Saturday, September 24, 2022

No Peace Here Today

Yesterday's major decrease in anxiety was a temporary thing, I discovered this morning upon awakening. I am now in the hanging-on-by-my-fingernails, white-knuckling-it phase of it being two days before my doctor's appointment. 
Not to be too crude but I am fucking quaking here although I am trying to act "normal" which I am pretty darn good at because I am obviously an Oscar-winning-level performer. See how jokey all this sounds? 
I know I've said this before but despite me trying desperately for most of my life to get to the root of this doctor anxiety, I simply can't. I know I've had it forever. I can distinctly remember feeling what can only be called terror when I had to accompany my mother to the doctor's office for an appointment of hers. It may simply be a matter of shots. I do know that I got hysterical when I got my first flu shot and the second one too. It took my mother and a nurse and the doctor to hold me down. But I have no problem getting injections now. It may have started that way though. And when I was a kid, you got a damn penicillin shot every time you went to the doctor, no matter what your problem was. In the butt. 
That could be a clue.

So. La-di-dah. It'll all be over Monday by noon, most likely, although another thing not helping with my anxiety is the fact that we very well may be getting hit by a category 4 hurricane next Thursday or Friday. Things are just not looking good for us. Or Cuba.

The temperatures in Gulf waters now are at a record high (huh- go figure) and although at this moment, Ian is only a tropical storm, there seems to be no disagreement on the fact that it will become a hurricane, fueled by the hot seawater as it passes over. And as you can see from the spaghetti model, there's not much disagreement on the general area it's going to effect, either. 
Aw, shit, y'all. I hate this. This waiting to see and then trying to prepare and the dread and the worry...
It's not my favorite part of living in Florida. 
We are in a good position here in that this house has been standing for 163 years and is strong and is sturdy. Also- we have the Cadillac of generators and if the power goes out (and if we get a fairly direct hit, it surely will) we will not suffer from no electricity. Also, we are on "city" water so we'll have running water. 
We are so lucky! 
But if you've ever, EVER spent a night listening to winds over a hundred miles an hour blowing outside with rain pouring down in amounts you did not know possible and the sound of trees crashing all about you, you know that no matter how good you have it, it's still a terrifying experience. 

Ooh boy. This is not helping my anxiety. 

I tried to deal with things today by getting in the garden and weeding. I did that and while I was out there, I pulled more sweet potatoes that had already sent up more shoots and leaves. Most of them were just little ol' skinny things, not worth keeping, but I do have this one rooting in a glass vessel that came in Linda Sue's last box. 

"Is that a sweet potato?" asked Mr. Moon. 
"Yes," I said. "I am going to root it." 
"That shouldn't be too hard," he said. We will never, ever be rid of all of the sweet potato vines in the garden and that's just the truth. They are voracious growers!
The arugula will need thinning this week if I get around to it and I will be throwing those tiny sproutlings into a salad where they will spice it up, despite their tiny size. That is something good to look forward to. 

And oh! Lucky crowed today. So there is no more doubt in the world that he is a rooster, as if there any doubt about it before. 

So that's been our day. I've felt like it was Sunday all day long with my feelings of dread and existential angst. How I love a weekend with TWO Sundays. 

I went to the FGDDG a little while ago to buy milk and half and half. I am going to make some comfort food in the form of snapper flakes au gratin, hopefully like they used to make at the much loved and much mourned Angelo's restaurant downtown. The guy who checked me out at the Dollar General was a fine-looking young man with tiny braids. I asked him how he liked working there and he said he likes it very much. I'm glad of that. I told him that it was weird but nice to be able to buy things like milk and half and half in Lloyd. And it is. Both. While I was there I saw one man buying one cigar and one woman buying a few food items and a large container of laundry detergent. 

All right. Off to make a lovely sauce and a nice salad. I really do make good salads and soon I will be making even better ones from the garden. 
If a hurricane doesn't rip my baby greens out of the soil in which they live, causing lettuce infanticide. 

I may pour myself a large glass of vodka too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, September 23, 2022

Lloyd Is Just Exploding With Retail Shopping Possibilities!

Another completely blue sky day and not quite as hot. I took another walk and it felt easier and less heat stroke-producing than yesterday's. I hung out the laundry including the sheets which are now dry and back on the bed, smooth as a white linen tablecloth in a fine restaurant. 
I love our bed so much but clean sheet day is the day I love it the most. 

According to my plant identification app, this is camphor weed and I took that picture when I stopped to pee in a field that is sheltered from view of the road. The flowers did not mind my indelicacy, they simply beamed at me with their yellow faces, showing no judgement whatsoever. 

As I walked past my next door neighbor's house, I noticed a pink petal on the sidewalk and looking up I saw that the sasanguas are already blooming. I guess it is time. They are a variety of camellia and always flower first. Soon the tall bushes will be full of them and then the sidewalk will be as colorful as a pink baby blanket when all the petals drop. 

I discovered something today. Some of you may remember that a long while ago the little cement block building in front of the post office was rented by a man and his family who turned it into a sort of general goods/deli place. It was called Papa Jay's. I had great hopes for Papa Jay but for some reason, the store never made it. I used to take Owen and Gibson down there to buy candy sometimes for a treat and it WAS a treat. Papa Jay's mother would sit outside on nice days and crochet hats which he sold in the store. I do not think many people bought those hats. 
So Papa Jay packed it all in and that was that for him but I've noticed in the last six months or so that someone was working on the building. I've seen a golf cart and a truck there, people going in and out. A ramp was built up to the entrance. Flowers were planted by the mailbox. 

No matter what anyone does to that building, it's still a funky place. Anyway, I had heard that a woman was making it into a shop of some sort. So today, since no one was there, I decided to peek into the windows. There are small succulents in various funky containers on the windowsills and although there is not a whole lot to see yet, I did spy items which make me think that this is going to be a sort of hippie/Indian import shop. I saw a paper star lamp and a rack with a few kimono-like jackets on it, what might have been a Guatamalian bag hanging, and a table with what I am almost certain was a full display of artfully arranged small bottles of essential oils. 
To think that I can buy my essential oils a block from where I live is simply astonishing! Because- you know- I buy so many essential oils. 
This is cracking me up. Who the hell is going to come to Lloyd to buy paper star lamps and essential oils? The FGD Dollar General has stuff people need and they have so little business that I'm not sure of their survival. But who knows? Perhaps they're about to build a giant planned community over there on the other side of the interstate and all of those people are going to need a reputable place to purchase the little things that make life so delicious. Perhaps it will be such a cool place that folks will exit the interstate just to shop there. 
Who knows? 
Not me. 
I think it may be a vanity project for the woman I've seen going in and out. I told Glen that I would say she was an "older woman" but in fact, I doubt she's as old as I am. 
I texted my kids about this today and May wrote back, "Maybe the woman is really a witch and the place is just a front for spells and potions."
Now that is something I could truly get behind. Leave it to May to find the silver lining. The magical silver lining. She is so good at that and has been since she was a tiny child. 

So that's the big news from Lloyd today. 

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are two pictures of the mantelpiece  altar in the library. Sort of altar. Place with meaningful and random objects is more like it. 

I sort of forget it's there. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Joy Of Being Retired

I got up early today for no known reason but still waited until it got hot to take my walk. I'm so perverse. I think it got up to about 97 here today. Happy first day of Fall, y'all! 

The wild flowers beside the sidewalk are going crazy right now. I can actually smell a sweet scent from the Bidens Alba, there are so many blooms. I had never smelled them before. 

I took a picture of the house that the line of hurricane lilies is marching up to. 

A few years ago it looked like someone was working on it but whatever plan had been in mind appears to now be abandoned. The fence and gate were put in and some work was done on some steps on the side but that was it. 
Here's another abandoned house that I pass when I walk. 

Can you see it back there? The blooms of the cardinal vine are taking up all the glory, I believe. I adore those flowers. They are so very scarlet, so very perfect in their shape and design. 

Even their foliage delights me. They are part of the morning glory family. 

The sky was faded-Levis blue today. I do not believe there has been one cloud all day long. We are dry. I am having to water my garden which is coming along. I already need to weed and I definitely need to mulch. I am telling myself I will wait for a few days for the weather to get a little more temperate. And speaking of weather- there is a "tropical wave" that even my favorite and definitely non-alarmist meterologist is watching that looks to be entering the Caribbean and then possibly the Gulf in the next few days. Early spaghetti models show it heading directly towards the Florida panhandle but of course, it may not even develop into a hurricane at all. Still. Mr. Moon is making plans to go to a high school reunion in Nashville week after next and I keep reminding him that there is no way in hell he's leaving if there's a storm headed this way. 
He knows that but of course I feel the need to reinforce that information. 

My anxiety ramped down a bit today as if my mind and body know that I can only take so much. I am grateful for that. Mr. Moon, however, has a thousand niggling things fighting for his attention and he is the one who needs a little special attention, I think. So after my walk I suggested that we go down to the river this afternoon for a cool-off and a slow-down. 
He immediately agreed that this is what was needed. 

When we got there, there were four women and a toddler and they appeared to be a family to me. Possibly sisters, and they were all bikini'ed, all beautiful, and the mother of the child had a lovely round belly that foretold a sibling for that little girl soon. 
But besides them, the whole place was almost empty and it was peaceful and quiet. When they packed up and left, it was just us, a fisherman, and a couple at the far end of the beach who did not have swimming on their minds. 

So much shade, and all for us! 

No children squabbling, no teen-agers being teen-agers, no beer-drinking guys telling fishing stories, no one jumping from the rope swing. Just...peace.

This is what the water looks like when it is undisturbed by the little feet of children and their mamas and daddies and grandmamas. So clear. 

We cooled off in the cold water and rested under the cypress tree simply sitting in the quiet, the breeze, the sweetness of almost-solitude. The couple I mentioned (you can see them, maybe, leaning on a picnic table to the right of that aluminum stairway at the far back of the picture) were, I am certain, clandestine lovers. I did not stare at them. They were there for privacy, but I could hear the sweet, low voice of the woman as he held her. 
I so wonder what their story might be. 

And now we are home, our bodies cooled, our souls less restless. We do not have to be clandestine lovers, this man and I. We are long-timers in the game and as such, appreciate with all of our hearts being at a place in our lives where we can say, "Let's go to the river!" and do just that, and then come home to where we live and where we love. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

A Trip To A Bookstore, Getting My Ass Whipped At Cards

Today I had August and Levon Grandmother duty and I picked up Levon at his school and before we went to his house and I took that picture of the ever-more darling Cherry, we went to the Goodwill bookstore. 

He did his own hair this morning and I think it looked very fine. 
He immediately glommed on to a Power Rangers book and I warned him that I would not be reading it to him. "That's okay," he said. "I'll read it myself." 
He is quite advanced, I think, for a four-year old but he is not quite up to reading a Power Rangers book. But, pretend reading is good too. I tried to get him interested in a book about dinosaurs. 
"I hate dinosaurs," he said. "They died."
Well. You can't argue with that. Of course he does not hate dinosaurs, he just wanted the book he wanted. 
And I caved, as he knew I would. We also got two decks of cards from the casino at the Las Vegas Tropicana per his request, and a game of dominoes with Sponge Bob Squarepants images on them. And I bought August a giant Smithsonian book on all things in nature from algae to the limbs of mammals. Of course he would have rather had a Power Rangers book too and in fact, after I'd picked him up from after-school and showed him the book he said, "Why did you get this for me?"
"Well, I figured you could keep it around in case you have any questions about nature." 
He was not truly impressed. 

The dominoes immediately got laid out for knocking over because isn't that the best thing to do with dominoes? 

Cherry, although still tiny, is full-on playing these days. She loves to sit on shoulders and I told Vergil they should have named her "Parrot." She is going to be adopted but for now is the baby of this family. 

The boys and I broke out the cards and played first a game of Go Fish in which they beat me badly and then a game of three-way Battle in which they also beat me quite handily. 
Unlucky in cards, lucky in love, I suppose. 

And because I am running so late on my schedule which no one but me gives a damn about, I need to go make our supper. I really am ridiculous but we all do what we need to do to hold our world together and this self-made and self-enforced schedule is one of my methods. I am neither happy about nor proud of this ridiculous bit of illogic but right now, five days before my doctor's appointment, I need every bit of control and normalcy I can muster in order to keep the snakes of anxiety in a relatively calm state, writhing and slowly rattling, sliding over and under each other, blinking their cold serpent eyes, flicking their chemosensory forked tongues where they lay in the flimsy basket in which I hold them. 

Yes. I am a bit dramatic. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Ay, Yi, Yi!

I swear. I don't even know who I am one day to the next. This morning I had to get up early-ish and go to town to get my blood drawn in preparation for next Monday's annual exam with my doctor. As you can imagine, I am in quite a state about all of this and to my vast disappointment, the comet has not hit the earth disrupting and ending all activity as we know it so there was no putting this off any longer. 

My doctor is part of a very large group although all of the doctors practice independently, sort of, but almost every test you need is done at one central location. I have gone there to get x-rays and mammograms and  ultra-sounds and of course, lab work. There never used to be appointments. You'd just show up and wait your turn. And so I showed up this morning, only to be told that the wait time was two hours and thirty minutes, the waiting areas were full, and people were waiting in their cars. 
And of course I was fasting because it's that sort of bloodwork.
So at first I said, "Well, THAT'S not going to happen but then when I got back to my car I thought, hell, let's just get this over with. So I went back in and got in a queue and was told that I'd get a text when I should come to the waiting room. And back out to the car I went. I had brought a couple of New Yorkers, thank goodness, but I got so sleepy, waiting. I'd had no coffee either. Finally, after about an hour or so, I got called in and then had to wait in two other waiting areas. By the time I finally got into a room with a phlebotomist, I'd been waiting almost two hours. Turns out they are way understaffed with only two techs. They're trying to remedy that situation but for the moment, that's the way it is. One can make an appointment but from what I learned from other people waiting, there are no appointments available until the middle of October. 
They have to fix this. 

When I got out, I needed to eat and went to Japanika! because I hadn't been in a long time and was craving their curried tofu Bento box and that's what I got. It was delicious and I thought about all the times we'd been there when Owen and Gibson were little guys and how much they loved the sushi and miso soup. 

And then I went to Costco and Publix because no matter how often I go to those places, I always need more stuff and I got that stuff and came home and was so tired I had to take a nap after I got everything put away and the kitchen all cleaned up and the bed made and the dead animal which I assume Jack or Maurice brought in and left on the rug on the back porch, taken outside and the rug into the washing machine. 
"What was it?" my husband asked me when I told him about it. 
"I do not know," I said. "I didn't really look. But it had guts." 

And that sort of sums it all up for me as to today. 
I haven't taken a nap in forever but there seemed to be no choice about the matter today. 

Lily is still testing positive and not feeling great. She hasn't seen her babies since last Saturday and is not very happy about that. 

And so it goes. 

Let me know if you hear anything about a comet heading our way. I could use some good news. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, September 19, 2022

My Child Heart Is So Happy

Today was Christmas again in Lloyd. 

Whatever it is that I have done to deserve the friendship of Linda Sue is beyond me but her ability to know exactly what I would like and love and cherish and need amazes me. One of her orphans is now living in Florida! And she came with her own nurse. According to Linda Sue, this orphan, Tilly, was the one who, upon hearing about Florida and alligators raised her hand to volunteer to travel to such an exotic land. And so now here she is, with her own chicken! She has an appendix scar which Nurse has been tending to for her. I checked and the incision site looks absolutely perfect. Nurse knows what she is doing. And the Mexican beauty was tired of the dark and cold days of the Pacific Northwest so she decided to come along too. 

I had the realization today that finally, at the age of 68, I have made a friend I can play dolls with. This is truly a fine thing. I always say that inside of us we have every age of ourselves we've ever been and this new development in my life pleases and tickles the five or six or seven-year old Mary so much. The 68 year old me is charmed. 
And grateful. 
Just so very grateful. 

I introduced Tilly and Nurse to Dorothy Anne and Lucy. 

No. This is NOT a collection. 
It is a family.
And won't it be handy to have a nurse about to help with any and all problems the babies and their older siblings and cousins might encounter? I think Tilly looks absolutely thrilled to be here. She must truly have an adventuresome soul. 

The lovely senorita is now nestled between two other darlings that Linda Sue sent me awhile back who sit on my vanity. She looks a little stunned but that's probably due to the Southern sun coming streaming in the window. 

It has been a good day. I woke up feeling normal for the first time in a week. Truly normal. I made up a loaf of sourdough with starter that I'd fed yesterday and set it to rise and went for a walk. It wasn't a very long walk. I'm having a bothersome pain in my right hip and leg. Perhaps sciatica? Whatever, it is causing me to limp like, well- an old lady with a messed up hip and leg. I dip and I roll. I had thought that perhaps I could walk it out, walk it off, but no. Apparently not. So I've been hobbling about for the rest of the day and when Mr. Moon got home from town and his workout, he had a terrible pain in his back, probably related to a fall he took a few years ago which flares up at times and we commiserated and laughed at our old-people foibles although I think we could have probably both cried if given the slightest encouragement. 

Here are some flowers I took pictures of on my walk. 

Confederate rose. Is there a more girly flower on earth? 

Abelia. One of my favorites. A lovely, old-fashioned shrub with the most delicate of blooms. 

A sturdy line of hurricane lilies in the yard of a long-since deserted house, now on the verge of needing far more than restoration. 

Bidens Alba, also known as Devil's needle, Shepherd's needle, Beggertick, and Butterfly needle among other things. In theory, this is a fantastic native plant. It grows under any conditions, is great for pollenaters and is beloved by butterflies and bees. It has vast medicinal properties. HOWEVER, it produces a "needle" that has tiny hooks on it which will catch on anything. One plant can produce up to a thousand of these horribly bothersome things. There is no one in the south who has not spent hours of their life trying to pick those needles out of socks, pants, skirts, and off of shoe laces. I do want them in my yard but I respect them and am happy to see them growing by the sides of the road which those above were. 

Here is one more picture of a treasure that Linda Sue sent. 

That is a vintage clothespin holder and I have hung it above my washing machine. I cannot tell you how much I love it. 
Pragmatic Woman Art. 
If that's not already a thing, it should be. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Slow Dancing Sunday

Here we have a crappy picture of a nice little anole. That is the only picture I've taken today. I have not felt well. I don't know what's going on. I have no fever, no real congestion, but I'm tired and a little achey. My eyeballs feel weird. I took a Covid test but it came up negative so I guess it's not that. If I don't feel better tomorrow, I'll take another. 
So I have not done much. I made breakfast, I swept the hallway, I made the bed. I sat on the couch and knit and watched Call the Midwife. I love how the show's seasons have flowed with the times they were set in, from just post-war to the sixties. If the show had only been about babies being born, I still would have eagerly watched it, but it has covered so many topics from racial issues to abortion to poverty to grief, to prostitution, to joy, to adoption, to domestic abuse, to drug use, to incest, to Downs Syndrome, to aging, to so much more. 

The Weatherfords came over to collect a dishwasher we had in our garage and for Mr. Moon and Vergil to practice with the crossbow, again in preparation for deer season, and although I wasn't going to be around the boys, that didn't quite work out. And what the hell- I was with them for hours yesterday. They wanted me to read them a book and I can never turn that down. It was good to see Jessie. She was at work yesterday. She and August actually walked down to the Dollar General to get mocha drinks and juice boxes. She also bought a cucumber and some other produce that I have already forgotten. Last weekend when Vergil brought the boys out, August was running a fever and I had no children's tylenol or ibuprofen and he ran down to the DG and got some. I suppose I am just going to have to admit that at times the place is going to be a huge convenience. Not necessarily for mocha drinks and juice boxes but for things like OTC meds that would normally involve at least a twenty minute drive both ways. 
Of course I wish that it was not a giant corporate-owned store with sleazy hiring practices and an obvious complete disregard for the environment but there's absolutely no way that a locally-owned establishment could ever offer the sort of selection and prices that they do. 
I am in no way defending the place but here it is and here it is probably going to stay. 

I've very much enjoyed being restful today. I refilled the hummingbird feeder and I've loved watching the tiny things darting and sipping around it. Right now there's a pileated woodpecker in the Bradford pear right beside the porch. I wish I could get a picture but I know I would scare it off if I tried. They are so large and so beautiful. The pecan trees are already dropping their leaves. They are the last to come in and the first to fall. I wonder how they're going to feel about this coming week's heat wave. They are probably as confused as the rest of us are. One minute with tolerable, if not exactly cool temperatures, the next it's going to be in the upper nineties again. 
As if it's not tough enough living in Florida where Ron DeSantis is governor and where Donald Trump lives. DT has to be the Ultimate Florida Man. He doesn't even need meth to qualify him for that honor. But for the moment, at least, he's not making laws and sending immigrants on plane trips to Martha's Vineyard. 
So, so clever, that DeSantis is. How cute. 
How fucking cruel. 

The last I heard from Lily, she was thinking that she has a mild case but that was this morning. I haven't heard from her this evening. She has been sleeping a lot. That I know. 
Lauren posted on FB that she wished the Waffle House would deliver so I guess she's feeling better. 

I think I will go to bed early tonight. I am reading an Alexandra Fuller book and as with all of her books, I am enjoying it from toes to nose and and all points beyond. 
Pack Light, Move Fast. 
What a woman. What a life. What a writer. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Fine Company

 Well, of course now Lily has the Covid. She called me this morning and she didn't even have to say more than, "Hey mommy," and I knew. "Are you sick? Do you have it?" I asked her. 

Ah-lah. Well, it was pretty much a sure thing that she would get it. She's worked with the public all throughout the pandemic AND her partner got it. Lauren, thankfully, is feeling better and now she can help take care of Lily as Lily helped take care of her. The other grandmother and Jason picked up the kids. Lily is not happy that they will now be exposed but they insisted that they might as well get this over with. I think Jason has had it and so has Owen but of course one can get it again. 
Lily would not let me hug her yesterday and was wearing a mask and I guess I'm glad for that. She says that so many of the people who work for Publix are coming down with it now. 

For right now, though, our little enclave here in Lloyd seems to be free of the virus. Today Mr. Moon and Vergil went back to Lamont to put a motor in a feeder and the little guys elected to stay here with me. 

We read some books and then we played a card game called "Garbage" which turns out to be a fairly fun game. Levon was on August's team, which makes things easier. I am always amazed at how well they work together on these team projects. I am not sure that we quite followed all of the rules properly but I wasn't worried enough to go back and rewatch the video on how to play the game. 
And of course, the team of August and Levon won.

After that I made them some popcorn and let them watch TV. While we're discussing popcorn, let me just put in another plug for the Whirly Pop popcorn maker. Of course they aren't paying me. I fucking wish. But after years of making popcorn in the microwave, we got this funky and old-fashioned device and we love it. 

I buy the Orville Redenbacher brand popcorn because it truly does pop better than any other brand I've tried. It is not unusual for every kernel to pop. And the taste is so far superior to microwave popcorn. You can opt to put whatever you want on it and in whatever amount you want, too. Mr. Moon (and the boys) want LOTS of butter and salt and we also use nutritional yeast sprinkled on it generously. Gives it a nice cheesy flavor along with your B-Vitamins. 
I learned about nutritional yeast from The Farm cookbook too, if I remember correctly. I add it to cheese sauces and soups, etc. 
It's an old hippie thing. 

Like me.

I watered the garden today. We are getting no rain at all and there's none in the forecast until a week from Monday AND I can see that it's supposed to hit 97 on Thursday. 
So long, fall! We hardly knew ye! 
Anyway, this is what the row of arugula looks like right now. 

That is the easiest vegetable to grow in the world as far as I know. 

I see that Trumpty Dumpty is openly embracing QAnon which I am sure surprises nobody in the world. They are his people! Can you even imagine believing in a movement that thinks that HE is going to be the savior of us all? 
Holy shit. 
Talk about a cult. I can think of only one way to end the horror but it would not be prudent to discuss that on a public forum. 
Is this a public forum? 
I guess so. 

And I also guess that I have nothing more to say. 
Endings are always the hardest part so I'll just say-

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, September 16, 2022

Midwives, Soybeans, And Other Important Topics

 Here you are- proof that yes indeed, Florida does have seasonal changes. The banana leaves are turning golden. People come from all over the world to see this phenomena! 
Okay. Not really. But the banana leaves ARE turning golden. Or yellow. Or whatever color you call that. I think they are lovely. 

So. Another day in paradise. 
When I got up, my man was already gone to work in the woods. I got the sheets washed and out on the line and decided to go to town. A minor miracle occurred this past week when Mr. Moon actually came up with an idea for a meal he would like that we haven't had in a long time. 
Yes, indeedy. 
I cook the dried ones until they are tender and then serve them over rice with a sauce that I sort of stole from a cookbook sold in the seventies and published by The Farm which was the big commune in Tennessee started by Stephen Gaskin and his followers. Some of you may have heard of the place, and some of you probably have not. Ina May Gaskin, Stephen's wife, is one of my true and real heroes as she was one of the main pioneers of modern midwifery and has had a huge influence on my life and the lives of my children, not to mention women and childbirth all over the world. 
Wow. I sure can go from one subject to another in record time, can't I? 
The very appropriate name of the cookbook was (is) the "The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook." The Farm folk believed staunchly in vegetarianism and were vegans too, for the most part. Now one time when I worked at a local free standing birth center, we were gifted with a visit from Ina May and the thing I remember most about her was that she ate a salad with tuna in it and I loved her even more. 
But this sauce for the soybeans is made from mayonnaise, soy sauce (or Tamari), garlic powder, and vinegar. The cookbook calls for vegan mayonnaise but to hell with that- I use Duke's. 
It may sound weird but honestly- my mouth is watering, just thinking about that meal. 
Good LORD, I have made a simple fact into a entire essay but I had no soybeans to cook for Mr. Moon's requested meal and so I went to town to the Coop to get some in their bulk department. Which I did. I also bought some locally milled grits there which are delicious and large-grained and take at least an hour to cook and are worth every minute of cook time. When I make grits to eat for breakfast on a Sunday, I use the regular "old fashioned" grits that are easily available in grocery stores but when I make something like shrimp and grits, I want to use the good ones. 

But before I went to the coop, I bought myself lunch at a place called the Piteria which is, of course, a Greek influenced cafe. I got what I always get which is the vegetarian platter. It is so good! Hummus, falafel, cucumbers, tomatoes, dolmades, tabouli, Kalamata olives, pepperoncinis, and two beautiful, gorgeous warm pitas. I took a New Yorker magazine with me and it was a fine little party for one, right there on Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee, Florida. 
I brought home over half the food and tomorrow will be able to enjoy it all over again. 

I went to Goodwill, too. I know. I was crazy. And I actually bought two dresses, one of which is definitely a wear-around-the-house sort of thing but it has pockets, and one which caught my eye because of the beautiful fabric. It doesn't have pockets but by golly, I'll put some in or on it. 

And there's more! I went to Publix, the one where Lily works, and I got to see her interact with a customer which is not unusual but somehow, it literally made me cry. She is the kindest, most attentive, hardworking woman and she is my daughter. I am so proud to say that. She is going through some rough times in many ways but she is carrying on, taking care of three children, maintaining a healthy and loving relationship, working full time in a physically demanding job, doing all of the things that women do. I look at her, so tall and so beautiful, and I am simply amazed that she came from me. 
And of course I'm crying again. I am ridiculously emotional. 

I started watching a documentary this morning and although I haven't finished it, I have to say that it is profoundly moving me. It is about a 90-year old midwife who lives in a small, remote village in the Yucatan and the life she and her family and their fellow villagers live there. 

You can watch it HERE if you want. 

I have to tell you that I consider midwifery to be a holy calling. To be a midwife is to live a life of utter sacrifice, eternal vigilance, never-ending learning, courage, and complete dedication. A midwife's days and nights are not her own. And a midwife in a primitive and remote place like the village in this documentary has to be a doctor, a nurse, an herbalist, a therapist, and a mother and grandmother to all. 

At one point in my life I thought I wanted to be a midwife. I was involved for years with birth, first at home births, and then at the birth center where I met Ina May. That interest in midwifery is what took me to nursing school. But I did not have the stamina nor the dedication and I did not have the courage. I just did not. But I am glad that I got to help the women that I did help in childbirth and I am eternally grateful that I was able to have most of my children at home, attended by midwives. To have been at the home births of my grandchildren will always be one of the biggest honors of my life. 

Well. Once again that is not what I came here to talk about. Funny how this always happens. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Fun With Fabric!

Well, there you go. This morning I discovered that indeed, some of the seeds I planted on Monday have sprouted. You can still see the birth dirt on these turnips if you look carefully. The entire row of arugula has come up. Arugula has a very strong life-wish. It just does want to grow and I am so grateful for that. I am imagining focaccia baked with tomatoes and a little parmesan, topped with the freshest arugula salad dressed in a little salt, garlic, a slurp of olive oil and a few shakes of balsamic. 
THAT is heaven. 

I decided to take a health day today. Mental AND physical. Mr. Moon left early to go do something in Lamont, a little bend in the road a few miles from here where he hunts with some guys. There is a great deal to do before hunting season begins and I have to tell you that these men must love hunting more than anything in the world because it is a LOT of work getting things ready. 
Do not ask me what it is they do. It involves deer stands and food plots and clearing and...okay, that's all I know. Trail cams! Those too. 
So I just didn't feel that well. I think I may have overdone it yesterday trimming the palms and weeding. Whatever, I decided to stay in and play with dolls. 
And that is what I did. 
Last night I washed Lisi's hair. You may recall it had been in two rough braids, bound with plain old rubber bands so I cut the rubber bands and untangled the hair. Lisi has real, true human hair with is a little weird but she has a real true human face, too, so there is that. 
I washed her hair in the sink, apologizing when I got shampoo in her eyes. I used my own shampoo and then after I'd rinsed that out, a little bit of my conditioner and when it was all dried and brushed, she looked like this. 

Damn! My own hair should look so good! 

And my plan today was to make her one last dress before giving her over to Magnolia. I had thought to use some of the tulle I have for a petticoat but I quickly determined that cutting and sewing tulle was not something I am interested in doing. So I used some fabric that I had bought for masks and some satin blanket binding and this is what I came up with. 

It's her fancy dress! 
I think she looks a bit overwhelmed and I don't blame her. It's...a lot. 
But maybe Maggie will like it. 
I still have a tiny bit to do in the back with fastenings and so forth but for the most part, it is done. 
I don't know when I'll see Maggie. Lauren has tested positive for Covid and so things are a little closed down over at Lily's house. I feel so bad for Lauren. Lily says she's basically just very, very tired but then again, she did just work nine days in a row so one would expect her to be, Covid or not. Lauren is a hard-working woman. 

As I worked on that saloon-girl dress today, I listened to yet another few episodes of Mormon Stories. 
Yes. I am still addicted. 
I just love the very, very long form episodes, some of them lasting more than five or six hours. Today I was listening to one in which John Dehlin and his wife, Margi Dehlin, were interviewing a well-regarded Mormon historian and scholar and I won't go into it but it pleased me so to hear the man say that he truly does believe there must be a religion gene and that he has it. 
For many years I've been saying that I believe there's a religion gene and I DON'T HAVE IT! 
It was a very fine interview. 
And I will add that humans are weird. 

Mr. Moon is home and he had a wonderful day in the woods. He's going back tomorrow. I'm going to cook him some of the fish he caught for his supper. I have no idea what I'm going to be doing tomorrow. I sort of apologized to my husband for spending all day making a doll dress and he said, "There's no one telling us what we should and should not be going these days. If it makes you happy, why not?"

He is so precious. I am so lucky. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

And Just Like That- Fall Arrived

I got up this morning to find that it was sixty-seven degrees on my back porch. It was delightful, shocking, delicious, and lovely. So of course I had no excuse whatsoever not to take a walk and I did. It had warmed up considerably by the time I got home and I was sweaty and tired but I didn't feel like I might die which is a huge improvement. 

While I was walking I finally took a picture of part of No Man Lord's yard and I felt sort of slimy. I'm sorry, y'all. I just hate the thought of him feeling that I'm invading his privacy. But this isn't the part of the yard where he has his camper and his fireplace and his chairs. It's off to the side. It looks to me like he's doing another cross building thing. Crosses are a theme for him. 

Every time he starts something new I think about the day I talked to that woman I called Boss Lady in front of his yard. I asked her, "What's Harvey got going on now?" 
"Same thing Harvey's always got going on," she said. I nodded my head in understanding. 

I watered the garden today and can't wait to see the little tiny sprouts coming up. I am impatient! All of the greens look like miniature ears when they break ground and the carrots look like little hairs, almost invisible at first. I have no idea what an artichoke plant looks like as a fetus, but I sure am hoping to find out. 

This afternoon I decided to get out the loppers and garden cart and trim up the Canary Island date palms out front. That was miserable and I didn't do a good job. I actually have no idea how you're supposed to trim a Canary Island date palm but honestly- if they both died tomorrow, I would not cry. 

I also did some weeding around them. There is so much yard work I've neglected this summer but it's still too hot for me to work much more than an hour at a time. As my husband says, we just have to go about things at our own pace now. 

I watered the porch plants and then I came in and did a few things around here. Not a bad day in Lloyd, really. 

I got a text from a woman I've never met but we've been what I would call friends, nonetheless, for many years. We met through blogging. Some years ago she married the love of her life and they have desperately wanted to have a baby but have had fertility issues and her text to me today was, "Guess what?" 
I answered, "NO! Really?!" 

And yes, she is pregnant. I am so incredibly happy for her. It's funny, a woman I know here has had a similar story of wanting a child so badly and seemingly not being able to have one. Just a few weeks ago though, she gave birth to a darling baby girl and that has made me think of my other friend and wonder how her journey was going. 

And now I know. Heartbreak to joy for both of these women and their babies are the luckiest babies. To have been so longed for...
I am thrilled for them both. 

Okay. Two flower pictures. 

Four O'clocks. To me they look like fairy-tale flowers. 

Blue Sky vine, growing on the front fence. 

All right. Those egg roll vegetables are not going to wok and wrap themselves and the tofu is surely pressed enough by now. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Meaning, Magic, Memory

 Damn, y'all. I'm in a funky slump when it comes to having anything interesting to write about. I mean- my life is so uneventful right now that I had a dream last night wherein I decided to get a job. I do not know what sort of a job it was that I was going to get but hopefully something like a librarian whose sole duties are checking out books, shelving books, and reading to small children because I am way too old to be contemplating anything like truck stop waitress or exotic dancer and besides, they tore down the truck stop so forget that. 

Now I realize, having said that, that the universe is probably going to have heard what I said via that Universe Magic and create some sort of disturbance in my peaceful little life which will create chaos and problems. I hope not. And actually, I no more believe in Universe Magic than I believe in The Power of Prayer but I do have my own weird and unexplainable superstitions, just like most of us. My theory is that in order not to feel like complete victims of fate, we humans devise ways with our busy brains to attempt to control something, anything, that is normally beyond our power to control and so we come up with religions where we can petition our gods with prayer, or placate them (gods are always in need of placating, aren't they?) with sacrifices or constant worship and praise or following the rules of whatever god we choose to believe in even if they make no sense and are, in fact, harmful to our souls and minds and so forth. And even if we aren't religious we often say things like, "I'm sending you good energy or good ju-ju or positive thoughts" and I just don't quite understand that either. And there are also those of us who believe that we can visualize positive things and thus create successful outcomes for ourselves and others and honestly, I don't see humans having that sort of ability and power. 
About the best I can do is to tell someone that I am thinking of them with love because I know I can do that and if there is anything that's holy and magic, love is definitely part of it. 

And all of this is not to say that I am not superstitious although when I catch myself being superstitious I laugh at myself and try to convince myself that I'm not, not really. And truly, for the most part I am quite happy with the sort of magic that comes from the everyday and prosaic things around me like sunrise, sunset, rain, trees, babies, the minds of children, sea monsters, and Keith Richards. 

Speaking of the minds of children, when we went to have lunch with Maggie the other day she said to me, as we were eating, "The thing I wonder about is where humans come from. They haven't taught us that yet in school."
"Do you mean how humans came to be on this planet?" I asked her.
"Yes," she said. "Where did they come from?"
Well, since we only had about twenty more minutes I tried desperately to figure out how to explain evolution and how apes and humanoids split off from each other and so forth and so on in a way she would understand in a hundred words or less.
I do not think I was successful and she probably has some truly weird ideas now but I did emphasize that ultimately, we all came from Africa. 

Now if she had asked her other grandmother, I'm pretty sure she would have heard about Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden which is a hell of a lot easier to explain and, for a child to accept and understand because it's such a neat and tidy story IF you don't start asking questions. 

Oh well. If there is one thing I know about Magnolia June, it is that she will question everything and that whatever she ends up believing, she will believe in it with certainty. This is the way she is. 

So I went to town today and had lunch with Jessie which was a joy, of course, and we did a short Costco run and then I went to the library and to Publix and then I stopped at the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus Thrift Store where I bought nothing, not so much as a saucer. And that was my big day. I drove home a back way down a road where I used to live with my first husband when Hank was a baby. We lived in a house that rented for $75 dollars a year (no shit) and it had primitive electricity but no running water. We had a pump out back and I washed dishes outside and we had an outhouse and as I have said many times, I am very glad I had the experience of living there because there were some things about it that were wonderful and beyond that, I will never, ever take running water or floors and walls that you can't see through for granted. That house burned down a long time ago when some asshole tried to run an AC in the bedroom which of course caused some major electrical problems. Somehow, no one died. 
But it was a trip down memory lane for me to drive that backroad. Some things have changed, some are still the same. Trailers have replaced some of the shacks, some of the land alongside the road has been cleared. But as I drove I remembered things and times and people from over forty years ago and some of that was good and some of it is still painful. 

And that's life. 
How did humans get here? Hell, don't ask me. I can barely tell you how I got here, living this life I lead now. 

Every day fall feels a little closer. And of course it is. I noticed yesterday that the Confederate Rose is putting out buds for its autumn glory blossoms, which is related to okra, hibiscus, swamp mallow, and a bush we call Rose of Sharon. There was one planted at Maggie's school and I pointed it out to her when we were walking to the cafeteria and I told her its name. 
"How do you know that?" she asked. 
"Well, I know a few things," I said. 
And I do. I've probably forgotten more than I remember but I do remember when I lived in that old house, a friend came out for lunch with her daughter who was about Hank's age and she brought me a Rose of Sharon in a pot to plant in the yard. I had made a tuna and pasta salad with whole wheat macaroni in it for us to eat. 
And for whatever reason that is something I will probably never forget. 

Humans are weird. And we are. 

Love...Ms. Moon