Friday, October 8, 2021

Another Love Letter Of Sorts

Well, there you go. I pulled out the canning kettle and my tiny jars and organized my washing/seeding/chopping area and got to work. 

That's the knife that my husband got me for Christmas. He keeps it sharp as a razor and I love it to an almost inappropriate degree. But even with the Wonder Knife, I sliced open, seeded, cut up, and food-processed peppers (and two apples) for what seemed like hours. I was not keeping track. All I know is that suddenly it was 2:30, I hadn't eaten lunch, and then it was 4:30 and this is what I had managed to produce.

And I swear that this is the last batch of pepper jam I am making in 2021. 
Or perhaps ever. I don't know. 
I put extra red flame peppers in it but it's not that hot. The devil will not fuck your mouth on this stuff. Maybe give you a tiny bit of a french kiss tongue tip. 

And now I am weary and part of that is because I just haven't felt great today. A little off. Also, my right eye seems to have a tiny broken blood vessel in it which is off-putting. Is my body just breaking down all of a sudden? Are all the systems starting to truly show their age and usage? I do not know. 
You know what I do know? 
That I really do not know shit. 
But you knew that already. 

Still, I have managed to wash the sheets and remake the bed and clean up the kitchen which looked a bit like a pepper factory had exploded in it when I finally got the jam in the canner. 

Okay. So I want to talk about the dream I had this morning. I didn't really sleep very well last night which may have something to do with how rough I feel today. I woke up at six and almost considered just getting up but then I came to my senses and went back to sleep and had another epic dream which seemed to represent some sort of grading system for masses of people. I'm a little iffy on all of that. But I do know that only women and gay men were allowed to be part of this...test? 
My brain could not seem to make up its mind what it wanted to dream about, if you know what I mean. 
But I remember a few things about the dream that make me laugh, one of which was that I told Oprah Winfrey that if she wanted to ever be a good interviewer she needed to actually listen to her guests. Now this is a thought that I can never consciously remember having but I suppose that somewhere down in the mucky pulp which is my brain matter, I must think that. 
Oprah did not seem bothered by my remark because 
A. She is Oprah, and 
B. She wasn't listening to me. 

Another thing I remember was telling a man (not gay) that I was a staunch advocate for women and the queer community! 

I also remember the best thing I said but it is not appropriate for this blog and that's saying a lot. Let's just say that I was testing a guy on whether or not he really was gay AND HE WASN'T! 
It was actually quite clever and I'm rather proud of myself. 

So maybe that dream wore me out. 

Other than all of that, everything is fine around here. My husband sent me a very, very sweet picture of himself this morning telling me he was thinking of me and of course I loved that. I got to talk to Lis on the phone and she reminded me that it has been over SIX YEARS since we went to Cuba and I am absolutely gobsmacked. I swear- if you'd asked me how long it had been I would have said, three, maybe four years. 
I still cannot believe I did that and if Lis ever doubts my love she can just remember that I went to Cuba because she asked me to go and of course it was fabulous and something I will always be so very grateful I did. I remember the silliest things- the fact that I had read that toilet paper was hard to come by in Cuba and so when Lis and I split a sandwich in the Miami airport, I grabbed a handful of napkins and those napkins came in very handy for hygienic purposes. I remember all of the "young people" in the tour going out and staying out half the night after they'd all played at the Fabrica del Arte 

and Lis and I going home to our little room and putting on our nun nightgowns and falling fast asleep after giggling our mojito-fueled giggles. We had so much fun together. 

I remember most of all the people of all shades of humanity who were making their lives the best they could under such difficult circumstances. 

Long time friends reunite.

The sweet, sweet man who was sort of the dressing room body guard at Fabrica de Arte.

The man who had an amazing tattoo. 

The artist who asked me to pose for a picture for his next installation. 

I don't remember! Perhaps a musician. With Lis, of course.

Two simply gorgeous people. 

And another. 


Guy whose hair I loved. 

I remember how if I asked in my horrible Spanish if I could take a picture of someone, they would always think that I was asking them to take a picture of me. 
As if. 

So okay. I am now steeped in memories of that trip. There is so much more I remember. Ernest Hemingway's home, the most delicious foods, the man who hooked up with one of the musicians on the tour who was absolutely the sweetest guy ever. When I was overcome with sobs at some of the pictures in the museum we had just visited, he said, to me, "Don't cry, Mary. It's okay."
There was very little that a tourist could buy in Havana then (and probably less now) but the museum was selling prints and two of them live in my house. Here is one of them. 

That was the year that Obama had visited Cuba with his family and that a few days later, the Rolling Stones played a free concert for half a million people in Havana. 
I can't imagine a better time that we could have visited. There was hope, there was a sense of possibility and opportunity in the air. 
And to be honest- knowing that Keith Richards had been in Havana a few months before us gave me a huge sense of rightness. 
When we went to Fabrica des Arte where our musicians were going to play, I saw this on the wall. 

As I said on my blog then- my spirit totem animal. I knew all was well. 

And it was so much more than that. 

But that is certainly enough for now. 

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. All I know of Cuba is in the Ry Cooder videos! Wonderful musicians.

    I did know Mariel boatlift refugees though, a lot of whom came to NJ.

    1. Cuba is an amazing place. I had a million more questions when I left than I did when I got there. And the recordings that Ry Cooder made are some of my favorite music in the world.

  2. why do I feel awkward being the first poster at times? Timing...... Good that you got love from Mr Moon ..... and you kicked some serious butt today in the kitchen. Between that, your dreams, and your reminiscing of Cuba (gorgeous pics) wonder you are feeling a bit *off*. Your brain is working overtime. I can't believe it was 6 yrs since that trip! Funny, I was going through photos yesterday of my big monthlong train trip from Los Angeles to Toronto Canada and back.....and reminiscing also. That was 4 years ago and it seems like the blink of an eye. Wish I could do it again but I don't think I have it *in me* anymore for that adventure! Happy clean sheets and Martini Friday to you!
    Susan M

    1. I just looked at your post again and those beautiful Cuba photos. You can feel the love, just looking at them. Gorgeous and warm people..... sigh

    2. Thank you, Susan. Clean sheets and martinis were very much enjoyed.
      I know it seems like it can't have been six years but Obama was still president! Can you believe it?
      I didn't know you took some a wonderful train trip. I bet you have the best memories. I'm glad you did that.

  3. I think the figure of Keith exceeds Mick. Johnny Depp is good, too, and best of all, Mary and Lis!

    1. Indeed! Keith has pride of place!
      Mary and Lis. We are a good pair, I tell you!

  4. Such a grand trip! I remember when you went to Cuba and it seems like five minutes ago. Time is a trick. The graphic of Keith is unmistakably Keith.
    The rows of satanist jelly look mighty professional.

    1. oh, and the art that you cane home with is exceptional!! LOVE it.

    2. "Satanist Jelly"! I love it.
      Keith is so himself that he is most easily captured in caricature, I think.
      I am so glad that I bought those prints and had them nicely framed. They mean a great deal to me.

  5. What a great reminiscence of your remarkable trip. I hope I make it to Cuba one of these days. I'm laughing at that guy's "I'm a Vegetarian" t-shirt. Love the cute guy with the Jack Sparrow tattoo, too. And that woman with the superlong nails!

    The dream really is a head-scratcher. LOL!

    Congrats on getting all that jelly done. You must have more pepper jam than you know what to do with -- but you'll figure something out.

    1. I thought the "I'm a Vegetarian" T-shirt was pretty bold. I hear that the consequences for getting busted for pot there are pretty severe but I'm sure that a lot of people must use it. I mean- it's a weed. You can grow it. The Jack Sparrow tattoo really did impress me.
      Isn't that woman a glory? The guy in the picture with her, Jim Quine, has photographed her many times over the years. They obviously had a deep affection.
      Yeah. I can't figure that dream out.
      I know what I'm going to do with all that pepper jam- give it out as Christmas presents! Ha!

  6. Oh this brings back memories. I was in Cuba a few years back too and LOVED it - the music, the colours, the rum .... I also adored Hemmingway's house and his hotel room in Havana. Now I'm sure it's not a laugh a minute for the people who live there but they are such beautiful people with the most gorgeous smiles aren't they!

    1. Oh, they really are beautiful people. I was amazed. But they have suffered mightily under Castro and under the embargo.

  7. a nice little review of your Cuba trip since I missed all those posts. I think I was out of town and not online. I do love that print.

    after several years of not remembering my dreams I am here lately and they are weird weird weird. this morning's waking up dream at the end of a longer dream I tried to eat a piece of candy that looked like a soft gummy red rectangle but it wasn't soft, hard to chew and sticking to my teeth and gums and filling my mouth I had to spit it out, several times, tried to rinse it out but was stuck to my teeth, got a toothpick and it took forever to finally dislodge all the sticky gunk and then, in the dream, I called my brother to tell him about it.

    1. I've had dreams of having horrible things in my mouth that I couldn't get out. Ugh. And losing teeth is another dream I've had. Very common, I think but really unsettling. As was your dream. I love that you called your brother to tell him about it.

  8. Maybe you felt woozy because you were too busy cooking to eat!
    Loved hearing about (and seeing) your trip to Cuba. You are living the dream, Ms. Moon, you really are! You have experienced a lot of adventure!

    1. I HAVE experienced some adventure in my life. Yet another way I am lucky.

  9. I simply cannot believe it's been that long since you went to Cuba. I remember reading your blog at the time and being so impressed that you got to go!

    1. It was pretty amazing that I would make that trip. But- you know- Lis. Plus, I knew I'd never forgive myself if I didn't take the opportunity.

  10. Memories to keep you warm for life. Beautiful photo essay of your trip.


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