Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Several Topics

I woke up this morning and realized that whatever energy had propelled me yesterday was completely missing today. I looked at my vat of collards and said, "Fuck that shit."
I mean, really- I still have enough collards in the garden to take care of our collard needs for quite awhile and if I decide to put some of those up I can. 
At some future date. 


I just feel old today. Like it's time for me to let the world spin on its own for awhile. It's gotten hotter, eighty-something, although tonight it's supposed to get down to the forties, then be down in the thirties for a few nights, not even getting up to seventy in the daytime.


Meanwhile, I've got my air conditioner on although I'll turn it off before we go to bed. I know that Mr. Moon will be hot and tired when he gets home. He's been helping Lily whose water tank for her well has sprung a leak. I can't even imagine that his day has been like. He never stops for anything, that man. 

So I've been lazy today. I took the trash and went to the post office because I knew I had a package there. I ordered a linen dress on major sale and was very excited about it and when I opened it, I discovered it to be absolutely lovely, the fabric luxurious and finely spun but I ordered it in a size at least one bigger than I need and it swamped me. I'm returning it and hoping they can send me another. Women's sizes are so ridiculous. One company's large is another company's small and a different company's large is another company's tent. I remember once being at Ross and overhearing a woman talking to another woman. She was holding up a dress, looking at a tag and she said, "Large? Large what? Large snake?"

I'm still laughing. 

I did go out and kick some bamboo because I live in huge fear that I'm going to wake up and find ten foot tall bamboo growing all in my yard where I don't want it growing and that's not an idle fear. But I also took a long nap which is unusual for me these days. I started a loaf of sourdough last night and I swear- baking bread for me is like gardening in that I've been doing it most of my life and never do feel like I know a damn thing about what it is I'm doing. The dough I made up that I just baked had more whole grains in it than my usual loaves and it did rise beautifully but I let it go too long before baking it and it's a rather flat loaf. 

Ah well. It'll taste good. 

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility. Even as Joe Biden released a presidential proclamation honoring that, saying, “Transgender Day of Visibility recognizes the generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world," individual states are trying to pass legislation limiting protections for trans and queer people, like my own son who is quite out as a transgender man. 

Dear god, I love Joe Biden. I love my son. I love the trans people I know who are some of the most precious people in my life. As a meme I read today said, 

And I will add that it doesn't just make them miserable, it can make them vulnerable to death by suicide among many other horrible things. 

And as Hank said today in a FB post, "We're the current bogeyman of choice."

Well, as I said at the beginning of this post, fuck that shit.

And please know that if you are LGBTQ or a person of any gender non-conforming kind and your family doesn't recognize or see or accept your reality, I'm here for you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Good Stuff

Last night I told my husband that my foot felt better after spending a good portion of the day off of it, reading books to August and so forth. "If I would just stay off it for a week, mostly, I really think it would help."

He agreed. Said I should. 
So what did I do today? 
Decided that since it wasn't burning up hot I'd go work in the garden pulling bolted greens and processing some of them. 
Because of course! 
But it is that time where things have got to be pulled out to make room for the tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, squash, and so forth. And what a shame and a sin to waste all the goodness still there in the leaves of my beautiful greens which have given us so much pleasure this winter. So. I did what I did. I pulled the rest of the mustard greens and picked the leaves off of them. 

This is how big a mustard leaf can get. 

That's one of the batches up there on the right after I'd blanched them. I have four quart bags of those in the freezer now. I didn't pull all the kale but did pull a half row and that's what's soaking there on the left. It, too, has now been blanched and made about half a gallon's worth to bag and put in the freezer. I've still got a goodly amount of collards that I pulled and stripped leaves off but I just didn't have the energy today to finish those up. 
It's quite a process to get the greens ready for freezing. Pick them, get rid of the leaves you don't want because of bug damage or yellowing or whatever. Wash them, wash them, wash them. Drain them. Cut the stems out of the biggest ones and then roughly chop them into bite-sized-ish pieces. Throw them in a big pot of boiling water for a few minutes, drain, put in an ice bath, drain again, and then bag them. 
The Thermonster is a beast of a food processing stove. It can bring a huge pot of water to boil in about a third of the time it took my old stove. 

The whole time I was doing this I felt like a pioneer woman who wasn't really a pioneer woman at all in that pioneer women did not have freezers, freezer bags, ice makers or Thermonsters, while at the same time wondering if what I was doing was going to be worth the damn work. 
Maybe not. 
I have to laugh sometimes when I read the comments on the pictures of old Florida houses that are posted in a FB group I follow. Everyone seems to envision a time when life was so simple and people sat around on the big front porches and sipped iced tea and gossiped and watched the kids play in the yard. There may have been some of that but trust me when I say that SOMEONE in that household (and it may have been mostly the hired help but certainly not all if any) was chopping the wood and keeping the cookstove going to brew the tea on and where in the hell did they get ice? Were they lucky enough to have a pump in the kitchen where they could get water or did someone have to haul it? Who was getting the supper ready? The giant mid-day dinners to feed all the people needed to work the fields and keep the houses running? Who was doing the washing up after all of that cooking and serving? Who was growing the gardens to make those meals out of? Who was taking care of the farm animals? The cows and the chickens, the horses and the hogs? 
Who cleaned the outhouse? Who dug the new one? 

Simpler times my ass. 

So I was thinking of that today and I was also thinking about the things I use most in my daily life when it comes to getting chores done and no, it's not my beloved food processor or KitchenAid or fancy kitchen gadgets of any sort. It's the big tin pan I use to put weeds in when I pull them, the giant plastic bowl I use to wash greens in or hold chopped greens in. It's the garden cart and the old canning kettle with rusted-out holes in the bottom that I also use in the garden for weeds and whatever needs toting. It's my garden trowel!
Now don't get me wrong. I don't think I could last a week without my cast iron, my knives, my coffee maker. And I love my food processor and my KitchenAid, my beautiful new stove, my refrigerator that makes ice and good Lord don't get me started on how much I love my washing machines both of clothing and dishes. But by golly, it's those old seemingly-worthless things that I grab almost daily that serve my needs so well. Hell, my favorite biscuit pan is one I found in the yard. It's aluminum (the devil's metal) but very, very heavy aluminum and I know it came from Sears And Roebuck because that's what it says on the bottom of it. 

And I swear- the tool I absolutely cannot do without in chicken-tending is an old hoe-head that I use for scraping chicken shit with. The second I found that thing I knew exactly what I needed it for. It's like some random piece of my DNA jumped up and danced, hands raised above heads shouting, "Oh yeah! Oh yeah!"

Well, that's all I have today. Tonight's menu will include a small red snapper that's been in the freezer along with a few shrimp, cheese grits of the sort that take an hour to cook because they are REAL grits, and probably a salad. I forgot to mention that I picked all the lettuce except for the butter crunch which is still growing nicely. 
Last night's egg rolls made with our own head of cabbage were supremely delicious. The difference in vegetables that were picked a few hours before they were cooked and the vegetables you can buy at the store is vast. 

Life is fine for me, at least, in Lloyd today. My foot may not feel better but my soul surely does. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 29, 2021

 This morning August woke up first. It was barely getting light outside and he came and crawled in the bed with us and I held him to me and said, "It's not time to get up yet, baby. Let's sleep a little more."
"No," he said. "It is time."
"But I have to finish the dream I was having," I said.
"Okay," he said and he was very quiet and very still and I went back to sleep and then when it was a little bit lighter, Levon popped up and crawled in bed and said, "I want to snuggle!" and August said, "No. Mer is going to tell us her dream," but then Boppie woke up and Vergil came and collected the children and we both slept a little longer. 

Jessie had an appointment in Thomasville at ten and Vergil and Mr. Moon got started on some major, MAJOR garage clearing-out, which Levon insisted on participating in all day long. They worked from early to late, and have just left. August was my buddy for most of the day. We had such a good time. He was a good kid and even made Mr. Moon's and my bed for us. As you can see above. 
When I saw what he'd done I started to say, "Let me show you how..." and then there was going to be a lesson on smoothing out sheets and re-tucking them but I thought better of it and instead said, "That's wonderful! Thank you so much! What a beautiful job," and he beamed. 
His dad had made him a crown this morning out of a used-up Cheerios box and he wore it all day long. It had a rainbow on it. 

We went outside and picked things to make a little flower arrangement and he was all about that. We talked and talked and talked about many things, including Frida Kahlo and Mexican cooking. The boy is a talker and he's got a lot of ideas; his brain is a sponge and he soaks everything up. Here's a picture I took yesterday of him and his dad and his Boppy talking after the basketball game. 

And we read so many books today that finally I caved and said, "August, I think this is enough."
Not sure I ever thought I'd say that but we were on page 120 of a Richard Scarry book and that was only part of what we read. Levon joined us for some of the books after lunch but eventually he had to go back outside and see what the men were doing. He was so dirty when he left here that it might take a bath and two showers to get him clean tonight. The black dirt of Lloyd is going to find its way to Tallahassee. 

He's such a guy. 

When the work day was over, Boppy took the boys on a little four-wheeler ride which they loved. 

They putt-putted slowly around the yard a few times, August with one hand on the brace back there and one hand tightly gripping his grandfather's overall strap. 

I think that Boppy is exhausted and I am too. Been a lot of activity going on the past two days. FSU didn't win its game yesterday but I think everyone had a good time. One of the guys who came over is someone I've known forever and the other forever and a day. Both had had health problems, severe ones, and it was a joy to see them even if I didn't watch one minute of the game. 

I'm going to whip up some eggrolls here- one of Mr. Moon's favorite meals. I picked another cabbage from the garden and have some other stuff to go in them. 

And oh! A few of y'all asked me about the golden seal and where I get it. I'm afraid I'm not going to be real helpful there. I use the golden seal root powder and I've always bought mine from the local co-op. The same place Billy and May work. It's sold in bulk and when I buy it, I only get a very small amount. It costs a fortune but not when you buy a tiny bit. Here's the bag I have right now and that'll last me forever. 

I literally scoop the amount I need out of the bag on the end of a tiny cocktail fork. 
They keep it behind the counter at the co-op because it is so expensive and I guess people steal it. Also, some years ago it became a common belief that drinking a tea from it could aid in getting a clean piss test. This is not something I know anything about because thank god I've never had to be tested in that way. Also, because it's the most bitter shit on earth. It tastes nasty. I have only ever used it topically. And I must say that once when I was using it on a wound on my husband's foot, he had a horrible itchy reaction to it. He's the only person (or critter) I've ever known to have that reaction but I'd be amiss if I didn't mention that. My finger where I've been using it in conjunction with the Neosporin is about 90% free of redness and tenderness now. I'll probably slap a little more on there tonight and put a bandaid over it before I go to bed but I am pretty sure I'm out of the woods with the fear of dire bacteria. 

Last night with the kids sleeping in our room, Maurice would not set paw into the room, much less jump up on the bed, and Jack gladly took her place. It was so nice to feel his solid body against mine. As I was falling asleep, I was stroking his soft back and when I quit, he tapped me on the leg to tell me to continue. 
He's a normal cat. If there is such a thing. 

Once in awhile, normal is good. 

Love...Ms. (Not Really Normal) Moon

Sunday, March 28, 2021

March Madness

 As we speak I have four grown men and two not-grown men in my house along with a daughter. FSU is part of March Madness, whatever that is, and as it turns out, the madness begins at home. 

There are chicken wings abounding and some random cut-up vegetables. I am heating up some of last night's black bean soup. Which, by the way, looked like this.

I'm sure it will look similar tonight. 
August already ate three spicy chicken wings and had an immediate uncomfortable feeling in his tummy. He tried to convince his mother and me that some M&M's would help settle it down. 
We were not persuaded. 

See that little tree up there at the top? That's the Norfolk Island pine that I bought years ago to use as a Christmas tree. It was tiny then and now it's too big for a pot so I've planted it outside. I have no idea if it will live but it sure wasn't going to live in a pot. Although you cannot tell from the picture, that little corner of the yard is covered in about fifteen different sorts of horrible invasive plants including poison ivy. One of my yard-goals is to clear that area and fill it with ferns and some native stuff.
Like, oh- Norfolk Island pines and maybe a transplanted palm that I bought as a house plant and which is now about half the height of the house. 
I have no idea what I'm doing but I do know that pulling and digging out the nasty stuff is quite unpleasant and honestly, I need a shower.
I did a lot of other stuff today too but none of it worth talking about. 

Jessie and Vergil and the boyos are going to spend the night as Jessie has an appointment in Thomasville in the morning and the boys were coming here anyway. So- it's a party of sorts and I need to go and attend to the goings-on. 

Y'all take care.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Some Cheer

There's a picture I took yesterday of Gracie simply because I love the way the lowering sun shines through her comb. Did you know that each chicken's comb is different and unique to him or to her, influenced by breed?
Well, now you do. 

I have been more cheerful today and less concerned about getting anything done and that has resulted in my not getting anything done which is fine by me. Hell, I still have some clothes hanging on the line and I may just leave them there overnight. 
So what? Who cares? 
Not me. 
One thing I have done is to make and tend a lovely pot of the New York Times' Best Black Bean Soup. That requires a good bit of chopping and prepping but I was happy to do it AND we've turned on the air conditioning which probably has something to do with my better mood. It's been slowly, slowly simmering away on my Thermonster's low-low burner all day long

and I started a loaf of sourdough last night which will be ready to pop into the oven very soon. Of course we'll also be having another delicious salad from the garden and there is plenty of fresh cilantro to be chopped for the soup. A true feast indeed. 

Well, I feel quite certain that every one is just dying to know (haha!) how we like the new sheets. Let me just say, we like them fine. I swear though, when Garnet Hill makes sheets, they do not mess around with inadequately sized bed linens. I have never in my life had sheets that were so generous in proportions. We could get another mattress to go on top of the one we have and they would still fit! They are extremely soft and very smooth and I have no complaints about them at all. Neither does my husband. 
Maurice, unfortunately, seems to enjoy them too. And by the way- one of my fingers she bit to the bone the other day is completely fine now and the other one is much better. I am continuing to watch it and apply antibiotic ointment. I may get out the big guns tonight and mix the Neosporin with golden seal root as I've never found anything yet that this mixture will not heal and that includes wounds on chickens, dogs, cats, and humans. It is especially good with deep punctures as it somehow seems to get in there deep and pull that infection out. I have a friend who was a midwife and her mentor told her that when applying golden seal to a vaginal tear you can practically see the edges of it snap back together. As I have said, I've used it to help heal a gunshot exit wound and it was nothing short of miraculous. I do not know why some pharmaceutical company has not gotten on this train. 
But now watch- after saying this, it won't work on a cat bite! 
We shall see. 

It is so lovely to feel a little better. To not feel as if the world would be better off without me. I know the territory of those feelings well and would never act on them but not to be trying to limp across those desolate miles is such a relief. I can look at Fancy Pants trying to get some pre-roost time loving and smile. I can look at the sun sending a spotlight to the carpet of tung blossoms under the blooming tree,

and the brand new leaves of the ash magnolia unfurled and full

and feel a quiet joy. A looking forward to the blossom of it. 

Now if I told you that seeing all of the bamboo that needs kicking did not make me feel despair, I would be lying. But that's pretty normal. I don't know what tomorrow will be like but at least I've had this pretty good day. 
A reminder that things can be lighter and less fraught.

One more chicken picture.

Dear Miss Plucky enjoying bolted arugula and carrot tops. We all enjoy the garden. Each and every one of us. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, March 26, 2021

We Had Him For Eighty-Four Years; I Guess To Ask More Would Have Been Just Plain Selfish


That's the picture of Larry McMurtry that was on the jacket of probably every book I ever read by him. If one searches images of the author, it is easy to see that he was probably not a man who was hugely vain about his appearance although who knows? 
Certainly not me.
What I do know is that this morning when Hank alerted me to the fact that McMurtry died last night, it struck me hard. It was one of those situations where you've known for years that the man could die anytime and he was eighty-four and so yes, of course, people die, all of us, Larry had to as well but as I replied to Hank's text, "Fuck, fuck, fuck. Goddammit."
I just wasn't up for that news this morning at all. 
I went out front where Mr. Moon was putting up a mailbox and I was crying so hard I couldn't get my words out and he said, "I know he meant a lot to you."
Indeed he did. Indeed he did.
I'll be the first to tell you that some of his books were not that great. Look- he wrote over thirty novels and a shit-ton of works of non-fiction and many, many screen plays and who knows what else? He also happened to own one of the largest antiquarian bookstores in the country. I think that was probably the true love of his life's work. The bookstore was in Archer City, Texas where he grew up. He described it as something like, "In the most bookless city in the most bookless state." 
I always thought to go visit it someday and to have breakfast or tacos at the Dairy Queen which was the center of so much activity in so many of his books about the people and lives of a small town in Texas he called Thalia. 
The last book I read by McMurtry was The Evening Star and I have no idea the number of times I'd read it before that reading. I think it was during the beginnings of the pandemic and that was a typical reaction for me. To reread one of Larry McMurtry's books filled with characters that I had grown to love so much over the years. His books had prequels and sequels and I often said that it was as if the man had a special way to simply look at the actions and listen to the words of this parallel universe that he had indeed created and taken down what was said, described what was done. 
His writing was as plain and clear as I imagine the sky was over his Texas home. And that was the writing I needed whenever I was too depressed or anxious or scared or in pain to read anything else. His ability to capture the smallest moments, the everyday pain and joy of people who were only remarkable in that he had focused in on them, was magnificent. There are scenes from his books, some of them only a paragraph or so, that are as well remembered and genuine to me as scenes from my own life. 

I remember when Lonesome Dove was released. My friend Sue and I, both book lovers and readers of the highest order, read it at the same time and were immersed and we fell in love with Gus and Captain Call and all of the cowboys who busted all of the cowboy myths as they moved a herd of cattle stolen from just over the border in Mexico to Montana. We knew immediately that the book would become a movie or a series and it did and we spent hours talking about who would play Gus, who would play Call, who would play Clara, who would play Bolivar, the cook? Turned out to be brilliant casting and one of my favorite actors of all times ended up being Gus, one of my favorite fictional characters of all times. He and he alone could speak the words that McMurtry had given to his old Texas Ranger. 
Robert Duvall. 
It was a moment of perfection in history for me. And as far as I'm concerned, Lonesome Dove is the Great American Novel. 
It is MY Great American Novel, anyway. 

I remember reading one of McMurtry's shorter books out loud when Glen and I took a road trip once in the west. California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington. The book was The Desert Rose and I later learned that he dashed that one off when he was in the middle of Lonesome Dove and it was perfect for our ride being about a show girl from Las Vegas which we did indeed visit and there is a scene in that small book that is one of the ones that will stay with me forever. Which is as real as anything I know. 
And then, in true McMurtry fashion, he wrote a sequel to that which was pretty awful but you know what? I doubt that every one of Einstein's equations was as groundbreaking and grand as E equals MC squared. Sometimes I think that McMurtry just loved his characters so much that he had to write more about them to see where they went after The End. And it showed. If ever there was an author who was more tender towards his characters I do not know who it would be. They all carried a sense of melancholy about them. I think every one of them did. But they all carried humor and amusement too, as the best people who perhaps think too much often do. 

I guess that's enough about Larry for now. I am remembering reading Duane's Depressed to Mr. Moon on various car trips and even though I have probably reread that book more than any other book I've ever read, I still could hardly get my words out when it ended. 

Just like today when I told my husband that McMurtry had died. 

I have an entire bookshelf filled with his books and I will return to them again and again because I know that I will always be the sort of person who needs comfort and I will always be the sort of person who loves reading and I will always be the sort of person who respects an author who gets out of the way of his characters and lets them lead and who lets them talk the way humans talk, who lets them yearn the way humans yearn, who lets them fuck-up the way humans fuck up, who lets them wander and worry and suffer and love the way humans do those things too. Who lets them lose what is most precious to them and who manage, somehow, to go on. 

It is Friday. Mr. Moon is in Tallahassee visiting with his oldest friend from college and his wife who are in town for the night. I was invited of course, but didn't entertain the thought of going for a second. I told my husband, "Just tell them that I suffer from an anxiety disorder and cannot make it."
"Already done," he said. Tenderly, even. 

He put my lamp for the library together today. 

I will no longer have to use a flashlight at night to find the book I want. 

I made him cookies. 

His favorite- oatmeal, raisin, pecan, chocolate chip. 
I've also made up the bed with the new twice-washed sheets. 
And lastly, I've made my own martini and when I took my first sip I raised my icy glass and said, "To you, Larry. Thank you for more than you could ever know."

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Letting It Be

There's the old barn. I took the picture when I was out kicking bamboo this afternoon. That wisteria had pulled down the branch it was on and is laying on the ground. 
Well, obviously. 
I need to apologize in advance about today's post. I know I'm not in a good place to be writing. I couldn't even bring myself to answer yesterday's comments and I'm sorry but some days are just not good ones for things like that. But I will say that yes- as several of you pointed out, it was Goldilocks not Red Riding Hood I meant to cite in yesterday's post. 

It should have been a good day today and in some ways it has been. The sheets I ordered came, the old-lady orthopedic flip flops I ordered came, and some socks that I'd ordered Mr. Moon came too. 
I was almost overwhelmed. 
The sheets are indeed sateen as hell and I'm not sure we won't be slipping off of them and out of the bed but they could be the best sheets I've ever had. I was afraid to unwrap them from their plastic coverings, telling my husband that for what I paid for them, I really need to love them. 
"You can send them back if we don't like them," he said. 
"Even after we use them?"
"Of course."
"Oh yeah."
And so I did unwrap them and have washed them once and will wash them again tomorrow for official Friday Clean Sheets Day before I put them on the bed. 
My mind just isn't working right these days. Pandemic fog or depression? Anxiety or dementia? All of those things? 

Mr. Moon asked me if I'd like to go to town with him. He had an errand to run at Lowe's and wanted to go by a nursery for a few more plants and seeds. 
I did not want to go. I wanted to stay home, safe and protected from people and crowds and lights and decisions. But I knew I needed to get out of this house, out of Lloyd, to do something with my husband, to try and be normal. So I went and we stopped at the Hilltop for our lunch which did not help at all as no one there was wearing a mask but us and an even older couple and their granddaughter. We waited at one of the tables outside for our order and damn if a woman didn't play an entire fucking Youtube video on how to make pizza six feet away from us which annoyed me so much that I wanted to scream at her. People seem to have no sense of space these days, no respect for others' space. Do we all think that we are in our own Cones of Silence? If the older people and their granddaughter hadn't been waiting for their order at another table I swear I would have found a video of Stray Cat Blues by the Stones and cranked it as loud as I could. 
Ironically, I had already decided to make pizza for our supper tonight. I almost changed my mind. 

The nursery was fine and we did buy some more plants and some seeds and for a minute or two I was almost roused out of my dissociation by the thought of growing beautiful red peppers but then I went back under. We drove to the strip mall where Lowe's is and there's a Publix at the other end so I went and picked up a few things we needed there while my husband shopped for what he wanted and then I did something completely insane which was to go into Lowe's myself and buy a floor lamp for the library which I have been needing for sixteen years but have been waiting to buy because I have wanted to find THE PERFECT LAMP and fuck it- just get a damn lamp. 
Which I did. 
Let there be light, okay? Just let there be light. 

Maurice bit me again last night. She was sleeping on the pillow she likes to sleep on and I reached over to gently stroke her head. She was asleep and startled badly and bit the fire out of two of my fingers and I realized that sleeping with her is like sleeping with a war veteran with PTSD who has a gun beneath his pillow and I almost cried. I washed the wounds and put bandaids on them and damn if one of my fingers isn't infected already. I've put Neosporin on it now and will keep careful watch over it. I really will. I don't mess around with that sort of thing. 

I don't know what the hell is wrong with me. I read an article in the NYT's that did seem to perhaps speak to what I'm going through. It addresses the fact that there are some people for whom the opening back up of society is not an entirely happy thing. That some of us were relieved when we were given not only permission but instructions to stay at home, to isolate and that for us, the idea of going back out into public is a huge source of anxiety. I almost felt better, reading the article because it certainly resonates with me. 
There are other factors, of course, but this may be one. 

Anyway, today I tried. As I told a friend on the phone a few hours ago, I am getting up, I am showing up, I am going on. 

I am even picking flowers because not to would be a sin.

Wisteria, tung blossoms, spirea, and one of the very last Olivia camellias. 

I better go make that pizza. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Keeping Busy

That is just a part of what we "harvested" today. I used the quotation marks because the word harvest brings to my mind endless fields of wheat or something wheat-like being harvested by something like an International Harvester (and wouldn't Levon love one of those?) and we just go out into the garden and pick. 
Anyway, that's arugula that Mr. Moon pulled because it was bolting and he needs room to plant tomatoes and peppers but instead of just trashing the mature plants he carefully picked the leaves off the stems. I did that last year and I helped some today but he did most of it. 


It's been a busy day for the old woman here. Lily suggested a get-together and we decided on lunch at her house while the boys were on their lunch break from Zoom school so I went to Costco and bought some of the wraps that we all like as well as some cut-up fruit and we had a delightful time on the deck in the beautiful weather eating our wraps and fruit, some vegetables that Lily cut up, and some leftover tabouli from the party. It's not a traditional tabouli that Lily makes but one with quinoa and lentils, and all the vegetables that one generally finds in it and it's so delicious. I brought some home with me. 
I think that Lily will be most grateful when the kids return to bricks and mortar school. Owen is eager but Gibson, strangely, is not. Maggie will be starting kindergarten next year and it'll be good for her to be in a classroom situation. She's getting a little too used to being the only girl/youngest child/princess in the world. 
The world of her house. She has recently taken to telling her mother and brothers that she is the head of the city. 
The city, also meaning her house, I guess. 
She's mighty sweet though. When I came in she brought me a doll to take home. I told her that I really didn't need a doll and as much as I appreciated that, she might miss her doll. But she insisted. So I did. 

Maggie's doll at Mermer's house, holding one of the dolls who lives here. Maggie advised me to brush her doll's hair every day. "It's weird," she said. She's right. 

I guess she is the boss of the city. And honestly, all of my grandchildren are the boss of me and I know it. So do they. 
They're pretty sweet bosses though. I was wearing a blouse as sort of an over-jacket today and both Maggie and Owen told me how pretty it was. I thanked them and told them that my friend Lis had given it to me. 
"She gives me all my pretty things," I told them. Gibson, who was sitting beside me said, "Not your pretty face."
"You stole my line!" shouted Owen. 
I mean- that's sweet. 
And Maggie let me read her a library book which was lovely. It was the story of a pony named Snowy Pony (I think) and seven miniature ponies. Yes, elements of Snow White and her seven dwarfs as well as a few homages to Little Red Riding Hood. ("This stable feels just right!")

When I came home I cleaned out the hen house and helped Mr. Moon pick leaves off the arugula and did some sweeping and made some arugula pesto. It's so beautiful. I toasted some pecans and pine nuts to go in it and I highly recommend doing that when making pesto. 

The roofers that Mr. Moon hired to repair the garage roof have been here since before I got up this morning at 8:30 and are still working as I write this and it's after six. 
I have no idea how they do this. It's beyond my imagination. 

And so it has gone today. I'm tired from my puny little efforts, feeling my age. I listened to two more episodes of "Renegade" as I went about my afternoon. There will only be two more. There is a lot to ponder in what Springsteen and Obama discuss. I'm glad I live in a time when such things are available. People's stories and beliefs, experiences and discoveries. Same with blogs, you know? 
And underlying all of these stories is the realization that no matter who we are, where we live, what sort of lives we've lived, what color our skin is, how we were raised, or who our ancestors are, we share so much just being human. 
And how much we have to learn about each other. And from each other. Pretty amazing. 

That's it for me tonight. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Lots Of Sweetness

Isn't that sort of gorgeous? I probably should have edited it somewhat to bring out the colors but I like it the way it is. It looks to me like a very old painting. That's the old barn at the east end of our property with the wisteria in the bamboo and trees to the side and the new green of the oaks coming on. Our leaves fall in the spring, believe it or not, as the new leaves push the old ones off with their verdant enthusiasm. 

I had no plans for today so it was nice when Jessie texted and asked if I wanted to go shopping with her and the boys. I texted back that I didn't really need much of anything but that she could bring those wild guys out here so that she could shop without their help. And that's what happened. I had such a good time with them! 
Here's how it goes when they get here- they pop out of their car seats and I meet them outside. They say, "Is Boppy here?" If I say yes they say, "Where is he?" and then race off to find him. If he's not here they  trudge into the house, heads down in vast disappointment. 
It's okay. I know they love me. They just have to get all the shine off their grandfather before they start remembering that I can be okay too. Plus- when Boppy's here they know there's more chance for TV watching. Why we have evolved things to be like this, I do not know but that's the way it is here at the Moon house. 

Today Boppy was working on what Levon is absolutely certain is his "race car" which is the car that is going to be built out of the engineless car and the wrecked car with the good engine. He is enamored beyond belief with this project. August is interested too. Today they helped him bag and label parts that...well, I don't know. Have some importance. Perhaps Mr. Moon plans on selling them as they are extras he doesn't need. I really don't pay much attention to these things. After awhile I made them come in for lunch and both boys were discussing things like horsepower, which is faster- race cars or monster trucks, and things like that. They were also racing around themselves, demonstrating how much turbo power and horsepower they have. 

We read books after lunch which you know is always my favorite. Not only do I get to read books out loud, but they smash their little bodies up against mine as I read to them. Today August needed to pat my arm repeatedly for some reason. It didn't bother me and it amused him so that was fine. He was quite gentle about it. I think he likes the way my old flesh feels when he pats it. 

After books there was a little TV and then there was a most exciting adventure- going to the dump with Boppy! They got to sit in the front seat of the truck sharing a seatbelt! The glory! The joy! The daring! (It's about a block to the dump place.)

They made it there and back, all in one piece. 
Sadly, there were no treasures to bring home. 

And then there was more dealings with vehicles and then there was a game of Battle and then Mama came to get them but they had to show her the race car and then August made Levon haul him back to their car in the garden cart. 

To tell you the truth, he did not make Levon do that. Levon wanted to. That kid would pull the cart to Georgia if given the chance. After he delivered his brother to the car, he pulled the cart back to where we keep it. And then before they left, there was a repeat of the whole scene. It's funny- they're not unhappy at all for their mother to get here to take them home. They're glad to see her and they don't whine or fuss but for whatever reason, it takes at least half an hour to get them loaded up into the car.
"I love you so," I told Levon when I gave him his M&M's. 
"I love you so too," he said as he happily put one of the candies in his mouth.
"Thank you for letting me read you books," I told August when he was all strapped in and ready to go.
"You're welcome," he said. 

After they left I got the clothes off the line. We are being inundated with tent caterpillars right now. I mean, they are EVERYWHERE. On the porches, on the ground, on the spigot handles, in the garden cart, on the plants, along the fences...everywhere. 
Even the clothespin bag. 

Luckily, they do not sting if touched and are not really harmful to plants. The chickens, however, will not eat them. They will become moths in a few weeks. Meanwhile, I feel quite certain that I will find a few in the clothes I hang on the line. 
Florida. Oh, Florida! How I love thee! 
Another day, another critter. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 22, 2021

And The Wheel Of Life Keeps On Turning

I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I just can't quit taking pictures of the wisteria. Every day it's more abundant, and soon, it won't be so I'm gathering my roses while I may, so to speak.

Close-up of the purple glory. 

I finally got my ass into the garden for a reasonable amount of time today. I was listening to a thriller that had enough twists and turns to keep my mind happy while my arms and hands were busy in the dirt. All was quite well until I opened a bag of mulch in which a colony of red ants had made their kingdom in and then of course the inevitable happened and I suddenly had those mean little fuckers all over my shoes and pants and socks and then ankles and next thing I knew some of them had crawled all the way up to my thighs and one simply cannot strip off one's overalls outside, even in one's backyard in Lloyd so I brushed and crushed as many as I could and stubbornly picked the greens for tonight's salad as well as a few rosebuds and then went and collected the eggs. 

I took another picture of the blooming buck-eye today. It is at its full bloom. 

Can't you just imagine a hummingbird floating about each tiny nectar vase to sip? I've seen a few at my feeder recently so I know they're about. 

It's supposed to get back up into the eighties this week and I am already extremely unhappy about that. As I've said, I have so much work to do in the yard and doing it in the heat is simply torture. I went around and kicked a little more bamboo and everywhere I turn I see another bit of yard that needs attention and I better get out and do it now while it's only in the eighties and not yet to the nineties because that will be coming soon. 
I still have the duck out but it is about time to put it away. 
And speaking of putting things away- I had Mr. Moon fold up the Pac'n'Play yesterday. My babiest baby, Levon, is now too big for it and sleeps on a fold out mattress when he comes over and as far as I know, there are no more babies on the horizon. This is far more emotionally difficult for me than it should be. I even announced the fact at the party yesterday. I washed all of the baby quilts and the sheet that had been in it and took out the little lamb that plays "You Are My Sunshine" when it is wound up that was Lily's, I think, when she was a baby. 
I should give it to her. She can keep it for her grandchildren. 
I folded the blankets and tucked them away in the chest of drawers that Glen's parents gave us where I keep my linens and some blankets. Paw-Paw told me when he brought it to us so long ago that he didn't know how old it was but that it had been in the barn when he was growing up so it's got some age on it.

Time to make supper. Mr. Moon stopped yesterday on his way home at My Way Seafood and bought a pint of oysters and I'm going to make some oyster stew or perhaps it will be more like a chowder. We'll see how it comes out. Tonight's salad will be a traditional one with tomatoes and cucumbers, etc. 

Ms. Boud at Field and Fen who inspires me with her cooking asked for the recipe for the dinner rolls I made yesterday. I figure I might as well post the picture I took of them too while I'm at it. 

Almost as good as the rolls Aunt Flonny used to make at Sebastian Elementary School when I was a child and she was the lunchroom lady cook AND the bus driver. 
But not quite because those were truly the world's best rolls. 
But here's the recipe I got online. 

Make and eat them at your own risk. And pleasure. 

Love...Ms. Moon