Sunday, October 31, 2021

We All Survived

This is what I kept thinking of last night when Levon had a small accident around two and needed dry clothes and a dry place to sleep so I brought him into bed with us after I'd changed him out of his pajamas. Instead of that little boy and little girl there in the bed above, there was only one small boy and a very fat cat between Mr. Moon and me but somehow, that's exactly how it felt. 
We got some sleep. Then around six, the small boy decided that it was time to wake up and he did try his best to be quiet until I told him that it was truly time but it wasn't long before his brother on his fold-out bed started whistling and rustling about and then came and got in bed too. He and Levon hugged as if they'd not seen each other since before the war and it was about that time that Mr. Moon quit trying to pretend he was still asleep and took those boys out to watch TV while he dozed in his chair and I dropped back into sleep like a rock into a well. 

By the time I actually got up and got breakfast made, it was ten o'clock and the boys shoveled in pancakes with alarming joy. 
"How do you like your pancakes?" I asked them. 
"P is for Perfect," said August. 
"Good," said Levon.
"G is for Good," said August.
"S is for smart," said MerMer. 

Last night had gone so smoothly. So easily. I texted Jessie when they were asleep that they'd been as good as gold. And they had been! They ate their chicken and dumplings and their purple cows. 

Then bath time and no water got sloshed over the edge to flood the floor. 

Sorry that's not quite in focus but isn't he precious? 

Pajamas were gotten on and we settled down on our bed to read Professor Wormbog and then Levon's choice- The Three Billy Goats Gruff and another story from a book with monsters and trolls in it. He has lately taken to this book and I'm not sure why. The monsters and trolls are rather hideous but they bring him delight. 
And then it was into their beds with cozy blankets and BOOM! they were asleep and I stayed awake too long (as it turned out) reading a book I'm reading about the intentional community in India called Auroville. "Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville." 
Rather strange book. The deal is, is that both the author and his wife were raised in Auroville and have now returned there to live as adults with their two sons. The place has many of the earmarks of a cult including a charismatic founding leader called "The Mother." I heard an interview with the author on NPR and you know me- tell me a good cult story and I'm a happy girl. 
So when Levon woke me up, I'd only been asleep a few hours and today I have been rather exhausted, I must say. But you know- there are far worse reasons to be exhausted than having been cuddled up with a grandchild. I probably kept HIM awake part of the night, kissing his head and tenderly and so very softly tracing his tiny hand with my own old, rough fingers. In the dark, dark part of the night that hand seemed more than miraculous to me. Still a fraction of the size of an adult hand, still so new, really, with all of its nails and knuckles, it's fingertip whirls, its brilliant ability to grasp and pluck and squeeze and hold. 
So- you know. It was a little frustrating not being able to get good sleep but it was rather lovely, too. 

So that's how it went last night and today had some book-reading and necklace and bracelet making and game playing. The regular stuff. It's Halloween and when they left with their mama, August told me that I did not need to give them a going-away treat because they were going to get lots of candy tonight. 
"Save me some," I said.
"Well...we eat it pretty fast," said August. 

And I took a nap this afternoon so no blood, no foul as my husband, the former jock, says. 

I haven't started getting Trick or Treat pictures yet but I did get this nice shot of Hank stabbing a pumpkin while watching Rocky Horror Picture Show with his love.

I have not carved a pumpkin in years. I really should though. There is nothing in the world so evocative as the smell of a pumpkin, freshly cut into, and then set to glow with a candle in it. If I did carve a pumpkin, it would be for the pure pleasure of it. 

Okay. The pictures are starting to roll in. Here's some of the Weatherfords.

Jessie spent hours and hours on that backhoe. It's all made of boxes. And August makes a very fine rock star. I do believe he's feeling it. 

And now the communication between my phone and my MacBook is being wonky. Halloween weirdness? Who knows? So I'll have to post any other pictures I get tomorrow. 

Y'all be safe and watch out for razor blades in those apples and make sure that your gummy worms don't have any THC in them! I hear that's the big threat this year. 
Who in the world would give away their edibles? 
Not anyone I know. 

Happy Halloween.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 30, 2021

We have two boys here tonight and I'm right in the middle of things so...

More tomorrow!

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 29, 2021

A Different Sort Of Life, Thank All The Lucky Stars

 Jessie just sent me this picture of two boys and some chickens. It's what's happening in her backyard right now. Can you see Fancy Pants? 

I had an immediate reaction to the photo and my eyes stung a little bit as my heart swelled. Such a prosaic picture of such a normal early evening. Two little boys jumping on a trampoline. There's a clothesline and a nice wooden fence, a few chickens scratching about for late dinner. I imagine Jessie is fixing their supper. It looks like the picture was taken from her kitchen window. And Vergil is probably finishing up whatever he's been working on today, about to start the evening shift with his wife of feeding those boys and getting them in the bathtub and in bed. 
And despite the normalcy of this image and the situation, I can't help but be filled with a huge amount of gratitude for exactly that- the normalcy. I know that my grandchildren are being raised with so much love. All of them. And that their parents watch for their safety, they make sure that the children are fed well and have bedtimes and there are rules and they know that there are times to break the rules and  they are there for the children. 

When I think of my own childhood, it is with such a sense of sadness. My mother tried. I know she did. But somehow there was just some sort of illness there that prevented her from being present as a mother, as a parent. And god knows my father, whom I did not see from the age of five until I was thirty, was no part of my life. Then of course, when I got a stepfather, he became the main source of fear and anxiety and anguish and all of the horrible things that children face when things are so very, very wrong in their homes which may look practically perfect from the outside but are malignant and rotten on the inside. 

So when I see a picture like the one above where what you see is exactly how it is, I am filled with a sort of wonder that this could have happened. I know that my children certainly had problems and I was certainly the source of many of them but I don't think that any of them cowered in their beds at night. And here are my grandchildren who are so free in so many ways to be exactly who they are, to express what they need to express, to ask for what they need.
To ask for what they need.
Think about that. 
I don't think I ever felt that I could ask for what I needed as a child. Hell, I didn't even know how to ask for what I needed- safety, protection, security, a sense of being loved and cared for. I carry this with me all these years later. It is still so very hard for me to ask for what I need. The lesson I was taught was that I wasn't going to get what I needed so why ask? 

I've often said that I am living the life I never even dreamed of. And this is true. I have been blessed with so many opportunities in which I knew I needed to figure things out or I would lose these undreamed, unimaginable blessings. Things have definitely just fallen in my lap but I've had to work hard to recognize them, to cherish them, to simply not fuck them up and I have not always succeeded by any means. 

But look- there are two of my grandsons, jumping on a trampoline, and as Jessie said in a text, "The boys have been playing so sweetly together this afternoon. It feels really lovely and right, just like you said." 

I replied that I could tell just from the picture. What I saw was not a fake representation of a perfect life but a true representation of a real life. 

Things get gnarly and hard for all of us at times. There is no enchanted life. There will be chicken poop in the grass and the kids might very well go wild at bath time and refuse to put their pajamas on. 
But there is no monster hiding in the background. There is no mother threatening to kill herself. There is no deep abyss waiting to enfold those children in darkness. 

And I guess that's what I wanted to say today. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 28, 2021

And We're Home Again

 The ocean was angry today, my friends. (Any of you get the Seinfeld reference?) But really, it was. Raining off and on, wind ripping around, muggy and stormy-looking. And of course the guys working across the street were just proceeding as normal. 
I watched one of them on a beam high above the others, welding a nail gun with a tool belt full of tools and I told Mr. Moon, "Those guys are bad ass!" They are too. 
So we packed up this morning because of course check-out time is 10:30 and I could only laugh at myself for bringing about ten times the amount of things I actually needed or used. My method of packing seems to be:

1. Pack stuff.
2. Tote stuff.
3. Don't use stuff.
4. Tote stuff home.
5. Unpack stuff I didn't use and put away. 
6. Repeat for next trip. 

Will I ever learn? I always tell myself when I'm randomly putting things in bags that I want to have choices. Like all of a sudden that Old Lady Gypsy Look that I've been wanting to adopt will kick in and I'll need jewelry and make-up and colorful clothing! 
So far this has not been the case. 

We stopped at the Mexican restaurant and had our breakfast there again. We do like the place. This morning instead of eggs and hashbrowns I got a super deluxe breakfast burrito. I went crazy! I was wild!
It was good. 
And then we drove home and it felt like we'd been gone for weeks when we got back. It had obviously rained and the air was as clear and it was as sunny as could possibly be. 

The first thing we did when we got home was to let the chickens out. We'd left them in the coop so that no one would have to come let them out in the mornings and put them up at night. Jessie came over one day and Lily another to check on them and make sure they had plenty of food and water. And although both Mr. Moon and I kept reassuring ourselves that the chickens would be fine, I know we both secretly hated the thought of them being, well...cooped up. 
So we let them out and threw them some scratch so that they could resume their normal lives and then we checked the garden to see that everything is coming up. I already need to start thinning.

And then the bringing everything in and unpacking and putting everything away and starting laundry. Mr. Moon had to go to town to work on business stuff and I've been leisurely attending to what needs doing here. 
It's cool and getting cooler. I opened up the house. 

I always think that this old house is sighing with relief when I open the hallway doors. Like me when I take off my bra. 
Or something. 

And so here we are, back at home. It really was a sweet little trip away and I'm glad we went. We are so lucky to be able to just pick up and do these things and to live so close to a pretty beach. 
So much to be grateful for. As always. 
And I'm grateful to come home to such a nice home where my chickens are rustling through the fallen leaves, looking for the delicious wild food they've missed. It will be interesting to see if their eggs have paler yolks for a few days. Poor things, having to survive on chicken food. 

Thank y'all for coming with me to the beach. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

My God I Love The Beach

 Ah, the water was so much prettier today. Not exactly clear as gin but without silt and I could see the Menhaden silver-flitting under the water when I waded in. Later on, seagulls and pelicans also found them, or their cousins, and dove and darted and had their supper. 

The temperature has been unbelievably perfect. Cool-ish but not too chilly to get in the water. Of course things always become closest to perfection on the last day of a trip, don't they? 

We've had a very sweet and easy day. Breakfast at the Mexican, lunch at the local raw bar. We sat outside there and two women came in to eat at the table in front of us whom I could have watched all day. I do not know if they were sisters or partners. Possibly friends, but I don't think so. Too much ease and familiarity between them although "ease" is not a word I would actually use to describe either one. Both older, dyed red hair although different shades, both with backs so straight it is impossible not to think they have had surgeries to insert steel rods in their backs. When they sat down, they put a zip lock of bread on the table and they ordered hamburgers but they were to be served on the bread they'd brought, grilled. Mustard seemed important. 
No mayonnaise. 
For whatever reason, people's behavior and appearances fascinate me and of course I try to figure out everyone's stories from whatever tiny sparks of clues are given off.  As Yoko Ono said and as I so often quote, "Everyone has a story to tell." And oh, how I love a good story. 

Our upstairs neighbors here at the little cottages where we are staying were there for lunch too. We finally spoke today, at least the lady and I did. She is PISSED OFF about the construction going on across the street and we discussed that this morning. We agreed that the owner needed to update his VRBO listing yesterfuckingday. She did not use that word. She appears to be far more lady-like than I am.
"We would not have stayed here if we'd known about this," she said, indicating with a wave of her hand the men working up in the air, the compressor screaming to power the nail guns that were going off with staccato briskness. 
"Yeah. Me either, probably," I said. 
A few hours later I saw her again and she told me that she'd complained to the owner. "Lodged a complaint" I think she said. 
"What'd he say?" I asked. 
"Oh, that there's construction all over the island." 
This is sort of true and sort of not true but the honest truth is that the owner/host is being dishonest in presenting his cottages as having a peaceful and unrestricted view of the beach. I'm not all torn up about it because I live two hours away and can come back anytime but this lady only has one week a year to come to the beach and she had not foreseen that she'd be twenty yards away from a construction site. 
Her husband knows TO THE DOT what time the crew begins work and what time they stop. I think he may be a bit upset too. 

Having said all of that, I do have to admit that it hasn't upset me too much but dang- my temporary neighbor is right- the owner is not being honest and I already knew that from what I described as a kerfluffle when we were trying to check in. 
Life goes on. 

So we drove around the island today, looking at houses. Lord, how things have changed since I first started coming here. There was a different bridge then- a toll bridge!- and the houses were funky, few, and far-between. Now there are mini-mansions everywhere and all I can think of is how many crazy rich people there are in America. And you can define crazy rich both ways. 

We did see a place down on the bay side with what must be at least two acres of fantastical, whimsical gardening and art work. I mean- whoa! And the house was not shabby. And there's one house on the gulf that I've been watching for years that instead of the usual four-palm-trees-and-some-oleanders landscaping, there's an entire jungle embracing it! And it's a tiny lot. A beautiful, what appears to be a Zen-influenced house wrapped in the green arms of trees and vines, wild and yet contained at the same time. As I said, I've been observing the house and tiny jungle for years and the love and work and patience and time that's gone in it is an inspiration to my heart and soul. 
I would take that house. 
If they gave it to me. 

So it's been a fine day. A loving day. A laughing day. Once again I am knocked to my knees with the sweetness of long-time love. There is nothing like it in the whole world in my experience. 

Pelicans. They are the most primeval of birds that I know. Noble and absurd, and we almost killed them all. When these flew overhead I yelled, "Thank you for coming back!" 

The last sunset for this trip. In my gratefulness and my greediness, I hope with all of my heart that there will be more for us. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Day's Report

When I booked this place to stay via VRBO, I knew it was across the street from the beach but it's a very small street and not busy at all and one of the pictures in the listening showed a bare lot with two lovely sand trails through the dunes to the beach. Easy, easy access. 
However, in updated reality, there is a new house going up on the lot and of course a crew was there working at about seven this morning but honestly, they've been so cheerful, joking and singing as they work that it's almost been a pleasure having them there. 
It is now six o'clock and I think they've just quit work. 
And there is a public beach access just two houses down so it's not a huge deal but on top of yesterday's problem with our "host" I'm feeling a little bit snitty about him. 

We went to the Mexican restaurant/American breakfast place in Eastpoint for our breakfast this morning and we lounged around some and then went to Apalachicola, crossing first the bridge from the island to the mainland and then the bridge across the Apalachicola river estuary. Apalach is filled with tourists these days. Filled. It is not the same tiny fishing village it was thirty years ago and that's for sure. I did a little shopping- for some bizarre reason, both Mr. Moon and I came away without hats and the sun is so bright that a hat is as necessary as underwear and far more useful. Mr. Moon got a sort of straw cowboy hat at the building supply store in Eastpoint when he walked over from the restaurant to say hey to the owner who is a long-time friend of his. I just wanted a damn ball hat with a good brim but was having a ridiculously hard time finding one. The beach store on the island only sells tie-dyed ones this year which I do not want and I'd be very happy with a hat from the Piggly Wiggly but they want $19.50 for a damn hat that says "Piggly Wiggly" on it and no, I am not paying that. 
I finally found one in Apalach for ten bucks and it's blue and says, "Blues in the Lot" which is a thing they were doing for awhile with music in some parking lot and I didn't even try it on when I found it but just bought it. It's fine. It's lovely. It keeps the sun out of my eyes. 

I went to River Lily (best little shop in the entire Northwest Florida/South Georgia area) and did not buy one thing. I went to the Grady Market and they no longer appear to carry Johnny Was stuff so that was a bust. However, the book store was another matter. I ended up buying Colson Whitehead's "Harlem Shuffle" and Francine Prose's "The Vixen." Also, some yarn and a bamboo crochet hook which I need like I need a sandspur up my nose but something comes over me in that bookstore and I cannot stop myself. I was so very glad to see the store owner and we had a little chat and I ended up crying when she told me about the send off that Apalachicola gave a woman named Tamera who died about a year ago. She was beloved, was from Venezuela, ran a very cool coffee shop and a restaurant. A raging liberal, a beautiful woman whom I always had hoped to be a friend of one day. 
So. There was that. 

And then we went to the crazy Hole in the Wall oyster bar and it was as insane as ever and I have many, many thoughts about that experience. Perhaps someday I'll share some of them. It would be an entire post's worth of thoughts so I won't dip into them here. 

This small part of the world seems to have a magnetic hold on many different types of humans. Some from as far away as Venezuela, some whose families go back generations living in this rather isolated part of north Florida where the sea and a river meet, where so many hurricanes seem to head directly when they've powered up to full power over the gulf, and where people from all over the world now visit and fall at least slightly in love with the charm and fucking weirdness of it all. 
And I am one of those people. 


Gulf Coast Fritillary. There are thousands of them here now.

Coquinas or periwinkles. Either name will do. Tiny colorful clam-like creatures who ride in on the waves and bury themselves in the sand before you can blink an eye. We went down to the beach with all the beach stuff- chairs, towels, books, water, umbrella, fishing equipment, etc. and we set it all up only to discover that black biting flies were a torment and the water is muddy with silt. 
We managed to stay for about half an hour and then gave it up and hauled it all back to the room.

And then comes sunset, the flies disappear, and a bird becomes a sort of companion on a walk beside the gulf. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 25, 2021

St. George Island

We are here! 

But good Lord- what a kerfluffel it was, getting into to the little apartment we'd rented. I won't go into it deeply but I'll just say that our "host" didn't get the access code to us and we had to wait long enough for me to envision us on our way back home, sending stern e-mails demanding our money back. 

But here we are and all is well. The studio apartment reminds me a bit of the Starfish apartments where I spent three summers in a row when Lily and Jessie were little. Same cement-block construction, same situation where the bed and the kitchen are in the same room. But we didn't have to bring our own futon in this case. 


And this is why we're here. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Celebrating The Then And The Now


Tomorrow Glen and I will have been married for thirty-seven years. We had planned absolutely nothing but last night we booked a little last minute studio apartment on St. George, across the street from the beach. I think it will be sweet. It's only one room but has kitchen stuff and a porch and a patio and...a pool! 
Just what you need on the beach, right? 
Well, why not? 
We did just spend that almost-week in Roseland last month (was it last month?) but it will be nice to commemorate the day we got married with a little trip to St. George where we can go to the beach and into Apalachicola to wander around and look at stuff too. Mr. Moon can fish and I can read. 
So the small cake I made this afternoon is part of the celebration. It's a Mississippi Mud cake from a Moosewood cookbook and it is tried and it is true. It is a very nice cake. And as the recipe says- it travels well. 
The sauce on it is not finished yet. It goes on in stages. It's supposed to be a glaze but I did not have whipping cream with which to make it and had to substitute 2% evaporated milk which was as close as I could come and I added more butter than called for to try and make up for the fat in heavy cream and it's not going to be a glaze at all but a sauce is good too. It has plenty of chocolate in it and isn't that the important part? 

My lazy streak continued today. I just did not feel like going outside and working but my Puritan Grandfather's spirit kicked my ass a little and so I sighed and put on my overalls and shoes and spent about an hour pulling up Chinese rice paper plants and other invasives. It was hot and humid and I wore a mask to try and overcome the nasty dust that comes off the plants when you pull them. It causes an immediate reaction of sneezing and coughing and can't be good for us. The mask helped tremendously but working outside in the heat and humidity with a mask on is probably one of the menu items of activities in hell. Which is why I only did it for an hour. 
Making a cake was a lot more fun. 

Someone posted a video on FB today that I had never seen before. It was of Billy Preston playing with the Rolling Stones in 1975 and I have to say it is one of the weirdest things I have ever seen. Not only does Billy push Mick's gender fluidity to the outer limits, Mick also...
Well. Just watch it. If you want to. If not, I understand. Please don't ever feel guilty not watching a video I post. 

The clip reminded me of what Keith Richards wrote in his book Life about Billy Preston which has stuck with me. I got the book out and found this:

Billy produced a different sound for us. If you listen to the records with Billy Preston, like "Melody," he fit perfectly. But all the way through a show with Billy, it was like playing with somebody who was going to put his own stamp on everything. He was used to being a star in his own right. There was one time in Glasgow when he was playing so loud he was drowning out the rest of the band. I took him backstage and showed him the blade. "You know what this is, Bill? Dear William. If you don't turn that fucking thing down right now, you're going to feel it. It's not Billy Preston and the Rolling Stones. You are the keyboard player with the Rolling Stones." But most of the time I never had a problem with it. Certainly Charlie quite enjoyed the jazz influence, and we did a lot of good stuff together.

He goes on to talk about Billy dying young and how he'd had "all the talent in the world." Also how he'd started playing so very young and had been gay when you couldn't be openly gay which only made his life harder. 

So I remembered all of this when I saw the video and had to laugh at the way Billy was definitely putting his own stamp on everything that night. And although he did a lot of good work with the Beatles, I can almost guarantee you that there is no existing video of him dancing hand-in-hand with Paul McCartney or George Harrison. Perhaps John though...
I am completely cognizant of the fact that most people really have no interest in such esoteric rock and roll history but it's fascinating to me. 

I wonder if I'll be posting tomorrow. Maybe. Maybe not. And if I don't, you'll know that I'm fine and at the beautiful beach with my darling sweetheart. As the little apartment is only one room, as I said, I hope that by Thursday when we come home, he is still my darling sweetheart. 
Most likely he will be. 

Until then or whenever...

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 23, 2021

I Needed A Nap

When I was making delicious watery, juicy broccoli last night, I got out the cocktail mermaids and animals for Maggie to play with. She was delighted! Her grandfather joined her and look what they created:

A chain of monkeys, hanging from the light fixture. It's still there. It probably will be there for years, slowly growing as dusty as everything else up there. 

So we had a good time with our girl. She is really a sweet child. She kept saying, "I am so glad to be here with you, and I believe her. She sounded like a very sincere little adult at a party. She ate her supper happily- oven fried chicken that, per her instructions, tasted like chicken tenders, the broccoli, and cheesy noodles. And then it was time for the purple cow and then the bath. She let me wash her hair and then she got into her nightgown and she read "The Chicken of the Family" to me. She's about got the thing memorized. There were a few more books and then time for bed. 

But where would Maggie go? 
We figured it out. She went to sleep holding Zippy for whom she has developed a tender love. In fact, this morning before she left, she and Zippy had to have a chat on the swing porch. 

It turns out that Zippy truly loves Magnolia and he is very sad when she leaves and that really, he would like to live with her. 
I will leave him to her in my will but until then, the old, old boy will live here. It does make me so happy, though, that she loves him the way I loved my own identical Zippy when I was a little girl. None of the boys have really shown a great deal of interest in him, some of them have even called him "scary". But Maggie gets the chimp love. 

She slept through the night until around six at which point she woke up and wanted to cuddle. I had told her before she went to bed that we could indeed cuddle when she woke up so there you go. What was there to do except help her into the bed where she proceeded to cuddle and move about and wiggle and cough (the only coughing I heard her do the whole time she was here) and tug at the quilt and drop the quilt off the edge of the bed and...
About eight her Bop got up with her and I fell back asleep like a stone and had a dream about moving into a condo-like place where my neighbors were Real Housewife types whom I got angry at and actually said, "Fuck you!" to and told them that if they treated me right that I would be the best neighbor they ever had. That I was kind and loving and would be there if they needed me but not if they were bitches. 
I am still laughing about this. 

I woke up with a jolt, knowing that Maggie had dance at 10:30 and rushed to get the bacon and pancakes started. Breakfast was made and eaten, tights and leotard put on, stuffed animals and possessions gathered and packed and off she went with her Boppy. After she left, I found this poor child whom she had been feeding and then, sadly forgot. 

And then I was left alone for a few hours, exhausted and gritty-eyed. I had no energy. So I did very little the rest of the day. A load of laundry, a desultory sweeping of the floors. A nap. 
A heavenly nap. A nap like an angel's wings, brushing my eyes to heaviness, an angel's arms holding me in great comfort and peace. 
Okay. That was a bit dramatic. But it really did sort of feel that way. 

Two more pictures.

Levon and August at the pumpkin patch. The antibiotics seem to be kicking whatever August has in the butt. Jessie reports he feels very fine indeed today. 


Maurice on the porch, being a jungle cat in her heart, I am sure. 

Maggie asked me yesterday why I love Maurice. 
I really didn't know how to answer that. 
"Because she is mine," I finally said, knowing even as I said it, how pathetic and also untrue that is. Cats do not belong to us. We belong to them. But that's a concept to discuss another day. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 22, 2021

Friday Night In Lloyd

 I walked up Highway 59 a little way today for whatever reason. It's a ridiculous place to walk. No shade, too many big trucks zooming by, and even Lloyd Creek which you cross on a bridge is sluggish and sludgish both, right now. Not something you'd feel compelled to take a picture of. Or a dip in. 

But that's the railroad track heading east that crosses 59, the track that goes right behind my house. Can you see the old train station, now Post Office? If I get some free time soon I'll go look through the Florida photo archives and see if I can find some pictures of the train station from back when Lloyd was still a bustling little town with its own school and hotel with a dining room specializing in fried chicken dinners that train passengers would get off the train for. There was even a train wreck once! Right here in Lloyd! 

There it is, heading west. Down there on the right just a little way is my back yard. 

Here's what's going on here now. 

It is Magnolia's turn to spend the night. We have already collected eggs and discussed tonight's dinner menu and she has drawn me a picture and then, Horror of Horrors! Jack scratched her! Jack! He's been doing this lately sometimes. It was the tiniest microscopic dot of blood you ever saw but there were tears, mostly from the shock of the "good" cat turning evil, I think. She's better now after an application of a cool washcloth, then ointment, then a band-aid. Just like her mommy does it. To ensure complete recovery she is eating a few animal crackers and is about to ride the go cart with Boppy. 
Pretty sure she'll survive. 

In other grandchildren news, August does not have covid but has something. Some bacterial infection most likely and is about to start antibiotics. 
Kids. It is always something. 

I better get in that kitchen and start supper. I have been informed that Maggie does like broccoli but not the black (roasted) kind. She likes the juicy, watery kind. I am pretty sure that means steamed. 

Happy Friday.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 21, 2021

They're My Little Rock And Roll


Today was Rock The School Day at Gibson and Maggie's school and Lily dressed them up appropriately. As you can plainly see, Ms. Magnolia is fine. Lily reports that after she picked her up yesterday and fed her lunch, she seemed completely recovered. 

I love that Gibson is wearing a Rolling Stones T-shirt although pairing it with heavy metal gear is a bit disconcerting. Oh well. It gets the point across and I think that as Hank said on the group text, they both look FIERCE! 
Lily is so good at that costuming thing. So much better than I ever was. Frankly, I was terrible. 

Although Maggie seems fine, August woke up with a little fever and headache so off to get covid-tested again for him. He will get results tomorrow. It could be a sinus infection as they all had a cold-like thing going last week and he is prone to sinus infections. Jessie gave him some kid's Tylenol this morning and he was fine all day but as the evening drew nearer, he started feeling puny again. Fever does tend to reoccur in the late afternoon as all parents know. 

I've had a very quiet day. Again, Mr. Moon had to go to town. I had no need to leave Lloyd and so I did not. I took a pretty decent walk which wore me out but after lunch I went outside and trimmed a few palm fronds, hauled some branches and stuff to the burn pile. There is SO much work to be done in this yard. Mr. Moon pulled about a thousand of the horrible Chinese rice paper plants this spring and they have returned with a joyful abandoned glee. They have some sort of dust to them that may or may not be pollen and when you pull them, it gets in your mouth and nose and is a horrible irritant. I suppose we should wear masks when we pull them. And when I say "when we pull them" I mean we should be pulling them now before they once again reach the size of dinosaurs. 
Beside that little project, I should be trimming up sago palms and pulling other invasives. As I do every year, I planned that we would dig up some of the camellias in the camellia bed because we planted them way too close together. When one buys a camellia to plant and it is basically the size of a yard stick, it is hard to imagine that one day in the far-off future, that plant will be big enough for children to climb. I suppose I planted these about fifteen years ago and some of them are, if not exactly gigantic, way too big for their beds, like college football players trying to sleep on twin beds in a dormitory room built for kindergartners. Not impossible, not lethal, but definitely not comfortable or good for health. Anyway, the time has passed once again when we could dig these up and move them. That must be done in the early spring when they have quit blooming. They are full of buds now and will start opening soon. 
Put that on the list. 

I also cleaned the hen house. I often wonder if the chickens notice or care. I like to think they do, enjoying the fresh clean hay like we enjoy clean sheets. 

I finished listening to the book I've been listening to for the last few days which was "Simon the Fiddler" by Paulette Jiles who also wrote "News of the World" which I enjoyed very much. Simon was okay, a little slow in pace but it did keep my attention and I believe I will think about the characters in it for awhile. I returned the book and started a search for my next book and lucked out tremendously. For whatever reason, Elizabeth Strout's newest book, "Oh! William!" was available! This book has just come out and I've been hearing interviews with the author and reading reviews of the book and knew I wanted to read it one way or another and amazingly- there it was! Listening to it is such a pleasure. Good narrator for one thing, but also I love Strout's use of language which is the opposite of flowery or overdone. It is plain and pure and direct. It makes me wish I had never given up on the dream of being an author. You know- an author author. With real books. 
And so forth. 

But, I digress. I am very much enjoying this novel. 

I started our supper early today. I made a soup of split peas and bacon, celery, onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes. As I made it, I thought about my first vegetarian Thanksgiving which involved a meat-free version of split pea soup. I've always been partial to it. And somehow, despite not really feeling sad or down, I craved and needed that chopping and slicing and the alchemy of watching those small legumes break down and turn creamy in their broth. Last night on the episode of The British Baking Show we watched, they made focaccia which I have been thinking about making recently and so I made up a dough for that. I've got cherry tomatoes drying on paper towels and onions caramelized to go on top and we'll eat that with goat cheese with our soup. 

I see that Wes Anderson's new movie, "The French Dispatch" will be arriving in theaters tomorrow and by god, I am going to go see that IN the movie theater. Oh, how I have missed Bill Murray's face and Anderson's quirky, strange, and somehow deeply loving view of life. 

There are things to look forward to. There is good in this life, even though so much seems upside-down and insane and difficult. There is soup, there is bread, there is cheese. There are growing things and the tending of them along with making things and pondering things. 
There are grandchildren, there are books, there are the Rolling Stones. 
There is love. 

And so...

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tiny Green Dirt Babies!

 Look very, very carefully. Do you see it? 

The tiny little ear-sproutling of a chard plant. All of the greens are coming up! It's so exciting to me. Just absolutely thrilling on a level that is hard to convey. You'd think our very survival depended on these vegetables. Maybe it's hardwired into our brains, this kind of thinking. Like the pleasure and sense of wealth I still get every day when I gather eggs. And perhaps that's how my husband feels when he hunts. That same deep feeling of need to bring home protein for the family. Here we are with our grocery stores and our technology, our ability to order food to be delivered, our restaurants, our big box stores, our endless choices of food we can bring home and store in our pantries, our refrigerators, our freezers or food that is already prepared and hot and ready for us to eat and yet- we have not come a millimeter away from the same humans who did indeed have to grow or raise or hunt their food and lest we forget- there are people all over the world who still do. Their DNA is our DNA. Both our ancestors and our living cousins. 
And I guess that's why I get so damn excited when the seeds bust the dirt with green. It's a theory, anyway. 

I did a bleach load this morning before I went to town and hung it on the line. Dottie came to inspect my work. Her feathers are whiter than my whites and instead of bleach and soap and water, she washes them with dirt. 
Go figure. 

Hank and Rachel and Jessie and Vergil and Lily and Lauren and I all met up at El Patron for our lunch and we could not remember the last time we had an all-adult lunch. It was so fun! There was hardly anyone on the patio, the weather was perfect, the Muzak was some sort of Euro Lounge Pop, Sade-like but not Sade, and our server was terrific. We ordered our food and right before it arrived on the table, Lily got a call from Maggie's school- of course. The little curly girl had a headache and needed her mother to pick her up. 
So it always goes. 

We spent well over an hour on that patio, talking, eating, talking some more. And then I swear some of us spent half an hour in the shady parking lot saying good-bye. The Southern goodbye. It's the opposite of the Irish goodbye wherein a person just leaves a place without informing anyone they are going, just disappears into the night. Nah. We have to go on and on and on. It's what we do. 
I remember one time a friend came over and honestly, I was not in the mood for a visit and she was a talkative woman. Extremely. I finally thought she was leaving and I went outside with her to tell her goodbye because THAT IS WHAT YOU DO HERE and I thought I'd die when she pulled down the tailgate of her truck to sit on to TALK SOME MORE! 
Obviously I'll never get over that. And today wasn't like that. None of us had any place we had to be immediately and it was a perfectly lovely day to talk with the people we love.

I went to Costco before I came home where I saw Brenda of the beautiful mermaid eyes. She told me how pretty I looked. I had actually worn eye-make today and no one had said a thing or probably even noticed that completely astonishing fact. I told her that and she said, "Well, I did!" Bless the Brendas of the world, especially that one. 

I got home around three and Mr. Moon, who had been working on his tractor all day, was just coming in to eat lunch and for whatever reason, him forgetting to eat drives me insane. I guess I am deeply worried that if I died he'd never eat again. He was cranky and tired and frustrated with the tractor so I heated him up some leftovers and then he took a tiny nap in his chair and then he figured out how to do what he'd been trying to do out in the garage and now everything is better again. 

I'm making egg rolls tonight and I better get to it. They are slightly  labor intensive. I did a quick refrigerator clean-up/clean-out before I sat down to write this so at least I know where everything is in there. Basically. About a fourth of the space is taken up with jars of pickles and preserves. Yet another way my foremother's DNA takes me over every year as you all know. 
Or I could just be crazy, not unlike what I imagine a lot of my DNA contributers were. So there is that possibility. Always. 
Anyway, I am what I am. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Walking, Talking, Remembering

Another almost unbearably beautiful day today and again, I felt good. I suppose that the more time passes since my little surgery, the more healing is complete which should be a big DUH but you know me- stubborn and impatient. I'm almost beginning to wonder if that appendix hadn't been bothering me for awhile, cooking up its infection, because I really do feel better now than I have for quite awhile. I'm not pushing anything, I'm just feeling my way. But I had a lovely walk this morning. I decided that two miles would be enough so I took off down roads that I hadn't walked in a long while including Subdivision Drive which is a funny name for a little wooded street with very tidy, well-kept houses lining both sides. The road leads to a horse farm and the little hidden graveyard is in a small clearing off of it up near the farm. 

Ms. Shelly lives on that road. I used to talk about her a lot because I'd see her so often. She is one of those ladies who keeps her yard as free of leaves and twigs and as well-groomed as a golf course. And today, I saw her in her yard and so I called out, "Hey Lady!" 
I think she was glad to see me and I was glad to see her. We ended up talking for at least half an hour. She re-broke a leg recently and has had a hard time healing from that and also, one of her brothers died. I knew that brother and I was shocked to hear he was dead. I've written about him too. He was called "The Sheik." That's what everyone called him although his name was Seymour. I remember him from the seventies when I lived in Lloyd with my first husband. He always wore a sort of scarf around his head that gave him the air of an Arabian and thus- his nickname. Later on, in the past few years when I'd seen him, he had abandoned the headdress and substituted a cap or a hat and always a pair of sunglasses. I knew he had heart disease. He told me. But Shelly told me that he died of a fast-moving cancer. 
I hadn't seen him in a long time but I knew he'd moved to Monticello and he didn't have a car so...I didn't really expect to see him. 
But damn. 
His sister seemed profoundly sad about his death, as I can imagine she would be, but also grateful that he did not linger in pain for a long time. 
We talked about a lot of things. She is a very proud lady and has worked so very hard all of her life, literally picking cotton as a child, tending to and raising her younger siblings. She loves her little house and yard that she bought with her own very hard-earned money. I don't think she ever married. She has a deep faith. So in a lot of ways we have very little in common but I think there is a connection between us and when we said good-bye today we agreed that seeing each other had been so good for both of us. 

I walked on up to the horse farm. Shelly had told me that they were doing some sort of clearing and indeed they are. We've been seeing truck load after truck load of dirt going by the last few months, wondering from whence it came and to where it was going and now I at least know where it's coming from. 

What in HELL they're doing is a complete mystery to me. Creating waterfront property? 

Anyway, I walked on to the old graveyard which is in sad disrepair. Trees have fallen and their broken trunks lie on the graves. No one has trimmed or cut the encroaching weeds and brambles for a very long time. Some of the graves go back to the early 1800's but some are actually quite recent. It was a sad sight. 

Still, it was such a blue and temperate day and by the time I'd finished my walk I'd covered three miles, not two, although of course I had that long break in the middle, catching up with Shelly. 

I did a quick run to Tallahassee to get groceries and then came home and found seven eggs which is more than we were getting before I gave away the two hens and got rid of all the excess roosters. Jessie reports that the new girls at her house have not laid yet and I told her that if they turn out to be defective, she can return them in exchange for more. 

And so it goes. Tomorrow we're planning a lunch meet-up at our old favorite, El Patron, which somehow managed to survive the worst of the Covid, probably because of their huge outdoor patio. I am looking forward to that. 

And now I've done a search in my old blogs for a picture I thought I'd taken of the Sheik and I have found it. I remember that day. I asked him if I could take his picture to put on my blog and he happily agreed. So here he is. 

He was a character. Shelly told me he was an artist and that hardly anyone knew that. I told her that I was not surprised to hear it. 
So- here's to you, Sheik. We crossed paths many, many times over many, many years and you were never anything but a sweet and kind and humorous gentleman to me. I will miss your face. 

Love From Lloyd...Ms. Moon