Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Chitter Chatter

This is the sight right now that greets visitors or travelers-through when they get to the flashing light in Lloyd. The old store is crumbling and the windows have been broken and the roof is falling in. That store was open back in the 1970's when I lived in Lloyd before on a piece of land farther north right off the same road I live on now. Even then the store had an air of dissolution about it and I don't think I ever went through the doors. We did our local shopping at Ms. Ruby's which was across the street. Ms. Ruby's was in a beautiful old wooden building with a front porch and a tin roof and she sold a bit of everything from your standard beer and milk to hardware and cheap toys. She told me that she sold the toys because there were kids in Lloyd whose parents couldn't get to Tallahassee or Monticello and they needed something for birthdays and Christmas. She sold some produce, sausage, bread, grits. Things like that. Staples. Ms. Ruby was a nice woman and I liked talking to her. She had a sign on her beer cooler that said, "If you break a six-pack I'll break your arm."
She may have been nice but she didn't tolerate bullshit.
Her store burned down sometime after I left Lloyd and there was some sort of political motivation going on. It was a weird time in Lloyd and there was a highly debated issue concerning pipelines of some sort and whether or not they should go through Lloyd. How this involved Ms. Ruby I do not know but I do know that the main enemy of the pipeline people was a guy who lived in the house I live in now. He eventually got the move defeated.
But Ms. Ruby's store is no more and never will be again. She died not long after I moved back but not before I got to talk to her some. She told me that she'd lived in this house herself when she was a child and her mama had a quilting frame in the hallway and that she'd seen "something" supernatural happen that she would not describe no matter how much I gently pushed her.
She just didn't want to talk about it.
I've never seen or heard anything weird happen here except for a few things that very much alive humans have caused. Thank goodness.
Anyway, when I moved back to Lloyd fifteen years ago, an extremely nice gentleman named Israel Lawrence owned and ran that store in the picture above. He kept it tidy and neat and he and his wife were two of the most gracious people I've ever met. He had a picture of himself and Bill Clinton behind the counter. He was wearing a blue Polyester suit and Bill was holding a saxophone. He also had a shotgun behind the counter, or so I've heard (well, I heard it from him) because Lloyd had its wild-west days when the whole crack epidemic was happening.
Mr. Lawrence got sick though, and had to give the store up. It was so sad. Eventually it was sold to a couple from Tallahassee, according to the word on the street, who planned to make it into a shop where the wife could sell her arts and crafts.
Maybe the crack epidemic never truly ended.
However, that happened over a year ago and not one damn thing has been done and the building is falling into decay and is fast becoming not only an eyesore but a danger and as of yesterday, when I first saw that chair, obviously a place to dump your shit.

Didn't mean to go into a History-of-Lloyd post but I guess I just did.
I took the picture of the chair this morning on my walk. I had thought I'd maybe just spend the whole day here again but then I thought that it would be sort of fun and crazy and daring to go get a pedicure and I needed a few things from Publix. There's a nail salon right next to Publix where I shop and where Lily works and although it's not the best, it's certainly convenient and extremely reasonable.
Well. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I took a shower after my walk and even shaved my legs! and scrubbed my feet the best I could without the use of bleach and got dressed and drove to the little strip mall where Publix and the nail salon are and went in and was immediately assigned to a guy for my pedicure. He was older. Probably not older than me but certainly older than the usual nail salon employee and I had a feeling from the beginning that this might not go well. It's so hard for me to rationalize getting a pedicure in the first place due to First World Beige Woman Guilt (just being honest) and I usually never get one unless it's when my daughters can all get together and go, making it a party. But you know- Mr. Moon's out of town, I'm on my own, it's sort of like I'm on a vacation...blah, blah, blah.
First thing that happened is that I do believe my pedicurist and another employee were discussing the state of my feet. Look- I get bad calluses and also, I go barefoot a lot and when I'm not barefoot I'm usually just wearing flip flops and they don't exactly keep the black dirt of Lloyd from my soles. That's just the way it is and it's one of the reasons I like to get a pedicure sometimes. Face it- my feet need professional help. And honey, I tip real well. And yeah, maybe they were talking about the condition of my feet and I can understand that. But then the guy starts in with those fucking clippers to cut away my toenail cuticles. I hate those things. And this time, it HURT! I actually, for once, spoke up and said to the guy, "That hurts!"
His English, although better than my whatever-language-he-speaks-is, wasn't very good but I finally got the message across and he looked at me accusingly and said, "Too much skin!"
Oh. Well. Sorry. I grow cuticles.
He lightened up a little bit and I sucked it up and got through that experience and then, when he started in with the cheese grater and the pumice stone he said, "So dirty!"
Well. Yeah. But it was ingrained dirt that could only be removed with the tools of his trade.
The cheese grater. The pumice stone. Whatever that stuff all is.
But it made me feel, well, shamed. You know?
And his so-called massage was a joke. I swear he only did one leg.
I shaved my legs for this?
And to top it all off, the man somehow figured out how to hurt me applying the polish.
It was just a miserable experience.

And did I complain? Did I say anything to the manager? Did I refuse to give him a tip?
No, no, and of course no. I gave him a very decent tip and he even said, "Thank you, lady!" as well he should have.
He was probably expecting me to stab him.
Lesson learned- don't go back to that place.

But shopping at Publix was a pleasure, as always. Although when the guy who weighed out my little piece of salmon asked me how I was doing and I said, "I'm good, how are YOU?" and he said, "Today is not my best day," I felt as if something very bad had happened to him. "Are you going to be okay?" I asked.
"I hope so," he said as he tore the piece of white paper from its roll to wrap my fish in. He did not sound like he had a LOT of hope though.
I didn't know what to say. Of course me being me I wanted to say, "Tell me about it. Let's talk. You'll feel better," but you just can't do that. So what I said was, "I hope so too and I'll be thinking of you today." He seemed to appreciate that and said three times, "You have a good day."
But god, I felt bad for him. One never knows. Did he just get a terrible diagnosis? Has his woman left him? Is one of his kids sick?
Well, obviously I am thinking about him and I do hope he'll be okay.

I've felt guilty all day long because I made the chickens stay in the coop. I've been getting about one egg a day and I know they're laying somewhere. But I really do hate keeping them, uh, cooped up, and although I should do the same tomorrow there is no chance that I will. Free range is free range and my chickens are. And the last time I checked I didn't even have one egg in there.
They're probably holding those eggs in for spite.
I don't blame them.

Okay. Here's something really funny. Remember the whole thing about peas and how I always buy canned peas when Mr. Moon goes out of town because he hates them and I love them? Well, I got this picture from him last night with the text message "I hope this made you laugh."

That was his supper last night! 
And it did make me laugh. And I sent him this picture and said, "This is what you didn't get."

Which was a chicken shawarma with onions and greens and baked tomato and eggplant. 

And tonight I'm going to be making this. 

Or something resembling that. 
We don't even need to discuss the naan bread I made last night with some of the discarded sourdough starter. No. No. We don't need to talk about that at all. 

And I finished watching all eight episodes of "Unbelievable." If any of y'all have watched that, please let me know. There's one scene I really want to discuss with someone who's seen it. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Well you are much nicer than me. I would have thumped the cuticle cutter on the top of his head and given him whatforandthensome. My tip would have been to tell him to find suitable employment in another profession. No one has ever accused me of suffering in silence. Feet shaming? Really??
    I love hearing about your history there and the people who once inhabited the area. Nd Ruby sounds like a pistol and I would bet many of those toys were gifted to children in need of a fairy godmother.
    You would like Bannack and Virginia City, Mt. All restored buildings and cabins. And yes I live here full time. Those of us lucky enough to have real cabins take great pride in preserving their history and stories. I lived here in another life.

    1. I WISH I had the courage to do what you would have done. I thought about it but I'm such a damn wimp.
      Ms. Ruby had a lot of people who were on a tab and I have a feeling she didn't ever collect on a good many of them.
      I may have been to Virginia City. I'd love to visit there. I know what you mean about the other life.

  2. I saw "Unbelieveable". Some of it was very hard to watch.Which scene are you remembering?

    1. The one in the restaurant where Detective Duvall was sitting at a counter reading the textbook on rape investigation and that creepy guy was sitting next to her. Specifically when she stood up and showed him her badge and gun without saying a word. It felt so empowering to me and I am pondering that in light of how I feel about guns and all they represent. How did it make you feel? And thank you for answering my question.

    2. That guy was extremely creepy and she basically told him who she was. I know what you mean about the guns though but in her case I was glad she had one. Somewhat twisted I know! I found al the actors incredible in this series. It made me think for days and days.

    3. Yeah. Definitely a show that keeps making you think. I believe the writers were amazing. And one of the things that made that scene so effective and powerful was that it was it was the Karen Duvall character who flashed the badge. It was so interesting to see the vast differences in the characters of the two women detectives. Grace was much more of what we would think of as a stereotypical female detective. Tough. Brusque. Short on patience and quick to speak her mind whereas Karen was so much softer-seeming. Her voice, her appearance, her gaze, her hair, her church-going. But in that scene she really showed her quiet strength. I loved that. In her own way she was as tough or tougher than Grace. It's one of those series that it's going to be hard to shake from my mind. VERY well done.

  3. I have peas in my freezer. Good job it's well past supper! I hope those peas on Mr. M's table are hot, hot, hot and a lot of butta is available for them to swim in! Or, I would be sending them back to the kitchen to be heated well up again, and returned, swimming in butta. Sigh. But then, I had mashed potatoes and beets for dinner, and enough left for tomorrow, so I'm eating pretty darn good, too.

    1. Here's a funny thing- beets are just about the only other food he does not like! But he sure does love mashed potatoes. And butter. On everything you can put butter on.

  4. I've seen the preview for Unbelievable on Netflix but I'm afraid it may be disturbing to watch. My tolerance for disturbing is pretty low these days. And your experience with the pedicure is exactly what I fear would happen if I ever got one. Goodness knows I feel bad enough about various parts of my body without adding feet to the list.

    How is Mr. Moon enjoying North Dakota?

    1. Well, like I said- it doesn't really have any extremely graphic visual images of rape. More centered on the detective work and what the women who survived the rapes went through as a result of them. No gratuitous violence or sex that I can recall. At all. And as far as I remember, the only nudity was male.

  5. I gobbled Unbelievable, So, so much in there that was relatable even for a fortunate person such as myself who has not been raped (as of now, my cynical brain adds)... That scene where she had to flash her gun was so real. As a teen downtown where we shouldn't have been at inappropriate o'clock a dear friend and I got out of some sticky encounters by playing mentally disabled/crazy. We were very good at it since we were the kids of staff in a community boarding school for handicapped children. We were the staff kids, stir crazy staff kids!

    1. That's an interesting strategy.
      I wish we lived in a world where girls and women didn't have to be afraid to be in the "wrong place" at the "wrong time." And as "Unbelievable" pointed out, a woman can be any age, race, or physical appearance in her own home and still be a victim. And her word still doubted.

  6. Long-time lurker here, first time commenter! I really enjoy reading your blog and your stories about Lloyd are just so lovely!!! I had to comment today as I was thinking about going to the chiropodist in the city sometime soon as I haven't been for ages. He is a doctor and doesn't do polish or any cosmetic stuff so not a "pedicure" as we would call it. On the other hand he is a drop-dead gorgeous young black man and the thought of getting my feet massaged by him sends me into a swoon (I know, you take what you can get when you're over 60). And I also had to laugh at the "peas" story! I'm a Brit but have lived in France for over 30 years. I NEVER bought peas because I didn't like them. So one day I asked my youngest what he had had to eat for lunch with the babysitter and he said "hamburger, fries and little round green balls"! Had to start buying peas after that!

    1. Well thank you for reading here and thank you for commenting!
      Your chiropodist sounds perfect! Yes, make an appointment soon. Your feet will be grateful.
      I like your peas story too. That's so funny- "little round green balls." That is what they are, aren't they? I've read about the English eating mushy peas and even for me that thought is a bit off-putting.

  7. I do not like canned peas. I'll grow and eat fresh peas which means we only eat peas a few times a year. your story of the little store reminded me of the little store down the dirt road from my aunt and uncle's place in the country in east Texas. no air conditioning (this was back in the 50s and 60s) with a screen door. I was sometimes allowed to walk down there and get a soda when I was visiting. and visiting my aunt's mother-in-law. it was the first time I encountered chickens.

    1. also...feet! I go barefoot all the time and my heels are tough and stained with ingrained dirt. I do have a pumice stone though and I try to get the dirt and stains out with that. I'm more or less successful. and how rude of that guy to comment on your feet!

    2. Well, I admit that I should use a pumice stone more often. I have one. Or two. I suppose I'm just lazy.
      I think there were many, many of those old country stores around for many years. Now, they are very rare. We were lucky we remember them.

  8. Yeah, hard to know about tipping when someone is that bad. It's tempting not to tip but I'd have given a very measly one and said, you hurt me with those clippers, and hope he took the hint. Not that I'd have returned to that salon anyway. Your meals look delicious!!

    1. He really did not speak English but I think his manager did. I should have said something but I just never do speak up. I'm a wuss like that.
      My meals have been stellar!

  9. I hope you will post a couple of images of your feet to confirm your description of them. They sound like the feet of a cavewoman. Are you sure you are not Betty Rubble?

    1. Betty Rubble? Why Mr. P! You know I'm Wilma Flintstone!
      And no one wants to see my feet. Trust me.

  10. For the life of me I’ll never understand why a customer based operation would ever treat anyone in such a way as to make them feel shamed. And injured too! I’m sorry that happened. Been there. It sucks.

    1. I had the feeling that this old guy was just OVER IT! And if I had to give pedicures for a living I'd be over it in about ten minutes so I do have that perspective. But yeah- come on. Shaming AND pain? He should go into the BDSM trade and leave his clipper behind him.

  11. On this day, of all days, I am reluctant to say I have a sweatshirt that reads "Give peas a chance." I miss John.

    Thank you for always letting me know what really good writing reads like. <3

    1. Pamela- How great it is to see you here! Thank you for coming by and thank you for your kind words. I hope all is well with you.

    2. And "Give Peas A Chance" is funny and that's all there is to it. I also like "Envision Whirled Peas."


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