we didn't get much. There were guys working there, homeless men for the most part I think, who were absolutely charmed by the boys and August was gifted a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer who only needed batteries to make his nose light up and music to play AND a Beanie Baby cardinal and Levon got a Beanie Baby blue jay. Jessie also bought an angel to go on top of a Christmas tree (two dollars) and a shirt for one of the boys. Maybe something else. I can't remember.
And then we met Jason and Lily who had a rare day off together and Ms. Magnolia June at Tan's Restaurant where they have delicious everything from curry to hot and sour soup to a freezer full of ice cream desserts.


Maggie after her Klondike bar. 

We tried very hard to get all three children to pose for a picture and this is the best we could do. 


Good enough! 

By the time I got home this afternoon it was so late that after I got the clothes off the line and the groceries put away and the bed made up with clean sheets it was almost time to put the chickens up. Eggy Tina is in a nest with Dearie and her babies tonight and when I went to shut them up she was pecking at the babies and Dearie was pecking at her. 
They'll settle down. 
And pecking order will be figured out. 
No. No. I'm not going to go there. 

And because it's Friday night and because I watched that documentary last night, I offer you this. 



I love it on so many levels. One, because it shows Keith doing his flying/dancing/hand-slapping thing as he goes onstage. Another because it shows Charlie Watts being Charlie Watts, playing the drums as only he can do. Another because this is what rock-n-roll is and lastly, because Lisa Fischer gets her due here. Mick (who annoys me somewhat in the video but let's face it- there would be NO Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger) shares the stage with her and lets her be who and what she is which is a powerhouse who can out-sing him, out-dance him, and who gently puts her hand on his back which says so much about the connection which they so obviously have.
Gold rings on ya'.
Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 6, 2018

What A Sixty-Four Year Old Woman Does When Her Husband Is Out Of Town


Mr. Moon got up at the horrendous hour of 3:00 a.m. and kissed me good-bye.
"I love you," I mumbled. And then I said it again, just for good luck.
And promptly turned over and went back to sleep.
When I got up five and a half hours later I found a love-note and my coffee made and freshly brewed.
I love that man.
He made it to Tennessee just fine and appears to be in very good spirits.

Lily is fine too. Whatever hit her yesterday was fast and furious. It came, it conquered, it left. I don't think it was gallstones as she had no pain in that area. Simply the intense nausea of food poisoning or a stomach virus. Anyway, it's over and she went back to work today, a little tired but otherwise feeling fine.

I took a walk in my new shoes and they're okay. Unfortunately they don't make me fly or spring into the air with each step which is a disappointment. I suppose I'll never get too old to have the secret hope that new shoes will make me into some sort of super hero.

I went over to Lily's in the early afternoon as she had to go to work and Jason had a little more time before he could get off work and take over. When I got there, Maggie was asleep and when I woke her up to get her dressed and into the car to go get her brothers at the bus stop, she was so sweet.
"Hey, darlin'," I said. "It's MerMer."
She hopped right up on the bed and reached around and hugged me tight and I buried my nose in her soft curls. She was happy to see me and let me dress her and we giggled and I pretend-bit her feet with their tomato-red socks on to see if they tasted like ketchup.
On the way to the bus stop, Jason called to tell me he was on his way home so when the boys got off the bus I had to give them the bad news that they weren't coming to my house again today.
They were so upset. Maggie was too, truthfully.
"I want to go to me Mer's house!" She breaks my heart.
Owen tried to convince me that we had to go to my house because he'd borrowed a toy from a girl at school and he'd left it at my house yesterday and he absolutely HAD to return it tomorrow.
"I had to beg her for a whole day to get her to let me borrow it!" he said.
"Yeah," I told him. "I found it when I cleaned up yesterday after y'all left but I forgot to bring it with me. I brought some tomatoes to your house, though. Maybe you could take her a tomato."
He looked at me as if I were insane. And then he said, "WHAT?! A tomato?! Is that what you used to pay for toys with when you were a kid? A TOMATO!!!" And so forth.
I laughed so hard.
I should have told him that toys hadn't been invented when I was a kid.
I delivered them to their father who'd already gotten home and after discussing how Owen HAD TO TAKE THE TOY BACK TOMORROW and with Gibson pleading that they had to get a Wii game from my house to bring back to their house, Jason said that he'd bring them over after Owen did his homework because he had to pick up the meat grinder too.
And he did and Maggie cried because she couldn't get out of the car and when Owen came into the house to get the toy and the disc he said, "You better go kiss the children because they are crying."
The children.
Gibson wasn't crying. He was just excited to get the Wii disc. I promised Maggie that she could come back and play soon and off they all went with their wonderful exhausted daddy.

And then I leisurely cleaned the hen house and put new straw in the nests. As you can see, Dearie is choosing these days to sleep with her children in a private nest. I know I keep posting pictures of them all together but they're just so dang cute and soon they will be bigger than their mama.

Mr. Moon and his buddy are going to an actual pro-football game tonight. I told him that although that sounds like my worst nightmare, I hope he has fun and that I imagine he will.
I myself am almost delirious at the thought of eating my little supper and watching Twenty Feet From Stardom which I cannot believe I've never seen. I am ridiculously excited about this.
As Owen implied in his tomato speech, I am old. But as I know, he was teasing me because he can and because he loves me and because this is how we are. I tease him about being young and he teases me about being old. And in some way, we both know that our hearts are the same age.
At least that's what I tell myself.
And it's going to make my heart happy to sit on my couch and be warm and cozy and pick up my knitting after I eat and watch these gorgeous (mostly) women talk about their lives and their work which absolutely gave life to the soundtrack of my life. The most joyful, ethereally transcendent, dancing moments of it anyway.

And there you have it.

Love...Ms. Moon


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Another Heart Day


Oh my goodness! What a full day! And although Lily has not had a good one (more on that in a minute), I've had fun and there has been sweetness.
Jessie texted this morning asking if anyone wanted to go to the Jr. Museum and I decided that yes, I did want to go. Getting out and being with the kids and their mommies and seeing the animals and being in the beautiful outdoors sounded perfect. Lily offered to drive me if I came by her house on the way and so I did and we met Jessie and the boys.
Look at Levon walking! He is our sturdy little toddle-legged human. Maggie keeps saying, "Levon is so cute!" I do believe she may have heard this word a time or two in her life.
Another friend of Jessie's who has a little girl and a boy the same ages as Levon and August met us there and it's a bit tricky, catering to the needs of two one-year-olds, a two-year old, and two three-year-olds. But of course we visited the old caboose.


And the old schoolhouse.


August ready to give a lecture on bulldozer-repair. Or Socratic Thought. Or strategies on winning the Iditarod. Or something. 

We visited the snakes. 



Levon and this oak snake (or was it a rat snake?) had some sort of Vulcan mind-warp communication going on. They were both fascinated by the other. 

Our path into the animal habitats was blocked due to flooding and so we decided to let the kids play on the playground and eat our lunch. This we did. Much merriment and enjoyment. And then, suddenly, Lily began to feel not good. As in...her stomach was very much not happy. 
What followed was the sudden onset of gastric symptoms and I drove us home, wishing desperately that I could do something to ease her distress. She may be a grown woman with three children of her own but I am still her mommy and and still feel that I need to DO SOMETHING to make things better.
I could do nothing to alleviate her discomfort but I could take Maggie and go pick up the boys at the bus stop and that's what I did. And then we came back to Lloyd where I think everyone had a very good time. Maggie played with toys and her dollies. Gibson and Owen played Wii. I short-order cooked, making everyone snacks. Maggie helped me collect the eggs and when she wanted me to cook her one, I did. 



She liked it so much that she wanted another one and I cooked her another one because who could say no to Maggie when it comes to cooking an egg or two?

It was good to have the kids over for a few hours. I feel more and more like Owen and I are quite seriously bonded for life. We had some good conversations and he is pretty wise for a nine-year old child. We were sitting in the dining room at the table and I was shuffling a deck of cards for us to play Battle and I pointed at the baby-walker in there and said, "Well, I guess it's about time for me to get rid of that."
"You never know," he said. "May might have a baby or Jessie might have another."
"You're right," I told him. "But Vergil thinks they should only have two children."
"I've heard that," he said, as solemn as a fifty-year old. "But it seems like in these situations, the girl usually gets her way."
"You're right about that, dude," I said, as I started dealing the cards. 

Jason came in before we really got very deep into our game but Owen was already whipping my butt. As he usually does. And so now they've gone home and before they left, I kissed all of them in the car and Maggie called me back for another hug and I so gladly gave it. 
Mr. Moon has gone to a Ducks Unlimited dinner meeting in Tallahassee and tomorrow he is flying to Tennessee to go hunt with one of his oldest friends and will be driving back a car he bought for a customer on Monday. He's packed and will be leaving the house at four in the morning to fly out. 

It's supposed to freeze tonight. Wasn't it so hot I didn't want to work outside about four days ago? Haha!
I've covered up the porch plants again. 
I so hope that Lily feels better quickly. 

Another thing that Owen and I talked about was how I used to help him learn his numbers with playing cards and how my grandmother used to do that with me. 
"And so you're going to have to do that with your grandchildren," I told him.
"That's going to be a long time from now," he said. "Like fifty years."
"Yep,"' I told him. "And the time is going to go by so much faster than you can even believe."
"I know," he said. 
But he doesn't. 
But he will. 

Love...Ms. Moon




Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Why I Need Eyeshadow


I just don't have it in me tonight.
My life seems pathetic and small, the same two songs repeating endlessly on Hell's iPod.
I felt okay this morning. I took a small but decent walk and got things done around here and then decided to go to town to shop for make-up.
Yeah. I know.
But it's sort of part of my ritual before I go to Cozumel. I like to put on make-up every night when we go out and when I say "make-up" I mostly mean eye make-up because I'm under no illusions or delusions that anything I put on my face is going to change much in the way I look. I just like decorating my eyes, I guess. I distinctly remember the first time we visited the island and I bought some lovely water-proof eyeshadow that came in pencil form, blues and teals, and I loved it. It was all part of the experience, somehow, even though there is not much glamorous about Cozumel and it was far less so then. A diver's destination with a few very loud and very hot and very fun bars and some wonderful restaurants but not a whole lot more. Well, of course there were the ruins and the lighthouse and yes, a disco. I think there were actually two discos but I only ever went to one.
Scaramouche.
Ay! It was wonderful!
So much dancing.

But back to today.
First I went and bought a new pair of walking shoes because the ones I've been using simply are not adequate. They are very comfortable but offer no real support or cushioning. I might as well be walking barefoot. So. Got those.
Then I went to one of those cosmetic places that's spread out in maybe a quarter of an airplane-hanger-sized store where you can not only buy products but also get make-overs AND/OR get your hair cut and I drifted around, looking for just one beautiful eyeshadow palette compact with blues and greens and golds and silvers and pale, pale blue.
Forget it.
Almost everything I found was "neutrals."
WTF? If you're going to put stuff on your eyelids, why use neutral shades? My eyelids already are neutral shades.
I wonder where Brenda gets her eyeshadow. She is my make-up hero. She is not afraid of color or of glitter and I love her for that.

Yesterday before I went to Costco I tried to start getting in the swing of things by doing a little eyeliner and shadow and August asked me where I got my blue eyes. I told him that I'd put on some make-up.
"Why?" he asked. Of course.
"Because I wanted to look pretty. Does it look pretty?"
"Yes," he said.
"Thank-you," I said.
It says a lot about me that a compliment which was practically coerced from a three-year old made me feel good.
But it did.

Anyway, I didn't buy a damn thing at the cosmetic place although I did spray a little Chanel Gabrielle on my wrist as I walked out for no apparent reason. I like it. I've been sniffing my arm all afternoon and it still smells nice.
I might actually buy some of that.

Goodness. What has happened to Ms. Moon?
Nothing. Nothing at all.
I just like being a little bit different in Mexico. And I am.
For two weeks I do not lift a finger.
I do not cook or clean or do laundry. I do not garden or do yard work or chicken-tend nor even fill up a cat-food bowl although I will admit that I do give treats to the hotel cat, Bagheera. I love giving Bagheera bits of fish we've brought home from restaurants or cheese that we buy at the grocery store. Because we do shop. I love to shop at the Mexican grocery stores and at the Mercado. We always buy yogurt drinks and mangoes and cheese and crackers and avocados and cookies.
And beer and rum and Coca Cola and limes.
Beyond this, I am not in charge of any household duties. I am not responsible for anyone or anything except for my own self. My husband is in charge of driving, of getting the ice for our sunset drinks, for dealing with all of the money situations. He pays the tabs, he exchanges dollars for pesos, he leaves the tips.
And in turn, I am his girlfriend, his wife, his love. I dress up for supper. I put on make-up and my silver jewelry, much of it which I have bought in our thirty-one years of visits. I can be silly and foolish and ridiculous. I can weep over sunsets and the perfect guacamole and the colors of the water and the sweetness of the people and how much I love my husband.

So. That's why I wanted some new eyeshadow.

Waterproof.

I guess I managed to find something to write about, even if it was only make-up.
Sort of.

Time to figure out supper. And when I say "figure out" I mean what I'm going to cook. In sixteen days that will mean "where shall we dine tonight?"

I still can't believe it.

Love...Ms. Moon





Monday, December 3, 2018

I Don't Know Shit, Part 4978


When I woke up this morning, the sun was actually and truly shining. In fact, it was illuminating the little Japanese Maple tree in my back yard. That is not the greatest shot in the world but you can get an idea. Here's another and again, not a good photo but you can see the light in the leaves.


I had not seen any of my grandchildren since Friday so of course I had to see them today. We concocted a trip to Costco because you ALWAYS need something at Costco, even if it's just a ten-gallon-sized bag of onions or a giant block of cheese. 
Am I right? 
So I met Jessie and the boys and Lily and Maggie and we got two carts. One for the children (Levon was asleep in his car seat carrier) and one for actual groceries. Maggie and August were delighted to see each other and wanted very much to sit together and so they did. 


Are they not the most gorgeous of children?


Together their cuteness quotient seems to multiply by five hundred percent. Their conversations, their interactions are the most precious things I've ever seen in my life.


Before we went into the coldy room, I wrapped them up in my sweater. August was helping Maggie cover up and I'm not sure what Ms. Mags was upset about. Something. She got over it. 
It is one of the greatest joys I have ever known to be a part of these children's lives. It is a sweetness that I never expected nor imagined possible. The love I feel for all of my grandchildren is so often overwhelming that I don't quite know what to do with it. And yet, it's different than what I felt for my own children which was also astonishing to me in its depths and reality. I can't explain it but sometimes I feel as if I was put here on earth to absolutely fill each one of them with as much love as I can while I am here. Ideally, enough to last their lifetimes. As a parent, I was so busy simply taking care of the children's daily needs, the unceasing scheduling of trying to keep a home, of feeding everyone, of getting everyone where they needed to be, of providing for immediate needs of love and attention, of doing laundry and tending to sick kids and attending teacher-parent conferences and the endless lessons and performances and competitions of ballet and karate and softball and volunteering in their classrooms and just trying to be a halfway decent mother (which I never felt as if I was even halfway capable of) that sometimes I missed the pure, holy miracle of watching them grow and develop into themselves and change and become exactly who they were. 
But with my grandchildren, I have the perspective and the leisure, too, to observe, to note, to cherish, to encourage, to have fun with, to sit down any time to read a book with, to have long, deep conversations, to mostly just love and sometimes to spoil and make them feel as if they are the princes and princess of my world. 
And it is glorious. 

We went to Japanica. August wanted extra tofu in his miso soup. And he got it. 



Maggie loved her soup too but was happy with the regular amount of tofu.


Levon? If it's food, he wants it. And he wants to do it himself. 

After our lunches, we went into Big Lots for Jessie to check out the mattresses. Vergil is making the boys bunk beds and soon they will be ready for the mattress part of the situation. And then we went to the Goodwill bookstore where I must admit I let the mommies take care of the babies while I drifted about the store looking for books to take to Mexico. At one point I heard one of my daughters say, "Where's Mom?"
"She's deserted us," said the other daughter. 
This, too, is part of being a grandmother. I can let the mothers deal with their children while I make myself scarce. 
It does not suck. 

And so that was my day. 
Oh! I forgot to mention my trip to the post office where my bathing suit did arrive. It fits in that it is made of stretchy stuff and contains my body in a modest way, although I look like hell in it. Let's face it- I would look like hell in anything. So. Whatever. I'll keep it. 
Not only was my bathing suit delivered, but also a meat grinder which Mr. Moon had ordered for processing deer meat and making sausage. 
The post mistress hefted the box it was in to the window and said, "I'm not sure this is going to fit through."
It did. But my god that thing was heavy. 
I insisted that I could carry it and so I did. But I have to tell you that before I even got to the door I was thinking, "I really should not be doing this." 
It's huge. It's made of lead. Or something professional. Definitely not plastic. 
And now it's unboxed and gleaming, sitting on my kitchen island and I have a feeling that my kitchen is never going to be quite the same again. Mr. Moon is actually planning on making sausage tonight. It's seven o'clock. He will be up until the wee hours. 
Trust me. 
He's watched the video and knows what he's doing. 
God love him. 
I do. 

And one more picture. 


This is ONE of the nests in the hen house where the chickens roost. I have eleven grown chickens and eight (hopefully) young ones. There are six nests in that hen house. And in this one nest there are six mature chickens including Liberace who is huge AND the eight chicks. 

Sometimes I think that chicken life is so much simpler than human life. 
And then something like this happens and I realize that it's not really simple for any of us here on this planet and that is what it makes it all so beautifully mysterious and endlessly curious. 

Love...Ms. Moon