Wednesday, February 20, 2019

One Of Those Days

Gloomy weather, not raining, just gray and damp and uninspiring and not hot and not cold just cement curtains above us. And spring is coming, coming, coming so fast that I can't believe it, the rush of blossoms and of leaves. The Bradford pears just dropped their leaves a month ago it seems and now, they are already putting on new ones. The mulberry is leafed out and the little berries are forming, hard, green, and spiky now but they will soften, turn purple, and the birds will probably eat most of them and that is okay with me.

One of the Viv-Vera's is missing and there are more black feathers in the pump house than looks good. Of course, she could be sitting on a huge pile of eggs somewhere. Who knows?
Not me.
I know nothing.
I feel flat and uninspired. Not bad, really. Not overly depressed or angry or anxious or really anything. Like the weather, I am simply here, no glint or glow to spark my place in the universe.

I did get to see all three of my daughters today for which I was so grateful and that did bring me joy. My daughter May is the hardest working person I know and we rarely get to see each other so today I said, "Well, we shall go see her," and Lily and Jessie and I did. We met at the library where they had taken the kids to story hour. I just couldn't get myself to town in time for that particular pleasure but I still got to hang out with them awhile. And then we went to the restaurant where May works and surprised her and then we forced her to work even harder by all ordering salads which she has to make herself.
But it was SO good to see her.
My darling girl. Here are some pictures.

All the sisters. August was thinking about something. So was Levon. I have no idea where Maggie was, much less what she was thinking.

We make the children pose.

Maggie gives Levon the look. Or he gives Maggie the look.

His adorableness overcomes her. She reaches out.

And hugs him to her. She loves that baby so much. He's getting so big! And August is about to outgrow the overalls I embroidered for him. Oh well. He can pass them along. 

It's supposed to be cloudy again tomorrow. And warm. I really need to go take a walk and see if I can find an endorphin. I could use one. Maybe all of this flatness is merely a response to, yes, the weather, and also living in a world where a state has to pass a law to ban discrimination against "Black hairstyles." 
Was it legal before? 
The older I get, the less I understand. 

Tell me something good. I'd appreciate it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Lot Of This, A Little Of That

I got a visit from two boys and their mama today. Jessie decided that the quarantine period was over and out they came for some Mer time. I was very glad to see them. We were so busy that I forgot to take any pictures until they were leaving.

Levon loves this book. He is obsessed with it. It's a baby board book and the whole thing is about big trucks and other large vehicles and earth-moving machines. Talk about your stereotypes. 
He did play with the babies a little today. Not much. But a little. 
I remember when Hank and May were very young and a woman I knew also had a young child and she was incensed that she was finding it so hard to find non-gendered clothing for her little boy. I could not figure out what she was talking about. My kids mostly wore corduroy overalls and t-shirts. In primary colors. What was gendered about that? I will say that May had a little nightgown with a robe she wore as dresses. She was too young to make the distinction between day wear and night wear and now I realize she was just ahead of her time. She loved those things and for a time wore them, one after the other, to the exclusion of all other garments. She liked dancing in them. 
But she chose them. Not me.
I've always thought you should just give kids the option to play with a wide variety of toys to play with and a wide variety of books to look at and read. Same with clothing. They'll let you know what they're interested in. Maggie may love to play ball with her brothers but let's face it- her dollies are her favorite. What purpose would it serve to try and distract her from doll play to play with trucks if trucks aren't really her interest? Trust me, there are plenty of trucks around for her to play with. 
To go back to that story about the mother who couldn't find non-gendered clothing for her son, why couldn't she just have given him a choice of different clothes and different colors and let him pick? August and Levon sometimes wear what we would label "girl" clothes and so what if they get mistaken for the opposite sex when we go out? They're three and one. And no one has ever made them feel as if being a girl is a lesser thing than being a boy or being mistaken for a girl is shameful. It's just different. Pink and blue have no meaning at all to them except they're different colors. 
Of course in my family, gender is something we've all learned is in some ways a lot more complex than we think and in other ways, a lot less important than we've been led to believe. 
And I am so grateful for this. 

I'm not sure why I felt the need to step up on my soapbox right there. Was I defending Levon's choice to be obsessed with a "boy" book? 
That would be funny. 
Long story short- the kid loves trucks. 

When I heard that August and Levon were coming this morning I waited to go to the dump and the post office until he got here. 
Yeah. I know. I'm a great grandmother. 
Not a great-grandmother. Or is it greatgrandmother? I don't know. 
He loves that, though. Sitting in that big boy booster seat with just a seatbelt as we drive the entire block and a half to the dump. 
When we pulled out of the yard I said, "I have to be very careful."
"Why?" he asked. Of course. 
"Because you're in the car and you're precious. Did you know that you are precious?"
"Yes. Why?"
Oh my. 
When we got to the post office and I helped him get out of the car he asked, "Why I have to stay in the car at the dump but I can get out at the post office?"
"I guess I thought that the dump isn't very fun but the post office is."
He thought about that and didn't say anything so I guess my answer was sufficient. 
We talked about how the post office used to be a train station. 
"Do you know what that is?" I asked him. 
"Where the trains stop," he said. 
We talked about that. How the trains used to carry people and they would stop and get off or else buy tickets and get on at the train station. But that now it's a post office because the trains don't stop here anymore.
Oh god. 
Then he asked me if this was still Lloyd. I suppose he's trying to figure out what that means. This led to a discussion about how he lives in a city but I live in a village which is much smaller than a city.
"I like living in a little village," I told him.
"I like living in the city," he said. 
"You don't want to live in a village?" I asked. 
"No. I would miss my mudder and my fadder."
He really says that. 
Calling Alan Sherman. 
Three points if you get that reference. 

So. Bernie. 
My opinion on that is- Fuck you, Bernie! Don't you think you did enough harm in 2016? For Christ's sake. I will NEVER forgive him for taking votes away from Hillary. Never. In trying to win in an impossible situation he fucked our country so hard it may never recover. 
Well, the Russians had something to do with that too. 
And who knows who else?
Fuck him. And his ego. 
Go ahead. Tell me how great he is. I don't care. My point is valid and you know it. 
If I vote for another old white man in 2020 his name is going to be Joe. 

My god I miss Obama so bad it hurts my heart. 

All right. I don't have time to write about politics. Or the Catholic Church. Not unlike with Trump it would appear that the layers to the reeking rotten onion which is that institution never end. 
I swear. If I were an all-powerful god, I'd probably just do another great flood. This planet sure could use another cleansing of humanity.
Oh. Wait. 
We're going to do it for ourselves. 
Maybe not a flood this time but you know what I mean. 
Tragically, this is not a joke, simply a horrifying and terrifying truth. It's gone way past inconvenient and is now ghastly.

I'm going to go make some egg rolls now. Kathleen used to say that she was an ostrich who carried around her own bucket of sand to stick her head in. 
Aren't we all?
Still, we must eat in order to strengthen ourselves, our hopes, our resolve. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 18, 2019

Sometimes Doing Your Best Can Be Time Consuming

It would appear that Ms. Magnolia June has a new hobby. Or project. Either way, this could take a while. I doubt she is much daunted by the challenge.

I don't think I've felt as well today as I did yesterday. First, I slept too late if that's even possible, and had weird dreams. A different house was involved in these dreams but it was like all of the other house dreams in that it needed tons of work and cleaning and there were a multitude of people staying there who needed food and a place to sleep. We were buying this house and I kept saying, "But the seller has to take care of all of this."
Somehow that was not true.
Then, I picked up some Kleenex by the bed (as soon as I lay down at night my nose begins to run) to throw away and was stung by a wasp who was hiding in them. WHERE ARE THESE WASPS COMING FROM? There are not hundreds of them but almost every day we see one, looking stunned and maybe trying to fly or maybe not. They don't even all seem to be the same sort of wasp. WTF?

These things did not bode well for my day but honestly, the day went fine. I had to go to town to shop at Costco and Publix and for some reason that took me hours. No. Seriously. Literally hours. One reason was that every decision I had to make seemed to loom inordinately large. I had a list and I got everything on it, eventually, but it all just seemed so overwhelming. I almost bought a giant bag of limes at Costco that cost $5.99 because limes at Publix cost two for a dollar but then I thought about how I'd never use up all of the limes in the Costco bag and if I spent six dollars at Publix on limes I'd get twelve of them and that was more than I could use too and so I'd just get a few at Publix.
Does that make sense to you?
The bag of limes went in the cart and then came back out as I did this tortured reasoning.
And then at Publix there's the whole new arrangement thing and I did okay there but once again- which of the ten gazillion brands of canned tomatoes do I want? Same with cough syrup but that also included deciding exactly what sort of cough syrup concoction I needed.
With Dextromethorphan or without? Definitely night time, right? Because I don't really need it during the day. But what makes it night time? Oh yeah, Benadryl. How many drugs can you pack into one cherry-flavored liquid? And speaking of...sugar free cough syrup? It already tastes like shit so wouldn't sugar free be even worse? I think I'm more wary of sugar substitutes than I am of Dextromethorphan.
So that took awhile.
And then of course there's always the meal planning one does while in the store unless one has the forethought to do it beforehand. I knew what we were going to have tonight so that was fine but then I decided that I'd make egg rolls tomorrow and what all do you need for egg rolls?
Wrappers. Cabbage. Broccoli slaw. Green onions. Tofu. What else? Bean sprouts, water chestnuts? Sure.
Do I have sweet and sour dipping sauce?
Probably but better get some anyway, just in case.
This is why I end up with eight bottles of sweet and sour dipping sauce in my cabinet.
Or none.
Could go either way.

When I checked out (finally) the checker asked me, "So, what are your plans for the rest of the afternoon?"
It was three o'clock.
"Go home, unload all this stuff, put it away, finish the laundry, make supper, eat it, go to bed."
At least I had that all figured out.

I've got my smallest casserole dish filled with chicken enchiladas, ready to bake. I'm so proud. I only made eight of them, not thirty-two as per usual. I'm really trying hard not to make so much food. Leftovers are good but there is a limit to how much of them two people can eat.

And so it goes.

Here's Levon.

As I said to Jessie in a text after she sent me the picture, all he needs is a beer in the cup holder and I'm sure he'd be saying, "Yeah, think I'll kick back and watch a little wrestling now."
I hear that things are going better over at Jessie's. At one point, on Saturday, August had the cold with a fever, the puke-bug he'd gotten from Levon and also, the dislocated elbow. Levon had recovered from the puke virus but was getting the cold. 
At least we haven't gotten the stomach thing here. 
Knock wood.

I saw red clover blooming today. This means that spring is barreling down the highway whether I'm ready for it or not. I am a stubborn woman, though, and still have the duck on the bed and dammit, I refuse to take it off until it's March. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Mess Can Be A Very Good Thing

Ah- enough greens to call them a "mess." Do y'all say that where you live?
"Mama cooked a mess of greens last night."
Actually it would be more like, "Mama cooked a messa greens last night." To be accurate.

So, yes. I'm cooking a messa greens tonight. And baking a chicken. And I'm going to try the recipe to be found HERE for roasted yams. I only have sweet potatoes but honestly, I don't know the damn difference. IS there a difference? I am so enjoying my subscription to NYT's cooking. It has given me much inspiration and I am slowly adding recipes to "my" recipe box which is nice because it's a way to remember what I've cooked.

I've felt so much better today. When I woke up I thought I'd be spending the day in bed but slowly I came to life and actually did a little yard work. I trimmed a few roses although I have no idea what I'm doing when I trim roses. I don't even know when you're supposed to trim roses but this is Florida and things are sometimes forgiving of clumsy gardeners. When we moved to this piece of property there was a scraggly white rose growing in the back yard and the then-owner told me that no matter what I did to it, it would not die.
He was right.
Eventually, Mr. Moon moved it because it was in the way when he needed to pull the truck into that area of the yard and it has thrived in its new home by the garden. I cut it back hard today and mulched it with chicken house hay, which is to say, hay that has chicken shit in it. This will serve several purposes. Mulching, yes, and the poop for fertilizer, and the chickens will scratch around in it because that's what they do and will poop more and also loosen up the dirt around the rose.
Chickens can either be a gardener's best friend or their worst enemy, depending. Sometimes both. I will never be able to have pansies AND chickens at the same time because chickens love to eat the blooms. This makes me sad but not sad enough to get rid of my chickens.
Do you remember that I told you that Dearie had figured out how to flap up to the bird feeder to eat her fill of seeds? Well, now all of the chickens are doing it. Between the squirrels and the chickens, the cardinals and finches and so forth are left with little chance of getting anything to eat.
Such is life.
I also did a little weed-pulling and trimming in the front yard. Not much, but some.
And then I came in and ironed and no, that's not very exciting but I did find a new Netflix guilty pleasure to iron by which is "Dating Around." It's a short little Netflix original series. I'd not watched any of it because it looked like it would appeal mostly to the young folks, as they say, but I tried it today and got hooked. Yes, it's a dating show, blah, blah, blah but it's a little different and the people on it who go on these dates are quite varied. There are the usual young and beautiful straight people and there are gay people and there are older people and I like that. I think I've seen all of the episodes but one now and my favorite so far has indeed been the one with the older people. I say "older" because they were about my age and let's face it- I am older.
Older people don't have time for bullshit.
But hopefully, they do have time for love.

So now Mr. Moon has a least a week and a half's worth of crisp, ironed shirts to wear to work and that makes me feel good. Speaking of being older- there was a time in my life when I refused to iron. Just was not going to do it. It's not that I hated it so much it's just that I had some very unhappy associations with ironing but more to the point- why should I have to iron what he wore to work? And that's a valid point.
Now though, the kids are grown and so that part of my working life is over and yet he still goes to an office and it makes him feel loved and cared for when he puts those shirts on in the early morning. Plus, I just like to see his handsome self in them and as I have said before, ironing gives me a fine excuse to watch TV in the middle of the day.
It's a win-win for both of us, I think, that I would not have been able to experience as a crazy-busy younger woman with the responsibilities of children and part-time work and a house to keep up and meals to cook and the endless and never-ceasing chores of that part of my life when every moment that I was not obligated to spend on one of those things I hoarded and used for myself. I needed those moments as does every mother but things are different now.
And thus, I iron.

I just went into the kitchen to see this.

She is guarding the greens. Maurice is a good cat, despite her frequent use of claws and teeth. 
I suppose I better go cook them. 
The greens, I mean. 
Just wanted to make that clear. 

Here's to feeling better. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Good Lord!

Well, the curse of 2019 continues.
August started getting a cold again a few days ago (which he probably picked up in one medical office or another) and now I have it too. We both feel puny and tired and are congested and it's like some sort of Nightmare Groundhog Day.
This is so unusual for me. I hardly ever get sick but this year it's been one thing after another.
Oh well.
I slept some this afternoon and then I finally watched Coco. Have y'all seen this? From all of the praise it's gotten from people I know, I thought it was going to be a transcendent experience and that I would be sobbing my eyes out for half of it. At least.
But no.
It was pretty good. Not bad. Seriously okay. I did like the extremely Mexican viewpoint of it and a lot of the scenery (can you call it scenery when the movie is animated?) was totally Mexican. I could have sworn it was "shot" in the neighborhoods of Cozumel. So that was fun. And I loved the ancient Abuela. I did tear up at the very end but there was no sobbing involved on my part.
But, I can cross that off my bucket list.

So I really did not do anything today. I read some, I slept some, I watched a movie.
Hoo-boy. Really tearing it up in the world here lately.

I sure wish I had something interesting to say but I just don't.
And that's the way it is sometimes.
I'm boring myself here so I'll just say good-night and that I hope all is well with all of you.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 15, 2019

The News From Here

Blooming Japanese Magnolia

Well, it was about the sweetest Valentine's ever. We had such fun last night. Lon and Lis played with their from-way-back-in-the-day friend and fellow musician, Rick Kuncicky, at a very small but huge in the heart place called The Blue Tavern. Opened and run by musicians it's one of those special venues where you immediately feel at home and when Lon and Lis play in Tallahassee, it is like going to see family in a lot of ways. They and Rick were raised here and the sort of allegiance they get is never-ending so you always see the same people who gather to enjoy it all. We grow older but no less enthusiastic in our love for the music and the people who make it.
Rick is an amazing fingerpicking guitar player. Close your eyes and you might think you're listening to Les Paul. And I've known him for approximately forever and remember when he and his then-wife and his brother and his then-wife played in a band called Michelangelo a million years ago and I'd pay damn good money to hear them play once again. They were fabulous.
Rick's nephew was there last night and I remember the night he was born. He's heard the story more than once from a lot of different people because he was born during a music festival (although in the hospital, not at the festival) and I remember hearing that he'd arrived when I was at Smitty's Club which I have written about before. There was great jubilation to hear that he'd been born. That was the summer that every hippie woman I knew was pregnant and we all gave birth within weeks of each other. We were all so young and filled with life and brave and drunk on the joy of bringing that life into being, carrying our bellies proudly under our hippie Made In India dresses; we were goddesses all.
And this boy was one of those babies as was Hank.
In fact, he came up to me during a break and said, "I just want you to know that Hank is one of the biggest inspirations in my life."
"Mine, too," I said.
There was a family there, a man, a wife, and their daughter, and Lis had gone to high school with the wife and they've been friends since then. The daughter was differently abled, I guess you'd say and that is actually a descriptive phrase that I love although aren't we all differently abled? But she was so obviously adored by her mama and her daddy and she held on to them and talked to them and kissed them and before they left, she danced with her father, holding on to him with all of the love that any father would wish from his daughter and just seeing her safe there, in his arms, was almost more than I could bear. After the song was over, they took their leave and since they were sitting right in front of the stage, the girl reached out to Lis and told her she loved her and Lis said, "Come give me a hug," and the girl did and Lis said, "I love you, too."
The entire room was silent for a moment while we all struggled to get ourselves back together.
So it was like that.

When Lon and Lis arrived yesterday afternoon, Jessie was here with August and Levon. Lon and Lis are Jessie's fairy godfather and godmother and theirs is a life-long mutual love affair. August immediately glommed on to Lis and had her helping him with a puzzle in the library before we'd hardly said hello. Levon was shy but poked his head up from my arms or his mama's to ponder these strangers.
August is sporting a cast right now and no, nothing is broken.

I haven't written about it because Jessie feels terrible but the reason August is wearing the cast is that last weekend in the bathtub, August was kicking his brother and when Jessie told him to stop, he wouldn't (our perfect August? WHAT?) and she grabbed him up and in doing so, he got what is referred to as "nursemaid's elbow" which is a sort of elbow dislocation and it's very, very common. Not serious at all but she was devastated because he cried and wouldn't move his arm and quite frankly, Jessie has suffered from guilt a thousand times more than August has suffered from pain. He's been to three different doctors and the final one, at an orthopedic clinic, decided that he'd cast the arm for two weeks just to let it heal but I think that if Jessie didn't have insurance they would have done nothing. 
But. That's just my thinking. 

I believe he'll live. 
Meanwhile, he's hurtling through life basically one-armed as if that arm in the cast had been merely a luxurious and unnecessary appendage. He was helping me make bread in the first picture of him and was driving the tractor (don't worry, it's not running) in the second picture which also thrilled Levon. 

We didn't get home from the Blue Tavern last night until after midnight at which point I was way too old and tired for a martini but we managed to stay awake long enough to all enjoy a piece of the berry pavlova which I'd made and damn, I wish I had a picture. That stuff was GOOD! And pretty. 

This morning Mr. Moon had to go to work and so he was up and out fairly early and I didn't sleep too long and I made breakfast for the three of us who didn't have to get to a job and we sat around and enjoyed that, drinking coffee and chatting for a good long while before they had to pack up and leave. They're playing in Apalachicola tonight and Destin the night after that. They're calling it the Tri-County tour and it is. 
I just love those people so much. As I've said before, they know me as well as almost anyone on earth and despite that, they love me still. When they leave it's a true Southern good-bye which can last almost as long as the visit in some cases. There are hugs, there are kisses, there are OH! I-wanted-to-tell-you's! There are more hugs and kisses. There are thanks-for-coming's and there are see-you-soon's and there are don't-leave's!
And finally they do leave and there are shouts of I-love-you's! 
I dry my eyes and walk back into the house and give thanks for such friends. 

So that's how it's been. 
I've stayed close to home all day. 
Here. Lily sent me this picture.

The slam-dunk baby girl. 

And here's one more picture of Levon. 

He loves that book. 

And the native Buckeye I planted. 

It's about to put on its tender spring bloom. 

Lord, we need to pressure wash this house. Let's not even discuss painting it. 

We go on with love and with music, with food and with friends, with family and with sleep. 
We go on. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How I Am Celebrating Valentine's Day

Front Porch With Cat

Well. Thank goodness that occasionally I still get company because otherwise I would never do any cleaning around here. Although what I did today hardly qualifies as real cleaning and whenever I hear the phrase "deep cleaning" I sort of want to die. Wouldn't that require knee pads and a scrub brush? 
No thank-you.

But Lon and Lis are coming tomorrow for a very, very, way-too-short visit and so it was time to get out the white vinegar and Fabuloso and wash the rugs and chase a few tumbleweed-sized dust balls out from underneath the beds. 
While I was at it, I threw away a VCR player (YES! I SAID VCR!) and all of the attendant cords and took a huge pile of games that were on the sideboard in the dining room to the library where they're supposed to live although I left all of the cards and the ever-favorite matching game where they were. As I was doing all of this I was listening to a book in which one of the characters is a hoarder who was defined as "someone who is pathologically attached to inanimate objects."
I do not think I am pathologically attached to inanimate objects but I know that it's hard for me to throw things away. I believe I fall in the normal range of this sort of behavior but still, I like the perspective of that definition and will tuck it into my back pocket to remind me that it is not healthy in the least to hold on to shit that really has no meaning in my life. And as I went about my tidying today I kept thinking about that and it helped me to get rid of a few things. There are plenty more I want to get rid of but some of them require Mr. Moon to use his muscles. A TV in our bedroom that we NEVER watch. An old iMac which I loved to death. I wrote a few novels on that thing and every moment of that writing felt like heaven. 
Oh, the memory of plugging in a new Mac and hearing that chime which sounds a little bit like the chord on Abbey Road right between "And In The End" and "Her Majesty's A Pretty Nice Girl". That was magic for me. 
But I do not need an old, inoperable iMac to remind me of that. It has served its purpose and I am quite ready to let it go. 

I also made a vegetable and venison soup that I fussed with and added to all day long. I am so happy with my newly repaired simmer burner. It's exquisitely controllable for the lowest flame possible and I wonder if I'll ever use my Crock-Pot again. Probably not. This is so much better. 
The soup has all of the vegetables in it and after it sits all night in the refrigerator will be even better tomorrow. Lon and Lis are playing in Tallahassee tomorrow night and will be getting here in the late afternoon and I figure that if they want a little sustenance before they play this will do the trick and if we're all hungry after the gig, it will be waiting. I'll make a nice loaf of bread tomorrow and my love was in every bit of every part that went into that soup which will make it a fine Valentine's Day meal. 
Lis and I were talking today about how we both used to look forward so much to Valentines from our sweeties. How we put so much importance on those cards, those gifts and how now, we don't care a thing about it all. We know these men love us. They prove it every day. And they know we love them. 
So. Soup and bread and listening to music played by beloved people who have been beloveds for forty years with my beloved of over thirty-five years. 
And I might make some sort of lovely dessert and oh, yeah, there will probably be "Valentinis" as Lis called martinis that you drink on Valentine's Day. 

Ooh boy. I sure am glad I still get company occasionally. Well, at least THIS sort of company. 

Happy Valentine's Eve, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Kid Stuff

Another busy day. Went to town and ran some errands, saw August and Levon, read August some books. Came home and finished up a few chores I had here and then Mr. Moon and I went to see Gibson's first grade musical presentation.
It was pretty awesome. The theme was animals. Always a popular subject. Gibson is the opposite of how Owen always is in these situations who looks like he'd rather be anywhere in the world but on the stage. It's painful to watch him. But Gibson gets into it with all the joy that little guy has in him. He sings and sways and does hand movements and and smiles and just enjoys himself tremendously.
So we did that.
And then we rushed over to another school where Owen had a basketball game.

And that was pretty exciting and it was fun to watch my big guy play basketball. 
His team lost but no one seemed too upset about it. 

And honestly, that's it for my exciting news today. It was a little out of the ordinary to find a trollish comment on my last post. I swear- I think that's the first troll comment I've ever gotten unless you count spam. And even this one wasn't too personal as it was mostly directed towards all of the Baby Boomers whom she (he?) wishes would just drop dead. 
We're working on it, honey. It'll happen. 

Let's see what tomorrow brings. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 11, 2019

You'll Find No Household Tips Here

This morning as I was doing something utterly useless online, Dearie came onto the porch for her morning ritual of trying to figure out where to lay her egg and how to get into that space and sometimes sitting for awhile and then leaving and then coming back and so forth and while she was just walking about she jumped up on the table to stare at me.
I haven't fed her on the porch in months and I completely got the feeling she was just coming to check me out and say hello. Which was fine with me. She's such a sweet and bold bird. She's been laying her eggs in the paper bag with the shallots in it and that's what she did today, too.

I love that chicken. 

So I actually drove down to White House Road for my walk today and it went well. I didn't walk so far but my pace was quite good. Unless my Map My Walk App is wonky which is always a possibility. But I was glad to have done that and then I spent about forty-eight hundred hours trying to clean the hard water spots off of my glass shower door. 
Not really but honestly, that's been like one of my hobbies lately- trying to clean that door.
I've googled the problem and nothing all the experts recommend has worked for me. Today I sunk to the level of attempting to do it using toothpaste and then vinegar and no, that didn't work either. 
Fuck it. 
I ain't Martha Stewart who no doubt has an entire household staff to deal with that sort of shit and if her shower doors become uncleanable she can just buy some new ones, have them delivered and installed. 
Problem solved. 
For Martha. 
I really don't have any problems with Martha Stewart. She handled her jail time with a great deal of grace if you ask me, she seems to love her chickens, and besides that (and most importantly) she is friends with Snoop Dogg and if I envy her for anything it's that and that alone. 

What the hell am I talking about?
I have no idea.

So tonight I'm going to cook another NYT's recipe, this one for orecchiette with cherry tomatoes and arugula although I have no orecchiette and will just use some sort of pasta that I have in the cabinet. I sure do have arugula though. Finally my greens are at least plentiful enough for regular salads and we have been enjoying that so much. Last night I made a salad of mixed greens and blueberries and apples and strawberries and toasted pecans and blue cheese with a sort of sesame, tamari, ginger dressing. 
Was it good?
Does Martha Stewart sleep on ten billion thread count sheets made by blind nuns in a cave in Provence every night?
Amen, mama. 

I do have to say that the arugula is already bolting and dammit, I am NOT ready for summer. I came back from my walk sweating today. The violets are blooming, the Ashe magnolia has put on its little green velvet gloves, ferns are busting up light green through the dirt, the Japanese magnolias are blooming, and yes, as we speak the frogs are deafening. They want love and they want it now. 
Y'all! I don't want to put the duck away yet. I don't want to have to turn on the AC. I'm not tired yet of my Goodwill cashmere. 

Well, what I want has nothing to do with what is and that's just a fact, sad as it may be. 

Okay, for your viewing pleasure I give you this. 

I'd apologize for posting it before if I have but I won't because it's funny enough to watch twice.
I sure wish I could have Mr. Dogg over for a meal. I may not be Martha Stewart but I feel certain that he and I could be friends.
In my dreams.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Oh Yeah, It's Sunday

Today has been one of those days where everything feels off a step. A tiny beat behind the music messing up the rhythm. We all have those days. Nothing really horrible, just tiny speed bumps like the strips they lay before a four-way stop at a big intersection to tell you to slow down as they interrupt the smoothness of the ride.
I can't even point to any incidents to illustrate this. It's just felt this way.
Something's off.

Right now the chickens are deciding roosting arrangements. Ringo and his three hens always sleep in trees these days and more and more of Dearie's children are joining them at night. There is fussing and great flapping of wings as the chickens prove their birdness by flying up into the branches. I can't help but wonder what it is that motivates these wayward chickens to sleep outside. I see no real benefit to it. The two roosters may feel as if the hen house just isn't big enough for both of them but in all actuality, it certainly is. Up until recently they even slept in the same nest box but something has changed that. The trees are certainly not as safe to sleep in, I would think, and sometimes it's cold and sometimes it's raining. Plus, in the mornings, the tree-sleepers do not have access to the coop where the feeders are which is a huge thing, I would think. They have to wait for me to go and open up the door of the hen house so that they can rush in and eat.
Oh, who knows?
Not me.
I tell you what I do know- I have too many fucking roosters.

These are two of the Dearie/Liberace chicks. The one in the rear is a hen, I think, while the one in the foreground definitely seems to be growing tail-feathers and is noticeably larger.

Here are two of the Dearie/Ringo chicks and aren't they beautiful? I have a feeling they are both roosters. I don't think the females are this brightly colored although the one on the left MAY be a hen as her tail feathers seem to point down like his (her's) Aunt Vera or Viv's whose butt is also in the picture. 
And that's just a few of the eight. I haven't actually made a count of them all yet as to who appears to be male and who appears to be female but casual observance seems to show a preponderance of males and I do not know what I am going to do and yes, I have discussed this before but this is one of the things I've pondered today as I went about the yard work I was doing. 

I trimmed and pulled and dug up roots and then I finished weeding the carrots and was attacked by ants who stung me. The only thing that made all of this bearable was the book I'm listening to which is Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I think that Amazon has done a series based on this book but I haven't seen it and just by the name of it, had some preconceptions which have turned out to be completely false. Some may call the book by that horrible name Chick Lit but I am enjoying it tremendously and the narrator is great and the characters are excellent and the insights and writing itself keep surprising me. So there is that. 
Why is a book whose main characters are all women called something so demeaning as Chick Lit? What do they call a book whose main characters are all men? Do they call it Dick Lit? No. They do not. They simply call it literary fiction. 
Fuck that. 

As you may be able to tell from my use of the word "fuck" in this post, I am not in the best of moods. I do not know why. I guess it's all part of this speed-bumpy, off-rhythm day. And I should be in a good mood! I actually did some physical labor AND yes, I did clean out the knife drawer. I can now open it without something getting stuck. 

So impressive. I know. 

Well, some days are just like this. You have to just get on with things until the end of it and go to sleep and hope that you'll found the rhythm again in the morning. 

Dance in peace, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Sleeping Is The Decluttering Of The Mind And It Sure Sparks Joy In Me

That is not a good photo, obviously.
The bee is in shadow but it was the best I could do this morning. I wanted to grasp the stem of the camellia and tip it up towards the light but I did not dare to touch it lest I disturb the bee who was so industriously making love to the blossom in the privacy of that deep, shadowed pinkness.

I was not industrious at all today. In fact, I slept for an hour and a half this afternoon on a bed that didn't even have a sheet on it. Last night I bled from a healing burn on my forearm I'd gotten a few days ago while pulling a large sheet pan out of the oven.
Chef scars. We all have them. Even if we're not chefs.
Anyway, it was just a little blood on the bottom sheet but I was gathering laundry and threw that in with it and when I laid down on the bed, I pulled the duck up over me and did not care a bit that I was lying on the mattress cover which is rather soft in and of itself. Jack was already napping there and he moved to my side and rested his body against mine and we slept hard. When I woke up I truly did not know what time of day or even year it was. I had surrendered to sleep entirely.

It was so nice, having Jessie and the boys here last night. After we got the children to bed we had martinis and ate our own supper and watched a show on Netflix about huge, crazy houses and the two we saw were made of concrete and steel and they were horrible, horrible and I would much rather live in a cabin in a state park than one of those things. Or maybe even a tent. If it was a nice tent. It's called "The World's Most Extraordinary Homes" and yes, they were extraordinary but not in a good way. The two people who host the show kept saying things like, "I love the way that they have created this intimate space within all of this industrial design," blah, blah, blah. What a tribute to the saying Just because you can doesn't always mean you should. At least in my universe. But still we enjoyed making fun of this bullshit while we ate our eggplant parmesan.

August slept well in our room as he always does and when he woke up he slipped out without us even knowing but soon he was knocking on our door. He wanted his Boppy to come and watch TV with him. Boppy did just that and I got up and started making waffles and bacon. While I was cooking, Levon, who is notoriously shy of almost everyone including his grandfather, went up to the big chair where Boppy and August were sitting and raised up his arms and snuggled in with them. He could not possibly have made Glen happier.

He's slowly coming around to letting us all love on him. 

Every time I make waffles I think about how once, when August was quite small, we were in Asheville and had gone to a restaurant for breakfast and August was starving and in his tiny little baby-boy voice he told the waiter, "Waffies. Please." He was so plaintive. 

He ate every bite on that plate except for some of the bacon. 
Waffies still rock the child's world. 

After breakfast Jessie packed things up and she and her babies and Mr. Moon headed out to a soccer game of Gibson's. I stayed behind and leisurely cleaned up and did laundry and tackled the junk drawer. 
I only really have four drawers in my kitchen. Two of them are in the kitchen island and one holds silverware, the other random knives and cutting implements including the pastry cutter and knife sharpener and crab crackers. In other words, another sort of junk drawer. I keep the utensils I actually use in various jars and pitchers beside the stove and on the kitchen island, and the knives I use in a knife holder on the island too. One of the other two drawers in the kitchen holds aluminum foil and plastic wrap (which I am truly trying to use less of) and wax paper and it did hold rubber bands and the canning funnel and the small regular funnel and a small strainer and the drawer is not big and things were always getting stuck and this morning I said, "This thing is going to be the death of me!" With vehemence. 
And finally, the last drawer is the junk drawer. 
So. I cleaned it out. We have enough batteries to light up many nights and those stayed although they are now all contained in bags instead of just rolling around randomly. I made a donate pile in which the set of steak knifes has gone. Steak knives? Really? Also going away are about twenty shish kabob skewers. Did I go through a shish kabob phase? Why? When? I threw out some telephone cords. You know- real telephone cords? One end plugs into a phone and the other end plugs into the wall where the phone line comes in? Remember those? I discovered I have many, many boxes of matches and one matchbook from The Stardust casino in Las Vegas which is now gone. I'm holding on to that for posterity. I threw away instruction booklets for appliances we no longer own. I got rid of other items in there which were just holding space and gumming up my life and was thus able to put some of the stuff from the aluminum foil drawer in the larger drawer and so my life will now be better and will spark more joy. 
Please. I do love that phrase. I'm using it a lot in my mind. 
Tomorrow I may attack the knife drawer. I hope it doesn't attack me back. 
Perhaps I can slowly take control of my kitchen, my closets, my life. I know I've vowed and sworn to do this before but hey! This could be the year!

The guy who lives next door has band practice at his place tonight. I have to say that his band has improved a small, tiny amount from a few months ago when I was finally at the end of my rope and went over there and knocked on the door and told him I JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! 
Not a whole lot of improvement but some. And I can tell they're practicing on the other side of the house. Still. I could live without it. 
Other than that, all is peaceful here in Lloyd and Mr. Moon should be returning soon from an FSU basketball game. He's been busy all day. After Gibson's game he took Owen shopping for baseball cleats and basketball shoes. 
He's such a good grandfather. 
And Owen has feet like a St. Bernard puppy. 

I think I'll go make a salad. And there is silence from next door. Hopefully they're getting so stoned that they won't be able to play anymore although having known way more than my share of musicians, I know that that is not really possible. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 8, 2019


There's August in his dress. Honestly, it's sort of funky and it's too short but he wanted a dress and mission accomplished. He's watching Tarzan on the TV. Not with his Bop because his Bop isn't home yet. I just went in there to check on him and he said, "Don't watch this, Mer! It's too scary!"

Jessie and the boys are spending the night because Vergil's out of town and mostly it's just fun. And mostly I'm just going to give you a few pictures because my day has been filled to the brim and I need to get in there and help Jessie get those boys fed and make up August's bed. 

Here's a beautiful picture.

Maggie and Levon at lunch. Honestly, this may be one of my favorite pictures ever. 

August learning to sew. This involved sitting beside me and asking "Why?" every 3.2 seconds. I tried very hard to tell him why and show him things. He can now probably sew his own dress. 

Levon being completely and utterly entertained by sticking his hand in a glass of water. 
Life is good. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 
Love...Ms. Moon

Lagniappe To Last Night's Post

Right before Maggie and I left my house yesterday to go pick up her brothers at the bus stop, she had informed me that her babies were awake and needed milk. Earlier she had put them in the cradle and covered them up and rocked them to sleep and sung them a lullaby before she and I played a game of cards. But then, as good mothers do, she had heard them wake up and knew what they needed. She came to me and asked for milk in a cup for them and I got her some pretend milk in a sippy cup. Then I got busy getting myself ready to leave and finding her shoes and putting them on her and getting her in her car seat.

When I got home last evening, I found her babies waiting patiently for their milk right where she'd put them.

I love that little girl. She has stolen her MerMer's heart. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

WHOA! (Warning: Many Run-On Sentences Ahead)

I've been busy today doing little bits of this and little bits of that and taking care of Maggie and then her brothers this afternoon because Jason and Lily's schedules overlapped and I happily stepped in and helped. That's the purple dress that I bought Maggie the other day and I did take a picture of her in it that shows the beautiful embroidered front but I did not realize that I was also taking a picture of a toilet and even I have my standards.
(Is that a pun? Isn't there a Standard plumbing fixtures company?)
Anyway, I also worked on August's dress and did other household chores and the guy who fixes stoves came by and changed my life, I'm sure, by fixing my simmer burner which for about the past six months has not worked. He's got that thing lighting and set so that it'll go so low that as he said, "Butter wouldn't melt off paper over that."
I'm so happy.

Maggie and I played some cards in a sort of game. She's so damn funny and cute. She gives me this look with wide open eyes and a round mouth and says, "WHOA!" I mean, she's freaking adorable. In that picture she's looking at the train which is passing by. "I want to ride the train," she told me.
"Right?" I said.
The other day she informed me that some trains have seats on them for people to sit on. "You ride the train with me?" she asked.
"Oh, Maggie. That would be so much fun!"
And it would.

She did not want to leave the house but we had to go get her brothers from the bus stop and I told her that I'd take them all to a little store where they could each buy a toy. I was talking about the Bad-Girls-Who-Get-Saved-Jesus thrift store, of course.
We drove to the bus stop and she fell asleep before the bus got there and the boys were so excited to see me and then when I told them we could go to the thrift store they were ecstatic. Gibson had a riddle book and the whole way there he read riddles to us and we tried to answer them.
"Why did the pony gargle?"
"Because he was a little horse."
"Which animal always knows the time?"
"A watch dog."
I was so proud when I knew the answer.
But I was a lot prouder of Gibson for being able to read the riddles. He's a very good reader.

The kids each picked out a toy at the BGWGSBJ thrift store which was fun except for the fact that there was a creepy-looking guy there wearing a silver cross around his neck who appeared to need to shop for toys at the same time as my grandchildren. I went into extreme Grandmother Bear mode and did not even avert my eyes from him. WTF, people? Goddam.
But they got great toys. Gibson got some sort of kit to make different animals with things I can't even describe and Owen got a completely new, sealed Power Rangers Mega Block kit to make a Power Ranger. Or something. And Maggie got an eight pack of unopened, still-in-the-box Play Dough.
I drove them back to their house and Gibson read us some more riddles.
They all got into their toys but a problem arose when Maggie decided after about ten minutes of Play Dough time that she wanted to play with some of the pieces of Gibson's kit. She'd only slept for about fifteen minutes and she became inconsolable and despite everything I did or said she would not stop wailing so finally I told Gibson to PLEASE SHARE! and he did but then he started to cry and it turned out that Maggie didn't want to share, not really, she wanted the whole thing.
So now I had two kids crying and Gibson undid what he'd made and said, "Maggie, you are making me do this!" and I said, "No, you're choosing to do it yourself," and Maggie was crying in the other room and I finally just said, "Okay, y'all do what you have to do," and eventually Maggie stopped crying and started playing with a baby doll and Gibson went back to making his animals.
And then Jason got home.
By this time no one was crying and they all gave me hugs and kisses and I drove home and here I am.

I better go make supper.

I think I'm going to sleep really, really well tonight.
I hope you do too.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

What Place Is This? Where Are We Now?

So how in the world have I missed this mess within half a mile from my house? It COULD be the result of a person with some sort of dyslexia trying to write "dog" but I'd bet the ranch a Trump supporter put it there. That just says it all, doesn't it?
I watched the damn stupid SOTU speech last night and was absolutely amazed that the man could read that many words for so long. I'm sure you know what I thought of the speech and I'm sure we can agree that Nancy Pelosi rocked the joint and was the boss of everyone without saying a word.

I loved all the ladies in white. They did some ruling of their own. And I was really looking forward to Stacey Abrams' response to the speech but I have to tell you that I was slightly disappointed. She was too nice and too pleasant. I wanted to see a little more fire which I know she's capable of. Her time, of course, was very limited but still- there was so much that Trump did not talk about which she could have brought up and I wish she had. 

Speaking of fire, Jessie had a small one today in her car. She's been having battery problems and bought a new one yesterday and put it in the car and today when she was driving, all sorts of lights lit up and the car stopped running and most fortuitously she was on a road where she could slowly ease off the road. 

She noticed that it was smoking under the hood, raised it up and saw flames whereupon she got the boys safely out of their seats and away from the vehicle. 
In another stroke of luck she was just a few minutes away from where her daddy works and he got there before the fire department. 
Mercifully, no one was hurt, the car was towed to the shop, and Mr. Moon had a car he could lend to Jessie.  Hero Daddy. And of course Vergil had just left this morning for a work trip to Chicago. Isn't that always the way? I'm sure August had a million questions, all of them beginning with "why?" 

Moving on. I actually took a walk this morning which is when I took the picture up at the top. I also took this one. 

That's better. 
I waved to the No Man Lord guy and several other people. I didn't drive over to White House Road to walk, I just walked the sidewalk as far as it goes in Lloyd and came on back. A small walk but a beginning. 

And y'all! I cut out August's dress on the table on my back porch and why have I not been doing this forever? Thank every one of you for suggesting a table because it just never occurred to me. And this really is a perfect table for cutting on. It's scarred and old and worn and kid-painted. I do have to clear all my stuff off of it but that's no big deal. So thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. I got it cut out and more than halfway sewn. It's a very simple pattern. 
Which does not mean that the seam ripper hasn't already been in use. 
To be honest. 

I've got snapper filets marinating in mojo and orange juice and lime juice and achiote which I brought back from Cozumel in the form of paste and liquid. I'd never seen the liquid before and that's what I'm using tonight. I've picked some mustards and a few collards and kale from the garden and am going to saute those and cook some rice and that's going to be our supper. 

It's felt so much like spring today that I've been thrown back into fifteen years ago when we moved in here and honestly, I'm a little sad. I would not mind some more cold, or at least our definition of it. I am most likely just looking for an excuse to hibernate which is what I still feel like doing. I think about all of the spring-things that need doing and I sigh in resignation. 
At my age, the seasons roll around so fast that I can't keep up with where we are on the calendar. 
I suppose I need to slow down and pay attention. 

One more thing- today is the twenty-fourth anniversary of the death of a dear friend of mine. Her's was the first death I really and truly experienced. I went with her through diagnosis, treatment, and finally, death. We were the sort of friends who had no secrets and when she went on, there were four of us who loved her holding her and she went so peacefully, so quickly, that it was a gift to us all and I love her forever. And oh god, how I miss her still. 
Susan Suchan. 
Smartest woman I probably ever knew. And I probably danced with her more than I've danced with anyone else in my entire life. 
There's so much more I could say but for now, I'll just say that I'm so lucky that she was in my life. I can look back and smile, even as I weep. And she made me feel more than ever that death is not anything at all to fear. 

Love...Ms. Moon 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Too Tired To Title

We did go to see the lovely and wonderful Melissa today. I got my hair trimmed and we figured out that it was the first time in eighteen months.
Yeah, my hair's gotten pretty long.
She only cut about an inch or so off so I can't even tell the difference.
Jessie got a darling cut. I didn't get a picture but I've asked her to send me one.
And August was about to die to get his hair cut too. So Melissa put him up in the chair and wrapped the cape/drape over him and pretended to use the electric clippers on his neck and sideburns and as you can see, he liked the results. He also got the powder brushed onto his neck with the big brush and I think he enjoyed that part too.
Levon is still quite content with his baby-mullet and he and I went outside and explored around the little courtyard. He was more comfortable with me today than I think he ever has been. When I got to their house he was in the hallway and I could hear him saying, "Hi! Hi!" and he came running to me and showed me his truck and he even held his arms up for me to pick him up. Since Mr. Moon and I babysat for him a few weeks ago, he's been shy of me, afraid, I think, that his mama is going to leave again but today he didn't seem to have those fears and while Jessie and August was getting their hair cut, Levon let me hold him and he sleepily and happily removed coins from my wallet into my open palm and then put them back into the wallet, over and over again. His mama used to do things like that. I called her my "project" baby because she would amuse herself for good long periods of time by doing simple things like moving blocks from one place to another or sorting toys. August, on the other hand, was far more interested in the prospect of me giving him some of my change. He's already starting to figure this money thing out, as children all do eventually.

I took the two different fabrics to show August and yes, of course he chose the one all of you thought he would. Dinosaurs doing construction. I do like that print although the camping one charms me even more. Perhaps I'll make Maggie a dress out of that one. Or a quilt.

And that was the highlight of my day. I STILL don't feel that great. Mr. Moon had to go back to the doctor yesterday. He's been having headaches again and I could tell just from his voice that his sinus infection was not cured despite a full course of antibiotics. The doctor put him on a different antibiotic AND a round of steroids which no one wants to do but come on. The doctor told him that the next step would be a CT scan of his sinuses and his brain which is really reassuring. I told him that he didn't have a brain tumor. I mean- it's obvious his sinuses are still fucked up and besides that, he got his nose broken so many times when he was playing basketball that he's already had to have surgery a long time ago and they told him he'd no doubt have to have it again so hey! Let's go with the meds! As for me, I don't feel bad enough to go to the doctor. I really don't think I've developed a secondary infection, I just keep having what seem like cold symptoms.
Well, it's warming up and today felt for sure like spring. Time to get my peas planted but I am discouraged about the garden. The chickens got in the other day and ate the collards to the ground along with most of the kale. Thankfully they leave the mustards and arugula and carrots alone.

Going to watch the State of the Union tonight?
I doubt we will although it's sort of like craning your neck when you pass a damn car wreck. WHAT MIGHT HE SAY TONIGHT?
Oh god have mercy on our souls.

All right. Here's two pictures I stole from Facebook.

Time to go make the gourmet supper. 
I'll check in tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 4, 2019

A Rare Shopping Outing

How can it be that the trillium are already blooming again? I would never have even thought to look but I finally got out the garden cart to pick up branches in the front yard and there they were. And it was almost spring-like today. The skies were blue and the temperature got up into the high sixties. Last week's cold is as gone and forgotten as the wisp of a dream.

I went to town today.
Boy, did I go to town.
I wanted to get some more bug flannel to make August a dress. And go to Publix.
Period, the end.
But I realized I needed to replace my phone case because my $6.99 case cracked but hey! It lasted all through Mexico and then some so whatever. I went to TJ Maxx because I was close to it when I exited the interstate to get to the side of town I needed to be on and shopped around and saw a dress that I had to get Ms. Magnolia because it was just so dang cute. And I got a phone case. This one cost $7.99.
Big spender.
Trader Joe's was right next to TJ Maxx so I ran in there and got a few fun items like those reusable waxed bowl covers and a giant shiny eggplant. Always good times at Trader Joe's.
By this time I was hungry so bought myself some lunch.
Then on to Joann's where I could not find the bug flannel but they had so many cute prints that I think a little guy would like a dress made out of.

These were two I considered. 
I ended up, though, buying enough of two different prints to make more than one dress because they were just so darling. 

I'll take them both to show August tomorrow when I go in to have my hair trimmed with Jessie who is getting her hair cut too. I'm looking forward to that because we'll get to see Melissa. Whom we adore. 
Which do you think he'll pick? 

After Joann's I had to step next door into Tuesday Morning to look for rugs. I have suddenly decided that I need rugs and that's all there is to it. They had a lot of rugs but none sparked joy in me. 

And then finally, on to Publix where I got my real groceries and by the time I got home it was almost four o'clock and I was exhausted but dammit, I wanted to clean up those branches and so I did. 
And found the trillium. 
And picked more camellias. 
Winter's beautiful bounty and coming-spring's first true sign. 
This is a good time of year in North Florida. 

The singing frogs agree. 

Love...Ms. Moon