Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Special Day Indeed

It has been a truly perfect first day of spring with cool temperatures and a blue sky sporting white fluffy clouds as if they were accessories. I took that picture on my little walk. Wisteria has taken over a tree in front of an old house. Here's another shot.

It's Gibson's birthday today. He turned seven. I thought about him and his birth all day as I walked and then as I got in the garden and weeded and planted my cucumber seeds. What a beautiful day that was. What a lovely birth! I wrote about it HERE, the day he arrived. 

What a beautiful little thing he was. He's still mighty cute. 
Lily and Jason had a small party tonight at their house for the birthday boy and it was, of course, wild and chaotic. Kids everywhere. Wiley Cash was there and he and Maggie got into an argument. 
"Hey Grandma," said Wiley to me. 
"She's MY Mermer!" said Maggie.
"She's my grandma," said Wiley. 
"NO! She's my Mermer!" said Maggie. 
This went on for quite awhile. They finally got over it, agreeing to disagree, I suppose. 


Gibson was beside himself with joy. Maggie took all her clothes off because she likes to be naked. Then she realized it wasn't going to be her birthday tonight and began to sob. 
And Mermer and Boppy took their leave. 

We drove home with that giant golden moon leading our way. It was too beautiful for us to even need to talk. The moon said everything. 

Happy birthday, Gibson!
Happy spring equinox, y'all. 
Happy golden moon, planet Earth. 
Nothing more to say. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

One Thing Does Lead To Another

So Mr. Moon and I met up at the credit union where his office is today to go shopping for a washing machine. I had to wait for him for awhile and as I did that, I got totally cornered by a lovely lady who would NOT stop talking and every other word out of her mouth was about her god whom she calls Dad.
As in a prayer of hers which goes, "Dad! You are the greatest artist of all!"
Dad has a plan for all of us. We can't alway see it but there is one.
In between the god talk there was a lot of talk about her life and the things she loves. Which was cool but my GOD (haha) she never quit talking.
Anyway, we finally got going and went straight to the place where we bought our refrigerator which is locally owned and has been in the same family since the first appliance was invented, I guess. The sales woman whom we bought not only the refrigerator from but also the dishwasher, feels like family now. She showed us various machines and here's something that's very weird- the new stackable machines have gotten so large that I would literally have to stand on a step ladder to operate the dryer. Yes, they do make smaller ones but they have smaller capacity tubs and I'm a woman who likes to be able to wash a rug when she's in the mood. You know what I mean? Hell, Mr. Moon's jeans require a large capacity washer.
So. What to do?
We went to lunch to discuss it and then we went next door to the nursery and bought some plants for the garden including tomatoes and eggplant and a few peppers and some herbs. We hadn't made a decision on the washer yet and I needed to get Gibson a birthday present as he turns seven tomorrow and so I googled, "Where can I buy toys near me?" only of course I wrote, "Whete can I buy toys near me?" which google pointed out and corrected for me. Google is so thoughtful. And by damn, but wasn't there a toy store right across the road? I mean, DIRECTLY across the road. So I went over there and it was a small toy store but it had such good stuff in it and I got Gibson two different presents and when I paid for them the woman said, "Would you like me to wrap them for you?" and I said, "How much does that cost?" and she said, "Oh, it's free," and I said, "Can I have your babies because I love you."
No, no. I did not say that last thing. But I did say, "Yes! Thank you! You have made my day so much better!"
And she had.
And Mr. Moon called me and he was back at the appliance place which was right next door to where we'd had lunch and bought the plants and he wanted to look at the washing machines again and so I joined him and we talked about it some more and we came up with an idea that is so stellar.
For the past fifteen years my laundry "room" has been a teeny, tiny little area off the kitchen where the stackable washer and dryer are as well as a small counter/cabinet where I put the folded clothes because I fold things right out of the dryer because that's how I do it. The washing products also sit on that counter and yes, there is the cabinet underneath but that's where I store other things including paper towels and so forth. The hot water heater is in that small space as well and so are the three recycle receptacles so it is very cramped, to say the least.
Now I don't really complain about this because it makes me so happy just to have a washer and dryer in my very own house but there is a room in the house that we call the mud room that would make a fine laundry room and we've talked for a long time about doing that.
Some day.
But it occurred to us today that we might as well do it now so that we can get the washer that we want and I won't have to use a step ladder as we won't have to stack the washer and dryer.
As I speak Mr. Moon is figuring out how to run an appropriately sized electric line into that room to plug the dryer in and there's already a plumbing situation in there we could use for the washer which is what gave us the idea in the first place.
Y'all! Can you imagine? A laundry room? With space to fold clothes? With a few designated shelves to hold my detergent and bleach and Oxy-Clean?
What?! What?!
Ooh boy. I'd be in high cotton with all of that.
I'd show you a picture of what my laundry "room" looks like now but when I view it objectively it looks like an attempt at a laundry room in a trailer that meth is being cooked in.
And no, I'm not exaggerating.
Mr. Moon has decided that we should redo the flooring in the room we'll be moving the laundry area into so of course this is all going to take some time but I am going to be patient. I do actually like the linoleum that is in there now because it's really old and sort of cool but it is also cracked and coming up in some places and I can see the value in replacing it.

So. There you go. I'm pretty darn excited and maybe, eventually, possibly, one day we can make what is now the laundry area into a pantry of sorts but I'm not going to rush that idea. One thing at a time.

I still haven't done anything about the eggs that Dearie and Viv/Vera are sitting on. It has to have been three weeks now. Maybe tomorrow I'll do it. It just seems so cruel to take those eggs away but it's also cruel to leave those hens sitting on what are probably rotting eggs. I have to say that since the roosters have been dispatched it is a completely different scene around here. There is peace in the valley and Liberace appears to rule with a calm and regal talon, not bothering the ladies overmuch with his needs. I am getting plenty of eggs although neither of the Americaunas are laying and I have to wonder if they, too, are laying somewhere hidden and have deep and instinctual plans to sit on those eggs. Or, they may just be recovering from their rooster-ravaged wounds.
I have no real idea but I do miss seeing those pretty green eggs in the egg bowl in the kitchen.

So remember when I wrote a few weeks ago about how if you start messing with doilies you'll be putting up crown molding before you know it? Since I started writing this I've helped Mr. Moon move two pieces of fairly major furniture, one of which will probably motivate us to move back into our old bedroom although that will take two men and a boy because our mattress is so damn heavy. I refuse, however, to put up crown molding.

I better go make supper.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 18, 2019

A Full Day, To Say The Least

And so it begins. The bamboo, unbeknownst to me has begun to sprout. For those of you who are relatively new here, what this means is that for the next few weeks I have to go out and find every sprouting bamboo I can find and kick them all over or else my entire yard will be a bamboo jungle which sounds sort of cool but trust me- is not. In five years you wouldn't be able to hack your way through it with a machete.
I have decided that my yard is the poster child for invasive species, all planted, I am certain, innocently enough by former owners of the house.
I discovered that particular shoot right after I'd come home from the grocery store and while my bags were still on the counter waiting to be emptied, I began kicking. As I kicked I despaired, feeling as if my life is out of control and that I cannot possibly keep up with it.
From preventing bamboo overtaking the place to pulling other invasives to weeding and planting and tending the garden to clearing out areas of the yard that have been left too long without attention, to dealing with the housework, the grocery shopping, the cooking, the laundry- all of the endless chores that need doing- I am overwhelmed.
And then I discovered that the washing machine is broken.
But, the wisteria is purpling up.

And the tung tree is in full bloom. 

I am sorry that these pictures are not better. It has been overcast today, and cooler and I am not complaining about that but the sky has not made for great photos. 

I complain too much. The fact of the matter is, I have the house and the yard that I always so desperately wanted and if they have come with a lot of work involved, that is merely part of the bargain. If I want fresh vegetables I need to pull up my big girl panties and get out there and tend to things. 

I weeded the carrots today and the approximately three leeks which came up and are still alive. Jack helped me by laying in the kale and watching me carefully. The beans I planted last week are up and doing nicely, the arugula too. I hope to goodness it survives the coming heat because store lettuces and salad greens leave me completely unimpressed. I have got to get my ass to a nursery and buy tomato plants and I've also got to plant some squash and cucumbers and Owen specifically asked if I'd plant more corn this year. I would love to make him happy. I would love to be able to get out the canning kettle and make pickles this year. I would love to have fresh squash and I'd give my pinky toe for some delicious, ripe, homegrown tomatoes this year. 
Well, maybe not really but you know what I mean. 

So anyway, I am feeling overwhelmed by it all, the yard, the garden, the house, the washing machine being out of order, the anxiety which has seeped back in to fill up all the spaces that I thought I'd banished it from with my wonderful weekend. I talked to Lis today. We rehashed a few things from the party and she is slowly trying to pull things together. Today she and a friend who is still there dealt with the dessert table which was absolutely filled and over-filled with, well, desserts. And muffins. And so forth. She said the dishwasher is running and that soon she will start to go through the refrigerator to see what it holds. I'm afraid it's going to be like an archeological dig where there are layers upon layers of things to discover. People would come to the party with a food item and say, "This needs to be refrigerated," and we'd about die. It would have been easier for someone to build a refrigerator from q-tips and car parts than it would have been to fit so much as a stick of butter into that thing, much less one more large Gladware container of salad. Hell, we lost an entire damn shepherd's pie although we eventually did find it. I won't even mention the tiramisu that was carefully placed in an ice chest and almost forgotten. But thankfully, was not as it was homemade with love and all of the best ingredients. 

It's been an up and down day here in Lloyd as I've coasted on the sweetness of the weekend and crashed on the rocks of reality. Our friend who was in the hospital received what may have been some halfway good news from a doctor today which raised our spirits and then, because life is cruel and unfair and horrible sometimes, I discovered that one of Hank's best friends died suddenly and tragically young from a heart attack. My boy has had to suffer way too many deaths of friends. It's also the birthday of a another one of his beloved friends and tribe member who died quite a few years ago in a car wreck. I talked for a long time on the phone with my ex-husband and we discussed some of our own longtime beloveds who have passed on. We shared some sad stories and some funny ones. It was good to talk to him. We still make each other laugh and that's a beautiful thing. I am so grateful that we get along and like each other. Hell, we're bonded for life due to the children we had together and we have a shared history. We went to the same high school, we spent some formative years together, to say the least. And he IS a funny guy. And as a bonus- his wife is awesome. 

And that's been my day. Ups and downs and kickings and cursings and hopes and sorrows and waterings and cleanings and flowers and weeds and memories and laughter and tears, too. 
Still no baby chicks and no, I did not deal with that issue today but I'm going to have to. I'm afraid those two hens are going to sit on those eggs until the Rapture if I don't take them away. 
Sometimes it is absolutely not in our best interests to persevere even when circumstances tell us we are on a fool's errands. 
Turns out, sometimes we are and it's best just to walk away, go eat a good meal, drink deeply of sweet water, take a dust bath, rejoin the flock and live to lay another day. 
Eggs, that is. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, March 17, 2019

August's Fiddle Debut

And let me tell you that the man accompanying him is an amazing musician.
Jack Williams. 

Dress by MerMer Moon.
Just thought I'd add that.

How It Went

Oh, y'all. I had the best damn time I've had in years and years and once again I have Lis to thank and Lon, too. They got me off my ass and into their world and it was a whole lot of magic. I spent most of time in that tiny kitchen and how we managed to get enough food out of it to feed at least a hundred people three meals a day is nothing short of the miracle of the loaves and the fishes.
Frankly, it's impossible.
Truthfully, we did it. And it was wonderful.

And while that was happening, music was happening everywhere. 

When I first met Lis and Lon, they lived in St. Augustine and I would visit them and their people, their friends and loved ones, enfolded me in a way I've not known before or since. There seemed to be no hurdles to jump, no tests to take, no nothing to prove. 
Here I was, I was Mary, I was the friend of Lis and Lon, I was loved. And I fell in love with so many of those folks in return. I look back now and I think about how I really did become a small part of that community. I would go over to folk festivals and help in the hospitality tent, making sure the artists had food to eat and things to drink. I worked side-by-side with Lis and when she was onstage, which she always was at one time or another, I watched with as much pride as a mother, a sister, a star-struck fan.
I just was. 
Hell, I still am. 

But I haven't seen so many of these people for a long, long time. Lon and Lis moved from St. Augustine to their little home deep in the heart of a different part of Florida on a lake surrounded by woods and water but I used to visit them fairly frequently and I'd go into town with them when they played and I'd still see some of those people and then I'd see them again when I'd go to the parties they had every two years or so. 
And then came the time of greater and greater anxiety and I just didn't make it to all of the parties and honestly, I hadn't seen some of these beautiful folks for years. 

But this year I had to go. I just did. And I swear, it was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time but I kept thinking about how Lon and Lis have come and helped with every one of my kids' weddings since they've known me. I mean BIG help. Make-the-wedding-cake help. Help-decorate help. Give-me-moral-support help. Wash-dishes help. Build-a-bridal-bower help. And I also thought about how Lis kicked my ass into going to Cuba with her and how that was truly a life-changing event and how much fun we'd had and how amazing it was. 
And I knew there was no excuse big enough to keep me from going. 
Plus, Jessie and Vergil were going with their boys and these St. Aug people had known Jessie since she was about five years old. And she'd brought Vergil with her to this gathering when they got serious and he'd proved his mettle with his mandolin and his harp-playing and he got everyone's approval with the way he so obviously loved Jessie, the fairy goddaughter of Lon and Lis. 
So. Had to go. 
Did it. 

When I got there on Thursday they were all still in prep mode. The men were doing tree trimming and setting up the fire pit and the parking areas and camping areas and they'd just finished building an outdoor shower for the campers. The fancy, schmancy bathrooms with AC had been put in place. And the women were getting all the food ready and when I pulled in, the first person I saw was one of those people I hadn't seen in forever and he leaned in the window of my car and hugged me and kissed me and said, "It's so good to see you again," and it was all okay. Better than okay. And THEN, I found Lon and Lis and I was just about in heaven. 

The whole weekend was like that. 
"Hello, hello. It's so good to see you. How are you?" 
And you can't imagine how many times I was told how beautiful Jessie and her family were. 

Some pictures. 

Three beautiful men whom I love. My husband, Lon, and Doc, as he is called. He plays music with the Williamsons and has forever, and oh yeah, he's a veterinarian. He always brings fish he caught and fries it up. The best. I made some of my almost world-famous tartar sauce to go with it. I told him the day after the fish lunch that I'd hardly gotten a bite because it got eaten up so fast. He fried some more that very day and sent me a plate to the kitchen. 

Our fire-tender, T.J. The man can build a fire. He kept it going all weekend with the help of a fascinating woman I met for the first time. She's a sailor and lives on the St. John's river in a house off the grid and wears vintage Levi's that have no damn spandex in 'em at all. 

Levon trying to chop wood with his shovel the way his Boppy was chopping with an axe. His technique is flawless. 

August, whom we found in the kitchen helping Lis make the traditional birthday cake. The weekend that this party falls on is always the one closest to St. Patrick's Day and there are at least three birthdays of guys in the group and Lis always makes a cake. How she found time to make a cake, I do not know but not only did she make one, she let August help her until I coaxed him away with the promise of a few books. It was so much fun to be there with my grandkids. Everyone was so kind to them and there were other children too. Boppy helped out, taking August to the fancy potties, giving him a bath, watching him so that Jessie and Vergil could have a little more freedom. I felt so proud to be the grandmother of two such beautiful boys. Everyone was so kind to them. 

I got to spend time in the kitchen with a woman I've known forever but didn't really know that well and now I feel as if we are bonded in a new and very sweet way. I also shared kitchen-space with a guy who always comes to these parties early to help and I have such an easy relationship with him. I told him, "Harvey, it's not everyone that you can say FUCK YOU! to who will take it as the endearment it's meant to be." He laughed his beautiful laugh as he made his mama's Georgia baked beans while I mixed up angel biscuit dough. A prince of a man. I got to see and spend a little time with the woman who comments here as Lulumarie whom our family calls, The Nicest Woman In The World! And she is. She had brought Lis a little ceramic bluebird on a wire to stick in a plant in her garden and she let August do the honors of putting it in just the right place. I got to meet a woman who's been a back-up singer for almost any artist you can think of and whose stories were amazing. And of course I got to see folks that I haven't seen in forever which was absolutely splendid. I also got to see my darling Liz Sparks (aka Liz of the west) and spend some time with her. She helped Vergil put up the tent while Jessie got the kids fed and she cooked eggs the next morning on a grill on the fire. I got to see and talk to people I've known since I was nineteen years old and had just moved to Tallahassee with the amniotic fluid still running forth from my ears and the crazy running from my soul. They took me in as they took in so many people and I will love them always. 

And I got to spend time with Lon and Lis. 
I can't even really talk about how much I love them. It's just too damn big. 

And Lord, I cooked. I cooked black beans and I made that tarter sauce and pickled red onions and I threw together a cole slaw under Lis's directions. I got asked fifty times if I was making "those" biscuits. I did make those biscuits. I must have mixed up five or six batches of the angel biscuit dough to rest in Lis's giant bowl. When she pulled it out for me she said, "I don't think I've used this since the last time you made biscuits here," and I said, "OH! My baby!" and I gathered it in my arms and it nestled there for a few seconds before I set it on the counter.
Here it is, filled with the dough this morning, August ready to help me roll it out and cut it and bake it. 

What a joy that was! 

This morning, when the biscuits were ready and sitting on the table outside next to butter and cane syrup and honey and the sausage that Lon's sister and brother-in-law had sent over made from one of the cows they've raised on grass and goodness and which Lon had grilled, and so much fruit and muffins and even tiramisu, Lis gathered us all together to hold hands and she thanked us all and I seriously doubt there was a dry eye to be found among us. 
And after all of THAT (and about forty pots of coffee) she called August to help her put the candles on the birthday cake. 

Of course he has had a lot of practice doing that. 
And the candles were lit and a more beautiful rendition of "Happy Birthday" has never been heard while the three birthday men stood together and then blew out their candles while Levon helped from across the table because that boy knows how to blow out a candle. 

Leaving was about the hardest thing I've ever done. I almost cried like a child. 
"I don't want to leave!" I wailed. 
And the universe laughed and laughed. 

But I tell you what, I'm going to sleep good tonight. I seriously worked hard, cooking and washing dishes and walking back and forth from the kitchen to the recording studio where we were staying and where things were stashed in the refrigerator there. But it was such a joy. 

Before we left I cleaned up the biscuit project and made four loaves of soda bread to cook later when the corned beef and cabbage got made. I wished I had something else I needed to do so that I could stay a little longer. But we needed to get back. Mr. Moon wanted to check on our friend who has been in the hospital but who's home now and we'd left the animals with lots of food but no supervision. And of course we're home now. All unpacked and all of the animals are fine and as a true, sweet bonus, Miss Pansy has returned from her self-induced exile caused by roosters. Dearie and Viv/Vera are still sitting on eggs and I think that Viv/Vera's at least are probably not going to hatch. I'll deal with that tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, I'm still floating around in the ether somewhere with all the love and magic. I've unpacked and washed the sheets on our bed and remade it. I've picked greens for salad and am about to go cook our tiny two -person dinner. 
My regular life is about to resume but I'd sort of love to drive back to Gatorbone and help Lis clean up. I can't even imagine how tired she and Lon must be. 

Well. That's the report. 

There's far more I could tell but that'll certainly do. 

I've missed y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Here I am at Gatorbone having a quiet moment sitting behind the recording studio where Lis has created a most cozy nest for me and Mr. Moon who should be here tomorrow evening along with Jessie and Vergil and the boys. There are only a few people here so far, folks who come early to help, mostly. I’ve known some of these people for years and feel easy with them. 
It’s so good to hang out with Lis, helping where I can. She won’t let me do much, truthfully. I like just being her handmaiden, going along with her, making her laugh. I’ll start cooking sometime tomorrow and people will be coming in then and it will be chaotic, everyone figuring out where to park and camp and getting meals coordinated and served. There will likely be lots of kids and there will definitely be lots of music. 
I’m so very glad to be here. I can hear the frogs and some bird I can’t identify and a dog barking across the lake. This is a beautiful part of Florida and the most beautiful time of year to be here. 

This is Florida. Don’t believe everything you read about us. For every methed-out second grade drop out who has a confederate flag in the back of their truck behind the gun rack, there are ten of the most wonderful people you can imagine, dedicated to preserving the natural beauty here and as kind and as left-leaning as you can imagine. 

At least that’s how it feels from where I am tonight. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Maybe I Should Just Talk About Politics And Religion

I put off my trip to Gatorbone for a day, wanting to go see our friend in the hospital. He indeed had to spend the night and will probably be there for awhile. Not to be dramatic or anything but I do believe that Mr. Moon got him to the ER just in time and now they are putting out fires to try and let his body return to a sort of homeostasis. The root problems will be dealt with but for now, he is resting and getting the medications he needs. It was strange to see him in that hospital bed. I seriously doubt that in the forty plus years I've known him I've ever even seen him laying down. He's just not a laying down sort of guy. He moves. Even when sitting down to watch a basketball game on TV he moves. It's funny how I've never thought about that before.
But there he was and I am so glad he's getting the help he needs and he's comfortable and doesn't seem overly anxious about any of it.

Before we went to the hospital, we met Jessie and the boys at El Patron to sit outside and eat fajitas. Levon slept through a lot of it but when he woke up he sat on his mama's lap and ate and ate and ate. Both boys seem to be going through growth spurts. In other words, they have a lot of room inside of them.

The two Boppys. The Big one and the Little one.

Have you ever seen a more precious little smile? 

Okay. Not to change the subject but let's talk about giraffes. I was listening to an interview on NPR today on the show 1 A with Joshua Johnson as host. The guest's name was Adam Rutherford and he's written a book entitled Humanimal. The subject matter is mostly how humans differ from other non-human animals and yes, how they are alike. And of course, why. But almost on a side-note, Mr. Rutherford stated that 95% of giraffe sex is penetrative and happens between two males. 
Hold on. 
I was stunned. NO ONE EVER TOLD ME THIS! 
Of course I had to do extensive research by which I mean I read two articles I'd googled and although I am not sure where Mr. Rutherford got his facts it would appear that yes, male giraffes do have a lively time with each other and also, that even male/female giraffe sex gets sort of kinky and involves the urine of the female. 
Maybe Trump's got some giraffe DNA going there. 
Anyway, we all now have an excellent comeback to anyone who says that homosexuality is unnatural. 
And of course, giraffes are not the only species who same-sex it. 
I think I need to read this book. 

I've seen no baby chicks yet. The rooster elimination project has begun and I just wrote a long paragraph about that but I've deleted it. Suffice it to say that it's been like gang-rape around here for the hens and one in particular and I'm not having that shit. When weighing out the cruelty of killing a rooster quickly and painlessly versus the cruelty of roosters slowly and painfully killing hens, I know which side I'm on. 
It sucks but so does a lot of life. 

I'll probably be blogging from my phone for the next three or four days but I will do my best with it. I can say with almost complete certainty that there will be no chicken news which is probably a good thing. 

Man. This has to be one of the weirdest posts I've ever written. 
And that's saying something. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Color Purple

And just like that it begins again, the startling, eternal rebirth of that which had appeared to be dead. Jesus ain't got nothing on wisteria. 

I really don't know what else to say this evening. It's been a fine day and I've got bags lining one wall of the kitchen filled with things to take with me to Lis's house. Flours of different types, raisins, butter-flavored Crisco, Caraway seeds, yeast, vodka, olives, limes, vermouth, potatoes. Is that redundant? In the refrigerator in the garage I have fourteen pounds of corned beef. And my suitcase is laid out on my bed. It's still empty but it's ready to receive whatever I need and want to pack in it. 


Mr. Moon is on his way right now to take a friend of ours to the ER. I am going to give no details because this is a most private person. But this friend has been a friend of mine for ever forty years and he is someone I would trust my life with and his situation is quite serious.
And that. 
And this. 
It puts everything into perspective, doesn't it?

I really do find myself wordless right now. 
I'll check in tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 11, 2019

In Which The Tree Show Was Watched Plus Crazy

Boppy got up this morning before the tree crew got here but I stayed in bed until the lad woke up. He popped up, said, "Where's Boppy?" and I told him that Boppy was probably in the kitchen and to come give me a hug. He looked straight at me and then ran for the kitchen.
I got up and by the time I got to the kitchen, Mr. Moon had things well under control with August. I gave them bananas and told them I'd heat up the pancakes which I'd made the day before and they went outside to begin watching the show.
Dear god, I don't even know how many men and how many units of large equipment were on my property today.

Here were the guys after breakfast watching the old, rotten cherry laurel coming out of a different part of the yard. 

So all of that happened and eventually August got bored and Boppy had to go to work and there were books and puzzles as chain saws roared and men yelled and our trees got taken out and then Mommy and Levon came. At that point August had eaten the banana, three pancakes, a piece of bacon, and then asked if I could make him "another foods," so I did and he had a peanut butter sandwich on top of everything else. As he told me when he sat down to eat his pancakes, "I have so much room in me!" 
Jessie took Levon out to see what was going on and that boy almost lost his mind. When Jessie tried to bring him back in he yelled and screamed, "NO! NO!" Heavy equipment operation may be in that child's future. He kept making the sign for "more" and saying, "See! See!" 
He wanted to watch some more. 

And then the boys and Jessie left and the tree guys finished up. They did such a good job that I expected one of them to pull a whisk broom and a dustpan out of his back pocket and sweep up the last of the saw dust and detritus. They did use a blower on it. 
Here's what my tree looks like now.

I am so sad. But there was definitely rot in the ancient thing. 

I'm not sure why they didn't just take the last remaining trunk of it because I have no doubt it will come down sooner or later too. 

Here's what the play set looks like that Boppy built some years ago.

I heard him and August discussing this as they watched and August told his grandfather that he should build it back. "I can help," he said. "I will bring tools and help."
"Great!" said Mr. Moon. "We can do that!"
"Let's DO THIS THING!" said August, throwing his arms up into the air. 
And you know that pleased his Boppy immensely. 

So. After all of these months, the tree is gone and after all of these years, the cherry laurel is gone. I found a pretty little piece of crockery over near the stump of it. 

There are bits and pieces of housekeeping remnants everywhere in this yard. I used to collect them all but now I just look at them and appreciate them and give them back to the dirt. 

I've been a bit melancholy today. Melancholy and something else I can't quite name. In two days I'm heading over to Gator Bone to help Lis get ready for their huge, amazing, fantastic, out-of-this world, three-day pot luck picking party. I have been to many of these and reported on them and they are always wonderful but I haven't been in awhile. As I have grown older my ability to function around other people (and there will be literally hundreds) has decreased and my anxiety related to stimuli has increased and I have been cowardly despite the fact that I always know there will be so many people there whom I really do love and so much good music and so much pure, plain community and I have bowed out. But this year? I just have to go. Lis AND Lon have helped me out with each of my children's weddings. I mean, from arbor building to wedding cake making. And beyond all of that, FAR beyond all of that, true love and moral support. 
So. I simply have to go. 
The helping part is easy. I love what I do in the kitchen there. I make soda bread and corned beef and cabbage. I make angel biscuits and whatever needs to be made. I will be glad to do whatever needs to be done from ditch digging to holding Lis's lipstick. 
But oh, the party part...
Well. I'm going. I told Lis the other day that I would be coming on Wednesday and leaving on Friday when the people started getting there. She laughed her merry Lis laugh and said, "I knew you were going to say that."
"Could you get some of that crime tape and wrap it around the kitchen so no one will try to come in and talk to me while I'm cooking?" I asked her and then added. "God, I must love you."
And she knows I do. And Lon too. 
And this year, Jessie and Vergil and the boys are coming and will be camping and so I'll have my little posse which is a good thing. And Mr. Moon will be coming too, later in the week. 
And so all of that has affected me, I'm sure, because I am one of those people who freak the fuck out for no real reason except that of course my reasons are real, despite the fact that they're in my head. 
Everything is in our heads so I'm over feeling bad about that. 
But this is definitely a situation where love conquers all and so it shall. 

Here's what I picked tonight for our salad. 

How pretty is that? 
Do you like the running carrot? I do. 
It's going to run straight into our mouths. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Close To Perfection

I was surprised today by a blooming Iris. As surprises go, this one is so welcome. They don't bloom every year so that makes it all the more appreciated.

Jessie and Vergil came over today and we were going to go on a boat ride but then something came up with the steering on that boat and so forget that and then Mr. Moon and Vergil started on another project which took most of the afternoon. Jessie and I hung out with the kids and August and I read a book that had a beanbag game in it so I got out the sewing machine and some beans and we made two purple and two yellow beanbags and then I told him I'd make a pillow for him which led to Jessie and Levon and August and I piling into their truck and heading down the road to find some red clover to pick and put in the pillow. I used to make little red clover pillows for Hank and May and I had a yen to do that for August. We found some clover to pick and then we drove home and on the way we stopped by a little house where I used to live which had been for sale for a long time. I had loved that house and it was falling into dust but someone has bought it and it looks loved now as does the yard. That pulled some memories from their place in my heart of a time so long ago and so painful in some ways, so wonderful in others.

I stuffed August's pillow not only with the red clover but also with some rose petals and regular old stuffing. The clover smells like fresh-cut grass and I hope it makes my grandboy's dreams sweet as they can be.

The pillow is now on his bed where he's going to sleep tonight in Mer and Bop's room. We want him to be here tomorrow morning early when the guys come to take down the tree. He was a pretty patient boy this afternoon, waiting for his parents and brother to leave so that he could have his grandfather all to himself. He asked me a little while ago if I would please put my shoes on and go out and tell Boppy that it was time for some movie time. 
Time for movie time. 
And now it is. Mama and Daddy and Brother have all gone home and August is as happy as he can be. 

So is his grandfather. 

And the grandmother is pretty happy too. We're going to have some leftover black beans and maybe some macaroni and cheese and a little roasted broccoli to bring the green to us. Last night I picked and washed and chopped a good amount of various greens and sauteed them with garlic and a slice of bacon and some olive oil. I sprinkled them with vinegar and each of us got a bowl of heaven to go with the ambrosia which was the black bean soup with pickled red onions. The bread was good too. 
I'm glad I'm a decent cook because I sure do like to eat. 

Here's Levon. 

My merry little man with his new haircut.

And here's my blooming buck-eye. It has grown so much taller this year. 

There have been two pairs of swallow tailed kites flying high above the trees today, heralding their return with their piercing whistle cry. It feels like a blessing upon us. 

Whole lot of sweetness going on, each day a celebration of some blossom opening, some bird returning, some new variation on perfect blue days, babies growing, their love wrapping itself even more firmly around our hearts. 

Not going to complain tonight. Not one bit. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Shame And The Glory

I have been so industrious today and you know that always makes me happy, probably because I am shamed-based and anything I do that points to work and accomplishment helps a little to ease those feelings of guilt and shame and make me feel like a person who maybe does deserve the air she breathes. I think I fear being lazy as much as anything.
Well, not as much as I fear Republicans but a lot.
So. In that picture above you will see Dearie's eggs. She got off the nest this morning again to eat and take a nice little dirt bath and I took the opportunity to check out the clutch. There are actually eleven eggs there although you can only see ten. There's one hidden under that magnolia leaf.
Looking back I do believe that when Dearie was laying her eggs on the porch, first in a basket and then in the bag of shallots, she was trying to establish a nest in what she considered to be a safe place but of course the stupid human kept taking her eggs away from her hiding places and I feel bad about that now.

Vera/Viv also showed up for sustenance and I decided to try and follow her today to see where she's nesting. She headed towards the very northwest part of the yard, right next to the gate and the road. 

It's a place that I've let get completely out of control with briars and thorny dewberry and pyracantha and cherry laurel seedlings and poison ivy. (The guilt! The shame!)

I couldn't see her once she disappeared into the thicket but walked around the fence to the church's parking lot and from there I could see her, sitting on her eggs. She gave me the evil eye and I snapped her picture and left her alone. 
I suppose we can now add nest-sleuth to my resume. 
God, I hope I never have to apply for a real job. 

Besides stalking chickens I cleaned out the hen house and took the trash and recycle and did a little laundry and put the plants that were inside for winter back out on the porch and I swept some and I got a pot of black bean soup started. The recipe at the NYT's Cooking for "Best Black Bean Soup" is freaking amazing and I can't wait to eat that again tonight. I gave the recipe to Lis and she's used it twice already. I also have two loaves of bread rising and it was one of those miracle bread makings where I sort of guessed on the proportions of flour and salt and yeast and water and butter and dumped it all in the Kitchen Aid, put the dough hook to it and it made a dough that was absolutely just about almost incredibly perfect. And on top of all of that I finally got back in the garden and did some serious weeding and planted half a row of arugula to try and keep some fresh greens in our salads. The arugula I planted in the fall is already bolting but I read an article that said you can replant all summer and that it has a good chance of surviving the heat. 
We shall see. 
I also planted a fence row of green beans, half Blue Lake and half Kentucky Wonder. 
Very little feels better than getting something planted and turning the sprinkler on and sending your green hope wishes up to the garden gods and goddesses. 

My gardening magic familiar.

Okay. Here's something. 

Levon got his first haircut! 

Yes, yes, YES, it's darling but- oh my heart. As I told Jessie, "Honey, you have to warn me before you do these things."
The other day Maggie saw a picture of Jessie when she was a tiny girl and said, "Levon!" 
They do favor each other. And he is growing up and I love that but I also mourn him leaving babyhood as I have mourned each of my own children and now my grandchildren leaving their babyhoods, too. 
Oh a brighter note, Lily texted me today that Maggie wanted to go outside and Lily told her that she needed to put on her pants first and then, "With a defiant tilt of her head she yelled, 'I want to ride my cycle nake!'"
The Woman Baby Goddess makes her wishes known. 

And this is how the day has gone and I am not unhappy with it in the least. I AM unhappy with the fact that we have to set the clocks up an hour tonight. Oh, fuck that shit. This is ridiculous. Do you Brits do this time change thing or is it just us doody-head Americans? 

I will offer you one more observation, this one about aging. Or at least MY aging. 
I checked out three library books this past week and I came home to discover that one of them is absolutely horrible and beyond redemption and I cannot read it due to its ridiculousness and the other two I have already read. However, since I remember almost nothing about the two I've read I may just reread them. 

Well, I still know how to cook and I can track a broody hen so I'm not going to worry overmuch. 


Love...Ms. Moon


So many roses! 

Friday, March 8, 2019

From The Sublime To The Beyond Ridiculous, According To Me

It could hardly have been a prettier day today. The sort of day that's so beautiful that with its perfection it brings a sense that nothing one does could possibly compete with what simply is, thus lending a sort of guilt-free desire to do little beyond enjoy that perfection. Although hanging the clothes on the line is such a pleasurable way to use the sunny breezes and drier air that it only adds to the enjoyment of the whole. 
For me, at least. 
Dancing prayer flags made of sheets and napkins, cotton shirts and tablecloths. 

While I was hanging the sheets I noticed that Dearie was off her nest and was pecking at the grains of scratch left by the flock this morning so I went into the coop where the food is kept and she followed me. I set out a good portion of scratch for her and her alone and she ate almost frantically and I determined that I would watch her to see where she has her nest when she'd had her fill. 
She knew I was doing that. And she did not like it. I've said it before and I wills say it again- these jungle fowls are wily and wise in their own ways. She tried to throw me off the trail and I did indeed lose her once in a small thicket of iron plant but then she reappeared and headed to the back yard and I swear to god- I took my eyes off her for one second and she literally disappeared. 
Well. Obviously she is not a sorceress. Or a shape-shifter. She had to be somewhere. And there was only one place she could be hiding. 

Sure enough. I tipped up that old pink tin washbasin and there she was, as still and flattened as one of those brown magnolia leaves. I wanted desperately to thoroughly investigate and see how many eggs she's sitting on but I did not want to spook her and softly covered her again and walked away. This does not seem to me to be the safest place for a hen to have a nest but she is the mama and I am not. I have no clue at all where Viv and/or Vera are sitting on eggs. They are making themselves extremely scarce. 
So, tracking a hen to her nest seemed like another good way to enjoy the day and I did enjoy it. 

I knew I needed to go to town to get a few things and I procrastinated and procrastinated but finally I got dressed in town-appropriate garb and went. It wasn't so bad. I got my errands run quick-quick and did not run into anyone I knew and came home. I put away groceries and took everything off the line and folded each piece as I set it into the hamper and even that chore was pleasurable. Mr. Moon came home early and that was nice too. 

And so now my bed is made with clean sheets and I am going to make us a delicious supper which is halfway sinful (pork chops, homemade applesauce, sweet potatoes, artichokes) and I have taken a few pictures in the yard. 

The sun going down through the azaleas. If you look closely after clicking, you may even see a bumble bee or two. I was thrilled to see them flying about, insinuating their fat bodies into the throats of the flowers and then flying off to buzz more of the purple beauties. 

The wisteria starting to bud on the trellis in my back yard. And oh! Won't the bees love it when that all blooms? I will too. I know it's an invasive plant but there is not much in this world as gorgeous as hanging wisteria blossoms. 

The tree that Hurricane Michael blew down and which is still in our back yard. On Monday morning a crew is coming to take it out, finally. Quite frankly, I've gotten used to it being there but I suppose that it really does need to go. 

A cluster of Tung tree blossoms. These bring me pleasure every spring. They are so exquisitely shaded and delicate. The trees are supposedly deadly toxic in all of their parts- branches, leaves, flowers and nuts. And yet, I've never known man nor beast to die from their poison. Of course, that means nothing because I really don't know shit. 

Another sun-setting picture. The oak tree in front of the sun has its fancy new green petticoats on although it's hard to tell from the photo. The witchy branches in the foreground are the Bradford pears which haven't begun to leaf yet. 

And that's my news of the day. I'm sure you've all seen the real news of Trump signing Bibles at an Evangelical church in Alabama where he went to view the tornado damage. Melania signed a few as well. I don't even have words to describe how I feel about this. Do you laugh? Do you cry? Do you punch a hole in the wall? 
No. Don't do that. You'll hurt yourself and have to pay to repair the damage. 
All I can really say is that I suppose if you are the sort of person who accepts what those churches teach as the word of their god then you'll believe anything. 
And vote for the devil thinking you're voting for your god. 

The frogs are singing their love songs. I think I will work in the garden tomorrow. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon