Sunday, December 22, 2019

I Wish I Knew

The only picture I took today was of Owen using the grinder to make ground venison. And I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that scene offends some readers. The vegetarians, the vegans, the people who feed the deer in their yards.
And I don't blame you. I mean- if forty years ago you'd told this hippie vegetarian girl that she'd be using ground deer meat to make her spaghetti, she would have been horrified.
But it is a cute picture of Owen.
And like I say- if you're going to hunt and if you're going to eat meat- know what turns it from animal to supper.

I am torn about the whole situation. I am. But the reality of the situation is that the men in my family hunt for deer and we eat the meat.
Speaking of venison spaghetti, I have some sauce simmering right now. Besides venison it has cauliflower and olives, capers and onions, peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Also spinach.
One of my favorite kinds of suppers- boil some pasta, put it in a dish, add the sauce.

So what I did today while Jason and Mr. Moon and Owen cut up and ground up deer was to finish Maggie's nightgown and to wrap most of the presents. Doesn't sound like much, does it?
Well, it wasn't.
But somehow it took all day.
I am the world's worst present-wrapper. No, really, I am. It took me hours to gird my loins enough to go upstairs and get the giant tub of wrapping paper and boxes and ribbons and bows and tags but I finally did it, descending each stair slowly and carefully because those stairs scare the shit out of me. I find it hard to believe that no one has ever fallen down them and broken their neck. And it quite possibly has happened but no record of such an accident exists. I really do wonder and am quite curious as to all of the things that have happened in this house.
Births and deaths for sure.
The house was already here during the Civil War and so quite possibly it was used in some capacity while that was going on. The guy we bought the house from claimed that at one point the house was being used as a bordello but I think he's full of it. I mean, it's possible. We are a block away from what was a main highway before the interstate was put in but I'm pretty sure that old Mrs. Miller who used to live in this house before she moved across the street would never have allowed that to happen.
But yes, certainly births and deaths and sickness and health. Music and dancing and kissing and fooling around. The sweetest words, whispered into a lover's ear, the cruelest words hurled across the space of the kitchen.
You just know that a good many of the things that can happen to humans have happened here.
I wonder about the pets, the dogs and the cats and birds in cages that have sheltered here. I wonder about the quilts stitched here. I know for a fact that there used to be a quilting frame in the hallway and women would come and sit and sew together. I wonder about the meals cooked here. I wonder about the gardens grown and the animals raised for food and for farm work here. I am curious to know what it was like when the house was first wired for electricity and the first light switch turned on. Same with what whoever was living here at the time felt when indoor plumbing was introduced or when the first automobile pulled into the yard.

And in the almost sixteen years that we've lived here now, I've witnessed and been a part of some of it. Courtships of my children, Vergil asking Jessie to marry him in the back yard under the oak tree. Babies learning to crawl and then walk down the long hallway. I've made so many meals, I've raised and tended my own chickens and we've gardened a bit. I've added to the landscape with camellias and palm trees, we've had parties and music and I've gotten more than one grandchild down for naps with stories and songs and back-scratching. There have been weddings and there have been wakes. There have been tears of joy and of despair and of gutted grief, words of promise and words of hot anger.
But not too many of those.
I have slept so sweetly here.
There has been love-making and there has been hallway dancing and this house, this little piece of earth it sits on, has taken it all in, offered its spaces up to every bit of it.

And how the hell did I get from gift-wrapping to that?

I have no idea. It's been a rambling, rainy day. It's raining now. It's supposed to rain all night and tomorrow too.
The bed has been made twice.
A ten-year old boy has helped his dad and granddad prepare food that will eventually feed us all.
I didn't check eggs all day but when I went to close the chickens up, I found Sissy sitting in a nesting box and when I checked under her, I found these.

She pecked me so hard that she drew blood as I so cruelly took the eggs from underneath her. I don't know whether she was just pissed at being disturbed in her night-sleep or whether she was defending a nest she feels compelled to sit on. I would happily let any hen go broody and hatch eggs except for the fact that so many of them seem to turn out to be roosters. 
Well. We shall see if she seems to want to go through the tremendous sacrifice of sitting on eggs. I suppose that if she is absolutely determined, I'll let her. Not like I can stop her if she takes a mind to do it. She'll just nest somewhere I can't find her. 


I figure that this will be my house's 160th Christmas. 
I like thinking about that. It takes some of the pressure off of me. Why even bother thinking that I could possibly be the worst or the best at celebrating Christmas day? 

Love to you all...Ms. Moon


  1. If you are going to do battle with Miss Sissy, you might consider a nice pair of leather gloves. They can look quite sassy, hanging from a back pocket.

    1. You remind me of how I once got a major girl-crush on a woman who worked at a nursery who had her pruners attached to her belt with a little holster. You're right about the gloves. Uh-huh.

  2. I was expecting to see a picture of Owen using the grinder but it never appeared. Our house is only 95 years old so yours is very mature in comparison - containing the echoes of many special moments. It always sounds like a happy house. Perhaps you can hear it humming sweetly when no one else is there.

    1. I can, Mr. P. I can not only hear it humming, I can feel it.

  3. my old house, my old city house, if it were still there today, would be nearly 140 years old give or take 5 years maybe. I remember seeing a date in the 1870s in the concrete of the original flue/chimney in the attic. can't remember the exact date though. I still miss that house but I do not miss being in the city.

    I used to like wrapping presents back in the day when I still celebrated christmas. I still think all gifts of any kind should be wrapped instead of just put in a 'gift' bag. remember when clothing stores would fold up your purchases and put them in a box for you to take home? now they just dump everything in a plastic bag.

    1. I can barely remember that although I am sure it did happen. We didn't always have plastic bags, did we?
      I know you must miss that old house but I am sure you do not miss living in the city. I am so lucky to not have to make a choice between those two things.

  4. I LOVE your house, I love it's stories. You could write a fictional biography of your house, , characters from every family , business, women's sewing group,floor boards, boots and bare feet. Every decade a chapter. You know, when you run out of presents to wrap and babies to tend to.

    1. Oh, woman. I did write a book about that very subject. The ending never suited me and I never did a thing with it. The woman who lived here before I did is an actual published author and she wrote a book in which this house was a character. "How Clarissa Burden Learned To Fly." It's interesting in that I can recognize my floors and windows and walls and hallways but it's not my favorite book.

  5. Our house is all of twenty years old. There aren't a lot of old houses around here. Europeans only showed up here around 150 years ago. I do love old houses though.

    As for venison, if people do hunt, I think it's much better the meat is eaten than the animal just hunted for a trophy. If I had to, I would hunt as well. Thankfully my hunting is only done in the meat section:)

    I sent you a video of pissed of chickens. I think you'll enjoy it.

    1. I did enjoy that video. That poor hawk. "WHAT THE HELL?"
      Venison is good meat but I will admit that if I wasn't married to a hunter I'd never have tasted a bite in my life.

  6. I have mixed feelings about eating meat too, although I'm not a vegetarian. I think in days gone by it was "less cruel" in a way as people raised their animals, slaughtered them and then ate every bit of it. Knowing that I couldn't slaughter it I guess I'm hypocritical, but also knowing the crap that is pumped into today's commercially produced meat makes a good argument for not eating it anyway. I am trying to eat less though. And I love the stories of your home - there are many old homes here in France of course but mine isn't one of them. And like you I'm a terrible present wrapper (not quite finished yet). Anyway, I wish you and yours a merry Christmas and look forward to hearing more of your tales in the new year. Anna

    1. Hello, Anna! Thank you for coming by! Yes, you understand my conundrum about the eating of meat. I know that if I had to kill and clean what I ate, I'd be a vegetarian. No doubt about it. But at least I DO know where my meat comes from and how it looks as it is processed. So I guess that's something.

  7. 160 years! Oh Mary, what a legacy. And how fitting and wonderful that this house with its vast history is so filled with love now. Such a powerful force for good is the Moon family. Enjoy your togetherness and let Christmas be whatever it is. You’re right. 160 years does take the pressure off. Hugs.

    1. I am indeed letting my Christmas be what it is. It's okay. It's not terrible. It's never going to be easy so I'll take what I can get. I am thinking of you...

  8. I love your musings about the goings on in your home of 160 years. It is quite amazing to be in a space, day and night, that has been occupied by so many different people and to wonder who they were and how they lived. Really sparks the imagination. When I was kid I used to help my grandpa dress deers that he brought home from extended hunting trips. We'd even tan the hides. Grandma would make all kinds of yummy dishes of venison. I'm not conflicted about eating meat, only meat that has been factory raised and fed all kinds of horrible things. I avoid that at all costs. We really should be raising beef in better ways, both for our health and for the health of the planet.

    Glad you didn't take a tumble down those stairs -- they'd scare the shit out of me, too, especially with an arm full of stuff.

    Merry Christmas, Mary.

    1. You are so right- we should be raising our meat in better ways.
      I'd love to have some of your grandma's recipes. I do the best I can but I feel like I could do better.
      And yes- that was part of the problem with the stairs- I was holding this vast tub of wrapping stuff. How did I get so old? Ugh.

  9. If one is going to eat meat, your family's way is the best way.

    160 I'm in awe thinking of it. Our house was built in 1956 and that feels like an old, settled house to me but compared to yours it's still a youngster. :)

    Merry Christmas dear Moon clan!

    1. Well, houses built in the fifties are generally sturdy and well built. I would happily live in one of those. I think that Jessie and Vergil's house was built around then and it's a beautiful house.
      And my house has been rebuilt and built-onto ever since it was first built. So I have all ages represented here. You can tell the age of each room mostly based on how wide the floor boards are. It's pretty dang cool.


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