Monday, July 15, 2019

Possible New Family Member And Other News

In the mornings I go out and open the door to the hen house and the chickens all come spilling out. They have a nice coop they can access from the hen house where there's water and food and there's really more room in the coop than many chickens have to stay in all day but I love to see my hens and the rooster make their way around the yard every day. They are birds of habit and routine and would be incensed if I did not let them out to roam and scratch and take their dirt baths. Liberace crows until I make my appearance. They hang around for a few minutes to eat the scratch I throw for them outside the coop before they begin their daily explorations. Every single morning when I throw that feed to them I think of the mom on Lassie and how she used to throw scratch for her chickens on that show. Her chickens were in black and white but mine come in colors as do the zinnias which are starting to bloom.
After I finish with the chickens I go to the garden to see what's going on there, perhaps to pick a handful of beans or tomatoes and I also generally check the nests to see if the hens have laid any eggs early. Today I found seven eggs in my early search which is unusual but maybe I missed some from yesterday.
It's a good way to start the day, this little time outside, before the heat gets to the broiling point. The light is generally so lovely and the spiders' webs catch that light and it is apparent why they are  known as Golden Orb Weavers as their webs do shine with a golden hue. I have one right beside the porch and I almost feel as if she is my familiar by now as I have watched her grow from a small little mama to a much larger girl, seen her web increase in size and in complexity, have watched her carefully handle and eat her victims. She is a tidy web keeper and I hope she is able to live there all summer, or at least as long as she is alive.

So yesterday when Mr. Moon got back from the river with the boys, Lily came to pick them up and she had with her...a dog.
Her children have been begging and pleading for a dog for a long time now and Lily, whose mother's heart is huge has wanted one too. She and Maggie go to the shelter just for fun sometimes although she hasn't told Maggie that you can actually take home a dog from the shelter. She thinks you just go there to look at all the doggies and that's been for the best, most likely. But a co-worker of Lily's had a little dog whom he had fostered who was older, ten years, and he couldn't keep him anymore because according to their apartment neighbors, the little guy barked a lot. And so Lily has him now for a trial period but I have a feeling that the trial was over the second the children saw him.
His name is Sammy.
Owen brought him into the house and the dog was perfectly charming. He just walked about as if interested in what he might see and smell, calmly and cheerfully. Not anxious or wiggly, just dignified and curious. He made friends with Mr. Moon who assured him that he could come and visit us.
Hoo-boy. I guess I have a new granddog.
Supposedly he is very good about not peeing or pooping in the house and although Lily had not really thought she wanted an older dog, he may end up being perfect for their family. Here's a picture she sent this morning.

A dog that Maggie can walk! With big brother right beside her to step in if a problem arises. I can only imagine that she is over the moon- her own real baby to take care of! 

Of course the newness will wear off eventually but for now, those are three enchanted children. When they left yesterday Owen was asking if they could please give him a bath. He is a little goobery looking but he reminds me somewhat of the best dog we ever had who was named Queenie and like Sammy, Queenie was part Yorkie but not the annoying part. Lily and Jessie and I spent some time this morning reminiscing about Queenie via text and what a fine and funny little dog she was. Honestly, I still miss that dog and that's saying a lot. 

And that is that story and it's been an okay day. Really better in a lot of ways but I was most gentle with myself and really didn't do much although I stayed busy. I started another dress for Maggie but I really wasn't feeling it and when I made a mistake and it was time to get the seam ripper out I just put it all down and turned off the sewing machine light and took a nap. I find that I'm exhausted which is normal and I am not going to fight it. 

I am very, very excited because tomorrow Steve Reed is coming to visit! He has visited Lloyd before, years ago, and in a delightful circumstance of synchronicity we were able to see him in Cozumel a few years back. He was on a cruise that docked there while we were staying on the island and we had a beautiful day with him. Owen still talks about Steve Reed from when he visited Lloyd before. I am not sure why Steve made such an impression on him but he did. Owen was just a little guy then but he remembers and he's so excited too. Gibson, upon hearing that Steve lives in London was almost beside himself. He wants to talk to Steve about London and Big Ben and also, his job. 
What a kid. 
Steve is traveling from Jacksonville to Tampa and I am so glad that he's taking the time to stop by Lloyd. We plan on going to lunch and Lily and her children and Hank will be there and then Steve and I might go to the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus Thrift Store. We were going to go to Japanica! for lunch but it would appear that they've been having health code violations so we're going to go to Tan's, the Asian "fusion" buffet that we love so much. I think he will like it. And it's funny- I don't feel the least bit anxious about Steve coming to visit. From the first second I met him he just felt like family. 
The good kind of family. 
Not that other kind...
He's not going to believe how grown-up Owen and Gibson are and of course he's never even met Maggie because she was but a gleam in her father's eye the last time he was here. So this is going to be very cool. And it will get me out of the house, out of Lloyd, and into the world a bit in a very enjoyable way. 
And I am grateful for that because that is exactly what I need. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Doing My Best

Last night during supper, the anxiety came back upon me full force and it was all I could do to tell my husband that I needed to take some medication and get in the bed and that's what I did. He hates that there's nothing he can do for me but honestly, there's just not.
I had forgotten how powerful this thing is. It is truly overwhelming. When I'm in the midst of it I think of things like meditation or trying to be mindful or anchoring myself in the present but all of that seems like spitting into a forest fire and the best thing to do is to take the medication and wait it out.
I slept deeply but it was still with me this morning although as the day has passed, it has loosened its grip. I haven't done much and it's all been mindless because I simply cannot really think or process things well when I'm in this state. I did laundry and rearranged and tidied two cabinets and then I ironed and that was all I was capable of doing.

Mr. Moon has taken Owen and Gibson and our friend Tom out on the St. Mark's river in the boat that he's had work done on. I hope all is going well. I was invited but may as well have been invited to scale Mr. Everest. I have had no desire to go outside at all, not even to check eggs or go look at my garden. And so I haven't.
And now I feel as if I'm in sort of a limbo world of being neither here nor anywhere else. A bit of dissociation, I suppose. The brain will definitely crawl away from whatever brings it such misery if it is allowed to.

I am wondering how much of what is going on in this country of ours right now is contributing to this whole thing. I am sure that the Epstein trial and talk have been triggering but the idea of people in cages, especially children, and of ICE agents beating on doors like the Gestapo is more than I can bear. In all honesty, even the most pathological of anxieties is probably an appropriate response to all of this. I can't stop thinking about how all of this evil is being promulgated by a president who has no legitimacy. Who is, as we speak, breaking who-knows how many laws. Who is not being restrained in any way that I can see by those who are sworn to uphold the constitution.
Like a mantra I keep thinking, "How is this happening, how is this happening, how is this happening?"
Those words have been a constant refrain for so many of us since the night of the election and it is only growing louder and louder in my head.
Probably yours too.

I'm going to be okay, though. I know I will be. And I honestly think that our country will be okay too. It might take a lot of time and it's going to take a lot of hard work and it's going to take so many people doing the right thing, the hard thing, but I believe we can do that. I believe that there are many, many people already doing it.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.

I have no tidy ending. Tidy endings are rare if not unknown in real life.
Let's just keep on doing the best we can, okay?

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 13, 2019

What's It All Mean, Mr. Natural, Part 4017

Today was better. The redlining anxiety dropped to amber level and I busted my ass outside, working in the heat to trim and pull and cut and drag. After a few hours I put my shovel and my pruners down and said, "That's all I can do," and my husband finished up the part I'd been working on by the front sidewalk where the rice plants and crocosmia had taken over.
He'd spent most of the day mowing and I'm sure we were both overheated by the time we'd finished doing what we'd been doing.
So. So. So.
I've taken a shower and rested and shelled field peas and have them simmering and focaccia dough rising. I'll bake the focaccia with cherry tomatoes and basil and some mozzarella and parmesan, not too much- not enough to make it a pizza but enough to make it supper.

The garden is still going and I have eggplants ripening and that corn will be ripe one day, maybe, and my new row of arugula has come up (oh ye brave and bitter green! how I love you!) and the tomatoes are still coming and the field peas continue to yield and the green beans and cucumbers are offering enough for meals.
It's okay. All is okay.
I'm not in a detention camp and I do not fear ICE coming to my door. I am not in Louisiana or Mississippi where a storm is flooding the denuded wetlands. I talked to a friend of mine the other day who lives in New Orleans. She is very, very recently widowed and now this. Life goes on, doesn't it, even when it has ended for someone we love. So it will be when we die- the earth will not stop its turning, the sun will rise and it will set. Storms will form and rain will fall and the people we love, the people we leave behind will have to deal with all of it, no time out for death, no special dispensation for grief. We may care. We may overwhelmingly care but the universe, it does not.

Sometimes that fact is comforting to me. That the universe just doesn't care. We, of course matter in the sense that energy is neither created nor destroyed but it is so far beyond nursery school mythology to believe that our own personal "me-ness" means a damn thing in the huge scheme of things but sometimes I wish that the universe DID care and that I believed that there was some sort of force for good which is constantly, albeit imperceptibly, moving towards the good.
But no. I don't.
And yet, I still do think that whatever we do in the name of good is positive if for no other reason than because the more good there is...the more good there is. And there is no denying that relieving suffering wherever possible is a holy thing.
At least in the church I belong to.

I talked to Jessie today. They are having good times up in North Carolina and the boys are happy and healthy and that is everything to a grandmother. I sent August a copy of Keith Richards' children's book, "Gus and Me" and he got on the phone to thank me.
"Did you send me my book?"
"Yes. I sent you your book. Do you like it?"
"I do."
It's about Keith's grandfather and the influence that he had on Keith's life and it's a beautiful story.
August told me that he missed me and he wondered what the house that Boppy and I are going to stay in when we visit looks like. He is so pragmatic, that child.
Here is a picture that Jessie sent of Levon.

As you can see, the collection of fa-fa's is growing and Jessie says he now carries around a little truck, too. He looks more boy than baby to me. I'll see him and his brother in a little over two weeks. 

Oh life. From the microscopic to the unfathomable vastness. What are all religions but a way to soothe us into believing that there truly is rhyme and reason to it all? And that if we follow certain rules we shall be saved from the obvious chaos. 
And what is science but a way to understand that which seems so chaotic? 


I feel tired and I feel confused and every day I feel I know less and less. 

But I swear, I honestly do think that love is a force as true as gravity. We do not know the equation for its power yet but probably some day we will. And that will not do a thing to detract from its power, it's mystery, its beauty. 

Of course I could be wrong. And the fact is, it makes no difference what I think. 
Or believe. Or hope. 

Still. I wish you love. 

Ms. Moon

Friday, July 12, 2019

Anxiety 101

When I woke up this morning I knew that I was a hot mess. Anxiety has taken over and I had somehow hoped that this sort of full blown storm of it was not anything I would ever have to deal with in my life again.
Well. Hopes and dreams, baby. Hopes and dreams.

It's so hard to describe what anxiety feels like. First of all, it doesn't feel like "anxiety" which is what one might feel before going to an office party or having to give a speech although those things can indeed be incredibly anxiety producing. Still, anxiety would be a normal reaction to those events.
This sort of anxiety, the kind that is toxic and is almost too much to live with feels more like what you might feel waiting on a doctor to walk into his office and tell you what the results of some test are when he's asked you to bring someone with you for support.
It's like a constant sense of panic and although it may have absolutely no basis in reality, that fact does nothing to assuage the constant adrenalin dump that accompanies it. The body is trembling on the verge of fight or flight with no outlet for either and no visible threat to fight or control or escape from.
Yes. It is JUST a feeling.
And those who suffer from it are more than aware of that even as the feeling that overtakes us leads us into places so dark and so horribly uncomfortable as to be physically unhealthy.
There's a whole lot of biochemistry involved and none of it is very positive.
And of course there is meditation, there are breathing techniques, there are grounding techniques, and there are medications to help. Exercise can help but in my experience it has to be intense and prolonged to provide much relief. The first time I really started experiencing anxiety I was taking yoga three times a week, walking, and eating the best diet of my life.
And yet...and yet...I was dying inside.

So. Knowing all of this stuff and knowing that as bad as it felt when I got up, it could get much worse, I decided to start back on the antidepressant that took me months to fully wean myself from and if I had a choice in the matter, I wouldn't do that.
But I don't have a choice in the matter.
Not if I want to live my life.
I also took an Ativan this morning, perhaps because I'm a wimp or perhaps because I am wise. I do not know. But it helped. And I set about getting the things done around here that I needed to do, very deliberately and very carefully because between the Ativan and the anxiety brain things can get tricky.

I took the trash and the recycle and saw the old racist at the dump. We ignored each other as we do. I came home and started the process of making pickles which sounds pretty funny when you think about it. But my refrigerator was full of cucumbers and I picked a few more from the vines this morning and it was actually very good for me to have something to do which needed that level of concentration. Washing and trimming and slicing the cucumbers, weighing them out. Peeling and slicing onions and also cutting up peppers from the garden. Sterilizing the canning jars and lids. Making the pickling solution with vinegar and sugar and spices. Salting the vegetables and letting them drain, adding them to the vinegar solution and bringing it all to a boil. Packing the hot, sterile jars and putting them back into the canner to finish the process.
Removing the jars and setting them on the counter to wait for the "pop" which indicates the jars are sealed. And then the real true visual proof of something done, something accomplished, something which will be of use and enjoyment in months to come which is a good reminder in and of itself that yes, there will be months to come and pickles will be enjoyed.
I needed to do all of that and thank god I had the work before me to do.

I was going to iron after that but simply could not. I laid down on the bed and slept for a little while. Unlike some people with anxiety, I can sleep and I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't.

My kitchen is cleaned up and ready for me to start supper. It has been raining most of the day and I collected six eggs including one I do not recognize although come to think of it, it may be Darla's first egg since she went broody a few months ago. I have not completely fallen apart, no matter how closely I feel that I am doing exactly that.
I have often said that people who suffer from mental illnesses can be, and often are, the best actors in the entire world. We do not want to frighten our loved ones nor do we want to make a big deal out of something which is so obviously "nothing." We feel a great need to hold it together. To not give in. Because it all feels that if we do give in, if we do quit holding it together there will be nothing for it but something which looks incredibly frightening and insane and although we don't really use the term "nervous breakdown" anymore that rings disturbingly familiar.

Break. Down.

Not just a bluegrass term, y'all!

And here's another crazy thing- since a person in the throes of anxiety can indeed appear to be functional and relatively normal, it is so tempting for the sufferer herself to think, "Well, yeah. I'm fine. I'm okay. I'm really making a big deal out of nothing."

It's not nothing. It's just not.

But. One does need to go on and that's why I'm getting back on the medication. That's why I am making allowances for myself and staying extremely aware of what I'm going through. I have things to do and places to go. I cannot become a terrified zombie. I have babies to love on and a garden to tend and a husband to take care of.
This is not my first rodeo and I'm going to do everything within my power to be okay.

Forgive me if there are a lot of grammatical and careless errors here. I know I'm not functioning as well as I could be. Again- I am aware of that. Also? I really don't need to hear about this supplement or that one that helped your cousin with anxiety or depression. I'll just be flat-out open about that. I've tried them all. Gut bacteria? Yeah, when they get the studies done and actually know what they're talking about, I'm going to be first on the list to sign up. Meanwhile I'll continue on with being outside as much as possible, keeping busy and out of my head, and making sure that if I need help, I will ask for it.

And I would say to any of you who are experiencing these things and feel completely hopeless and helpless and, okay, frantic- talk to your doctor. Get some damn help. Brain science sure isn't what it could be but there are some answers and there is help.
And hang on.

I will too.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 11, 2019


If yesterday was rather glorious, today was rather not, and indeed not at all.
Nothing going on, just too much anxiety, sadness, exhaustion. The kind of day where I hope I'm getting sick because that would explain it and I could think, "Oh well, there you go. Of course."

Otherwise, I have no idea what's going on.
May things be clearer tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

In Which The Hartmann Children Delight Their Old Mer

Lily's had a bad cold for days now and because she's a mother she hasn't had much time (if any) to recover. To rest and let her body get over the virus. So this morning I texted her and asked if she'd like to bring the kids over for awhile so that she could nap and so she did.
I knew that I needed to spend some time with those three children. And I also knew that I didn't want to spend the day in my head doing mindless chores and that spending time with my grands would prevent that in all regards.
And it was absolutely a delightful day.
It was too hot to go outside so we did indoor things. Owen and Gibson and I played a rousing game of Battle and then I got out some wooden beads that Kathleen had given me when she moved into the house that she and her husband restored and rebuilt before she died. We sat down at the dining room table and by golly- those kids made some jewelry!

I was so impressed! Maggie did get one needle stick in her finger but it didn't even bleed so I'm pretty sure she'll be fine. There were a few tears but once the Band-aid was applied, all was well and she lived to bead again. They made necklaces and bracelets and a headband and Owen even made earrings that loop over his entire ears. They used all of the beads. 
And then we had lunch. There were cheese toasts and tuna salad and watermelon. It was delicious. 
The kids were so good and I was in a fine mood and after I'd cleaned up from lunch, Owen wanted to go through my jewelry to see if I had any earrings he might have. If you recall, my little rock-n-roll guy has both ears pierced now. So we looked at all my jewelry and it would appear that I have jewelry I don't know where I got or why I even have, for that matter. But there you go. Another gift of aging- it's all new every day!
I found a few old stud earrings I'll never wear and he liked them so I gave them to him. I also found two miniature red dice that I really have no clue as to their origin. They had been part of some sort of jewelry before as they had the little wire circles to attach to something and Owen fell in love with them. I found two old plain earring wires and managed to get the tiny dice on them and voila! Red dice earrings! He was thrilled. I was too. It made him so happy. 
And then Magnolia wanted to sit on the swing which is on the little porch that we can access from either my bathroom or my bedroom and so I asked Gibson to join us and we all sat on that swing and watched a storm come in and it truly was a magical time. There was a banana spider above our heads who had her web between the chains of the swing but we paid her no mind and she did not bother us at all. Maggie got down and went into the house to fetch one of her babies and we sat there and listened to the thunder and watched the lightening and gently swung with the spider swaying above us, the huge oak tree in front of us collecting wind in its leaves and then the rain came. 
"Hey you guys," I said. "I want to say something." 
"Okay," they said. 
"What I want to say is that this is one of my favorite moments ever of being your grandmother." 
And it was. I wanted to remember it forever and I told them that, too. 
"Take a picture!" said Owen. 
"I'm taking pictures in my mind," I said. 
But I took a few with my phone, too. 

Of course that doesn't do the moment justice but there it is- three happy children doing nothing at all but rocking in a swing on MerMer's porch while the rain came down. I wouldn't have traded that for anything in the world. It was some sort of perfection for my heart. I spent so much time on that swing with Owen and with Gibson when they were babies, singing to them and trying to get them to fall asleep, reading them books when they were older and just talking about stuff. Owen and Gibson used to pretend that the swing was a ship on the sea and there were many adventures we sailed into with Captain Owen and First Mate Gibson. 

And then it was time to get ready for Jason to come and pick them up and Gibson, remembering how proud I was of him last week for cleaning up the den by himself to surprise me said, "You guys take it easy! I got this!"
And off he went and in just a few minutes, the room was as tidy as could be, all the toys put away and everything where it should be. 
Again, he was most proud. 

See his jewelry? 
This is definitely a stage I want to encourage for as long as it will last. 

And then Jason got here and they went a little wild but not too bad and he got them in the car and off they went after I kissed them except for Maggie who, suddenly, was not having it. That was okay. She gave me many kisses during the afternoon. 
It was just so damn sweet. And easy. I am grateful as hell for every minute of it. 
To be honest, it's not always that way with grandchildren. They can be in moods and I can be in moods and spilled juice can be major and messes can drive me to distraction and arguments can make me want to yell, and, and, and...
But today all of the elements came together to form a sort of grandmother's perfect dream with hugs galore and lots of laughing and lots of sweet memories and a seeming truce between the three siblings that probably didn't last until they got home but it was purely great while it lasted. 
And Lily got to rest some and I am so glad of that. 

A good day. I didn't get a damn thing done and I don't care at all. I did exactly what I wanted to do and it was all good. 

So. There you go and there you have it. 
Another day in Lloyd. 
I sure do feel lucky. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Yeah, Yeah. I Know. It's Better Than The Alternative. Still Doesn't Make It Easy

Does anyone know the name of this plant? It's about four feet tall and the leaves are as soft as velvet. My sweet sister-in-law who died some years back gave it to me and it's never once bloomed in my yard until today. My plantSnap app can't seem to identify it properly.

I have such blues tonight. I started out with all good intentions and took a walk on White House Road which I have not done in some time. The postman whose path I have crossed so many times gave me a good friendly wave as he passed me on his rounds. I came home and even though it was so hot and I was already almost over my limit as to being outside, I worked in the garden a bit, weeding and mulching and I planted yet another row of arugula. Then I cleaned the hen house and gave the birds fresh straw in their nests and put the old, poopy straw in the garden. I hung clothes outside and by that time I was truly well done and had to come in to cool off, eat lunch, and then I took a nap.
When I woke up I got the clothes in just in time before a thunderstorm re-rinsed them for me.

And that's just about been my day.
I can tell that I'm having an anxiety-flare and that always seems to show up with its evil conjoined twin, depression. I'm so predictable. This does generally happen in my birthday month and this birthday coming up is sort of a milestone birthday, at least here in the good old USA whereupon at the age of 65 you are eligible for Medicare which is not free health care but it means at least cheaper healthcare and although I know that that is a reason to celebrate, it also makes for a rather startling realization which is that even the government considers me to be, well, old.
Quite frankly, I never thought that I'd live this long and I don't think I'm prepared for the fact that I have. Especially with the knowledge I now possess about how it feels to be this old which is a long and complex story starting with how I look, going on to how I feel, physically, and then leading off to the more esoteric subject of how I feel emotionally and mentally and sexually and socially and all that other junk that we bounce around in our brains constantly to try and determine where we are in space and time, not unlike how our inner ear and eyes and feet work together to determine where we are in the physical part of space and time so that we don't fall over when we walk.
That's the short version of the complex story and I wish that I had spent more time in my earlier years learning about how these things might unfold so that I would be more prepared but you know what? There aren't that many resources for this subject. The tendency today seems to be to simply avow that if we eat right, exercise, keep mentally engaged and active that we won't even notice what used to be called the ravages of time.
In fact, there will BE no ravages of time and sixty is the new forty, blah, blah, blah.
It's like menopause. No one tells you the truth about that. We just pretend it doesn't happen and if it does (and oh, honey, it does!) we're supposed to talk to our doctors and keep it all to ourselves and laugh at our hot flashes, our brain fog, our weight gain, our body's complete hormonal switcheroo on us which is every bit as profound as puberty was but not necessarily in a good way.
And if you want to know the truth (and no, you probably don't), things continue to change up on us as we age after menopause and so often in startling and scary ways.
But. Fingers in ears, I can't hear you and if I can't hear you it's not happening.
And so forth.

Well. I certainly did not intend to go here tonight and yet it would seem that I have.
You know what? I think I am going to write more about this subject because I wish to holy hell that I'd had more of a head's up on what getting older is like. More than what my grandfather told me which was, "Mary, don't get old," to the glib and duh-inspiring "Aging's not for sissies!"

I'll tell you one thing that doesn't change and that's the need to eat and the enjoyment found therein.
At least for me. At least so far.
And now I'm going to go make our supper.
Of course.

Let's talk tomorrow, okay? And if you have thoughts, feel free to share. I know it's different for each and every one of us and what's true for me may not be true for you but it's all valid.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, July 8, 2019

That Was Fast But It Was The Best

We are back from our teeny-tiny get-away where we had the very best time. It was what I'd call a perfect trip.
We started out Sunday morning and decided to take the backroad, Highway 90, instead of I-10 and that is just the prettiest road. Before we even got out of Monticello we'd stopped at an estate sale and rambled about in a big old beautiful house that reminded me a lot of our own house and looked at stuff. We didn't buy anything but it was fun. I do have not-a-buyer's remorse about a very large blue rug that was literally threadbare in places but it sparked something in me and the color was gorgeous. The difficult part would have been getting it in the car and it was easy to rationalize not buying it because of the wear and tear in it but the fact that I am still thinking about it is telling.

We drove through pasturelands and past woodsy places, miles and miles of empty beauty, dotted here and there with cows or crops or houses that caught our eyes, some large and stately, some small and humble, all old and still standing, straight and true. There were little towns and smaller villages, all of them with interesting things to look at. We stopped for lunch at a country buffet place and got there right before the church crowd arrived. I swear- everyone in the town of Madison, Florida must have been there for lunch. I feel quite certain that every church was represented. The food was good but the people-watching was better. One little girl at the salad bar was piling cheese on her plate and with no self-judgement at all said, "I love cheese. I could eat the whole world of cheese."
That tickled me. She was skinny as a bone and although I bet that in forty years' time all that cheese is going to show up, for now she is as free and passionate about her love of cheese as she could possibly be.

We rolled into St. Augustine in plenty of time to relax and get ready and so we did. The little motel which has been remade into an Airbnb rental was just swell. I loved it. The room was pretty small and one would not want to have to sling a cat in the bathroom but it was charming.

The bed was comfortable, the AC worked just fine, and if we'd had time we could have made use of the free bikes that came with the room. Helmets included.

Someone has put a lot of time and effort and thought into that place and it shows. I wish them well. 

But we weren't in St. Augustine to hang out at a vintage motel. We were there to celebrate the Williamsons and the love they've shared, not just with each other, but with their entire community for forty years. 
Here's a funny thing- I had almost no anxiety about this celebration at all. I feel so comfortable in St. Augustine with the people I know there. I had seen a great many of them back in March when we went to the big party at Gator Bone but some I had not seen in years. And yet- I felt as welcomed as ever by these beautiful people. As soon as we walked out onto the huge deck under the trees where the stage is I saw three people immediately whom I just love. And it went from there.
There were hugs and hugs and hugs. It felt like joy. So many people were there to celebrate. I know I talk a lot about how beloved Lon and Lis are but it is never hyperbole. These two good people are simply adored.
And you know why? 
Because they are as grace-full and loving and caring as any two people on earth. Because their love for each other is so apparent that it doesn't even need to be seen. It can be felt. Because they have and will go out of their way for anyone in their community and their community is huge. They cherish, they support, they work, they delight. And of course, they entertain. 
They played the first set with the rest of the Gator Bone band- people they've been playing with for decades. Lon had come down with some sort of cold and couldn't sing and Lis was coming down with it too and had a sore throat. I could tell that they were both exhausted but they are professionals and I think they were buoyed by all the love. Glen and I got to sit with Lon's sister and her husband whom we haven't seen in awhile. They are wonderful people too, and actually live in Monticello. We also shared the table with the woman who goes by Lulumarie in the comments here and her man. I always refer to Lulu as "the sweetest woman in the world" because, well, she is. It was so good to get to spend time with them. We enjoyed the music and the breeze and seeing and talking to other old friends and then it was Sam Pacetti's turn to take over the music and he did a beautiful job as he always does and made a little speech about how Lon and Lis had taken him in when he was very young and encouraged him and helped him. Everyone in the place probably had a story they could tell about what these people have meant to them in their lives. Every story true. Every story heartfelt. Every story different and yet, the same in that all of us (oh, yes! I have my stories too!) have felt loved by them, often when we needed it most. 
When Lon's sister's husband got up to make a toast he asked for a show of hands of all of the people who'd been at Lon and Lis's wedding forty years ago that very day. I was amazed at the number of people who raised their hands. And then someone pointed out to me that the wedding had been in Tallahassee which is where they'd lived at the time and this made it even more remarkable. 

There was a photo album of the wedding day pictures and I looked at them and was astounded at what children they were when they married. I mean, they weren't really but in a way, they were. 
Here's one of my favorite pictures from the album. 

And here's what they looked like yesterday, forty years later with their son, Walker. 

No longer children, even their child a grown man, but still beautiful, still in love, still together almost every minute of every day. 

Oh, sigh...

There was champagne, there was cake. There was music and there was catching-up. There was dinner and there was laughter and there was the deep appreciation of life and of love that only people of a certain age can feel. 
When it came time for me to say good-bye to the anniversary couple, it felt, as it always does when we part, as if I was leaving part of myself behind with them. 
My heart part, I suppose. 
I admonished them to get some rest, goddammit! Those two people don't even know what rest looks like but I think that in this instance, they might at least attempt to try. 

By the time Mr. Moon and I got back to the Florida Motel we were exhausted and happy and full and I, for one, was tipsy. I will not deny it. We watched a little TV and Mr. Moon had some cake that we'd brought back and then we cut off the lights and fell asleep and didn't wake up until after eight this morning. 
And then, as a truly lovely lagniappe, Lulumarie and her fella met us for breakfast at a darling diner where we ate breakfasts fit for kings and chatted and laughed and bemoaned the state of the union. It was really fun and I was glad of the chance to actually get to talk to John because although we've known each other for a long time, we've never really had what you'd call a conversation. 
But today we did and I discovered that he is as nice as his lady and as sincere and caring as she is. If that's possible. 
I'm not sure. But it might be. 

And so that was our trip. We drove back along Highway 90 again and even stopped at the same buffet restaurant for our very late lunch. We ate lima beans and black-eyed peas and green beans and fried okra and real, true creamed corn and other delicious foods and then finished our drive through the green fields and forests. 
When we got home, Mr. Moon had to go into the office for a little while and I unpacked and started some laundry and picked the garden. The green beans are really coming in and I have an insane amount of tomatoes, both regular and cherry sized. The cucumbers are doing okay although I don't seem to be getting them until they've overgrown themselves and turned yellow. The field peas are continuing to yield and the pinto beans are coming up. The corn is swelling in its husks. 
But it's hot. And it's so buggy. And it's SO humid. And we may be getting a tropical storm at the end of the week because a low pressure area in Georgia is moving down to the Gulf and then it's going to gather its forces and turn back to land as a storm. 
This is almost an unheard of event. 
I've certainly never seen it in my lifetime. Storms ALWAYS originate out in either the Gulf or the Atlantic. 
But here we are and there is no longer any "normal" to be found. 

I think I'm going to make us a sort of caprese salad for our supper. We certainly don't need much and maybe I can use up a few of those tomatoes. I still have a bit of arugula and some very fine basil and a little bit of mozzarella. Not a whole world's worth of cheese, but enough for us tonight. 

Last night so many people said to me, "I'm so glad you came." 
And to every one of them I said, "How could we not have come?"
And you know, it wasn't just that I was glad I was there. It was that I was thrilled to be there. 
I was absolutely thrilled to join in with so many lovely people to celebrate two of the most beautiful people I've ever known. I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to know them. To have them in my life. I wish I'd been at their wedding but we didn't know each other yet. 
Time was waiting. 
And I know them now. And how lucky I am. 

Yes. A teeny-tiny trip but huge in meaning and in delight and oh! I finished, finally, reading Duane's Depressed out loud to my own beloved husband. 
I cried at the end. 
It was all perfect. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 6, 2019

My Garden Is Happy

It's rained all day but instead of that pleasing and soothing me, it's made me blue and agitated. I was fine for awhile. I made up a pot of the New York Times black bean soup recipe that I love so and they've been simmering all day and I sewed the zipper back in Lily's couch cushion but then I had to drive to town and I hate driving in the rain. It used to be that it only really bothered me at night but now it appears that I'm wussified during the day as well.
The first real experience I ever had with anxiety happened while driving at night in the rain. The details are unimportant but I was following a friend who was driving like a bat out of hell, passing semi's left and right on the interstate and there was a blinding rain and I suddenly realized that truly, I was going to pass out. This was pre-cellphone so I couldn't call him and say, "Listen, I have to pull over," but I did have to pull over.
He managed to realize I wasn't following him and exited and came back and found me but it was a horrible, terrifying experience and that was the beginning of my relationship with anxiety- a relationship that has shaped my life and not in a good way.
I get chills just thinking about it.

I didn't really get crazy anxious today. I was driving on roads I could probably drive with my eyes shut and it wasn't raining so hard that I couldn't see but still, I felt a little on the whack side.
If you know what I mean.

My errand involved a plant nursery and if you've ever shopped at a plant nursery in the rain, you know it's not ideal. I did find an umbrella in my car and considered myself lucky. I made my purchase and drove back home but it wasn't much fun and I laid down and slept for awhile to recover but that didn't work entirely well and now I'm wondering if maybe I'm getting what Lily has which is some sort of upper respiratory thing and looks and sounds horrible. I just don't feel right.

But. Tomorrow we are traveling to St. Augustine, one of my favorite cities in the world, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Lon and Lis who, coincidentally are two of my favorite people in the world. So I can't be sick because forty years is truly something and the way I love those two people is truly something and plans have been made and that is that. It's just going to be a quick trip. Over tomorrow, come back on Monday. The celebration is going to be held at a restaurant where Lon and Lis have had a regular Sunday evening gig forever. They'll play one set and then friends will take over the stage and folks will gather and dine and toast the beautiful couple.
Sounds lovely, doesn't it?
And it's all outside on the Matanzas River which makes it even better.
I got us a room via Airbnb in a restored "vintage" motel which makes me laugh. It'll be fun. I know it will be. I always have a good time in St. Aug. When the Williamsons lived there in a gorgeous old house that they'd restored, I used to visit them a LOT.
Oh, the fun we had! I look back on those days and can hardly believe that I was the same person.
I guess that actually and in reality, I'm not.
For example- Lis and I used to love to shop. Can you believe that? Of course St. Augustine is filled with great places to shop from the outlet mall to the oldest family-owned places and we enjoyed them all. I remember one place we used to love to treasure hunt in which was owned by a Cuban lady who made all the clothes in her little hole-in-the-wall place and she used the most gorgeous fabrics. Silk velvet, especially. I still have a skirt I bought from her. She loved and adored Lis.
Of course, everyone did.
And everyone still does.
There are going to be a LOT of people at that restaurant tomorrow night.

So. We'll be heading off to an adventure. Our next trip will be to North Carolina to see the Weatherfords. I talked to Jessie today and asked her if August still remembers my name. She assured me that he does. Here's a picture she took yesterday and sent to me.

See the rainbow? 
Levon still has his fa-fa and I find that so sweetly heart-tugging. Any kid can have a security blanket or a stuffed animal that they tote around but Levon Cobb Weatherford has security shovels. 
He's the son of an engineer daddy. 

I just went and tasted the black beans. 
Oh. My. God. 
So, so good. 
I guess I better go make something to go with them. I'm tempted to make a pan of cornbread and call it done but I suppose a vegetable or two would not be a bad idea.

If I don't post tomorrow it's because I'm having too much fun. 
That's the plan, anyway. 
So don't worry. I'll still be alive. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, July 5, 2019

And Now We Must Praise The Victors Of That Long Ago Battle Of Laguardia

Today has been a better day. I mean- how could it not be? Trump actually cited how the Revolutionary War heroes took control of the airports in his speech yesterday! Sometimes you just have to laugh. If he wasn't such a danger to us and to the planet, he'd be nothing more than a figure of ridiculousness but of course along with his knows-no-depths ignorance there is also his cruelty and narcissism.
And yeah, the whole power thing.
BUT, we survived the 4th and it was sort of like dragging ass through a birthday that one is not so happy about or any other holiday that is given such importance when really, it's just a day and we can choose to celebrate or not, stay in bed or not, ignore or not.
It was hard to ignore the sonic booms of the fireworks (definitely not legal in Florida) that a neighbor set off for about an hour last night. I mean really. How RUDE! It reminded me of the guy at the river with his music refusing to believe that everyone there wasn't just delighted to hear Toby Keith sing about whatever Toby Keith sings about.
Shit-kickin', I guess.
But I got up today and went for my walk and once again did not die which is always a good beginning to a day. I washed sheets and hung them on the line and did another load of clothes and hung them on the line and finally around two I got out of the house and went to town where I did a much-needed shopping. I've been living out of the garden and the freezer for awhile and that is wonderful and there's nothing at all wrong with it but sadly I do not grow wheat or sugar or coffee or sesame oil or, well, a whole bunch of stuff that cooks need. So I went to Publix and did a huge shopping, zipping through my carefully constructed list and then I went to Costco and got a few things there that I needed. I ran by Lily's on my way home to deliver a few things and also to pick up a couch cushion cover whose zipper had come unsewn in the wash and I think I can fix it easily. I got to kiss my babies and asked Gibson and Maggie where their grandfather's flashlight might possibly be. It's been lost since they were here playing with it.
"Hey, y'all," I said to them. "Do you remember when you were at my house and playing find each other with Boppy's flashlight? Do you have any idea where it might be now? We can't find it."
Gibson looked at me and said, "I think Maggie had it last," which is exactly what I knew he'd say, having been a child once myself. And then he said, "And that game we were playing is called Hide and Seek."
Oh, to be educated by a seven-year old.
Maggie had no idea where the flashlight might be and I suppose it will appear at some point.

Came home and unloaded bags and bags of groceries and put everything away and had my afternoon espresso shot on ice and brought in the clothes and sheets and made up the bed and now Mr. Moon has just pulled into the yard after fishing all day.
I do not know how he does it. He gets up at four o'clock, drives to the coast, fishes all day long which is a physically demanding thing to do on a boat on the Gulf, helps clean the boat and the fish and then drives home. But he loves it. He loves it and he is still able to do it and until the day he can't anymore I will cheerfully encourage him to be out on that water. My husband is of Norwegian and Swedish descent and I have long recognized the Viking in him when he is on the water. It's where he feels most comfortable. It's where he's happiest.
Well, except for maybe in the woods in a deer stand watching the animals come and go, the sun rise, and the backs of his eyelids.
I've said it before and I'll say it again- it was certainly never in my plans to marry a HUNTER but I fell in love with one and there you go.
Of course my first real, true crush was Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan and I suppose I've been carrying around that image of Tarzan bringing Jane home an ostrich egg for her to cook my entire life. I'm just a girl who likes a man who can bring home the breakfast. Literally.
And of course wrassle alligators and protect his woman from lions and bad men and speak fluent Elephant. Or at least the modern-day equivalent.

Okay. I have a question to ask. Have any of y'all ordered anything from one of those companies advertised on Facebook that sell dresses? Maybe you don't get those ads but I do. And I don't recognize any of the names and I feel certain they're all Chinese but the dresses look so pretty.

And they're cheap. 
So cheap that I am doubtful about the quality of them, to say the least. Are these companies that have just cut out the middleman of American business and sell directly from their factories? I don't know. Do I dare trust my credit card information with these people? Will I go to hell if I do business with them? 
So- any of you know anything about them? 
I can't seem to find much online which is probably not a good sign. 

It's still hot here. Brutally so. Not as bad as yesterday, I think, perhaps by a few degrees. Again, it's thundering to the east of us but the radar makes it look like we might get skipped entirely, only teased by the false promise of relief. 

In chicken news I saw some of the young birds playing at cockfighting today. 
I am not kidding you. And to tell you the truth, they didn't look like they were really playing at all. More like practicing. 
Dammit! Here we go into rooster overload again. 

I read a beautiful review of Wednesday night's Rolling Stones concert in Washington DC in the Washington Post and I'd link it but I've already read all of my free articles this month and they won't let me see it again, the bastards. 
Okay. I'm cheap. They're not really bastards. 
It was about how the Stones aren't just resting on their old laurels or phoning it in on this tour. They are a band, playing as well or better than they've ever played. As if they were playing for their lives. Dammit, I wish I could quote some of it. 

I better go make supper for that tired, tired man. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 4, 2019

I Don't Even Know

Rachel and Hank invited me to eat lunch with them in Monticello and I took them up on the offer. I haven't felt like doing a damn thing today. It's too hot and I'm fucking depressed. Hank and Rachel didn't want to discuss the travesty of a military parade in Washington or anything else political so we talked about movies and stuff.
That was fine.
I realize that I'm obsessed and it does no good. Dax Shepherd said something on one of his podcasts about how his wife wakes up every morning and starts pressing the lever of news for that hit of monkey coke because she's addicted to the horror of everyday's newest events in Washington.
I recognized myself in that.
Why do I feel as if every fucking thing that Trump does is something that I need to pay attention to? To bear witness to? To rage about, scream about, be horrified about?
None of this does any good at all and it's not good for my health and I know it.
Well, I can call my reps, I can send money to groups that ARE trying to do something about it. And of course- I can vote.
But there's something in me that wants to examine each and every new atrocity and pick at it until it bleeds or runs with pus. Perhaps so that I can share this all with my fellow sufferers, so that we can compare the nasty wounds that are being created by each day's events.
I don't know.
I do know, however, that I sure don't feel like celebrating any damn fourth of July. Not that I ever really do but this year more (less?) than ever.
I've noticed that my across-the-street neighbor who generally flies the flag for every patriotic holiday is not flying it today. He may be patriotic but he's also intelligent, educated, and as left-leaning as anyone can be.

We're getting the tiniest of rains. Just enough to make the air smell of ozone, to make the gentlest sound of water slapping the ground as it rolls off the roof overhang. There was an earthquake in California. There is a heat wave in Alaska. India is becoming too hot for human habitation.
It was 104 degrees today when I got in my car after being in the restaurant. It cooled down to 98 when I got rolling but still.
One hundred and four degrees.

I've got to stop poking at these wounds. I've got to just live my life in the very best way that I can, treating everyone with respect and doing what I can to cut down on carbon in the atmosphere.
I've got to stop letting Donald Trump dictate my mental health, my wellbeing.
I remember the morning after he got elected and I sobbed and sobbed, as so many of us did.
We knew. We knew, we knew, we knew.
We didn't know.
We had no idea how bad it would get.
Well. Here we are.

This picture sums it up and makes me as fearful for my country as anything I've ever seen except for perhaps the pictures of children in cages wearing aluminum foil blankets.

Ellen Abbott posted it on Facebook today. 

There you go. 

We finished watching the film Rolling Thunder Revue last night and you know what killed me about it? The fact that we had a moment. We, the people, specifically but not exclusively, the young people had a moment wherein we thought that we could actually change the world. 
Hell. We even had Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. 
Guess what? 
We didn't. 
And that is one of the reasons I am so fucking depressed today and is also one of the reasons I need to let some of this shit go. People are going to do what people do and the way it's going, the planet's going to go up in flames anyway. 

I'm making another tomato pie. Mayonnaise and all. 
Oh, Trump, you're killing me. 

Be safe, y'all. Hang tough. Things ARE going to change. They always do. Hopefully, we'll have time to save ourselves, to repair, to fix, to energize, to feel joy once again. 
Let's not let that man put us in early graves. Let us live long enough to see justice. 
Believe in freedom. 
You know. All the good. 
We have to try, at least. 

Ms. Moon 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

No Title

In the name of honesty and of truth I will admit to you that I am so tired. 
So is the grandfather. 
We're just not as snappy as we were even a few years ago. 
I thought that last night was going to kill us. By the time bath time rolled around and we'd put in a very full day already and there was still the kitchen to clean up and Gibson and Maggie to bathe, put in pajamas, read to, get in bed, and then hopefully coaxed into relaxing enough to sleep we were overwhelmed. 
I did not have the ingredients for purple cows so I put them in the bathtub and gave them each a cherry popsicle. This seemed perfect to me. They could relax in the warm water and eat their frozen confections and not have to worry about the inevitable drips. It worked out very well.  
"Have you ever eaten a popsicle in the bathtub?" I asked them. 
They looked at me as if perhaps I'd lost my mind but, whatever, and they ate their popsicles. 

Okay. Here's something that Gibson said last night at supper that cracked me up so hard. 
"When I grow up, I'm going to live in London!" 
He made this announcement the way Gibson makes all of his announcements which is to say as if there would be no doubt as to the veracity and seriousness of his words. 
"Why do you want to live in London?" I asked him. 
"So I can listen to Big Ben!" he said. 
He was being completely serious. 
When he heard that his Boppy had lived in London for about six weeks once he was thrilled. 
"Did you hear Big Ben?" he asked, astonished. Hear, not see, mind you. 
"I did," said his Boppy. 
Gibson was blown away. I told him about our friend Steve Reed who lives in London. This, too, astonished him. His dream was possible! 
I think he's recently seen Mary Poppins which may have been the impetus for this life goal. 
Whatever, I would not be surprised at all to see him move to London some day. Gibson will find a way. 
He is reading very, very well. He read Professor Wormbog to me last night and today he read me Corduroy, one of his favorite books. There's no stumbling or hesitation. I'm a bit amazed. 
Maggie "read" Five Little Monkeys to us last night. There is nothing that her brothers do that she cannot do, at least in her mind. The girl knows that story backwards and forwards. I was proud of them both. 
I got Gibson tucked into the bed in the guest room with his water and a fan because he says that he always "overheats" at night. 
He also needed a light and I left one on and I promised I'd come and check on him in a little while. I did and he was fast asleep. I pulled the sheet off of his head and kissed him and put the sheet back over his head and when he asked me this morning if I had indeed checked on him, I told him that yes, I had and it was the truth. 
Maggie did not want to get in her bed at all. 
"I want to cuddle you, Mer!" 
"Not now, Maggie," I told her, being cruel and heartless out of sheer exhaustion. "It's time to get in bed. I love you." 
And I kissed her and gave her her sleeping companions- the lamb and the big bear and by golly, she fell asleep too. 
She woke up around one, crying, calling my name and she said she had to go pee so I got up and tried to shake my old creaky body awake enough to take her to the bathroom and we did that and then she begged me to lay down with her and so I did but after a little time had passed I told her that there just was not room on that little bed for me and I got up and she said, "I want my mommy. I want to go home," and I said, "Well, I'm sorry, you can't. Go back to sleep."
And she did. 
Both children were awake by eight this morning and so I got up and gave them each a little glass of smoothie left over from the one their grandfather had blended up this morning (I make it the night before and he whirls it before he goes to the gym) while I had some coffee and went from Stage Zero (dead asleep) to Stage Three (barely functional) and then I made them some pancakes and the day had begun. 
After breakfast Maggie helped me with the chickens and gave them their scratch and then we went to visit the goats next door. 

In case you're wondering- she was carrying books in that suitcase. The goats did come over finally and we fed them some leaves. She kept calling them donkeys. I would correct her and say, "Honey, they're goats," and eventually she just called them "animalys" which was fine. 

We had a tea party a little later on. 

We played matching game and both Gibson and Maggie played with themselves with toys and they also played a rousing game of tag and oh, god- I wonder where they left the flashlight. I meant to ask them that before they left. Whoever was "it" got to use it. 

Lily sent me this picture. 

Her happy big boy with his new hoodie. I showed the picture to Gibson and asked, "Have you missed your brother?" 
"Yes," he said. "I even cried a little last night in bed."
I'm pretty sure that this is not even remotely true but it does sound good. 

When I knew that Lily was getting close to picking up her younger two on her way home I told them that they were going to have to help me clean up all of the toys. Maggie completely ignored me but look what Gibson did-

He cleaned up the entire Glen Den in a matter of minutes and when I tell you that the thought of simply picking up all of the Lincoln Logs made me want to weep, I am not kidding. I was SO proud of him and he was, as you can see, quite proud of himself. 

He is the sweetest boy and honestly, Maggie is a cupcake herself. She tells me out of the blue at least once an hour, "I love you, Mer!" and comes and hugs me. She is just so dang beautiful with that curly hair and those intense brown eyes. She is completely at home in her own body and spent a good part of the day naked except for perhaps a hat. 
When Lily got here, Gibson and Maggie ran outside to hug Owen and when he hugged Maggie he said, "I love you!" and she knows that. She knows without a doubt that she is loved. As do all three of those kids. 
Owen hugged me too and thanked me for the card I'd sent him and said it was awesome. I'm glad he got it. 

After they drove away I did a little more tidying and then I went and laid on my bed and read some and then I put the book down and closed my eyes and I was gone into sleep. 

It is horrible hot and hideously humid and tomorrow is the 4th of July. The Dick-tater is getting his show of military force parade in our nation's capitol, making a joke of what the holiday is all about. Not that he understands that. 
Not that he cares. 
Meanwhile- well- you know. 
Kids are still in cages. 
I won't be wearing red white and blue tomorrow, I can assure you. Nor will I be making a 4th of July cake with strawberries and blueberries arranged as the flag. Or grilling out or going to the beach (oh god- can you imagine the number of people who will be there?) or even the river (same-same). I'll just be here in Lloyd, hoping that a mighty storm obliterates all traces of Trump's homage to himself and that all of the people who bought tickets to that ridiculous and horrifying event are drenched with rain and traumatized by the thunder and lightening. 
And I'm absolutely not ashamed to say that either. 

Y'all all be safe. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Ah. Century Link guy has come and gone and we have a new modem and a new box on the outside of the house and hey! Look! I can post pictures. That's the one I took at the river yesterday. Look at that clear beautiful water.

I've been busy all day long. I finally got Maggie's dress finished and now she's here and wearing it.

She's such a busy girl. She and Gibson are both what I call "project babies" because they can create their own little worlds with a few toys and they like to get things organized and tidy. 
At least sometimes. 

They brought us presents. Two wooden butterflies that they had colored. Quite lovely. And Gibson wrote me a note. 

Can you read it? It says, "To mermer from Gibson. Love me more than Owen."
Ooh boy. 
Have I been giving Owen more attention than I give him or does he just want my full-on love while Owen's still at camp? Who knows? Bless his sweet heart, though. 

I just walked through the hallway and Maggie was having a conversation on the old plug-in phone that the kids play with and that we use when the electricity goes out. 
"I on the phone," Mer," she said. And then, into the phone she said, "Yeah, that's my MerMer," and she already has the teenager bored voice down pat. 
She keeps telling me, "I gonna sleep with you, Mer!" and I'm like, "Well, you're going to sleep right beside me on your own little bed."
She has agreed to this but we shall see how that works out. 
I know I'm already tired. It's hot, still, again, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Heat without end. Amen. Amen. 
The Florida weather doxology. 
I walked. I hung clothes. I made a dress. I've got supper started, stage one. 

All of the devices that hook up to the internet have been given their new passwords. Everything is working fine. We found six eggs today. Maggie is looking at the banana spider in her web right outside the back porch. "She got eyes?" 
"Yes. She has eyes."
And so it goes this second day of July, 2019. Tomorrow Owen will get home from camp. And other stuff will most likely happen too. 
Even here in Lloyd. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, July 1, 2019

Life In The Slow Lane

I should be in the best mood ever if suffering and accomplishing mundane tasks really are what make me happy which I am pretty sure they do. 
I took a walk. Not a very long one but I've learned my lesson about that in this heat and oh god, it is so hot. It's still hot- over 90 degrees and it's almost seven o'clock in the evening. But after the walk I met Lily and Gibson and Maggie at the river and it was so beautiful there today. Also, exciting because someone had spied a small gator out by the lily pads and then later on, a snake was seen over by the dock and there was a guy there who truly did not look like the usual Jefferson County, Wacissa visitor in his dress or his demeanor and when the snake was seen and reported he asked, "Is this normal?"
"Hmmm..." we said.
"Sort of."
We all know that there are always alligators in the rivers and lakes and sometimes even swimming pools around here but if we can't see them we can ignore them and generally, that works out just fine. As to the snakes- well, I'd never seen a snake there but I know without a doubt that there are plenty.

Oh Lord I'm hot. I haven't been cool all day except for the moments I dove into the river and then maybe for a little while after. The AC can't keep up with the heat and although it is vastly cooler in the house than it is outside, it's not exactly ideal.
Third world, boutique, bullshit problem.
And I know it.

I didn't stay at the river very long. I knew I had a lot of things to do here and so I came home and the first thing I did was to call Century Link. At first I thought maybe I'd gotten the rudest technician in the entire world. I gave her my explanation of the problem and then she asked me for my account number.
"I don't have it," I said.
"Why not?" she asked.
What the fucking fuck? Really? Why not? 
Because I'm a normal person who doesn't keep her phone bill records around, that's why.
Finally she grudgingly accepted that I was legitimate because I gave her the phone number, which I was speaking on, and Mr. Moon's name as the account holder.
She then deigned to do some of that voodoo shit where they can tell the speed of your own personal modem from wherever they are in the universe and after that she was a much more polite person because YES GODDAMMIT I WAS RIGHT AND IT IS SLOW, SLOW, SLOW!
So. I was not a lying impostor trying to get someone to pay attention to my mythical phone line with its mythical problem for whatever bizarre nefarious reason someone might do that.
She tried to do some more voodoo and fix the problem from where she was (how is this possible?) and she couldn't do that so someone's coming tomorrow to hopefully fix the problem in real life and in real time and in reality or at least what passes for reality by popular agreement. Possibly only popular agreement between me and me but that's getting a little too philosophical or quantum physics-ish for anyone.
We ended on a cordial note although she did not follow the script and did not apologize fifteen times for my inconvenience and she also did not ask me at the end of the call if there was anything else she could help me with today which always makes me want to say, "Sure! Come on over and clean my house because boy, it sure does need it!"
I bet a lot of people say shit like that and I bet it's not that funny to the phone techs. Still, it is tempting. They leave themselves wide open with that one.

And then, instead of going and taking a good long nap with the fan blowing directly on me which is what I felt like doing, I ironed a bunch of shirts and finished watching Tales in the City which led to me dropping tears on the shirts as I ironed and I'm not kidding. And then I started watching the Martin Scorsese  fake documentary film about Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review because I'd watched all of the Tales in the City episodes but I hadn't finished ironing all the shirts.
I just don't even know what to think about this film.
I know that there is definitely real footage in it and I also know that some of the narrative is complete whimsical bullshit and that makes it a bit difficult to know what's real and what's not which, I suppose, is so Dylan.
I will say that he sure was beautiful back in his younger years. I'll watch the entire thing because that's part of my history and it's fascinating on the real level for me, at least.
Back to reality, aren't we?

And then, and THEN, I made the eggplant parmesan which took me about an hour and a half to get from the raw eggplant and tomato stage to the finished product in a casserole dish ready to go into the oven. It and a loaf of bread I also made are both in the oven already because I think my husband's going to leave me if I don't start serving his supper before 9 p.m.
Not really. He'd never leave me for that. I don't think.
I wonder what he would leave me for? I know I've tested his love consistently since November of 1983 and he's still here.
I am a pretty good cook though. That may explain some of it.
And I love him and he knows it.

So there you go- a mundane report about a mundane day from a mundane woman leading a mundane life.
I have a beautiful and completely NOT mundane picture that I took at the river today but despite my best efforts, I can't get it to upload here.
I sure hope that the guy who's coming tomorrow to fix this problem knows what he's doing.

I have to say that those guys usually do.

I remain optimistic despite all. Well. Sort of. Check in tomorrow to see if my optimism is unfounded or founded. Is that a word? Founded? I have no idea.

Love...Ms. Moon