Friday, November 30, 2018

Isn't That A Beautiful Camellia?

The only pictures I took today were of a camellia.
It's been a hard day to be honest.
Anxiety has boldly and without warning walked in the front door again, neglecting to even knock the dirt off its foul boots and I had forgotten how debilitating that can be. It's not the worst anxiety of my life, I can assure you. And at least I know enough of its deceptive tricks and ways to know how much it lies, how truly insidious it is.
Which does help. But not enough.
And anxiety never travels without its evil Siamese twin, depression. At least in my experience.
Sort of like Putin and the Saudi Crown Prince.



I went to lunch with the family today. I did that. I drove to town and met some of my beloveds and we ate at a very popular Cuban cafe which was packed and the line went all the way down a hallway whose walls were painted Melania Christmas Tree Red but we ate outside and that was sweet. There were plantains and black beans, white rice and Cubano sandwiches.
There were french fries and August ate a basket full and I think he drank the ketchup. We passed around food and shared and sampled and I had a Cortadito which is so delicious. I know I did not need the extra caffeine but I swear, I don't think it makes much difference when I'm in this place of rather constant dread.
It was so lovely, having lunch with my family but it felt as if I was in a bubble the entire time. I'd pick up on a tiny piece of conversation and ask, "What? What movie are you talking about?"
I'm here, but I'm not here.
I took the recycle down to the trash depot today and after I'd dumped the glass into the proper container, I went back to the car to get the plastic to put it where it belongs.
I couldn't find it. I knew I'd had it in the car. Where had it gone? Did I set it down somewhere when I carried the glass to dump? As soon as I walked back past the regular garbage container I remembered I'd thrown it in there. Just carried it over and thrown the plastic into the wrong place. And then promptly forgotten.
I went to the post office afterward and somehow, between there and my house, which is not quite two blocks, I couldn't find the one piece of mail we'd gotten. I searched and searched the car. I'd thought I'd put it up under the visor on the passenger side but it wasn't there. Finally I found it- under the visor on the driver's side.
This is one of the ways anxiety affects me. Now to be honest, the older I get, the spacier I get. That's just the truth. But this is a whole other level of inability to concentrate.
It's almost interesting in an observatory way.

Anyway, it's Friday night and my husband is home. He held me for a moment and I cried a little and he asked me why and I said what I always say when this happens which is, "I'm just having a little bit of a hard time," and he is so sweet about it but he knows by now that this happens and that I will get over it. I always do.

I'm going to cook us a piece of grouper and some of the salt-boiled and then roasted little potatoes which are heaven on this earth. Luckily I will probably still be able to cook when I've been dead for three days and so there will be a supper tonight. It might take awhile but eventually, there will be a meal.

I have no idea how to end this tonight.
I guess I'll just say, as usual, Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Shallots And Eggs Do Go Well Together

A much more normal day here, after midmorning, at least. It started out funky and weird but things straightened out and good news was received but I still felt knotted and anxious.
Because anxiety has nothing to do with reality for the most part, even if there is a tentative basis for it, the removal of the so-called reason does not cause it to simply disappear into the ether like a lingering spritz of Chanel No. 5.
So I knew what I had to do and I did it.

Down the road and back again, four nice miles. Such a beautiful day. 
The house where the incredible Halloween decorations were is in the process of transformation into a strange and busy Christmas wonderland. Besides the nativity and the seals with balls balanced on their noses, there are now also penguins and a huge Santa hanging from a crescent moon. 

The Beware of Dog sign is still there. I've never actually seen or heard a dog in that yard. 
The strangest thing of all was that a man who was probably one of the property's retainers was stringing lights on the fence right by where I was walking and I said, "Good morning!" and he absolutely ignored me. I was invisible. 
I think that perhaps he would rather be dealing with cattle or barn-raising or something more macho than stringing lights that he'll be unstringing before too long. 
Or maybe he just did not feel the need to talk to me. 
I wasn't too upset. 

I had an unusual chicken experience this morning. While I was on the porch, Miss Dottie came up, as she does, to get some cat food treats from me and after she ate she jumped up on the table where we keep the Friskies and rustled around in the stuff. There are bags of wild bird feed up there and I thought that perhaps she was trying to get into one of those but after awhile she hopped down and made her I-laid-an-egg cackling and I went over and checked but I could not find an egg. 
A little later she came back, hopped back up on the table and got INTO a bag that I keep dried shallots in. 

Hmmmm...I thought. 
And sure enough, a little while later she got out of the bag and jumped to the floor and here's what I found. 

Oh, Dottie! You seriously strange hen! 
Egg in shallots. 
I imagine the silky skins of the shallots feel good on her bottom parts. 
Anyway, I thanked her and she ran off to rejoin the flock. 

And it's been a day like that, just simple stuff, and those can be the best days. 
I did some ironing while watching a fairly horrible movie. The Land of Steady Habits. 
Have you seen it? It got some good reviews and the main character was played by Ben Mendelsohn who annoyed the fucking shit out of me. You know how I say I hate it when I can see people acting? Well, he acted all over the damn place. Edie Falco was in it and she was great, and so was Connie Britton. The story was pretty lame and in my own personal opinion, all of the truly good performances were wasted on the material. As something to watch while ironing, it was tolerable. 
I really am the nit-pickiest movie watcher of all times. 

So. What do you think about the whole Michael Cohen guilty plea thing? Could this be the thing that brings the whole house of cards tumbling down? Trump knows he's screwed. He absolutely knows it. He must be in haze of blood spit right now. 
Well, a normal human being would be. He's not a normal human being though, so who knows? I don't think the man has much of a grasp on reality so it's quite possible that he's convinced himself that he's as innocent as the driven snow of any crime whatsoever but eventually it's not going to matter at all what he thinks. 

Here's a beautiful picture. 

Owen the deer-slayer is painting his baby sister's fingernails. 

This gives me hope and makes me love that boy even more, which is hardly possible. 
But there you go. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Knotty Day Of Circumstances

I have things on my mind tonight and have all day long. Not things that I'd really talk about here but everything is fine, really, just some everyday life pushing up into the spaces where worry lives, where anxiety always keeps a foot in the door.

Ah well.

It did indeed freeze last night and my yard is going to look pathetic tomorrow, the frost-bit plants all wilted and brown and thus, the most intense yardwork of the year will commence.

Jessie and the boys came out and we met up with Boppy at the Hilltop for one of their fabulous lunches. We ran into our neighbors again.
"Best restaurant in the neighborhood!" Mr. Moon said cheerfully.
"How's Jack?" my neighbor asked. "We haven't seen him in forever."
"He's fine," I said.
My cat Jack started out as a stray and went back and forth between our houses for a long time before he settled in here but he's kept up a relationship with them because they serve wet cat food and we give him only dry. But they have a ton of little dogs and I do not think Jack likes them. Plus, my old man cat has gotten so corpulent that I'm not sure he can make the long walk between our yards.
Well, I'm sure he can but for some reason, he isn't.

August was beside himself, having his Boppy to sit with at the picnic bench and to share food with. He loved the new refrigerator, by the way, and now knows how to operate the buttons to reveal the door within the door from the outside and the inside. This charms him. I have to admit that it charms me too. I love knowing exactly where the juice and butter are. This makes life a great deal simpler. Isn't that silly?
Levon is walking all over the place now. He's still a little unsure of his footing, especially in my kitchen which is so uneven that if you drop a marble at one side, it will reliably roll down to the other. Helps a kid develop balance! That's what I say.
He's getting new teeth and has a snotty cold on top of that and is a bit miserable.
But not too miserable.

He can say, "Boppa," now. And "Tant-u," for thank-you.
If I try to get him to say MerMer, he sticks his tongue out and gives me a raspberry.
Somehow, by some alchemy, he has come to prefer his grandfather to me and all I can do is sigh and relinquish the title of Most Beloved.
What the hell, kids? Who makes those muffins you love so much?
They don't care. They love their Boppy.
So do I.

After lunch and after Jessie and her boys left, I was so unexplainably tired there was nothing for it but to lay down on the bed where I slept without moving for hours.

And now I'm going to go stir fry some stuff and make jasmine rice. I feel as uninspired to cook as I ever have in my entire life.

One of the little brown chicks got taken some time between last night and this morning.
And now there are eight.
I study them closely to see which ones I think are roosters but I can't begin to tell. Only time will allow me to do that.
This is true in so many instances.

Here's to tomorrow. Let there be peace.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It's Going To Freeze In North Florida Tonight

Got a beautiful ramble in this morning and it was cold! At least for this old Florida lady. The sky was so blue, some of the trees actually have fall color and I saw woodpeckers and squirrels and heard different birds calling and singing from the pine woods beside the road. I was actually glad to be out.

The houses on White House Road where I walk have started their Christmas decorating. Here's my favorite so far.

If you can't read what that says at the bottom of the sweet baby Jesus' manger it is, "And everyone shall kneel before Him."
Now that's what I call keeping the Christ in Christmas, y'all! 

The yard where the Halloween decorations were over the top have replaced the pirate ship and dragons with all sorts of lights and seals balancing balls on their noses and what was Boot Hill with gravestones and skeletons on it just a few weeks ago is now the Nativity with a little stable, I guess, and life-sized figures of the Holy Three along with various wise men although one of them has blown over unless it was a camel. I couldn't tell. Nor could I get a good shot of it. 
I'll keep trying. 

I had to go to town for groceries (one cannot live on condiments alone) and saw my beautiful friend Brenda at the Costco. She was wearing the sparkliest silver eyeshadow today I have ever seen which cheered me considerably. I just can't be too upset with anything when I'm around Brenda. She is absolutely proof that with make-up, less is not always  more. Sometimes, more is more! And beautiful! I don't know that I'd like the same make-up on anyone else in the world but it is perfect on Brenda. I think it must reflect her shining soul. 

When I got home I knew I had to do something with the damn porch plants. Mr. Moon's been having some pretty serious back issues and I could not stand the thought of him picking up those heavy pots. So I did a lazy-girl version of frost-damage-prevention and brought some into the house that I can carry and covered the rest up on the porch with my stash of blankets and sheets and old tablecloths that I keep just for that purpose. 

I have had that same plant or, actually, ancestors of that same plant for at least thirty years. 
Nope. Not kidding. It grows like crazy and sends shoots out that will stick to walls with rooting tendrils. I have at least two other pots of it and also a large vase with some rooting in it. You can root that plant for years without any obvious degradation in its green healthy appearance. It does not care. It's sort of the perfect houseplant. 
Or porch plant. 

So I did all of that and got clothes off the line and folded laundry and probably did a bunch of other stuff too but nothing very important. I should be exhausted after such a day but actually feel pretty good which is perhaps a result of not sweating for at least 36 hours. Of course I bitched to myself like crazy this morning when I was hanging clothes on the line. My hands felt like they were going to fall off they were so cold. We really are not used to this weather and I noted that many women in Publix looked very well turned-out in their skinny jeans, sweaters, vests and boots. It was like they'd all gotten a memo. They also, to a woman, had chic, funky hairdos and very fashionable glasses. It was a good look and I was jealous and felt quite frumpy in my pilled old black knit jumper and clogs which I didn't even bother to wipe the mildew off of before I left the house. 
I did wear earrings which for me is making an effort. 
We will not mention the leggings I was wearing under the jumper which were the same leggings I'd worn under cargo shorts for my walk. 

And none of this stuff matters in the least as our country is lobbing tear gas at babies and putting more and more kids in detention centers which are staffed by who-knows-who? As our president's lies become more and more hugely blatant and where he appears to think that addressing the troops from his privately owned club on Thanksgiving and telling them how great he is, is a perfectly presidential thing to do. Where...
Oh, let's just stop there. 
It's so bad. It always seems as if things can't become any worse or more terrifying or immoral and then they do. 
And they decorate the White House for Christmas with red "trees" that look like they were made from the pelt of Satan. 

Hey! Here's a nice picture. 

Dearie's little babies are still trying to sleep under her wings and she is doing her best to accommodate them. 
That little hen has more courage, integrity, love, and devotion in one of her pinfeathers than Donald Trump has in his entire body. 

Stay warm, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 26, 2018

You Can't Buy Love But You Can Buy Stainless Steel! Or Something That Looks Like Stainless Steel

So, well, hey, here we are.
I waited approximately three-quarters of the day for the new refrigerator. While I waited I did something I've needed to do for a long time which was to scrub my kitchen island. It looks like this.

It came with the house and it takes up about half the kitchen but I use it for storage and I keep stuff on it and pile stuff on it and I roll dough out on it, etc.
I had made up some of Birdie's special cleaning concoction of half dishwashing liquid and half cleaning vinegar and I sprayed and scrubbed and sprayed and scrubbed.
A toothbrush was involved.
I point this out because no one in the world would ever notice that I did it and I feel the need for credit if not praise.


No. Seriously.

I took stuff out of the freezer and put it all in a ice chest while I waited and also some of the food in the refrigerator and some of it I just put on counters. It was a mess.
But then, the men in the truck came and after a great deal of wrangling and setting-up of doors and the water line and I have no idea what-all, they took their leave and now, I have this in my kitchen.

Cue Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Isn't that ridiculous? 
I keep thinking about the woman who moved into this house when it was first built and how she would not even have the slightest idea what in hell that gleaming piece of metal-encased box is. 
I was a bit intimidated as well. 

Oh, the white virginal interior holding nothing but air and dreams and potential! 
Where to put everything? How to arrange it all? It was almost too much responsibility. 
But I did it. 

Can you see how many condiments and pickles I have? My god. As I told Lily and Jessie today, my refrigerator is like the United Nations of condiments. I've got everything from Tahini to curry sauces  to Mojo to salsas. I have four different types of hot sauce alone. Tabasco, Crystal, Mexicana, and Sriracha. 

So. There you go. There was nothing of any real interest under the old refrigerator, sadly. Just a crapload of dust, mostly. Hank and Rachel happened to be here when the old one was moved out and Rachel did most of that particular cleaning chore which I really appreciate. 

Well, one thing my new refrigerator will not do is cook supper so I better get in there and cook it myself. Going to get really chilly tonight and down to freezing tomorrow night and that means that Mr. Moon and I are going to have to bring in at least some of the porch plants and you know how much I love that yearly event. 
Why do I feel as if I must make my porch a jungle of tropical plants which cannot withstand cold? 
I do not know. 
Perhaps I am hoping to lure dinosaurs to my house if they should ever decide to come out from their hiding places. I know they still exist. 
Until that happens, I have my chickens. 

And a brand new stainless steel refrigerator! Let's see how long it takes before shit starts breaking on it. 
I'm such an optimist, aren't I?


Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A bold chick.

Today was slow and gray and Sunday. I stayed busy for most of it, primarily with making a soup out of the turkey carcass which I started boiling right after breakfast. I messed with it all day long, getting all of the meat off the skeleton, chopping garlic and onions and celery and carrots and collards and peppers. I added some of the beautiful Mexican red Recado paste I love so it is a lovely color, almost as if it had saffron in it. I will add rice when it is closer to supper time and that will be our meal. 

As I made the soup I cleared things out of the refrigerator because the new one is being delivered tomorrow. I was not exactly ruthless but I did get rid of a few things which I will never actually use in this lifetime and combined a few things, too. Mr. Moon cleaned off the top of the refrigerator which means he took everything down from it and left it all on counters for me to figure out what to do with. 
Anyone need a coozie? 
Or a bottle of fingernail polish remover? 
Or a tube of Super Glue which is no longer viable because it's solidified into Super Glue Cement? 
Dear god. 
I cleaned off the outside of the refrigerator, removing pictures and love notes, cards of the business and romantic and funny sorts. There are a few things that are going to go on the new refrigerator as soon as it's in place because I love them and I do actually look at them daily and am glad, every time. 
Perhaps the most cherished photo is not even one of a grandchild but is this one.

That's my handsome husband sitting with a man I truly loved with all of my heart and I'm not ashamed to say that. My husband loved him too. Every one did. 
Colin Rolfe. 
If you're newish here, you probably have no idea that I used to be quite active in a community theater in Monticello, Florida, and that picture is from an event held at the old Opera House where we rehearsed and performed. Colin and Glen were bartending for some event. Volunteer work, but a joy because Colin was there. I wrote a post seven years ago about him and you can find it HERE.
I just reread it and am now crying a little bit and to tell you the truth, every time I look at that picture tears well up a little. 
So. Colin and Mr. Moon will go back up on the new refrigerator. 
And probably this as well. 

My husband and I kissing at sunset on Dog Island. I have no idea when that picture was taken but it makes me happy to see it. The dress I was wearing is the same one I've worn to each of my grandchildren's births. It is tattered now and becoming quite beyond repair but it is precious to me and so is that picture. 

On a more prosaic note, I cleaned out the hen house and put fresh straw in the nests. I also filled up the waterers with fresh, clean water. Chicken care honestly takes very little time. I suppose if I was more obsessive about cleanliness it would take more time but my chickens never seem to get worms or diseases or infections so I guess the level of hygiene is acceptable. 
Knock wood.

I am noticing that the babies are venturing farther and farther from their mother these days but not far enough yet for her to not be able to hear their still-constant twittering. They are so dang cute at night, huddled up next to her in the nesting box where they roost as she makes her come-to-me-now cluck. They are no longer small enough to hide beneath her wings but they still try. Last night I was shining the flashlight on them, trying to get a count and had my face right up next to Ringo who was sitting at the front of the nest. He was a bit agitated because I was so close and he finally reached up and gave me a little peck beside my mouth. It didn't hurt and I know he was simply telling me that I was way up in his space and he did not appreciate it. I was in the wrong and I know it and I apologized to him. Whether he accepted it or not, I do not know but I did back up and he settled down. 

I just went into the kitchen to punch down the bread dough and to add the rice to the soup and I swear, that blindingly white bare refrigerator is freaking me out. 

Mr. Moon said that he feels the same way. 

I wonder what we'll find tomorrow when they move this one out of its space. Dead roaches are a given, probably desiccated lizards too. Marbles? Vitamins? The hair of dogs long in the grave? The long-lost hopes and dreams of a frustrated novelist? 
One never knows but one thing is for sure- I'll apologize for what IS there as if a good housewife would somehow always keep the area underneath her refrigerator dust and detritus-free.
Key words being "good housewife" and I certainly do not claim to be one of those. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Trigger Warning. Seriously. Literal Trigger Warning As Hunting Is Very Much Involved

After a bath and reading five of our favorite books last night, August laid down on his little bed beside our bed with his animal friends tucked in beside him. I laid down beside him too, as he wasn't quite ready for me to leave and we talked about things and he told me some of his long stories and I was amazed at how much a three-year old child had to say, especially one who was half asleep.
Finally I told him that I needed to go take my shower so I could get in my bed and he let me go and was asleep within minutes and this morning when he woke up he stood up in his bed, his pajamas entirely off for some reason, and began his story-telling again. He crawled in bed with me and it was as if the entire night had merely been a breath he'd taken in his musings and instructions.
Boppy, who had already gotten up, came in and took the boy away to dress and to let me get a little more sleep but I was already awake at that point, infected and injected with August's morning enthusiasm.

There were, of course, pancakes. And bacon.

I am so grateful that I still have little ones to sit in the old high chair and eat from the princess plate. He stabbed and ate those pancakes in about five minutes despite his grandfather and I pleading with him to slow down and chew his food. He did not heed our warnings one bit. 
"I is so hungry!" he said when I set his plate in front of him. 
I do believe he was.

And now here's the part that might well freak some of you out. It freaks me out a little bit. Maybe more than a little bit but it's a reality here in Lloyd and what happened was that while we were eating breakfast, Jason called to tell Boppy that Owen had shot a buck. He's been hunting for quite some time but this was his first, uh, kill? I guess that's what we must call it. And he did wonderfully well, dropping the deer right where he stood so that death was instantaneous and painless. Owen talked to his Boppy and he was proud. I could tell. And so after breakfast Mr. Moon and August took the truck over to Lily and Jason's house and loaded the deer in the truck and brought it back here to clean. 
This is a process that Owen has participated in before. If you are old enough to shoot a deer, you are old enough to see blood and guts and to help turn the animal into meat. 
And so it was. 
I went out and did something I don't ever do which was to say, "Show me your deer," and they did. 
I told Owen that I was very proud of him and he said, "But you wish I didn't hunt, don't you?"
"Yes," I said honestly. 
"You're terrified, aren't you?" he asked me. 
"Yes," I said. And then, "No. I'm not." 
And I'm not because if there is a right way to do this, that is what's being done. 
Owen has been taught slowly and patiently and he will never be in a deer stand alone until he is much older. 
This is all something that I do not really understand, even after having been married to a hunter for thirty-four years but what I do understand is that it's not necessary for me to understand. 
And Owen will eat what he killed. And he will appreciate that. And he will see his family eat what he killed and I think he will be very proud. 

Like I said, this is difficult to talk about. I never honestly considered this sort of situation when I married my husband. Perhaps I thought that he would become more domesticated over the years and lose that desire to get up in the early, early morning darkness to go walk through the woods and sit and watch as the day begins and the creatures stir and to sometimes shoot one of them and bring it home for me to cook. 
Well, if I did think that, I was wrong. 
And he has become very proud to see his sons-in-law become good hunters who provide clean meat for their families. 
And now, his grandson. 
I wonder if August will want to hunt. He is fascinated at this point by the deer and it doesn't bother him in the least that the deer is dead. 
Gibson flat-out said that he doesn't want to see blood and guts. No way. And certainly, no one is going to ask him to hunt if he doesn't want to. 


And while Owen and Jason and Boppy were doing whatever it is that they do out there in the garage, Jessie got here and we got to see Levon. Gibson asked if he could hold him. 
"Sure," I said, and told him to sit down and then plopped the little guy on his lap. 

Gibson is sort of blowing my mind recently. Not only is he still the sweetest child in the world, he's really starting to spell and read. He's constantly asking how to spell words or else he spells them for me on his own. He asked me how to spell "Levon" and I said, "You tell me."
And he figured it out without a hitch. 
He wanted me to lay down on my bed with him to read Professor Wormbog In Search Of The Zipperump-A-Zoo, and I did and he read parts of it to me. I'm not surprised that he's learning to read- I mean, he is in the first grade, but what does surprise me is how he is constantly thinking about how words are spelled. 
Each of my grandchildren is so very, very different than all of the others and each of them astonish me in different ways. You'd think I'd be a little more nonplussed about watching children go through their growth and developmental stages at this point in my life but honestly, I'm not. In a way it's like watching my own children grow up again, each one of them so different in the ways they learned and related to others, their own unique strengths and gifts, except that time seems to pass so quickly now that it's as if I am watching it all over again in fast-motion. 
Ah, life. 
And speaking of which, Levon is walking more and more every day. He does the drunken sailor roll across the floor, his little legs spread far apart as he finds the balance it takes to be a biped. When you ask him a question, he nods his head, and he waves at every car which passes his yard when he's outside. He claps his hands with great enthusiasm and giggles when he is tickled. He's a dancin' fool when the music comes on. When I pretend to chew on his toes he offers his foot up over and over for me to continue to nibble. He nurses standing up, looking around, upside down. 
My baby-baby is growing up too. 

They all are. 
And if I married a man who has influenced our grandson to be a hunter, well, that is what I have done. When it was almost time for Owen and Jason and Gibson to leave, I heated up some pizza for the boy. We chatted in the kitchen as he ate and it felt good to me to offer him food after the morning he'd had. He is really, really growing up. And he still loves his Mer. I know he does. And he knows I love him. He will always be my first grandchild. There is no changing that. I look at him, almost as tall as I am, parts of his hair dyed green, wearing silver hoops in his ears, watching out for and protecting his sister, and now, bringing meat to the family table and I wonder at the way things have turned out. I certainly never could have predicted any of this. 
As I have said before, I never even dared to dream of a future where there was goodness and happiness. And if I had not married Owen's grandfather, there simply would not have been. 
I am pretty certain of that. 

One last picture. I found it from Thursday and had taken it at Thanksgiving but had forgotten it in the celebration and exhaustion of it all. 

Maggie and August, eating their Thanksgiving dinner at the children's table, Maggie relaxing with her feet up on the table, obviously making a point to August in their conversation. 
He does not seem to be convinced. 

It's a life. 
It's a damn good one.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 23, 2018

A Big Day

Well, I did something today I can't remember ever doing.
I went shopping on Black Friday.
The refrigerator issues have been ongoing and it's just time to buy a new one. The insides of ours has started to quite literally crumble in places plus it randomly floods the kitchen at times and Mr. Moon decided that it's best to just get a new one and turn the old one into a bait and beer refrigerator in the garage. Of course we already have a bait and beer refrigerator in the garage but I suppose one never has too many bait and beer refrigerators in the garage.
So. We went to town. We went to Costco and I found one there that would have done perfectly well and I suggested that we just go ahead and buy that one and be done with it.

You know this did not happen.

On to Lowe's. There we decided that yes, we still liked that model the best.
On to Home Depot where I almost lost my shit and decided that perhaps I may be somewhere on the Autism scale because I CAN'T TAKE THAT SORT OF IMPUT! Lowe's and Costco had not been so bad but Home Depot was crazy.

We still liked the same refrigerator.

One more place to stop. A local appliance store that's been in business for about a hundred years. We checked out what they had and were still thinking we wanted the original make and model we'd seen at Costco but then the sales lady sort of pushed us towards another model of the same make. It doesn't have the door you can see through and it doesn't have internet access (I am not kidding you) but it does have two separate ways to access the ice maker and THAT IS IMPORTANT!
We got that one.
Which is fine. I really don't need to see through the door although the feature where you knock on the glass twice to make the light come on is unbelievably cool, and I really don't want my refrigerator to have internet access.

So. That was that. And on Monday they will deliver this brand new stainless steel-looking fancy pants thing and moving the old one out.

You know, sometimes you just don't really look at something that you use a hundred times a day. Or you may look at it but you don't really see it. Suddenly, I am seeing my refrigerator and it is a pure-T mess!

It is a great white megalith museum of our family, a very messy and disorganized and flapping megalith museum of pictures taken and pictures drawn, of cards and sweet notes, of magnets from fancy stores and magnets from Hemmings Motor News. Whatever that is. 
I think I am going to remove everything from that refrigerator and put all of it in a box and stash the box somewhere to be discovered and gone through like a time capsule by some unfortunate child of mine in the future. 
I wish I had the courage to just toss it all because haven't I been looking at these things long enough to have gotten all of the spiritual and mental juice out of them?
And of course we haven't even discussed the TOP of the refrigerator which I have told Mr. Moon is his responsibility because to be honest, most of the stuff up there is his.

So. My life is about to change and I hope for the better. You can't buy love and you can't buy happiness but you sure can buy a new refrigerator that doesn't have a crumbling interior and shelves held together with super glue and rubber bands.

After we purchased the new kitchen megalith we drove over to Jessie and Vergil's house where we picked up this kid.

That's him sprinkling the nutritional yeast on the popcorn I made for him and his Boppy. Boppy's got a basketball game on and August doesn't really like basketball but he's having a good time hanging out in the Glen Den and playing with stuff. 
I've got his bed all made up and he's placed his animal friends on it to be ready for sleep. 
Pizza dough is rising. 

And in very, very exciting chicken news, Dearie has her babies with her in the hen house where all of the chickens roost instead of in the little coop in the big coop where they have been sleeping since birth. There was quite a bit of fussing and fretting to achieve this, but Dearie did it. And I have to report something very sad which is that last night one of the littles was snatched, I guess, because she is not here. When we got home from Lily's, some of the babies were still outside and I have no idea what was going on there. Mr. Moon got all of them that were outside into bed with Dearie and the rest of the chicks and this morning that turned out to be nine instead of ten. 
Four brown chicks, five yellow.
I am sad but also very grateful that this is the first one we've lost. 

August needs and wants some attention. Time to go.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Time For Bed Now

If you rate Thanksgivings on the amount of laughter, this one was about the best.

Maggie in an Indian jeweled dress her mama got at the Goodwill.

Freaking disco shoes that have charging cords and a remote to change the lights and that cost five dollars at Walmart!

More sweethearts.

A dragon. I think.

And yet more sweethearts! 

Hank. And me. 

Some really cute guys I know. 

It was awesome. I am exhausted. 

I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with laughter too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Basically, I Suck

Ah, Jesus.
I'm going through an existential crisis here and it's all due to my own inability to go out and act like a normal human being or at least my fear of going out and acting like a normal human being. I know I can do both of those things, even at the same time, but...

Years ago I used to throw a big old Thanksgiving Eve party. It started small as could be, just having people over, some who might be in town just for the holidays and a few friends. I'd make a big bowl of easy pasta and the musician people in the group would bring instruments and play and it was always my favorite part of the holiday, even when it got huge and EVERYBODY came, worlds colliding with people from all parts of my life which was busier and more extended then. Kids running everywhere, music going on in the library or on the porch or outside with a fire going and oysters being cracked and slurped and it was wonderful.
Of course, it made getting up and doing Thanksgiving a bit harder and I always did Thanksgiving here then too, so it was getting difficult and frankly, I look back and don't know how I did it.
This wasn't even that long ago, really.

But then one year the ex actually booked a gig for that night for himself and the friend who always came to the party to play with him and my party was unnecessary because really, it was all about the music for me.
And the other friend is very, very dear to me and so is his wife and my ex's wife is a good friend of mine too, and so it was fine to go out on Thanksgiving Eve to a true, real venue to hear the music and another friend from days of long ago would show up too and it was always wonderful.
I always felt like I had a part in this because of various paths which I had been a part of back in those old, old days but in the last few years I have felt less connected and without a doubt not vital to the situation at all.

And here we are tonight. The gig is booked, it is happening and I am exhausted. I spent most of the day baking and cooking and Jessie and the boys came out and there was playing.

I asked August if his bulldozer was running. 
"Not yet," he said gravely. 
I have a feeling that when Boppy gets the tractor running, the bulldozer will start running as well. 

Here's some pies I made. 

Chocolate pecan. Yes. It is a sin in all of the major religions.

Regular pecan pies. 
I tried so hard to do the pastry correctly. I spent a good fifteen minutes forking the ice water a tablespoon at a time into the flour and shortening and butter, making sure not to overdo it and I chilled the dough for hours before I rolled it out. I just suck at pie crust. 

I made the regular cranberry sauce and the cornbread for stuffing and I have boiled the eggs for deviling and I've made angel biscuit dough and here I sit, thinking of a million reasons not to get dressed and drive into town. My sweet husband would actually do the driving so I don't even have that excuse. 
Put on a bra, put on some clothes. Get in the car and ride for twenty minutes. 
Go into a bar and see people I love, listen to music I love. 
Really. Good. Music. 

And there is every reason in this world to go and not one reason not to go and yet, I can't imagine going. 

Well. I still have a few minutes to change my mind. 

And speaking of going to hear music, The Rolling Stones are going to do an American tour this spring and summer. This cheers me immensely in that it would indicate to me that Keith is doing well. I mean, those insurance companies aren't going to cover a tour if they think that he's going to keel over onstage. This is just a fact, Jack. 
They'll be playing in Jacksonville which is about two and a half hours away and my husband says, "Let's go!" and honestly- how many more chances am I going to get to see Keith Richards play again? It's not that I think he's ever going to die but I'm quite sure I will. 
And yet, I am already thinking of reasons not to go, the main one being that they'll be playing at a huge stadium and unless we want to pay astronomical ticket prices, the old boys will be about as big as tiny ants viewed from a standing position and I will be surrounded by gazillions of people. 

When did I become this insular, isolated hermit? Too timid to say yes to life?
I don't know. 
I don't know shit. 

Well. Happy Thanksgiving Eve. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Scenes From A Life

For all of you who wondered where the tenth chick was in yesterday's picture of them on the porch, I give you another picture. This one was taken this morning when I let all of the chickens out and threw scratch for them. It's just a bit difficult to get all ten in one shot. That's their mother, Dearie, in the middle of them and Vera/Viv, Liberace, Darla, Vera/Viv, Eggy Tina and Ringo behind them.
I know I've said this so many times before but every day when I go let my hens and roosters out to roam and range, I feel rich at seeing them.
This is hard to explain and I think it's probably due to something embedded deep within my human woman soul, passed down by thousands and thousands of matriarchal ancestors. Although I obviously do not depend on my little flock to provide all of the protein for my family, I do not discount the very real way I feel about the fact that they do provide some of it and I honor and appreciate that delicious, orange-yolked protein which comes in its perfect egg-shell container every day.
Not to mention, the chickens and the eggs are beautiful.
Which I also honor and appreciate every day.
So. Just wanted to say that.

Another full, busy day. I walked again and it was easier today than yesterday and I hate to say this because it's so...cliche...but I do feel better when I get out and walk, pushing myself up the hills and down them, even if my legs do hurt when I'm done. I am absolutely more cheerful and whether that's because of the endorphins or because it satisfies my Puritan need to suffer, I do not know. Either way, it is the truth.

We had a meet-up lunch at El Patron today because we hadn't seen Jessie and her boys since they got back from their trip and I enjoyed that immensely. Rachel is going to go spend Thanksgiving with her best friend in Boston so we were also able to say good-bye to her. She is still very, very sore from her car accident and it has been stressful and we all wanted to just tell her we love her, we appreciate her, we'll miss her.
Lily didn't come because Maggie had a bout of tummy problems last night and although she seemed perfectly fine today, Lily didn't want to risk anyone else getting it if it was a virus. So August and Levon were the only two children.
August was glad to see me but he did not show the excitement and sheer joy he displayed when his Boppy showed up.
Boppy is everything.
Boppy shared his (not very Mexican) wings with the boy which made both of them happy.

Look at that hair! His forehead is healing up nicely although when it scabbed over the stitches became an annoyance and the child picked them out in his sleep. 
Oh well. They served their purpose. 
He told Boppy a long story about his bulldozer and how it needs a new battery and so on and so forth and Jessie finally told us that this bulldozer is imaginary which blew me away. I mean- I had an imaginary friend. Many people do. But I have never in my life heard of having an imaginary bulldozer. 
I am not sure that I've ever met anyone like August in my life although I have a feeling that if I'd known Vergil when he was a child, I might see the resemblances. 
Jessie said that August asked her the other day why their house was not like Mer's house. And then he asked if they could build it that way. I am sure that his daddy could do that if he set his mind to it but I don't think he will. So I guess that August will have to visit here as much as possible. 
Poor child. 

Levon is doing well. 

Even he, though, seemed to prefer Boppy to Mer today. 
Good Lord! 
He did let me hold him for awhile and I fed him cheese dip off a chip which soothed his anxieties about not being in his mama's lap. 

And after lunch I had to hit the Costco where I got to see my favorite employee, the beautiful woman from Puerto Rico who wears the most sparkly and gorgeous of mermaid eye make-up and gives the best hugs. And then on to Publix to get the rest of what I need for my Thanksgiving dishes. I did not get any pastry made today but I can do all of that tomorrow. 

After I'd gotten home and put all the groceries away and Mr. Moon got home, we had an interesting experience. Do you remember a few months ago when I gave a guy a ginger ale who was walking past our house while I was outside? I may have given him a few dollars too. Okay. I'm sure I did. Anyway, he came up to the house this evening and wished us a happy Thanksgiving and went into a long speech about who his people are and where they live and how beautiful I am and what Jesus says and how he inherited $100,000 from his father but put it all in his thirteen-year old son's name and a lot of other stuff which made me realize that he may be a beautiful soul but he's probably a bit insane.
Oh, Lloyd. 
How great thou art! And how funky and funny and complex and complicated. I have only been here for fifteen years and as such, I am a newcomer. 

And after all of that, Mr. Moon put up a new clothesline for me because the lines on mine had rotted and broken and I shut the chickens up after taking an egg out from under Miss Darla who then cackled and raised hell which caused Liberace to raise rooster-hell which is pretty daunting hell and now they're all quiet and hopefully asleep. 

Which I too will be in a few hours. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 19, 2018


I finally took a walk this morning and I am amazed at how very quickly I can get completely out of shape. I hadn't walked in over a week and I did three miles and it almost killed me. It's sort of frightening how fast that can happen. Still, I did it and tomorrow plan to do it again. The weather is too gorgeous not to take advantage of.
After the walk I tried to stay as busy as possible, to just keep moving and that was fairly simple as Mr. Moon's hunting laundry ended up being five loads worth, some of which I hung on the line. How a man can wear that much clothing in four days is beyond me. Of course, he is a very, very tall man and one of his jackets and a few pairs of his hunting jeans is a full load. There were several jackets and lots of the jeans and also some padded and thermal jumpsuit sorts of things and I'm sure they're not called jumpsuits but I don't know what they are called. And there were socks and hats and gloves.
But now they are all clean and dry and folded up for him to put wherever it is he keeps those things. In a way, it's like his hunting world is completely separate from my world and the two worlds only overlap when I am doing his laundry or cooking venison.
It works out.

So. See that picture up there? That's Dearie and nine of her ten chicks. As I was eating my lunch on the porch she led the familial flock through the torn screen below the dog door. No one uses the dog door any more except for one of the children occasionally because it's fun but the torn screen below it is the perfect place for cats and chickens to gain access to the porch.
The young ones twittered and explored and Dearie approached me and demanded some of my lunch and I hate to admit it but I shared. She clucked her mama-tidbitting cluck and beaked up morsels to feed the chicks although they are quite capable of using their own beaks to pick up the food.
If you don't know what tidbitting is, there is a very fine explanation AND a small video HERE.
I find tidbitting to be an incredibly charming aspect of chicken behavior. And Dearie is an especially diligent and serious tidbitter. At one point she jumped up on the table to get to the source of the food and I did lift her up and set her back down on the floor. I also learned today that Dearie will jump for food which is pretty amusing, actually.
I felt as if the little jungle fowl hen had decided to take her children on a field trip today and the porch was their destination. She even attempted to lead the group into the house but I stopped her before she'd gotten very far down the hallway. It would be fine with me to have chickens all over the house except for the fact that they do poop frequently and with abandon and no, I am not about to put a diaper on a chicken.
I may be too tenderhearted and indulgent as a chicken mama but I am NOT about to head into the direction of chicken madness.
After all of them finally left the porch to head off to better scratching grounds, I cleaned up all the little poops and swept the porch and found these.

Don't they just make you want to create miniature hats or fancy fans for Madame Alexander dolls? Does anyone still buy Madame Alexander dolls? Probably only extremely nostalgic old ladies. 

Well, that's the story for me today. I was domestically busy and rather cheerful. 
Tomorrow I will probably make pastry dough and refrigerate it and perhaps angel biscuit dough as well although I am thinking it would make everyone just as happy if I bought frozen rolls or even better- Hawaiian rolls which are crack. There is something inside of me which balks at the idea of buying the bread for a Thanksgiving dinner. Some vestigial bit of DNA from a damn Puritan or something. Which is ridiculous. 
We shall see. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 18, 2018

More Adventures

There they are, the Hartmann Three! They came over with their mama and roommate Lauren today. We decided to get together and go have lunch at the Hilltop. It was such a perfectly gorgeous day and you can eat outside there.
The Hartmann's had never been to the Hilltop.
"What do they have?" asked Owen.
"Name a food," I said.
"Uh...not sure."
Turns about they have Krab. In a salad. Krab salad, in fact.
That place is crazy. I did not get a chicken salad today. I got barbecue. And fried okra. I could not possibly have eaten it all.
Gibson got a corn dog of almost inappropriate length. The children were amazed.
Since we were the only people eating at the time the kids could run around like crazy after they finished their lunches. Tag was played. There was much screaming and laughter.
When we got back to my house Maggie played with her dolls, putting them to sleep and then getting on the couch to go to sleep herself. Her mother and I kissed her good-night and covered her with a blanket. Later, I asked her if she wanted me to rock her. She came and got in my arms and I cradled her and rocked her and she said, "Sing Rock-A-Bye, Baby. Do it!"
I did it. She pretended to fall asleep.
The boys were rather wild and when Lily sent them outside they got an old piece of bamboo about fifteen feet long and hit it on a tree until it was of a sizable length to take home.
After they left I had to take a nap. They are off of school for nine days and Lily is already pretty sure she's not going to make it.
That does seem like a rather long Thanksgiving vacation.

So that was today. I also ordered a bathing suit online. I can't tell you how many bathing suits I have now. And there is something wrong with every one of them.
There's nothing wrong with any of them. It's me and my body I am so upset with.
That could be an entire book in and of itself.
But I have to have a bathing suit for Cozumel. I mean- I spend half the time there in the water. I remember the last time we were there and I was snorkeling on our last day and began to cry. Underwater. I cried underwater. I was still crying when I got out and the woman who cleans the rooms had to put her arms around me and reassure me that I would be coming back. That it was okay.
I'm starting to cry a little bit right now, just thinking about it.

Mr. Moon is home. He is unpacking and doing laundry and I need to go make us some soup. Thanksgiving will be here in four days. I checked my thawing turkey in the garage refrigerator today and "thawing" is hypothetical. Why does this always happen?

Well, I've never served a frozen turkey yet and I've been doing this for about forty years now.
Forty fucking years.
Can you believe that?

How did I get so old so fast?

Love...Ms. Moon