Sunday, September 30, 2018

We Have Celebrated Our Brains Out

Oh my.
I am tired again and I didn't even actually do anything you might call laborious today. Not at all. And August let me get plenty of sleep. After he had his bath and brushed his teeth and we read some books and had a little tiny snack of cheese and he showed me exactly where I was to sleep on my bed (which was the very, very edge of it, as close to his bed on the floor as I could get), he laid down and cuddled with old Zippy and I covered him up, kissed him, told him I loved him and he went to sleep.
He did not move as far as I know until 7:19 this morning when he sprang up in the bed, called, "MerMer!" and came right up to my face and told me he was ready to get up.
"Come get in the bed with us," I said. "Let's sleep a little more."
He got in the bed and I tried to cozy him up but he was having none of it and his grandfather, Saint Boppy, got up with him and I said, "Don't forget to take him to pee-pee," and he said, "Okay," and that was the last thing I knew until almost nine and so I have no excuse to be tired except for the fact that THERE WAS ANOTHER PARTY!
The Closing Ceremonies as Jason called it.
After pancakes and some more books this morning, August and I drove over to Lily's. Mr. Moon had to make a sign (a real one, not like a sign from GOD, okay?) and was feeling a bit desperate to get it done before tomorrow so I reassured him that he did not have to come to this party.
But August and I did, especially since the party was for all of the family who'd had birthdays this week and August was one of them, although once again, Vergil couldn't be there because he had to fly to some city I've forgotten for work. That man is a hard-working man.
And it was another major blow-out with cupcakes and presents and a pinata. Children everywhere, adults everywhere, food galore. Jason cooked hamburgers of both the meat and veggie sort and hot dogs. Lily made cole slaw and beans and macaroni and cheese. Jason's mother made spinach and artichoke pinwheels. Rachel made the best guacamole I've had since leaving Mexico and she and Hank made a delicious red cabbage with apples dish. Jessie made the cupcakes. And what else? Oh hell. I don't know.
And what did I bring?
A roll of paper towels.
And August, of course.
He was glad to see his mother and his brother and speaking of Levon- oh, that poor child. Our dear friend Edie baby sat for him last night while Jessie and Vergil went to the wedding and he's already going through a major Mommy Velcro stage and after the trauma of being without her for maybe four or five hours last night, he was not letting any one else hold him and every time Jessie tried to put him down or hand him to someone he would cry in the most pitiful and sorrowful manner. He didn't even want his MerMer. Not one bit. In fact, every time he saw me he thought I was coming to get him and he cried.
Poor baby.
Poor Jessie.

But it was good to see everyone and my favorite part besides that was the pinata busting.

 August whacks it.

Maggie's turn. 

The darling Lenore has a go at it. She was wearing her pinata busting uniform as you can see. 

Gibson knew what he was doing and cracked that bad cat.

And Owen finished it off.

Candy flew and children were happy.

So it was a good party although there was some discussion of both politics and religion and the religion part got a little sticky. As you might imagine, me and mine are all fairly what you might call rampant tree-hugging, gay-rights, women's rights, Trump-hating liberals and if not flat-out atheists, then close-to-it agnostics and not everyone else at the party was.
No one came to blows.
And hugs were given all around at the end.
And we all love the babies.

After I'd finally said good-bye to everyone and given and received my share of hugs, I came home to find these.

Another green egg! Hurray! This is so exciting for me. 

And two days ago I saw but did not report, Ringo having sex with Miss Pansy. So that's happening for sure. Maybe I did report this. I can't remember. Ringo looked as if he had no idea in the world what he was doing and was quite clumsy about the whole thing and appeared to be stunned afterwards and Pansy looked completely nonplussed. 

Darla is still sitting on eggs and I have no idea how many or if any of them are fertile. This makes a week and a day or so that she's been sitting. Two more weeks to go to see if we get any peeps. I'd check under her to count the eggs but she growls at me if I try. What? You didn't know chickens could growl? 
Trust me. They can. 

And Mr. Moon, who was leaving the house to go put up his sign just as I was getting home, sent me this. 

And he's just now pulling up into the driveway. 
That poor man. I think I'm tired? 
He was working outside in this eternal and satanic heat all day long. 
Isn't it a beautiful sign? 
When he does a thing, he does it right. 
And tomorrow he's going to wonder why his back hurts. 

Birthday week over. We have no more need for cakes and candles for awhile. 
And yet, somehow, I feel as if the adventure will continue. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, September 29, 2018

A Boy Is Three!

And today it's August's birthday. Yes sir and yes m'am, the Little Boppy is three years old today and spending the night with us. His parents are going to a wedding and so it's convenient that he be here, plus there's nothing in the world that would make him happier. As we speak he's sitting with Big Boppy in the Glen Den, cuddled up in Boppy's Chair and watching football. His bed is already made up in our room and life is good.

I know that the amount of cakeage we've had around here in the past week is ridiculous but I couldn't not make the child a small cake for him to blow candles out on so I dug out the little heart cake tin and made a miniature chocolate cake and he was so happy about that. He got to decorate this one too. Mr. Moon and I sang him a horrible rendition of Happy Birthday but he seemed fine with it, mostly just wanting to get it over with so that he could blow out those candles and EAT CAKE which he has not tired of in the least.

He'd wanted a doctor kit and so I got him some crazy thing off Amazon that has doctor tools, dentist tools, and optometrist tools. And, as you can see, a white coat and a pair of very impressive glasses. It has a clipboard for notes, a name-tag, a set of teeth, an emesis basin, and instruments for all sorts of procedures and treatments. He is delighted. 
"What this for?" 
"What this for?" 
"What this for?"
There were a few things that I didn't even recognize. They probably hadn't invented them when I went to nursing school. 

So that's all been good and of course he got on the tractor with his grandfather. 

Mr. Moon can get the old thing to turn over but that's it. August asked to take a ride but Boppy had to tell him that it wouldn't go anywhere. 
"Let's 'tend," said the boy, and so they did. They pretended to ride all over the place and I'm sure they had fun.

So that's what's happening here right now. It's still so fucking hot I can't stand it and it doesn't look like anything's going to change for at least a week. It looked, smelled, and sounded like we might get some rain just a few minutes ago but it passed us by, leaving us panting. This is the kind of weather that drives dogs to dig a cave in the cool dirt under the porch and settle themselves into it all day long and if I didn't have air conditioning, I'd probably do the same. 

Remember this? 
Me too. 
Sigh. The sweetest day. 

I guess I'll go fry some grouper for that infant and his grandfather. 

Life just keeps on moving on and babies just keep on growing and that's the way it is. 
Can't stop it, can't slow it down, can't change it. 
But you sure can feed it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, September 28, 2018

Listening To That Which Is Real, Including A Podcast With Billy

When I was walking two days ago I thought about all of the wonderful hollowed out places I pass where different animals no doubt live but where I always feel a presence of spirit too.
Or spirits.
What do I know?
Of course I have no religion- that is part of who I am. But that doesn't mean I don't believe in certain things and I've discussed them many times before. The Pragmatic Miracles, as I like to call them which are the ones science can explain and often readily explain like birth and death and dirt and sun and water and light and love.
Well, maybe science hasn't quite got that last one figured out yet, depending on your definition of it and mine is pretty vast.
But in the woods, or walking down a road which is lined with trees and banks of clay where these hollowed out places occur, I often sense a sort of presence which emanates from those hollowed out spaces and which linger there. 

These are not sinister spirits in any way and I feel them as friendly, as protective, or at the very least benign and unconcerned with my presence. 

So on Wednesday I took some pictures of some of the places where I feel that these spirits reside and I would never have seen this little skinky guy if I hadn't been doing that. 

These places are one of the reasons that it is so good for me to get out and walk and it is of great importance that during these times of such unholy despair and obvious wrong-doing that I remind myself of what is real and yes, I can see the irony of saying that the spirits which live in hollowed out trees and banks is real while the machinations of Washington are not. 
So be it.

I actually got out into my yard for a little trimming up and pulling of invasives today. I didn't last long. It's still so very hot. But there is so much to love about my yard with its oak trees, its little sacred spaces, its flowers. The ones above are the butterfly ginger lily and they smell heavenly. Like the armpits of angels, I am sure.

Here's the fire spike and the sky vine by my front fence. I did not plant the sky vine (what a glorious name!) but the fire spike is one of my cuttings-and-rootings-and-plantings projects. 

After yesterday's breakdown (what else could I call it?) I simply had to let go that which I could not control and sweat a little and get dirty doing some of what I can. Self-care is a very popular term and concept these days and despite the Puritan grandfather's blood which fills my body, even I recognize that sometimes it's important to take care of one's self even if that means working in the yard rather than getting a pedicure and it is also important to love one's self as I would want to love all of the women (and men) who were re-victimized by yesterday's horrible performance of the big angry cry baby who had been shamed by quiet truth and the old, entitled white men who support him. 

Enough of that for now. As I said, I cannot control any of it. I can only live my life with as much joy as I can muster and in taking care of myself, I am saying fuck you! to the molesters. You will not ruin my life, motherfuckers. You will not. 
I have love. That incredible force which I don't think we humans can begin to define but which I know is there, is here, is within me and without me. We could call it grace if wanted. And I have felt it today. 

Speaking of love, today is Billy's birthday. Many of you know who Billy is and for those of you who do not, I can only say that if you do a search on my blog for him, you will begin to get to know him. Here's a picture of him and his son, Waylon. 

I don't get to see Billy as often as I would like or his beautiful and beloved wife Shayla, either. Or their boy Waylon. But occasionally Billy and I will have a marathon text session which goes on for hours and we did that two nights ago and then yesterday, when we were at Midtown Pies celebrating Lily's birthday, who should walk in but Billy himself and his friend Dylan?

It was awesome! 
And I had just listened to a podcast that Billy and Dylan had done recently for Dylan's podcast, the Double D. You can find it HERE. 
It's just a conversation between two very old and dear friends (although neither of them are old) and it starts out with Real Housewives of New Jersey and goes well into the range of what it means and what it's like to be queer in the south. It's funny as hell and it's profound and, well, it's Billy. 

Happy birthday, Billy. Ain't nobody like you on this earth. 

All right, y'all. It's Friday night and I wish you all a good one. Let's take care of ourselves and love each other and let's not forget that love includes loving ourselves even though just saying that sort of makes me cringe. 
If I can try, so can you. 
And fuck the patriarchy who is not allowed to tell us that we are not worthy of that love. 
And also, get outside and find a tree spirit and sit with it for awhile if you can. I swear you will feel better. If nothing else, the wind (which is also invisible but very real) will talk to you through the leaves of that tree. I can honestly guarantee you that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, September 27, 2018

No Title

I should be so happy today. It's Lily's birthday and we had two birthday celebrations and we had cake that I made yesterday and which August and Maggie decorated with ALL the vintage candle holders and decorations.

And they did such a good job. 

And Owen got his ears pierced and was happy about that and he loved what we gave him for his birthday which is some sort of Voltron thing that his mama said he wanted and I ordered off Amazon. 

My little Mayan man. 
Can you see the hoop? He has one in each ear. 

And I got to see all of my children and all of my grandchildren. 

Even though Levon has a cold and a little fever. He was in a pretty good mood despite all that and I made him laugh and laugh by simply saying, "Foo!" to him again and again.

It's Vergil's birthday too, and I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am that he was born, that he and Jessie met eyes and danced together and that they fell in love and that they were married and that he is part of our family and the father of August and Levon, the husband of Jessie. That good, good man. 

I even got my first green egg today. One of the Americaunas has started laying. Either Eggy Teena or Pansy. 

I should be so happy today. This should be all about Lily whose birth was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and who has grown up to be a woman who is as strong and as beautiful as any woman on earth and whom I love with every bit of my soul. 

And yet. The minute that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford started to testify I crumpled and my heart hurt so much for her and for all of the women, and all of the anger that one woman can hold in her bones and in her heart and all of the hurt that one woman can hold in her bones and her heart was multiplied by millions and that was the end of any chance of joy for today.

I can't even talk about how I feel. 

I don't even know what to say. 
But here- how's this? 
I heard a woman say today that Bill Cosby should be given house arrest (has she been listening to OJ?) because he's so old. 
I wanted to scream at her that if Cosby's victims live to be a hundred, the sins he committed against them will not cease to torture them. 

And how about this? 
The man who molested me probably had no idea that his sins against me would not only affect me for the rest of my life but would affect the ones I love as well. He probably had no idea and guess what? He would not have cared. 
Just as Kavanaugh does not care. Just as Trump does not care. Just as none of those men who pretended to give Dr. Ford a fair hearing care. Just as Clarence Thomas did not care and never will. Just as Bill Cosby did not care.  

That's all I have in me. 

I give up. 

I am so tired. 
I am so incredibly, unbelievably tired. 

I am going to go to bed and try my best to remember how it felt to lie in my bed with my beautiful newborn daughter thirty-three years ago, her father on the other side of her, and how we were in wonder at the miracle which had occurred that day as we studied her perfect self. 
I'm going to try. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A Boy Turns Nine

Today is a most, most special day. It is the birthday of Owen and he is nine years old.
Or, as Hank said on Facebook today, "He used to be a baby but now he's a grown-ass man."
Well. Almost.
I have so many pictures of Owen from when he was little. I was his caretaker when his mama and his daddy were at work and so I had every opportunity to take his picture. And since he was my first grandchild, every breath he took was photo-worthy to me. I must have dozens of him and my beloved rooster Elvis alone. They loved to study each other. They were part of each other's world. I like to think they were buddies.

I want this post to flow and to be a tribute to that boy. The boy who made me a grandmother. The boy who bound his freshly made grandfather to me even tighter as we beheld in wonder the true result of where our love had led.

I also want to honor his mother and his father who from the moment Lily went into labor worked as a team of support and love and strength to get him here and who have worked together in strength and in love to raise him. This picture.

This was two days after Owen was born. And I love it. 

I want to do all of that but it's impossible to truly convey what the day Owen was born meant to me or how he's become such a part of my life and my heart that I can't begin to imagine what my life would be without him. He gave me my grandmother name. He has honored me with his trust and his love and his respect, too. I have watched him grow from the second of his birth to the boy he is now. And I could not love him more. 

He has absolutely helped me to define who I am and what my role as an older woman is. 
And it has been the most incredible experience and I am going to use this word again- honor- to be a part of his life. To watch him grow and develop and change and learn about the world and to become a loving, intelligent, sweet human being with a style all of his own, a voice all of his own, a life all of his own. 

Some of you have read it before. 
I think about that day and get a real sense of how that first grandchild pulls tight the knots that bind a family. Before that baby comes, we may all love and cherish and enjoy each other but with the arrival of the child, we are all bound in no uncertain terms to help preserve and nurture the life which has arrived in our midst. And all of my grandchildren are blessed in that our entire family has joyfully accepted that sacred trust. 
And it has been a blast. 

I called Owen this afternoon and sang him Happy Birthday and if I do say so myself I did a great job of it. I sang with verve and with drama and was mostly in tune. And then I began to cry because that's what I do. 
Tomorrow we'll all go out for supper after he gets his ears pierced (at a medical facility!) and the party won't end until Sunday when there's going to be an entire family blow-out to celebrate all of the birthdays from this week. 

So happy birthday, Owen Curtis Hartmann! You are nine years old! You are amazing and your life is going to be an amazing adventure and 
You are loved!!!!!

Thanks for being my grandson. Thanks for giving me my grandmother name. Thanks for being you. 

You are glorious! 


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

My Babies, My Soul

The pine cone lilies have acquired enough scarlet to them to cut a few and bring them into the house to put in the hallway.
"Peekaboo!" says the little boy angel on whom the Virgin of Guadalupe stands. Or hovers. Or whatever she does.

I got a text from Jessie this morning saying that August had gotten his backpack out, put his own shorts on and was putting his shoes on and was saying he was going to come to see me and that she was pretty sure he had a tiny car hidden somewhere that he was going to drive out to Lloyd.
I told her that she herself had better drive him and so she did but before they got here, the guy whom we've hired to crawl under the house (I've been there and you don't want to go) to fix the ductwork for the AC arrived. We've known for awhile that there was the possibility that some of the ductwork had gone awry due to animal mischief. The Glen Den is always about ten degrees warmer than the rest of the house AND we've heard the vent rattling in there in a disturbing fashion. Although Mr. Moon did put up skirting around the entire house when we moved in here, nothing is going to stop armadillos from digging under it and rats and mice just wedge their bodies here and there and everywhere and according to the duct guy, it would appear that these things have happened. Some of the ducts had actually been dragged far away from their vents and almost all of the insulation has been torn off for nest-building properties.
Too much nature.
Too much fucking nature.
He fixed what he could and is coming back to fix the rest and Jessie was here when he explained it all to me using terms like, Number six into number seven and hard-pipe and I tried to keep an intelligent look upon my face and nod when it seemed most appropriate.
"Would you like to talk to Glen about this?" I asked him.
"Yeah, I'll call him," the guy said.
So we've been providing rodents, both shelled and unshelled with nesting material and delicious cool air in a protected place for them to raise their little babies in safety and comfort and that's about to end.
They have been served notice.

But August and Levon were very glad to be here and Jessie too, I think, and August wanted me to show him how my sewing machine worked and so I did. I cut out and stitched up and we stuffed a little heart pillow for him from some of the scraps of his fox dress and sewed a button on it. He operated the light switch on the old Singer for me and put the pins in the pin cushion. He had asked where Old Boppy was when he got here and I told him that Old Boppy was at work. I asked him if I was old Mer and he said I was. Recently he's been asking Jessie about death and dying which I think he's a bit young to even contemplate but you can't stop a kid from thinking about the Big Questions due to age because he or she is just going to start doing it when he or she does it. Of course when Jessie talked to him about death she had to reassure him that he won't die for a very, very long time because he is so very young which led to the discussion of how old people are the ones who die and now he's realized that Mer and Bop are rather old and we'll be next up on the Big Wheel of Death.
As you may recall, Gibson was fairly obsessed with this fact recently and discussed it endlessly.
"Mer. How old will you be when I am in high school? Oh. You'll probably be dead by then."
And so forth.
I am fairly well inured to the idea that my grandchildren anticipate my death at any time because I am older than anyone else they know on a personal basis and that is okay with me.
August also asked me today if I had ever met his great-grandmother, meaning in this case, his daddy's grandmother and I said that I had.
"How old was I?" he asked.
"You weren't even born yet!" I said.
Lord, these are complex issues, you know?
Where are we before we are born and where do we go when we die?
These are the questions which are so universal to our species that almost all of the religions have been invented to try and answer them and good luck with that.

But we did not really discuss the great theoretical and philosophic and spiritual issues surrounding birth and death today but instead decided to get our lunch at a little place about five miles down the road called The Hilltop where I haven't been in forever and I don't know why. For once I had no leftovers at my house to speak of and we decided to make it an adventure and so we did.
This place is so awesome. It's a convenience store in that they sell a few groceries and beer and things like that but mostly they sell already cooked food which you can take with you or eat on a picnic table out back. I think they also have an air-conditioned dining room behind the picnic tables but I've never even opened that door. It's one of those places that Anthony Bourdain might have liked. The menu is really huge for such a small place. Here's ONE of them.

Check out that kids' menu!
There's also this one.

And this one. 

And the prices are very, very decent as you can see.
Just in case you might wonder what some of those sides and the desserts look like, I took this picture. 

Jessie got the fish and shrimp dinner with fried okra and field peas and I got a Cuban sandwich with fried green tomatoes. 
"Would you like some ranch dressing with the tomatoes?" asked one of the ladies behind the counter. "Or some of our homemade remoulade sauce?" 
"Uh, homemade remoulade sauce, please," I said. 

We ate at one of the picnic tables and the three ladies behind us were having a discussion so interesting that Jessie and I didn't say much beyond, "Try this shrimp." As Jessie said after they left, "The inflight entertainment was great!" 
And it was. 
So was the food. 
I brought home half my sandwich and some of Jessie's okra and field peas and we were all happy as little cats who'd sipped bowls of cream when we left. 

When we got home, August wanted to go play on Boppy's tractor which he's recently brought home from the hunting camp. It doesn't run at the moment but it's a beautiful old thing and children are drawn to it without exception. 

August wanted to pretend drive it and fix it and asked questions about how Boppy's going to fix it and what this thing is for and what that thing is for and Levon was just happy. 

So it was a beautiful visit and we checked on Miss Darla who's still sitting on those eggs and probably will be for three weeks. This morning I saw that she'd gotten off the nest and that Dottie was laying another one for her to tend. 
The origins of daycare? Surrogate motherhood? 
Who knows? I put a waterer in the nest so that the little mama can have sips. 

I see that Bill Cosby's been sentenced to some prison time. I doubt he'll serve much of it but just the fact that he got any at all is good. And yet, at the same time I am again triggered as a beloved icon has proven to be capable of such grotesque behavior and was able to get away with it for so many years. The Kavanaugh thing continues and my stomach continues to roil. Every woman who steps forward to name and call to account a molester triggers the memories of thousands of those of us who did not. Tens of thousands? Millions? 
Every woman ever born, most likely. 
We all have and/or had our reasons and that alone could be the subject of tens of thousands of blog posts. Or maybe millions. 
But I think that shame is probably a factor in a great deal of the silence and every time a woman comes forward and refuses to take the shame upon herself for one more second as she hands it over to the person who deserves it and who has never claimed it, there is less shame for women. And there is a much greater possibility that a sister, a mother, a daughter, a grandmother, an aunt, a neighbor, a coworker, a lover, a wife, a WOMAN will step forward and unburden herself too.
Can you imagine what would happen if all of us did that? If the message that this is unacceptable was so strong and became so apparent that even girls could step forward and report without fear? 
And most important of all- that the men who commit these acts were punished in a court of law? 
Or at the very least, denied employment even unto the highest offices of the land? 

No. I can't either.  

But we can hope. 

And here are two pictures of my granddaughter who, in a perfect world, will grow up to never know what it feels like to have to tuck any experience into a dark place which has the power to hurt her forever.

We were all that beautiful, strong, joyful, amazing child once. Every one of us. She is still there inside of us, living life on her own terms no matter what. 
Magnolia June- don't ever, EVER stop owning your own body, your own truth, your own reality. That is my wish for you, even after I am long gone. 

All love...Ms. Moon

Monday, September 24, 2018

Woods, Town, Farm.

You might as well go ahead and get tired of my screen shots from the WTForecast app because they amuse me and right now if there is anything about this heat that I can find which is amusing, I'm going to run with it. What is this? Third day of fall? Yeah?
I did go out and walk a little this morning because some mornings when I wake up my soul is so low that nothing in this world feels cheerful or positive or good. And I am quite aware that this is complete horseshit but it feels as real as real and I have learned over the years that a decent walk can help with that more than anything I know. And I'm never sorry I went.
Unless of course I walk too far and come home in heat exhaustion but I'm trying real hard to keep that under control.
How could walking on a road that looks like this not be uplifting?

It just is. And there are always birds and flowers and sometimes even a little breeze. This morning I saw a hawk snatch a squirrel from a tree, land on the road in front of me to adjust his grip on the poor little critter and then soar off with his breakfast clutched in his talons. I saw more wild turkeys and I saw butterflies.

I determined today that I needed to go visit Target to get some of this birthday stuff out of the way. I procrastinated as long as I could, hanging clothes on the line and checking on Miss Darla. 

She's sitting tight and giving me the side eye. Bless her little heart. It's got to be hell in that hen house with the heat the way it is. I think that tomorrow I'll put a waterer in that nest along with her. I know that hen's are physiologically designed to go through these times of extended fasting of both water and food but it's not spring in New Hampshire here, people. 

Heres's yet another picture of her sister, Dottie, attempting to do the Vulcan Mind Meld with me to get me to give her some cat food. 

She just stands there and stares at me until I give her some or I make it clear that she's already had her ration of Publix meow mix for the day and she needs to go scratch up a grub or something. 

Anyway, I did finally go to Target and I have to say that Target's been going down hill ever since they got rid of the garden section. Oh, the awesome exotic plants I used to find there for cheap! The succulents, the palms, the ferns, the herbs, the BEGONIAS! It was heaven. 
No more. All gone. Oh, you can buy all the garden gnomes you want but no garden gnome on earth is going to get me as excited as a variety of begonia I've never seen before. 
So I did what you do in Target which is to walk around with a cart and forget why you're there and then remember and try to find stuff that'll fulfill your needs and I did some of that. It took me approximately forty-five minutes to pick out birthday cards. I'd rather change a tire on the side of the interstate than pick out cards. It took me so long that the lady stocking them finally asked if she could help me and THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED!
So I got the cards and I got Lily a present and I got a few other things and what I have to say about Target is that it's a planetary mind and money suck and I almost passed out when I got to the part of the trip where I had to pay. 

Then I ran by Jessie's because she had offered to give me two eggs which she felt quite sure had been fertilized. Her rooster, Dewey Cox (or is it Cocks in this case?) is a sex machine so the odds are good that the eggs she's getting could indeed become chicks. I got to hold and kiss Levon but August was being taken on a walk by his daddy to get him to go to sleep for a nap so it was pretty much just a drive-by. I brought the eggs home and tucked them under Darla and she pecked at me but I'm sure she's settled them underneath her right where she wants them. Hens don't care who laid the eggs they sit on. When it's time to sit on eggs, they sit on eggs and that is that. 

Clothes off the line, folded and put away, bread on its second rise. I'm going to heat up the posole we had the other night which was delicious and make a salad with the amazing and miraculous arugula which continues, despite the heat and the lack of rain in the past few weeks, to regenerate itself daily and which has proven to be the most prolific, delicious, and appreciated thing I've never intentionally grown. I know I keep talking about this stuff but I've never had a green from my garden which has produced all summer long and this arugula is not only incredibly heat tolerant and as green and strong as The Hulk when angered, it is absolutely the best-tasting arugula I've ever had. It is peppery, it is snappy, it is perfect in salads whether they are made with tomatoes and cucumbers or apples and pears and grapes and blueberries. 

And it's beautiful!

I made a salad of it the other night with diced pears and blue cheese and toasted pecans with a ginger dressing and it was one of the best things I've ever eaten. Anywhere. 
You can bet I'm going to let those plants bolt and try to gather the seeds. 
Will they bolt? 
Who knows? 
Greens always bolt in the heat and if this heat hasn't been enough to make them go to seed yet, I don't know what it would take. 

Drink your water, people. I don't want you to fucking die. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Birthday Week Commences!

Lily, Owen, August, and Vergil all have birthdays this week. Not to mention Billy and Shayla. And another one of my oldest friends. 
I feel like I'm forgetting someone. Anyway, as you can only imagine, it's going to be a hectic week filled with cake and parties and suppers out and lots of doin's. Today started the whole celebratory event with Jessie and Vergil throwing what they called a "Toast and Jam" and inviting neighbors and friends to come over for brunch and mimosas and some music-playing. Although my presence was in no way required, I really wanted to go. I figured at the very least I could take August his dress and maybe help out with the children a little and I texted Lily and asked if she was going. She said she wasn't and I asked if maybe the boys would like to go with me and she said that Owen had just told her that he wanted to do something with me so that worked out well. 
I made some deviled eggs and went and collected Owen and Gibson and we drove to town, stopping at Costco to get a giant cheesecake because Jessie's been wanting a cheesecake and some flowers for the party and some turkey roll-ups to add to the brunch because they are Owen's favorite. 
When we got there, Vergil was in the kiddy pool with Levon in his lap and his harmonica in his mouth, playing along with a lovely group of musicians playing everything from the dulcimer to stand-up bass. I recognized some of the people, of course. Jessie's old music teacher from high school, for one. He's a glorious man and the school band was a bluegrass band and that is where Jessie started learning to play the mandolin. 
So I would love that guy even if I didn't love him for being who he is which is an amazingly sweet man with a glorious mane of white hair. I actually met him back in the seventies, I think, when he and his then-wife were planning a home birth. 
We do go back. 
August met us in the driveway, fresh out of the pool and carried the flowers to his mama. 
They came in the house as I was putting my food out and I showed him his dress. Jessie asked him if he wanted to put it on and he said he did. I pulled it on over his head and he sort of wiggled around a bit, testing out how that garment worked and then he looked like this.

He likes it!

Owen and Gibson felt a little shy at first but then they began to interact with the other kids and I was so glad they'd come with me. Lily has re-dyed Owen's hair for him and this is the only picture I got that really shows it. 

He's such a rock'n'roll kid. For his birthday he's getting both ears pierced. He wants hoops. I have to admit that I don't know whether to hope that I've influenced him or deny the fact that I have. 
Poor child. There may have been a bit of Keith Richards lore in his young childhood. And Rolling Stones music. And he may have heard me say once or twice that I do love a man with hoops in his ears. 
Well. It is what it is. 
And here's Gibson, trying to play a ukulele.

That kid. I just adore him. Several times during the day I reached out to hug him and he'd say, "I love you, Mer." I love him too.  
There were some other really cool kids there including a little girl named Ruby June which is about the epitome of great names in my opinion. She carried a little violin and bow around the whole time and she could actually pull some tunes out of it. Before the party was over, everyone had gathered around her for a take on "This Little Light of Mine" and she rocked it! 

Of course August wanted me to read books and so we did. At one point I had a small audience of sweet kids listening to me and nothing could make me happier. I held Levon for awhile so his mama could play music and that was wonderful. I actually chatted with mamas and neighbors and neighbor-mamas and there was another Mary there, around the same age as me. "I'm Mary," she said. "No, I'm Mary," I told her. 
It went from there. 
The bass player told me a story about a friend of hers who talks about his days of hanging out with the Grateful Dead and the Maharishi, who now lives in a retirement home. All I could think of was, "Well, that'll be me soon."
Except of course I never hung out with the Grateful Dead or the Maharishi. I told her that Jimmy Buffet was building a retirement community and of course it's called Margaritaville. 
"A lot of people are making fun of it," I said. "But I can think of a lot worse places to end up."
Jimmy's smart as hell. There aren't nearly as many baby boomers who are apt to retire in Presbyterian retirement villages as in generations past. I remember when it was a huge big deal in my mother's assisted living place when they put in a little pub where residents could get a beer. I imagine that in Margaritaville getting a beer with a shot of El Patron won't be a problem. I also predict that at least one of the doctors who takes care of the residents will be able to prescribe medical marijuana for the aches and pains and inevitable maladies of older age. 
Hell, I should sign up now. 

Anyway, back to the party. There was a cake!

A chocolate stout cake which was a thing of beauty. Vergil has asked for one every year after the first year that Jessie made it. He and August blew out the candles together. August was so happy to get cake. He took his bowl of cake and ice cream back to his bedroom to eat in peace. I thought that was very smart. That boy does love his sweets. 

Investigating the cheesecake. 

Here's another picture of Owen, this time holding Levon. 

He's so good with little kids. I wonder why. I'd forgotten to tell him and his brother that they should bring their swimming trunks to play in the little pool but I told them to just go ahead and get in with their shorts on. Which they did. At one point today Owen said, "I want to do this again!" 

I do too. 

And I will admit to you that before I went to the party, while I was making the deviled eggs, I was so very anxious but I am so very glad I went. I talked to grown-ups. I talked to kids. I got to hang out with grandchildren. 
I had fun. 

And now Mr. Moon is home and I'm going to cook some red snapper. I am wondering if Miss Darla is broody. She's been doing this for the past few days. 

The way she's spread out, she looks serious. Of course, she's only got maybe one egg underneath her. Do I want to go through this again? Have Liberace and Ringo been doing their husbandly duties which would ensure that sitting on eggs might actually result in babies? 

Hell if I know. 

Stay tuned. 

Love...Ms. Moon