Friday, December 31, 2021

Are We Ready?


Quite possibly, for the very first time in my life I have managed to get my new calendar up before the second week of the new year with the important dates transferred to it from last year's calendar. I always get a Virgin of Guadalupe calendar so they all pretty much look alike but you know how much I love my best girl goddess. I know a lot of people don't even use paper calendars anymore but I probably will until I die. 
Now if I could just remember to look at them...

Ellen's roses. Yes. I need to trim them. I would if they would stop blooming.

It's been another gray, muggy day here and I did something else today that I've never done in my life, which was to turn the air conditioning on in December. I should have turned it on last night before we went to bed but did not. This morning Lily's kids were all here and I had made us a very late pancake breakfast and I do believe that my husband's blood sugar had dropped to a perilously low level because he was getting agitato as we say around here and I said, "Okay, it's time. AC on." 

The relief was immediate. 

Owen's day and night with us was a joy. I signed off here last night when he and Bop were building the fire for the steaks and damn if it didn't start raining right after they got it going. Mr. Moon just put a dome lid over it on the grill and they came in, convinced that was that but somehow the fire managed to burn. Eventually it stopped raining and there were coals and the meat was cooked. The air-fried onion rings were very fine and so were the artichokes. It was a feast of a supper and we watched a movie that Owen wanted to see with us, Luka. It was an animated movie set on the Italian coast about a little sea monster who was lured to land. Problems did ensue but kindness and love overcame all. 
It's so different having the children over when they're older. I can just go about my business while they shower and kiss them goodnight when they go to bed. I think Owen liked sleeping in the middle bedroom. I know for sure that he slept until ten so I suppose he felt comfortable there. 

Lauren brought Maggie and Gibson over this morning and they stayed until Lily got off work about 2:30. They did the virtual reality thing for awhile and then we shut it down for the rest of the day. I played Go Fish with them and that was a lot of fun. Maggie finally caught on and the boys were very patient with her as she figured it out. Gibson was so funny. Once, when he asked Owen for a particular card and Owen had it and gave it to him he said, "Thank you for your donation!" which cracked me up. Things got pretty loud so I suggested we all try whispering for awhile and we did and that was funny too. 
So all-in-all it was a good day. They were excited to go home with their mama as they have a New Year's Eve party all planned out. 
Purple cows will be involved. 

Mr. Moon and I have no plans for our New Year's Eve beyond our usual Friday night martinis. You could hold a gun to my head and I would not go out tonight. Not only does everyone seem to have covid around here (boy- they weren't lying about the contagiousness of Omicron, were they?) but we haven't been out on NYE in...three years. I know this because we were in Cozumel and we did indeed go out for supper although we were probably well in bed before midnight. I came across this picture the other day. 

My beautiful, beautiful handsome husband in a restaurant that was so very pretty with plants everywhere and lights creating a jungle fairyland. This was not from New Year's Eve but was from that trip and oh, how I miss that little island. That little sacred spot of beauty in the Mexican Caribbean. And oh, how I miss the people we are when we're there. 

Not mommy or daddy or MerMer or Boppy but Glen and Mary, two people still in love after so, so many years. 

And here we are tonight, with a new calendar on the wall, a new year before us, cold martinis, clean sheets, so very many memories, and still- a few dreams. 

Best to all of you this New Year's Eve. I would wish for all of us the light, the love, the sweetness, the saltiness, the hand that reaches out to hold yours when things are hard. 

Happy Friday.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 30, 2021

From The Sublime To The Truly Disgusting

This beauty just fully opened today. I love it so very, very much. It is the definition of pink and the definition of delicate and the definition of simple elegance. 
If you ask me.
Last year I thought I'd identified it but when I double checked that today, I decided that I was wrong. It's close, but that isn't it. I've used the online camellia identifier search but it comes up with zero suggestions. I've used Google image search.
I've used my plant ID app and it just calls it a camellia which of course I know already. 
So for now, she shall remain nameless. 
And shameless in her glory. 

Owen has been here most of the day and I love having him here. He is so helpful. And it makes me so happy when he says, "I love being here!" and I know he means it. 
The plan for the fellas getting work done has gone a bit awry although they did get our new bed on a frame. More on that later. 
What they HAVE done is to go and buy a virtual reality device thing that they have figured out and enjoyed immensely. 

They wanted me to try it and I did and for a few moments I was underwater, surrounded by sharks. It was scary awesome. I can't describe the level of reality there. I'm not sure what all they've done but dancing with a robot is one thing for sure. This seems to be quite enjoyable and I won't make any judgements about that until I, too, have danced with a robot. 

Like I said they got a frame under our bed. They went back upstairs and took the frame from underneath our old bed and brought it down, set it up, and put the new bed on it. It is now a good height for my husband although I may need little pet steps to get in bed. We haven't actually been sleeping on it because of a lot of details that no one needs to hear about but tonight we'll be back in there and Owen will be sleeping in the middle bedroom where we've been sleeping. I dusted the furniture in there and it's pretty cozy. 

I still need to move some pictures back into that room. The ones that I cherish and seem to need around me as I sleep. 

Right now Owen and Boppy are building a fire outside to cook the steaks on. I love watching them do things together. It just makes my heart so happy. I have made yet another loaf of sourdough which is about to go into the oven. I will be air frying the onion rings and cooking artichokes. I hope the boy will be pleased. 

Oh! One more thing- I decided to truly give the refrigerator that's waiting for its new compressor a real cleaning today and I'm so glad I did. It was getting quite stinky in there and I've even been leaving the doors to it open. When I pulled out one of the freezer drawers I discovered the definite source of the stink. 
Some packages of ground venison had gotten trapped between the drawer and the freezer.
You don't want to know. 
Luckily they'd been vacuum sealed so they hadn't leaked but the wrapping was not odor-proof. 
Ooh boy.

Love...Ms. Moon


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

I've Always Judged Books By Their Covers

 Another gloomy, muggy day here in North Florida. It's like it wants to rain so bad that it's put on its rain suit but nothing is happening. Just a constant dense, thick, low, gray cloud cover and everything feels wet, as if maybe it was really raining but we just can't see it. I'm not  complaining. I mean- it's not burning up hot and we're not having a deadly freeze but it's just a bit like we're the audience and the rain is backstage and we're all waiting for the curtain to go up and the rain to come down. 
Maybe it hasn't finished putting on its make-up. 
Whatever, I went to town today and ran hither and thither, delivering the calendars that I had bought for May and for Hank and Rachel and forgotten to give them as well as eggs and also some books for May. One was hers that I returned, and some are ones that I am lending her. I also bought myself a pair of earrings that I wanted, picked up a prescription, and went to Publix where I bought steaks and other things including an iron skillet. 

I do not need another iron skillet in the least but I was not going to leave that at Publix when it was on sale for $15 dollars. It's a good one, too, and big. I sent that picture to the kids to see if any of them could use it but no one's claimed it yet. If no one wants it they'll just have to deal with it when I die because I sure as shit bought it. 

It was nice to see Hank and Rachel and May. May was at work so I went to the co-op to find her and she introduced me to one of her co-workers who said, "I just wanted to meet the person who raised this beautiful woman." I patted myself on the chest but I should have said, "Hell, we raised each other," because we did. I feel like all of my children taught me far more than I ever taught them. They all came with such unique perspectives and souls and sensitivities and talents that living with each one of them from birth was an education I could not have gotten anywhere else. And now I'm in grandchild school, and learning more. 
It's sort of crazy how that works. 

Something that I seem to need to work on these days is making snap judgements about people. I never really thought I was a person who did that but I am realizing that I most definitely am. This realization came to me a few days ago in Publix where epiphanies can definitely happen. I saw a woman who had a head scarf on and she was not wearing a mask. First off, I judged her for being maskless, making about a hundred assumptions about her. Then I saw her on another aisle and realized that maybe her head scarf was because she was going through chemo. My mind immediately switched to concern mode- why would someone on chemo not wear a mask in public? But then I realized that no, her head was shaved on one side and the other side had bright pink hair emerging from the scarf. 
Back to square one with the judging. 
And THEN, I saw her from the back on another aisle and she had a tattoo of an infant on her bare shoulder with some sort of writing that I could not really see and I wondered if she'd lost a baby and my heart sort of broke and I forgave her for being maskless because if I lost a baby I wouldn't care if I got covid or not. I probably wouldn't care if I spread covid or not. 
I just wouldn't care.

So there was that experience and who knows? That might not have been her baby or it might have been a tattoo of her baby who is now in preschool, alive and well. Still- the whole experience made me realize how quick I am to create entire scenarios in my head about complete strangers and then judge them on these made-up stories in my mind. 

Now don't get me wrong. Those people down the street with the Trump and Maga flags on their pick-up truck? 
I'm judging the hell out of them. 

I had another experience today that sort of cemented the whole thing in my head though and it involved a woman I saw in the jewelry store who had come to pick up a bracelet which had been repaired. I made up an entire story in my mind about her. I figured she was probably a nice granny like me and was getting some sort of family heirloom repaired and spent her days making cookies for the grandchildren. She was a Black woman about my age and I ended up getting behind her in traffic and my route caused me to follow her (god- I hope she didn't think I was tailing her) to where she turned off to where she lives, maybe, in an upscale housing development. She drove a BMW convertible and the place where I assume (once again) that she lives, was in a place called Weems Plantation. 
Every time I pass that place I think, "Jesus, how fucking racist is that?"
And was this Black lady who probably lives there and, well, it sort of blew my mind. 
She was so cool in that convertible and she drove like a bat out of hell and I wished I could have told her how much I liked her style. In fact, she was so cool that she could totally live in a place with the word "plantation" in it and carry it off like a boss. Like THE boss of the damn plantation. 

So I need to realize that I don't know shit. Even though I always say "I don't know shit," it becomes more and more obvious to me every day that I think I do know shit but really- I do not. 
Know shit. 

Meanwhile, I better go make supper. That I do know. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Slow Living

I ran out of excuses to take a walk this morning although that hasn't stopped me in ages from continuing my slothful ways. I put on my very non-stylish walking clothes and shoes and appeared in the Glen Den. My husband looked up in astonishment. 
"I guess I'm going to see if I can still walk a mile," I said, with very, very little enthusiasm.  

I did manage to walk a mile and then some and it was fine. Still, I can definitely tell that I have been neglecting that part of myself for awhile. It was overcast and muggy as hell and I was sweating by the time I got home. The branches you see above are part of a truly beautiful and rather spooky old oak tree just down the road. 

I may not be enjoying the high humidity we're experiencing right now but the resurrection fern growing on its gnarled and twisting branches appears to be quite happy. 
I decided to walk down to Lloyd Creek, or at least a branch of it. The creek was still and there was some trash floating in it. But, it is water. 

The railroad trestle goes over it. 

All right- let's have a report on the air fried chicken, shall we? I cut the two boneless, skinless breasts I had in half because they were Dolly Parton sized (and I don't think that Dolly would mind if she knew I called them that because she is a saint with a grand sense of humor about her gorgeous and generous bosoms) and dipped them in flour, then beaten egg, and then panko crumbs with salt and pepper and a few spices and I put them in the small magic oven box and set the time and temperature and function and they came out quite well! Crispy outside and very tender inside. In fact, we are going to have the other two pieces tonight, transformed into a sort of chicken parmigiana. 
I was not displeased. 
And it takes far less time than the big oven. Only a few moments to preheat instead of a good chunk of time, and then a few moments to cook. So that's nice. And this morning I used the toast function for my cheese toast and that took about a tenth of the time my old toaster oven took. 
I am pleased. I will become more familiar and comfortable with it as time goes on but so far, any problems have been due to user error, not the product itself. 

Speaking of appliances- the refrigerator repairman showed up today. It's the compressor and this seems to be a major flaw in this particular brand. However, the warranty for the compressor is good for five years, parts and labor, so I am not too upset. Now if I didn't have a refrigerator in the hallway, I'd be screaming, but as it is, it's just a minor inconvenience. We are scheduled for repair a week from Thursday which seems like a long time but it'll go fast. Supposedly, the company has redesigned the compressor entirely and eliminated the problem which is very good because I do love that refrigerator. It's size and ease of use and the way it's set up is a joy. 

It's been a nice, slow, easy day for me and I feel as if it's been the first day of true relaxation I've had since way before Christmas. I will have to go back to town tomorrow to pick up a prescription and also to go to Publix to buy steaks because Owen is spending the night Thursday and steak is what he wants. 
With onion rings. 
Which I will cook in the air fryer! 
He and Boppy are not going fishing as planned because the seas look to be too rough but instead, Owen is going to help his grandfather with a project or two, earning money in the doing. I am not sure why but it warms a place in my heart that I did not know was there for him to work with his Boppy on jobs that need to be done. This is a part of being a grandparent that I did not foresee or envision when he was born but it is a sweet one. He is such a dear boy. 
I always think of the time when he was just a little guy and he said to me one day, "Mer, did you know that sometimes when people get really, really old, they have to wear diapers?"
"Yes," I said. "I know that."
"Well, what I want to know is, who changes those diapers?" he asked me. 
"Their grandchildren!" I replied, as seriously as I could. The look on his face. He was so horrified. 
"Not really," I assured him. And truthfully, that is one task that he will not be assigned. But I do wonder if he thinks of that. 
I hope I did not traumatize him for life. 

On we go. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 27, 2021

Little Lovelies And So Forth

I went to town today and Lily, who was at work, had brought the presents AND the fruitcake that I'd left in her kitchen Christmas night. And there is the tiny sweater in better detail. Isn't it just the loveliest? Can you see the blanket stitch around the neck and sleeves and hem? The monkey behind it is a lamp that I bought many, many years ago and there is actually a baby monkey there too although you can't see it. It was one of those purchases where you think, "I do not need this," but something inside of you whispers that yes, yes you do, and if you do buy it, you might find yourself many years later being so glad that you did. 
I think I might put that little sweater in a frame. It deserves one. And that would protect it from the dust and the mildew and the moths and the...
I just adore it. That is such a May thing to make. 

While I was running my errands, I stopped by Jessie's to deliver one of the boy's mats that they sleep on here. Vergil's family has come to visit and a niece or nephew will be sleeping on it. It is going to be BIG doin's over there this week with Vergil's mother, step-dad, sister, her husband and their three children. The mountain family. I know they will all be so happy to see each other. Since it's going to be warm this week, trips can be taken to the beach and to Wakulla Springs, the Wacissa- who knows? Florida in the winter is not a bad place to be, even if it's preternaturally warm. At least the mosquitoes are not tormenting us nor the yellow flies or no-see-ums. And the mountain people will probably appreciate the warmth. 

I keep researching this whole air fryer thing. Honestly, what it is, is a convection oven (and I have one of those already) but a convection oven with more concentrated heat and a stronger air flow. Which is cool. The main problem is the space of it which is not huge. So it'll be fine for the chicken breasts I'm going to cook tonight but if I want to do, oh, say, a mess of "fried" squash, I'll have to do it in batches. Honestly, I'm a bit daunted. But I'm going to try the chicken idea tonight. And we so need to get back to some healthier foods. I've just been New York Times-ing it with delicious recipes for chicken with the skin on (the horror!) and other things with plenty of butter and olive oil and oh! who cares what all? And all of that would be fine if we were doing Keto or something and didn't eat grains and breads made of grains but I'll be damned if I'm giving up those things. 
I used to have such strong will power and determination. Now I just loathe myself and the way I look and make another loaf of sourdough. Let's not even talk about walking which I seem to have abandoned. But here comes the New Year when yes, Linda Sue, we all make outrageous promises about taking better care of ourselves and making healthy choices and changes and then we never do. I gave up on New Year's resolutions a long time ago. My two favorite ones that I ever made were to try and wear less black and more colors, and to try and say, "Cocksucker!" more often. 
I didn't even succeed at those! 

The refrigerator repairman is coming tomorrow, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise. By the time it's fixed I MAY have stopped opening the broken, empty refrigerator instead of the one in the hallway where the food actually is. 
Habit is a beast. 

Here are some flowers from today. 
A pink rose:

Isn't it lovely? And yes, yes it is. But the weird thing is that this rose bush makes white blooms. Can you see the one behind it?
Like this one.

I am sure there's a reasonable explanation but I do not know it. 

And here are some pink perfections. 

They are going crazy right now! 

Guess I'll go air fry some chicken. I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, December 26, 2021


 The website that I spoke of is HERE. 

Alfred has given me permission to share. 

I am deeply humbled. 

Love Lives (Thank You Clarence Clemons)

This is the sight I saw when I went to clean the hen house today. I have no idea what those two hens were doing. Generally, if two hens are on a nest together during the day they are both trying to lay in the same spot. This I understand. However, neither of these two ladies laid an egg and instead, both got up as if extremely perturbed with me, gave me a piece of their minds and then flew off in what I can only imagine was a snit. It's funny to me how when I clean the hen house, they birds all gather around the door to watch me, some even perching on the garden cart I fork their poopy hay into as if to search for something they may have inadvertently dropped in it like a necklace or a wallet but all they ever find is chicken shit. 
I think.

For some insane reason I wanted to make a quiche this morning and did so, from the pastry on up. We have a bounty of eggs right now and I wanted to use some of those. I also used a little kale from the garden along with peppers. It was a very fine quiche. Since I have learned to make pie pastry in the food processor, all of my pie-products have improved tremendously. I spent quite awhile last night reading about and watching videos about the new air fryer and I can hardly wait to try it out, yet on the other hand, I really don't want to get it dirty. It is so sparkly and pristine! I am sure that I will eventually use it though, and see if it is an appliance worth having or not. I'm pretty sure that at least the toasting function will work better than the one I've been using. I frequently make cheese toast with tomatoes for my breakfast and I can put that toast in there and turn it on and go make the bed and come back and the cheese still isn't melted. So, there is that. But perhaps tomorrow morning I will use the air fryer to reheat the quiche. 

Life is so full of adventures. 

I did a lot of laundry today, I attended to my potted plants. I took note of all of the weeding and trimming I need to do. I just keep taking note, I don't ever DO anything about these jobs. It's so warm here now and it's going to be even warmer for the foreseeable future

that I am truly worried that my beautiful salad greens are going to bolt, thus denying us the pleasure of our wonderful salads during our usual months of enjoying them- January, February, March, and part of April. I'm afraid that the trees and azaleas are going to start blooming and if we then get a freeze, that will be that for spring. 
We have truly fucked up our world, haven't we? 

But it's been a quiet day and I have felt somewhat reflective, thinking of some loved ones who are no longer here, and at the same time being so infinitely grateful for the ones who are. My husband was holding me and I began to cry a little, thinking of how incredibly fortunate we are to still love each other and have each other to love on our grown children and our grandchildren together. It seems almost impossible that so much life has come about because of our love and here we are- still able to marvel in wonder about it all. 
I guess I'm just emotional today. 
As if that were really any different than any other day. 
Hell, I reread a blog post of mine from a little over two years ago and THAT made me cry. I don't generally go back and read my posts but I got a spate of spam comments on it and while I was deleting them, I started reading what I'd written about a day that August and Maggie and Levon came over for a visit and about watching a documentary on Clarence Clemons and between those two things, the remembering swelled my throat and flooded my eyes. 

And there was another thing that made me cry before I'd had my second cup of coffee. I discovered the writing of someone I met recently and I did a very shallow dive into it because it is so intense and sad and yet, amazing, that I could only take in so much. I will ask them if it's okay if I link it. 

Meanwhile, I think I will continue on with the pie theme here today, or at least a version of pie, and make a skillet spanakopita with spinach that I bought last week. That stuff ain't getting any fresher. 

I wonder what next week will bring. A refrigerator repairperson, I hope. A test run of the air fryer. Owen is supposed to spend the night one night and then go fishing with his Boppy the next day. The weeks do just seem to fill themselves up, don't they?

Which is right and which is good. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Well, We're Done With That For Another Year

This is what my Christmas morning looked like. Or at least part of it. I picked the greens I was going to cook to take to Lily's and grabbed a few peppers while I was at it. Mr. Moon wrapped all of the presents and for that, he is the King of My Christmas.  

So I cooked the greens and baked a ham and at mid-afternoon we drove to Lily's. Hank and Rachel did come but stayed masked, outside, to protect us all from their cold. We'd all taken the rapid covid test and all of us had registered as negative so that was good. 

The children were happy to see a second wave of presents arrive with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. The presents were low-key this year. The children all have so many toys. I would love to show you the tiny, miniature cashmere sweater that May made for me with a close-up shot but dammit! I left our bag of gifts at Lily's. I got them as far as the kitchen and then did something else and then walked out without them. 
But here's a picture Rachel took of me holding it. 

Can you see the lovely grandmother mermaid and her pearls? 

Here are some more Rachel pictures. 

Maggie got her much-desired microphone which magically connects with an app on her mom's phone to accompany her with karaoke background arrangements. There was a performance. 
"I'm a good singer," she reassured us. And she is. 

I took these.

The food was delicious- beans that Lily had grown, dried, and cooked, our greens, macaroni and cheese, absolutely wonderful sweet potatoes that Lauren made, salad from Jessie's garden, the ham, rolls. I feel like I'm forgetting something. Lily made a Christmas pudding because Maggie saw one in a Peppa Pig book and wanted her mama to make one. So she did. 

It was excellent! 

And so that was our Christmas. I am now the proud new owner of an air-fryer/toaster oven and I'm pretty proud of that. I have been feeling like the only person on earth not to have an air-fryer and now I am not. Nor am I the only person on earth not to have taken at least one covid test. 
Big day for me, right?

A tiny bit of the old Christmas blues descended on me this afternoon but it wasn't bad. I wouldn't mind going to bed early though, to let it all go and wake up to a new world tomorrow. Or at least a world where Christmas is over. One of the things I dream about frequently and which continues to mystify me is a Christmas tree, left in my house long, long, long after Christmas. And taking it down just seems like the most onerous task possible. I am always angry that no one has taken it down already, but just left it there. 
I guess the message isn't that darn mysterious. 
How many trees did I take down in my lifetime? Wound up the lights and carefully replaced all of the ornaments in their boxes and stored them all away again? Everyone is always so excited to put the tree up and decorate it but when it comes to taking it down...
And this year I do not have to do anything but unwind the two miniature strings of lights from the tree and put them away, move the little pine out back out to the porch to grow another year in its pot. 
Things are different now. 

Maggie said she loved her nightgown. She hugged me hard when she unwrapped it and I hope she gets a lot of use out of it. Even though I measured her, I could hardly believe that it wouldn't be too long for her but when I held it up it appeared to be almost perfect in length. 

So here we are, Christmas over, leftover ham in the refrigerator in the hallway. Next it will be a new year which of course is another fabrication of human culture and yet, the keeping track of time seems to be as old and ubiquitous as time itself. 

Oh! Look what Lily just sent.

That makes me so very happy. 
It also made me happy and proud when it turned out that Hank and Rachel and I had gotten Maggie the same present- an insect collecting kit- and she tried to give one of them to August. 

I hope that all of you have had a decent day whether you've celebrated or marked the day in any way at all. That there has been some light, some sweetness, some love, perhaps even some joy for you and for yours. 

Blessings upon us all. Or as dear Keith would say, "Gold rings on ya'."

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve Day

Well, dear Lord, it's been the busiest Christmas Eve day I can remember. Lily brought her babies over at nine and the first thing that happened is they all wanted breakfast. So I made two egg-in-a-hole breakfasts, one cheese toast breakfast, and one scrambled eggs and toast breakfast. All were enjoyed except for Maggie's which was the scrambled eggs, because she said they didn't smell right. Since we'd just gathered them ten minutes before I cooked them I really don't think there was a problem with them but she decided she'd eat a graham cracker for breakfast and she did. 

The picture you see above is Boppy and Owen moving the garage refrigerator into the house where it now sits in the hallway. Hurray, hurray! I don't have to walk out to the garage to get a yogurt. Of course this all involved cleaning out the old and newer refrigerators, and transferring all of my teetering-on-going-bad food into the hallway refrigerator.

And nothing says Christmas cheer like a refrigerator in the hallway. Am I right? 

There was cookie decorating. 

There was Maggie taking care of her child, Lena, aka Zippy. 

There was bed-making and laundry-doing and sitting on the porch swing telling Christmas stories. Maggie did most of the telling. Almost all of her stories ended with a bad child not getting any presents from Santa. Even Ariel! (The mermaid.) She finally said, "I need to stop telling stories about people not getting Christmas presents or Santa is not going to be bringing me that microphone I want!"
That child is such a hoot. 
Whenever I compliment her on something she says, "I know. I've been practicing." 

At one point we were all sitting in the Glen Den with Boppy and Gibson said, "This is like a dream!" 
"What's like a dream?" I asked him. 
"Us all being together like this!" he said. 
Oh my heart. He is the sweetest child. 

And Owen was so much help for his grandfather today. I am so proud of him. He's getting taller by the second. Remember a few weeks ago when I reported that he is finally taller than I am? Well today I discovered I can rest my head on his shoulder. 

So all of that was beautiful and when they left I finished cleaning refrigerators and also finished Maggie's nightgown and no, I have not wrapped anything except for Mr. Moon's present. And get this- he went to town to get Owen a toolbox and tools for his present and he bought himself a pair of AirPods because his are on the downhill slide and damn if that isn't what I bought him. 

Yes. We are the old people in "Pickles" now. 

Anyway, la-di-dah. 

It's Christmas Eve. It's Friday. Mr. Moon is making us a martini as we speak. Before we go to Lily's tomorrow I have to wrap presents, bake a ham, pick and cook greens and...oh, I don't know. Finish the laundry. 
It's okay. It is all okay even though Hank and Rachel have colds and we're all going to test tomorrow for Covid before we gather together because Vergil's family is coming to visit soon and we do NOT want to give them any horrible Florida variant that we may have picked up inadvertently. Rachel got the cold first in their house and did get tested and was negative so I assume they both will be but they don't want to spread a cold either so...
Once again, things may be different. 

I've spent time with all of my grandchildren this week, I am not feeling as if I want to spend Christmas day drinking and sobbing, I am proud of my family for facing challenges bravely and head-on, and I just feel so very, very lucky. 
Mr. Moon and I just toasted each other, and then we kissed. 
I love that man. And in that, in him and his love, I believe I am luckiest of all. 

Happy Friday, y'all. And oh hell- why not? Merry Fucking Christmas. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 23, 2021

A Day In The Life

I couldn't find Levon for awhile today but Spider Man told me he'd help me find him. 

I tell you what- it's been a full day. A boy got up this morning way before it was light and came and stood by the bed and I said, "Come on, crawl in," and we cuddled for awhile and I thought for sure I was snuggling with Levon until suddenly, another boy crept under the covers and I was snuggling two boys and then I realized when one of them started talking that the one I'd thought was Levon was August and vice versa. 
I just laughed. 
They insisted it was getting up time although it looked like the dead of night to me. It was, however, 6:18 a.m. so I guess they were right if one gets up at such an ungodly hour. We chittered away for a few minutes and I kept telling them to whisper because we didn't want to wake up Boppy and they said, "Why?"
"He needs his sleep," I said. 
They did not seem to agree. 
After awhile Boppy made it known that he was awake too and at first he sounded all grumpy but then he laughed at something they said and he told them to come on and let Mer get some more sleep. And off they went to watch TV and let Boppy get more sleep in his chair. 
When I got up I made pancakes and they were happy about that

Requisite pancake-eating pictures.

and then it was time to read a book and then the folks from the place where we'd bought our new bed called and were on their way to deliver it and so Boppy had to go dismantle the old bed and it was complete chaos. He was determined to take the old bed upstairs and that did happen and it did take a long time. 

While all of that was going on, the young lads were being a little wild and doing gymnastics and demanding to play Uno and all sorts of things and I realized that one of the greatest things about not having little kids around is that you can actually do one thing at a time. Levon was trying to get me to untie the most bizarre and complicated arrangement of knots in some shoestrings that he'd tied to the tricycle and to the baby carriage and August wanted me to do something for him and I'd been trying to get them out of their pajamas and into their clothes and it was complex. 
I did not get the knot untied.

The delivery guys showed up and Mr. Moon offered them fine tips to help him get the old bed upstairs and re-set up and that required a lot of work and then they brought in the new bed and for some reason, a frame was not ordered and so, well, there is no frame. The bed is still pretty high without it and we may just have to sleep on it as is for awhile because we hear that frames are hard to get these days. 

On top of all of this, the freezer absolutely did give up the ghost and so I had to lug all of the stuff in it out to the freezers in the garage. Now, unlike most people's garages which are within arm's reach of their houses, our garage is about five hundred yards away on the rear of the property. I don't know if it's five hundred yards. I can't judge things like distance. (Spatial inadequacy.) But at least we do have freezer space out there. 
Jessie came and picked up the boys and the bed project continued until it was as done as it could get without a bed frame and Mr. Moon said, "Well, we can go lay on it."
Which we did. 
It is a very comfortable bed. 
It felt a little strange and a little familiar to be back in our old room which is much smaller than the room we've been sleeping in. But everything I do in the bedroom, pretty much, is done on or in the bed so who needs a lot of extra space? We never moved our clothes out of the closets or Mr. Moon's dresser from the original room, whereas my dresser is in my bathroom (it's a large bathroom) so whatever, right? However, if we sleep in the same positions that we did when that was our bedroom, we'll be on different sides of the bed than we've been sleeping on for the past few years and you know how disconcerting that can be. We discussed switching sides but that just feels really wrong. 
Oh, how odd and silly to be human! 
We laid on the bed together for awhile, no sheets or pillows, and we both agreed that we could fall asleep so easily. It had been a busy day already and it was barely afternoon. 
But we got up and I did laundry galore and walked out to the garage to get some ground venison to make chili with, stopped by the garden to pick some peppers, and then to the henhouse to collect eggs. I worked on Maggie's nightie which is almost finished. I need to do a little measuring of her and she and her brothers will be here tomorrow for a few hours so I can do it then. 

At some point we determined that the refrigerator was dying too which was truly depressing. I mean- it's one thing to walk all the way to the garage to get something out of the freezer and it's a completely different thing to have to go out there every time I need a refrigerated item. Of course the good news is that this would almost definitely ensure some weight loss. A little while ago, though, Mr. Moon decided to check out the back of the refrigerator which he discovered had dust clogging up some vents (it has closed coils so that's not the problem) and he dusted and vacuumed that whole area and now we're waiting to see if ANOTHER CHRISTMAS MIRACLE WILL OCCUR and that will fix it.
I have my doubts. But a girl can hope, right? Because damn. We can't get a repair person until the 28th. 
Oh, the horrors and agonies of first world problems. Poor lady has to walk out to the garage to get the butter. Poor lady and her husband have to sleep a little closer to the floor for awhile. 
We shall survive. 

I think I'll go put some sheets on that new bed. The chili is simmering, the birds are singing their little night tweet songs, the chickens, from what I can hear, have settled themselves into the roost. 
Tomorrow I'll have my other three grands over for awhile and it will be chaos again and then I'll finish up Maggie's nightgown and wrap the presents. 

The crazy thing is that I am still feeling cheerful and fairly undaunted. Everyone is healthy and good things are happening in my family despite the things that aren't so good. These too, will resolve and pass. 
I just knocked wood. 

Here's some camellias.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Just got this from Lily. 

Gingerbread houses! 
And as Lily said, "Some more carefully made than others." But they are all beautiful. And quite impressive!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Such Wonderful Visitors

We have two fine lads spending the night tonight and since the sky turned blue today and August's shirt appeared to have part of that blue in it, I took his picture. He was sitting on the edge of Boppy's truck. 

Sweet boy. 

It's been a busy day and a good one. Do any of you remember our friend, Anna? I met her through Hank. She moved to Tallahassee from the great white north to go to FSU where she got her PhD in history, I do believe. She taught for awhile at the local community college but a few years ago she moved back to Minnesota (I think- Anna, correct me if I'm wrong) and began teaching there. But she has missed Tallahassee and so she and her good friend Alfred took a road trip which landed them here again and today they came out to see me which was most gratifying. 
And lovely. 
I'd never met Alfred but had known of him for years as a friend of Anna's and I was so happy to meet him and discover that he is just as sweet and interesting as can be. It was a joy to spend time with them. We walked around the yard and Anna told us stories of when she used to come out and house and chicken and cat-sit for us. She said that people would ask her, "What are you going to do there for a week? You're going to go crazy." But she grew up in the country and loved Lloyd and watching the chickens and spoiling the cats and sitting on the back porch and sleeping on the most comfortable bed in the world. Alfred was amazed at the bamboo- "is that real?"- and they both loved the camellias. I think that half of the reason Anna came back to Tallahassee to visit at this time of year was to see the camellias. 

There was coffee and fruitcake (that fruitcake is disappearing at an alarming rate) and lots of good chat. I asked Anna if she'd told Albert that I swear like a sailor and she said she had. "Good," I said and then proceeded to do so. He just laughed. When they left I told him that now he is family too and I hope he knows that's the truth. 

And now I have to go chop and grate and prepare the ingredients for the pizza I'm making for our supper. The dough is rising and will be ready soon. Mr. Moon has informed me that his Christmas present to me will be getting up with Levon at six tomorrow morning. 
Sounds good to me. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Ms. Maurice the Murder Cat is becoming almost tame. She sits right there beside her man every second that he's in his chair. He's even gotten her to the point where he can tell her that he has to get up for more coffee and she'll fuss but she doesn't bite him and she sits on the arm rest and waits for him to return. 
It's sort of a miracle. 
I'll tell you about another miracle- a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! I actually enjoyed myself today out shopping. I was walking around Costco and all of a sudden I realized that I was fully in my body, and not hating being there. 
In my book, that's enjoyment. 
It also helped very much that I ran into Jason and Owen and Gibson and Magnolia. They'd been Christmas shopping and were eating pizza and I got lots of good, great, wonderful hugs. 
And then I finally just broke down and started spending money on presents and it felt terrific. I have such a problem with buying things. I know why and it's deep-seated but we are not poor and I take things too far. I mean, we're not going to be buying a house featured on "Selling Sunset" anytime soon but we have enough for me not to get all worked up about spending some money on Christmas presents. 
So I got most of my shopping done there. 
Then I took myself to lunch. I don't usually take pictures of my meals but I was texting with a friend and sent her a picture of what I was eating. 

Shrimp po'boy and potato salad. As another friend of mine said once, "I'm on the rapid weight-gain diet."
I've abandoned all dietary rules and caution. For the moment. 
I don't know what that place puts in their potato salad but it might be crack. Cheese? Sweet potatoes? Whatever, I hope I never find out because I do not want the ability to make it myself. 

And today's the Solstice and for some reason, I'm thinking about that a lot. Now that's a day you can pin your hat on. It's real, it's measurable. It's science. And it's a day that's been celebrated for thousands of years. Far longer than Christmas which we know damn well the Christians just merged with the Solstice to make it more attractive and acceptable to the Pagans with their beloved feasts and yule logs and Solstice trees. 
Like all those saints being substituted for the gods and goddesses that people had already been worshipping for millennia. 
Ah well. That's what humans do. We take what's already established and try to convince people that what we're pushing is bright, shiny new and magically improved. 

So I'm in a fairly cheerful mood this evening and am vastly grateful for that. It's cold (to us thin-blooded southerners) and getting colder. Still raining off and on. But that's fine. I have a nightgown to work on and I got three books I can't wait to read at the library today. I think I have wrapping paper and I'll get started on that project pretty soon.
Really! I will! 

I'm still not going to be singing any damn Christmas carols though. The cheer I'm feeling is so tenuous that one Mariah Carey rendition of O! Holy Night might just send me back into the darkest depths.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 20, 2021

See That Big L On My Forehead?

Today was going to be the day! Christmas shopping! Hell, I was even thinking about going to the mall which I have not done in years. 
But first, something easy. I stopped by Joann's again to get some more trim for Maggie's nightgown and while I was there, the brilliant idea hit me that Glen would probably just love a new pair of pajama/lounging pants made from fleece or flannel. Easy peasy! Right? Sure! 
So I looked at patterns and then spent approximately twenty minutes trying to find the pattern I wanted. Do any of you remember when the pattern drawers were as neatly and accurately arranged as the card catalogue at the library?
Well, those days are over. 
It's a mess. 
I found a pattern I thought I liked but it didn't have pockets so I found another one and then I searched the shelves for fabric that I thought would do and found some and then checked the pattern and it said that only stretch knits would work so I said, (come on- I bet you know what I said!) fuck it.

I did buy the trim although they didn't have enough of the one I'd bought before so again, in the fuck it mode, I just bought some that was quite similar. When the lady at the cutting counter asked me how I was doing today I started laughing and then she did too and said, "I hear you! I think you and I should go next door and discuss this."
Next door is a Mexican restaurant and I said, "Over margaritas?" 
"Uh-huh. Exactly."
I think we cheered each other up although we did not go get margaritas. I wish we could have. I think we would have enjoyed each other's company tremendously. 

Then I met Mr. Moon for lunch where we both mostly sighed and moaned (he's Christmas shopping too) and then I went to Publix and then I came home. I just couldn't do more than that. So for all my efforts I got two yards of trim that isn't exactly what I even wanted. 
Go ahead. Laugh. 

Once I got everything put away here I started in with the seam ripper because yes, I did indeed sew the yoke and bodice together wrong. Well, not really. I just had the trim going the wrong way. I told you I'm spatially challenged. So I'm way behind on getting Maggie's nightgown made. 

Oh. Here's a terrible picture of some gorgeous blooming angel trumpet. I stopped the car in the middle of the road to take it. I should have stopped longer and tried focusing. 

The whole yard was pretty impressive but the angel trumpets were the best in my opinion. 

The temperature has dropped thirty degrees in the last twenty-four hours so instead of it being hot and gloomy and muggy it's now gloomy and still humid. And getting chilly. It's been raining the tiniest bit on and off all day. Not my favorite kind of weather.

But all of these things are just silly and I don't really mind the weather that much and the fact that I'm panicking about Christmas is no one's fault but my own and I know it. Not that knowing it helps one bit and in fact, just makes me feel worse because I did this to myself. 

And here we are and here I am and I guess I'll go make us some supper. We've been watching "Yellowstone" in the evenings because my husband saw an episode of it when he was in Tennessee and he liked it and everyone told him how great it was and I am having the hardest time enjoying it at all. I feel no empathy for any of the characters and most of them are just terrifically unlikeable. It's a soap opera and it's all about men and their manly ways which include property owning and defending, fighting, killing, and being manly. 
In short- patriarchal out the yang. 
Even my husband is disappointed. I think we've watched four episodes and I'm going to give it one more shot and if something amazing doesn't happen I'm done. 

That's the news from Lloyd, Florida tonight. 

Love you to pieces...Ms. Moon