Thursday, January 31, 2019

The New Along With The Old

I can tell the days are getting longer because the chickens are going to roost later and later. I'm watching Miss Dottie still pecking around outside the hen house, the last one not inside it yet. Well, except for the jungle fowl who sleep outside in a tree. Even one of the young ones is sleeping outside now and interestingly, he looks far more like Liberace who is definitely NOT a jungle fowl than Ringo, who is, but his mama was Dearie and she is one. I have not yet come to any conclusions about what I'm going to do about this plethora of young roosters I seem to have. Jessie signed me up for a backyard chicken FaceBook page and they're having a meet-up and swap and sale in a few weeks and I left a comment on the notice asking if anyone ever wants roosters at these things and have gotten no answer. They're probably laughing at me.

My sleep last night was not so great. I woke up over and over again and it was not restful. When I got up I texted Jessie and Lily to see what they were doing today and Jessie ended up bringing the boys out. We both, at the same time, thought about going to a local state park where there are Indian mounds. That's what they call them. Indian mounds. Shouldn't it be Native American mounds? Oh well. Here's the link for information about the park. It's really pretty cool even though the mounds themselves look like big, well, mounds with trees and plants growing all over them. But it's a very nice little park that hardly anyone visits. There are restrooms and picnic tables and displays that tell about the history and the building of these things. August tried to understand it all but mostly he just kept asking why there were trees on the main mound.

Before we went to the park, we stopped at the Hilltop which is on the way to get sandwiches. We could have made our own but you know how much I like that place and let's face it- lunch out is 99% of my social life. I like seeing all of the different sorts of people who stop in to get their lunches. Lots of construction workers on week days. Everyone orders and sits on the long bench facing the counter to wait for their food. Today that bench looked like an International Convention of Construction Workers. And probably road workers.
August walked up to the counter and said to the lady with the order pad, "Do you have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?"
"Yes," she said. "We do. Would you like one?"
"Yes," he said and that was that for him.
So we got our sandwiches and drove the five minutes to the park. We were the only people there. You voluntarily stop and put three dollars in a wooden box and get a tag to put on your car or carry with you. We paid our money gladly and parked and walked to the picnic tables and sat at one which was in the sun which felt heavenly. It was still chilly and breezy. Levon sat by me and shared his mama's turkey sandwich and my chicken salad sandwich but mostly he just wanted some of the chips we bought. August ate some of his PB&J but was more interested in the display about the history and the audio which accompanies it. After we'd finished up, we hit the trail. Which is about .3 miles long.

I do like the fact that they post signs about this being a sacred site though, and here they use the term Native Americans, and as such, to stay on the walkway and not to climb the mounds. 

August asked many, many questions about the people who had built them. I tried to explain to him that those people had lived many, many, many, many years ago. THOUSANDS of years ago. 
So many whys. 
He wanted to know where those people were buried. 
"We don't know."
You finally want to just say, "GOOD GOD, KID! I DON'T KNOW!" but of course you don't. 
He wanted to poke a stick into the mound to see what was in there. We told him that we could not do that because it was "sacred."
"Do you know what sacred means?" I asked him. 
I looked at Jessie. "How do you tell him what that means?"
We tried. And then of course he asked, "Why?"
"Because that's what it means." 
I seriously doubt we enlightened him much. 
We walked down a few trails and looked at animal prints in the dirt. Deer for sure. Maybe wild pig? We couldn't really tell. This led to a discussion of which animals have hooves and which animals have paws. When he asked why cows and deer and pigs have hooves I said, "So that we'll know which animals are the tastiest to eat!"
Sometimes I just have to insert some humor. 

Last weekend Vergil took the boys for a hike. He carried Levon on his back but August actually walked the entire way which was over four miles. I am astounded at this. FOUR MILES! His legs are like a foot long. But he has a good pace, almost trotting over the trail in a sort of floating stride. 

He's a natural. 
But today after just a little walking he told us that he wanted to go back to Mer's house to take a nap on her bed. Where that came from, we do not know but we turned around and packed up and by the time we got to my house he had that dazed look on his face which means that he was ready for some sleep. Unfortunately, his mama wanted to get on back home and although he was not happy about that a cookie eased his pain and Jessie reported that he did fall asleep and Levon had too, so she was hoping for a tiny bit of time to herself when they got home but no, of course that could not happen because Levon woke up as soon as they got to their house. 
I took my own nap on Mer's bed. I really don't think I'm fully recovered from whatever it was I had last week but I HAVE to start walking again soon. That's all there is to it. 
And I will. 

Mr. Moon has taken Owen to one of his basketball games and so he's not home yet. He's being a good grandfather. And suddenly, it occurs to me that it is dark and that I have not closed the chickens up yet. 

And now I have. 

My sweet birds. With the setting of the sun, it has become cold again and I've put my Goodwill cashmere on along with a jacket and I can hear the music from the church next door. I am reminded of when my first husband and I lived in a little community which at that point was quite rural and there was a juke joint two doors down and what I wouldn't give to have a place like that here in Lloyd where occasionally Mr. Moon and I could stroll to and enjoy a beer and maybe a fried chicken sandwich on a chilly night where the Christmas lights which stay up all year long and the Budweiser signs would be all the illumination needed and I would feel at home the way I used to feel at Ms. Mabel's place when I was young. 

Ah well. 

Lloyd is packed with churches and devoid of juke joints and I have to say that our community is the poorer for that. But at least the church next to me has a bass and drums instead of a staid piano or organ. I'd have to listen to a sermon about Jesus to enjoy the music fully and I'm at a point in my life where I just can't deal with that sort of thing. My idea of heaven would have BB King with Lucille and Billie Holiday with a gardenia in her hair and a cold Budweiser in front of me, not angels and harps and golden slippers. 
And of course, plenty of chickens in my yard and grandchildren in my lap to ask me why. 

Be well, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Perchance To Dream (Possible Trigger Warning)

I had what felt like a very profound dream early this morning. I awoke from it feeling lighter and happier, which is odd because in it I slit someone's throat.
You can imagine whose throat it was.
In my dream I was still young, and something my stepfather did finally pushed me over an edge and I grabbed something, I don't remember what, and I slit his throat. I did not kill him. He was still alive but scared as hell and bleeding.
"Call 911," I screamed at whoever was there and I went into something of a horrific delirium, yelling and crying and out of my mind but spitting out words as to why I had done this- reciting all of his sins toward me in a sort of hysterical testimony. I had no fear that I would be arrested because I had such probable cause.
Police came. They took him away. And yes, I do believe that I dreamed not too long ago about police coming to protect me. But he was uninjured in that case. I had not hurt him as I did in this dream. I wondered if they were going to take me away- I fully expected it. Then suddenly I saw two women police officers and with them was the Australian comedian, Hannah Gadsby, and if you have not seen her work, I beg you to do so. I think I may have even shared the trailer to her Netflix film before but here it is again and it may give you some hint as to why she showed up in this dream as a protective figure, as a sympathetic figure.

She is vulnerable and she is powerful in that vulnerability and writing this, I can see that this is how I felt in the dream. She was, in this dream of mine, a therapist I think, and when I saw her and those two uniformed women with her, I somehow knew that my story would be well-believed and that I would be helped rather than prosecuted or persecuted, as the case might be, and I fell on the ground in relief and tears.
The dream did not end there. I think I was taken away but not for long and when I returned, my mother had cleaned the house, had done all of the things that in my normal dreams I am somehow sentenced to do- impossible tasks of getting rid of trash and bringing order to a place which had been misused and wrecked. And she had done that for me. Even outside the ground had been raked and she had put a nice design of arrowhead shapes in the dirt.
Perhaps she does love me, I thought. Perhaps she does care about me.
And in some ways, that part was the strangest part of the dream. Was the entire dream what I wish could have happened rather than a mere rehashing of what did?
I don't really think I want to slit anyone's throat but perhaps I really do and in my dream world, I allowed myself, finally, to do that. And of course in the real world there was no one who stepped in to protect me, neither police or a profoundly strong comedian. And I certainly never thought that if I told anyone that I would be believed and in fact, the very thought of telling anyone never crossed my mind when it was happening.
Not once.
And to go on my mother certainly did not do any of the work in helping me to clean up the mess that had been made in her house.
So to speak. But wouldn't it have been wonderful if she had at least tried?

Well. It was an interesting dream and it somehow gave me a sense of strength. Even if I did not kill my metaphorical beast, I drew blood. Perhaps I should be working on coming to peace with my abuser's memory rather than still trying to go back and gain control of that which I never could have controlled but I don't think I'm that kind of person. I have said before and I will say again that the concept of "forgiveness" does not do a whole lot for me. I can no more understand why anyone should forgive that which is unforgivable than why anyone would believe that just because someone died on a cross we are now all forgiven for some sort of perceived sin of which we are guilty, merely by being born. I have read of people who were in the camps in the Holocaust who claim to have forgiven the Nazis and perhaps they have and perhaps that is absolutely the way we should all be but I really don't think I have that sort of saintliness within me. And sure, I get the concept of forgiving someone, not for their sake but for my own. I have forgiven people for things but if I am honest I have to admit that I still have resentments about some of them and always will. And I don't think I've ever in my life said to myself, "Now I must forgive this person," or consciously set out to do it. It's just that sometimes it happens for whatever reason but I don't feel as if I am a better person for having done it. It just seemed to be something that needed doing and was organically done, usually for a very concrete and practical reason.
But like I said- I still harbor resentments but they do not get in my way. They are not roiling emotions which hinder my life in any way.
Unlike what I feel about my stepfather. Obviously.
And also obviously- the situations cannot be compared.

I've spent most of the day working on Maggie's dress and it's almost done. Everything went very smoothly up until the final details and now I'm bogged on something that should not be bogging me but it is and the seam ripper has been located and used. And probably will be again before I'm finished. And isn't that life? You zip along thinking that the way is smooth and easy until suddenly, it isn't and there is nothing for it but to stop and reassess and perhaps change strategies and maybe even sleep on the situation to see if a good night's rest can make it all come clear or perhaps even to have a dream which might help shed light on the problem which could be a simple sewing thing or the structure of DNA or why we act and react and live and love and fear and feel the way we do.

I have no answers but isn't it all interesting, at the very least?
"To sleep, perchance to dream," said Shakespeare.
He also said this:

"Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course. Chief nourisher in life's feast."

Man, that guy was smart. I think he liked to sleep, too. 

Sweet dreams, y'all. Or at least interesting ones. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Pretty Food, Pretty Children, Pretty Flowers

I had such a good time making last night's supper. All of the ingredients were so pretty.

There was braising and the adding of the fruit and melting of butter and basting with sauce and then finishing it all up in the oven. It didn't really come out looking like the picture in the New York Times recipe page but it was pretty enough. My snapper had to lose his head because it was too big to fit into the largest skillet I own which is a pretty damn big skillet. May I die before I'm too weak to handle it. 

I grew that cilantro, by the way. It's one of the few things that has survived in the garden. I do believe that my problem there this year can be partly blamed on the chickens who have eaten a great many of the sproutlings and then nipped their favorite greens which did manage to get big enough to taste. Collards and kale, mostly. Dang them. 
Anyway, the snapper tasted all right but honestly, it wasn't nearly as good as that whole snapper they cook in a beach bar restaurant with no electricity in Cozumel. And I feel certain the only ingredients they use are salt, flour, oil, and lime. And of course fish which is so fresh that it might have just jumped from the water and into the pan. 
Oh well. At least I had fun. And Mr. Moon liked it fine. 
I'm trying really hard, I mean I am really making an effort to cook less. And I did well with that last night. There was just enough for our supper and the lunch I packed for my husband. Cooking less means that not only will I have fewer leftovers to deal with, it will be less tempting to overeat. 
This is the theory, right? 
I mean, some leftovers are good but after a few days I end up throwing things to the chickens which they love and which yes, I do get back in the form of perfect protein but it still feels wasteful. 
And yes, chickens do love fish heads. 

So today's main activity was, hold on...wait for it! GOING TO COSTCO!

Of course we had fun. 

Those crackies! The always crack me up. We went too early, it would seem. Everyone was setting up the sample carts but none were ready. So we browsed. And took our time. Maggie adores Levon, as you can tell. She looks at him with the eyes of love. August is rather fond of his brudder too. There was a lot of laughing. 
And then, as it inevitably goes, there was some crying. 
Eventually though they got some pizza roll samples as well as some plain yogurt with hemp hearts. I tasted that and said, "Uh, no." So did Maggie. 
August and Levon liked it though. August said, "This is really delicious!" 
What can I say? 
I would say that August's taste buds are more attuned to the less sugary treats but he'd rassle a bear for ice cream and sell his mama for chocolate. Levon just likes everything. 

So then we went to Japanica! We consumed our regular miso soups and salads with ginger dressing and various delicious proteins cooked various delicious ways with various delicious vegetables. I went CRAZY and got a Bento Box with green curry shrimp instead of tofu. I have to say it was excellent. 

And then it was time for us all to part and go to our homes. Maggie did not want to go. She wanted to go to the bookstore but there just wasn't time today. 

When I kissed her good-bye I told her that she was a beautiful, strong, powerful woman-child! 
She wasn't much impressed but I'm going to keep telling her because she is. Actually, I'm pretty sure she already knows that, having been born with the knowledge. It doesn't hurt to reinforce the truth, though. 

I came home and cut out Maggie's dress. 

Bug flannel! 
I hate to admit this but these days pinning the pattern and cutting out the pieces is the hardest part of the whole operation because it requires me to get on the floor. If anyone in the world needs to take yoga, it's me. After a lifetime of fairly excellent flexibility I have become one of those old persons whose joints are as stiff as a rusted-up bolt. 
Seriously. Maybe I should start doing a yoga video. Anyone have one they recommend? I have no doubt that Youtube probably offers a million of them. 

It's been gray and rainy and chilly all day long and it's supposed to get into the twenties tonight. I've got the porch plants wrapped up and I think they'll be fine. The camellias may lose their blossoms but more will come out soon. 

Here are some of the Pink Perfections I picked today. I hope you're not tired of camellia pictures because there will certainly be more. 

This is the service which I happily provide. We all have our purposes in life and adoring camellias is one of mine. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, January 28, 2019

Bits And Pieces

My oldest friend whom I met in the 6th grade, which means we've known each other since Christ pooped his diaper, called me this morning. It was awesome. We caught up with family and stuff and as always, there is a sense of the continuation of the fifty-something year conversation we've been having since Girl Scouts and slumber parties where we all watched The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and tried different Slicker lipsticks.

Just the sight of that case makes me swoon. I think that if I could smell a Slicker lipstick it would kill me with the overwhelming nostalgia it would produce. 

Anyway, yeah, we've known each other a long time and we had some laughs and we ended our very, very long conversation with "I love you's!" and they were heartfelt. 

And then. 
It was time to venture out of Lloyd for the first time in well over a week. I did go to the Hilltop yesterday but that's only about four miles away. 
Mr. Moon's been great about stopping at Publix to pick up what we needed while I was sick but he's not the grocery buyer in the family, I am, and as such it's hard to simply write out a list without the need for many explanations and so forth and so I've just been asking him for the basics and it was time to replenish the pantry. 
Not that I have a pantry but you know what I mean. 

So I went to Publix. MY Publix. Anyone who lives in a town with multiple Publixes finds themselves at different ones sometimes but we almost all have what we consider to be our own Publixes where we know the employees and can find everything on the shelves blind-folded. MY Publix is the Publix where Lily works so I also have the benefit, when I shop there, of employees being extra friendly to me, knowing that I am Lily's mama. Which I like. 
The first thing that happened was that I was standing by the BOGO bins contemplating buying some Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies. There was a big guy standing across from me, doing the same thing. He was somewhat hairy and wore a ball cap and as I said, he was largish. Being my friendly self I said something like, "If I buy these for my husband he will love me so much but he'll also fuss at me because he doesn't think he should eat them."
The guy looked at me and said, "Yeah, but you'll be the heroine if you do! Plus- buy one get one free!"
"I know," I sighed, and got two bags and put them in the cart. 
And then, something happened. I do not know how it happened but somehow between the BOGO's and the imported cheeses, which is a distance of about fifteen feet, he decided that he should probably tell me how he makes his own bacon from pork butts. 
And then he did. Which took at least ten minutes and of course I'll never remember what he told me as it involved many ingredients for a rub and X-amount of time for curing and for smoking and on and on. Pictures from his phone were involved. He was so enthusiastic that I just couldn't be rude to him. After he told me all about the bacon, he gave me a lagniappe on how he makes his venison jerky and oh, something else which involved London broil. 
"My, you certainly do love to cook!" I said. I did not add "meat" but that appeared to be his main interest.
"I don't look like this because I'm just a spectator!" he said with not a small amount of pride. 

And so there was that and I finally got away to shop only to discover that in the time I've been gone from real life they have completely rearranged the placement of almost every damn thing in the store. The first aisle, where there used to be canned vegetables and spaghetti sauces and pasta and rice and beans was now the BREAKFAST aisle. 
It wasn't the end of the world or anything but it was disconcerting. 
And by the time I got out of the store I'd been there an hour. 

After that I rushed home and put everything away and ate my lunch and did some ironing, got the clothes off the line, gathered the eggs, picked a few greens from the garden and unloaded the dishwasher. 

And now, I am tired. I'm not back to full-speed yet by any means although I feel SO much better.  

I am going to cook with a recipe tonight. I have thawed an entire lovely red snapper and am going to attempt this. 

It's a New York Times recipe for whole fish with soy and citrus. I bought myself a subscription to their cooking newsletter and recipes and I am enjoying that so much. As I have said before, the hardest part of cooking for me is always figuring out what to cook and this helps. 

And that's the news from Lloyd today where it was another gorgeous day although I see it's going to rain tomorrow and get down into the twenties tomorrow night. 
Well, it is winter, after all and when I read about the temperatures they're experiencing in the midwest I have to wonder how anyone there survives. I couldn't. 

And now I believe I've talked enough. Let me know if you have anything to say. I'd love that. 

Ms. Moon

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Back In The Arms Of My Babies!

Even though today was gray and chilly and damp, it was a wonderful day. Everyone but May was able to make our little gathering and the Hilltop was the perfect place. I have spoken of this place before but I think it's probably hard to visualize. It was originally a country store, indeed set on a hilltop where things like milk and beer and animal feed and basic supplies could be bought. And then someone came up with the idea of serving sandwiches and desserts and now they have a rather large group of customers who come just for the food and will stand patiently in line to order it. There are three huge boards with menus on them. All different. One may order anything from pulled pork barbecue to a Cuban sandwich to a grilled cheese with tomato to a pork chop sandwich to fish dinners to chicken salad to fried chicken to fried pickles to an in-house made black bean burger to, well...
The choices are endless.
So everyone gets what they need and what they want and you stand at the counter and order and they call your name when your order is up and you can get your drinks at the drink station (sodas and tea) and then you pay.
And eat.
A lot of people take their food home with them but we like to eat outside together on the picnic tables.
Oh. I forgot to mention the entire refrigerated case of cakes and pies sold by the slice although we never seem to have room for dessert.
Good GOD, y'all!

After we ordered, Owen was very excited to read a book to me that he'd gotten out of the library. His school is having some sort of fund-raising event where we pledge money for each book the kids read out loud to someone. Owen had found this book which he knew I would love because of the many, many times we've read about another Little Red Hen who makes something to eat. 

It was awesome! He stumbled a bit over things like "Oy gevalt!" and "schlep" but we figured it out. He wanted to know what those things mean and I was quite happy to give him the benefit of my tiny knowledge of Yiddish. And Gibson read Mr. Moon a book! That child is reading really well. He's a hoot. 
As we all know. 

He got a hotdog. 

Here's Ms. Magnolia. 

More pictures!

Hank and Rachel

Levon and his mama. 

Lily and Levon and Gibson. Do you like Lily's new glasses? I do. 

It was just so much fun. We ate and shared things and laughed. The usual. 

I sure do love my family. 

Finally, August asked if we could go home. It WAS chilly and so we all kissed and hugged and Mr. Moon and I had driven with Jessie and the boys as they'd come to our house a little early and when we got to our house they came in and August wanted to watch TV with Big Boppy, of course, and so we all settled in the Glen Den and watched a really darling movie called Sing which is one of those rare movies that can absolutely keep adults entertained at the same time it charms the children. And the soundtrack was wonderful. It grabbed me from the opening scene. 

It did not hurt that the main character is a guy named Mr. Moon and that his theater reminded me of my beloved Monticello Opera House.
So August sat with his Boppy

and we had hot tea and were warm and cozy and Levon did gymnursetastics and played with toys and clapped his hands when it was appropriate and when the credits rolled, Mr. Moon and Jessie danced to the music. 

Yeah. It was a very good day. 

Now I've made a soup and Mr. Moon is watching an FSU basketball game on the TV and it's a good night to be reminded of how lovely it is to have a cozy house where it's warm and there is light. 

I am so damn lucky. Sometimes I don't even believe it. Well, to be honest, I mostly don't believe it. And yet...I know it's true. 

Imagine that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Small But Sweet Event

Last Monday a neighbor of mine died. She was quite old and was in hospice care and her daughters were with her when she died. One of them told me that she was holding her mother's hand when she passed on to that other realm and that she simply fell asleep and slipped away.
Wouldn't we all want that?
There was a gathering at the mother's house today. She lived catty-cornered across the street from me and I am ashamed to admit that I really did not know her well. I spent the most time with her at a few meetings of the Lloyd historical society when that was happening, quite a few years ago. The main figurehead of that group died a while back and there have been no more meetings.
Lloyd's history has continued but without ceremony or comment for the most part.
Anyway, I know this woman had been a professor and she was an interesting person. Obviously very intelligent and she seemed to be involved in a lot of good things like the Wildlife Federation and I don't even know what good deeds she did but I do believe she was a good-deed-doer.
She was also pretty. She wore her hair up in an unusual way which I admired and have no idea how to replicate. Her daughters are beautiful women and they, too, both wear their hair up and one of them has a tattoo on her neck but I could not tell what it was.
But like I said, I hardly knew Pat. She rarely came out to her front yard and I spend most of my time in my own back yard or on my back porch and we just never really made that jump from neighbor to neighbor-friend. It's not something I need dwell on. It is what it is or rather, it was what it was and strangely, one of the daughters claimed that her mother spoke so highly of us. I suppose that may have just meant that we didn't cause disturbances and we didn't let our house go completely into disrepair or let our yard turn into a bamboo jungle. 
I don't know.
But we were invited to a little gathering at her house today which was to be held from 4-6 and of course we went. "Very informal," said the beautiful daughter without a tattoo. Or at least not one on her neck. No one said anything about food but southern etiquette no more allows one to attend any event involving death without the bringing of food than it would allow one to attend in the nude.
It is just not done.
So I decided to make a quiche, having an abundance of eggs and so forth and so I did. I tried a different pastry recipe, one that is made using a food processor and at first I thought I was going to have to throw the whole thing out but eventually I managed to wrangle the dough into a rollable substance and it turned out nicely. I asked my husband, even as I was cooking red peppers and onions if anyone really likes quiche at all. Sometimes I wonder, you know? Of course if it has a ton of cheese and bacon in it it's going to be good but cardboard with a ton of cheese and bacon would be good too. I had no bacon and wasn't in the mood to grate pounds of cheese but I sauteed the onions and red peppers and cooked some spinach with sun dried, smoked tomatoes and mixed up eggs and milk and put it all together and it was pretty enough and several people told me they liked it so that worked out.
There were lots of people there including the two daughters. I could swear I'd never seen the daughter with the tattoo in my life but she claims she's known me and Glen for years. I have no doubt she's telling the truth.
Other neighbors whom I do know were there. Some of whom I see fairly frequently, some whom I hardly ever see.
We're all so busy, you know.
There was lots of good food. Homemade pimento cheese and chicken salad on croissants, spinach and artichoke dip with crackers, shrimp, chicken wings, pretty little pastries. All sorts of good things. And the house, which I had never been in, was just a charming place. It was built in 1900 and was so charming. And according to the daughter with no visible tattoo, it has good karma.
I believe that.
We neighbors gathered around and discussed how hard it is to keep our big old houses warm in cold weather and how toasty this smaller one was. One of my neighbors lived in the house I live in now when he was a boy and he told us that when he was little he would wake up and smell the wood stove in the kitchen that his grandma used to cook on. How when he smells a wood stove now he always thinks of that.

It was sweet, that gathering. Quite a few folks were there to celebrate their friend, their neighbor, their former work mate. The sisters were hospitable and friendly, their brother thanked everyone gravely for coming. We looked at pictures of their mother in her younger days and she was always pretty.

Eventually, we made our good-byes and thank-yous and I took my pie plate and we left.
A small but sweet event in Lloyd and I think that Pat would have approved. Everyone said she would have. And now that I think about it, there was not one mention of Jesus or heaven or anything else like that the whole time I was there. Which was a nice relief.

Speaking of gatherings, I am trying to organize one with my family tomorrow. I haven't seen anyone in a week and I miss them all. We're talking about going to lunch at the Hilltop because I don't think I'm up to making a meal for the nine thousand people in my immediate family but I'm sure the kitchen at the Hilltop can handle it.

That's the way it is in Lloyd tonight. It's a bit cold and I'm going to fry up some bass that Mr. Moon caught this morning, early on the frigid Wacissa. I'll make some grits and stewed tomatoes. It's nice to be back in the kitchen.
I'm taking it easy. Death will come to us all, whether we rush about or stroll through life. You see more if you stroll.
That's my thinking at the moment, anyway.

I'm just here, a part of it all, a very small bit of the history of Lloyd and an even tinier, more minuscule part of the universe. So small, in fact, that my presence has practically no meaning to anyone but those closest to me and I am glad of that. It is reassuring. Energy can neither be created or destroyed and when I die, that energy will go somewhere. That's just the truth. I cannot be bothered wondering or worrying about what form that will take. I'd just as soon have it be a nurturing for the trees or food for the fishes. Or worms. Whatever.

Until then-

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, January 25, 2019

Returning To Life

Today was glorious. I woke up in a cold room but so very snug and warm in my bed which is the way I like it. As I breathed, I could feel the cold on my face, delicious and crisp like the bite of a good, sweet apple, even as my body was so warm.
And I did not feel feverish in my joints or back and getting out of bed was not so hard and it's been that way all day.
I took eggs to my neighbors across the street. I walked to the post office. I took that picture on the way home. It's an amazingly huge, old oak tree and its branches span a quarter of an acre. The sky was cloudless and winter-only-blue. I hung clothes on the line and I cleaned out the nests in the hen house. While I worked, little Miss Violet clucked fiercely at me, telling me in no uncertain terms that she needed to get to the nest NOW to lay her egg and I finished up as quickly as possible so that she could have her safe privacy. I dumped the poopy hay in the garden and was going to use the cart to go pick up fallen branches in the front yard but decided that no, I didn't need to push it that far today.
And I didn't.

I am so grateful for this day that I've had. Everything has seemed such a pleasure. I made a cup of tea and put sugar and milk both in it and I could taste honeyed, hot flowers in it. Just the simple ability to sit and watch something on TV, knitting with my cat beside me without being in any sort of pain was a sort of joy. I have felt the wealth of my life truly and surely.

And to put the cherry right on top of the cowgirl, another one of Trump's best friends/advisors/all-around-evil-person was arrested and the government is opening back up without one cent being budgeted for a stinking wall.

I started to watch the documentary on Roger Stone today but just couldn't. What I can't figure out is how we have let these criminals run our country and bleed it dry. Not only have Stone and his compatriots been getting their own candidates elected, they've then been in a position to lobby them to enable and support the most horrible of dictators and rulers for whom they work, getting richer than Midas along the way.
God. It's been a great scam.

Well. Perhaps there is some hope that sanity and the actual will of the people can be restored to our government. I'm not betting on it, but at least there is a fragment of light to focus on and that's all we can possibly ask for when things have gotten to the place where we find ourselves.

I am so glad for all of the government workers who can get back to their jobs and who will receive their paychecks. Despite what ungodly rich Republican lawmakers seem to believe, grocery stores and doctors and banks and gas stations no longer have a system whereupon you can run a tab. And people have been suffering and our country has been too.

May there be an easing for all.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Movie With Maurice

This has been the highlight of my day.
I was sitting on the couch watching Roma, a movie which is now streaming on Netflix and enjoying it very, very much. Maurice was snoozing beside me. Every now and then I would forget that she's not a normal cat and reach over to scratch her stomach whereupon she would remind me that she is not a normal cat by threatening to take my hand off at the wrist. Other than that, though, all was peaceful.
Until the most exciting part of the movie happened! There were ocean waves and children caught in a riptide and I'm not going to say any more because I don't want to ruin it for anyone but it was extremely dramatic!
And I looked over to see the formerly napping Maurice sitting up with her eyes focused entirely on the TV and I don't think she blinked until the scene was resolved at which point she laid back down and fell asleep again.

So, yeah. That was the big moment of my day.
I don't want to talk about it.

How are you?

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Here I Am

Oh, I have missed you! One whole day without writing here and I feel as if the earth is not quite turning as it should be.
But. I have unwound myself from the sheets and even washed the sheets and although I am not what you might call completely well yet, I am so much better and have only slept a little bit today and I got a few things done before that.

I did not get a flu shot this year. I never get one. And up until this week, I had not had the flu in years but I do believe that's what we've had around here. The people in the family who got the shot have not had this particular illness and the ones who have gotten sick did not. And that's just the truth of the matter. I am wishing, quite honestly, that I had gotten one and I wish that Mr. Moon had gotten one too. He finally went to the doctor today after not being able to sleep for over a week due to a headache and he was told that he has a "raging" sinus infection which I feel quite certain is a secondary infection to the flu.
Of course I could be wrong and quite frequently am but these are my thoughts on the matter.

Being ill is like being in an odd country where things look familiar but nothing is quite right. I am sure you know what I mean. And it has been that way for me. I have managed to do some reading, which is good. I have almost finished up a book I've had on my shelf for years. Sister Age by MFK Fisher and I recommend it. I've also watched the entire new season of Grace and Frankie on Netflix which I did enjoy even though sometimes the acting would make a community theater director cringe. But what the hell? It's fun and I have finally come to appreciate Jane Fonda now that she's in her eighties and of course, Lily Tomlin is always a love. Sometimes when I'm watching the show I think that if Kathleen had been allowed to hang around for another few decades, she might have been a great deal like Tomlin's character, Frankie, who never met a New Age philosophy she couldn't embrace for awhile, at least. Kathleen had that openness to her, that belief in a sort of magic and ritual, of universal love and acceptance.

I'm straying. Which is what I do best, I suppose.

Here's a picture of August eating his pancakes Monday morning before I went to bed.

And here's one of Maggie that her mother took and sent to me. 

I feel as if I haven't seen those beautiful children in a month, as if I've been away on a journey, which in some ways I have. 

My husband is home. He has taken the first of his antibiotics. I'm going to actually cook our supper tonight which I have not done in two days. The frogs think it's spring and are singing their hypersonic song which pierce my human ears. It's going to rain tonight and then get cold again. I can hear the magnolia creaking in the wind which is blustering its way through right now, bringing the rain and cold on its wings.
I am glad to be back to the land of the living but I'm not going to push anything until I truly feel ready. 

Anyway, hello. I hope all is well with all of you. 
See you tomorrow?

I hope so. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, January 21, 2019

Personal Shutdown, Services To Be Resumed Soon

This morning after I'd made pancakes and read some books to August and then Jessie had come and gotten the boy, I went back to bed and have literally been sleeping all day long.
I do believe I may have the flu now. Whatever it is, this is about the sickest I've been in years. But I think I may feel a little less feverish this evening.
Time to go back to bed.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sweet Boys

All is well. We've had two fine little lads over while their mommy and daddy went to a wedding.
Levon is going home with them and August is spending the night.

Just wanted to let you know we're good in Lloyd.

Ms. Moon

Saturday, January 19, 2019

We Were Wild And Crazy

Oh my goodness. Last night was such a gift. I really tried to just pull up my big girl panties and put on that make-up and the silver bracelets and act like going out on a Friday night was no big deal whatsoever but for me, it was a big deal. But I did it. The venue where they played is about four thousand miles from our house. Okay. Not really. But it did take us a while to get there. We got behind someone driving 24 miles an hour on the road to the highway and that road is so twisty and turny you don't dare pass anyone and I felt like I should text Lis that we were on our way and would be there in two hours.
Somehow though, we managed to get there before the opening act went onstage and were able to say hey to the band. I don't even have any idea how long ago I met Lis and Lon, much less Gabe (the other guitar player) and Jason (the violin player) but I will say that I asked Jason last night how old his little boy was and he said, "Fifteen."
I remember when the kid was born.
Lord but time does pass.
Gabe and his wife have two children just about the same age as Owen and Gibson and I met him way before they were born.
It was so good to see everyone. I miss Lon and Lis so much. They are Glen's and my heart-partners. I swear. Someone had brought in a picture last night of the two of them onstage at the first gig they ever did together which was over forty years ago. Gabe looked at it and he said, "Yep. There's Lis. She has Lon and she knows that this is what she's going to be doing for the rest of her life."

Our table was front and center. We could touch the stage. And it was a night of pure enchantment. How many times have I heard these people sing and play? Probably close to being in the hundreds of times now. And still...I am moved to tears each and every time.
This is one of the songs that always does it to me. Lis wrote it and it is an incredibly beautiful song and it allows her to use her soaring angel voice. That last note just breaks my heart.

This wasn't from last night but from a concert they did at Flagler College in St. Augustine. But they did it last night and yes, I wept. Mr. Moon held me to him and it was as sweet an evening as I'd ever want to have.

I am shy to take pictures, much less video but here's a picture I took of the two people who mean so very much to me and to so many others. They truly are beloved.

I really like the place they played. I'd only been there once before and that was some time back. They've made it so cozy and there are now booths by the bar in a room separate from the stage and they offer good food. Glen and I split some crab cakes and slaw before the show and I loved every bite. We sipped martinis that were as good as any bar martinis I'd ever had. 
The best part is that the sound in the listening room is very fine. I claim absolutely NO musical talent or abilities but I do have a good ear for sound. This may be simply because I've been to so many shows. I was married to a musician at one point and if someone's vocals aren't loud enough or someone's instrument is too loud, it bothers the hell out of me. But last night, the sound man got it just right.  
The place is called The Junction At Monroe for any Tallahassee readers and I'm sure you already know about it. 
And so it was a beautiful night and after the show, Mr. Moon helped roll up cords and load up the instruments. They were doing a turn-and-burn, leaving right after the gig and Jason had to drive all the way home to Orlando and Lon and Lis and Gabe drove back to St. Augustine. 
It was so hard to kiss them goodbye but they'll be back for another gig on Valentines and are going to be spending the night with us and that made it easier. 
God, I love those people. 

And then the craziest thing of the night happened. We were on our way home and I said, "How late does Whataburger stay open?" 
"Twenty-four hours, I think," said my husband. "Does my sweetheart want to go there?"
His sweetheart did. 
Oh. My. God. 
We went to the Whataburger at midnight. Which is insane. 
First of all, we were still up at midnight. 
Secondly, I absolutely cannot remember the last Whataburger meal I've eaten with the exception of some of their delicious breakfast taquitos which we consumed in mass quantities after August was born. I think that Glen bought them out that morning. 
But we ate there last night. And I have to say- Whataburger at midnight is an interesting place. We felt sinful and wicked and wild as teenagers when we walked in to the florescent lit place. A man and his little boy, probably about six, were waiting on their food and that little boy who was wearing blue kid glasses, did not stop talking. His dad listened, barely saying a word, and I swear- that child was explaining the universe for the fifteen minutes they were there. I looked at the dad and smiled and he rolled his eyes and sort of smiled back. 
There was a lady sitting in a booth with an entire bag of what I think was embroidery thread. I did not want to stare. She had the remains of a meal on the table but was industriously doing some sort of needlework in her formica and plastic booth. At least she had good lighting. What was her story? 
There was a beautifully dressed and proper looking older woman who looked like she'd just gotten out of church eating very slowly and tidily. And other people came in who truthfully, looked as if they might eat at Whataburger quite frequently. 

And then there was us. 
I ordered a jalapeno cheeseburger (yes! Yes I did!) and it was amazing. 
You may well ask- how drunk were you guys? 
Barely tipsy is the answer. 
Mr. Moon got chicken strips and onion rings which he shared with me. It was a rather trippy experience. But very fun. 

When we were driving home we were, of course, expressing some regret. 
"It seemed like a good idea at the time," I said. And then I added, "Well, not really."
We laughed. 

We managed to be in bed by one a.m. and amazingly, survived our wild night out. 
No blood, no foul, as they say. 

And today has been pretty lazy for me although Mr. Moon had to go to town and pick up a customer at the airport and deliver her new car to her. All before noon. 

My chickens laid me seven eggs today and I am getting a new egg which I do not recognize and I have no idea who's laying it. I am quite certain that none of the young ones are laying yet. 

I've done some ironing and watched six episodes of the new season of Grace and Frankie which I have to admit I love. The best line I've heard so far came from Frankie (Lily Tomlin). Her son had hired a home health care aid and Frankie told him, "He failed his drug test. I asked him to smoke with me and he wouldn't. I had to fire him."

The weather is changing. It has rained on and off this afternoon and the wind is blowing and tomorrow we're going to have freezing temperatures even though I am barefoot on the porch right now. Mr. Moon is in a deer stand. The season is over as of tomorrow I think, and despite all of the many, many hours my husband has given to the passion and pursuit of venison, we really would like to have a bit more sausage for the freezer. He told me before he left, though, that the deer are shy and cautious in windy weather as they can't hear properly and the movement of the trees and bushes freaks them out. Deer are not stupid. 
Just got a text. No deer. 

Oh well. 
We certainly have eggs. 
And love. 

And that's more than enough. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, January 18, 2019


Well, it's Friday and we actually have plans to go out and therefore you KNOW that Lon and Lis are in town because it is highly doubtful that I'd be going anywhere except to go see them play.
Okay, maybe I'd leave Lloyd to go see the Rolling Stones but only if the venue didn't suck too much.

Mr. Moon and I are still rocking the virus although I do feel better than I did yesterday. I actually got quite a bit done this morning and felt cheerful and productive but as the afternoon wore on, I started feeling the fever returning. Levon's still running the fever, his stomach is messed up and he's coughing and snotty. And Maggie threw up last night and again this morning and had a little fever. She's going to get through it though, I think. Lily sent me this picture and even though a barf bag is involved, she doesn't look too miserable.

Lily said that she even threw up IN the barf bag, completely. None of my kids ever did anything like that but instead always seemed to time their puking bouts around me getting clean sheets back on the bed and clean jammies back on them. I am sure that every parent who has ever lived can relate to this. 

It would appear that it's the beginning of the end ONCE AGAIN for Trump. Every day it's like, "Oh yeah. He's going to jail!" And then nothing happens except more illegal activities are unearthed. 
Again, I know I'm not telling anyone here anything they don't already know. 

Anyway, I need to go see if I can find my make-up. Of course I haven't touched it since I got home from Mexico. 
Speaking of Mexico, I found this on FB today and immediately shared it and now I'm going to share it here because I think it's great on about fifty different levels.

Enjoy, y'all.

Happy Friday.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Once Again- Who Knows? Not Me

So what are we going for here? When I think of a mattress, I generally think of it hopefully providing the best sleep "experience" I can have.
But here you have a choice between the Reggae Firm and the Mambo Euro Top. 
Are you more of a Reggae type of mattress user or a Mambo type?
I think I'm too old to Mambo in bed but I can probably still manage a little Reggae swaying.

That has nothing to do with anything. It just made me scratch my head and say, "What?"

This damn virus that has found its way into my home is driving me insane. Mr. Moon still feels unwell and has a cough. I, too, have had a cough and not a whole lot of energy but suddenly last night I felt descended upon by another layer of the virus. Same symptoms- upper respiratory and cough (no worse than before) but now I appear to be running a fever.
When I woke up this morning I hugged my husband to me and said, "Stay home. Stay in bed all day with me." Trust me when I say I was mostly going for the cozy factor, not Mamboing.
He considered it but of course he put on his working clothes and I got up and made him oatmeal with raisins and we commiserated about our various symptoms and ills and then he went to work and I actually went to town to the store to get things to make Tom Kha Gai soup which I have a powerful hankering for. And then I went to Joanne's to get a pattern to make Maggie a new dress and the whole time I was in town I was thinking, "What in  hell am I doing?" and walked around like I weighed five thousand earth-tons and feeling spacey and weird.

So. Do I have a different virus or has the one I had morphed? Other people have reported that this thing has lingered for three weeks or more. We're on week two. Jessie has house guests and she thinks that between all of them, they are experiencing three different viruses at her house. Levon was a miserable boy yesterday, he threw up, he had fever. He just wanted to lay down next to his mommy. I hear he is better today. August had what Boppy had for sure but seems better. Jessie seemed to have what I seemed to have and actually, NONE OF US KNOW WHAT ANY OF US HAVE! Lily's family seems to have escaped the worst (knock wood) although Maggie has had a snotty nose and cough for quite awhile.
My own doctor told me that he has had three upper respiratory viruses this winter.
Good Lord.
I've been back from Mexico for two weeks. I felt better there than I've felt in years and ever since I've gotten back it's been one damn thing after another.

So it goes and so it is and there isn't a damn thing to do about it except to hydrate and take the occasional Ibuprofen and some cough syrup before bed. Treat the symptoms while waiting for the body to deal with it.

I'm going to make a (hopefully) delicious Tom Ka Gai soup tonight. I'm using a recipe (mostly) from a web site that Lily's sister-in-law (mother of the darling Lenore) runs. She is an amazing vegan cook. If you want to check out the recipe and her site, go HERE. 
I think I'm going to add some tofu for a little protein. Mr. Moon read an article about how the eating of meat and sugar is destroying our planet and our health and he's all onboard for more vegetarian options. And venison, of course. And fish. I told him that back in the sixties a woman named Frances Moore Lappe wrote a book called "Diet For A Small Planet" and that only the hippies paid attention but here we are. Of course, every good hippie has that book and quite possibly "Recipes For A Small Planet" on their cookbook shelf and I am one of those. I should dig it out for the nostalgia factor if nothing else.

What goes around comes around and in the case of this virus, it never seems to want to jump off the merry-go-round of torment.

Here I go to grate ginger and slice green onions, thus ensuring that I am doing the best I can to nourish our bodies along with our souls.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Well, my vast relief and feelings of rebirth faded rather more quickly than I would have liked.
Today has been a day of pondering what on earth I need to do with my life.

I have come up with no answers.

In lieu of any sort of real post tonight, I'll just give you camellias.

I keep trying to write something of value or interest but it's just not going to happen tonight. 
It's been that sort of day. 

Let's see what tomorrow brings. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Not Planning My Funeral Quite Yet

Look. I just love my doctor.
That is all.
He is so freaking kind I can't believe it.
"How've you been?" he asks as he swings into the room. And as always, I am taken aback at just how darn cute is. Look- cute doesn't hurt in a doctor, especially if it's the friendly kind of cute that simply makes your heart happy. He seems so entirely approachable.
And then he started going over my blood work, congratulating me for GETTING the blood work done because he knows me and knows how hard that is for me. And everything was pretty good except for my cholesterol which is a fucking mess. I told him that I'd like to try and do something dietarily to help that.
"I will admit," I told him, "I could eat less pork."
He laughed. And agreed that I could try that.
We discussed Mexico. We discussed his little boy. He showed me his picture. He's adorable, just like his dad. He told me that he did not have one thing to fuss at me about. I told him that I wished, in that case, that I HAD brought him the dozen eggs I'd thought about bringing him. He let me know that he would love fresh eggs. That he's a vegetarian and eggs are an important part of his diet. He got me talking about chickens. He excused himself, went out for a moment and came back with a picture of a chicken that said on it something like, "When I grow up I want to retire and raise chickens."
"I keep that in my cubby," he told me. And then he told me where he'd gotten it and some backstory there which concerned his wife and a special place that means a lot to him. And we talked about chickens some more and all of a sudden he says, "Let me check your blood pressure again," because it had not been that good when the nurse had taken it because my blood pressure always spikes when I go to the doctor.
"No," I said. "It'll just be awful again."
But I got up on the table and he took it while I was still talking about the problem of too many roosters and damn if it hadn't gone down to a level that is not only normal but also the lowest of any reading I've had in a doctor's office in years.

I am so grateful I found this kind doctor. He is not afraid to transcend that wall between himself and the patient which is so very rare but which, for a patient like me, is so very important.

So. That's done.

And then I met Lily and Jessie at Costco with Maggie and August. Levon was at home with his daddy and the two three-year old cousins had already been to the library story time and were in a merry mood.

First it was tickle time.

Then Magnolia decided to ride on the bottom of the cart. "Come on, August!" she said. So he joined her.

This made them happy for at least half an aisle.
When we left the store, Maggie ran to the wall outside and said, "Take our picture!"

And so we did. I suggested that they kiss which only inspired August to jump off the wall entirely.

I love those kids so much. I told them at one point that they cracked me up.
"We crackies," said August.
"Yes you are," I told him.

And so the rest of the day has gone by with me in the best of spirits. Getting a doctor's appointment over with is tantamount to the relief a junkie feels when he's scored.
At least I would imagine.
Of course the feeling won't last forever but for right now, it's a real good high.

I got to see August again later on when Vergil and his friend Sam came out to borrow Mr. Moon's Jon boat. Not only did they bring August but they brought Sam's ten month old little boy who is gorgeous and has huge blue eyes and indescribably thick, long eyelashes. I wanted to grab him up and start nomming his big, beautiful cheeks but I did not. I just flirted from afar. August and I went to the trash and recycle place- our so very special Mer-and-August thing to do. He just loves sitting in that booster seat like a big boy and we even stopped at the Post Office on the way back.

"Thank you for helping me," I told him. 
"I help lots of people," he said. 
He does. 

I got six nice eggs today from my sweet hens. I have determined that perhaps at least five of the young chicks are roosters. 
I am making venison chili. 
I feel somewhat reborn and renewed. 
And although there may be chicken shit on my porch I would never, EVER serve fast food hamberders to any guest in my house. 
I'm just classy like that. 

Love...Ms. Moon