Saturday, September 14, 2019

From Weeding To White Privilege

It has been a little cooler today. Still above ninety but not so humid and because of that I was able to get outside and finish up the garden weeding. I am pretty sure that I've never had a garden this weed-free in my entire life. Part of it I think is that I haven't been using hay as a mulch except for that which comes from the chickens' nests and so it has not seeded and sprouted the way it can. This has made things a lot easier. I love the way the chickens get in the garden after I've dumped that poopy hay into a pile and they scratch in it for bugs and seeds (which may explain having fewer weeds too) until it's all neatly spread about. Chickens can be very helpful garden assistants. They do like to snatch some of the field peas but I do not begrudge them that. And of course when the lettuces sprout this fall, I'll have to banish them because they do love a tender lettuce. They don't care a thing about store bought greens but they love the garden lettuces, the collards, the kale. They leave the arugula and mustard greens alone. I suppose they do not fancy the rich bitterness of the arugula or the spicy bite of the mustard.
I am glad I got to get out in the dirt because I badly needed it. I have been so bitchy lately. Just horrible. I fussed at my husband when he came out to kiss me goodbye before he left to go mow because he pulled a handful of weeds. 
"This is MY work!" I told him.
Poor man.
It's a wonder he ever comes home.
But it did me good to sweat through my clothes and rip those weeds from the dirt and watch the butterflies dipping and floating around the zinnias which they love.
And then a dear friend texted me and we carried on a little conversation and that was better than anything, a small sharing which led me to tears for a moment which leaked some of the hotness of my mean soul out to where it could not harm me anymore.
Bless you, friend. And thank you. I love you.

I came in and showered and cooled off and sat in front of the TV and did some embroidering on a pair of old kid overalls and watched a new Chelsea Handler documentary on Netflix. It's called Hello Privilege, It's Me, Chelsea and it was not easy to watch. There were extremely awkward moments as Chelsea spoke to people of color about what it was like to live in a culture where white privilege is so prevalent and taken for granted that many, many white people don't have the slightest idea it occurs. I heard the thing that I hear so often when people are disclaiming their various privileges whether of being white or being male or whatever, which is "I worked my ass off to get where I am. No one helped me."
Which is of course bullshit.
And perfectly illustrates a complete and seemingly conscious inability to understand what the whole issue is about.
There were some startling statistics. There was a heartwarming reunion of Chelsea and the man  who'd been her boyfriend when she was sixteen, an African American man who has spent fourteen years in prison.
I think the thing that gave me most pause was the fact that racism is not the problem of people of color to help us poor little white folks understand or to do something about.
It's our responsibility to do something about it. We got us into this fucked up situation and if there's any way out, it's up to us.
Chelsea Handler is a bit of a conundrum to me. I recently listened to her memoir Life Is Going To Be The Death Of Me and I found some things in it to ponder, to reflect on. Even to instruct, even as parts of it made me cringe. I think her heart is in the right place and I do admire her outspokenness.
Anyway, I think that the documentary was fine for a one hour Netflix piece and it could be a starting point for discussion and for thought. Chelsea seems to be using her powers for good. That's saying something.
Not a one of us is a perfect being, me least of all.
Here I sit in my beautiful old historic house, most likely built by slave labor. At least I realize that. At least when I think of the many, many ways this house pleases me and how it has sheltered so many generations, I am aware of that fact and in my heart I never fail to remember that and to give thanks to the people who felled the pines, who cut the boards, who constructed this place where so many people have probably been born and who have also died, who have lived hard lives and experienced joy. I will never know their names but I honor their souls, their labor, their artistry, their lives.
And I wonder where they lived. I wonder where they are buried.
And I thank them.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, September 13, 2019

Loving Boy Day

There were grandparents lined up to sign in and get their visiter badges at the boys' school this morning. For some reason unknown to me I had woken up with some fairly bad anxiety and I had to remember to breathe, to focus on what was before me. My pass was already made and ready to be picked up and Mr. Moon joined me and we went on in to find Jason's mother already there. We went on to Gibson's class- the only grandparents there today. Gibson was beside himself with happiness. He is just the most loving child. He sat between me and his other grandmother at lunch and he kept hugging us, one after the other. Lily had told him that I had a surprise for him and when I told him that I was going to check him out of school early he said, "Is that the surprise?!"
He was thrilled.
So we ate chicken roll-ups from Costco and spicy Doritos that I stopped in the little village of Capitola on the way to buy. It was a big deal for me- that stop. I've passed that little store fifty thousand times and never once had I been in it. Wasn't much to see, truthfully. A rather dark tiny convenience store with a few wall coolers with beer and with a tank for bait outside. And they had Doritos. And now I've been in there.
My cookies were enjoyed.
After Gibson's class left, Owen's class came in and we sat with him in the media center where they had tables set up with lovely plastic sheeting for tablecloths and fresh flowers in vases on each table. Owen said that they'd joked earlier in the day about how it looked like there was going to be a wedding. That boy finished up the roll-ups and ate some chips and cookies too. We mostly just watched him eat and chatted. Lily and Jason and his mother are taking the kids to the beach this weekend and they're going to a water park and they are very, very excited. I'm glad they're going to get to go have some fun.
I went to the office to check Gibson out and I thought about our own Jennifer who is an office secretary (or is it receptionist?) at a public school and what an important job that is. The women working in the boys' school office are so kind and caring and they seem to know every child. Gibson was beaming like a pure ray of the light of Jesus when he came to the office and we drove off, discussing our plans. He wanted to go to the Bad-Girls-Get-Saved-By-Jesus thrift store which I figured he would want to do and he said, "And then can we just go to your house?"
"Of course!" said the agoraphobic grandmother who could not possibly have been more pleased.
They had some excellent bargains in the store today. Here's one of them with Gibson in it, the only dang picture I got of either boy all day long.

A solid oak table for forty bucks! Too bad I don't need one. 
Of course Gibson wanted to look at the toys which we did. He ended up with a stuffed animal- a snake. He loves that snake. Who knows why? We picked out a twirly net petticoat skirt in bright scarlet for Magnolia and I found a big set of magnetic building things for Owen. Gibson was quite concerned that they get presents too. 

And then we came home to my house and Gibson drew some pictures in his new sketchbook and played with his new snake friend and found a place along the snake's back that needed stitching up so I stitched it up. He also made the snake a necklace from some new craft beads I'd bought for the kids. 
Swanky snake. 
We played the matching game and we watched some of Mary Poppins Returns. He ate two pickled okra and after all that, it was time to go home. Maggie loved her new skirt although I brought it home to make the waist-band elastic a little smaller and Owen glommed on to his new building set with great pleasure. It's so strange when he hugs me now because he's almost as tall as I am and I am just not ready for this. Maggie kissed and kissed me and Sammy barked at me but not very much. I asked Maggie how her dance classes were going and she said, "I love it now!"
I bet she does. They got to be butterflies in yesterday's class. 
Gibson thanked me for his fun time and his snake and his drawing things and I thanked him for coming over to my house and hanging out with me. 

I drove home and looked for the pig that I'd seen earlier in the day, crossing the road like she owned it and then trotting down the side of it. She was still out when Gibson and I drove back to my house from our shopping. It is the hugest pig and very furry and soft-looking. She must have the wandering gene. Either that or she's just a very curious pig. I didn't seen her on my way home and hopefully, she's back in the bosom of her own family again. 

The picture at the top of the page is the coloring and work sheet that all of the kids did for their grandparents. My favorite parts are that Gibson thinks I am 64 which is very close and also that I always say, "Lets cook emup."
I'm not sure when I've ever said this but who knows? He also thinks I make good salid. I actually do. 

Here's the one he made about his grandfather and it made me laugh and laugh. 

He claims that his grandpa's name is Joe and the reason he did this is because he did not know how to spell Boppy but he does know how to spell Joe. 
Mr. Moon laughed too. Perhaps I shall start calling him Joe which is a fine name. According to Gibson, Joe is very good at baskit ball and that pleased his Boppy too. 

I'm glad I got to spend some time with that funny boy. I am so curious to see who he grows up to be or at least who he grows to be in the time I will be allotted to observe him. He still makes up pretend stories with things and today in the car he was doing just that with his new snake. I couldn't hear what he was saying but it charmed me that he was doing it. I remember when he was just a tiny boy and would do that with the salt and pepper shaker in a restaurant. Maggie often does the same thing and I see this behavior as the sign of great imaginations and future story-weavers.
Wouldn't that be wonderful? 

Friday night. Got a beautiful venison meatloaf with portobello mushrooms, onions, and red peppers ready to go into the oven. I'm sipping a delicious martini with two of my Big Lots cheese-stuffed olives speared in it. 
I'm okay. 

I hope you are too.

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Just Being Chatty

My Lord but I have been a good wifey today.
It started last night when my husband kept scratching his legs in the bed.
"What are you scratching?!" I finally asked. There may have been an edge to my voice.
"Fleas!" he said. We battle fleas constantly. We've bought the cats the most expensive, toxic flea collars on the market. They may help but they sure don't solve the problem. Lloyd fleas are probably far more vigorous than your run-of-the-mill fleas.
But back to being a good wife.
Did I get up and get him some Benadryl cream? Did I make soothing noises or say words of sympathy?
No. I did not. I probably snorted.
The fleas don't like me so I can ignore them. The blood under my tough old hide is not on their menu whereas Mr. Moon's blood vessels are so close to the surface that he is the gourmet buffet of their dreams. So I am really not as sympathetic as I should be. This is a fault of mine and I know it. I just laid there and hoped that maybe he'd go sleep in his chair.
Which he did.
And I finally got some sleep.
Please note that I don't think that we have fleas in our bed and that these pests attack him when he gets up to use the bathroom although it is possible because Jack does like to sleep with us at night and spends his days mostly napping on the bed although I do heft him up with great effort to place him on the floor so I can make the bed in the mornings.
But I washed the sheets this morning and hung them on the line and washed two other loads of clothes and hung them on the line and I took a damn walk which has nothing to do with being a good wife or anything at all as far as I can see.
While I was doing this Mr. Moon was working on his tractor. He had planned to go up to Tennessee this weekend to get some pre-hunting work done there with a friend. For those of you who do not know, hunting involves 90% land preparation and 9.99% sitting in the woods and 0.01% shooting something.
I'm serious.
Anyway his friend hadn't gotten things ready to get things ready if you catch my drift and so he'll be here this weekend and he needs to get the land where he's going to hunt locally in some semblance of readiness which involves the tractor.
Don't ask me. Just don't.
But I do know that at one point today he told me, "This makes me so happy!"
He was drenched in sweat and smelled of gasoline and did indeed appear to be in a state of transcendent pleasure.
He finally got the tractor running to his satisfaction and has trailered it to where he's going to be using it and for all I know, has begun doing whatever it is he's going to do with it.
In his defense, he did ask me yesterday if there was something I'd like to do this weekend with him. He hasn't forgotten me entirely. I told him that I miss the beach terribly but that it's just too hot.
Too hot for the beach?
Oh yeah. It happens.
So in the spirit of being a good wife, I am encouraging him in his tractoring and whatever it is he's doing. I have a feeling that he's going to be so tired tonight that fifty fleas could bite him and he wouldn't even know it.

So I went to Costco and bought stuff and came home and unloaded it and got the sheets in off the line and made up the bed and baked cookies and then I did some ironing and it's about time to make supper. The main thing I had to buy at Costco was chicken roll-ups because tomorrow is Grandparent's Day at Owen and Gibson's school and we are invited to have lunch with our grandkids and it has become a tradition that I bring the roll-ups. Their other grandma will be there and I don't know what she's bringing but I'm also bringing the cookies I made which Owen may not like because they have not only chocolate chips in them but also raisins and pecans. And oatmeal. They are sort of the perfect cookies but that boy can be picky.
After lunch, I'm going to check my Gibson out of school early and do something fun with him. That poor kid- he's such a middle child. Not only does he have an older brother but also a younger sister who is, quite possibly, the cutest girl in the world. Also the bossiest.
So old Mer is going to do something special with the boy and I don't know what that will be yet but I did get him a nice sketchbook and some pens at JoAnn Fabric the other day (they may not have patterns but they sure do have crafts!) as a little gift. I think that just getting out of school early will delight him. At least I hope so.
I love my Gibson.

So that's the news from Lloyd today. Still no rain but it looks like we may get some by Saturday. It continues to be as hot as August was and that's frying-hot. I've already had one shower today and will take another before I go to bed. It's not really that pleasurable to take showers these days when you've been working outside because you don't quit sweating while you're in the shower and then when you get out you're still sweating and it's impossible to dry off which makes it hard to put your clothes on.
Bitch, bitch, bitch.
Or, just reporting.
Jessie sent a picture of a naked-except-for-gardening-boots Levon. She said they spent a couple of hours outside naked (well, not her) and I'm sure the boys loved that.
Lily sent a picture of Magnolia taken from the video screen wearing butterfly wings at dance class.

She said that the girl had a blast at class today and it's as if that in her first class she was playing a role because she's been so happy in it since then. I will deliver her new dress tomorrow which, as you can see in the photo at the top of the post, I have embroidered and beaded quite enough although I may had a few more of the sparkly beads tonight while we're watching "Outlander" which we've taken up. It's okay. I keep thinking of all of the hours and hours and hours I spent listening to those books via the audio version and all of the miles I walked while listening. So far I think that the series is fairly faithful to the books and I am not displeased with the casting. 

I hope my husband is okay out there in the woods and fields. I bought him a ten-thousand pound flat of Gatorade at Costco today (I told you I'm a good wife) but who knows if he took any with him? 

I'll report in tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Not A Tribute

I babysat for two wild boys today while their mama went and got a massage from the lady who gave me mine a month or two ago. The one who works specifically on problem areas. I haven't been back although I said I would, for the simple reason that making appointments is another of my neurotic inabilities. I actually asked Jessie if she'd make an appointment for me which she did and she made one for herself too. I think this therapist is working on at least half my family now. She's really good. Anyway, Jessie's appointment was today and so I went over and hung out with the little guys and we had a good time. They're truly good boys and we read some books and had some laughs and Boppy came over to eat his lunch with us so it was sort of a party. While I was there I was thinking of how Levon used to be so wary of anyone but his mother or father and how easily he accepts his grandparents now. He pooped right after Jessie left and I said, "Come on, let's go change your diaper."
"Mama do it," he said.
"Mama's gone bye-bye. I'll clean your poopy butt, boy." I told him.
He thought about that for a minute.
"Auga do it," he said, and we all laughed. I can only imagine that August could change his brother's diaper if push came to shove but it would be highly amusing to observe.
And then he graciously allowed me to do the honors with Auga watching closely to show me where everything was. After I'd gotten Levon's butt all nice and sparkly clean and diapered again and set him on the floor, August climbed up on the changing table like a monkey.
"This is Levon's changing table," he told me. "Mama and Daddy are going to get a more stabler one for me."
"Oh yeah?" I asked. "Do you want help getting down?"
"No," he said, and proceeded to show me that indeed, he needed no help at all.
They both climb like monkeys and when I asked them to pose for a picture before I left, August wouldn't show his face but demonstrated how he climbs the back of the sofa and Levon tried too although finally he would let me see his pretty face and said, "Cheese!"

And that was the most important thing I did all day long.

Jessie showed me the bananas they have growing in their yard. They have two stalks of different varieties that look like they're going to be amazing. I am so impressed! Their yard gets a lot more sun than mine does and they've planted quite a few fruit trees.

So yeah, it's the anniversary of 9/11 and just like everybody else in this country I have my own stories of that day. I am not one to observe anniversaries like this. A lot of people are remembering how the country came together after that horrible tragedy and bemoaning the fact that that did not last but I don't even like remembering that part. It seemed to me that it was the beginning of this blind jingoistic patriotic phase we're in. People were buying and flying American flags and keeping survival supplies in their garages and basements as if having a week's worth of water and MRE's and plastic to seal windows and doors would be of much use in case we were further attacked as a nation. There was no glory involved in that day. There was chaos and there were undeniable acts of heroism and there was a president and a vice president in a bunker and there were rumors and there was panic and fear and no one thought we'd ever laugh again, and then the president told us all to go to the mall and shop like good Americans do and Saudis with close ties to the White House were flown out of the country on an emergency basis even though 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi and of course we ended up going to war with Iraq and nothing has been the same since.

I hear that just minutes before Trump and his woman observed a moment of silence in remembrance today he was tweeting about how the lamestream media is fake-newsing about polls and how he should get a third term as president. Also, Melania posted a picture of herself wearing a coat which, from the rear, showed white stitching and a button tab that some claimed represented a plane flying into one of the Twin Towers but to me looked looks more like a you-know-what pointing up to her you-know-what.

I mean- who said this was a good choice? 

Well, whatever. 

Nothing is as it seems. 

Here's a hurricane lily in my backyard. 

Here's to those who lost their lives on that terrible day which everyone says was the most beautiful sky-blue day imaginable. Here's to those who lost their loved ones on that day. Here's to those who are still dying from the results of that day. 

I'm not good at this, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Another Memory Post

Those are the four remaining of the five chicks hatched by Darla a few months ago. Can you tell which one is the hen and which three are the roosters?
Hoo boy.
Here's something interesting- I have noticed a great reduction in the crowing around here. Even from Liberace. It's as if none of the boys wants to be challenged by the others. The new ones because they are below Liberace in status, age, and size and perhaps Liberace because there are three of them and only one of him. I don't know. But at this point those four are their own flock and stay mostly separate from the others. If all of the roos start going after Sissy (that's what I have named the one hen) they're going to be eliminated and the NO MAN LORD guy down the street is going to be eating rooster stew again.
That's the cruel truth.

So I've been thinking more about that first year I moved to Tallahassee and how things proceeded. It took me a very long time to come out of that depression. I can actually remember a moment when I realized that things were starting to be more colorful, not just black, white, and shades of gray. It really felt that way to me. I was living with Paula then.
No surprise.
One of the greatest gifts that D. gave me was to introduce me to Bill and Ruth Wharton. Bill I met the first day I was here. I told the story about him coming over to show D. his Ovation guitar. Bill and Ruth lived in a big old house on Park Avenue which had once been a stately neighborhood but was now a bit crumbly and there were a lot of hippies living amongst the old people who were holding onto their family homes with trembling fingers. The Whartons had two daughters who were almost the same age as my youngest brothers and I fell in love with the whole family as did so many others. They were the Mom and Dad of a whole bunch of hippie kids and musicians and they accepted me into the fold as generously as they did so many others.
It was different times in those days. People in our community weren't really judged on what they wore or where they'd gone to school or where they were going to school or what sort of work they did or did not do or who their parents were or even if they'd spent some time in jail or were just flat-out crazy. It's like everyone was respected for what they brought to the table and if you get right down to it, everyone brings something. And usually, if you look hard enough, something of value.
Almost every night at the Wharton house people gathered to play music. Everyone sat in a circle and music was played and joints were passed. There were violinists and flautists and guitar players and bass players and vocalists and hell, I don't even know. There were classically trained musicians as well as self-taught folks.
And it got cosmic.
Perhaps this is why the Grateful Dead never impressed me so much. They did not invent the space jam, trust me. And I heard some amazing music back in those evenings. I once took a friend of mine who was visiting from Winter Haven who was a horn player and percussionist, to one of these sessions. His mind was blown. He'd never heard music like this, much less gotten to participate in it. Notes were woven and braided and untangled and tangled again. They soared to the heavens and they sunk to the funk. It was quite indescribable and actually- you had to be there. My friend was speechless. He literally did not have the words to use to interpret what he'd just witnessed. 
Me? I had nothing to add but no one begrudged my presence. I was just there. Who knows? Maybe I played the part of audience.
I met a lot of people who came through those open doors. Sweet people. I swear to god. Some of the sweetest people I've ever known, some of them so shy that they only seemed to speak with their instruments. But they came because they wanted to play, they wanted to be a part of...whatever this was.
I'll never forget it.
And please understand that my ability to FEEL as if I fit in never really settled upon me. It was no one's fault. I was just heart-torn and so insecure. But I kept going back. Sometimes with D. Often with D. But before too long he wasn't my only friend there.
And this community became more than just nighttime jam sessions. There were treks to the mushroom fields and there were camping trips to the beach and to local festivals. I remember once a bunch of us drove to Cape San Blas which was then an almost unspoiled piece of Gulf beach with a state park where we could pitch tents and cook on fires. We bought shrimp on the way down and boiled it and realized none of us had brought anything to make cocktail sauce out of and so we ate it dipped in melted butter and Tabasco which is still my favorite way to eat boiled shrimp. And of course Bill has his own brand of hot sauce now and it is delicious on shrimp and in the gumbo he cooks during his stage shows.
You can order it HERE. 
But what I remember about that camping trip was the fog. The ocean fog that drifted in and stayed and how lonely I felt. It seemed like everyone was part of a couple except for me and I walked on the beach alone and cried and wondered what I was doing on this west-coast beach when I was raised on the Atlantic on the other side of the state. Instead of sea grapes and palm trees this area had pine trees and dunes and the sea was so much flatter. In some ways it felt like an inferior ocean to my beloved Atlantic but here I was.
Here I was.
I did not miss my family at all (except for my brothers) but I did miss my running mates back in Winter Haven. We had been a bunch of kids from weird and dysfunctional families who were, not to put too fine a point on it, pretty intelligent geeks and we had become our own family in high school. That's a whole other story and not the one I'm telling tonight but I did miss them. I also missed my first real boyfriend who had dumped me hard and sometimes, when I was so low, I would think of all of the men I'd loved who'd left me starting with my very own father whom I hadn't seen since I was five. The one who'd stuck around- the abuser- had betrayed me the worst quite actually, because I had loved him too. I didn't have the knowledge then to realize that but I'm sure that deep down I knew it.
So all was not perfect but I had found this new sort-of family with a real mom and dad who loved their kids and raised them in a new and honest and profound way that I'd never witnessed before (yet another story) and I hung on, even in this place where the ocean didn't roar with power but gently rocked with sea-spray and where I desperately wanted to fit in even though I did not feel that I truly did and where there was music that, although I could not create I could bathe in, and people who seemed to like me fine despite how I felt about myself.

That's enough for now.
It's been a quiet day here in Lloyd. I walked on White House Road. I cleaned out the hen house. I beaded part of a butterfly on Maggie's dress. Tomorrow I am going to babysit for August and Levon for a little while at their house. August has promised to show me his library books and told me that I can borrow one if I want.
Who knows? I may.

Last night I dreamed of my stepfather. It was a nightmare. It was a call-911-nightmare. After over fifty years I still have these dreams. The past is never the past, is it? Not the bad, not the good. It is all inside of us no matter how far we have come, no matter how much we have grown, no matter how much we have changed.
I suppose we make peace with it if we can.
But we still remember whether it's the feeling of panic and fear or the feeling of despair as we walk along a beach in deep fog, the waves rolling in and out, wondering if we are the only person in the world on this beach, to feel these things, to have no idea where we are going.

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, September 9, 2019

Oy (interjection signifying pain, weariness, disgust, resignation, etc.)

The Terrific and Terrible Three were in high spirits today.
Unlike their Mermer.
I've had one of those days where just about everything concerning humanity makes me want to slap the shit out of someone.
Not Lily and Jessie or the three grands in that picture whom I had lunch with but just about everyone else. Okay, not Mr. Moon or my other kids and grandchildren either but you know what I mean. We went to Ruby Tuesday for lunch which is quite unusual for us. The girls wanted salad bars and on the lunch menu you can get a deal that includes salad bar and little fried chicken sliders with french fries so that moms and kids can share for a bargain. I got just the salad bar and it was, to my taste, completely tasteless. Except for the croutons. They were delicious and probably had about a tablespoon of butter baked into each one. I should have gotten a damn hamburger. I think they must have some sort of flavor extractor they use on their vegetables. Or maybe it was just me.
The kids were a bit rambunctious and wanted to play under the table. I didn't mind that at all but their mothers weren't so happy about it. At one point Lily and Jessie had gone back to the salad bar and the kids got back under the table and I said, "Y'all, your mothers said for you not to do that. Don't you listen to your mamas?"
"No," they said, and they continued to play.
Oh well. Like I said- it didn't bother me.
After lunch I went to JoAnn Fabric to get a new lightbulb for my Singer. While I was there I looked at patterns, hoping to maybe get one for a dress with sleeves for the theoretical fall and winter we have approaching. I found this one that I thought was so cute.

(Let us hope that that child's feet are not that big, okay?)

Now. I don't know how many of you have ever shopped for patterns at a fabric store. I imagine that us older folks remember doing just that frequently when we were young. You'd go through the pattern books and write down the number of the pattern you wanted with a little pencil they had available, on a little piece of paper they also had right there for you to use and then you went to the big, metal cabinets with the deep, sliding metal drawers. I bet you can even remember how it felt and sounded to slide those drawers open. Each cabinet was labeled on the outside with the pattern brands and numbers it held. Like, "Simplicity: 1065-1175." 
Like that. 
Well, JoAnn still has the big metal cabinets, same feel, same sound, same labels AND NONE OF THEM ARE CORRECT! You just have to open each Gee Dee drawer to see which patterns are actually inside. And guess what? Out of the four patterns I found that would do, not a damn one of them was in a drawer. Like for the one above they might have had 6590 and 6592 but they did not have 6591. 
Fucking frustrating as hell. 
None of this improved my mood or outlook about the human race. I almost wanted to volunteer to come in and straighten out that shit. But of course I didn't. 
OH! And to make me feel even better, I ran into a midwife that I used to work with back in the day at a birth center. We worked together for a long time and we went through a lot together, as people do when they are attending births. She's retired now and her daughter has taken her place as owner and midwife at the birth center but this friend still keeps her license up because she does things like, oh, go all over the world and volunteer as a midwife. 
Like- she spent a year in China! And has gone to the Philippines and I don't know where all. She also just got back from Burning Man. She has an RV that she travels around in, having adventures. She's also walked the Camino de Santiago Trail in Spain at least twice. 
And she has ten grandchildren. 
When she asked me what I was up to I mumbled something about uh, grandchildren, chickens, garden...
I did not mention ironing. 
It really was good to see her though and when we hugged good-bye, I hugged her hard, channeling all of the love I felt for her for delivering all of the babies she's delivered safely into their mothers' arms and all of the births we had shared. And I kissed her and she kissed me. 
Still, it all made me feel even more inadequate and lazy and a waste of air and water. 
And cowardly. And ridiculous. 

So by the time I got to the cash register with my non-pattern purchases and the girl asked me if I'd found everything I was looking for and I said, "No," and told her about not finding any of the patterns I wanted and she chirped, "Sorry 'bout that!" and then proceeded to tell me to have a great day! I really did want to slap her face but I know it was mostly projection. She hasn't got anything to do with their inventory. 
And then I went to Whole Foods where all of the women shoppers from age 18 to 108 were thin and wearing work-out clothes. I swear- one woman's yoga pants were bagging off of her. 
This served to make me feel even worse. And I walked around the store hating all of the new-agey products and weeping inside and wishing that I'd been born a hundred years ago except for that would have meant no air-conditioning and god knows I couldn't deal with that. 

I have no one to blame but myself for my useless and fat existence. I know that. Which is the real and true reason I've felt so bitchy and mean all day. 
So I guess I'll just make a stir fry for our supper and then maybe do a little beading on Maggie's dress because yes, I bought some damn beads because right now all I feel up to is sitting in front of the TV, doing pointless needlework. 

One thing that does cheer my heart is an article that someone wrote about my son Hank and his trivia. You can read it HERE. 
I have some amazing children but I have to admit that they were born that way. All I did was not mess them up too bad. 

Time to go chop up a bunch of vegetables. 

Love...Ms. Moon Who Is Not A Superior Human Being In Any Way, Shape, or Form But Is At Least Not A Republican Evangelical 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Solitude For The Most Part

When I got up this morning at the crack of nine, I found that note on the kitchen island. Oh, my boys! They had gotten up at six and taken their snacks and sandwiches (I made them homemade pimento cheese) and towels and whatever else they toted with them and loaded up the car and headed down to the coast where they met up with a friend of Mr. Moon's and his grandson. I hear it was a good day on the water. When they got back I asked Owen how it had gone.
"GREAT!" he said.

I cannot tell you how long that man has been looking forward to taking Owen fishing out on the Gulf. And now it has happened. He waited until he knew that Owen could tolerate the heat and the hours and it would seem that he timed it right. I am thrilled for him. 
Owen is just a precious grandson in so many ways. He is polite and he is helpful and he is sweet. Last night after his shower I asked if he wanted to read in bed by himself or if he wanted me to read to him or if he just wanted to talk about stuff. 
He decided we should talk about stuff. And so we did. Nothing very serious or deep. Just school and what he's been doing. Life in general. He was ready for sleep quite soon and I kissed him good night and told him I loved him and he was out in the the bed where I used to try to get him to nap by reading him books and telling him the story of Mr. Peep, who was a turkey who lived next door that we fed every day. He was so little then, my Owen. My little prince, my little rock star. And now he's growing so fast and he's still my prince, my rock star, and also the grandchild who gave me my grandmother name. 

And I've had a lovely and quiet day here in Lloyd. Sometimes there is nothing better than a solitary day at home in which to merely piddle about, doing this and doing that. I finished Maggie's dress and then started embroidering one of the butterflies on it. 

I am very appreciative of all of you who made suggestions about what I could do to make it easier for me to work around this wrist of mine that I broke so long ago and which gives me fits when I do needlework. For now I just do a bit at a time and rest it often, let the blood get back to where it needs to go, let the tendons relax. 
Whatever it is that needs to happen before I can begin again. 
I am really not much of a needleworker. I do love to do the little that I do but it's not my life. It's just a sweetness that graces my life and also gives me an excuse to watch TV. 
It's funny how things that happen when we're young or that we do when we're young come back to, if not haunt us in our older age, at least remind us of accidents or incidents. 
My wrist is the way it is because a boyfriend of mine wanted to help a friend of his father's put a new roof on his shed and I wanted to help too. Which was fine until I stepped on a piece of overhang and fell to the ground, my wrist obviously snapped and in a shape that was not at all natural. 
I think of that every day of my life as the wrist causes me problems in all sorts of ways. I've been to an orthopedist who looked at the X-ray and said that really, there was nothing to be done except to fuse it which of course I don't want. 
But you know what? I don't really regret that day. It was a good day until I fell and even then it wasn't horrible. The endorphins I experienced kicking in after the accident were my first taste of what the body can do and my boyfriend was so gentle and so caring with me, taking me to the hospital, making sure I was okay. 
It was what happened afterwards that I don't like to remember which involved the reaction of my parents. 
They were not well pleased. 
It's they say and isn't that life? 
I learned a lot of lessons that day and not a one of them was about not taking risks and getting on roofs. And I remember those lessons each and every time that wrist aches or grows numb or aches and grows numb or I look at it and see how it's a bit deformed. 
It's all right. It's just a part of who I am because of what I've done and where I've been. 

Lord, it's been hot. The chickens have almost stopped laying. Three of Miss Darla's four remaining hatched eggs are roosters. We need rain terrible bad. 
The hurricane lilies are coming up. 

We go on. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, September 7, 2019


Here is Levon working very hard to push the carriage in which he has babies, a ball, and the tractor book. He pushed these around, inside and out, half the day. He also found a piece of fabric I'd been using for a project and started covering up the babies with it like a blanket. He had a good, full day as did August. As did the grown-ups- Jessie, Mr. Moon, and I.

There was more tractor stuff and there was a bit of TV because, well, no one can tell that boy he can't sit in Boppy's chair with him to watch TV. It's just too dear for his grandfather to cuddle that boy. Levon is falling hard in love with Boppy too. He was carrying his tractor book around and I said, "Levon, would you like me to read you the tractor book?"
He looked at me and said, "Boppy read."
"Oh?" I said. "You want Boppy to read you the book?"
He nodded and trotted off to the Glen Den to join August and Boppy in the chair. 
He did let me read it later as well as his other favorite which is the The Happy Man and His Dump Truck. 
I love this book. Who wouldn't? 

On this page I always say, "I'm not sure the hen and the rooster look so happy."
I suppose it's just very difficult to draw a happy-looking chicken. 

August mostly wanted to do Boppy stuff. Of course. But he did like the idea of us making a pillow for his favorite stuffed animal who is named Slothy because he's a sloth. So we did. I stitched and he stuffed it and then he wanted me to make Slothy a blanket and so we did that. He came up with the idea of making it like a sleeping bag so that Slothy can sleep inside of it and that's what we did. He also wanted blanket binding on it and two lady-bug buttons. Which of course he got. He was very precise about how big he wanted these items to be, showing me with his hands. I'm not sure I've ever seen hands as beautiful as August's. They are expressive and his fingers are long and perfectly formed. And I just now got a text from Jessie with a picture of Slothy who had just woken up from a very nice nap with August. 

Quite cozy, I would say. 

And now our Owen's here! He is spending the night so that he and Boppy can get up early in the morning and go fishing out on the Gulf. Every time I see him he appears to have grown a bit taller. How precious he is to me- the child who made me a grandmother. They are all precious to me, each and every one so very different. 

I better get busy with supper. I've been cooking that wild pig ham all day long, slowly, slowly, wrapped in banana leaves and simmering in the juices and spices I marinated it with. I hope it's as good as the last one I cooked. True tacos tonight! 
And speaking of bananas- my one stalk of the fruit has pulled the plant over and broken it. I need to do some research and see if they will still ripen. Jessie reports that they have three stalks growing and have propped up their plants. They get a lot more sun than we do. But boy, would I love to taste some bananas that grew in my own yard. 
I might as well start planting mangos and avocados and all sorts of tropical trees. With this rapid climate change happening I should take advantage of what I can until it all turns to a desert. 
And planting trees is never a bad idea anyway. 

Be well, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, September 6, 2019

I'll Probably Sleep 'Til Noon Tomorrow

Look at that darling boy with his shovel. I can't tell you how much he makes my heart sing. He's so funny and loves to pretend and he is his very own self although he does repeat almost everything that his big brother says. And if August laughs at something, Levon does too even if he has no idea what he's laughing at. Which makes us all laugh even harder. But that is big-brother worship and that's how it goes (unless they're wrestling) and he is Levon to the core.

I had such a domestic goddess day today. It started early.
You know D? The guy I whom I moved to Tallahassee because of? Well, he and I have remained friends for all these many years. His wife was at May's birth and I was at their first child's birth. D and my ex-husband were childhood friends and now D has become quite good friends with Mr. Moon and he came over this morning for breakfast and to talk with Glen about a business interest they have come up with. While D is a musician and Mr. Moon is a car salesman, they do actually have a lot in common. They have both started numerous businesses and both have always had their families as their main priority. They're both sweet men. Neither one is afraid of work.
And so forth.
It was wonderful to see him today. He and his wife live in Nashville but his daddy lives nearby to us and so he's around now and then and I always love it when they visit but I hadn't gotten to really spend time with him in quite awhile so I thoroughly enjoyed this breakfast meeting. I made a full-on southern breakfast with biscuits and wild pig sausage and yard eggs and stone ground grits and I even opened a jar of the pear preserves.
They were good.
And appreciated.
While the men discussed the business possibilities I did laundry and cleaned up the kitchen and went across the street to let my neighbors' puppy out for a pee as they both had to be in town. I hung sheets on the line and later on I went to the post office where a box was waiting for me. I had ordered a set of honest-to-god grown-up sheets and they had arrived. I can't tell you how excited I am about these sheets. I washed them and hung them on the line too.
I met Jessie and the boys at Costco in the early afternoon and I doubt I could have had more fun at a festival. August had just gotten out of his second day of preschool and he was in a good mood and even asked me if when we went into the coldy room I would warm him up which was a rare invitation to hug the boy. Both boys and I laughed a lot and they ate many samples. Who in the world would have envisioned a day wherein going to a huge box store with grandchildren would be one of my greatest pleasures?
Not me, baby.
Yet, here I am.
We did our shopping and then said good-bye and I had to run by Publix for a few things and then I came home and unloaded all the groceries and put them away and took the sheets off the line and made up the bed with the new ones and folded the old ones and tucked them into a drawer. And then I decided to mop the kitchen and the bathroom that adjoins the kitchen and so I did which involves moving furniture and recycle containers and the trash can and all kinds of stuff and then I swept twice and then mopped twice and now I have put everything back and the house smells of Fabuloso and white vinegar and I am exhausted but happy and have a martini and new sheets to look forward to.
So yes, domestic goddessing and it's been one of those days when my energy has abounded and nothing hurts too bad and it's supposed to get down to 67 degrees tonight although it's supposed to be 98 tomorrow.
It sure will feel good in the morning, though. For a little while.

I am feeling extremely lucky tonight. I never for one second forget that I am lucky but when I truly feel it to my bones, it's a sort of heaven on earth.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, September 5, 2019

A Savior Named Paula

So what happened to Mary when she found herself in Tallahassee, living with someone she didn't know, didn't care for, with very few friends and no purpose in life? And of course who was in what I now realize was a clinical depression.
I'm not exactly sure how things progressed, time-wise. I have so many memories but when I try to connect them as to time and place, they seem scattered and confused.
One thing I do know is that I never even considered moving back to Winter Haven. The idea of living in the same town or (god forbid) the house where my family lived was simply impossible. I did miss my baby brothers with all of my heart but I had escaped my stepfather and I was not going back. Luckily, I had inherited a little money. Well, it was a fairly sizable amount in those days, especially when I first learned of it. It came from my biological father's side of the family who were quite wealthy but my mother and my stepfather were in control of it until I turned thirty. Or something like that. I'm not sure. Unfortunately, the lawyer my stepfather had handling the funds turned out to be a crook and he embezzled a shitload of the bucks.
My stepfather walked into the guy's office one day and he said, "Well, Charlie, call the police. I've lost most of your money and your kids' money too."
I think he did go to jail but a lot of good that did us. Still, I had enough that I wasn't desperate enough to be forced home. I got a stipend, of sorts. Enough to pay cheap Tallahassee rent and for gas and food and the occasional lid of grass. To this day I'm pretty sure that my stepfather also had his hand in the till. There was some sort of arrangement wherein if expenditures from my fund paid for things necessary for me (like college), they could be taken from the inheritance.
A nice house, an addition to that house, a Porsche...
Yeah, well. Whatever.
When those things were purchased I didn't even know about the inheritance. And I do not begrudge these things very much. I can't imagine the weight on my stepfather's chest and if the guilt about misusing funds added to it- all the better.
That, of course, is assuming he ever experienced any feelings of guilt which I sort of doubt.

But. Back to Tallahassee.
One of the women I met through D. was another student in the music school. Her name was Paula and she was (and still is) one of the most amazing human beings I ever met. She took me under her wing, she moved me into her house where she lived with a roommate named Bruce who was beautiful and was gay, and she was one of the most formative parts of my growing up. She was one of the most intelligent people I'd ever met, was hugely talented and impossibly dedicated to her art. She had already been all over the world, studying piano with different teachers, had had affairs with many of those teachers in all of those places, and could be the silliest, giggliest, sweetest, funniest person in the world. She swooped me up, she installed me in her little rental house in my own bedroom, she cooked pinto beans and soybeans and taught me how to cook squash. She bought Challah from a local bakery on Fridays and bought real butter to go on it, not that hideous margarine I'd been raised on. I went to her recitals, we went to sleazy redneck bars and took our own cream so they could make us White Russians. We even went to the nastiest adult theater in the world which was not very far from our house and we watched what passed for porn in those days. We went to a chicken bar where young gay men were picked up older gay men. We ate Chinese food. We went shopping and tried on evening gowns. We walked about our house naked, as did Bruce and whoever was visiting.
Paula loved. And the fact that she loved me went a million miles into helping me heal from my depression, from helping me begin to heal from childhood sexual abuse. She taught me that my body was fine, nothing special, everything special. She taught me that loving other people was just the exact thing to do. She showed me that rules are meant to be broken, that the old, tired mores were just that- old and tired.
We adopted two black kittens, Simone and Isadora. We loved them like our babies.
Paula gave me life.
I absolutely believe I would not be here if not for her.

There were other people whom I can say that about too and I will tell their stories as well. I will.

Meanwhile, today was a good day. Another domestic day. I almost finished Maggie's dress. I did a little cleaning. I ironed.

It is fucking hot.

Maggie went to her second dance class and was fine. She had fun and participated in all of it. August went to his first day of preschool and he had a good time too.

I think that's all I have to say right now.

Yours truly.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Another Epic Lunch

Maggie and August had a grand reunion today. Of course, it's really only been a month and a few days since they've seen each other but that's a long time when you're three although I have to keep reminding myself that August is about to be four. Half the people in our family have a birthday the last week of September and August's is one of those.
Lunch was perfect for me. All of my children were there and my husband as well. Only three of the grandchildren but Owen and Gibson are big schoolboys, of course. Rachel only got to come for a little while- she had work obligations. But my friend, the perfectly named Liz Sparks got to join us as did Lauren so we were a large group and as always, a noisy, busy one.
Maria Maria did us right and I got a chili relleno and it was, without a doubt, the best one I've eaten outside of Mexico. All three of the children shared Maggie's chicken fingers and french fries and there were still enough to take home. Maggie wanted to sit next to August and so she did as you can see.

Such beautiful children. And they were very well behaved and polite and Maggie quit dipping her tongue into the ketchup as soon as I suggested that dipping her french fries might be more suitable and satisfying.
August spent some time on his Boppy's lap, of course.

And when the phone came out Levon had to see what was going on too. I'm not sure what they were looking at but it may have involved videos of hemp processing which is a project that Mr. Moon is interested in now that it's legal here in Florida. 
Hemp might just save this planet, y'all. 

It is SO good to have Jessie back in town. At one point I looked around the table and tears welled up in my eyes. Having all four of my children sitting around one table fills my heart completely. 

May had to leave fairly early to get back to work but the rest of us hung out and talked and laughed for a very long time. 

Liz helped Maggie put her leftovers in a container to take home. Liz's beautiful granddaughters live a few hours away and she doesn't get to see them nearly as much as she'd like to but when she does see them, she does the very best and most fun things with them. I've never in my life met a person who knows how to celebrate this earthly existence more than Liz. Whether she's hosting a formal English tea with scones and clotted cream and hats and gowns or kayaking rivers in the deepest, wildest parts of Florida, she is always living her life to its fullest. I just purely love that woman and I do not know what I would do without my Liz and my Lis. 
They are the best women I know that I did not give birth to. 

We finally ended our lunch and went out to the parking lot where Hank got out his treasure box. When he does his trivia shows, he does a thing he calls "Hoarders Delight" where he lets people pick out prizes from things that other people have brought that they do not want anymore. These prizes can range from books to pictures to small appliances to, well- anything. And he always lets the little kids pick out stickers or a little toy or something and it makes them so happy. Jessie has been cleaning out her cabinets and brought some Revere Ware that she is pretty sure she's not going to be using and so all of the grown-ups got to pick through that. I find it hard to believe that anyone would get rid of Revere Ware. I mean- I am still using my grandmother's pots and pans and SHE WAS BORN IN THE 1800's! 
But Jessie has plenty of cookware and after she and Vergil spent the summer in a cabin with very little in the way of luxuries, they have realized that they don't need a whole lot of what they have and I think they are very wise to learn this lesson now. 
Reduce the clutter. 
And that is something I need to work on as well. 

And then we all kissed and we hugged and we did it again just to make sure that we'd not missed anyone and we all went our separate ways. 
I stopped on the way home at Big Lots and bought every can of these olives that they had.

Sadly, there were only four. Lily discovered these and I bought two cans a few weeks ago and they are the best martini olives I've ever had. I just looked them up online and I can get them from Amazon for $7.95 a can. 
At Big Lots they cost $1.50 a can. 
Good Lord. 
Well, in case of emergency I know where I can find them. 

A friend just reported in from St. Augustine and the storm has passed them and they are well. I am so glad to hear that. I can't even talk about what they must be suffering in the Bahamas. It must be pure hell and I mean that quite literally. Meanwhile here, we could use a bit of rain and a few breezes. It's hot and getting hotter with no rain forecast for a week. I am not, however, complaining. It's just time to get back to the river.

Oh! Have any of y'all watched The Righteous Gemstones? We've watched two episodes and we're already hooked. 
Damn, but I love me some John Goodman. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

An Encounter With A Large Pig

I went out to take my walk this morning, hoofing it along the sidewalk. So thoughtful of Jefferson County to give me exactly one mile of safe pavement to walk on Old Lloyd Road. That is the name of the road I live on. It also has the name Highway 158 and Gamble Drive.
Don't ask me why.
Anyway I walked past the house next door where eight (EIGHT!) small dogs of different breeds ran out to yap at me although thankfully they are behind a fence. I walked past the little creek, the house where there are two more little dogs who yap, the trailer where No Man Lord guy lives. He is always building something. A fence, a new altar with a cross and a balloon, a pile of aluminum cans, and lately some sort of enclosure which I have no idea what the purpose of might be. I did not see him around today nor did I see the two bulldogs with monstrous heads I saw the other day which gave me a bit of a hesitation to walk by. They were not secured behind the fence and the gate was open but they merely stared at me, their eyes like the eyes of thousand-year old wise and wild things. I walked past the wildflowers and the prison men who were trimming the county's boundary grass, their watcher in his truck, looking at his phone. I walked the stretch of the sidewalk that passes the road that leads to The Greater Elizabeth Church which always makes me think of our own Elizabeth. Their sign today said, "Jesus Preparation is Storm Preparation." As always I had to think about this for awhile to try and discern some sort of wisdom from whatever was posted there but I never do.
And then I got to the shady part where there are beautiful old oaks whose canopy protects and cools those underneath it which is at the very end of the sidewalk and the very end of Jefferson County and the beginning of Leon County when I heard a sort of grunt and looked up to see this.

My Lord! 
It was a huge potbellied pig and she appeared to be a bit bewildered as if she was saying, "Where am I and what am I doing here?" 
I had no idea what sort of disposition she might have and when she snuffled and snorted again I took her picture from a little distance and turned around and walked home. I stopped and talked to the man who had been in his truck who was talking to a guy who lived in the house nearby and asked them if they knew anyone who was missing a pig. 
"A potbellied pig?" asked the watcher/driver. 
"Yes," I said. 
"I think that might be Melissa's. She keeps those things. I'll text her," he said. 
Oh, how I love Lloyd sometimes!
So then I walked home and when I drove past about two hours later the pig was still right there, still snuffling in those leaves. It was as if she was afraid to move from that spot and she was smart to stay there, truthfully. 

Mr. Moon reports that when he drove home he looked for her (I had sent him a picture, of course because this was big news) but said she was gone by then although he could see where she'd rooted up the leaves, probably looking for nice juicy worms beneath them. 
I hope that when Melissa got off work she went and retrieved her pig. 

And that was the high point of my day although I did get to see the beautiful woman who works at Costco who always wears mermaid eye shadow. She was working in the liquor store and although I didn't need anything there today I went in just to say hey and she gave me a big hug. Her mother lives in Puerto Rico and they are so relieved that Dorian missed that particular island. And when I went to Publix I found Lily there even though I did not know she was working and that made me very happy too. My own beautiful girl. 
She helped me out with my groceries and we said good-bye until tomorrow when we are all- including May!- meeting up at Maria Maria's again because Jessie has never been there and that situation needs to be rectified. 

Another small day in another small life on this small planet in this vast universe. 

And here's one more picture. Lily sent it this morning. It is of Owen and a girl he's called his girlfriend for about three years now. They had a play date yesterday. 

Yesterday that boy was sitting in a stroller looking into the eyes of a rooster named Elvis and here he is now. Aren't they adorable? Wouldn't he hate this? 
Forgive me, Owen! I love you! 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, September 2, 2019

Normal Is So Fine

It's been a nice day in Lloyd. Just as hot but still a bit drier and it was overcast this morning so I put on my overalls and went out and pulled weeds. As we all know, weed-pulling is nothing but a joy to me except for the heat, sweat, and ants. It was hot and I did sweat and got one pretty severe ant-attack but I persevered. The weeds I have growing now are so satisfying to pull. They come up fairly easily and make a ripping sound when I free the roots from their earth home. I knock all the dirt off of them and toss them in the garden cart and go on to the next one. It's also satisfying to look at what I've done, too, to see cleared dirt where I will soon be planting my fall garden. I do so love to make things grow.
The picture above is of a blooming Firespike. From one patch in the back yard that was here when I got here I have rooted enough to plant all along the front fence. I like to think that it is saying, "Hello hummingbirds and butterflies! You are welcome here!"

It's such a hardy plant and so easy to root. I had no idea how easy until one fall I cut some and put it in a vase and forgot about it until a month or so later when I noticed that it was still green and vigorous and had roots galore. I stuck them in the ground when spring rolled around and that was that. Now I root some every winter and the more I have, the more I can root. And bonus- it's a pretty green plant in my house all winter long that can thrive with barely any light at all. 

I also filled up my hummingbird feeder today and hung it on the kitchen porch. I hope I get some visitors. 

Here's my little kitchen porch. I do not realize until I take a picture of it how sadly in need it is of pressure washing, repair, and painting. 
Well, so do I which is why I do not look in the mirror any more than is absolutely and strictly necessary. 

I cut out Maggie's butterfly dress today and began sewing. I have only screwed up one thing so far. Hurray for me! And not too badly. Easily taken care of with a seam ripper and a little patience. 
I have enough fabric left over to perhaps make August a pair of pants. He asked me yesterday to sew something for him and maybe that will do. He'd probably rather have a dress. Yesterday when we were watching "Mighty Little Bheem" there was a scene where Bheem, who is a super-strong little Indian toddler was given a choice as to what new garment he wanted and he picked out a dress. I loved the fact that his mother just shrugged and bought it and put it on him. This led to a mix-up between Bheem and a little Indian princess but it all got straightened out in the end. 

I also have pinto beans simmering on the stove. They are my favorite. They are not Mr. Moon's favorite but once in a while he has to take one for the team. 
The team being me, of course. 
He is very gracious about this and is yet another reason I love him so. 
He spent the Labor Day holiday driving up to Georgia to collect the hunting stuff he'd left at his former hunting camp. Deer stands? Other stuff? Etc.?
I don't know. But he used the tractor! And he is now home and safe. 
He's going to be hunting just down the road this year although I believe that two out-of-state trips are planned including one in Canada. I should pay more attention to these things. 

How normal and lovely this day has been for me! Last week at this time we had no idea if we'd be hunkering down for a hurricane or not. Dorian was still a tropical storm and the forecast was all over the place with a crossing of Florida a sound bet. But the Bahamas are still being pummeled by this monster storm and it is not moving. It is sticking to where it is, right over them, and I feel so guilty celebrating the fact that it doesn't appear to be headed our way while people are in sheer hell. 
And so I am not going to celebrate but I am going to be so aware and grateful for a day in which I could decide to hang a hummingbird feeder without worrying that it could become a deadly flying missile. Not right now, anyway. 

I will gladly take each day of normal we get. 
Or at least as normal as a day CAN be in these times. 

While I was out taking pictures I took a picture of the grave of Elvis. 

Yes, it looks like St. Francis has a horrible nosebleed. I found that little tile plaque in another part of the yard here. I buried Elvis right in the front yard- point of honor- because he was so good at watching over his flock and I wanted to feel as if he was watching over us. For those of you who have not been here forever, Elvis was my first true rooster and he was one of the finest, most handsome, protective roosters ever to walk the earth. 

 Believe it or not, that was Owen when he was a baby boy. He and Elvis were good buddies. 
I still miss that bird. He was a glory. I miss that baby, too, but I sure do love the guy he's grown to be. 

And that's it for today. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, September 1, 2019

There Ain't Nothing Bigger Than Category Five

When the Weatherfords got here this morning August ran right past me with barely a glance looking for his Boppy. Of course. He wanted to go ride the tractor. As did Levon. And so while I made pancakes and visited with Vergil, the boys and their grandfather and Jessie checked out the tractor which has been repaired and is running fine.
It was so good to see the four of them. My daughter and her husband, their two boys. We had a delicious breakfast and pretty soon Mama and Daddy left to go home and unpack and settle in and the first thing on the agenda here was TV watching. Before they even left August informed Boppy that he'd already put his chair back for him. In the reclining position, you know.
And so a little TV was watched and then we moved on to other things. Levon has grown so much and is talking up a storm. He spent at least twenty minutes wheeling that little carriage around. He likes to "run in a circle." And so he does. He is no longer as attached to his shovels as he was but he did carry around a book on dump trucks most of the day. We had to read it to him at least a half a dozen times.

Here he is poring over it while his brother made a button necklace. 

We all helped to put a giant floor puzzle together. Of course it ended the way it always does with the kids running about and the adults obsessively looking for the pieces to complete the damn thing. But hey! There were a hundred pieces! 

We were proud. 

Then it was back outside for more tractor riding. Levon could not bring himself to do it. He just stood beside it and said, "Tractor." Over and over again. I think he was overwhelmed by vast amazement. August rode it though. 

And then both of the little guys watched the big guy clip jasmine and then the fence it was on which had been flattened about a year ago by the giant tree falling during Hurricane Michael so that Boppy could use the tractor to drag the piece away to roll up so that he can mow where it had been. This was a very exciting project. Boppy had to hook the tractor chain onto the fence and pull. August was so excited, "Come on, big boy!" he said to his grandfather. And come on they did and now the piece of fence is all neat and tidy and ready to be taken to the dump although how Mr. Moon is going to get it on the trailer or in the truck (too big for that, I think) I do not know. I suppose the tractor will be involved again. 

After all of that we were ready to come back into the house and drink water and cool off and lay on the bed and read a few books. Which we did. By then it was after four and Boppy took a shower and then we packed up the boys' things and put them in the car seats that Jessie and Vergil had left in my car and Boppy drove them home. 
They were both very tired. August even cried a little as I was putting him into his seat. 
"Why are you crying?" I asked. 
"I'm not crying!" he said, tears running from his eyes. 
"He's fine!" said his grandfather. "Tell your Mer good-bye."
I promised the boy that we'd see him again very soon and we will. 
I sent them home with boiled peanuts and pineapple upside-down cake. Mr. Moon has a friend who is getting pretty old and he just took a tumble the other day and I was asked quite sweetly if I would make a pineapple upside-down cake for him because he loves it. I said I would, of course, and by god, I screwed up the first pineapple upside-down cake of my life. I have no idea what happened but that cake just didn't rise and was as dense as pudding. Still delicious but it wasn't very impressive to look at so yesterday I made another, this time FROM A RECIPE and it looks much better but I doubt it tastes as good as the pathetic one I'd made the day before. So the sad cake gets eaten by us. 
Oh well. 

So that was all beautiful and loving and August even let me scratch his back for him and sort of half-way cuddled with me and Levon let me hold him on my lap and also showed his enthusiasm for an episode of "The Mighty Little Bheem" by pounding on my leg. I'm just going to come out and say this- that kid is such a BOY! A joyful boy. 

But I tell you what- my gut hurts reading about what's happening in the Bahamas right now. They've had wind gusts up to 220 mph. That's...just...unbelievable. I've been watching, sporadically, a live web cam of the storm which you can find here. 
It gives you a sense of how the winds slow a bit and then come back with furious intensity. And honestly- that doesn't begin to give you an idea of the terrifying reality of what it is really like. I heard one short recording of someone who was sheltering in a resort, I think, and the plywood was peeling off the windows and they were wrapping the children in blankets to try and protect them. I saw another short video that someone took when the eye passed and cars had been literally rolled down the streets. 
The Bahamas are not going to be all right. 
And we have a president who is so deep in dementia that he claims he's never seen a Category 5 hurricane even though this is the fourth Cat 5 hurricane we've had since he took office. It almost, ALMOST makes me feel sorry for him but it's impossible to feel sorry for Donald Trump and it's even harder to have any sympathy at all for those around him daily who are not coming forth and telling the truth about what's going on in the Oval Office. 

Here's a poem. 

Bless Their Hearts

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At Steak ‘n Shake I learned that if you add 
“Bless their hearts” after their names, you can say 
whatever you want about them and it’s OK. 
My son, bless his heart, is an idiot, 
she said. He rents storage space for his kids’ 
toys—they’re only one and three years old! 
I said, my father, bless his heart, has turned 
into a sentimental old fool. He gets 
weepy when he hears my daughter’s greeting 
on our voice mail. Before our Steakburgers came 
someone else blessed her office mate’s heart, 
then, as an afterthought, the jealous hearts 
of the entire anthropology department. 
We bestowed blessings on many a heart 
that day. I even blessed my ex-wife’s heart. 
Our waiter, bless his heart, would not be getting 
much tip, for which, no doubt, he’d bless our hearts. 
In a week it would be Thanksgiving, 
and we would each sit with our respective 
families, counting our blessings and blessing 
the hearts of family members as only family 
does best. Oh, bless us all, yes, bless us, please
bless us and bless our crummy little hearts.

I do not and will not bless Donald Trump's crummy little heart. Forget about the dementia. I don't think he ever had a heart at all.
And I will not add my thoughts and prayers to the Bahamas because I don't think that shit does one bit of good. I'll just hope for the best and admit my own helplessness.
How I wish it were otherwise.

Bless all of us. Why not? Or at least our hearts. Crummy or otherwise.

Love...Ms. Moon