Sunday, February 18, 2018

Let Us Have Faith

One of my miniature bouquets from what we call weeds in the yard. They charm me, these tiny flowers, these so often overlooked and never noticed small miracles that happen when we do not mow our yard.
I picked those today before I started in on my weeding but after I'd planted the onions and some garlic. I'm probably too late on the garlic but despite the vast amount of it I use in my cooking every day, I haven't been able to keep up with the bag of it I bought at Costco awhile back and it has begun to sprout so why not? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I did not get very far in my weeding. It is going to be a horrible summer for me. I simply can't take heat. It was only 80 or a little above today and that is nothing. What has happened to this Florida girl? So I came in and spent quite awhile in the library on the love couch, reading Vanity Fair magazine and just laying there with my eyes shut, drifting in and out of that pleasant place where sleep meets wakefulness, completely content to be there. Finally I got up and went out and weeded out a good strip by the fence to plant some English peas which, believe it or not, I have never planted.
Violet and Darla were inside the garden and Mick was right outside of it, keeping watch. The hens can fly into the garden over the fence but Mick, alas, cannot. Well, I think he probably could. He just doesn't know it. Camellia joined the other girls soon and they nipped at collards which are their favorite and scratched in the hay mulch for juicy bugs.

Here are the eggs I got today. Four hens. Four eggs.

I will plant the peas tomorrow if I can and suddenly, the idea of small and tender green peas delights me more than I can say. It will be an experiment. I always plant sugar snaps which are delicious raw or cooked and the children especially love them.
Before I left the garden to come in, I picked a few of the beets and some carrots and I will cook them this evening for myself with some onions and vinegar and a little bit of sugar and a few of the beet greens.

Beets and cooked carrots are two things which my husband does not like but he's at a basketball game and so this will just be for me. 
Please remind me to thin my beets and carrots better next year. Please? 
I tried but I was not nearly as brutal as I should have been. 

All right. Here's a complete change of topic. For the first time since you-know-who got elected, I honestly feel as if his term will absolutely not be completed. The Russian indictments, his handling of the shooting last week, his insane and bizarre tweets- all of it seems to me to be adding up to a shitstorm of massive proportions and I think he will either be forced to resign or will be removed from office. His behavior seems to be becoming more and more erratic and inappropriate. I am not a psychiatrist or a doctor but it appears that he truly is suffering from dementia. Or perhaps, as many have speculated, he never really wanted to be the president, he just wanted to prove that he could be and then, when he did get into the actual office, he had no idea what he was doing or how to do it (this is not speculation) and almost immediately discovered that he was in way over his head and that his usual tactics which didn't even work in the business world certainly did not work in the White House. 
Who knew health care could be so complicated?
He does not seem to me to be the sort of man who enjoys learning new things or finding himself in a situation which might require actual work, reading, study, thinking, listening, knowledge of history, or in fact, anything beyond golfing and fucking and building huge tacky towers with his name on them. 
And so he's frustrated and he's bored and the tricks he thought he could get away with during the election are proving not to be so clever after all and I seriously doubt he's getting any pussy. 
Not from his wife. That's for sure. 

The wheels of justice turn slowly but surely they do turn and it would appear to me that they have gained some traction with which to turn and Robert Mueller looks like a bulldog to me. 

And god BLESS those kids from Parkland. Are they not magnificent? They are taking their anger and their grief and they are using them to call out the NRA and the people who have been paid off by them who make our laws. They are not going to let the bullshit lay where it is. 
You know what? I think that the NRA may actually go down as well. Not entirely, perhaps, but I swear that a tide is surging of people standing up against it and saying, "No more."

So. I feel optimistic about those things. Or at least, a little bit less in despair. 

We shall see. Time will tell and all will be revealed. 
Or at least some things will be revealed. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Although to me it goes almost without saying, it should not.

My grandchildren are so happy to spend the night here not because we make purple cows or because we have good toys and good books and chickens and a play set and interesting carpentry projects and dolls and doll beds but because they have all been raised to feel completely comfortable, secure, and loved to their very bones by their parents.

They know that they can go away and come back to their mamas and their daddies and that all will be well.

You cannot feel comfortable in love unless you have been loved. You cannot feel trust unless you have never had to doubt it.

This I know to be true. Thank you, Lily and Jason, Jessie and Vergil, for raising children like this.

I see what you're doing. And I love and honor you for doing it.

Big Night In Lloyd

I have to say that August's first sleepover went swimmingly. It was rather remarkable in that he did not once ask for his parents nor was he fussy at all but instead was agreeable and apparently happy to be exactly where he was, doing exactly what he was doing.

There he is eating his mushed potatoes. While we were eating our supper we got a drop-by visit from Lon and Lis who had attended a funeral in Tallahassee. They couldn't spend the night but we were so glad to have them for the tiny little time they could hang out. August is always very gregarious around them and was so again last night. He busted into "Bah-Bah Black Sheep" for Lis and she was most impressed. He spontaneously sings this song quite frequently and usually at the top of his lungs. Our favorite part is when he sings about the "the little boy who lives in the drain." Maggie can sing this song too and I would pay a hundred dollars to get them to sing it together.

Because this was his first overnight and it was important to start a ritual and have a treat, I made him a very small version of the purple cow that Owen and Gibson love so much with a tiny bit of strawberry sorbetto (what the fuck is that?) and some grape juice. He was as happy as he could be and finished it up with a straw to get every drop.

After Lon and Lis left, he agreed to a bath and we cleaned out the bathtub from the construction debris and threw the ducks and octopi in there and ran some nice warm water.
He loved it!

Then it was time to pop him into pajamas, help him brush his teeth,

and read him some books. After three books, I told him it was time to go to bed and we searched the house for just the right bears and monkeys and so forth with which to sleep. I put him into his bed and pulled up the cover and he asked for another cover and so I got him one and I told him I loved him and that...was...that.

Are you kidding me? 

I slept in the same room so that I would be sure to hear him if he woke up and he did around three. He cried and I picked him up out of bed and said, "Don't cry, my love. You can sleep with Mer."
"No sleep!" he wailed. 
"But it's night, my darling," I told him. "Time to sleep."
"No night, no night," he cried. 
I held him and rubbed his back and then he said, "I hurting," and he stuck his leg up in the air like a ballet dancer. 
"Do you want me to rub your leg?" I asked him. 
"Yes," he said, and I did. He quieted and then I asked him if he wanted me to rub the other leg and he said yes to that too. 
And then he fell back asleep. 

I, however, could not fall back asleep because Maurice, who had taken the opportunity of me being alone in a bed to come and sleep with me, got antsy when August appeared in the bed too. I reached down where she was and patted her and damn if she didn't go full-on Maurice and bite and claw my wrist which then began to itch and swell. I finally had to get up and put some Benadryl cream on it and I don't even know when I went back to sleep but when August woke up again around quarter to eight and announced with great joy, "It DAY!" I took him to his grandfather who was slumbering peacefully and blissfully alone in our bed but who woke up and agreed to take over.  
And then I went back to bed and slept for two more hours!

When I got up, there had already been cereal and pistachio snacking but I was still committed to making bacon and pancakes. After breakfast and some playing, I asked him if he wanted to walk to the post office. He assured me that he did and I said, "Well, let's get our shoes on," and he threw his arms up in the air and shouted, "Let's do it!"
So we did.

He helped his Boppy in my bathroom for a little while when we got back. 

While that was going on I asked August if he missed his mama. 
"No," he said. 
I got the same answer when I asked if he missed his dad and his brother. Also the same when I asked him if he was ready to go home. 
No, no, no. 

I think we can safely say that August is old enough to spend the night away from home. 
Or maybe a week or two. 

Jessie and Vergil went out to supper with Levon and also to breakfast this morning! Jessie reports that they had an entire conversation! She sent this picture. 

She said that he seemed to enjoy having some time alone with Mom and Dad. 
Doesn't he just look like a BOY all of a sudden?
Lord, it won't be ten minutes until he's spending the night. 

Well, here's a video to commemorate August's first night away from home. It's sort of an interview/ wrap-up/summary of events. 

Our big little boy. He's pretty good and he sure is loved.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 16, 2018

It's So Exciting!

This boy is going to have his first sleep-over at Mer and Bop's tonight. It will be the first time he's ever spent the night away from his mama who is more nervous at the thought of this than he is, I do believe.
"There has to be a first time," I told her today. "And this will be it."

We were at Costco earlier and there were some HUGE baking potatoes. You know? Those football-sized ones?
"Do you want Mer to get you a potato like this for your supper?" I asked him.
"Yes," he said. "Mush it up." And then he demonstrated how one mushes a potato with those clever little hands of his.

I'll report in tomorrow on how things went with the mushed potatoes and so on. I think it will all go quite well.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 15, 2018

One Foot In Front Of The Other

The purple violets are blooming along the path that I walk. Because I know this path so well, I know exactly where to look for them every year and they do not disappoint me.
I walked a long way today, pushing it because I feel like pushing it these days, wanting to be stronger. There is nothing I can do about the wrinkles and age spots and sagging and the falling-off-the-bone of the flesh but I can be strong beneath it all.
Or at least, a little strong.
And then, after my lunch I got in the garden and I planted my peas and I weeded the space where I'm going to plant the onions and all of that took me so long that I was too tired to plant the onions and so I came in and am about to start dinner, which is what I do, of course.
Here is another thing I do every evening now.

I get Mr. Moon's B-12 injection drawn up and waiting for when he gets home. It's going okay. Sometimes I hit my target better than others but the B-12 always gets delivered and so far I haven't hit a bone or anything like that. He says it doesn't hurt. I hope he's telling the truth. 
I still hate jabbing that needle into his flesh. It is an action which goes against everything I feel for him- which is to always touch with love and tenderness in mind. 

Here are the pictures from yesterday. We ate at one of our favorite places. A buffet that has curries and spring rolls, tofu in many forms, delicious vegetables, everything fresh, and then that freezer full of ice cream and cheesecake and other little delicacies including a sweet daikon radish and carrot salad which is delicious. 
We ate outside and Rachel came and Jason too. 

This boy wants to eat.

Hot and sour soup. "Is it too spicy, August?"

Pretty Rachel getting her turn at squishy baby holding.

Me with a lap of babies. Maggies' beautiful new hand against my old one, her other hand around her cousin. She just loves "the baby". 

Rachel brought presents for all the children. I think August loves his. 

And that was yesterday, before everything that happened, happened. We had no idea that as we finished up our lunches and went next door to buy seeds and plants and look at the fountains and the flowers at the nursery, a madman was loading his gun. 

Here is something that gives me hope- the children who survived yesterday's shootings are old enough to give sane and credible voice to the need for changes in gun laws. And they know how to use those voices. And they are not suffering the hypocrites and bullshitters gladly or silently. Any need they may have had for that was extinguished yesterday in hails of bullets and cries for help and of agony. 
They will not forget. They are going to hold our lawmakers accountable. 
As must we. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Am Left Hopeless

Well, it's happened again and before they'd even taken the shooter into custody, the governor and president had offered their thoughts and prayers.
Seventeen dead according to the latest information.

You know what? It doesn't do one goddam thing to even discuss this. There will never be gun control in this country. We are obviously fine with trading the "right" to "bear arms" for the safety of our children. Just fine.

We've seen presidents shot, we've seen lawmakers shot. We've seen John Lennon shot. We've seen concert-goers shot and movie audiences as well. We've seen young men shot for doing nothing but living in their own black skin.
We've seen our BABIES shot and nothing has changed and what would it take and I've given up hope for the tiny scrap of sanity needed to get rid of the guns that kill the people.

We are cowboys and soldiers. We are John Wayne in both of those roles, a real he-man, and a man's man, a gunslinger, a dead-ringer for everything we call American.

We are, quite simply, fucked.
Fucked and fucking stupid and fucking crazy and fucking money-loving whores who bow down to the NRA and then rise with still-puckered lips and fat wallets to make the laws.
We are fucking afraid and we are fucking tired and we are fucking enraged and we are fucking bewildered and we are fucking terrified and we are fucking stuck in our culture, in our government, in our beliefs and in our fears.

And none of our words, our tears, our rending of garments or our calm, rational attempts to change things are working.
I have come to the point where I don't think they ever will.
Not here in the USA where the red stripes stand for the blood which has been shed which is sacred which is red for the rage of the bloodstained and the innocent, too.

I was going to post pictures tonight of our lunch today. Of babies and children. Of what the American dream is all about, which is the human dream which is the dream of enough to eat and safety for ourselves and our children, for the ability to move freely through our streets and our lives without the fear of being shot or of having our children shot at school after we send them off with a good breakfast, with kisses and I-love-you's, with a book bag packed and with homework done and with maybe a phone that when the shooting begins they can use to text us and say, "I am so afraid. There is blood everywhere. I am so afraid."

You know that in the next few weeks, there will great and deep discussions of why and how and none of that matters. We all know that. I'm sure it's already begun. No matter what you factor into the equation, it always ends with guns. And then death.

That's all. That's all I have to say.

Hold each other tight.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sometimes You Do Get Weary

I took a quick turn around the corner this morning on my walk to see what the fally-down house was doing these days.
It is falling.
Slowly, slowly. Use the tree on the right as an indicator of how much the old house is leaning. It is tired.

It was another unremarkable day in Lloyd for me. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, as we all know, and Mr. Moon has an FSU basketball game to attend so I am making our little special dinner tonight. I made my husband a heart-shaped cake today which I would post a picture of but it's almost frightening. It looks a bit like a cardiac medical experiment which went dreadfully wrong. I wanted to make it of chocolate and cherries and so I made some cherry preserves out of frozen cherries, and the cake, although smallish, has four layers with the preserves and way too much chocolate buttercream frosting between each layer which resulted, as one would predict, in some lurid scarlet drippage mixed with the chocolate frosting. The man loves chocolate and cherries, though, so I think he'll like the cake just fine, and if he laughs at the way it looks, I will not blame him one bit.
I am also going to cook some scallops and some sort of pasta and a salad from the garden.
How lucky we are.
I think of this upon the news that Trump is pushing the idea that people receiving SNAP benefits should have less actual purchasing ability but whose diet will be supplemented by government issued food boxes.

“Under the proposal,” Monday’s budget document says, “households receiving $90 or more per month in SNAP benefits will receive a portion of their benefits in the form of a USDA Foods package, which would include items such as shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish.”

Oh, great idea, USA. 
I am enraged. 

You know, these days I try very hard to just stay below the radar, to live my life the best I can, to take care of those around me with love and attention, to try and remember to be compassionate and hopeful, to speak up when speaking up is called for, to try and not add to the insanity which fills our ears, our eyes, our brains, our lives. 
To be kind. 
But goddamn it. There is just so much wrongness in what's going on and I don't even really know what to do about any of it and sometimes I just feel so fucking tired. 

Like the fally-down house. So tired.  

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 12, 2018

Those Eyes

There's Ms. Magnolia June with a somber face. She wasn't sad, truthfully. She just had a second of not smiling. This was at lunch which was just Lily and Maggie and me before Mr. Moon got there to go help us jump the battery on Lily's car which is not dead yet but is leaning ever more closely over the grave. I was going to give her a jump start but when we opened the hood of the Prius, we had no idea where the battery was and in fact, weren't sure there even was one and if there was, could it be used to give a jump to another car?

The funny thing was that just a few spaces over in the parking lot of the Dollar Tree, which is where Lily's car was, another woman tried to start her car and realized she had a dead battery too! She, however, had a Lexus. She was all about me giving her a jump but I finally said, "No. We are NOT doing that," and luckily, a young good ol' boy in a roof and gutter repair shirt used his Mercedes to start the woman's battery.
All of this, I repeat, in front of the Dollar Tree.

So that was all pretty exciting but in the end, Mr. Moon did indeed get Lily's car started and she could get to the bus stop in time to pick up Owen and Gibson who both went to school today to Lily's great relief. Then I went on to spend approximately four days in Costco and four months in Publix in order to restock my refrigerator which was getting pretty bare.

And that was my day. I did take a very good walk this gray, misty morning and I saw the two feral woods roosters which made me happy. The little purple violets are starting to bloom which also cheered me.

I tell you what's not making me happy- these damn frogs! They are so loud and so shrill that my eardrums feel in danger of suffering permanent damage.

And there's Maggie grinning at her Boppy because she was pretending that his foot was an accelerator and every time she stomped it, he made a car-starting noise. 
She is such a cherub. A hugging, kissing, patting-your-back cherub. 
And she, like August, is beginning to really sing songs. They both have excellent abilities to sing in tune. The words are a little harder, but they're working on it. 

And Levon can now roll front-to-back and back-to-front which babies are not supposed to be able to do until they are five or six months old. 
He has just turned three months old. 

Lord, I have brilliant grandchildren. 

But you knew that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

To bring you this-

It has been found!
It was upstairs in the garage (yes, The Garage Mahal has an upstairs) in a box. This would indicate that neither Mr. Moon nor I have actually seen it lately, thus proving that we were hallucinating or else we were remembering the sinks in the restroom of El Patron. 

Isn't it lovely?
Hurray for Mr. Moon!

As in so many situations, he is my hero. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Another Sunday, Another Batch Of Pancakes

Well, here it is, February 11, 2018 and it is raining nicely in Lloyd, I'm wearing short sleeves, the frogs are singing their shrill song and two mosquitoes are pestering the crap out of me. Big, fat, juicy mosquitoes.
A dozen would make a meal for a frog the size of a cat.

The Weatherfords came out this morning for pancakes and it was mighty good to see Vergil's mama. She was interested in the bathroom rebuild because she built her own house with her own hands (and a little help, I guess) and tools both power and non-. In other words, the woman knows what carpentry and design and plumbing and electricity are all about.
I joke about being Martha Stewart but Vergil's mother is better than Martha Stewart and is a musician and an artist too. Her garden is a thing of beauty and she knows how to take care of an apple orchard and goats and chickens and she once rode her bicycle all the way across the United States of America.
Despite all of that, she is down-home and friendly, sweet and funny.
Thank god, right?
She's a love and I call her my sister-grandma.
I do believe that August and Levon have been basking in the extra love. Of course as soon as August got here he had to immediately go and start playing with all of the things that he plays with here. There are rituals to be observed, the pianos to be played- both the large, regular one and the small, toy one- certain toys to be taken out and enjoyed, and of course, books that must be read.
The best thing was watching the child eat three pancakes with such gusto as to be almost alarming. Where did he put them in that tiny tummy? My pancakes are not for the faint of appetite. These had oat bran, apples, bananas, blueberries and pecans in them. But he tucked away those three before his daddy had even eaten HIS first three.
And some bacon.
Levon is really starting to look at food with great interest. I held him on my lap for awhile as we ate and he could not take his eyes off my plate. I found that with my own babies, some were extremely eager to taste real food and some just weren't that interested. May was the child who was most determined to see what food was all about and her first bite of solid food was actually a tiny piece of smoked mullet that she snatched from me as it was on its way up to my lips.
She loved it and it did her no harm.
But Levon has a few more months to go before he gets to start eating. I told him today as he was obviously lusting after pancakes and bacon that he could not eat yet because he has no teeth.
"I have teeth!" said August, forking up another bite of pancake.
"Yes, yes you do," I told him.
"Mer have teeth?" he asked.
"Oh yes," I said. "Mer has teeth."

And besides cooking breakfast, I really haven't done a damn thing today. Okay, I ironed shirts until I ran out of new episodes of Grace and Frankie to watch. Mr. Moon asked me how I liked the new ironing board cover.
"Not as exciting as I thought it would be," I told him.
No wonder they're constantly making cleaning products NEW AND IMPROVED WITH RAIN SCENT AROMATHERAPY! I mean, housework is not that thrilling and it's no wonder that fifty's and sixty's housewives got into some pretty strange territory with their cooking, especially for entertaining. I mean- hey! Those women were smart and educated, suddenly had washing machines that wouldn't take an arm or breast off in the wringer, didn't have to weave their own cloth or preserve their own garden grown produce. They got bored! And they had women's magazines which told them that things like creating a Frankfurter crown roast

or a party potato salad 

could, temporarily at least, distract them from their daily routine. 
Give a little meaning to their lives. 

Good Lord. What am I talking about?

So. Did any of y'all read this article in the New Yorker?

I read it last night and have so many conflicting thoughts about it that I don't even know where to start. I'd love to hear what others may think of it. 

And here's something you can laugh at- I just discovered today that unless Lucy is coming back from the dead to lay eggs, the eggs I thought she was laying are actually being laid by Miss Camellia who in hen years is probably about seventy-four. 
Although this makes me feel stupid and it also makes me wonder where in the world Lucy was laying her eggs if indeed, she was laying eggs, it also makes me feel better about all of the cat food and treats I give Camellia when she comes up onto the porch and pecks at me until I get up and give her something. 


That is absolutely all I have to say tonight but if you have anything you feel that you need to offer, I'll be glad to hear it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Murder Most Fowl, Dammit

Woke up this morning to the news that Miss Lucy had been murdered and half eaten in the hen house last night by an unidentified animal. I know that she was fine when I shut them up last night- I have so few hens now that I identify each one with the flashlight before I wish them good-night and shut the door. Mr. Moon searched high and low to see how the killer could have gained access to the coop or henhouse and he could not.
I just hate that. You try as hard as you can and you still can't prevent every death of your chickens. She was the last of the Ameraucanas I bought in Crawfordville last year and she was my green-egg laying girl.
You know- sometimes all you can do is say Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, and move on.
Soon the Tractor Supply will be getting chicks and everyone else that sells them, too, and I suppose I'll raise a new batch of biddies. I'm not sure where. What we had been using as a nursery, which was Mr. Moon's bathtub, has been ripped out of the wall and taken to the dump and so I shall have to figure out another arrangement. That bathroom was such a good place. It had running water right there and plenty of room to keep the chick starter and chick probiotics and chick electrolytes and we could wrap the warming light's cord around the soap dish handle for perfect placement and now I'll have to figure it all out somewhere else.
My own bathroom is still in a state of disrepair as well. Mr. Moon wants to do some work on the vanity that the sink is in before he puts that all back together and I think it's going to take awhile. He dried out the insulation behind the sink with a fan for the past 24 or so hours but there's going to be some carpentry AND plumbing involved.
Many years ago, Mr. Moon bought me a Talavera sink that looked sort of like this:

We had planned to put it in the house in Apalachicola but he decided to surprise me and put it in my bathroom when he fixed it all up. He went in search of it, feeling certain that he'd seen it lately...somewhere. 
But he could not find it. 
He finally asked me if I knew where it was. Now the funny thing is, I, too, feel as if I've seen it somewhere. It's in a box. But damn if I can remember. And I've searched high and low in all of the places I think it could be and I cannot find it either. 
This rather pisses me off because it is such a beautiful sink and oh! how I'd love to start using it right away. I've even silently said the St. Anthony prayer twice. Do you know it? 
"St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come down. 
There is something that's lost and must be found."
Hey! Sometimes it works! 
So far, not this time. 
Perhaps St. Anthony is too busy looking for our sanity, peace of mind, compassion, understanding, and acceptance to be bothered helping me look for a bathroom sink, even if it is an exceptionally beautiful sink. 

Well, maybe it will turn up. 

After I did all of my searching, I went out and weeded the collard greens and then I decided to trim up the Canary Island date palms, aka, kill-you-with-its-needles-palms. GOD! WHY did I ever plant those motherfuckers? No matter how careful you are, you are going to get stabbed at least once and they seem to have some sort of toxin in them and it's just a horrible proposition but I lived. The best think I can say about them is that after trimming them, trimming the Sago palms is a delightful treat, even though those fuckers will stab you too. So I did. I trimmed the Sago palms which I am sure I point out every year are not really palms at all but an otherwise ancient plant. Like the Spanish bayonet plant, they are excellent choices to cultivate under a window which thieves and criminals might want to use to break into your house! 
Just pointing out helpful landscaping and safety tips. 

After I did that, I decided to trim a rose bush. 
Do we detect a trend here? 
I managed to cut back the rose without any injury except for the one I got kneeling on what I assume is some fort of Satan-inspired nettle that grows in my yard and even through my overalls, it stung my knee and now, hours and hours after the fact, is still causing my knee to be swollen with a pins-and-needles buzzing going on in it which feels as if aliens are trying to contact me with some sort of code which I can't begin to understand. That is not too unpleasant, actually. Not like the initial itching and stinging which makes your entire body crawl with goosebumpy chills and makes YOU say things like, "Cocksucking motherfucker!" 
Still, I got a lot of the sharp things trimmed and I am glad for that. The burn pile is growing to mountain-like proportions. 

Okay. Change of subject. 
I know I've discussed this before but don't you love it when you read a recipe online and the comments are all like, "I tried this recipe but instead of corn meal I used flax seeds and instead of cheese I used ground walnuts and I substituted a Monster Energy drink for the buttermilk and instead of cooking it at 350 degrees for twenty minutes I cooked it at 450 degrees for ten minutes and it sucked and I would not recommend this recipe"? 
I always crack up when I read these things. 
So anyway, last night I decided to cook this soup. 

It is a kale soup with sausage and potatoes and the recipe can be found HERE. 
Now as funny as I find those comments about not following the recipe and ending up with something mostly inedible, I tend to view recipes as basic suggestions unless it's something entirely new and very different than what I am used to cooking.  
And so, instead of the type of sausage they recommended I used venison sausage. Instead of chopped plum tomatoes, I used canned diced tomatoes because I didn't have plum tomatoes. Also, I used kale and collards for the greens instead of just kale. 
Otherwise, I mostly stuck to the recipe and it was awesome and super easy to make. 
I DO recommend it. 
I accompanied it with a sort of primitive focaccia bread that I baked which I served with goat cheese and it was such a good supper, we're having it again tonight. 
I am a bit inappropriately excited about that. 

Dang I wish I didn't love to eat so much. But I do. 

Speaking of, Vergil's mama is in town for a visit and the plan is for them to all come over for pancakes in the morning. 
Are you surprised?

One more thing- here is the Trillium in my yard. 


Just about to bloom. 

Spring is definitely on its way and I have mixed feelings about that. The thought of the coming heat fills me with dread. I am getting old, I guess. But it is always such a beautiful thing to watch the plants in my yard swell with their knobby-knuckled buds and sometimes, like the Trillium, just appearing suddenly as if by the magical impulse of the goddesses of green. 

And on we go. Lend a thought to dear Lucy who provided us with such huge, beautifully colored eggs. We will certainly miss her. 
Rest in peace, sweet hen.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 9, 2018

Thanks, Jack!

First of all, let me say that I have not been doing so great on responding to comments but I am going to do better. I swear. You have no idea how much I love comments. They warm me like hot-buttered scones with honey dripping off of them.
So yeah, I promise.

Secondly, let me say thank-you, Jack!
I wasn't feeling so great this morning, even wondering if I was coming down with the flu or had Flu Lite or something but I figured that I could definitely do something about the bathroom where Jack shredded the curtain. This would involve taking down the old curtain which was no big deal due to the fact that, like I said, was only thumbtacked up there in the first place.
So I did that.
Then I took down the BLACK MINI BLINDS that have been there since we moved in and which we have never once used. I mean, the window in that bathroom does offer a very fine view from where people walk to enter the house but I just used that thumbtacked up old piece of bark cloth.
This all led to the removal of many, many generations of spider webs. I should be ashamed to admit this but fuck it- whatever was behind that bark cloth just got ignored.
So I cleaned the window and scrubbed the mildew and spider webs and black Lloyd dirt and cleaned the panes themselves and then I started going through my fabric to see what I could find to make a new curtain. I found a piece of lovely blue eyelet that I thought I'd use and then I stumbled upon a set of lace valances which I have no memory of buying.
I thought.
Well, that could work.
But before I got out my trusty Singer, I opened up the cabinet where I keep tablecloths and found a small, beautiful one made of butter yellow linen with lace in the center and at the corners (again- having no memory of where or when I got it) and my heart jumped a little.
Now this- this could work.
The yellow tablecloth was not quite large enough to fill the space I wanted filled so I found another linen tablecloth, this one white, and sewed the yellow one to that, making a deep bottom hem and a top hem to put the curtain rod through.
It was so easy, so quick, and it's so imperfect, but I am so thrilled with what it looks like now.

I feel like Martha Fucking Stewart! 

Honestly, it was just fun and the best part was that I used some of my thrift treasures that I buy for no reason other than that they are lovely or made of good materials or have handwork on them or...
Well. You know. 
And then I stash them away and never use them but today I did use some and now that bathroom is light and airy. 

And that's what I did today. Something that I have thought about doing for so long now and which I probably never would have gotten around to if Jack hadn't gotten in his claws in that curtain. 

Cautionary note: When you have a very old piece of bark cloth and it's been hanging in a window for fourteen years and you take it down and decide to wash it because hell, maybe you could make a pillow or something out of it, that might be a very bad idea because your washing machine may end up looking like a large animal ate the bark cloth and partially digested it and then vomited it up. 

Maybe. It could happen. 
Let's just say that there will be no bark cloth pillows happening around here any time soon. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cat Worming And Other Topics

My day started out with trying to get some worm-medicine-laced stinky cat food down Jack's throat. Not what I would have chosen and it's a long story as to why my day started out with that but let's just leave it at the fact that it did and move on except to say that I did get most of the goop down him and also, that I now need to replace the curtain in the kitchen bathroom.
I needed to replace it anyway because it's naught but a piece of vintage cloth that I thumbtacked up there almost fourteen years ago as a temporary solution so the cat really did me a favor when he slashed it like Sylvester the Cat on a Tweety Bird rage.

But you know- that's nothing, not even a problem by First World definition and the day got a lot better when Jessie and her boys and I went to TJ Maxx and then to lunch and then to Trader Joe's. I bought a new ironing board cover at TJ Maxx which sort of thrills me. August helped me pick it out. He has subdued taste.
Unlike me. Jessie found a huge Virgin of Guadalupe charm in the sale portion of the jewelry display and she bought it for me because I love it so much. It's backed and surrounded with actual silver and only cost twelve bucks which was only two more dollars than the ironing board cover!

I feel like the Pope. Or perhaps the Popeacita.

I mostly had fun chatting with August as we shopped. Jessie needed some picture frames but of course we had to go down all of the aisles to check out the goods. As much as I am determined to avoid buying useless dust catchers, I am sort of tempted to buy everything in that store but I restrain myself. I remember when Lily and Jason and the kids and I all stayed at an Air BnB in Jacksonville last year and the place looked like a TJ Maxx had exploded in it.
One can go too far even if taste and irony are involved.
I bought August two books because he was a good boy and I also got Levon a new toy because he was a good boy, too.
Then we went to lunch and that's where I took that picture up at the top of Mr. Grin. Look at that happy boy!

Here's August, eating some mac cheese.

Jessie told me that the other day August had said that Mer was "sweet and kind." And then added, "But not Maggie." Haha! Actually, Maggie is sweet and kind but she does want to kiss a lot which is rather off-putting for August. 

And then we went to Trader Joe's where I got a huge and immense sugar jones because of all the "healthy" (right) candy there but I didn't buy any. I got some extremely grain and seed laden crackers and some sundried tomatoes and something else but I can't remember what. 

Got home to discover that there was a huge obvious leak in my bathroom. The rugs were soaked and it was pouring out water on the outside. I called Mr. Moon and he told me how to turn the water off at the street which I did and then he came home and figured it out. 

It's not all put back together yet but the leak has been fixed and the water is back on and the rugs are in the washing machine. He is such a handy man. What in the world do people do who do not have a Mr. Moon?
I have no idea but I do and I am so grateful. 

And Hank gave a speech at a convention in Orlando today about Queer kids at risk and you know I'm so proud of him. My kids are just...well, fucking amazing. 

Gibson has the flu, it looks like, and Owen is doing better. 
Maggie is Maggie, and that is a very good thing. 

I'm gonna go make a meatloaf and some baked potatoes. 

Love y'all...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Loving Babies

Maggie and Owen got to come over to my house this morning for some Mer time because Lily had to work and Jason was doing his parental duty by going on a field trip with Gibson's class to the Jr. Museum. When they arrived, Owen went straight to the couch where I'd already tucked in a sheet and arranged the pillows, laid down and pulled up the very soft blanket. That poor boy. He is still sick and slept for almost four hours today. He did want some cheese toast, just like yesterday, and I made some and he said he wanted some smoothie but he hardly drank a bit of it. Every time I'd wake him and ask if he wanted anything or if he wouldn't please have a few sips of Gator Aid, he'd say, "Not now, Mer. Thank-you," and turn over and be right back in what he later referred to as his "magic sleep world."

However, if Ms. Magnolia June had the same thing as Owen, she certainly got over it quickly. The picture above is what she looked like eating her own cheese toast. I have never met a human being in my life whose face reflected joy the way Maggie's does. Sitting in Mer's kitchen, eating cheese toast and having a chat with her grandmother is obviously about the most fun she can possibly imagine.

It was another easy, restful day. Maggie is what I call a "project child." Give her something that interests her and she's good for a long while.

I let her play with my button tin and she was happy for at least forty-five minutes. Occasionally she'd drop some of the buttons and say, "Uh-oh," and I'd help her pick them up and she'd say, "Thank-you, Mer," and my heart just about exploded. 

We read some books and we went outside to look for eggs and she wanted to swing and to go down the slide. 

And yes, those are purple glitter shoes and yes, she does love them. 

It's so odd and so wonderful to have this one baby girl grandchild. I don't think I treat her any differently than I did my grandsons but who knows? I know for sure that she's as brave and daring as any of the boys and I do not discourage that. Why would I? But she honestly cares more about what she wears than her brothers ever did and that's just the truth. 
She's also more interested in baby dolls which have been here for all of the grandchildren. 
I guess I just have to say that with each of them, there are differences and there are similarities and I cherish all of it and love them each and every one exactly for who they are. 

When Maggie and I were on the back porch, Miss Camellia came in to make a visit which disturbed Maggie a bit and when you think about it, a full-grown hen is almost half as tall as a toddler which might well be a bit scary. Here's a picture I took of tiny Miss Violet on the roost tonight. 

Is that not a dinosaur? 
I believe it is. 
But I showed Maggie how Camellia would eat cat food out of my hand and said, "See? She doesn't hurt me," and after that, Maggie was not so worried. To tell you the truth, children around here have a lot more to fear from Maurice than than they do the small dinosaurs. 

While I was watching Owen and Magnolia, Mr. Moon was over at Jessie's house, watching August while Jessie went to the doctor. We kept trading pictures. 

Little Boppy.

And so the day was like that- Mr. Moon and I fulfilling our human-species-evolved grandparenting destinies by trying to do whatever we need to do to make our children's life a little easier and loving on our grandchildren so that they will grow up to be happier and healthier adults. 
Or something like that. 
I believe that what we call love is not only the energy source that runs the universe but is the energy source that runs us as well. 
And there are a lot of different types of love but the love of grandchildren is one of the most fun. And if the need for a nap after experiencing it is any indication of its strength, then it's powerful as hell. 

At least that's what I think. 

Love (energy source)...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A Day Of Resting

Well, if yesterday I was a housewifeing dynamo, today I was a laid-back, relaxed grandmother who spent a good part of the day sitting on the couch with my curled up grandson, reading my book while he watched TV.

As you can tell, that boy has really been sick. And he's still not out of the woods, obviously. His fever is not nearly as bad as it has been and he did stay awake, mostly, watching Skylanders which I know nothing about except that some pretty famous actors do voices on it. 
Susan Sarandon, for example. Whom I used to adore but since she got so vile about Hillary, I'm over it. 
She's still a good actor, though and I will never give up my love of Bull Durham. 

Owen wanted a smoothie when he got here and so I made him one and he drank most of that. And he wanted cheese toast and he ate two pieces except for the crust which the chickens appreciated. And yes, I let him drink a Dr. Pepper which has been lurking in the back of the refrigerator since our friend Anna house sat for us last summer. And then he ate a few nuts, so I would say that he is on the path to recovery. 
I kept asking him if he'd like anything or if I could do anything for him and he kept saying, "No thank-you, not now," but not in a pitiful way. 

So I sat and finished My Absolute Darling which certainly did not lose any momentum in the last half. Not at all. And I can certainly see how this book could become a movie, albeit one almost as hard to watch as the book was to read. 
I really do not know how to describe it nor do I know whether to recommend it. 
I think the writing was very, very good and it engaged me in a way that no book has engaged me in a long time. There is quite a lot of violence in it as well as incest. More about guns than you'll ever need to know.
Doesn't really sound like a book I'd choose to read, does it? And honestly, if I'd known all of that, I probably never would have picked it up at the library. 
And yet. 
It was incredibly compelling. 
I mostly chose it because of the title, which I love, and because the author's picture was so sweet and because it said that he was raised by two mothers. 
Which adds an interesting slant to the book in some ways, although there were definitely not two partnered mothers to be found in the book anywhere. 
But despite the subject matter which the author approached and wrote about with absolute steel-like clarity and despite a climactic scene which was a little too cinematic, it was a book that I will not soon be forgetting, either in story or in character. 
And that's what I have to say about that. 
I'm glad I read it and I would not be surprised if I didn't read it again sometime. It gave me so much to think about that I believe a second reading would be worthwhile. 

And here I go, off to put the chickens to bed and to make clam spaghetti. I noticed today that the arugula is starting to bolt which is a sad thing but I plan to use up as much of it as I possibly can before it goes to seed. Mr. Moon's been working on his bathroom since early afternoon and is still going at it. The smell of sawdust perfumes that end of the house and I love it. It reminds me of my grandfather who was so frequently in his garage wood shop, building and repairing things, sawing and nailing and glueing and shellacking. 
And by golly, he still had room in that little garage to park his Rambler in it. 
Granddaddy was a firm believer in keeping things simple and very, very tidy. 

I wish I had more of that in me. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 5, 2018

Chopping Wood, Hauling Water, Still Not Enlightened

I have no pictures today. Nope, none.
I was too busy being all housewifey and shit. I won't even go into what all I did today but I will say that I also did some outdoor work picking up branches that fell in our little storm yesterday and cleaned the hen house and put the poopy hay on the garden. I know you're supposed to compost chicken shit. It's too "hot" when it's fresh but if I try to do that, I never get it to the garden so it can just compost itself right there between the rows of collards and arugula.
AND I took a fairly decent walk.
So. I am virtuous. Obviously.
A virtuous housewife who should be wearing a mob cap and girdle...or something other than overalls but I am, in fact, wearing overalls and I'm betting no one is surprised. Overalls are the absolute best all-purpose garment for indoor and outdoor labor. The pockets alone make them so. Big enough to hold eggs and also phones for listening to books on, to collect things in that need to go somewhere else as one tidies up, and it is the garment most apt to have plenty of free-ranging room to allow for comfort and ease of wear. Plus, if you get them dirty, who cares? They're supposed to be dirty! They are the uniform of the worker! Mao had it wrong. Old MacDonald had it right.
So says Ms. Moon.

All of this adds up to me being tired but that's okay. I love sleeping so much that it's almost a crime. Also, I love getting into bed and reading. If there is a more luxurious activity, I can't afford it. Right now I'm reading a book that's hooked me for sure. I almost put it down early on because it might be called "triggering" but I just had to see what was going to happen and I'm about halfway through it and I still want to know what's going to happen. Here's the book.

NPR's review of it (which I am not going to read because it might leak something I don't want to know until I get to that point in the book) is titled, 'My Absolute Darling' Is Hard To Read, Harder To Put Down.
So far, at least, I am finding this to be utterly true. 
Have any of y'all read it?
I'll let you know what I think about it when I finish it. One never knows- just because a book starts out by grabbing you, it doesn't mean that it will end in a way that makes that worthwhile. 

I can report that Owen is a little better and that Maggie is now running a fever. 
Poor Lily and poor children. Gibson will be next, of course. I am planning on going over and getting Owen tomorrow and bringing him here and letting him be cozy on my couch for a change of scenery. If he wants to, that is. He may not want to leave his mom. I hope he does want to because I welcome the chance to give him some extra love, attention and care, even if it's because he's sick. He is still my baby and the opportunity to baby him is rare. And if I know Maggie, she's going to want to spend the day cuddling her mama. 
Lord help us when the parents get sick too. Goddam viruses. I swear, I learned more about viruses from reading And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts than I did in nursing school and what I learned is that they are incredibly adaptable, wily, and opportunistic and yes, that's anthropomorphic thinking but I still believe it. 

Time for me to quit dilly-dallying here. There is more housewifey stuff to be done. As there always, always is but what a pleasure to have a house that smells a bit like white vinegar and Fabuloso, delicious leftovers and Scott's Liquid Gold. 
The housewife's bouquet of delight. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Sunday Wherein Vergil Helps Mr. Moon And I Get Time With My Grands And There Is Much Giggling Going On

Water is dripping off the leaves and playing itself out on the ground and the frogs are whistling, chirping, vying for attention and talking about the lovely rain we've had today. It is warmer than it's been in quite awhile and mist is rising up in the gloaming. In fact, it looks to me like the perfect definition of the gloaming this evening, as vaporous as a set for the witches' scene in Macbeth. 

We've spent the day with Jessie and Vergil and August and Levon as Vergil wanted to come over and help Mr. Moon with the wiring of the new bathroom. We started out with biscuits and eggs whose yolks were as yellow as marigolds scrambled with kale from the garden and onions and peppers and tomatoes and there was sausage and bacon and salsa and hot sauce and butter and orange marmalade and blackberry jam and then the men went to work and Jessie and I hung out with the children. 

We let August watch a tiny bit of "real" TV and he was so happy. Bubble Guppies and Mickey's Playhouse. He's wearing the overalls that I decorated for him and Jessie said that he told her this morning that he wanted to wear the "cute" overalls. 
Cute overalls for a very cute boy. 

It was a simple day. Reading books, feeding goats, gathering eggs, playing with toys, rocking Levon, having snacks, Jessie and I making each other laugh.

Do you remember last spring's Dearie who turned out to be a rooster and and ended up living next door to escape the rooster-glut hell over here? 
Well, this is what he looks like now and I have to say, he is one fine looking rooster. 

Look at how fancy that guy is! 
And obviously smart, too, because if he hadn't moved, he'd be dead along with Joe Cocker and Little Richard. 

August got to sit on Mr. Moon's newly restored Cushman Husky. 
No, I didn't know what one was either until my husband bought this one sometime back in the last century. It is finally done and even I have to admit that it's pretty darn sweet. 

"I can drive it?" August asked his Boppy. 
"No, not yet. Your feet can't grab the ground," his grandfather said. 
And that was okay with August. He pretended and made the noises. 

And that's the sort of day it was, not a lot of anything but a lot of everything and I believe the men got quite a bit done although it's not to the point in the project where you can actually see the progress. 

Before the little family left, August woke up from his nap and had some graham crackers and milk. Here he is, demonstrating the dip, drip, and eat method of graham crackers and milk snackage. 

Oh, how I love that boy!

And in not-so happy news, it would appear that Owen has the flu. He came home from baseball yesterday and went to bed and has been running a fever and mostly sleeping ever since. He's had a headache too. But he's okay. Lily reports that he's propped up right now, watching the Super Bowl with his daddy. I swear to you, I hate it when my grandchildren are sick as much as I hated it when my kids were sick. 

But it's all a part of life, isn't it? 

I'm off to go make chicken soup. Prophylactic chicken soup. Delicious chicken soup. 
I hope. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Real Housewife Of Lloyd

I have been the most boring version of myself today that I could possibly be.
The day didn't start out like that. I had a dream which was so wild that I can't believe my brain could even conjure such a scenario and yet, it would seem that it could.
And no, I am not going to discuss the dream. I'm still not really ready to admit to myself that I had it but I'm sort of proud that I did.

But after that, wow. Boring, boring, boring.

Yard work, garden work. Take trash. Check mail. Get a bill and an invitation to buy funeral expense insurance. Finish listening to what I thought was the third book in the Outlander series but which was actually the fourth. Download the fifth. Sew button eyes on Monkey Man. Realize one is higher than the other. Shrug shoulders and think, oh well. Watch part of an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Wonder why in the world this show is so fascinating to me. Decide it's like a car wreck that you can't help but slow down and gawk at. All of these women are freaks. Just pure freaks, and if that's what rich women in Beverly Hills really look like and really do with their time, it's more bizarre and unbelievable to me than the dream I had.
Look at this woman!

She is so skinny that her legs look like twigs. If there was a tree in my yard as skinny as one of her legs I would easily be able to take my shovel to it and pull it out. I think if I actually saw her in real life, like on the street, I would be frightened. 

And what gives me the right to criticize the way she looks? 
She's on TV, that's what gives me the right. Also, she doesn't look like that by accident. 
Or by nature, either.
She meant to do that. 

So. That is how boring I am- I am discussing The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. 

Just got a call about someone I know who had a life-altering event happen to her last night. 
And not in a good way. 
You know what? My boring day suddenly seems absolutely wonderful and charming and fantastic. Hey! The chickens flew over the garden fence when I was weeding and they were so cute, pecking at the lettuce! And it's almost time to plant the peas and I have that area all cleared and ready to go! And I cleaned the toilets! And I get free books to listen to on my phone from the library! And I have delicious left-overs to fix for supper! And on and on and on and on.

And best of all...this.

That precious baby and his precious mama.
That will never get boring to me and thank god I will never have to live in Beverly Hills.

Love...Ms. Moon