We turned the heater on this morning, not just because it was a chilly 62 degrees, but to see if it worked because it never does when we first turn it on.
It didn't this time either.
"I hate to say it," I told my husband as we waited for the sweet purr of the unit kicking in which did not occur, "But I think it's about time to replace this motherfucker."
"I hate to say it too," said Mr. Moon and he made no further remark about it except to say that he'd call the heating guy.
He was getting ready to go back up to Georgia and was in a very fine mood despite mechanical woes. Our refrigerator is displaying some problems too, and since these things always run in threes, I'm a bit wary. Perhaps we can count the stove which requires match-lighting for one of the burners and which has another burner which will not work no matter what.
The oven's really dirty, too. Can I get a new one?
Sometimes it just seems like everything is falling apart.
Perhaps that's because everything is falling apart.
The garden gate is disintegrating. Half my clothesline has broken. The railroad hasn't gotten back with us on the subject of the four tons of oak tree in my back yard, and I haven't even started in on the physical pains and problems that the two older people who live here are experiencing these days.
Not to mention my face and body which have definitely already fallen apart.
This is life.
However, I DID get the garden planted today, or at least mostly, and I am so proud of this and feel so happy about it. I planted carrots and beets and collards and kales and red mustards and green mustards and arugula and leeks and mesclun and cauliflower and cilantro. I think that's all.
Of course my rows are as wavy and curvy as a snake moving through the grass. Also, and this is HUGE! - I planted my rows from east to west rather than from north to south which is what we have always done.
I'm a rebel, baby! But the rows aren't as long going east to west and that's good because I don't need fifty collard plants. Thirty will do fine. I ain't a farmer.
Also, this means there will be more room in spring to plant potatoes and onions if I want to.
So I feel as if I accomplished something today and besides that, Hank and Rachel came out to see me and I pulled a smoked mullet and some blue crab claws out of the refrigerator that Mr. Moon brought home from the coast yesterday and we had a little north Florida feast on the back porch. When we were done we looked at the mullet skin and discarded bones, the de-meated crab claws, the bottle of hot sauce, the jar of mustard and the leavings of the claw sauce I'd whipped up and laughed.
That's what I like about the south.
So are y'all ready for Halloween? I am. I have decorated my entire house and all of the porches with spider webs.
Okay, okay. No. I did not do that. However, there ARE spider webs all over my house and porches.
I haven't bought any candy. We haven't had a trick-or-treater in years. And I haven't even bought a pumpkin to carve and set out on the front fence post. I really should do that. Maybe if I did, I'd get a trick-or-treater. Of course, that would require me to also buy candy. Which is never a good idea. Even if I get the kind I don't really like (Three Musketeers, anyone?) that only means that I'll be eating candy that I don't really like.
Jessie and Vergil took the boys to a pumpkin patch yesterday.
August took a tape measure to measure pumpkins. Don't ask me why. Levon tried to pick up and throw pumpkins. This seems to me to be more self-explanatory.
Tonight they are going trunk-or-treating which is what people do these days and don't ask me why about that, either.
Here's Skeleton August. He looks pretty good, doesn't he?
Lily's family is sort of in quarantine at the moment. Gibson got a real, raging, old-fashioned case of strep and although he's on antibiotics and feeling better, it's probably prudent to keep everyone home in case that damn horrible bug is brewing in any of the other kids. They'll be okay by Halloween, I'm sure. But Gibson was miserable for awhile there. On Friday night Lily texted me about his symptoms which included, "can't swallow his spit because his throat hurts so bad," I texted her back with, "Oh god. Strep." And she said, "I know and I want to die."
They got him to the doctor the next day and so far none of the other kids are showing symptoms.
Strep and head lice. These are two things that you never really consider when you're being all swoony and excited about the precious little baby you're about to give birth to.
Unless you already have kids in which case you know what you're getting into and that's why you're not as swoony as you were with that first one.
And that's it from Lloyd. It's Sunday and once again, I did not die.
In fact, kneeling in the dirt for hours and concentrating on placing those tiny seeds in the welcoming soil was just the thing I needed. And seeing Hank and Rachel and eating mullet and crab claws was just the thing I wanted.
And the rest of it can all go fuck itself. You know what I mean.
Ahhh Mary, you are refreshing!ReplyDelete
I can not even fathom planting a garden in the winter...but then I guess you are that far south, nearly in Australia! Everything up here is going to bed.
Step is the worst! I had it one time and was pretty sure I could not go on, just in time the antibiotics kicked in and saved the day. WHEW, I am so sorry for that lad!
Honestly- some of my most painful memories from childhood into my adulthood have to do with getting strep. Thank SCIENCE for antibiotics. When we need them, we need them. I feel so bad for my funny, sweet Gibson. But he's good now, I think. Because of SCIENCE.
My winter garden is my best garden because the heat is not so overwhelming that it wilts and promotes insects and fungus and all that funky stuff. And weeds are much more manageable. Of course, I have to plant things that are frost resistant, as they say. But all of the delicious greens are and most of them are sweeter and better after they get hit by a frost. It's our saving grace in the garden.
we are a family that is deeply familiar with strep. Every. Fucking. Time. Jonah has a sore throat it is strep. Goes for me too. I don't want to jinx us, but we have so far been immune from lice. Except the time Dashiell got lice and Rob shaved his head (much to Dashiell's mom's great dismay, but this was before me and thus I couldn't talk him out of it). Though, the schools are always sending lice warnings. Maybe we're actually made of lice. Oh well.ReplyDelete
Girl! Strep is the fucking devil. And my sister-in-law lost her kidneys due to strep which eventually led to her death. So yeah, we're on top of that shit. I wonder if head lice are more apt to show up in the south. I have no idea. But it hits all of us here. I don't care how clean you are or how often you wash your child's hair. If it's in the classroom, your kids are going to get it. I remember when my daughters got it and had hair down to their waists. Lord, Lord. The time I spent with them sitting on a picnic table bench combing their hair out and washing everything in the house they may have laid their heads on.Delete
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Your garden will be fabulous...August looks adorable...I love the way that kid thinks...ReplyDelete
He is his daddy's son. Vergil is an engineer and August wants to know how everything works and why it works and so forth. He slays me.Delete
i hope they can find what ails your furnace soon. i've never had lice which is amazing, because it's like that in the north too- once one kid gets it, everyone has it.ReplyDelete
thanks again for your support re this school year. 120 days to go!
Woman, you are a hero to me! And you don't get head lice because you obviously have super powers! I never got it as a child but when my kids started bring it home, I got it over and over. Yuck. Disgusting. Itchy. Horrible. Really, really hard to get rid of.Delete
Oh how well I remember strep! But the thing that no one told me about when it came to parenting was HOMEWORK. And boys. In my case, boy. It consumed a few years there but all’s well that turns out well. Happy Sunday my love.ReplyDelete
Homework. Hank had a real problem with getting homework turned in. I think he just thought it was ridiculous and I'm sure it was.Delete
And yes- I hated it when my kids had overwhelming amounts of it. Or projects. Oh god. Thank goodness those days are over for me.
Never had strep, never had lice. What I do have is a refrigerator that is misbehaving. Sigh.ReplyDelete
You lucky woman! Except for the refrigerator.Delete
When my son had lice he cried because I was swishing them down the drain and killing them.ReplyDelete
I hope nobody else gets strep. That is an awful one. I have had it so many times and it just makes you feel miserable. Even ice cream doesn’t console. Poor Gibson.
Your son was obviously VERY tenderhearted.Delete
Bless his heart.
And bless yours for getting strep so often. That's horrible!
As a long-standing member of The Church of the Batshit Crazy, I always kneel in the dirt on Sundays...isn’t that one of the commandments???ReplyDelete
I think we only have "suggestions" and not "commandments." But yes, kneeling in the dirt (if at all possible) is strongly suggested for Sunday services.Delete
My house is fully decked out with spiderwebs, too. Happy Halloween! Haha. I don't even care. We're moving out, and will have to clean thoroughly anyway in a couple of weeks, so I'm doing the bare minimum around here so that we don't devolve into total Neanderthals! :)ReplyDelete
Oh, strep. That's the worst. I haven't had it since I was about Gibson's age, thank god. And lice? I got them once as a kid. It's a rite of passage for children, I think.
I love winter garden veggies. My favorites are collards and turnips and mustard greens. And isn't distraction a blessing these days? With the house buying I've barely had time to watch the news and it's been a welcome relief.
And you know what? Do yourself the biggest favor in the whole world and HIRE A CLEANING CREW to clean your old house. Just do it.Delete
If you can.
I haven't planted turnips in quite awhile. Mr. Moon does not like them much. I might pick up a few seeds though and plant a short row.
Omg, we are oven sisters. Yes, we can buy another one because it's so dirty and a burner (and timer, and grill) don't work properly? Yes?ReplyDelete
What's trunk or treating?
I hope Gibson feels better soon. Horrible thing.
YES! New stoves for all!Delete
Here's what the internet says about trunk or treating:
Provide a safe & fun trick-or-treating experience by participating in trunk-or-treat events for kids. Great for churches, schools and rural areas where houses are spread apart; this event takes place in a parking lot where kids go car-to-car to get their treats.
My grands still go trick or treating in the traditional manner in neighborhoods, however.
I'm still not planting a winter garden but today I'm getting out and working on the flower beds even though I still have one more mold to fill. It can wait. this perfect weather won't. we nurse our appliances along as long as they can be repaired. when the washer started leaking and I asked the repair guy if it would be better to just replace the 25 or 30 yr old one we have he said no. as long as he can get parts just keep it as the ones they make now are garbage and it will have to be replaced in about 7 years, even the expensive ones. same with the old refrigerator. we kept the old one in the city house until both hinges broke, one broken hinge wasn't bad enough to go through the pain of buying a new one. and strep, the scourge of the devil. and ageing. my face didn't age until I hit the 60s (I was out with my older sister by three years one day and a friend of hers who hadn't met me asked if I was her daughter) and then 30 years of living descended on me in one fell swoop.ReplyDelete
All my appliances are already cheap crap because they are newer. I've had to glue the shelves together in my refrigerator because they all cracked. And whenever I look at new refrigerators, they make me feel angry because they're even cheaper crap than the one I have.Delete
And cheap crap don't come cheap.
Ellen! The same thing happened to me when I turned sixty. I got carded up into my forties. I swear. And then...well, those days are long, long gone.
You WILD thing, you -- switching around your garden rows! Seriously, it sounds like you had a heck of an active day. I love the bit about your "naturally decorated" house. We don't decorate at all for Halloween, and I'm not about to because, like you, I'd really rather not have people knocking on my door. Great pic of the boys at the pumpkin patch! I hope the rest of Lily's family steers clear of the dreaded strep.ReplyDelete
I knew you'd like the fact that I planted the rows in different directions, thus getting in touch with my inner wild child.Delete
I don't mind trick-or-treaters at all but then again, I've probably only had maybe a dozen in the last fourteen years.
I'm so far behind reading your blog and all the other wonderful blogs, and I don't know how to catch up. I come here, though, to do so, and I'm filled with all the warmth and love and craziness and good food and beautiful children and YOU, YOU, YOU dear Mary. Thank you for always being here.ReplyDelete
But Elizabeth- what are doing in your massive amounts of free time?Delete
I love you, woman. I really do.