Saturday, June 23, 2018

Nothing New And That's Okay


This is the note I found this morning when I got up at the shameful hour of nine o'clock.
Oh my! How I love my fishermen!
When Mr. Moon got home I asked him how the adventure had gone.
"The best," he said. "Just the best."
Aw.
I think Owen must have enjoyed it too.


He caught that bass all by himself from cast to bringing it in. 

He was such a joy to have here last night. He ate his whole salad and a hamburger and when it was time for bed I asked him if he wanted me to read to him and...he did. 
My heart was happy. 
We read an old favorite. 


I personally find the book a little disturbing and have never been quite sure of the message, if indeed there is one, but I've been reading this book to Owen his entire life. All the rest of the kids like it too and August always asks for it. If I had a nickel for every time I've read it I'd have enough money to buy a new Johnny Was dress, not even on Ebay or from Goodwill. 
And that's a lot of money. 

Anyway, I hear that Owen had two sips of the cup of coffee his Bop fixed him and that was enough of that. But they had breakfast at the Waffle House and lunch at a Denny's inside a truck stop so I'm sure it was a near-perfect day. And now Owen and Gibson are at Uncle Hank's to spend the night and the amount of fun that they'll be having there is going to be absolutely without comparison. 



Hank just posted this picture on Facebook with the comment, "He said he was worried it was going to be boring here but instead it is fun!" 

Oh Lord. Things could get wild. 

How could anything involving Uncle Hank be boring? I mean, seriously. 

So what have I done today? 
Well. Practically nothing. 
Lazy, lazy, lazy. 
And sweet. 
I spent some time just watching my chickens after I let them out this morning and gave them some scratch. I love my chickens. Bet you weren't aware of that. I had to laugh at tiny Violet who was pecking at the new chickens to establish her rights over the corn because she's about half their size but they obeyed her and backed off to scratch somewhere else. The rest of the big chickens don't seem to mind the new ones one bit but Violet's a banty and as such, a bit wild. 
I'd say crazy but that's unfair. She's just who she is. 

I worked on Maggie's dress a tiny bit. I picked a few vegetables from the garden including one rather alarmingly-sized cucumber. 
Ants and mosquitoes and a yellow fly bit me while I was at it. 
Mr. Moon hung the new chicken feeder and drinker up for me and he got approximately forty mosquito bites (no hyperbole) even though he'd sprayed with repellent. It's maddening. 

When I was in the garden I looked up into the sky and saw a beautiful swallow-tail kite drifting high, high above. I've seen so many of those majestic birds this year, usually in pairs. I love the way they float on air exactly like a kite, turning this way and that to catch currents and thermals.
Here's a good link about them from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology where it says, "...at times they soar very high in the sky, almost at the limits of vision." 
Isn't that just a poem? 

And so it goes today. Slow and easy, not getting fussed about much unless it actually pierces my skin in search of my blood. We have to take days like this, I think, where we slough off whatever it is that we don't need like a pretty little green anole shedding its old skin so that we will be more suitably fitted for whatever lies ahead. 

Well, it's a theory. 

And I have a million of 'em. 

Love...Ms. Moon










Friday, June 22, 2018

Holding Tightly



I don't want to talk about the fear today. Or the terror. Or the evil. Or the ghastly realities of it all.
No. I really don't want to.
I'd rather say that I took that picture last night of my beautiful rooster-in-training with his wings over two hens, Apricot and either Vera or Viv. I can't tell them apart.
Look at the colors on that bird! He is otherworldly, he is of another time. He is gorgeous.

I just woke up from a tiny nap and when I went out to the kitchen I found a note informing me that Mr. Moon and Owen had gone to go get crickets. They are going to get up early, early tomorrow morning to go fishing on a lake and need the crickets for bait. Boppy is going to make Owen a cup of coffee (don't tell Lily) which will no doubt be 90% milk and sugar, but still- coffee. So grown up. Mr. Moon's daddy did the same for him when he was eight years old but instead of going fishing, they were going to go move a mule or something involving a mule and my husband has never forgotten that and he wants to give that memory to Owen. They went shopping together yesterday for a new reel for Owen and I would not want to have to lay a bet on which of them is more excited, although I think the money might be on the grandfather.

I went shopping today with Lily and Owen and Magnolia for camp stuff. Shorts and shirts and underwear and socks and pajamas and bug spray and so forth. Gibson was at his aunt and uncle's house, playing with the Darling Lenore. While we were in Target, it began to pour rain. It thundered down on the roof of Target and all of us raised our eyes upward. It was so loud that we would not have been surprised to see the ceiling simply collapsing, allowing that sky flood to have its way with the mannequins, the clothing, the pharmacy, the check out lines, the Starbucks, the toys and books and electronics and housewares and all of it, washing it all useless, us too.

Then we went to Midtown Pizza where May works, to say good-bye to Jessie and August and Levon although they are only leaving for a week. Still. My heart aches at the thought although honestly, Vergil needs more time than that with his family on the cool and shady mountain where he grew up, to be part of all of that again and those boys need love and kisses from their mountain kin.
Levon is suddenly running a temperature but not very fussy. Jessie debated about taking him to the doctor but decided against it. Odds are that he's got a virus and there's nothing to do except nurse him and watch him and hold him. He was happy, despite the fever, grabbing at whatever food he could grab, happily gnawing away at a piece of pizza crust. Maggie and August sat together companionably and shared conversation and stickers and pizza and when we were leaving, they hugged and kissed so sweetly that all of us melted and said, "Awwww..."
The little blonde curly-headed cousins. They could (and are now) being mistaken for twins, simply on the basis of their hair.
Did I get one picture?
No. Because I forgot to bring my phone in.

While Jessie was trying to eat a salad and hold both babies on her lap, I said, "Give them to me" and she did and because his brother was sitting on my lap, August happily did too, and I sat there, sharing pizza crust with Levon, able to bend and kiss one head and then another and thinking, "This is. We are. I am. I love," and it was a silent poem prayer of gratefulness for all of my children and my grandchildren and for Rachel who was with us too and for Gibson, who was with Lenore, and for my husband, who was working, and for all of our sweethearts and for all of us and how lucky we are, how fucking blessed to have what we have which is not great wealth or riches but simply the opportunity to live without fear of being torn from each other and to be able to reach out and hold and touch and kiss each other, to want to do these things because we are family and we can pass on memories of a cup of real coffee at the age of eight and fishing and checking for eggs and eating MerMer's pickles and loving and being loved, being loved, being loved.

That's all any of us want if we have the sense to know it and it's not too much to ask and it's a sin to deny it to anyone because of race or creed or color or belief or gender or gender identity or geography of birth or ability or anything at all. We are humans. We are mammals. We are animals. We are created of stardust, we are part of this earth and its life and as such, we have the right to struggle along with all of the apes and the birds and the trees and the lizards and the fishes and the insects and all of the sentient beings to make our way as best we can on this tiny water rock as it flows through the cosmos carrying us with it.



All right.
That's all.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon






Thursday, June 21, 2018

Another Day

First things first, here's a picture of the Body Glide which I use to prevent chafing while walking. 


It works quite well if you remember to use it. 

Secondly, is anyone getting email notifications of comments from your Blogger blog? Because I'm sure not and it's annoying. 

Third- this is me:


I almost feel as if I should make that my permanent header. 

So. Another day, another opportunity for Donald Trump and/or his minions to do something which none of us can believe. And when I say "us," I mean people who think as opposed to people who gave that shit up a long time ago.

Today was his wife's day to do something that absolutely no one either understands or can believe. 
I almost Snoped it when I first saw it. 
I'm sure y'all have all seen this but here you go.

That's Melania on the left wearing the jacket you see on the right. She was on her way to visit a detention center in Texas. 
Fuck me, Jesus. I really don't even know the questions to ask about that. 

We haven't discussed the Space Force Trump wants to build. Create? Whatever. We can't afford to deal with Flint's water or Puerto Rico or provide universal health care or decent public education but goddammit! We gon' be the most powerful Space Force in the whole world! 

Beam me up, Scotty. I can't deal with this shit.

The bottom line here is that obviously, Trump has lost his fucking mind if he ever had one. I'm pretty sure he never had soul but he may have had a defective sliver of a mind at one point. 
That's gone. 
 I feel like I've asked this question a billion times but WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET HIM OUT OF OFFICE? 

Hey. I think it might be raining. Yes. Yes it is. Not much. But it's something. 

I've spent the entire day in Lloyd. Didn't even go for a walk. I've been working on a dress for Magnolia June and you know I love doing that. 



I got a very short but sweet visit from Jason and the kids today. Maggie was wearing a dress I made her last summer and it was so cute although she's about to grow out of it. Gibson walked into the kitchen and said, "Mer, can I have some pickled okra?" and I made the mistake of leaving the jar out on the counter and he ate all but one. I believe Owen helped him.
It wasn't a big jar but it was the last jar. 
Owen wanted to go see what was growing in the garden and so we did and as usual, the first thing Maggie did when she got here was to go and wake up one of her dollies. 
Owen's going to camp in a week or so and tomorrow we're going to go camp shopping. It's a camp for kids with epilepsy and I'm thrilled he'll get to go. They do all the usual camp stuff but he'll finally get an opportunity to talk to kids his own age who have seizures too. Not that he's had any in a long time but we know that if he stops taking his medicine, he will, and he's aware that he's had them and could have them again and they must seem so mysterious and weird to him. 
I love that boy so much. 
He's going to be as tall as I am before next year. I swear he is. 

That's been my day. Fretting and sewing and feeding chickens and also I made a chess pie. I had some pastry dough leftover from when I made the coconut cream pie and it was use-it-or-lose-it day. That's such a stupid excuse for making a pie. 
Do you know what a chess pie is? It's a pie made with eggs, butter, sugar, a tiny bit of cornmeal, vinegar, and vanilla. 
Period. The end. 
And it's just a little bit of heaven. 

Koko died today. I'm sad about that. She was forty-six and I take it that that's a ripe old age for a gorilla. She was definitely a celebrity and she stole all of our hearts at one time or another and taught us a lot we did not know about gorilla intelligence and ability and emotions. She also met a lot of celebrities but still, her life made me sad because she never got to live in the wild and no matter how much she was loved and well-tended, she did not live the life she was truly born to lead. And she was never able to have babies although she appeared to have an abundance of maternal instinct. 
Well. 
Bless her heart. As a human being I feel so incredibly honored to be related to the great apes. I'm pretty sure that they don't feel that great about being related to us as we do everything we can to completely wipe out their natural habitats and indeed, their complete various species with our human greed and unconcern for anyone and any thing not of our tribe. 

One last thing- I got to talk to one of my oldest friends today on the phone. Actually, I guess she IS my oldest friend. We met in the sixth grade so, yeah. 
We spent most of the time talking about how much we hate Trump and how we cannot believe that anyone could be so purely evil and how anyone could possibly support him. 

It smells of rain and wet dirt, and thunder is rolling across the sky and shaking the very earth. 

Love...Ms. Moon

















Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Baby Step For Precious Babies

So, well, Donald Trump signed "something" which somehow stops the policy of separating families at the border and you know as well as I do that he had no idea what he was signing but he seemed to finally grasp that even tyrants can't get away with concentration camps for children.
For very long, anyway.
And let me say- I say his name. I speak it. I am not afraid to name this monster. Fuck that shit. I'm not superstitious. Okay, maybe I am but not about this. He ain't Voldemort and the utterance of his name has no magical powers.
Donald Goddam Trump.
And that's how I feel about that.

But now the questions remain of course on how we get these families reunited which have already been so cruelly separated and in what sort of facilities are the intact families going to be held?

This all remains to be seen but I have been heartened today by hearing an interview with a border guard who quit his job when he was told to tell some siblings that they were not allowed to hug each other.
"No," he said. "You can tell them that but I will not."
It is also heartening that Steve Schmidt, a prominent Republican strategist, has quit the party calling it "corrupt, indecent and immoral."
Article here.

Perhaps people are finding their souls and their balls. Of course some people have neither.
What in hell is Sarah Huckabee? She certainly doesn't appear to be human. Where do they find these soulless white bitches in the Trump administration?

So. Yeah. Things appear to be happening. Here in Lloyd what's happening is the heat. Sorry to repeat myself. I'm still just not used to it.



Anyone wearing jeans in this heat deserves to die. 

Every summer it comes as a shock. We're not getting our afternoon rains to cool things off and I came to the absolute realization that walking five miles on asphalt, even on a mostly-shaded canopy road is tantamount to a death wish.
Really.
No.
I can't do it.
Not the seven miles, not the six miles, not the five miles. Today I think was the worst. Honestly, if there had been any way to get out of that last mile I would have done it. However, there was not and so I walked it and then I got in my car, turned the AC up to freezing, drank my ice water and drove to the Wacissa where I got out of my car, unloaded the pockets of my cargo shorts, walked to the water and dove in, full mermaid.
It was arguably the most heavenly experience I've ever had which did not involve a newborn. I could feel every molecule in my body screaming in profound relief and joy.
That may have saved my life.
I hung out a little while and sat in the cold water and watched kids jumping off the rope swing, listening to their bragging banter. One of the things I love about the Wacissa is that absolutely no one batted an eye when an old scarlet woman got out of a scarlet car and jumped into the water wearing all her clothes. And I wouldn't have cared in the least if anyone had.
What I was wearing was the least of my concerns. The fear of death by heatstroke (which is not funny) rated a lot higher.

And after all of that and coming home and eating my lunch and cleaning up a bit, I went to town to pick up a prescription and go to Joanne's fabrics which always triggers the hell out of my anxiety and I do not know why. I was determined to get a pattern and fabric to make Maggie a dress and after about four thousand hours, I finally managed to achieve that goal.
Also, while I was there studying the juvenile prints, my thighs suddenly appeared to burst into flames and I realized that I had forgotten to wear my Body Glide this morning on top of everything else. Why it took a couple of hours for my tender thighs to suddenly start to burn and hurt is a mystery to me but it did.

Here's what I picked in the garden tonight.


Not a very impressive harvest, eh? 
Well, that's okay. I'm going to figure out a menu for tonight which involves some of those vegetables. 

And here's Mick's butt. 


Look at those tail-feathers! Let's hear it for golden seal, the miracle and magical herb which all good witches should have in the medicine bags they keep tied around their waists made from the testicles of their enemies. 
Mix it with a little Neosporin which they allow anyone to buy at the CVS and you won't even need to chant an incantation. 
I promise. 

Love...Ms. Moon








Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I Said "Give Him To Me" And They Did

My day started early as I got up and drove to town to get my blood drawn for a doctor's appointment I have next week. I've been freaking about this, as those of you who know me would imagine, and have been since the appointment was made six months ago but today I was as calm and cool as can be and I have no idea why. I don't mind getting my blood drawn at all. It's not needles or anything like that which causes so much medical anxiety. It's more the fact that the blood which is drawn is going to tell people things that I don't even know.
I have just about given up trying to figure out why going to a doctor (or dentist for that matter) is the hardest thing in the world for me. It's just the way it is and I have no doubt that something happened in my childhood which would explain it but I don't know what that was and have no memory of anything that was too horribly traumatic. But the fact remains that I cannot bear the thought of anyone (even my beloved new GP) examining me. It's hard. My body's secrets are mine and mine alone, or at least that's how it feels to me.
Whatever.
First world neurosis problem.

But this morning went fine and I even cracked a few jokes in the tiny packed waiting area that caused some people to look up from their phones and laugh. There was a mother and her darling daughter and they were doing educational things on Mom's phone and I couldn't help but eavesdrop and watch as the smart little child could attribute letters to sounds and I'm sure I was smiling in that gushy I'm-A-Grandmother way when I looked across to the woman sitting there who was about my age and she had the same look on her face and our eyes met and we both knew what we both were feeling.
It was a sweet moment in time.
My phlebotomist was no nonsense and she had that blood drawn before I knew the needle had entered my vein. She was amazing. And I told her so.
"Thanks," she said crisply, as she undid the rubber tourniquet, put a bandage and a pressure wrap thing on me and threw away the stuff that needed throwing away. She didn't have time for niceties. I'm sure I was simply one more faceless vein in her day and that was fine with me because no one goes to get their blood drawn hoping to form a deep and personal bond with a clumsy phlebotomist.

After that I joined Lily and Jessie and their kiddos at the main library for Baby Time. It was a hoot. I knew it would be. So many beautiful babies and their mothers. Babies everywhere! All the babies! And some grandmothers, too.
Owen and Gibson were not feeling it. Owen was okay and didn't complain but sat in the back and read some books.


But Gibson? 
Not so much. 


Poor child. 
Of course, Baby Time is not really for the babies at all. It's to get the mothers out of the house and into an environment where baby behavior is not only socially acceptable but appreciated. Here's what August and Maggie were doing during at least 80% of the song-singing and story reading.


August had kicked back in Levon's seat and Maggie was trying to buckle him in. That child has never met a buckle she did not want to fasten. And she does fasten them. And unfastens them. It's one of her many talents. 

At one point I took Levon and followed Gibson out to where the books are and we all went into the play room. 


I do believe that Levon is truly beginning to know me and when he sees me and he grins one of his great big baby grins, my heart is so happy. 

There were more adventures today, mostly with Levon and August and Jessie. August was having a Mer day which is rare and lovely. When we went into the coldy room at Costco he said, "Hug me up!" as he shivered his little body. And of course I did. 

It was a good day although the heat has suddenly hit us full force like a hammer from the gods. I took a screen shot of yesterday's weather and found it most interesting that Monticello, which is the closest town to Lloyd, had the highest heat index of the whole area. 


And I am not tolerating it well. My walk yesterday was only five miles and I felt as if I could not have gone one step further than I did. 

But what can one do? I am as unable to control the weather as I am to control what's going on with these children who are being taken from their parents. And I have thought of them every moment of this entire day. And my anger at the monster who is in the White House and at those who support him and at those who do his bidding grows exponentially every one of those moments.

When Hank was very young, about six months old, I had a miscarriage. At the age of twenty-two I had somehow managed to get pregnant not long after he was born but I lost that baby. And to be honest- I was still so vastly and romantically and practically in love with my first-born that I couldn't even imagine having another baby so soon. And so when I began to bleed and had to go to the hospital because the bleeding was intense, I was mostly upset about having to be separated from my already-here baby, Hank. He was entirely breastfed up to that point and we had not been separated (by my own choice) for more than an hour in those six months. 
The whole story of the miscarriage and how the hospital handled it is long and complicated but the short version is that I had to stay in the hospital overnight before I could get a D and C the next morning. And at that time, the policy of the hospital was that children could not spend the night with a parent, breastfeeding or not. 
And I cried in complete agony and despair that entire night. Not because I'd lost a baby that I'd never really wanted to begin with (and go ahead and judge me if you want) but because I knew that my precious child was crying because he did not have his mama. 

I'll never forget that. And I'll never forget the complete joy I felt when I woke up from the anesthesia and the first thing I said was, "Where's my baby?" and they said, "He's here with your husband," and I said, "Give him to me," and they gave him to me and I put him to the breast and we both dissolved into bliss. 

There. 
That. 
That's all I can say tonight without breaking down entirely. 

Donald Trump is a monster and we have let him take control of the lives of the innocent. 

May this end soon, one way or another. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Monday, June 18, 2018

I Don't Know What We've Become


Last night when I went to close the hen house up after the usual head count, this is what I found and I swear- I almost died with the love. Remember when Mick used to put his wing over Trixie at night? I haven't seen him do that cuddling since she died but last night, he had Darla cuddled up next to his side and it was not for warmth. In fact, the thought of sleeping in that hen house with a feathered wing flung over me sort of makes me want to die but then again...the sweetness. 

Let's talk about my new header photo. Someone posted it on Facebook along with this poem:

Home

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.

your neighbours running faster
than you, the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind
the old tin factory is
holding a gun bigger than his body,
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one would leave home unless home
chased you, fire under feet,
hot blood in your belly.

it's not something you ever thought about
doing, and so when you did -
you carried the anthem under your breath,
waiting until the airport toilet
to tear up the passport and swallow,
each mouthful of paper making it clear that
you would not be going back.

you have to understand,
no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land.

who would choose to spend days
and nights in the stomach of a truck
unless the miles travelled
meant something more than journey.

no one would choose to crawl under fences,
be beaten until your shadow leaves you,
raped, then drowned, forced to the bottom of
the boat because you are darker, be sold,
starved, shot at the border like a sick animal,
be pitied, lose your name, lose your family,
make a refugee camp a home for a year or two or ten,
stripped and searched, find prison everywhere
and if you survive and you are greeted on the other side
with go home blacks, refugees
dirty immigrants, asylum seekers
sucking our country dry of milk,
dark, with their hands out
smell strange, savage -
look what they've done to their own countries,
what will they do to ours?

the dirty looks in the street
softer than a limb torn off,
the indignity of everyday life
more tender than fourteen men who
look like your father, between
your legs, insults easier to swallow
than rubble, than your child's body
in pieces - for now, forget about pride
your survival is more important.

i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home tells you to
leave what you could not behind,
even if it was human.

no one leaves home until home
is a damp voice in your ear saying
leave, run now, i don't know what
i've become.

~ Warsan Shire

I had never heard of Warsan Shire but it turns out that she is a British poet who was born to Somali parents in Kenya. 
It was in an issue from 2015 so the odds are good that I did indeed read it but of course, have forgotten. But I wish that every ignorant, racist asshole who claims that "illegal immigrants" who try to enter our country to suck the tit of the Big American Eagle Good Life Without Earning It deserve whatever happens to them up to and including having their babies snatched from them (that'll teach 'em!) could be forced to read this poem over and over until they get a molecule of understanding and empathy. 
If that's even possible which I doubt. 

And the picture? That stunning picture which says everything? It was painted by Kelly Latimore, an iconographer. 

I do not have the words within me to express how I feel about children and parents being separated. I just don't. The people who came down with this decision and the people enforcing it and the people who defend it are simply evil. There is no other word which comes close. There is absolutely no justification to this. None. The inborn necessity of a parent to take care of and protect their young is so strong that we humans cannot even claim unique possession of it. Creatures throughout the entire animal kingdom will fight to the very death to prevent their offspring from being taken from them. And to randomly and with malice do what is being done on our borders is the very definition of cruelty.
And evil. 
I can't even bring myself to talk about what this must be doing to the children. I feel like if I did, my soul would rip apart. 

So. That's the story of my new header. 
I have done a terrible job of trying to say what I wanted to say here tonight but look- see that rooster, holding one of his wives close? She is part of his family. And he almost died protecting her and the other hens. 
Chickens. Chickens. Domesticated birds which we rationalize eating by thinking that they have brains the size of a pea and no feelings or emotions. 
I've seen a mother hen and the way she reacted after a hawk took her baby and I will never forget that. 

This is truly how Hitler acted but we do not have the excuse that "no one knew" because yes. We do know. 

The whole world is watching. 

May we not die in shame before this situation ends. 

Call your representatives. Repeatedly. And refuse to let anyone tell you that there is one thing defensible about this. Because there just isn't. 

Love...Ms. Moon





Sunday, June 17, 2018

In Praise Of Good Daddies


You honestly cannot imagine the chaos which occurs when all five of my grandchildren show up with their parents. Oh, it would be worse if their parents weren't here. I shudder at the thought.
But seriously- from Owen's almost-nine-year-old-more-like-a-fourteen-year-old teenager's attitude down to Levon's crows of merriment, it's never a dull moment, to say the least.
I am thinking about becoming a completely different sort of grandmother. I would wear beaded dresses and lacy things on my head and really impressive jewelry and speak in an upper crust British accent and demand respect and good behavior with nothing more than my very presence. Like the queen. Or like Mick Jagger in drag. A different sort of queen but an imposing one, nonetheless.


Thank you, Jo. 

Like that. 
The children would be terrified of me instead of thinking of me as someone who is here for their own personal service and pleasure. 
"Mer! Can I have a pickled okra?"
"Mer! Can I have hot cocoa?"
"Mer!  Can you come swing me?"
"Mer! Look at this!"

And so forth. 

Sigh.

But it's always fun even though a nap afterwards is always required and thank god I am the grandmother because that means I can get a nap whereas my daughters, who have had even more demands placed on them probably do not. 
Owen actually got quite put out with his mother because she told me that I did not need to make pancakes or waffles because I'd already made biscuits, pounds of bacon, and a frittata the size of Godzilla's bicep. Not to mention the fact that Vergil had brought what he wanted for Father's Day which was a Costco sheet cake. That cake was so big that when I saw "Refrigerate" on the plastic covering, I wondered just who in hell had a refrigerator that big. It was gorgeous!


Not to mention delicious.
So yeah, pancakes or waffles were probably not necessary as our carbohydrate needs were definitely being properly taken care of without them. 
Which did not deter Owen from a fit of pique which he recovered from when I made the children's table a plate of cheese toast. The frittata did have a lot of vegetables in it and as I told Jessie, I had answered the age-old question of whether there can ever be too much spinach and the answer was "yes."
And then Gibson decided that he needed some time alone and would not come to the table. August and Maggie were pretty happy though, and all-in-all, it was a satisfactory Father's Day celebration. 





What great papas! 
Jessie made all the fellas tell us what the best and worst things about being fathers was. 
Vergil said that the worst was when August wanted to be with him when he trying to do certain projects and that the best was snuggling him and reading to him before bed. 
Right before Jason got to tell us what his thoughts were, Maggie fell off her chair and got a bump and cried and said, "I want Daddy!" and he said that the best was being wanted. And that the worst was school and sports schedules. 
Amen to that, Daddy Jason!
And Boppy? He said that the best was watching his children grow up to be such wonderful adults and the worst was knowing that he wouldn't be around for all of his children forever. 
We all teared up. That man. I kissed him on the head and said, "Well. We've seen them into adulthood. We have done our job."
Which is pretty poor comfort but was the best I could do at the moment. 

Jason and Vergil helped Mr. Moon on his bathroom project a bit. He's been working like a demon. He was cutting tile at 11:30 last night and by the time I got up this morning he'd already been to town to buy a saw blade and was back home. Here's how it's all going. 


How beautiful this bathroom is going to be! I'm so proud of him. 
That man sets his mind on something and he does it. He's done the design, he's done almost all of the work, and he's created something beautiful and practical. 
Sometimes I still can't believe I married a man like him. I can't believe I was that damn smart. 
And my daughters have gone and married men who, like their daddy, believe in supporting their families in all the ways possible. They are responsible, patient, loving, and can change diapers as well as I can. 
Jason is doing Maggie's hair these days. Which charms Lily more than he'll ever know. 
Here's one more picture of our little gathering. 


Gibson was there somewhere. We had a cuddle puddle and book reading. Mer and Bop's bed is big enough for everyone. 

And after everyone left, I took that nap. Meanwhile, Bop reports that he's got five more pieces to cut. He's pretty excited. 

It's Father's Day and that's a day which can potentially be a bit of a minefield for me. I had one daddy who I saw exactly one time after the age of five. Another daddy who abused me and probably two of my brothers and who made our family life a living hell with his paranoia, drug addiction, and pure meanness. Whose actions caused a rift between me and my mother which never could be healed not to mention about a thousand other things that he robbed all of us of which included any semblance of a happy childhood. 

But. Here I am now. Damaged but still standing, and quite capable and able to recognize and honor the good fathers I love so much. And still capable of making breakfast for many and able to laugh at chaos and madness and know that it is chaos and madness and love which, all together, are what life is all about. 

When Gibson and Owen came in the house today, I hugged them each separately and said, "Happy Father's Day. One day you will be a father and you will be a good one."
Gibson just grinned and showed Jessie the tooth he lost a few days ago and Owen said, "That's a little early, but well, okay," and sauntered off to see what was going on in the rest of the house. 
And I bet they will be fathers and I bet they will be good ones. 
Mr. Moon and I may not be around to see that day but I'm pretty sure that it's going to happen whether we're here or not. And that's the important thing. 

Here's to all the good daddies. You mean more to this world than you know. And I appreciate each and every one of you. 

Love...Ms. Moon



Saturday, June 16, 2018

Southernness


I woke up this morning and the bed felt so good and I had my pillows arranged around me as if I was being hugged by gentle feathery arms encased in smooth clean linen and I did not want to get up. I was in heaven and how could the day get any better than it was right then? 
I did get up though, of course, and when I got to the kitchen and greeted my husband I told him that I wanted to just spend the entire day in bed which piqued his interest but he knew that the chances of me being healthy and spending all day in bed were nil, plus he was anxious to get into town to rent a special tile-cutting saw for the fancy part of his bathroom project. 
And all of this has been ironic because I've had the busiest Saturday I've probably had in a long time. Laundry, of course, and plenty of it and the regular chores and then I went to Monticello to the Tractor Supply and bought a new hanging chicken feeder and a hanging chicken drinker. They are not called "waterers" they are called "drinkers". 
Now I know. 
I have given up on finding the perfect feeders and drinkers (hmmm...sounds like a description of me) but I keep spending good money on ones I don't like. We have a feeder made of some sort of metal but I fucking hate it and it doesn't work the way it should and dealing with it every morning (which I should not have to do) while the mosquitoes attack me is unpleasant to say the least. 
But anyway, blah, blah, blah. I got new ones. 
And then I went to the Winn Dixie because I believe that we are having a little Father's Day brunch action tomorrow and I needed to get things for that. Which I did. 
And then I came home and unloaded everything and took the trash and recycle stuff to the trash depot and then I did more laundry and unloaded the dishwasher and started boiling peanuts (see above) because the Winn Dixie had large bags of green ones for just that purpose and there is nothing quite as good as boiled peanuts and if you've never had them, I am sorry for you. 
You have to boil them in the saltiest water imaginable for far longer than you'd think necessary but it's worth it. 
I have also made enough angel biscuit dough for two Father's Day brunches and I've yet to start supper which is going to be shrimp and grits. 

Southern enough yet? 

Tractor supply, Winn Dixie, chicken accessories, boiled peanuts. What have I missed? Oh yeah. Angel biscuits. And shrimp and grits. 

I also spent some time today perusing old cookbooks from churches and women's clubs that I've collected over the years which contain not one salad which does not involve jello nor one casserole which does not contain cream of something soup. 
Well. This recipe contains neither but the pound of Velveeta (POUND) makes up for those glaring omissions. 


This is from the cookbook that Mr. Moon's aunt (may she rest in peace) gave to me and she circled the name of the recipe originator because he was her son-in-law. I swear to god that I really want to make this. 
First off all- a pound of Velveeta. 
Secondly- sour cream AND mayonnaise. 
Shut the front door, y'all. 
You could mix any damn thing in the world with these three items and bake it all in a casserole dish and it would be awesome. 
Squash, noodles, ground beef, tuna, chicken, rice, eggplant, corn, regular potatoes, spinach, broccoli, cabbage. Lobster and caviar and boiled eggs. Boiled peanuts. Stale bread. Squirrel and Ritz Crackers. Rabbit and saltines. Quinoa and kale. It just doesn't matter. 
The addition of a little sippin' sherry would make it both gourmet and genteel. Adding a can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom would get you a blue ribbon at the county fair. 

Needless to say, I am not making that hash brown casserole for brunch tomorrow but I absolutely must add that it was the same aunt who gave me the cookbook who passed on her recipe for angel biscuits. I will never forget a meal at her house with many relatives where the first faux pas I made was sitting in HER chair and the second was starting to eat before grace had been said at which point she probably deeply regretted giving me her recipe for the angel biscuits. 

All right. I need to go peel about a hundred shrimp the size of my thumbnail. And put on the stoneground grits which take an hour to cook. And peel and chop shallots and garlic. 
There will be no Velveeta or cream of anything in my supper tonight and I sort of wish there was going to be. Velveeta grits will bring all the boys to your front yard. It's a southern secret but I have given of it freely to you. Use this information responsibly. 
Okay? 

Love...Ms. Moon





Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday


What a good day it's been! First of all, it's Jason's birthday and I can't say enough about how glad I am that he was born. Not only did he father three of my grandchildren whom I love more than life itself, but he is the very best father to them that they could possibly have. He also loves my daughter with all of his heart and soul and that makes a mother happier than anything on this earth.
We decided to meet up at the Indian buffet for lunch but before that I took a shortish walk, just enough to bring my total of miles for the week up to twenty. I am proud of that. I will admit it.
In this heat there is a lot of mind over matter involved in these walks and in so many aspects of my life, I feel no confidence in my mind or my matter (for that matter) and so simply putting my walking clothes and shoes on and heading out to White House Road is sort of a big deal to me.
And that's enough said about that.

After my walk I took a shower and met Lily and Jason and Lauren and Owen and Gibson and Magnolia June and Hank and Rachel at Persis Indian Grill where all of the smart people gather on Friday's for the buffet. I was greeted by Maggie who kissed me and hugged me.


Those eyes. Those rosy lips.

I know. I KNOW I'm prejudiced. But in my eyes, she is simply exquisite. 

We all had way too much very, very good food. I never have the slightest clue about the names of the dishes I'm eating there but it's always good. Always. 
And after lunch we went to the Goodwill book store, of course. 
The only thing I bought for myself was the original album of music from the movie Camelot



which I saw at a very impressionable age and cried my way through. I do not know who I fell in love with hardest- Arthur, Lancelot or Guinevere. They were all so very beautiful and the story was so very, very sad and romantic. And sexy. 
Oh, Lord. No wonder I grew up with such odd ideas about what love is. 
I still say it's a fabulous movie.

Phew. That was a weird segue. 

I did buy the children books, of course, because that is the ritual and I also bought a copy of The New, Our Bodies, Ourselves, which I gave to Rachel because she'd never even heard of the book or the original and goddammit, every woman needs a copy of that. And I got her and Hank a beautiful vintage cookbook with luridly colored pictures of many foods as well as someone's handwritten menus tucked away between the pages. They are about to move in together and Rachel is a wonderful cook and Hank is a purveyor of old books in general. 


Rachel and Hank with their Goodwill booty.


And the Hartmanns with theirs. Owen blew out his flip flop. Maggie just took her shoes off. 

A few weeks ago when Jessie and the boys and I went to the thrift store downtown, I saw a beautiful old Singer sewing machine. Did I discuss this already? Ah well. 
Mind and matter. 
Etc. 
It was in a cabinet, was not a Featherweight but was one of the cast iron machines. Yes, they literally made sewing machines of cast iron. 


And I had not been able to get that dang thing off my mind so I went back today to see if it was still there, determined to buy it if it was. 
And it was. 
I sat down on a very uncomfortable piano stool set in front of it and began to really examine it. One of the things I truly loved about it was how when you flicked one of the levers, it made such a very sturdy "click" sound and felt tight and exact under my fingers. Obviously made to last through the Apocalypse. And you will note that it is threaded. It obviously needs new belts and electric cords and probably a few other things but that really does not cost too much. One drawer contained thread and machine oil 


and buttons and in another were the original manual, the original Singer attachments and the original Singer buttonholer which were all tidily packed away in their original kelly-green boxes looking almost unused as well as the beautiful little screw driver that Singer sent out with all of their machines. 
I think those were the things that made my heart clutch. 

So. I thought about it. I looked at the cabinet. It had peeling veneer at the bottoms. I attempted to lift the thing off the ground but realized that it probably weighed about as much as a cement mixer or a sperm whale. Take your pick. And I thought about my precious little Featherweight machine which has proved itself capable of anything I've ever wanted to sew and I thought...aw, no. I don't really need this. 
And I left it there. 
But it sort of hurt my heart. 
Someone will want it. Someone will come along and want that machine and will take it home and fix it up and use it for a lifetime. 
I hope, at least. 
And maybe now I can quit thinking about it. 

Jesus. I have definitely said enough here tonight and I need to get supper started. 

Pork chops, sweet potatoes, corn from the garden, and a nice salad. 
That will do nicely. 

A good supper after a good day. 

Happy birthday, Jason! 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Short And Sweet


I have had a very full day with a good walk (except for the part where I got about a million ant bites) and then two of my oldest friends dropped by and then I made a fruit crisp thing and then I went to town and met up with my husband at Jessie and Vergil's where we ate supper and two other of my friends were there and it was all glorious but now I'm so tired.
So tired.
But look at Levon. Such a happy baby. He was laughing at his Boppy.
August wanted his grandfather to read to him or play with him every second so that was a rare moment there, when he got to laugh with the brudder.
August did tell me that the dessert I made was good.
That boy loves sweets.
And his grandfather.

"Goodnight, Little Boppy," Mr. Moon said when we left.
"Goodnight, Big Boppy," August answered.

Swoon.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Kids And Food, Etc.


My pink phlox have just started blooming and the butterflies love them. That's a black swallowtail, I'm almost certain. It's a huge butterfly and even though that is not a good picture, I'm surprised I got it at all. They move so quickly.
Which, duh. They are butterflies.

Jessie brought the boys over today and I was so glad to see them. Lily had to work (sigh) and so it was just one daughter and two grandsons but it was a sweet visit. August was at the back door before I could get there from the porch when I heard the car door slam, ready to burst into the house to begin playing. Jessie said that at home he'd said, "I need some Mer lovin'" and when she told me this I asked him if he would like some Mer loving and he said, "No," and that was that. He wanted the dominoes out and his mama got them for him and set Levon down and quick as minute, that boy had pulled himself up.


He spends so much time watching August and I know that he's trying as hard and as fast as he can to catch up to his big brother. He's such a good-natured little fellow. He smiles easily and he laughs a lot. And he's constantly on the move. He's like August in that he's not a big snuggler (Maggie and Gibson definitely win that prize) but he does give baby hugs and I got one from him today.

We all put on bug spray and went out to feed the chickens some Cheerios. And then August took off to see the chickens next door and we caught up with him.


We asked if he'd like to give some Cheerios to the goats but he told us that he doesn't like goats. 
I can understand that. Their eyes are a bit creepy and they have big teeth. 
Even with the mosquito repellent we were wearing, the monsters attacked us and before we knew it August had run back to the house and was trying to get in the kitchen door. 
Smart boy. 
He impressed me greatly when we were reading a book and I asked him if a cat in a picture looked scared to him. 
"No," he said. "He look nervous."
Nervous?
Well dang. The kid was right. 


A cat who is nervous.

We had a little lunch although August did not want to eat much and before too long, Jessie decided to take those boys home to try and get them down for a nap. So everyone got loaded up and August got his going-away treat of chocolate which took away some of the sting of having to leave Mer's which he really didn't want to do. 

After they left I started thinking about a book that I used to read to my kids and it must have been from the library because I don't have it. I could not remember the name but with the help of Google I quickly found it and ordered a used copy from Amazon. 

The story and the drawings are very simple. An old woman fishes every day until sundown and then she comes home and cleans her fish and eats it and goes to bed and gets up the next day and does the same. I'm not sure why I found it so charming when I used to read it to my babies but I think I probably still will. It's sort of Zen in its message of how easy it is to be happy doing what one loves to do. 
Not everyone would agree with me, I suppose. For instance, here's a "review" I found on Amazon:

"Really short book with very few words. Pretty boring. It's only a few sentences spread out over all the pages.

My grandmother went fishing. She did X, Y, Z, and then at the end she went to bed so she could get up to go fishing the next day.

It's descriptive. The pictures are all line drawings, very simple, with not a lot of detail. There's also not a lot of detail in the story. Nothing's happening, really, except the day of a woman fishing, making herself food and then eating. That's it. This woman's life is very boring. She doesn't do anything, and she doesn't have any family or see anybody else. She just goes out and fishes."

Haha! Oh well. You can't please everyone. 

And, speaking of fish for supper, I'm about to go and cook some red snapper that my husband brought home from the Gulf of Mexico yesterday. I can't think of anything I'd rather eat. 

And oh! I must report that Mr. Moon proclaimed the coconut cream pie to be the best pie he ever ate. I tasted it and I will say that it is damn fine and that his enjoyment of it made every bit of the fussiness of making it completely worthwhile. 

I used the recipe found HERE and I think it is a very fine recipe. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Another Day Of Truly Not Knowing Anything



Six miles this morning and it wasn't so hard even though it was hot and it was humid. There are several places on my walk which are so beautiful I have to stop almost every day to just take a moment to look. This is one, the way the trees' limbs unfold in knotty embrace to sky. The pictures never do it justice but it is magnificent.

For no reason discernible the anxiety today was very high. I thought the walking would dispel it and it did, for a few minutes, but then it settled back around me like a cloud of dust which had merely blown away long enough for me to rearrange my body again.
But look. Look at this family of cattle.


I had to go to town to get some things and I did but it was hard. I recently heard another thing about breathing properly to restore the heart rate and blood pressure to a normal state and I breathed all the way to town, in and then out, the out very slowly. 
Did it help?
Oh. Who knows? I still wanted to cry. And then that makes me want to cry because I feel so weak and so ridiculous. And yet of course, I did not die. I managed to imitate a fairly normal me, I think, Hello, hello, how are you? Fine, how are YOU? Fine. Did you find everything you needed? Oh yes, thank you. Have a good afternoon. You too!
I had torn my list off the pad where I keep it but had somehow not gotten it into my purse and yet still managed to get everything on it except for fresh ginger and I can live without that for awhile. I came home and unloaded everything, put everything away, and made my husband a coconut cream pie because he's been talking about one for awhile and I thought, why not? Food is love even if it shouldn't be and sometimes when I feel that I'm not keeping my end of the love bargain, if I make him something he truly wants, it makes me feel better, at least. 

So. Busy, staying busy. Moving as constantly as possibly, doing whatever comes to hand to be done and none of that is ever truly done so it's free and endless therapy. 

Maurice is snoozing on the newspaper a few feet from where I'm writing this. Her eye looks almost completely well. Again- golden seal and neosporin. And I was giving her saucers full of milk and nutritional yeast- the hippie's best all 'round tonic. I drank it daily during each of my pregnancies along with raspberry leaf tea and I had four good strong babies and that proves nothing at all but it's what I did. 

A reader named Allison Mohr sent me some information she found in a Wikipedia article about Jungle Fowl and it's a very interesting article. I am now thinking that Hawkeye is a rooster of that variety and if what Wikipedia says is true, Jungle Fowl are actually pheasants and not chickens at all although they are all related. The bad news is that the more I read, the more I find that the Red Jungle Fowl roosters are very aggressive fighters when it comes to other roosters and so here we go again. But I sure would like to see Hawkeye grow up to look something like this. 


We will just have to wait and see who grows up to be what and who. 

And now I am so tired and need to go make supper and then, eventually, I will be able to get in bed, to curl and stretch, to read and rest. To sleep and dream, the best escape of all and yes, that which often can knit up the raveled sleeve of care. 

Love...Ms. Moon