Friday, May 31, 2019

Maggie Says I Am A Good Pee-er

Mr. Moon did indeed get home last night and he did kiss me and he got up before I did and was just about out the door for work when I finally got up at 8:30.

For some reason I thought that maybe he'd not go into work today or perhaps go in late or...something.
"I didn't make you a lunch," I said.
"That's all right," he told me and gave me a hug.

We ended up meeting for lunch in town anyway. It was Owen and Gibson's last day of school before summer vacation and we got together at the restaurant where May works which was not great timing on our part because the health inspector showed up today and as anyone who has ever worked in food service knows. that's just damn stressful.
Plus it was busy.
But we got good lunches anyway because May is a professional although we didn't go through our usual routine of hundreds of hugs.

August and Gibson. I like Gibson's hair.

Levon and his mama. When I came into the restaurant, he puckered up and I leaned over and got a kiss from him. He's starting to be more affectionate and I love it. 

And I didn't get one other picture. Not one. 

I'm in a slough of despair here lately. I don't know what's going on. It appears to me that I am refusing to enjoy my life. I'm going through all of the motions but it all feels a bit lifeless. 
Plod, plod, plod. 
That's what it feels like. 
I never feel as if I have anything to offer when it comes to conversation or social situations. I feel like an observer and not a participant. Not with the children, so much. They are so present in themselves that it's almost impossible not to join them there on that level. I took Maggie to the restroom with me today because she said she needed to go and as I sat on the toilet she said, "Good job, peeing, Mer!" and how can you not respond to that in kind?
"Thank-you, Maggie," I said. 
It's been a long time since I was congratulated on my peeing ability. 
Sorry if that's a bit too personal but the fact of the matter is, we all pee. If we don't, we die so it's a pretty important function. 

And that was about the highlight of my day. 
I came home and weeded some beans and corn and then started pulling more crocosmia in the backyard near the porch. I couldn't make it much longer than an hour at these chores. Although the temperature had fallen to a relatively balmy 91, it feels more humid and thus, still miserable. It almost looked like we might get some rain but it passed without touching us and the forecast doesn't call for more until next Friday and that's a ridiculous amount of time to be forecasting for and doesn't mean shit. 

One thing I did do today was to sign us up for a free trial of HBO so that we can watch the Deadwood movie tonight. I've been looking forward to this for a long time. As I may have mentioned before, I think that Deadwood is the best thing I've ever seen on TV. The language slays me and I'm not just talking about the cursing which is absolutely the most profoundly and perfectly profane use of cussing I've ever heard. 
I stand in awe. 
No, it's not just that. It's the Elizabethan slant and tilt to it all with the vulgarity fitted in so sweetly and naturally that I swoon. 
And oh my god- the characters and the actors who portray them! 
And the set, which is a thing of wonder. 
The writing, the plots, the whole dang thing is just so excellent. 
So yes, I am looking forward to that. 

And I suppose this is all I have to say this evening. I'm not even going to go into my usual, "This too shall pass, I know that...blah, blah, blah."
And I'm not feeling inclined to list all of the many reasons I have for being grateful. 
I am grateful. Fucking grateful. 
I guess I'm going to just "sit with my feelings" as the newest advice goes when it comes to these things. 
Yeah. I'll sit with them. And sleep with them. And weed with them. And cook with them. And do the dishes with them. And make the bed with them. And obviously, write with them. 

Time to cook the supper. 

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Florida In All Of Its Wild Glory, Or...Too Much Nature, Part Nine Hundred And Forty-Seven

Well, Ms. Moon, are you going to spend your entire summer in a river?
I just might.
The Wacissa was back to its beautiful self today and not too crowded. This is all about to change because school is ending and mothers, desperate for free things to do with their children to keep them from killing each other with boredom during the long, hot days of vacation will be hauling kids by the van loads to the river but it sure is nice now.
Soon the older kids will be there too, the middle school and high school aged kids, full of hormones and that itchy adolescent feeling that something should be happening.
As I always say, boys that age are supposed to be out hunting the mastodon but these days that's not possible and so they find other ways to channel that energy and let's face it- it can be annoying. They'll line up for the rope swings and they'll bring their music which they feel must be played loud enough for everyone to enjoy. They'll show off for each other and curse with great vigor and skill. The girls will be aware of each and every move and romances will begin as romances have always begun in summer and always will be.
Ooh boy.

But for today, Owen and Gibson were some of the oldest children there and little ones splashed in the shallow water near the beach and dug in the sand

and played without regard for kinship or even first names. Maggie made friends with a little girl about her age and they spent the better part of an hour taking turns pulling each other on a boogie board. I went out to the water to dunk my body and cool off and Maggie paddled out to me and hugged me and then said, "I have to go play with my girl," and paddled back off for more boogie board adventures.
Lily says that Maggie refuses to call other little girls by their names. They are all "girl" to her.

It really was a beautiful day. Not as hot, and breezey in the shade although the yellow flies still tormented us. At least if you're at the river when you're bit you can submerse the itchy places in the cold water and that does help. We all brought fun food but nothing too junky and it's so true that food eaten outdoors is always the best food.
Here are some pictures that Lily took:

Owen and August on the dock. I just mentioned yesterday how sweet Owen and Gibson are to August and Levon and it's true. When it was almost time for every one to leave today Lily wrapped up August in a towel and held him like a baby and crooned to him and he smiled and snuggled up next to her bosom. Owen held his arms out and said, "Oh, what a beautiful new baby you have! Let me hold your new baby!" And Lily handed him over, the little sunflower-headed boy in his towel and Owen told him that he was such a nice new baby. August loved it. 

Ms. Magnolia June, swimming in the cold water of the Wacissa. 

And this one is blurry for some reason. Something on the lens? Whatever, it's adorable. 

I saw the daughter-in-law of two of my oldest friends and she was with two of her three kids. Their youngest is graduating high school tonight. How can this be? Her husband was born a few days after Hank the summer that every hippie woman I knew got pregnant. 
Speaking of fertility (and we were, weren't we?) a woman I vaguely know but who is quite well-known in these parts because she is the mother of eleven children was also there with a few of her brood. She and her husband are indeed Christians and she home schools her kids and for all I know, she's pregnant with their twelfth but I have no evidence for that. She is one of the most placid mothers I've ever seen and her children obey her every word. She never has to raise her voice to them. She speaks, they listen, they comply. If only every mother could develop this sort of calm and undeniable authority without having to go through eleven pregnancies, births, and child-rearings. 

So it was just a great day at the river and when I came home I took a little nap and then went out to check on my chicks and make sure they had food and water but before I even got into the coop this is what I saw. 

An oak snake had obviously gotten into the hen house and had an egg meal. Can you see the tell-tale egg shape there? 

Oh god. I rushed in to see if the babies were all there and they were but that doesn't mean they will be tomorrow. 

It is definitely time for my husband to get home. 
I do not do snakes. Not even the non-venomous and often helpful snakes like this one. Nope. No way. Not at all. 
I appreciate them. I do not want to kill them. If I see one I do not scream and run. 
I do not touch them. Not even with a pitchfork. Or a ten foot pole. 

Most fortuitously, my man is getting home late tonight. 
Good timing, I'd say.
Welcome home, baby! I love you so much! Now go do something about that snake! 

Hey! I shaved my legs. I don't just love him for his snake-handling abilities. He is a man of many talents. 

One more thing- a small but profound miracle occurred last night. Maurice slept through the entire night with me, cuddled up and even though I reached to pet her several times, she did not scratch or bite me once. I could almost feel her fighting the urge to catch up my hand in her toe-swords and sink her fangs into me but she restrained herself. 
It was sweet. 

All right. I guess I've told you everything. It's unbelievably more comfortable tonight than it was last night, temperature-wise, and we may get some showers tomorrow. I hope so. 

And now aren't you even more convinced that moving to Florida is just what you need to do? 
Yeah. I thought so. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Oh, Life

Can you see the cucumber hiding there behind the mighty, glowing dollar weed?
It's going to be in my salad tonight along with some arugula and I just braved the heat and went out and picked the cuke and the beautiful bitter greens and despaired over the weeds I should be pulling but in good news, the zinnias that I planted a few days ago are coming up.
I hope it's not too late for them.
The heat continues, of course, and I simply cannot bring myself to get out in it to work. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe not.
I've had a draggy day wherein I accomplished nothing except to rearrange a small part of the kitchen counters which honestly made no difference at all in how things look or how they work, either, to tell you the truth.
But oh, doesn't it look tidy?

I've started stacking my cast iron skillets and pots in a nest on the counter in the last year. 

I'm doing that because getting them out of a lower cabinet is not as easy as it used to be. In my dream kitchen, I'd have a designated wall or a pot rack from which to hang them but there isn't room for either of those things in this kitchen. 
I'm not complaining. I love my kitchen which isn't fancy in the least but which offers me as much space as I really need and if I got rid of a lot of shit I don't really need, it would be even better. 
I did actually have a little spate of frustration today and threw away some of the stuff cluttering the mantelpiece in our bedroom- candles, mostly, along with some incense. I haven't lit those candles in years and the incense has been used even less. I went through an incense phase a long time ago but thankfully, it is over now. 
I also threw out a large ziplock bag filled with old seeds. 
"Let it go," I said to myself as I opened up the trash can and dropped it in. 
Phew. That's a relief. 

This morning I met up with Jessie at Costco. We were both rather slow today but the boys were their usual energetic selves, of course. There weren't many shoppers so we didn't feel bad when they wanted to use the cement areas below the freezers to walk on or the spaces behind the dog food to hide in. They weren't loud or unruly. They were just themselves having a good time. I am absolutely loving watching Levon try to keep up with his brother when it comes to everything. 
Little guys want nothing more than to be big guys and when something prevents that, it is the saddest thing in the world. Levon calls August "Augga" and he loves him and admires him so very much. I see the same sort of admiration from August for Owen and Gibson whom he truly must think of as demi-gods, to say the least. And they are sweet with him, too. 
I get a different sort of feeling from my granddaughter. It seems to me that Magnolia June absolutely assumes that she can do anything that her brothers can do and that's all there is to it. 
"Get out of my way," I can almost hear her thinking. "I have things to DO!" 
The other day when I was at Lily's house, Maggie brought up Elsa from Frozen. I can't even remember what the context was but I told her that I think that she's prettier than Elsa. 
Maggie leaned back on the bed and said, "I guess so," in a world-weary tone of voice that knocked me out. 

So anyway, we made our way leisurely around Costco and finally they set up the samples and Beautiful Brenda was giving away the cinnamon pull-aparts and they were the favorites today for sure. I got to give her a hug and told August that it was completely appropriate that Brenda was handing out the sweetest treat because she is so sweet herself. 
I'm not sure that he quite understood but the magnificent gift of being able to eat something so gooey, so cinnamony, so iced with sugar frosting was almost more than he could bear. Brenda told Jessie that they could have more and she said that no, that had been plenty but Levon said, "I DO!" which is his way of saying that yes, yes, yes, he wanted more. 
They managed to contain themselves though and I was proud of them and ended up buying both boys and Maggie books. 
This is the joy and privilege of being a grandparent- to bestow unexpected gifts at unexpected times. 
We didn't go to lunch because Jessie could tell that Levon was ready for his nap and on my way home I saw Lily about to leave the little church parking lot which is where Owen and Gibson's bus drops them off. It's the last week of school and they are getting out early. It was nice to be able to see my boys. Maggie was with her father who was with his mother who got some surgery on her wrist today so I gave her book to Lily and we discussed perhaps going to the Wacissa tomorrow afternoon. 
We shall see.

And my husband will be getting home late, late tomorrow night. It seems like he's been gone a lifetime. Last night they all went out to a fancy supper and he kept sending me pictures of what they were eating. My Lord! If I'd been on that trip I would have gained ten pounds by now. I think that he's probably very ready to leave the bright lights behind and come home to his own bed, his own house and his wife. I hope so. 

And all is well here. The baby chicks are still alive and growing. I took them two chunks of almost-frozen watermelon a little while ago. Bugs haven't destroyed all of the tomatoes and perhaps we'll get a few. All of the electrical appliances are still working (knock wood!) and the cats are here somewhere. The weather forecast calls for relatively comfortable temperatures tomorrow in the low nineties and perhaps we'll get some showers on Friday and Saturday. 

Robert Mueller spoke today and from what I can discern, he is saying that Trump indeed committed crimes but that he cannot be prosecuted until Congress impeaches him which of course, Trump interpreted as "insufficient evidence" which sounds pretty fucking guilty to me. 
But y'all know that. 

Summer's here and what with the global weather changes it is not time for dancing in the streets and I can only imagine that the cotton may be high but that it is probably shriveling up and that if catfish are jumpin', they're not jumping very high. 

Still. Here we are. Here I am. Not every day can be a day of grand achievement and self-satisfaction on jobs well done. That's just life. 

We'll see what tomorrow brings us. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

More Holy Water

I went to Wakulla Springs today which seems to me at this second like a dream. The water was so cold and so clear that even on the floating dock without my glasses I could see the fish swimming around us.
Jessie belongs to a small mama's group that gets together and does things and today they met up at the springs to swim and play in the sand and chat. She invited me to come too and so I met up with them there and although I'm now exhausted simply from the sun, I'm glad I went. It was probably the least crowded I've ever seen the springs in swimming season and the babies and children were easy to keep track of as we sat in the shade of the cypress trees or in the water.
I enjoyed talking to the mothers. Some of them called me "Miss Mary" which is so very southern and I suppose it's okay. The boys had a great time and didn't want to leave although they were to the point of complete melt-down by the time we left. August and I swam out to the dock, he with his swimmies and me holding his hand. "We are helping each other," I said, and he liked that. He ate most of the sandwich I'd brought.
"I get so hungry sometimes," he said.
"I understand," I told him.
His mother had brought plenty of food but for some reason, my turkey and cheese sandwich made him happiest. I was so happy to share.
One of the mothers recognized me and she looked vaguely familiar to me as well. We could not figure out how we might know each other, though. We named people we might know in common but nothing really rang any bells. She asked me if I ever went to any of the goddess gatherings, which cracked me up.
"Nah," I said. "I don't do things like that."
I never have felt any more comfortable at new-agey things than I have at a church. It all feels about the same to me. Anytime you start throwing around magical rituals and divine inspirations or interventions, no matter what you call them,  I'm outta there. I remember the first time I went to a new-age baptismal celebration and the person who was facilitating the event asked us to acknowledge the four sacred directions of north, south, east and west and even, as I recall, designated each of those with their colors. I felt at once embarrassed and disdainful.
What the fuck? I thought. We're white people. 
This is not to say that I do not recognize and honor the sacred and the holy but they are sacred and holy to me and I'm just not a person who feels the need for others to join me in any sort of ritual or rite to worship them.
Although I guess that being part of a group of young parents and their children at the sacred and holy springs of Wakulla is indeed a joining together in worship but even if it is, we don't need to discuss it. Just being there is all that is needed.
I believe in the most mundane of miracles and don't care a thing about walking on water. Diving into it on a crazy-hot day? Now that's a different thing. That's a miracle, baby. Right there. Turning it into wine?

Oh god, it's hot. The grass is crunchy and brown. I'm surprised the chickens are laying any eggs at all.  I feel like I should bring the baby chicks inside so they don't die of heat stroke. And we need rain. I crave rain.
Talk about your miracles- a good rain with thunder and lightening would be a miracle sufficient unto me right now. The smell of ozone and the sweet feel of a pre-storm breeze would thrill me to my very bones.
And yet, what right do I have to bitch? The midwest is experiencing weather of Biblical proportions. As they shelter in terror from the tornadoes ripping their world apart, I'm whining about heat and not enough rain.
Still, this heat is a reality and before I got on the long backroads to Lloyd from Wakulla Springs, I stopped and bought a large bottle of water simply out of the fear that if I broke down I'd die of dehydration before someone stopped to help me.
And felt guilty for buying bottled water. BECAUSE I SHOULD.

Evening is coming on. It will get cooler and it's supposed to get cooler throughout the rest of the week with high temperatures in the mid to lower nineties. I have air conditioning. I do not have to cook my food and my family's food on a wood stove. Hell, I don't have to grow and raise my family's food. My garden is for fun and and if it all goes to hell, we won't die. And I don't have to water it bucket-by-bucket, hauled from a well. I have the absolute luxury of naming my chickens.
I need to remember these things.

When August and I were on the dock today, looking down into the water, down, down to the sandy bottom he said, "I feel like I see bones."
"There are bones down there," I said. I told him about the mastodon skeletons they've found in that spring and how we can go and look at them in the museum in Tallahassee. He's heard all of this before, even seen the skeleton himself, but I think he wanted to hear it again.
"What's a mastodon?" he asked. "Type it up."
That means to google it. He knows that if we want information about something we can simply go to our phones and type in questions and get answers.
Thus- type it up. 
I met a little three year old girl wearing a pink sunhat today who sang her A,B,C's backwards. On purpose. I could not do that if you held a gun to my head. Her ability to work with numbers amazed me. Her mother told me, "She's never forgotten a thing since she was born." I have a feeling that these were not just the words of an overly proud mother.
Levon spent at least twenty minutes walking from one spot in the shallow water to another to roil the water with his hand and then carefully studied the resulting moving patterns he had created. The ripples and the swirls.

If there is hope for this world, these babies are going to be the reason.

Peace, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, May 27, 2019

I'm Old And I Know It

Went outside this morning with my little bowl of chopped up grapes for the babies only to discover that one of the chicks had escaped from the peep coop.

Of course she was frantic, trying to get back in to Mama and Mama was frantic, trying to get her baby to come back in. There was a little place that had been scratched out and the tiny Houdini had escaped through the opening there. This will NOT be the last time one or all of them get out. It's impossible to keep the frame securely on the dirt with six chickens scratching around the edges. 
Later on today I was reading August this story by Richard Scarry

which, by the way, is one of the best stories I've ever read. I mean- check out that first page. You just know you're in for some romance and adventures, right? 
"Mistress Mouse is a bold little hussy," I told August after I read that page. 
"Don't listen to your MerMer," said Jessie. And we both laughed so hard. 
Anyway, Mr. Mouse takes off in his car to try and find the lady mouse who wrote him that letter because she neglected to give him her address and in one of the houses he knocks on the door of in his search, this is going on:

I laughed at that too because mother chickens do spend a great deal of time teaching their chicks to scratch but they don't usually use diagrams as far as I know. 
But I was charmed. 

I managed to get the little yellow chick back with her mother and her siblings and I put a brick where the escape route was and we'll see how long that works. 
Not very, is what I'm thinking. 

So yes, Jessie and the boys came out and it was pretty perfect after being all by myself for two entire days. We read a bunch of books, some in the library and some on my bed. As soon as he got on the bed August got right under the covers as all of the grandchildren do. I pretend to fuss about dirt on the sheets and say things like, "I just made this bed!" but they know I don't really care. In fact, there is very little in this world that I love more than the knowledge that my babies feel safe and secure, cozy and comfortable in Mer and Bop's bed while I read them books. It's such a joy for me. We read another story by Richard Scarry's wife, Patricia Scarry, about a little baby rabbit who wants to grow up to be a daddy who takes care of his children. 
I asked August if he was going to be a daddy when he grows up. 
"No," he said. "I'm going to be a mommy."
Well, okay then! He's going to have lots and lots of children and later on in the day he told me that there were going to be many daddies in his house when he grows up and has children. Many daddies. 
Sounds cool to me. I asked him if I could come and live with him and all the daddies and children. He said I could. 

Jessie and I couldn't figure out what to do. We both needed to go to Costco but Costco is closed on Memorial Day. Publix would have to do for the short term. It was also lunch time. Where should we go? Could we fit in a trip to Target to return some things Jessie recently bought? Could we find time to go to the Goodwill bookstore? 
As we pondered all of this, Levon and August formed a boy band in my kitchen. 

Do you see that Revere Ware pan that Levon is banging on? That was his great-great grandmother's pan. That's a little hard to believe, isn't it? They used to make that shit to last. I use it all the time. 

We finally got it together and drove to town in separate cars because I didn't want Jessie to have to drive me all the way back to Lloyd. We first went to lunch (priorities, people!) and then to Publix. 

As we walked around the store with two boys in a race cart, I told Jessie that you know you're old when going to Publix with your grandchildren is about as much fun as you can imagine. If their mother is there too, of course. 
But how could this not be a merry time? 

And after that, Jessie was ready to take those rascals home. Forget Target. Forget the Goodwill bookstore. And actually, one of the dresses she was returning worked quite well for me and so I bought it from her so that was nice for both of us. In fact, I wore it on our outing. It's incredibly soft and I'm sure I'll wear it until it's a rag. 

So those were the high points of my day. I came home and got the clothes off the line and folded them and put them away and cleaned up the kitchen and started the dishwasher and replanted a maiden-hair fern that some damn chicken plucked out of its pot and and watered some plants and planted two nice succulents in my hen pots. 

I had other plants in there but I transplanted them to other pots. 

Mr. Moon is back in Las Vegas and here's a picture he sent me from the journey between St. George, Utah and Vegas. 

What can you say about that besides, magnificent
The United States has some amazing landscapes and that is the honest truth. 
Of course, we also have this. 

That's the view from his room which is also magnificent in its own way. And yet...SO Las Vegas. 
There's a tiny part of me that wishes I were there with the crazy cacophony of the slot machines' dinging and ringing and the insane craziness of a golden pyramid and a miniature New York city, not to mention the fountains of the Bellagio and its lobby with the unbelievable glass ceiling sculpture by Chihuly which has to be seen to be believed but mostly, I'm just so glad I'm not. 
I've been there. 
I've done that. 
And I've had some very good times in Las Vegas but I think those days may be behind me. 

The cicadas are tuning up for their evening choral presentation, the chickens are getting settled in the roost. I have the most comfortable bed in the world and a good book I'm reading. 
I'm content right here in Lloyd. 

I'll check back in tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Another Rather Pointless Post About Rather Pointless Activities

Beautiful canopy archway on the road to the Wacissa. 

Well, today was pretty much a rinse, repeat version of yesterday although I did actually leave Lloyd as you can see from the picture above. 

Got up, lazed about, chopped grapes for chicks and made a breakfast although I didn't like what I made very much and gave most of it to the hens. Then I pulled on my filthy overalls and gloves and got back to work outside. I trimmed the sagos back a bit more and pulled the rest of the wretched crocosmia in the area I was working in yesterday by the front porch. I moved on from there to an area in the backyard and cleaned it up. 



And that's about one one-hundredth of what I've done. Let's put it this way- there is now a huge mound of the damn things on the burn pile. I have no idea what has motivated me to start this task now. I think it was even hotter today than it was yesterday. While I was out at the burn pile I noticed a bunch of leggy, raggedy volunteer tomato plants growing up through some bamboo that Mr. Moon cut and which is also going on the burn pile eventually. 
I think. 
And these plants may be scraggly and they may be raggedy but look here- 

They're growing some nice tomatoes!
I texted Mr. Moon and asked him if he knew how they got started out there and he had no idea. I also don't know how I haven't noticed them before today. God knows what else I'm missing around here. 
I'm not missing the maturing figs though. 

SO many figs on my tree right now. I am still grieving the loss of the giant oak which came down in Hurricane Michael but without it blocking the light, that tree has just exploded. 
I know I say this every year but I would really, really love it if the squirrels and birds left me enough fruit to make preserves with. I want to send some to Ms. Radish King! Nothing would make me happier. 
And while we're discussing figs- sometimes I can barely look at that particular fruit without blushing. They are just so very...male. 
Are they not? 

After I'd finished all of the crocosmia pulling I was willing to do, I decided that yes, I would do what I had been thinking about doing all day long which was to drive to the Wacissa and jump in. I realized that this was probably ridiculous and that there would be so many people there but it was almost like a personal challenge to myself. To put on a bathing suit and to drive down there and to get out of my car and jump in that river and feel cool and clean and then to come home. 
Good plan, right? 
And so I took off my filthy clothes and put on my bathing suit and drove to the river where I discovered that cars were parked all the way up the road to the You-Pick blueberry place although I did find a FOR (front of river) space to pull into. There were so many people

that I almost just drove on through the parking lot and headed home but GODDAMMIT! no. I was there. I was going to do this thing. And honestly, no matter how many people are at the Wacissa it's just not a place that instills anxiety in me. Not only is it a holy place and thus, all are protected, including me, I have my old-lady super power of being invisible. So I got out of the car and piled my towel and shoes and glasses on the ground and pulled my dress over my head and in full invisible view of everyone, strode down to the steps to jump in where I realized that my beautiful clear river had been so churned and agitated by the huge number of Jefferson County's Memorial Day weekend celebrating citizens that the water was, quite shockingly, brown. 
Oh well. It was still cold and I knew that the brown was just the result of the kicked-up silt from the bottom and I dove in and it felt wonderful and then I got out and came home. 
And I'm glad I went. It's always interesting down at the Wacissa. So many different sorts of people. Lots of inked people today. One guy who was pale as milk who had white-blond hair that he'd gelled straight up with tattoos covering at least 70% of his body, a black guy who was also inked, carrying a jon boat with a friend. Tattooed mothers, tattooed fathers, tattooed teens. Hell, I wouldn't have been surprised to see a tattooed toddler or two. There were also folks who were there to kayak or boat wearing appropriate kayaking and boating attire. Grandmothers and babies with sun hats. Kids lining up to swing out over the water and do fancy tricks before plummeting into the river. People with picnics, people with beers. One little boy, probably about Owen's age, stared at me as I went down the steps to get into the water. I stared back. He was crouched down so that only his head was showing above the silty water.
"What?" I asked him as he watched me so closely. (I guess I wasn't entirely invisible.)
"I'm so small," he said. 
I had no reply to that so I just said, "Huh," and dove in. 

So now I'm home it's still hot as hell. I went out and picked my salad for tonight. 

Baby arugula leaves and two small leeks. I'm in a minimalist mood, at least as applies to salad. 

Not sure what tomorrow will hold for me. I'm not worried about it. Still plenty of crocosmia to pull. 

And that's just one more spot that it's taken over. Are you paying attention, Steve Reed?

Or, who knows? I might spend some time with grandchildren or I might clean out some closets or I might deep clean the kitchen or I might begin the process of making my very own sourdough starter 
with some of the funky wild yeast floating around right here in Lloyd (although that does look like a lot of work and as much nurturing dedication as taking care of a newborn) or I might just channel my inner cat and lay about and hiss and spit at anything that threatens to disrupt my cat-Zen.  
Okay. I probably won't do that. 
And I probably won't go back to the river, either. 
Not until Tuesday, at least. Or Wednesday. Give the river a chance to settle down. 

I have no ending to this mess at all. I think the sun may have baked my brains. 

Stay cool, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, May 25, 2019

This Is What Happens When I Am Left To My Own Devices

My husband got up at 3:30 this morning to get to the airport in time to make his six o'clock flight to Las Vegas. Before he left he set the coffee to brew for my awakening and wrote me a beautiful little love note. He has written me these notes for years, almost daily. Some of them just say "Kisses!" and some are more wordy but I cherish them all.
He is such a good man.
I am such a lucky woman.

When he left the house, Maurice came and got in the bed with me. She hardly ever does that, Jack being the one who claims that privilege most nights. I was so surprised that I rubbed my hand down her back and tail to make sure it was truly her. She is a much smaller cat than Jack and she likes to curl up on my hip unlike Jack who either lays himself right beside me or down at my feet where he pins me to the bed with his big chunky body. It was indeed Maurice and I fell back asleep, glad for her company.
Yesterday when we were riding to town, Maggie told me that she would buy one of my cats from me.
"Oh really?" I said. "Do you have any money?"
"No," she said cheerfully.
"Do you want to buy Scratch?" I asked her. Scratch is what she calls Maurice for obvious reasons.
"Oh, no!" she said. "I want the black cat."
Jack is actually gray and white but I knew what she meant. Lily and I giggled at the way she'd said, "Oh, no!" like a full grown lady who'd been asked if she ever went to strip clubs.

I didn't get up until after eight-thirty and drifted about for hours, doing almost nothing besides chopping up grapes for the baby chickens and making and eating a rather huge and delicious breakfast. It was, in fact, so huge that I haven't eaten anything since then except for a few crackers with hummus but the omelet I ate for breakfast had spinach and peppers and onions in it so at least I have eaten some vegetables.
Sort of.

In the early afternoon I tried for about forty-five minutes to accomplish something online that I simply could not do. Every time I got to the "Go to check-out" message and clicked on it, it would  return me to the screen which I'd already filled out. Finally I gave up and tried calling the business. I am being vague here because this may involve Hank's birthday present. Every fucking phone number that was listed for contact gave me the message that my call could not be completed as dialed or else that this number is not in service, followed by a most inappropriately cheerful "Good-bye!"
I finally emailed someone there and got a fast return which said their internet and phones were down along with an apology.
Ah, no big deal. I'll try again tomorrow.

And then, because I am constitutionally unable to lie about and binge watch anything or even read, and because cleaning out closets sounded dreadful, I decided to go work outside in the 97 degree weather but it wasn't so bad, really. I planted some zinnia seeds and then I started pulling some of the Gee Dee crocosmia and trimming sago palms.

This is a terrible picture but what you see there in front is a full Rubber Maid garden cart filled with the little fuckers. You can see that there's still a lot of them I didn't get pulled and that's only a few of the millions I didn't get pulled but I've made a start. 
So my hands ache and I have little itchy sore places where the sago needles pierced my gloves and thus, my skin but I'm still alive and the heat didn't kill me and I got started on a much-needed project. Not that pulling those plants will have anything to do with them not coming back again next year. They will. 
And that is not the only place in the yard that they've taken over. 

Gosh. This has been a pretty bitchy post, hasn't it? And weirdly, I'm in a fairly fine mood. I've had my shower and am going to make my supper and finish watching the Wanda Sykes stand-up special on Netflix. 
Can I tell you that Wanda Sykes is a gift on this earth? I purely love her. 
I do believe I may have discussed this before. 
Oh well. It's true love. 

And Mr. Moon made it to Las Vegas and last I heard, he and his sister were driving through the desert on the way to St. George, Utah where they'll be staying for two days before they go back to Las Vegas. Last night I told him not to do anything in Vegas that needed to stay in Vegas. I meant it too. I wonder why I didn't tell him not to do anything in St. George, Utah that needs to stay in St. George, Utah. I suppose it just seems obvious that it's harder to sin in Mormon country than it is in Sin City. Still, perhaps I should have added that admonition, just for safety's sake. 

Oh! I picked my first tomato today! 
Here it is!

I hope it's not my last. 

Talk to you tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, May 24, 2019

A Birthday Post Written With Full Heart

Hot, hot, so very hot. Going to get hotter. That's the late afternoon sun shining through some elephant ear leaves outside my back porch. If you look carefully you'll see Big Mama having a strut through the grass between them. I've got to be careful to make sure that all of the chickens have enough water in the next few days when the temperatures are going to soar even higher. I've got grapes to cut up to give them and maybe I'll even cut some up and freeze them for a treat.

Mr. Moon did get back last night, safe and sound. Turns out that it wasn't just the tire but also a spring that was attached to the trailer that broke and he ended up having to leave it anyway. We'd hit a pothole on the way down to St. Marks and I'm sure that's where the damage occurred. But all's well now, I guess. I don't even know where the boat is at this moment and Mr. Moon's heading for Las Vegas and St. George, Utah tomorrow morning early so wherever it is, I guess it's going to stay for a few days. He's going out west to be with some of the last of his family, his sister and two cousins and their spouses. I was invited and did intend to go until huge and horrible anxiety about the whole deal overtook me and I finally broke down and told my husband that I simply could not go. I mean, I'd go if someone's life depended on it but I don't think this is the case in this situation.
One would think that I'd jump at the chance to leave Florida and this heat and the bugs behind for a few days but one would be wrong. There are more than one kinds of discomfort and as so many of us humans do, I'd rather deal with the discomfort I'm used to.
Dance with the devil you know, they say. Or maybe they don't but I suppose that's what I'm choosing.

Still, this does not mean that I don't feel guilty and of course I do, despite my husband being so very sweet about the whole thing. God, he's patient with me.

And today is May's birthday! Also Bob Dylan's but I'm not his mama. I knew that she was working today but I still wanted and needed to see her, to get my arms around her, to kiss her and tell her I love her. And give her the present I bought her. Lily wanted to go too and so I drove to her house and she drove me and Magnolia June into town where we stopped at Publix to buy a pretty little cupcake and I got a beautiful blooming bromeliad. When we checked out the lady at the register did the sweetest thing. She said, "Beautiful," as she was scanning the plant and I said, "Isn't it?"
"Oh, I meant you, too," she said.
"What?" I asked. I feel so far from beautiful these days that it's not even in the same continent as what I perceive myself as looking like.
"Your earrings, your necklace, you," she said and she gestured widely, "Beautiful, all of it."
I wonder if she has any idea how much that meant to me. Of course I thanked her and told her that she was precious and I meant it with all of my heart.
After Publix we stopped by Jessie's house to pick up some flowers she'd grown and made into a bouquet as well as some eggs for May. August and Maggie had a little chat. I often think that they look upon each other as alien beings. They are so very, very different in so many, many ways. And yet, they do have great affection for each other. Levon announced that they were going to go to a pool with Dad. He did this by saying, "Dad!" "Pool!"
I understood.
I love his stage of babyhood. Yesterday at the library we did some coloring together. There were colored markers and I would hand him one and say the color.
"Purple," I told him and he said back, "Pupple." Then he would take the top off the marker if he could and if he couldn't, he'd hand it to me and say, "Help," and I would. He'd scribble a few lines on the picture and put the top back on the marker and want another. I traced his hand for him. He held it flat on the paper like a little starfish, so trusting and so sweet. He is, like all of my grandchildren, amazing and completely himself.

But I'm straying from my aim which was mainly to give you these pictures.

May and Maggie. 
Maggie and May. 
On my children's birthdays I get quite emotional. I know- big surprise, right? 
But I can't help it and a part of that is wanting my children to know how profoundly and deeply I love them and there just doesn't seem to be a way to adequately express that. Lily and I were talking about this and I said, "Well, maybe if I bought each of you a house..."
But even then, I don't know that my soul would rest easy thinking that finally and at last I'd shown them my true heart feelings. 
And yet, I really do think that all four of my babies know how I much I love them. I do. But somehow in my soul, I'm never satisfied that I've expressed how I truly feel. I can't ever stop showing them, telling them. There won't be enough time in my entire life to satisfy that need within me for them to absolutely know. 
And now there's the grandmother in me that feels the same way about my grandchildren. 
Oh hell. I'm not sure that thinking this way, feeling this way is quite healthy. But it is who I am. That's all there is to it. 
And the pretty bromeliad I gave May and the beautiful eye-shadow palette which I hope will help to make her feel pretty and which will perhaps satisfy some of the artist in her don't even begin to represent how much I love her. 
Forty-one years ago today I gave birth to her on my bed in a tiny house-trailer on a piece of property a few miles down the road from where I live now just as the sun was coming up. Her father was there, my midwife and three women-friends were there and as I held my beautiful daughter, a part of my heart that I did not know was there busted wide open. 
My darling May Ellen. 

Lord but I am a sentimental old fool. I am also a woman who did not discover the true meaning of love until I had my children which is perhaps why I feel so inadequate to the task of expressing to them how they have given me the goodness in my life that I never, ever would have known without them. 

So. Happy birthday, my precious May. Look how beautiful you are! And look at the way Maggie is looking at you. Her expression pretty much says it all about how lucky I am to have this loving, amazing family. Not to mention how brightly your light shines- so bright that all of your nephews and your niece too are drawn to you and your good, joyous soul with such natural and sweet affection. 
You are loved and not least by me. 

You are, as always, my heart. 
Thank you for being my baby. Thank you for being May. 
Just...thank you for everything. 


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Not The Best Outing At All

The day started out fine and Jessie and the boys and I drove to Monticello and August talked and talked and he talked about bulldozers and machines that can carry very, very heavy things like dirt and pieces of road and giant trees and FEMALE CHICKENS! Where did that come from?
Oh, August.
And then he asked me if for his birthday I would get him a flying thingee and Jessie and I asked him what that was and he talked and talked (he is so full of talking) about a marvelous flying thingee that sounded like a jet pack and when you are done flying it turns back into a "carrier."
I told him that he might have to invent one because I don't think we have those yet but that if I see one, I will indeed buy it for his birthday.
The Story Hour in Monticello was canceled again because Ms. Courtney had something she had to do with one of her children and Terez apologized but it was okay. We had a good time with the kid computers and books and stuffed animals.
And then we went to lunch and then Jessie dropped me off at home and I did some ironing and watched part of Above Us Only Sky, a documentary about John Lennon and Yoko Ono on Netflix and it is wonderful and you should watch it.
And then Mr. Moon came home. He had asked me yesterday if I wanted to go on a little boat ride this afternoon on the St. Marks river to try out the steering on the boat that he and Vergil worked on for hours and hours on Sunday and I said I would do that. We didn't get down to the river until six o'clock and I was grumpy already because the AC in the truck wasn't working and I know about boats. I know what they do which is to fuck up all the time and I did not have a lot of hope for this outing but I went. I was being a good wife.
Mr. Moon launched the boat and by the time we were on the water I already had two yellow fly bites and my ankles were swelling and ache-itching and it was so damn hot. SO DAMN HOT ON A RIVER AT SIX O'CLOCK IN THE EVENING and the boat steered okay but it had a big hesitation going on in the engine when we sped up and more yellow flies got on the boat when we slowed down for the manatee section of the river and then we turned around and went back to the dock and I got more bites and Mr. Moon pulled the boat out onto the trailer and then he realized that one of the tires on the trailer was flat.
Flat. Flat. Fucking flat.
I was hot. My ankles and feet were at the bursting point.
We unhooked the trailer with the boat on it and left it in a safe place at the marina and went to the only halfway decent restaurant in St. Marks and they have NO AIR CONDITIONING and there were more yellow flies and when we got our not-very good food, the regular flies came out and bombed our seafood and there was really crappy shitty rock music playing really loud.
You can only imagine how happy I was at this point. Also? I had worn my bathing suit under my dress just in case we got a chance to jump into the river which we did not and wearing a woman's bathing suit under one's clothes is not unlike wearing a body condom and it only made me hotter and more uncomfortable if that was even possible.
We drove home through the woods and forests and then Mr. Moon loaded the truck back up with the spare tire for the trailer and a jack and I don't know what all and it's 10:00 p.m. and he's now back on the road to go back to St. Mark's and put the spare on the trailer and drive home but first he has to go by Walmart for something he needs and I pleaded with him to please just call the marina and tell them that he'd be there tomorrow to fix the damn flat and get the boat and trailer out of their way although really I was just thinking that he should abandon the damn thing. Leave it there. Let them tow it away and charge us. Whatever.
He did not listen to my pleading and said he'd be fine and he wanted to get the job knocked out so I made him a coffee drink so he'll stay awake and I'm going to take at least one, maybe two Benadryl and then I'll have a shower and then I'm going to bed and, well, as I said to Mr. Moon over that accursed supper- this was not our best outing.

And I realize that really, on the whole scale of things this is not a big deal and I'm really a very weak and bitchy woman although I can't help but think of a story that Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote about an afternoon wherein she had to work outside in the Florida heat and she had some sort of bites on her legs and then got sandspurs in the bites and finally she just sort of lost it and screamed her heart out.
It was sort of like that.

Lord, I hope my husband gets home safely.

Boats. Why?

I do not know.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

My Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventeenth Post

I woke up this morning dreading going to check on the little one and my fears were justified. The poor thing died in the night. I buried her in the little garden bed beside the kitchen door where her kinfolk spend so much time, clucking over and pecking the kitchen scraps I throw out for them under the bananas.
It was sad, that sweet little body so still and lifeless but if one has chickens it's just not a good thing to get completely wrapped up in any one of them, newly hatched or older.
As we all know by now.
The rest of the chicks are fine with no more of the eggs showing signs of hatching. I am going to toss the remaining four out tomorrow if there is no activity tonight. Mr. Moon and I just went out to see them and I told Darla, "Well, you killed your child."
She was completely unconcerned.

So I did an odd thing today. For me. May's birthday is coming up in two days and I went to town to shop for her a present. And I actually rather enjoyed it. May asked for presents this year that will make her feel pretty. I sure do understand that. She also said that no one had to get her a present at all and it wouldn't hurt her feelings but hey! She's my baby. So I went to a place that sells pretty-making things and I won't go into it because she might read this but I literally spent an hour walking up and down aisles and I didn't get stressed out at all. I'd stopped into an Old Navy before that and ended up getting all my toddler grands each an outfit on major sale. Little shorts and shirts for all. Now THAT got sort of stressful. Do you KNOW how many different T-shirts Old Navy has for little kids?
And after all of that I went to another store where I swear to god- I came THIS close to buying another purse. I am still in the honeymoon phase with the last purse I bought but this one was so soft. SO soft. And smooshy. My favorite. And it was a backpack bag. Which I have NO NEED OF WHATSOEVER and yet, how I wanted it. I could envision buying it, bringing it home and hiding it in my closet. Hiding it from myself because my husband certainly wouldn't mind. I imagined how I'd feel with a tiny spark of knowing that there was a brand new, completely squishy lovely bag in my closet, just waiting for me to determine it was the right time to use it. And it was on clearance!
Somehow, though, I managed not to buy it. And no, I didn't steal it either.
By the time I finished up all of this shopping, it was after three and I had not eaten lunch. I thought about going and getting a sandwich somewhere but I kept thinking about the tacos we had last night that I made with that fresh ham that I'd roasted in banana leaves. They may have been some of the best tacos I ever ate and I am not kidding. I marinated that meat for twenty four hours and then wrapped it and the marinade in banana leaves from one of my plants and then in aluminum foil and cooked it in a very slow oven for hours and hours and by the time I unwrapped it yesterday it was so tender that shredding it could have been done with spoons. It was completely unlike farm-raised pig in that it had almost no fat to it and yet, it was as juicy as could be. I mixed up the shredded meat with a sort of sauce I'd made with chili's and lime juice and tomatoes, cilantro, and a little vinegar and it looked like this.

I did a quick pickling of some finely sliced cabbage and red onions and heated up corn tortillas. The meat, the pickles, some avocados, and a little sour cream were the whole deal and we ate those tacos like we were in Mexico. 
Seriously, they could hardly have been better. 
And so I wanted more of them for my lunch and I came home and had some. It was worth the wait. 
And if you can't tell, I'm sort of proud of that meal. I am not sure I've ever used banana leaves in my cooking before but I'll be doing that again. 
And quite frankly- I'll take all the small wild pigs you bring me. In case you're wondering, there really is no such thing as a "wild" pig. Not around here, at least. They are actually ferals who have descended from escaped domestic pigs and they are considered to be a nuisance animal as they are not native and they do cause a lot of destruction to the native habitat of the indigenous animal population. 
Obviously, I have meat-eater guilt. At least I admit that. 

And one more thing- today is the 12th anniversary of the very first post of blessourhearts. I want to say that for twelve years now I have been so incredibly lucky to be able to write out my thoughts, to record births and birthdays and marriages and accomplishments and troubles and joys and gardens and chickens and insanities and Mexican sunsets and friendships and yes, even deaths of people whom I have loved tremendously. Not to mention recipes and household hints. This is a place where I've been allowed (by me!) to be profane and blasphemous and to share what is holy in my heart. 
And the community of YOU has sustained and comforted me, educated me and made me laugh for twelve years. 

Thanks, Hank! You told me to do it and I did. 
As always, my children are the boss of me and that usually turns out for the best. 

Thanks, y'all. Alla y'all. 

I love you dearly.

Ms. Moon

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Fucking Summer Already

I am miserable today. Just purely miserable. This heat is already overwhelming me. It's not even June yet and I'm not seeing how I am going to last the summer unless I spend most of my time indoors which is a little bit like being in prison for me. A beautiful prison but still- I am NOT an indoors-all-the-time person. I'm not what you'd call an outdoor woman. At least not in the sense that I like to hike and cycle or whatever it is that outdoor people do. I just like to mess around in my garden and in my yard and hang the clothes on the line and take my little walks and that sort of thing.
Which I am not tolerating as well as I used to.
It got up to 95 today and is supposed to be at least 99 this weekend.
And the GODDAM yellow flies are absolutely the worst this year that I've ever seen. I got bit on my ankles and feet today and the bites swelled up and itched and it's a sort of itching which drives me to just this side of madness. They are such fierce fuckers and when I slap them, they bleed my blood like mosquitoes but the difference in being bitten by the two insects are vast.
I think I probably post this picture every year.

This is what they look like. I always say they resemble B-52 bombers and I don't know if that's true but the way they fly so stealthily and land and start to suck and sting before you even know they're there does indeed remind me of warfare. They are also incredibly nimble and able to escape a human hand intent on smashing the life out of them. 
In other words, I hate them. 
There are few things in life that make me more apt to curse and cry than being very, very hot and having big knots of yellow fly bites itching me to distraction. 
And so it went today. 

This morning I noticed that another one of the eggs in Darla's little coop had a tiny hole in it with a little beak trying to break the shell to free the chick attached to the beak. I was cheered by this and checked the progress all morning and I could tell, eventually, that the chick was a dark colored one, unlike all the rest. Of course, Darla has been sitting on eggs that were laid not just by her but by her sister hens as well and the chances of getting a brown or black chick were good. I think that this egg was laid by Big Mama who is black and white but mostly black. I merely took note of this as an interesting fact but when I went back to see how things were going a little while later, I found the just-hatched baby with its down still matted and Darla was pecking the shit out of her. Or him. 
I watched in horror and then quickly picked the chick up and brought it in the house and set it in a large bowl lined with a dishtowel and covered it up with another and put it in my bathroom which is far warmer than the rest of the house because the vents into that room have been torn out by some creature. 
Probably an armadillo or possum. 
I had to go to the store and so I did and when I got back, the little one was still just huddled in the folds of the cloth, still matted from the hatching, not really moving but able to peep loudly if I touched it. 

After I put the groceries away I made it a better shelter in an ice chest with a heating pad set on warm covered with two towels and with food and water available. 
Y'all. I don't think she's going to make it. I think that she is perhaps too badly injured. She is just lying there, not even trying to get up. 
Nature can be so cruel. 

I researched this issue on the internet and it is not uncommon for a mother hen to peck (and kill) a chick who is sickly or who is a different color than the rest. I suppose that this is an evolved behavior which helps to protect the genes of the mother and to make sure that there is more food available for what she perceives to be her own offspring. 
Who knows? 
Certainly not me but it's sad. 

Meanwhile, the other five chicks are fine and fluffy and doing what chicks do and Darla is still being incredibly protective of them and still sitting for periods of time on the other eggs which have not hatched. 

Add all of this together- the heat, the yellow flies, the chick abuse- and I'm just, as I said, fairly miserable. Owen has a baseball game that I should be attending but I swear to you, I would die if I had to sit outside for two hours. 
Okay. Maybe not die. But close enough. 

I just went and checked on the little one. She is more fluffed and puffed and she has pooped. These are good signs, I think. I stuck her little beak in the water but I don't think she drank any. 
Time will tell. 
And just watch- I'll save that little bitty biddy life and it'll turn out to be a rooster. 
Still- thoughts and prayers, people, thoughts and prayers. 
Just kidding. 
But I think that if this one lives and it does turn out to be a rooster, I'm gonna name it Keith. 
And if it's a hen, I might name her Keithalina. 

Is that disrespectful? 

I don't think so. 

Hoping for a better tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, May 20, 2019

Short And Sort Of Sweet

Went out this morning to discover that once again, I do not know shit and one of those eggs was a good one and I had five little chicks whereas yesterday I had four. Not a great picture but I was trying to get all five babies in the shot. Anyway, I'm giving the rest of the eggs a few more days. I'd hate to murder the unborn.
(Eye roll.)

Here's the most interesting thing I saw on my walk this morning.

Now THAT'S a scarecrow. 
She'd scare me, at least. 

A little after lunch, Jessie and Vergil and the boys came out and Mr. Moon came home from work. Vergil had generously agreed to help my husband with the electricity situation for the dryer and he did. The boys liked the baby chicks. 

I asked August what we should name this one and he said, "Dixie" which is the name of one of Jessie's chickens but Dixie Chick is a great name and there's plenty of room in the world for at least two of them. So Dixie she shall be. I swear, Darla does NOT want me to pick up her babies. She pecks me aggressively. 
I don't really blame her although you'd think that by now she'd know that I am not much of a threat to her or her babies. 

After the electricity project, the men moved on to a boat-steering project. What I had thought was going to be a two-hour max situation has turned into something else entirely which is fine. I wrapped up my pig roast in banana leaves (yes, really) and aluminum foil and put it in a ceramic crock in a very slow oven and that's cooking but it's not going to be ready for a supper so I'm improvising with other leftovers to create an entirely new menu item which will serve four adults and two children. Luckily, that is my magic talent. 

Levon's magic talent is playing ball on the steps with his mother. 

I spent so many hours with Owen doing that same thing. 
August and I have read books and we've all played outside but had to come in because it is buggy and hot as hell. 

So that's the quick report. 

Oh! Here's a beetle I found in my library today. 

You know, I've seen some large beetles in my life but that one sort of astonished me. I wrapped it up in that paper towel and set it outside. The chickens came to examine it and a few actually pecked at it but it was too big for them. 

Florida. Such a great place to live. 

Love...Ms. Moon