Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tonight's Menu

Okay. Let's cut to the chase. Chicken and yellow rice and artichokes and salad.

There's the salad, not yet constructed. 
Oh god, but I am going to miss these fresh, aromatic, beautiful greens. I am already grieving. 
The chicken and yellow rice are in the oven. I sauteed the onions and red peppers and celery in some olive oil in my wonderful cast iron sauce pan and then added the water and rice mix and let it cook for a little while and then added sliced young shallots with their lovely green tops, some leftover green beans that I'd cooked with sun-dried tomatoes and almonds and more shallots, and some sliced green olives. 
While that was cooking, I browned the cut-up skinless, boneless chicken breasts in my beloved largest skillet which, in the 1960's and early '70's was what my patrol in Girl Scouts cooked in over the campfire. 
I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and garlic powder and lime-chili and smoked paprika. When they were all lovely and colorful and brown and smelled like heaven, I put the rice mixture in the bottom of one of my thrift store Corning Ware baking dishes that has a lid on it and put the chicken on top. I put a little water in the pan I cooked the chicken in, scraping up some of the bits and added that to the whole thing. I put a lid on it, and now it's cooking in the oven at 375 degrees. I hope with all of my heart that it's as delicious as I fantasized it would be. 
The artichokes are cooking in a little water with lemon juice and salt. 
And I will make the salad in a few moments. 

I love to cook. 

Another day where I got nothing done that I had planned to get done. Well, I took my walk and then Jessie and the boys came out (Lily had to work- damn those bills and the need to eat!) and we went to Monticello and had lunch. 

Look at what an armful that child has become!

Then we went to the animal shelter thrift store where we spent at least an hour wandering about and got some children's books and August pajama bottoms and I-don't-even-remember stuff and at one point August said, "Look at all the toys!" and the volunteer ladies who worked there complimented the boy on his vocabulary and his general gorgeousness

(General Gorgeousness. Note the overalls.)

and by the time we got back to Mer's house, it was four o'clock in the afternoon. 
And we still had to read a few books. When August takes my hand and says, "Come Mer," and then, "Read books," well...the laundry and kitchen and unmade bed can all go to hell. 
Levon loves to sit in his mama's lap while I read to August. He tries to grab the books and I watch his face and he is absolutely looking at the pictures and following along as best as a three and a half month old baby can. He loves his brother so much. When August pretends to chew on Levon's feet, Levon laughs and cackles and can hardly contain himself. 
Babies just love babies which is a good thing or the human race would have died out long ago. 
Trust me. 

And then they left and then Mr. Moon got home and here we are, supper cooking and no laundry done and my bathroom still a scene of chaos and disorganization and there is always tomorrow. 

When we were driving home, August asked me to take his picture in the car. I had to twist around in a way not exactly easy for a sexogenarian (is that a word?) but I did it and here is the picture I got. 

"See it," he demanded and I showed it to him. 
"Are you cute?" I asked. 
"Yes," he said. 
Which is the same thing he said when I asked him if he knew that his Boppy and his Mer loved him. 

He doesn't waste words. He doesn't subscribe to false humility. 

He is, as are all of my grandchildren, a stellar human being. 

Those carrots need slicing. Must go now. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. More of those stellar human beings, getting ready for bed:

Owen is reading Amelia Bedelia to his brother and sister. 
This is family. This is what love is. 


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

At The End Of The Day

Oh, y'all. I am so far behind in answering comments and email, too, and please bear with me.
I don't know why but it seems like I've been incredibly busy lately.
I took my walk this morning and as I walked, I thought about how exercising outside by walking or running or biking is so different than being in a gym or a class. It's a journey, as well as exercise, although of course working out in a gym or doing yoga or whatever can certainly be a journey as well, although a completely different kind.

I am, as I have said, pushing my distance and my ability and am trying to incorporate new routes and so I have. Some parts of them I am not so very fond of because they are in full sun and on a highway that gets a lot of traffic for these parts and then I have to walk in the grass and weeds beside the road but it's okay. I can go down little roads that lead off of it and except for the dogs in country yards  who rush their fences, sending great glouts of adrenalin rushing through my body, they are pleasant places to walk.

So much is blooming right now. Here's a veritable explosion of what I think is wild plum blossom.

With a little yellow Jessamine thrown in for good measure. 

I walked down one road that I used to walk down when I first moved to Lloyd. There's a fairly old graveyard off of that road and it's good for wandering. 

There were many, many fake flowers in evidence today. I do not know why. I probably should. 

And then I walked on up another dirt road and in the woods, just a little ways from where I was walking I saw one of the things I love the most which is the blooming wild azalea. 

I made my way carefully through last year's fallen dog fennel and some brambles to get close so that I could take a picture. I don't know why but there's just something so fucking miraculous and wonderful about a flower that looks like that which grows all on its own, unnoticed by almost everyone, looking no more special than anything in the world until...those fairy blossoms appear. A sort of magic and yes, if a tree flowers in the forest and there is no one there to see it, it is still magnificent.
I feel blessed to have seen it.

I walked on and on and noticed that the red clover is starting to bloom by the highway and I also found these tiny little violets of a variety which, again, I do not know.

Never in a million years could anyone see them from a car or a truck driving seventy miles and hour down that highway. 
But I saw them. 
And they made me smile. 

After I got home and ate my lunch and did some chores and took a shower I went to town with a list a mile long and by the time I got home it was six o'clock and I had a tiny breakdown, thinking of unloading the car and putting everything away and doing more laundry and unloading the dishwasher and starting supper and giving Mr. Moon his shot and picking a few collards and mustards for the supper and, and, and...

I got over it. 

I heard an interview with Joan Baez on NPR on my way home and it sort of blew my mind, especially the part where she talked about one of the songs she's doing on her new album which is a song called The President Sang Amazing Grace by Zoe Mulford and she said the first time she ever heard the song she had to pull off the road because she was crying so hard and just the first few lines of the song they played on the radio and knowing what it was about made me take in great jagged breaths and release huge tears and there's a video of Ms. Mulford singing it and I can't even watch it yet. 
To think that we came so quickly from a president who could move our souls with his compassion and his honest face and voice to the one we have now is so devastating. I don't even need to talk about it. 
But here's something Joan said in the interview:

"I have such a low regard of how the human race has behaved — you know, for the last few centuries, at least — that I don't expect much. ... In light of what we're experiencing in this decade, which is something that none of us could have dreamed of during the worst, darkest periods of the work that we did in the '60s and '70s or '80s or '90s — we couldn't have written this scenario. So in the face of what looks like really bleak defeat, we have to do the little victories. And you have to consider every step that's a positive step that brings back compassion, that brings back empathy, that brings back political action. Day by day, these are the victories. At the end of the day, you get only what you did that day. You don't get a whole future of world peace."

For some reason, that made me feel a little better. 
We have to do the small victories. 

I was in Bed, Bath, and Beyond today and when I got up to the cash register I was kicking myself for not having one of the many coupons one gets in the mail from them and the woman in front of me said, "Do you have one of these?" and she showed me one of those coupons and I said I did not and she said, "Here, take this one. I have more than I need."
And that small action cheered me so much and I thanked her profusely and she really did save me some money because I was buying some nice sheets and when I think about all of the small and yet lovely things I've seen today, I feel better still. 

And there is still much to do before I sleep. 

I best go do it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 26, 2018

We Made It To Jacksonville And Back

There's my boy, coloring while waiting to see the neurologist at Nemour's Children's Clinic in Jacksonville. We drove over this morning, and Gibson went with us too. Lily stayed home because she babysits for Wiley Cash on Monday's and this was just a follow-up appointment and she knew we could handle it.
And of course we did.
The appointment wasn't much. Questions, a few simple tests. (Follow my finger, touch your elbow to your knee, etc.)
Gibson was pretty good about keeping quiet while the doctor was talking to us about Owen and to Owen but when things had almost come to an end, he stood up and stuck his chest out and showed the doctor his flea bites and his paper cut. Then he told her a story about bees and how he puts pollen on himself so that the bees will come and oh, I'm not sure what all.
"He's adorable," said the doctor.
Gibson felt a part of it all which is what he wanted.

And then we met Jason's uncle for lunch at a barbecue place and can I tell you that the baked beans had FOUR DIFFERENT KINDS OF BEANS IN THEM? They were so good.
Food. It's always about food, isn't it?

And then we drove back home.

We hit the Busy Bee on the way over and on the way back too and we used their delightful bathrooms and perused their fine selection of everything from gator heads to bulk candy to gourmet jerky to Indian print dresses to fine jewelry to...
Well. Name a thing.
They have it.

The boys were pretty darn good and I did enjoy my time chatting with Jason. We had some good laughs.

And when I got home, look what I found.

Drains connected and all is beautiful. 

I think I'll move back in there but I won't feel right about it until I get my "real" curtains up and the cleaning done and the tidying done and the purging done. But my Lord, it's a beautiful sink in a now-beautiful piece of furniture. 
My husband. I do so appreciate him. He would never, ever believe this but in some ways, he is an artist as well as a craftsman. He might not realize it but I do. 

I'm very tired and I'm going to make our supper and I'm going to go to bed as early as I want to. 
I am grateful that my grandson is doing so well and I have to say that I am grateful that he wants me to go with him to these appointments. He proudly told his great-uncle today that I have been to every one of them. 

I love my boys so much. All of them. My son, the grandsons, their daddies, their granddaddy. 
There are a lot of asshole men in this world but right here we have some of the truly, truly good ones. 
And they're all pretty cute, too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Flowers To Frankenstein

Well, there you see the convergence of late winter and early spring. You got your camellias, your Japanese magnolias and your azaleas. It is all a bit lurid but I love it.

Aren't they all just so beautiful in their own ways and colors and designs and shapes and forms?

It's been a bit of a strange day. Mr. Moon worked on bathrooms all day long and he almost has mine finished. Just a bit of drain work which is going to require yet another trip to Lowe's or Home Depot, of course, and then I can start moving back in there. Before I do that, though, I absolutely HAVE to do some cleaning and get rid of a bunch of crap which has been cluttering up my life for years because that sink in the newly refinished vanity is too gorgeous for me to disrespect with crap and untidiness and pure dirt. 
This is what the windows over my bathtub look like. 

I am not sure at all what the former owners were thinking when they built this bathroom because if you don't cover at least the bottom three-quarters of those windows, the entire village of Lloyd and anyone else who happens to get lost off the interstate and drives past will be able to see you at your most naked and vulnerable to say the least. 
Ain't no one wants to see that. 
So today I cleaned those windows and the sills and also the two windows which face out towards the road AND the Venetian blinds in them and I swear- before I ever clean Venetian blinds again I'll just go out and buy new ones. That shit is stupid. Especially here in Lloyd where the dirt is black as a demon's heart and plentiful to boot. I almost cried. 
So for fourteen years I've just had various pieces of cloth and lace thrown up in the windows you see above and I'm over it. I am going to make some curtains and I am thinking something which would fit with the sink in some way, perhaps brightly colored roses in the Mexican fashion? I spent a good while online today searching for just such fabric but had no luck. I'm not sure what I want but I think I'll know when I see it. 

I am nowhere near finished cleaning the bathroom. The floor alone is going to require shovels and pails due to the fact that it's been a construction zone for a few weeks. But eventually, it will be gorgeous I do believe. 

Here's what Mr. Moon's bathroom looks like at the moment. 

Although it does not look so very impressive, you cannot believe the amount of work it represents. My husband works on this stuff in his sleep. Last night he got out of bed and headed towards that bathroom and I said, "Where are you going, honey?" and he muttered something about a drain or glue or something and went and took care of some bit of carpentry he'd been fretting over all night long. 
As you can see, I am a bit vague about this stuff. 
Good thing he is not. 

So. I cleaned. I picked some flowers. I took the trash. I started weeding and then it began to rain. I got absolutely nothing finished but at least those beastly filthy windows are clean(er). 
And when I went to the trash place, the guy who works there saw the apron I was wearing (what? you don't wear an apron when you take your trash to the trash place?) and proceeded to tell me about his grandmother who wore an apron from the moment she got up to the moment she went to bed. When he finally asked her why one day, she told him that she kept her "peacemaker" in her double-reinforced apron pocket. Which was a Smith and Wesson pistol. I think that's what he said. 
He is still chuckling over that and his grandma must have died at least fifty years ago, judging by his age. He also told me that his grandma and some other old lady down the street used to have the kids throw tin cans in the air and they'd shoot them. The cans, not the kids. 
Judged by today's light, this is not that funny but I'm sure it was pretty entertaining back then. 
And not only is this guy still laughing, he's still amazed at the sharpshooting abilities of those two old ladies. 

That was Sunday and tomorrow will be Monday and I'll be driving over to Jacksonville with Owen and Jason for a follow-up appointment. We shall stop at the Busy Bee in Live Oak where we will use their sparkling chandelier-lit bathrooms and Owen will try and get me to buy him stuff. 
Which I probably will. 

Oh. Here's another picture. 

We have been watching the Frankenstein Chronicles which is weird and eerie and dark and sort of really gross. Yet somehow enjoyable. And last night Maurice came in and curled up on the little space in front of the screen and the contrast between sleepy domestic cat and hallucinating, syphilitic detective was just too good. Plus, it would appear that Sean Bean is staring directly at my cat. 

Wish me luck in getting up before the crack of dawn. I am so spoiled and I know it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Busy Saturday In Lloyd

It was a crazy morning. I slept so hard that when Gibson came into our room at 7:30 this morning and woke us up, I had to take a second to remember why he was there. His grandfather got up but I decided to stay in bed a little longer to try and get a few more minutes of sleep. Gibson decided to stay with me. Unfortunately, his allergies are terrible right now and he's doing a very special sort of breathing that requires a lot of nasal action and he also coughs. Plus, he was playing with some toy. Let us not forget he was leaning his head on me.
"Gibson," I finally said. "Go find your Boppy."
He took off and came back a few seconds later.
"I can't find him anywhere, Mer! He's not in this house!"
"He's probably gone to get the paper," I said, which Gibson took as an excuse to start an entire conversation about mailboxes and paper boxes and so forth.
"Gibson!" I finally said again. "I'm sure he's back now. Go find him."
And he did and I slept for at least another fifteen minutes.
I knew I had to get the boys to a local park by 10:15 for baseball games and so I hurried to get breakfast ready. Boppy tried to convince Gibson that a nice bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with cut-up bananas would be a superior breakfast.
"Ha!" Gibson snorted. "I don't think so."
They got waffles and bacon.
Because of course.

We finally got breakfast eaten and the boys went to get their baseball duds on. Vergil and August showed up to help Mr. Moon with bathroom building just as I had to leave to take the boys. They piled into the car and we met their mom at the park.
Here's what my guys look like in their uniforms.

I hot-footed it back to the house, passing as I drove, a man I see walking almost every time I drive on that road. He wears jeans and a long-sleeved plaid shirt no matter the weather, and a big hat and he walks like he's having the worst time of his life. He has a sort of floppy gait and yet he is so obviously determined. I would love to know the story there. He never waves and never looks up to be waved at. He just plods on, each of his steps a seemingly barely controlled fall. 
He and I are this area's most faithful walkers and he is more faithful than I am and let me just say that I would not like to read what anyone might have to say about the way I look when I walk. 

By the time I got back to the house, Jessie and Levon were here. I had noted an announcement on one of the many, many church signs I pass on my way to and from town, that there was to be a fish fry in Lloyd. Jessie had seen the actual event taking place and said, "Let's go get some!" and I was very happy to comply. I hadn't made enough waffles and so I got the waffled dregs of what had been left in the batter bowl and I was still hungry. Jessie put Levon in the stroller and I took August's hand and we went down and ordered three fried mullet lunches. Mr. Moon said he was still full from breakfast. We chatted with the church ladies for a bit and then we went to the post office where August told the Post Mistress that he was twenty she she asked how old he was. 
"Small for his age," I told her.
By the time we got back to the fish fry place, our lunches were ready to go. 
We were mighty excited. We brought them home and set out hot sauce and forks and napkins and Virgil joined us and the dinners did not disappoint. 

We had been offered either white or wheat bread and Jessie said, without hesitation, "White!" 
Oh hell yes. 
If you're going to eat fried mullet and beans and coleslaw and there's Wonder Bread to be had, you best get some. That mullet couldn't have been more than hours out of the water and it was fried just lovely. The beans were tasty as beans can be and the cole slaw was that perfect kind which is vinegary and sweet and I've never been able to make it like that in my life. 
Oh, but it was good!

After lunch Jessie and I played with the babies and walked around outside and picked greens and carrots and got very sleepy because it's hot and we'd eaten mullet and Jessie didn't get enough sleep last night. 

Levon was pretty happy. 
We read about a million books. The library looked like a book mobile had exploded in it. 

Levon is already honestly interested in the books. 
Here's another Levon fun fact- he can chew on his toes now. I am telling you- that kid is brilliant!

Vergil wrapped up his part of the day's work here and he and August left for home and Jessie and Levon left to go to a baby shower. 
I took a nap. 
When I got up, I found this text. 

The mama had her baby before the shower was over! 
Way to get it done!

I also found a note from my husband when I woke up telling me he'd gone to Lowe's. About half an hour ago I texted him and asked if he was okay.
"I'm at Home Depot," he texted back. 
He's still not home. 
I've swept floors, cleaned up the kitchen, run two loads of clothes, tidied up the library, put the chickens up, written this and done some other stuff. 
Should I worry? 

WAIT! Just as I wrote that, he came home. 
"Lord, honey," I said. "I was about to call out the Mounties."
"I know," he said. "I spent the last half hour down at the corner helping a little girl whose car had overheated."
That's my fella.

I gave him a kiss and made him lean over the kitchen counter so I could give him his B-12 and then I kissed him again.

Leftover enchiladas tonight. 

As August would say, it's been a pretty good day.

Love...Ms. Moon

Another Night, Another Interview

Friday, February 23, 2018

Stopping Time For A Moment

It was a resting day for me today. I was deliberately lazy and even napped. It was lovely.

I did a wandering of the yard and took note of the mulberries, leafing out and forming their fuzzy blossoms which will be fruit.

Also, the tiny unfolding leaves of the fig tree.

And the glory of the Japanese Magnolia.

I hung sheets on the line and left the eggs in the nest for the boys to find. I watered all of my potted plants and planted two rooted giant begonia leaves in a pot and set them on my porch table where I'll be able to easily tend them and to see when the new tiny green leaves appear. 

In short, I did the things that make me happy. 

And now the boys are here and we went out and found those eggs and they picked carrots in the garden and I picked greens for salad and now they are playing Wii with their grandfather and they have eaten pickled okra, watermelon, smoked almonds, and Chex Mix. They watched me give their grandfather his Vitamin B-12 shot and were most impressed although Gibson told me not to ever stick a needle in him. I assured him that I would never just give him a random shot. 

I am going to make us pizza for supper. And salad. Which they probably will not eat. 

They are growing so fast. Like the mulberry tree which just a few years ago was a bit of a twig in a pot and which is now at least twenty feet tall, reaching up into the blue sky. 

It has been a day of counting my ever-increasing riches and abundance. 

I have toted up the sum of all of it and am astounded once again. 

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Bone Tired

Oh, y'all. I am flat worn out tonight. I don't know what I think I'm trying to accomplish with my longer, harder walks beyond just proving something to myself but it's not going to hurt me unless I die of heat stroke which is quite possible in that it's already too fucking hot and when I got in my car today and started it up, the thermometer screen said ninety degrees. We've just skipped spring entirely and gone straight to summer and I do not like it.

So anyway, why blather on about it when actually, what I need to do is to get into the kitchen and make some enchiladas which is what I've got planned for supper although I'm second guessing that because it's too hot to turn on the oven and slave over the stove and I had Mexican food for lunch today but as I always say, "Hell, in Mexico I eat Mexican food three times a day and it's awesome!"

So yes, I went to lunch with Jessie and the boys and Rachel and Hank and our friend Lindsey, and August sat on my lap for a very long time and ate more chips and salsa than anyone else. His brother only got milk AGAIN and was not that happy about it. Oh, he was happy about getting milk but he wasn't happy about not getting food.

Isn't he just a man, that one?  
Until he collapses into goofy grins and then he's a baby again. 

So there's really nothing to report that you don't already know but isn't the NRA being just the most evil, desperate organization they can possibly be? And that thing about Trump needing an empathy cheat sheet for his "listening" session"? And is there any thing on earth which has ever been more ludicrous and horrifying than the idea of arming teachers? 

These are, of course, rhetorical questions. Jessie said today, "I can understand people really believing that their side is right but in this case..."
"They're just really, really wrong," I finished for her. 

That's all. I have to go make supper while I can still stand on my feet. 

Much love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I Did Not Go

This is what happened in Tallahassee today. Crowd estimates of well over five thousand people showed up for the Never Again rally. Here's a video of students speaking with Republican lawmakers.

My favorite part is at the end where the students follow the lawmaker downstairs, still asking their reasoned, reasonable questions.
In the comments section where that video is posted, someone said that the children were "indoctrinated and emotional."
What sort of absolutely delusional thinking is that?

And oh, y'all. I was not there.
Even though I believe in this mission to strip the NRA of its insane power with all of my heart, even though I have never in my life been in as much gobsmacked amazement as I am right now at the way these young people are handling themselves and organizing and coming together and presenting this issue, and even though I KNOW that every person there was making a statement of support and strength, I was not one of them.

I never was a protest person. I believe the only protest I've ever attended was for the ERA many, many years ago and thousands of us marched down the road to the capitol that you can see in the picture at the top of this post. I am the sort of person for whom the mall is a place to be avoided at all costs. I am the sort of person who thinks about the parking situation for an event and decides not to go. I am the sort of person who can't stand crowds.

And yet, I am also the sort of person who wishes she was the sort of person who had taken her eight-year old grandson to this rally not only to represent, but to show him how democracy works.
I bet you almost any amount of money that I know at least a hundred people or more who did attend that rally.
And god, I love them for doing it.

Well. This is the way it is. This is the way I am.

Instead, I took another very long walk and I noticed the yellow jessamine which seems to be blooming in far more profusion than I have ever seen it.

I saw sulphur butterflies almost the same color as the jessamine which, flying, looked like escaped blossoms, fluttering free in the air. 

I stopped on the bridge and looked at the creek, calm and dark with tannins, like an artery in the body of life on earth. 

I took note of the purple violets blooming in last year's fallen yellow weeds making a carpet of colors.

I came home and I ate my lunch and I watched the live-streaming of the rally and I felt guilty, guilty, and I cleaned out the hen house and did the small, never-ending chores of life.

I feel unsettled. I should have been there. 
I feel ashamed. I should have been there. 
I feel like a hypocrite. I should have been there. 

I wasn't. That is all there is to it. 
But I vote. Always. Of course. 
And try to take comfort in knowing that there are many ways to do the right thing. There are many paths to create change. And that each of us is uniquely capable of doing something which will ultimately be a small piece of there being more light, more love, more justice, more peace, more safety, more understanding, more hope, more laughter, more just plain goodness in the world. 

I tell myself that. 
I hope it's true. 

Love...Ms. Moon 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Mer Was Traumatized But She Lived To Laugh Again

Oh, how the children love the little play house in the doctor's office! Maggie immediately went into it and shut all the shutters and doors and we coaxed her to pop out of the window and say, "Peek-a-boo!" which she did. Both Lily and I could tell though that she was a bit reticent about this visit. She seemed to know that something was not going to be all fun and games about it and I don't know the last time she went to the doctor so I'm not sure why she was acting that way.
She did fine, stepping on the scale but then as soon as the nurse tried to slide the measuring stick down onto her head, she freaked.
NO! She screamed and screamed and I doubt seriously that her height measurement was in the least bit accurate but whatever.
She was fine in the exam room with the NP until it came time for the practitioner to actually touch her and examine her at which point, my woman baby was not having it. At all. The screaming and the crying and the wriggling and the twisting in our arms was just heart-rending.
"Go house!" she kept saying, wanting to return to the safety of that little play house where she could shut the door and the shutters.
The NP examined her as quickly as she could and with as much patience and sweetness as she could but it broke my heart and reminded me exactly of how I had screamed and cried and tried to get away from doctors when I was little and I wanted to snatch that baby and take her away but of course I couldn't, wouldn't do that. It doesn't hurt to get ears and throat examined, nor does a stethoscope on the chest or back but it seems to me that Magnolia June simply does not want anyone messing with her personal self at all unless she is in control of the situation.
I mean- she doesn't even want Lily to brush her hair.
And this trait will serve her well as she gets older. She will be strong about anyone touching her in any way that she does not approve of. She will be vocal and she will resist.
She is amazing, that girl.
She had to get two shots but this office puts as many nurses to the task as it takes. One nurse per needle, one needle per thigh, one nurse to hold the child, and they were all so very kind to her and crooned to her and reassured her the best they could but oh, it was so painful to watch and to listen to.
As soon as it was all over, I scooped her up and carried her back to the house and when we entered the waiting area I said to the three or four people sitting there, "None of you heard any of that, did you?" and they chuckled and one man started talking about how his little doggie does the same thing when they go to the vet and he ended up pulling his phone out and showing the lady across from him the pictures of that little doggie and told her about how it was a rescue pup and then she told him about her rescue dogs and how two of them had only had three legs and Maggie played happily in the house while her mother finished up at the desk and when we left, Maggie, with every bit of her dignity restored, gave everyone a personal, "Good-bye."

At that point I think I was more upset than Maggie was. I am NOT going to say that it was harder on me or on Lily than it was on Maggie because of course it wasn't. But I will say that I think she recovered quicker. I absolutely cannot stand to see a child in a situation which makes them fearful and afraid. It hurts my soul and my heart because they are so defenseless. But if it helps the least little bit for me be there with them, I will do it.

And after all of that, it was time to go eat PICA! aka pizza, with August and Levon and their mama. We went to the place where May works (Midtown Pies for all you Tallahassee folks but you probably already know that) and that was so much fun. Maggie gave August a kiss and a hug and he tolerated it with silent acceptance and we hugged and kissed Aunt May and when she got the chance, she grabbed on to Levon.

Do you see those eyes? Does he want that pizza or what? This child is determined to eat and he's not old enough! August is, obviously. He likes to eat his pizza with a fork. He is quite civilized. Maggie eats hers with her hands as is traditional. No matter how one eats pizza, it is always the best thing ever. 

I was just sorry that Rachel and Hank could not join us. Rachel was at work and Hank just got...a new CAR!

Well. New to him. 
The Car Guy, who happens to be Mr. Moon, found him a Prius that he deems to be in very good shape for the amount of money that Hank had to spend and now he can drive to work or to lunch or to take his girlfriend lunch at work (which is what he was doing at lunchtime today) or to the beach or to COME SEE HIS MAMA!
We are all so excited for Hank. 
Hank is pretty excited for Hank. 

Here's one more picture. 

The cousins holding hands and walking safely in the parking lot with their Mer. 
Aren't they beautiful? 

I want to hold all of my grandchildren safely to me forever and forever, to make sure they look both ways before they cross the pavement. To protect them from pain and from fear and to give them whatever they need and often, whatever they want. 
I know I can't. Neither can their parents who want these things too, any more than I could do it for them. 
But we can love them forever and forever and we can do the best we can at all the rest of the stuff. And we will. 

All right. I'll leave you with something funny. 
Or at least I think it's funny. 
I put one of those 8-month flea and tick collars on each of my cats the other day (no judgement here, please- you have no idea what fleas and ticks are like in rural north Florida) and went online to read about possible adverse effects (don't ever do that) and one guy posted that his cat had gotten DIRE REAR after the collar was put on him. 
I believe this may be the best thing I've ever read online. 

Let's keep holding hands and let's keep laughing. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 19, 2018

Good Things ARE Happening

Woke up this morning from a dream of being pregnant at my own age which is 63 and although I wasn't particularly worried about the birth, I was aware of the fact that I probably would not get to see the kid graduate from high school. As the time for the birth to occur approached, I called Lily and Jessie's midwife to ask her to help me when the baby came. I was going to tell her that I'd just pay her under the table and we'd keep it on the DL because obviously a 63-year old mother was out of her protocol. But she didn't answer her phone and that's about the time I woke up.
And then for some reason I just keep being weepy and sad but I hitched up my panties and put on my shoes and went out and walked for over an hour and came home beet red and still sad.

Mr. Moon was home because it was a bank holiday and he spent all day long working most industriously on the two bathrooms while all I managed to do was to go to Publix and a few other tiny things around here but I did get the peas planted that I wanted to get in and now the water is on in the garden and that always makes me feel good.

So there's not a whole lot going on in my life with is just fine and dandy although I have to tell you that I am thinking of Cozumel almost constantly. Perhaps this will be a Christmas-in-Cozumel year and I hope so with all of my heart because I need to get back there. I need to get in that water and I need to watch that sunset over the Yucatan and I need to be with a lot of Mayans and I need to see iguanas and I need to eat that delicious, amazing food, and I need to get away from this life and be in that one again.
I don't just want it. I need it.

Anyway, don't exactly know where that came from but I do know where this came from.

Lily sent it last night and she says that she got this picture right after Maggie proclaimed, "MY BED!"
Who would challenge her? 
Not me. 
I think I am going to accompany her and her mama to a well-baby check-up tomorrow. You know how I love those things. I hope the doctor's office is ready for the force of nature we know as Magnolia June. 

I would like to say that I am so proud of the Leon County school system which is going to allow excused absences tomorrow for students to join their fellow students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who are coming up for a rally in Tallahassee tomorrow. You can read what the local newspaper says about it here. 

I can't help but feel that Marjory herself would be so proud and supportive of these kids who, quite possibly, might just actually change things- something she herself was damn good at. If you don't know anything about this amazing woman, check this out. 

I sniff the wind. It smells of good dirt and of tea olive, of stinking horn mushroom and the smell of the sweet organic decay of last year's leaves, now dropped to the ground, feeding the new growth of wood and bud and leaf which I can also smell. It smells of change. 
It smells of bitter rage and grief becoming alchemized into power and righteousness and strength. It smells of hope. 

Let's all pay attention. Let's all remember that although we may not live long enough to see the maturation of our dreams and hope, we can still give birth to that which is ready to be born. We can still plant those things which will live so far beyond us. We can feel safe in the knowledge that those coming behind us will nurture and sustain that which is right and is good and which we have believed in for so long and have worked to make real. Just as we did for those we came behind. And they will add their own unique and amazing and splendid abilities to shatter and rebuild what some of us may have become complacent about. 

I believe this. 

Love...Ms. Moon

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