Saturday, March 31, 2018

In Preparation For The Great Ham Fest And Abandonment By Husband



Odd day. First of all, I did not wake up until 9:46. I mean, I didn't even wake up earlier and go back to sleep. I was too busy sleeping to wake up and go back to sleep. Also, I was having dreams about having dreams (hard to get a cup of coffee at a bar late at night so that you can wake up from the dream you are aware you are having) and also, I delivered a neighbor's baby and then we went on a road trip without the baby which worried me considerably.

Anyway, due to circumstances which I will be discussing soon (and nothing bad has happened), Mr. Moon needed to retrieve two vehicles from the bank where his office has been. This meant that we had to drive to town, get the two vehicles, drive them back to Lloyd, and then drive back to town to get the truck we'd driven into town originally.
For some reason, I did not mind this at all. It has been a beautiful day and driving around listening to NPR doesn't suck although when Laurie Anderson spoke in an interview I got a stomachache and then had a small anxiety attack where I felt I could not breathe properly for awhile but then I got over it and was okay.

On my final journey home I stopped at the horrible, dreaded Walmart and bought what you see above. A new canning kettle and some herbs and a small jade plant.
I did survive Walmart.
And then I planted my herbs and unloaded the dishwasher and finished some laundry and took the trash and watered the porch plants and looked up recipes for cinnamon rolls and discarded that idea of making cinnamon rolls and have butter softening to make angel biscuit dough for tomorrow's Ham Fest and egg hunt and picked and washed kale and shallots to make the frittata for tomorrow and I made up the Easter baskets.


They sort of suck, especially considering that the chocolate melted and reformed but at least Maggie and August will not notice that nor will they care. 
But hey! It's the thought that counts and they all got a bath tub toy, a small stuffed animal (I like the frog), a little notebook and two colored pens. 
Except for Levon who got a teething toy that says "My First Easter" and a small stuffed chicken. 
Or something. I can't remember. 

And now I have to make supper and the angel biscuit dough and teach Mr. Moon how to give himself his own B-12 shots because he's leaving tomorrow and that is a harrowing thought on many levels. 

Also, I got four eggs today which is sort of an Easter miracle. 
I do not know if He is risen, but let's hope the biscuit dough rises into great puffy heights of pure biscuit goodness. 

That's all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Mr. Moon jabbed himself in the thigh with great aplomb and why I was worried, I do not know. He could probably go see Laurie Anderson in the flesh and not get a stomachache although I seriously doubt that proposition will ever be tested. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

You're Not The Only One

Mixed emotions today. Didn't walk. Exhausted, sore, and it was raining.
Instead I went to Lily's and picked her and Magnolia June up to meet Jessie at Costco- our default outing. Maggie was so excited to see Auggie (as she calls him) and Baby (as she calls Levon) and the two older cousins sat together companionably in the huge cart with Levon in his seat behind them.


"Can you put your arms around each other?" Lily asked. 


As usual, Maggie was happy to put her arms around her Auggie but her Auggie was not so enthusiastic about it. 

August agreed to the coldy room today. In fact, he and Maggie both found it hysterical for some reason. 


Nothing in the world could make me happier than watching those two laugh together. A few times today I saw Levon laughing with them but with a slightly puzzled expression on his face- what was the joke? He was not sure, but he was laughing with the big kids. 

We had some tasty samples and because it is Happy Day They Crucified My Lord, which means that Bunny, Egg, and Basket day is coming up, I bought a small ham. I think that some of the kids are coming over Easter morning. I hope so. I bet I spent a hundred bucks a few weeks ago on Easter baskets and stuff to go in them. 
Was I insane? 
I must have been a slightly bit manic. I don't know. 

And then we went to the Indian buffet and it was good, as always. I carried August into the restaurant and when I opened the door he said, "I smell chopsticks."
So. Now you know- chopsticks smell like Indian food. 
After lunch we went to...oh, you guessed it- the Goodwill bookstore where books and a giant T Rex floor puzzle were purchased. 

So that was all good fun and especially beautiful when we were walking back to our cars and I was holding Maggie's hand and August was holding her other hand and he said, "I holding Maggie's hand," and we strolled along and I don't know why but whenever that happens, I am just slayed. These little people, cousins, so very, very different in every way but still paired for all of life and seemingly content with that. 

Mr. Moon is getting ready to go down to Apalachicola for his annual fish-and-lounge-about-visit with his sister and then he's going to go to Dog Island with old friends from Tennessee. Grouper season is about to begin. He did the most loving thing for me last night. He bagged up a bunch of oak leaves for me to use on the garden and some of you will understand the deep sweetness of this gift. 
Anyway, for awhile it's going to be me and Maurice and Jack and the chickens and I am sure we will be fine. Maurice has been creeping into our bed every night, so quietly and stealthily that we do not know she is there until we wake up to find her in a nest of pillows near the window. I love to wake up in the middle of the night with her there. She is a comfort. And Jack usually sleeps on my feet, keeping me as grounded as one of those weighted blankets. The boy has become quite stout. 
But even two cats can not replace the presence of that man beside me in the bed. 
I will miss him. 

And tonight I am having a bit of the anxiety. When I got home this afternoon I did something I rarely, rarely do which was to go sit on the couch and watch TV. 
Unheard of!
But I did it. And the world still appears to be spinning as it should be. 
I am not at all sure that I don't have some sort of sinus thing, perhaps a reaction to the oak pollen, or perhaps just a manifestation of my anxiety which is how it usually presents itself. 
Whichever and whatever, it's hardly life-threatening. 

What I watched on TV was an episode of the documentary Wild, Wild Country about how the followers of an Indian guru named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh took over a part of Oregon in the 1970's and as I am watching it, I am absolutely gobsmacked at how people will do anything, anything at all, for someone whom they consider to be a representative of a god. The older I get, the more I truly do understand that there is a part of human nature which feels the need to be in touch with the spiritual part of this universe and that there have been and are and always will be, someone who will step forward to claim that he or she has the one and only true path to that and will be happy as hell to take your money, your devotion, your love and your common sense and will probably eventually be found in bed with at least one, if not many, comely devotees. 
I've just never been able to jump on any of those parade floats and if I ever do, please know that I am suffering from some horrible neurological problem and ignore everything I say.  

Oh well. As I said, it is Happy Day They Crucified My Lord and why the Christians claim that Jesus Christ suffered more for YOU and ME than any human ever suffered on earth while there were supposedly two other men being crucified at the very same time is beyond me. 

It's all beyond me. 
Which is why I've always loved rock and roll. 
This video is from the eighties, y'all, so please try not to judge although I will say that Keith (who is not a god, trust me, nor ever did he claim to be) is pretty cute in it. 



This was from the Steel Wheels album, released in 1989 at which time people were aghast at the idea that the Rolling Stones would still be playing that rock and roll music at their advanced age.

It's okay to have mixed emotions.
We're human beings. We should be able to handle that.

Happy Friday, y'all. Hope it's a good one. (Get it? I knew you would.)

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 29, 2018

I Ain't Complaining


Well, as Matthew McConaughey might say, "All right, all right, all right."

It's been a better day. It's certainly been a full day. I started out with a five mile walk where I took this picture.


That, my friends, is the house where THE rose is growing. Do you note the pirate flag? It's way out in the country, across the road from the cemetery, and no one ever appears to be home and the gate is closed. There is an etiquette to be observed in the more rural areas of North Florida and one of the rules is Thou shalt not fuck with anyone's property.
And, this being rural North Florida, guns could always be involved and just because there are no cars parked out front, it doesn't necessarily mean that no one is home. And these could be the nicest people in the world. They do seem to have a little greenhouse attached to the end of the house and I like to think that people who grow things are good people, nice people, but sometimes people are growing things that they don't want other people to take note of.
Know what I mean?
This is all to say that going up and asking for a cutting of their rose is not something that's probably going to happen in this lifetime. And as much as I lust after that rose, I am just not the sort of person who would take a cutting without permission.
And here's a really crappy picture of the rose, totally out of focus, because I only risked the second it took to get it.


But look at that deep scarlet color. And I tell you it smells just like a rose should smell. And it's a rather large sized blossom. Not as big as a cabbage rose, but still large. 

In short, it is a sort of perfection. 

So, anyway, here's another picture I took while I was walking. 


Not the same sort of beauty, but beautiful nonetheless. 

So I did the walk and I came home and got in the garden and finished planting my tomatoes and peppers and eggplants and pulled up some more arugula and a few collard greens too. They are bolting and getting bug eaten. And then I planted the corn and then I picked some collards and kale for our supper and then I picked some beets and carrots to pickle. 

Which, as you can see from the picture up top, I did. 
I got out the canning kettle and the vinegar and the spices and the sugar and I scrubbed the beets and carrots and cooked them 


and sterilized the jars and then peeled and sliced the beets and carrots and made the pickling solution and by the time I'd done all of this work, I only got three pints worth. 
Well. Damn. 
Still, it felt good to get that project started and it reminded me that I need a new canner because mine is rusting and that can't be good. Every decade or so a woman just needs a new canning kettle. 

And now the collards are cooking and I've cleaned up the bowls and pots and utensils used in the canning process and I will admit that I am exhausted but I am also so amazing grace grateful for a better day. 
I've heard all three pints' lids pop down and so that is a success, albeit a small one, and also, these roses are growing in the little area beside my kitchen. 


Jessie reports that Levon is determined to crawl and has two teeth coming in. 

And by god, there's a 90% chance of rain tonight. 

Love...Ms. Moon









Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Letting It Be

Am waiting for these sharp bluesy days to pass, am hoping they will soon. I did my usual walk this morning and it did nothing at all except make my legs and hips hurt more than ever and I'm in that phase of depression or whatever it is that makes your body hurt and although I made myself get out and rake up a few cartfuls of leaves to spread on the still naked parts of the garden and plant a row of tomatoes, that was all I could do and I peeled off my gloves and left things as they were, the remaining tomatoes, eggplants and peppers still in their little cups, the corn seeds in my back pocket.

I think I've been disassociating all day long, almost feeling as if I was in a state of walking catanoia, and instead of being-here-now, I've been being-god-knows-where, and although I am quite sure I ironed some shirts and I planted those tomatoes, and I took that walk, I don't really have a full sense of having done any of it, just vague images of trees and a puddle and a gray sleeve on the ironing board.

In some disconnected part of me I am curious as to what has triggered any of this, as to why this is happening now but I'm not sure that anything really has. It is just part of the way my brain is made, whether from genes or from early experience or from the wrong spell being cast at my birth.

Who knows? Not me.

As usual.

Love...Ms. Moon


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Housewife Therapy

Another morning of why and how but I walked and walked and wore myself out walking and then did house things. Scrubbed bathroom things, did laundry things, swept floors and floors and floors things, dustmopping up great wads of dust, gray and light and hard to capture. It flies away from the broom and does not care to go into the dustpan. Not a bit does it want to go there.

Sometimes cleaning things up is cleaning up my heart, sometimes walking to exhaustion is exhausting my anxiety. Sometimes it is good to do these things for no other reasons than those.

When I got to the point where I should have gone out to the garden to work, all I could manage was to pull a row of spent lettuce and arugula, and there is still another whole row of arugula left and I still can't bring myself to pull it, even as it bends over on its done stalks with its tiny flowers which the bees gladly swoop so close to the dirt to enter and sip from.
I did not, need we say? get my nursery plants planted, much less my corn and I am not sure that squirrels have not snatched and eaten my bean seeds. The leaves on the pecans are coming out so it is time and past time to plant.

I passed a house this morning on my walk that had a rose growing on its fence. I saw it and I knew that rose. It is the same species I had planted one million and twelve years ago on my garden fence when I lived in Lloyd before, when I was a hippie child mother. It bore the most beautiful scarlet roses, perfect in all regards, with a scent like every rose should smell, as deep and intoxicating as its color. I used to cut the blossoms and bring them in and set them in vases and my whole house would be perfumed with their rosy spice. I've never been able to find another like it to buy and cannot remember what its name was although there was an old shack on the corner of Chaires Crossroad and Highway 27 where one grew, the same, and I tried to root a piece of it when the shack had been abandoned but it didn't take and now the shack and the fence and the rose are gone.
But this morning, I smelled that rose again. It is not a figment of my imagination. It is as real as anything in this universe of swiftly evermoving atoms can be.
I will find that rose again (Scarlett O'Hara shakes her fist defiantly to the flat blue sky as she kneels on the red dirt of Georgia, retching up a carrot) as GOD IS MY WITNESS and I will buy it and I will plant it and it shall grow!

Miss Dottie is sitting a few yards from the hen house. Her sister, Darla, is having a last bite of supper and sip of water in the coop with the rest of the chickens but Dottie seems to be waiting. Is she waiting for Mick to get on the roost and become drowsy so that he will not try to have sexual congress with her? Do not tell me that animals do not think and plan and worry and fret and realize consequences just like we humans do.
Whether we live in cities or on farms or far away from anyone in woods or fields, there is so much going on at all times. Decisions being made and observations being made and mistakes being made and plans being made and cultures are influencing us all whether we are mammal or bird or fish or insect. That is just the way of it.
And now I'm going to go chop peppers and eggplant and green shallots and mushrooms and carrots to make a stir fry and that is yet another kind of therapy. A therapy of hands busy, of senses and intuitions and habit and wooden cutting boards and sharp knives and glass bowls and hot metal and spitting oil.

Might as well get to it.

I wish we had rain.

Love...Ms. Moon












Monday, March 26, 2018

Better Than Ativan



This morning was rough in the way that some mornings are very hard to negotiate as to reason to live and courage to do the same, but I took a decent walk and that helped a lot and then I drove to town where Jessie and the boys and Vergil and I all ate lunch at a very good sushi restaurant which was not Japanica. It's called Izzy's Pub and Sushi Bar and it is cozy and interesting and you know it's awesome because they've hired Hank to do trivia there on Monday nights. In the same building is a small bookstore, locally owned, and upstairs from the bookstore is a cupcakery.
So. Pretty much perfect, right?


I did not have a cupcake but I did buy a book. And I will go back.
As Jessie and Vergil and August were enjoying their desserts, Jessie said, "If I didn't have children I would spend so much time here, eating delicious cupcakes and reading books."
Isn't that a nice fantasy?
Of course it's fun to take the children there but even a mostly well-behaved two year old can cause some damage. And we agreed that when it's a locally owned place, you know that everything in the store has been purchased on a narrow budget.
But it is as child friendly as it can be. There's a little nook for reading books with a beanbag chair that Vergil and August made use of.


This boy got some milk.


But I could tell that he really wanted a cupcake. 

And then Jessie and those cute little guys and I proceeded on to the nursery which was our main destination where we bought a few things for our summer gardens. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants. And I did buy a packet of corn seeds. 
A fun experiment, perhaps. 

And so I was saved once again by the sweet and powerful pull of the love of my babies. It is impossible to feel entirely hopeless when one is greeted by a small boy who raises his arms and yells, "It's MerMer!" when he sees you walk in the door and then grabs your arm and says, "Come," and shows you the bird feeder that he and his mama made and put up where the birds are now coming to eat. And when the littlest baby wakes up from a nap and sees you and smiles. 

It is all a comforting balm for the heart and for the soul, a dispelling of darkness to be replaced with the light of children. 
And sushi. And books. And a nursery filled with beautiful plants and pots and fountains and statues. 


We shall see what tomorrow holds. 

Love...Ms. Moon



Sunday, March 25, 2018

Official Birthday Party Accomplished


Gibson about to blow out his candles.

It was a stellar party, as they all are.

I love that little boy. He's a corker.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Sometimes There Is Nothing More Powerful Than Silence



Can you believe that picture? The Japanese maple that was given to me by the former owner of this house at the signing fourteen years ago. That shot has no filter, no nothing. That's just what the camera saw and it is almost exactly what my eye saw, as well.

Another incredibly beautiful day and Mr. Moon, with his strong muscles and hand cart took the rest of the plants out to the porch today and I did indeed fertilize and water them. He also moved my Roseland mango from the laundry "room" to its spot outside which doubled the space in the area in which I wash clothes. Last year I did not bring it in and it froze back hard but I was patient and it was hardy and it came back again. I was taking no chances this year.

I kicked bamboo which is still coming up with its preternaturally swift growth and while I was out in that part of the yard, I took a picture of the tung tree blooms.


The azaleas and the camellias are spent and done except for a few flowers loathe to leave the branch. The wind we had the other day stripped the azaleas a little prematurely I think, but they really are only a fleeting glory which is all the more reason to cherish them while they are here. 

I girded my loins and went out to the garden and mulched from the bags my husband had collected in town. Some of the bags were so heavy that it took all of my strength to pull them down rows and rip them open and spread the wealth. They were pretty good bags, no trash in them whatsoever, and some of them had contents which appeared to have gone through a shredder of some sort and those were already starting to compost and were giving off the heat of that process. The beans are already breaking ground and I really, really, REALLY need to harden my heart and pull the arugula and the little nubs of lettuce still standing although the collards and the kale are still fine and of course the onions and the shallots are too. And Lord, the carrots are plentiful and the beets- well, I just need to pickle some damn beets and that's all there is to it. 
Next week? 
Because it is so time to put the tomatoes in, to plant the cucumber seeds, the squash. Maybe some corn, since I didn't plant potatoes this year? That might happen. And oh, okra! Because even though I made pickled okra last summer as if it were a paying job, my cabinets are almost bare of it. 

While I was pulling and tugging and spreading mulch today I was inwardly cursing, even though the day has been pretty cool and there was a nice breeze. It's just so much work and it makes me feel inadequate which is the last thing I need to feel, and I kept thinking, let it go, Mary. Let it go.
But then there's this.


Which is what I just picked and washed for the soup tonight. Look at Mr. Carrot run! Although I guess it's more of a Ms. Carrot. Yes, the garden is so much work but the pleasure of being able to go out and pick what we're going to eat for supper is just so worth it. 

After all of the bags were empty, I came in and watched the march coverage on CNN and I am so in awe of Emma Gonzalez and hell, of all of those kids, that I can hardly stand it. 
I can't even talk about what Emma did without choking up so that my words are blocked in my throat. There's something about that girl. And I'm not going to sit here and say, "Oh, she is destined for greatness," because no matter what she does after this (could there possibly be an after this?), she has already displayed a sort of magnificence that we do not often see. 
And if I were her mother, I would be terrified for her at the very same time I was completely blown away by her splendid being. 

Well. So the day has passed. 


Miss Camellia, giving me the beady little eye, trying to mind-warp me into giving her more cat food.


Another shot of the Japanese maple against the blue spring sky. 
Now THAT is what scarlet looks like. 

Peace, y'all. 
And love.
And a little more hope for the future than I had yesterday.

Ms. Moon



Friday, March 23, 2018

Absolutely Doing What I Can



Still not feeling too well and I hate this. Am I sick? Worn out? Dying? Depressed? 
And it's not like I can't do things. I can. I just want to sleep, and indeed have slept for over ten hours in the last twenty-four and feel achy and slow. 
Everything just feels off from my eyeballs to my toes. 
But some overwhelming desire to get the porch plants sorted and put in their proper places motivated me to do as much of that as I could. Some of the plants which have overwintered in the mud room are just too heavy for me to lift and move but I got a bunch of them by myself. I swept the porch and took a broom to the cobwebs and murdered thousands of baby Golden Orb Weaver spiders and left a few thousand more. I pulled the plants that had been up near the porch wall back to the front and I gathered up all of the many blankets and sheets which have been laying in wait to cover the plants during freezes and the last ones are now in the washer. 
Tomorrow when Mr. Moon has carried out the last few plants I can't move and I've set them to rights, I'll fertilize and water them all and they will all know it's time to grow again. 
It feels good. 


So that's what I did today, making short, slow trips from one place to another, sweeping, trimming, hanging sheets on the line, tidying, and then...taking a nap. 

All right. Can we talk about politics for a moment? Or, okay, it's not really politics but maybe that's what you call it. 
Let's start here- the morning after Trump was elected (and don't those words still send a chill down your spine?) I remember saying to my husband, "We are fucked, we are fucked, we are fucked, we are fucked..." and on and on and on. 
But of course, you know, I think we all had the tiniest sliver of crazy hope that the man was not quite as stupid/insane/cruel/evil/unprepared/unqualified/ridiculous/racist/etc./etc. as we were certain he was. Or that there were brilliant people somewhere who would come up with a way to get rid of him before the inauguration and when I say "get rid of him" I, personally, didn't care how that happened. Or that he would have advisers who could control him. Or hell, that JESUS GOD HIMSELF would come down from the clouds and smite him or at least tell us to recount the votes. 
Whatever. 

Of course none of those things happened. And in fact, as bad as we feared it might be, as fucked as we feared we might be, it was worse. 
And it continues to be worse. 
Every. Fucking. Day. We don't even get the pleasure of becoming numb to what's going on because Trump keeps raising the bar when it comes to horrific deeds and actions. 

This Bolton shit is scaring the crap out of me. John Bolton obviously fancies himself as a sort of New World Wyatt Earp, set to clear out and clean out the bad guys with whatever means necessary and instead of a pistol on his hip he has the world's largest and most armed military in his holster with the world's most powerful and insane leader in his pocket. 
I have literally already been having dreams about nuclear war being announced via radio and social media and I have a feeling the dreams are only going to get worse. 

We are so fucked. 

And I have no answers. Just as one insane declaration or proposition made by Trump gets hammered down, a worse one pops up. It's like the most nightmare version of Whack-A-Mole I've ever imagined. And if any of us believes that Mueller is going to be able to continue his investigation until the truth has been revealed, we might as well believe that Putin won the election in Russia honestly. Because as bad as Trump is, the Republicans in power are worse because they absolutely know what's going on and they are so depraved by power and greed that they refuse to act against it. 

Is this the end times or merely some of the darkest times? I know that in the history of the world, there have been times as dangerous and as corrupt, or perhaps even more so, than these. 

But I am scared. I'm scared for my country, my planet. I am scared for my children and my grandchildren. And yeah- I'm scared for myself. I really don't want to either die in a nuclear war or survive one either. 
I just want to have running water and electricity and a world where my grandson can be scared by manatees in a crystal clear river. 
I remember a thing Yoko Ono said a long, long time ago about how "everyone's talking about a survivable nuclear war and I don't even want my roof to leak."
Or something like that. 

Well. Right now from where I sit, the world is a beautiful place. Cardinals taking their last bit of sustenance for the day from the feeder, their snapping of seeds the loudest thing I can hear. Earlier, I saw a hummingbird on the feeder I set out. Sprinklers are watering my beans and my peas with the setting sun behind them. I have plenty to eat and the ways and means to buy or grow more when we need it. My grandchildren are safe and loved. I have books to read! I have beautiful fresh eggs in a brown wooden bowl. 

I wish I prayed. I wish I believed in a benevolent god who listens and answers. 
Of course I don't so I just have to have faith that good will prevail. 
Somehow. Some way. 
I am trying. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon






Thursday, March 22, 2018

Baby Love, My Baby Love

I haven't felt so great today. Just a little achy, a little tired, a little under the weather. Certainly not a day to walk five miles and then work in the garden all day but I did go to town to gather the things I needed to gather and have lunch at El Patron with Hank and Rachel, Jessie and Levon and August.

I got some good pictures of that baby boy today.


He loves Rachel. So do we all.


And here's Hank, holding a baby. Which he loves to do.


Aren't they beautiful?

And I did not get one picture of August mostly because I was too busy talking to him and playing with him and eating and holding him on my lap and so forth. He was telling Hank and Rachel about the manatees and said, "It scary!" And then he repeated that about forty times. 
I guess it really was scary when manatees rose up out of the water and almost swamped their kayak. I mean, a manatee looks huge to an adult. What must it look like to a little child? And there were lots of manatees! "They came up!" he said. And made whooshing sounds and waved his arms about. 
I love listening and watching August describe things. He uses those little arms so expressively. When I went to get him out of his car seat he immediately began to tell me about his bones. 
"I have bones!" he said. And then he showed me his leg bone, his foot bone, his head bone, and his chest bone. He also showed me where his heart is. I put my hand on it and said, "I can feel it beating!"
"Yes!" he said. "It beating!" 
"And it will beat for your entire life," I told him. 
Sometimes it takes a two-year old to be reminded of what remarkable machines we humans are. 
All of that electricity going on all the time powering our hearts and lungs and muscles and brains and on top of that- our abilities to think and to feel and to love. 
Not saying that we're any more remarkable than chimps or gorillas or bears or dogs or cats or fishes or dolphins or whales or iguanas or pelicans. 
Or even bumble bees and mosquitoes. 
Well. It's all just a miracle to me. 
All the miracle I can handle, at any rate. 

I also got to see Billy today, having run over to the New Leaf to gather a few objects I needed there. Dr. Bronners and and a certain type of toothpick and some hemp CBD and some Stevia for my husband. There is some research which shows that Stevia is effective in treating Lyme disease and why not give it everything we have? 

And so it goes. I'm about to make some corn chowder and I have more focaccia rising. Well, theoretically it's rising. It may truly end up being a flat flat bread. As long as you can put butter on it, my husband will be happy. 
I like that in a man. 

Be well, y'all. Remember to breathe. If it's spring where you are, enjoy it. If it's not there yet, have faith that it will be. Might want to wear your life jackets if you go kayaking during manatee mating season. 
Etc. 

Love...Ms. Moon





Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Not An Ill Wind At All


It was just so dang beautiful out today, the sky that blue, the oak trees tossing their new lacy leaves in the wind like beauty queens waving to the crowd from the back of a 1962 Cadillac convertible, the air so sweet and so cool. There was no doubt that I would be taking a walk, and I did, alongside the train track again and although I do like that walk, I get a bit of a weird vibe about it although it may be less of a vibe than it is the way the big rocks feel on my feet when I'm forced to walk on them due to one thing or another.
I saw some good tracks in the muddier places today since it rained the other night. Raccoon tracks like little children's hands where they'd scampered, the big arrow-shaped prints of huge wading birds, the sharp, pointy prints of deer, and what I do believe are bobcat tracks.


They aren't big enough to be panther and so they must be bobcat. 

I saw some more wild azaleas with their pink trumpets announcing spring, and swamps and creeks with shining water and unfurling ferns. 


Just about everywhere I looked I saw beauty and it pleased me no end. 
I'll tell you what I did not see- any human footprints except for the ones I'd made on Monday and that alone makes that path worth walking. 

After I came home and ate my lunch, I actually went out to the garden and pulled the mustards after I picked one last bunch to cook with collards tonight. I gave a lot of them to the goats and the chickens next door. The poor chickens don't get any greens except for the ones bold enough to fly over the fence and take their fill in my yard and they were on those mustards like little girls on Justin Bieber. Then I mulched with some oak leaves that Mr. Moon brought home from town. He is good at scavenging them from yards where they've been raked and bagged. I know I could rake enough right here to do the job but Lord, that is a tiring thing to do and I still have the blister I got doing it week before last. Sometimes you do get ants in a bag or maybe some trash which is annoying but let's face it- the annoyance is worth the saved effort. And my own oak leaves can mulch the parts of the yard where they've fallen and the leaves Mr. Moon gets from town will be put to good use and not hauled off to a landfill. 

And then I planted the beans. Yes. I did it. 
Here's Maurice, checking out my work.


I like to plant beans because they're nice and big, unlike some seeds, like the greens seeds which are tiny and fussy and hard to control as to spacing. With beans I just take a stick and make my little holes and poke a bean in there and pat the dirt over it, leaving it covered and cozy. 

So at least that's done, the beans are in and I'm glad of it. 
The collards and mustards on the stove smell heavenly and I'm going to cook a nice piece of salmon tonight. Not Mr. Moon's favorite (because he didn't catch it) but I'll make him some mashed potatoes to go with it along with the greens and he won't complain. 

It's going to get even chillier tonight and maybe Maurice will sleep with me the way she did last night. I woke up to find her right by my head and I reached over and petted her and she kissed me on the lips (swear to god) and then sort of just relaxed and fell against me, purring, and I stroked her soft fur for awhile and we both fell back asleep. I would love to think that she was overcome with her adoration of me but I know she was just cold. That cat is not stupid. She really wanted to grab my hand and bite me, I could tell, and she almost did it but then she stopped herself and licked my hand where she'd taken hold of it as if to reassure me that she didn't mean it and please, please, please, human female, giver of Friskies, don't kick me out of bed. 
And when I woke up, she was still right there. 

Well, I better get the potatoes on. I believe the wind has blown my blues away, for a little while, at least, and I am once again able to enjoy that which begs to be enjoyed. 

I surely am grateful. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Sixth Birthday


Six years ago Gibson was born and if you want the original report, you can go here and read it. That's one of the pictures from that post although it has since been cropped because as Lily pointed out to me today, the one I'd posted on Facebook, uncropped, showed a tiny bit of nipple.
"What?! No way!" I said. And then I checked and she was right so there's the G rated version.
She didn't really care and the whole thing reminded me of that Seinfeld episode where Elaine sends out hundreds of Christmas cards with her picture on them, not realizing that her nipple was exposed.
Hilarity ensued.

Anyway, look at that baby and that mama.


And that baby and that mama and that daddy. 

That was such an awesome day. 

Today was pretty okay too but did lack the drama of a quick-quick home birth. 
Target was involved though, so you know it was fun. Since Gibson's party is next Sunday, I wanted to get him something he picked out at Target himself today and so we met up there and although it was pretty stressful, deciding what it was that he really wanted, he ended up getting a stretchy Gumby. 
Yes. Of all the toys at Target, he got a stretchy Gumby. 


Lord, he loves that thing. 

I gave him his monkey man too but he really literally barely looked at it. Honestly, I believe that he thought that the soft little baby blanket that I'd wrapped the monkey in was the gift and even after that got straightened out, he still liked the blanket best, I think, which is okay. His great grandmother made it for my children's dolls. Maggie however, loved the monkey.


After Target we went to see the amazing and beautiful Melissa to get Gibson's hair cut. He described the cut he wanted as "handsome."
"Okay," said Melissa, and she cut it handsome. 


"Can you say 'I'm a Republican?'" she asked Gibson.
"Nope," he said. 
"Good," she said but he does look a suit would be fitting apparel for such a well-groomed young man. 



 And here's Maggie with Melissa. 


Maggie knows where Melissa keeps the lollypops and she makes full use of that knowledge. 

Then we went to China First, the biggest Chinese buffet in town, I do believe. We met Jessie and August and Levon and Boppy there and many noodles were eaten as well as some sushi (yeah, I know it's not Chinese but neither is ice cream or macaroni salad and they have those too), and a lot of other delicious things. 

And so that was what happened today for Gibson's birthday and I think he enjoyed every moment. Did you notice his birthday badge? He showed it to everyone in Target and to our server at the restaurant and everyone cheerfully and quite sincerely wished that boy a happy birthday. 

There is absolutely no one on this earth like Gibson and I feel so lucky to be part of his life. He's the most loving child you'd ever want to meet and he is perfectly and honestly comfortable with who he is. 
He always has been. I hope he always is. 


One of my favorite pictures in the whole wide world. Gibson checking out his big brother. 

All right. That's the report. Getting cooler again tonight and I am so glad. 

Love...Ms. Moon




Monday, March 19, 2018

A Little Personal Pep Talk

Another day. Another awakening and morning struggle. Another walk and another trip to the post office. Another cleaning up of the kitchen, of doing laundry, of working on a sewing project.
Gibson's monkey doll is done, I suppose, and I really am not happy with it but he probably won't care. It will be his monkey doll that his Mer made him.
At least I hope that is how he sees it.
We got more rain and distant thunder and it's warm and the sky is gray and the world is still spinning and youknowwho is still president and I have nothing, nothing new to report and nothing inspiring to say and nothing profound to say and certainly nothing cosmic to say and it's just been a regular day, albeit one in which I did not take much pleasure.
I don't know what's dragging me down but something is and I've noticed that I am not really invested in the idea of starting the summer garden or getting new baby chicks which is worrisome, in a way. I just can't seem to get excited about new projects or anything, really, that pertains to the future. The energy I had for curtains in my bathroom has disappeared and the Kantha cloth I have up now is fine with me. Where has my spark for any sort of anticipation gone? The pole bean seeds I bought online because Vergil's mother recommended them lay unopened on the kitchen counter, the life within them dormant until I tuck them into the ground which is, in fact ready. Where is my lust for the buying of tomato plants and cucumber seeds? The beets grow ever bigger in the ground and I have done nothing towards picking and pickling them.
Ah-lah, I think.
Ah-lah.

Well, these times happen. These lost days, these days of hiding and holding on. These days of trying to have faith that really, there will be such good days ahead.

Tomorrow is Gibson's sixth birthday. That funny, funny precious, loving boy. His party is not going to happen until next Sunday but he gets to stay home from school tomorrow and we are going to take him to Target where I will get him a gift of his choice and then we shall have lunch and oh! At noon, he is getting a hair cut by Melissa. That should tide him over. And god knows, it will probably be just what I need to get this first-world silly woman's head out of her butt.
If you think about it, I really have already done my job when it comes to my part in the future. I have done exactly what my biology has dictated and made more of my species, not to mention some fabulous human beings and I suppose that anything over and beyond that is merely gravy or perhaps sugar on the grapefruit or the cherry on the cowgirl as Tom Robbins said before his books descended into a sort of embarrassment for those of us who have loved him.
If I never plant another bean or another cucumber, if I never pickle another beet or another okra, if I never raise another peep or write another haiku, I have provided the service which mother nature so insistently demanded that I provide.

I guess that's good enough.
Plus- I have focaccia rising and some of the last arugula greens in the refrigerator, chilling for a salad with goat cheese and strawberries. 
Reasons to live, babies. Reasons to live.

Love...Ms. Moon



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Ms. Cranky McCranky Pants Talks About Stuff


Oh, it's just been a pisser of a day for no real reason. I woke up cranky and was mean to my husband over breakfast about basketball on TV and not really mean, just sort of rude. But then I gave him a half a piece of my bacon and I think he forgave me. 
He's been working like a demon all day long on that bathroom and I have no idea what in the world he's going to do when it's done. It'll probably be hunting season by then or at least it'll be time to go plant turnip greens for the deer. 
See? I'm just being so snarky today. And I can't ever, ever, ever again blame being bitchy on PMS and haven't been able to for years so I guess I am just a snarky bitch or at least I am sometimes. 

Well, goddam it, who isn't? 

So I worked in two areas of the yard today, pulling invasives and other weedy things and some of it required a shovel and some of it just required a trowel and being on my knees and it was hot and the mosquitoes are already fierce and at this moment, right now, I just don't even want to see another plant in my life unless it's in a beautiful blue or green pot, maybe in the lobby of a beautiful hotel. I smell horrible and am filthy and for the past hour I've been working on Gibson's monkey and watching Queer Eye and listening to those sweet men tell their guys-who-need-help how important it is to at least make an effort to look nice for your loved one and I never do that and I feel ashamed and like I've just given up which I suppose I very much have. 
I mean, I try to make an effort when it comes to things like clean laundry and good food and a relatively tidy house and remembering to do little things that show I care but when it comes to appearance- well, about all I can say is that I do take a shower before bed every night but that's pathetic and just basic hygiene. It is not what the Queer Eye guys would call making an effort. I shudder when I think about what they'd say about my clothing collection. Somehow I doubt they'd believe me when I told them I had to wear overalls all the time because I need all of those pockets and I do a lot of gardening. 
Really, girl? they'd say. And how do you explain these holey T-shirts? And what's with the collection of linen dresses that all look alike? And why do you even HAVE this make-up? And these tweezers? Have you ever considered actually using them? And stop. Wait. Do you even own a pair of shoes that aren't Crocs? Sweetie, thank god we're here. You don't need pockets. You need us. You really, really need us.
And then I'd cry and they'd embrace me and tell me that I am truly beautiful at heart and we'd all cry together and it would be awesome and maybe they'd fucking clean my house or buy me a new rug or something. 



Ah well, it's raining, finally, and it smells of sharp ozone and wet leaves and I'm tired and so is my husband. I found out that the dog named Lola who has lived in the town square of Cozumel for years and years and who has been fed and taken care of with so much love by residents and visitors, too, has died. What a small thing, and yet- not really small. 


Lola wanted nothing more in life than to snooze wherever she wanted to snooze and walk about wherever she wanted to meander and whenever I saw her, I felt as if I'd seen a celebrity. So many people knew who she was and took a moment to pet her if she wanted to be petted, to say hola, Lola. 

On my first trip to Cozumel, back in the eighties, all of the dogs on the island looked like Lola. I heard them referred to as "Cozumelian sand dogs" and they looked as if they had all descended from the same two original canines on the island, perhaps from the days of the ancient Maya (not to be confused with the days of the Modern Maya) but now there is every sort of breed of dog on the island. Lola seemed to hold the spirit of all of those original dogs within her and also- the spirit of the people of Cozumel itself who are caring and kind and who for years made sure that a sweet doggie named Lola was taken to the vet and fed and sheltered and also allowed to live her life in the manner in which she wanted to live it. 

It's supposed to rain all night and all day tomorrow. 
I do not mind that at all. 
I wish I'd planted some beans today instead of spending so much time pulling up plants which I'll never actually get rid of. 

Well. Hold a thought for Lola and if it is raining where you are, take time to listen to its patter, to smell it as it falls and mixes with the air around you, cleansing and cooling it. I will sleep with the window open above my head and maybe it will soothe my rest into a sweet, soft gray dance of holy water and my dreams will be as calm as the clear blue water surrounding a beautiful island where a dog named Lola lived for a very, very long time. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 17, 2018

We Never Really Figure It Out, Do We?


Well, that's the view from the street of my azaleas, or at least some of them. They are a fantastical spectacle of spring, aren't they? And can you see behind them the tiny new leaves beginning to decorate the skeletal branches of a live oak? On our drive down to Weeki Wachee it was so beautiful, seeing all of the different shades of green coming forth between dirt and sky. There are few things more exquisite than the delicate greens of new spring life with the sun shining upon or behind them.

The Tung trees are blooming too, and I caught a bee in the act of industrious love with one of the blossoms today.


In fact, I am heartened to see as many bees as I've been seeing in the last few weeks. They are busy in the azaleas and in the wisteria and they seem to love the plain little flowers of the arugula. Wouldn't you love to taste arugula honey? I would. Butterflies are already starting to get in on the nectar action as well but they are so hard to capture with the camera. 
For me, anyway. 

I kicked bamboo today and took this picture of wisteria vine, looking for all the world as if someone had hung the blooms from a line to dry in the dappled sunlight.



I went to Publix and bought a corned beef and some cabbage and I pulled some carrots to cook with all of that and some potatoes. I also made a loaf of Irish soda bread and took it across the street for my neighbors who tended my chickens and cats while we were gone. I will make us another loaf here in a little while. I know of few baked goods which are so simply and easily made and yet, so delicious as Irish soda bread. 

And then- the best part of the day- some of my oldest and dearest friends called to see if they could stop by for awhile before they went to the surprise party for Dave's dad's 90th birthday. It was so good to see them, so very, very good, and I made them coffee as they'd been driving all day long and were exhausted and still had the party to go to. We talked about kids and grandkids and the stuff going on in all of our lives until they had to change into their party clothes and head on down the road. There is something just so amazing about being with people whom you have known for over forty years, who are, in fact, part of the very foundation of why and how you have come to be where you are now in your life. 
I think back to the kids we were then, how absolutely unaware we were of where life would take us all. 
Thank god we didn't know because some of it has been more than anyone should bear. 
And yet. Here we are, still able to connect, to shorthand conversations, to hug hard and long, to laugh and perhaps, finally after all of these years, to show our true selves in ways that we simply couldn't have all those years ago. 

I don't know. I don't know much but the few things I do know, I am almost certain I am almost certain of. 
Know what I mean?

That people of our heart can be people of our heart forever. 
That I do not understand people who need a resurrected savior with holes in his hands and his feet when every year the earth resurrects itself so obviously, so splendidly, so gloriously, so perfectly. 
That as long as there are bees and babies, there is hope. 
That a hallway like this is one of the finest things in the world to live with and that I am so lucky this one is mine. 


And that camellias and violets and spirea can all coexist in beauty in said hallways. 


With azaleas. 

And that is pretty much it for what I know.
For certain.

Much love...Ms. Moon




Friday, March 16, 2018

Going On Vacation In Florida



And the mermaids were magic once again. I cried. Oh hell yes I did. It was so beautiful, watching the little ones just absolutely mesmerized by everything going on in front of them. There is a lot of use of bubbles in the show and yesterday was so bright and the water was so clear that when a curtain of them rose up from wherever the magical place the bubbles come forth from, it was almost blinding.


It is extremely hard to get a decent photo from the seats and there is no way that the camera can capture the grace and the seeming effortlessness of the mermaids (and the merman) but that was my attempt, right there. I was honestly too busy watching my grandchildren and their reactions and watching the show to take many pictures. Jessie took the first two above. 
August was absolutely captivated. He clapped so hard every time the bubbles rose, indicating a scene ending and I don't think he took his eyes off the water for a moment. Magnolia was a bit tired and not quite as enchanted but she did watch. Owen and Gibson seemed to be extremely attentive every time I looked at them and Gibson told me he liked it but Owen insisted that he didn't like the mermaids AT ALL but then again, he is being a bit pre-teeny (mostly around his parents) and when I said, "Well, okay, but wasn't the water beautiful?" he agreed with great enthusiasm that it was. 


Jason and Mr. Moon and Vergil all said they liked it and I believe they did. 

After the show we went to the wildlife demonstration which was, to be honest, pretty damn lame. A turtle, a tortoise, a corn snake, a baby alligator, and a wanna-be comedian were the entire offerings. The children grew bored. I was just so grateful it wasn't hot. 
The next thing we did was a lot more fun. We got plastic mermaids that we were able to see being made in an original Mold-A-Matic machine. 


It was truly fascinating, especially for August who held his mermaid tightly for a long time and who could not stop talking about how it was made in the machine. 

And then we did the photo ops and I will cherish these along with all of the others from all of the years past with the same props. 






Also? 
There were Dippin' Dots. 


And a constantly happy Levon.


That afternoon it had warmed up enough that the kids all got to swim in the water park attached to Weeki Wachee and I know they had a great deal of fun but Mr. Moon and I decided to take a nap. Somehow, for some reason, we were exhausted. 
And when everyone was finished swimming and sleeping, there was more shuffleboard and visiting in rooms and cocktails were consumed. If Vergil ever asks if you would like him to make a Dark and Stormy for you, just say YES!


Maggie in her monster slippers.
Last night we all went out to supper at a sports bar because there appears to be something happening called March Madness which involves basketball and some of us care about these things. Some of us do not but we all had a very, very good time except for possibly Magnolia and August who were both exhausted after a full, full day with no naps whatsoever.




It was fun. It was really, really fun. 
And then Owen spent the night in our room and I shared a bed with him which led to a less-than-stellar night of sleep but I woke up in a fairly cheerful mood and then we all went to breakfast at the same place we'd gone the day before which is just incredibly awesome because of the wait-staff. Those women are truly professionals. 
When we walked in again today, they immediately remembered what we'd ordered for drinks the day before right down to the orange juice for Magnolia and the milk for August. 


It was all such a good time and it was so sweet, watching the little cousins interacting. Gibson and Owen both are precious with the little ones and Gibson walked August into the restaurant, holding his hand carefully in the parking lot. 


Owen sat next to August when we ate and so generously let August eat half his french fries (Owen isn't that keen on breakfast foods) and softly blew on each one before August ate it to cool it down. 
"I feel like a dad," he said. And I could tell he was proud. 

The shuffleboard players had to finish up one more game before we left. Jessie and Vergil are staying another night so that they could go kayaking today. I have gotten a report of that trip and Jessie said that they had a truly scary experience where a pod of manatees almost tipped the kayak over and got the babies soaked and covered in eel weed. If you've never seen a manatee up close, you have no idea how large they are. Yes, they are gentle and slow moving but they are also huge and could easily tip over a small boat. Jessie thinks that perhaps they were mating and were frightened and disturbed which caused them to all try to get away very quickly. 
But they also saw monkeys and an eagle who swooped down and grabbed a fish from the water right in front of them. So, in some ways, it was magical too. 

It was just such a good trip and I'm so glad we took it. Just having all of that time together being silly and happy and keeping up with the kids and watching the crows go to roost at night in their uncountable numbers, and observing the life at the Motel 6 which was, ummmm...interesting to say the least, and going out to eat and watching the children play No More Monkeys on the bed and simply all of it was tremendous. 
I have some excellent memories I hope not to forget, including this one:
Last night Gibson was so tired and wanted something, I can't even remember what, and he and his mama and Maggie were standing outside our room discussing this and Gibson finally, wailing, threw himself down on the pavement. August was in our room, watching something on TV (a huge treat for him) and he got off the bed, ran to the door and slammed it shut tight and then calmly got back on the bed and resumed his TV watching. 
Lily thought I'd done it which made it even funnier in a way. 
She told me she'd thought, "What the hell, Mom?" and I could not stop laughing and eventually, Gibson did stop crying and all was well. 

Owen rode with us on the way down and the way back and he was such pleasant company. We played Guess the Animal on both trips and this afternoon we actually found our boy a Chinese restaurant in Chiefland, Florida. It was not a buffet and it was not the kind of Chinese restaurant where you'd be offered chopsticks but the wontons in the soup were homemade and Owen's teriyaki chicken with lo mein noodles made him very, very happy. 

Yep. It was a good trip and it is good to be home where all of my chickens are still alive and so are our cats. I have unpacked, mostly, and started laundry and picked salad from the garden and turned on the sprinkler and the azalea blooms are insane and tonight I'll be in my own sweet bed with my own sweet husband. I'm so glad he went with us. I know that my kids and my grandkids love me but their grandfather is special to them all. He is the biggest and tallest and most gentle man they know and he can also be crazy funny and ridiculously silly and his lap is always available for babies, his arms always right there for holding close and hugging. 

Phew. That's enough! 

Leftovers and salad for supper tonight, followed, I am sure by some March Madness something-something and then bed and sweet dreams of mermaids swimming in water as clear as, well, water, and bubbles rising and bursting with almost preternatural light from above. Of a love of a baby, passed from arms to arms giving the toothiest and goofiest of grins. Of little boys thinking they are big boys, of big boys, taking good care of little boys, of a family no different from any other family, and yet unique in the way that each and every one of us is unique, whether happy or not, no matter what Tolstoy said. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon