Monday, February 28, 2022

No Title

I wanted some comfort food badly today and...shhhh...don't tell anyone, but Kraft mac and cheese in the blue box were BOGO at Publix last week and I bought a box and got my free one and they are living in my cabinet right now for comfort food emergencies but I decided that instead I'd make some fried rice with one of the Chinese cabbages in the garden and some of the carrots too. They are all orange this year because when I bought my seeds they were out of the mixed colors and I miss those deep reds and purples of the carrots of years past. But they are good carrots and pretty in their own orange way. And isn't that Bok Choy just worthy of being painted?

It's just been so gray and chilly here today. I have been wishing hard for cooler weather again and here it is so I cannot and will not complain. It's also drizzled on and off and so it's that wet cold that gets into your bones. I just wish I could store some of it in my bones for when the temperatures rise again. Which they will soon enough. 

The dogs made a reappearance today but in a lucky twist, Mr. Moon was in the yard and got to his pellet gun. He didn't hit a dog with any pellets but it scared the living daylights out of them. We think that those dogs may live at Mango's house and I need to find out. That's the direction they run in when they're in retreat. He said that one was a bulldog mix and one a white German shepherd. Neither one of those is a dog you want running loose in your neighborhood. Especially if they're hungry. 

So I've not felt motivated to do much today besides make fried rice which wasn't very good fried rice but it did have vegetables in it. And if we don't end up eating it all, the chickens sure will be happy. 

Maurice and I sat on the couch for awhile this afternoon and watched some TV. This blog is turning into a Maurice photo blog, isn't it? I'm sorry but she's just been very attentive lately. 

Look at that scarred up nose. 

Because I can't just sit and pet a cat and watch TV, I got out my crocheting which is just more potholders. I have so much beautiful yarn and I SO wish that I was a better knitter and crocheter. I am not good at following patterns and I am not skilled enough to make up my patterns as I go so I end up with, well, potholders for now. 
Whatever. The world always needs more potholders. 
At least that's what I tell myself. 
I tell myself a lot of things that aren't necessarily true. I am sure we all do this. 
Whatever gets us through the night. 
And day. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 27, 2022


Well, okay, so I woke up this morning from a dream I'd had in which I was dying. It wasn't so bad. Not bad at all, really. It was very peaceful in fact, but I wasn't dying as quickly as I might have liked. It seemed to be a process and at times I felt very trippy and at one point, part of me seemed to be sinking into the earth. No one appeared to be very upset, it was just the way of it. I was very curious about this process, thinking, now I will know, if it can be known.
I woke up before I took my last breath and was alone in the house because Mr. Moon had gone to Dog Island early to check out the situation there, do some measurements, because we are sincerely thinking of doing the much needed renovations to make it a place we want to visit. 
I had barely shaken off my strange dream, or perhaps I had not done so entirely, when I went to let the chickens out. My routine is to open the door to the hen house which is connected to the run and while they stream out, I get a jar of corn scratch to throw for them as their morning treat and then I fill up their feeder with laying pellets and if their waterers need filling, I do that too. I was just about to fill up the feeder this morning, the can of food still in my hand, when I looked up to see two white dogs in the yard, to the east of the chicken house and my heart sank. Still holding the can I ran towards them, screaming, "Get out! Get out of here!" and they looked at me for a second and then took off to the strip of woods beside the railroad track and I knew what I would see if I looked around and I did. 
Miss Bella, the hen who always sleeps in the tree, was dead on the ground. Before I'd gone out to open the door for them, I'd heard a sound that I did not recognize. We are so attuned to the sounds here, including that of the trains, that we barely notice them but if something is different, if there is a different bird call or timbre, we immediately recognize it as alien. And this morning I had heard such a sound but it registered nothing with me. Perhaps a different bird? I wasn't sure. I didn't go look. 
And I should have. 
Oh, how I should have. 
I haven't seen the dogs again all day but Bella's body is gone so I know they did come back to get her and somehow, knowing that they ate her makes me feel a little better. When dogs have gotten into the yard before and murdered my chickens, they have killed in a maniacal frenzy, leaving bodies and feathers everywhere, killing just for the joy of it. I guess these dogs were hungry. 
And honestly, last night we heard a dog barking that we did not recognize and I suppose that was probably one of those strays. 

So that's how my day started out. And I've spent the rest of it just doing the usual domestic shit, hanging more laundry on the line, doing some more pruning of that crazy jasmine, going through the refrigerator and pulling out things that are no longer fit for human consumption. As you can see in the picture above, Maurice helped me with the laundry. 

Mr. Moon is home from the island. He says we have water and air conditioning which is very good. We've lost one of our sentinel pine trees down by the bay and I'm sure the other one will go at some point. The island shapes and reshapes itself, sand disappearing in some places, accruing in others. It has been so long since I've been there. Years and years and we used to go all the time. As some of you who have been reading here for years know, I have such mixed emotions about that place. I have found myself there, I have saved my own soul there, I have lost my shit there, I have laughed and danced and cried and written there. I have seen things that science cannot explain yet, and I have seen sunsets that are beyond gorgeous. It is Florida, wild and untamed, as untainted as Florida can possibly be in this century. 

When both pines were still alive. 

The golden hour on Dog Island. 

Sunset walk. 

I have cooked a thousand meals in that completely inadequate kitchen, I have spent entire weeks of spring break with Jessie and her friends, I have baked cookies for teenagers who shall remain unnamed whom I knew were stoned as hell and had the munchies there. I have sent my kids out to catch crabs and then cooked them in that pathetic kitchen. I have walked hundreds of miles of gulf and bay beach. I have waded through creeks and seen osprey nests. 
And yet, as I have said- I have lost my shit there. 
It's complicated. 
But I want my grandchildren to have the chance to have access to this place of enchantment. I think. I THINK, I want to go back. 

I'll quit now. The focaccia needs to be baked. 
And here is what the bolting mustards look like. 

The bees are loving them and thus, I will leave them right where there are. For now. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Down Home In Lloyd

I love this picture. Gibson looking so amused and Boppy giving me the side-eye. He has become the purple cow maker and last night I even gave Gibson the choice between homemade ice cream and a purple cow and he chose the old, familiar favorite. 
A ritual is a ritual and purple cows are deeply engrained into the spend-the-night experience at Mer and Bop's. 
Gibson is an easy guest, willing to help with whatever needs doing, never complaining, happy to be here. He brought the book he's reading right now for me to read some of to him before bed. I can't even remember what the title was but it's a chapter book and I gave it my most dramatic performance. 
I'm so sure he was impressed. 

This morning after pancakes, all three of us did the Wordle. I love that kids are doing it too! Why not? He says that his class is allowed to do it at school during snack time if they want. 

Last night Lily sent us all pictures of Maggie and Jason, dressed up for a father-daughter dance. Maggie had wanted a purple dress and Jason had looked and looked for one he thought would do and none seemed right and they all cost upwards of fifty dollars. 
So, Lily went to Goodwill, found a white dress, bought some purple dye, and created this. 

She added the ribbon and rhinestones belt which she made with a pair of ninety-nine cent earrings and added trim to the socks which she had also dyed. I think Maggie loves it, don't you? She looks so proud. 
Here she is with her daddy. 

The little tree there is the magnolia they planted over our own Magnolia's placenta. I would never call Lily a hippie but she has taken on a few of her mama's old hippie customs. 
I love that. 
And I love that she can create her daughter a dream dress with thrift store finery, love, and Rit dye. 

I got the front porch all sorted out today and the covers I used for the plants during freezes washed. A few are still on the line and they will be fine spending the night there. It always feels so very good to reclaim my porch and I've also mostly cleared out the plants which have overwintered in the laundry room although a few of them are doing so well in there that I see no reason to stress them out right now by setting them outside. And knowing how the chickens just do love to nip and peck at so many of my plants, it's become harder to find places on the porch for all of them because the chicken-favored ones need to be placed up high where they can't get to them. But anyway, here's what the porch looks like right now. 

I am most definitely going to replace the ferns. They are just so very sad. 

Maurice has been sleeping with us fairly regularly. She runs to our bedroom at night when she knows I'm going to take my shower and waits on the vanity for me to get in bed. I pat the covers and and make my tongue-clicks to her, say, "Come on then, baby," and she jumps down from the vanity and then up to the bed. She generally lays on Mr. Moon's pillow until he gets in bed and then she settles down by my legs where she sleeps sweetly until I try to move at which point she makes her horrible, snarling warning sound but settles down again when I have found my new position. 
This is not to say that I do not hold my breath though, visualizing her slitting the blanket with her razor scythe claws to find my calves and slice them up. This morning she stayed in bed and stayed in bed and stayed in bed and I did not move her to make the bed until afternoon. 

Funny little bed tiger. Next thing I knew she was following me around as I went out to hang laundry and then she slinked around the porch while I was working there. 
That cat is a fine example of the belief that it's only love if it hurts. 

Meanwhile, here we are, every day bringing more buds, more flowers, more greening of the oak trees which have finally let go of last year's leaves, now brown and brittle and rattly, as the chickens scratch through them. I find those dry leaves in my line-dried laundry, in my plants, and of course carpeting the ground. We do not rake them unless we plan to use them as mulch in the garden. We have no grass anyway, as the yard is way too shady for it to grow. 
La-di-dah, la-di-dah. 
This is Lloyd where thankfully, we are not judged for our lawns or lack thereof, but where people do appreciate the sight of flowers and of chickens busily going about their business from one station of the cross to another in their routine of daily exploration whether for spiritual gain or simply to satisfy their appetites, I do not know. Perhaps for both. Chickens are curious and mysterious creatures, carrying the genes of dinosaurs within them and who am I to try and define that which has survived for eons? 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 25, 2022

My Lord, It's Pretty Out

Would you look at that mulberry twig, leafing out and making berries? The sun was just kissing it right on the lips this morning. 

Everything is a wonder right now. The wisteria is beginning to swell at the nodes, reminding me of my own rheumatic finger joints which is NOT a pretty image but the gray, lifeless looking wisteria vines are not pretty either. 
Their swellings though, unlike mine, portend startling purple glory that the bees will hopefully find and make love to. Mine portend nothing but more of the same, of course, but the knots do not pain me and I comfort myself with the knowledge that Keith Richards' hands look like this

And he can still make music with them like no one else on this planet. One chord and you can tell it's those hands making that music. I noticed that on this last tour he has shed his skull rings and I wonder if he finally had to take them off one last time. He said that he wears them to remind him that underneath our skin, we all look the same. I am sure there is more. He is, after all, a pirate of sorts, but he is of an age where he does not need a reminder of our human similarities or to wave his pirate flag, either one. 

Anyway, back to spring. 

That's the Japanese Magnolia in the center. If you look carefully, you can see the camellias on the right and a crowing Liberace almost lost amongst the iron plants. The chickens are as busy as they can be these days, scratching and eating the newly awakened tender shoots and juicy bugs, turning them by chicken alchemy into eggs. I was busy today too, and although I did not get my plants entirely sorted out, I got a good start. 

I pulled many of the plants to the front of the porch where they are supposed to be, from the back of the porch where they had all been huddled into groups, the better to cover them during freezes. The blankets and sheets I used to cover them are still on the rocking chairs. I'll get to them tomorrow. Some of my plants look better than I thought they would, some worse. My poor potted ferns have truly suffered and I need to replace some of them. The bird's nest ferns are doing very well though. I trimmed them up a bit and look who I found in one of them. 

I did so much laundry today and hung it all outside, filling all four lines. It's now folded and put away, clean sheets are on the bed. 

Gibson is here, playing with the Oculus with his grandfather. I'm about to go make his requested supper of hamburgers. He loves roasted broccoli and I'll be making some of that. He calls it "burnt broccoli" and I'll try to get a nice little char on it. And of course, nothing goes better with hamburgers than french fries. Yesterday I bought three lovely baking potatoes to slice and cook in the air fryer. 

Hank and Rachel went to Lake Ella today which is a little lake, more of a pond, really, in Tallahassee with a walking path around it, beautiful trees to sit under and enjoy watching the people and ducks. I love this picture they sent. 

And perhaps I love this one even more. 

A beautiful day for a beautiful couple. They've been through a lot the past month but there is surely light at the end of that particular tunnel. I love them so much. 

I am quite aware of how lucky we are in this tiny corner of the world where for now, at least, we are as safe as anyone can be. 
I hold those who are not in my heart. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 24, 2022

I'm Okay, You're Okay. Right? Right?

Our family has all had one illness or another lately. May and Michael have been suffering from something that is either covid or the flu- not a cold. Body aches, fever, congestion, extreme fatigue. They got tested yesterday and are waiting on results. They'd done rapid tests and gotten negative results but it seems that tests are not picking up some of the newer varieties of the damn virus. How May and Michael could get sick is a mystery. He works from home and never goes anywhere and when May's at work she wears an N95 mask with a cloth mask firmly affixed over that and she does not take those suckers off. Of course she works in the "wellness" section of a coop where people come in seeking natural remedies because they don't believe in things like vaccinations and they certainly don't believe in masks and they want to talk and talk and talk. Closely. To her. 
Jessie and her kids have come down with something again. Upper respiratory. They, too, have been tested and are awaiting results. 
Hank and Rachel seem to be covid-free but Rachel's had some surgery-related things going on and she is getting better. 
Mr. Moon and I are okay, for the moment, at least, if you don't count his extreme reaction to the medication they gave him before his endoscopy. I don't think he's back up to 100% yet. I'm fine physically but have been so damn emotional today. I suppose I've been holding a lot inside me, worrying about my family which is what I do best, of course. 
Worrying and feeling guilty. Those are my super powers. 
And of course there's Putin's attack on the Ukraine which I do not begin to understand but which feels more than ominous. They have reportedly seized Chernobyl. What the fuck does anyone want Chernobyl for? I cannot believe that in 2022 anyone truly believes that war is the answer to anything but madmen always will. 
And right here at home in good old Florida where we have a governor named Rich DeSanctified, we're trying to stuff LGBTQ+ rights, education, safety, and health back into a black, airless closet with a lock on it. And let's not even talk about the new voting laws and restrictions on abortion. 

Yeah. It's all a little much, I guess. Despair and existential angst are probably a completely normal reaction to what's going on in the world. 

But this morning I did get to briefly see Jessie and the boys and Jessie's best friend since forever who is visiting from Germany where she lives and works now. It was so, so good to see them all. Melissa, the friend, feels like one of my babies and always will. One of their high school friends is getting married this weekend and she wanted Jessie and Melissa's old band, The Cicada Ladies, to play at the reception and so...the band is getting back together. This makes me very happy. 
They were only here for a short while. Jessie's car needs its AC fixed and she took it to the shop right down the block where friends of Mr. Moon's work (Lloyd has a repair shop, believe it or not) and then she borrowed a car from the vast stable of assorted vehicles around here. As soon as August walked in the house he wanted to play games so we played a quick game of Battle. It was actually the fastest game of Battle I've ever played. Levon was going to be on my team and help me until August started winning big, at which point my helper decided that he was turning his coat and although he would still sit on my lap and flip cards for me, he was helping me to lose so that August would win. 
Make sense? 
He did a great job of that, too, and he and August won handily. 
I was pretty amazed at how well Levon played. Suddenly he knows his numbers and which cards are higher than others. He's four years old! I told Jessie that the boys could play by themselves now if they wanted to. 
"Hmmm," she said. "Good to know." 

After they left I had to go to town to get stuff because that's my job. I got the stuff we needed at Costco and Publix and picked up a few things for May and Michael and dropped off groceries at their apartment. I got to see them from a reasonable distance, outside and masked and although it wasn't that wasn't entirely satisfying, it was better than nothing. 

I stopped at the library on my way home and lucked into getting the newest TC Boyle book. I don't think I've read it but I could be wrong. 

Tomorrow I'm going to attend to my potted plants. They are scattered haphazardly over all the porches and in the laundry room and I feel the need to create a little order. When I was at Jessie's house last week her plants all looked so pretty and tidy and thriving and green. Mine all look raggedy and neglected and some of them are frost bit and some of them are chicken-nipped and I feel a huge urge to give them a little love. A little fertilizer probably wouldn't hurt either. 

Gibson is spending the night tomorrow and that will be fun. He's such a sweet, smart boy. It is DEFINITELY his turn. All these kids are so different, from how they look to how they think, to how they process things, to how they show affection, to how they learn, to how they talk, to what they want to wear, to what their interests, talents, and inclinations are. 
Today May texted me while I was playing cards with the boys and she said, "Tell those boys I love them!"
So I did and then I asked them if they'd like to say anything back to Aunt May.
Levon said to tell her that he loved her too and August? He told me to tell her that he likes her so very much
That pretty much sums it up. 

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Out Here In The Universe, Dancing The Best We Can

I woke up this morning feeling as if I had been beat with a stick all night for absolutely no apparent reason. The most strenuous thing I did yesterday was to wander about the yard taking pictures of flowers. 
I guess that the past few days had been a tiny bit stressful in some ways and sometimes that's all it takes for my insane mind/body connection to try and convince me that I've been physically punished. 
Or something. 
Who knows? 
Not me.

The house next door is getting roofing done and it's giving me flashbacks of when we were at the beach last time and a house was being built across the street. The very narrow street. 
Nail guns, hammers, saws, men communicating loudly...
Oh well. I am glad for them that they've had such a nice day to work. Roofers are the workhorse, madmen heroes of the construction world if you ask me. 

I thought about doing some more pruning today but ended up weeding in the garden instead. I plucked tiny weeds and followed the roots of dollar weed and betony, both of which have long, white, snaky roots that are probably connected to every one of their particular species in the entire world. 

I also talked to Lis and it was a full-on Betty and Wilma giggle fest. Jason Mamoa and Peter Dinklage may have been mentioned. The very fine Mr. Dinklage has a new movie coming out- Cyrano- based on the old and many times retold story of Cyrano de Bergerac. I was discussing this with Hank the other day and he pointed out a very true fact which is that the problem he has with the concept of Peter playing Cyrano is that he is drop-dead handsome which is so very true. I think, however, that the twist will be handled well and quite frankly, I'm up for going to see it and finding out. Every time I go to Costco I pass the movie theater and think, "Dang. I'd really like to go see a movie," and never do. As I have pointed out before, this theater does not have a marquee posting the current movies showing which pisses me off. By the time I get home I never remember to google that shit and I don't think about it again until I go back to Costco. 
I suppose what this really means is that I'm not truly very interested in going to see a movie. 

And I really have nothing else to say this evening. I haven't had any real epiphanies or new experiences and I definitely do not need to discuss my dreams although I have pondered them a bit, noting once again that I have things rattling around in my brain that I had no idea were there. I always find this a bit disconcerting but also rather amazing. You'd think we'd know, wouldn't you? 
Well, you'd think a lot of things that turn out to be completely untrue so file that one there. 

I'll check in tomorrow. Meanwhile, let us all just bumble on, getting shinier and prettier like rocks in a tumbler as life does with us what it will. 

Or something. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

I Was Chauffeur Nurse Today

Today was another not-quite-usual day in that Mr. Moon had to get a follow-up endoscopy. Three months ago when he got his endoscopy and colonoscopy they noted that he had some esophageal stuff going on due to his chronic heartburn so the doctor prescribed an acid blocker and told him to come back in three months and so he did. He's had chronic heartburn his whole life. But the medication has helped tremendously and today's scope showed "great improvement" according to the doctor and he just needs to continue the medication and be aware. 
Now all of that was quick and certainly good news but as we all know (or should know) the drugs they give you before the procedure can knock you for a loop as they did Mr. Moon three months ago and then again today. When I was allowed to join him in the recovery area, he actually said, "This is pleasant." 
And then he went back to sleep with a smile on his face. 

Eventually, he roused enough to get up, get dressed, and get in the car and he tried to convince me that we should make a picnic and go out on the boat or maybe go to Chow Time, which we had discussed before the procedure but I sternly told him that no, we were not doing either of those things. 
So we went to the Wharf where I got us take-out and we ate in the car in the shade and he came back to full awareness pretty quickly but he's been asleep most of the afternoon. 

Thus I have done very little today in the way of getting things done but I have taken care of my sweetie and watched over him carefully. He is drinking a cup of hot cocoa now that I made him. Sleeping made him cold. 

The temperature got up to eighty today but because I haven't done anything very physical, it has felt pleasant. Another perfectly blue-sky day and there is much glory going on, as I so thoroughly discussed yesterday. As I may have also said, the azaleas in the front yard may not bloom at all this year due to Mr. Moon's late trimming and the freeze we got a few weeks ago. But the picture up top is of some of the azaleas that he did NOT trim and they are lovely. They are growing right beside the heat pump by the back porch.
Here are some more pictures. 

A very small and coral-colored variety of azalea. I have only one little bush but it is blooming nicely. 

These are probably the most "traditional" azaleas you see around here. They are like the ones in the front yard but were not trimmed and grow untended and neglected between our house and the church, half smothered by pyracantha, nandina, and beauty berry. Still, they thrive.

Some of the camellias which are giving it their best effort right now, determined to let all of the other flowers know who's boss. 

A tiny pea shoot in the garden.

The sturdy, dusty, gray-green leaves of a potato plant. 

And the rest are pictures of the flowers I brought in to put into vases. 
Of course. 

There are more. I will spare you. 

There is some bird which I cannot see but which is loudly proclaiming, "Speak, speak, speak, speak!" I wish I knew my birds but I do not. 

One more thing- I just finished reading a book I mentioned the other day entitled The Five Wounds, by Kirstin Valdez Quade. I read this one with my ears and I enjoyed it tremendously. Lily recommended it to me and if I had to describe it, I think I would say that it's a book about mistakes, suffering, atonement, growth, courage, second, third, fourth, and so on chances, family, and love. Many types of love.
Also, babies. 
And a teen-aged mother named Angel whom I will not soon forget. 

All right! 

I hope all of you are well and that wherever you live, wherever you are, the signs of spring, whether gaudy or almost invisibly subtle, make themselves apparent to you, if not now then very soon. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 21, 2022

Spring- There Is No Stopping It

For whatever reason, I always feel compelled to take a picture of my clothes hanging on the line. I suppose it's simply explained- I just think there is something so pretty and so simple and truly elegant about laundry on the line. Such an excellent method of drying clothes when it's possible, using both solar and wind energy. And my energy too, when I consider it, because it is a tiny bit more or a chore to lug a heavy laundry basket full of damp clothes to the line than it is to open the washer, take out the items, and throw them in the dryer. For me there is no chore at all to the actual pinning of them to the line. I have my system and each category of laundry has its own place which makes it easier when I take the laundry down and fold it into the basket so that it is all neatly arranged to put away as soon as I get back in the house with it. 
Isn't that ridiculous? But that's the way I am and that is the way I hang my laundry. One thing I really like about doing laundry is that it is a chore that is so definable. Unlike dusting or cleaning a bathroom, which I never feel as if I am doing thoroughly. A load of laundry is a load of laundry and when it is done and put away, that is a completed task. Of course, by that point the laundry hamper may be full again but that will be a different task for another day. 
Sort of. 
It was so warm today and so breezy that even the thickest towel got dry. 

I gave the chickens fresh hay this afternoon and spread the poopy hay on some roses that I cut back awhile ago- the ones that never bloom, probably because they don't get enough sun. But it felt as if I was at least doing something to try and urge them along. Things are just popping up and popping out all over here. 

The bridal wreath spirea is starting to make the miniature wreaths. Did I already post this picture? I don't think so. 

The wild azalea is budding up and today when I was hauling a load of pruned vines I saw that the sweet little white wild violets are opening in the yard by the bamboo. 

I brought those in and put them in my smallest "vase"- in this case a beautiful little bottle I found in the yard that must have had either some sort of medication in it or perhaps, perfume. 

The hens are being as fecund as the plants, giving me anywhere from eight to a dozen eggs a day. I sort of hope and sort of very much do not hope that one decides to go broody and sit on a clutch of eggs. It's always such a perilous and anxiety-producing experience. 
For me, of course. Not for the hens. I mean, they do all the work but I do all the worrying. 
And on top of all of that, Mr. Moon just told me that I needed to go ahead and make some cream sauce because we will be having peas and potatoes soon. This is something I used to make back when Hank and May were tiny children. I would steam my garden potatoes and sugar snap peas in the pod and make a simple, light white sauce for them and that is one of the most delicious things in the world to my taste. But I'm pretty sure that my husband's use of the word "soon" is relative and that I do not need to get out the butter and flour and milk quite yet. Those two plants are just now busting out of the dirt. 
But yes, in the near future. 

As much as I dread the heat of summer there will be no stopping it so I might as well enjoy this transition from winter into summer as much as possible, noting the new growth, the flowers, the eggs, the real and true and observable rebirth we call spring. 
It would be a sin not to, wouldn't it? 
I think so. 

Here I am, noticing, nodding my head in agreement with the way such things are arranged here on earth, feeling the ever-more swiftly running sap of it all, the quickening of life within both flora and fauna, producing the sweetest, tenderest, and perhaps strongest growth there is, and within me too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 20, 2022

No Title

First off, let me apologize for not answering comments for the past two days. Life has been too full and too busy for me to sit down and do that. But you know that I do very much cherish your comments and in answering them, I feel as if I am letting you know that. 

Sometimes, though, as I say- life gets in the way. 

And so it has been. 

Last night was just the sweetest. The food was down-home terrific, the boys were snuggle-bugs for their delighted grandfather, it was a spur-of-the-moment get together  that became a joyful occasion. 

Today has been a different sort of day in which I needed to help with a situation. This is a deeply personal situation for someone beloved and all will be well because it just will be

So. I am home now with my darling, good man. 
And I am beyond thankful for the family I live in. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Saturday Night And It's All Happening Right Here In Lloyd

That was what last night's French Vanilla ice cream looked like. 
Y'all. It was nirvana. 

Here's what tonight's ice cream looks like. 

Strawberry. And please let me say that there is still vanilla ice cream in the freezer and these people are here to share the strawberry ice cream with us. 

Plus Jessie who took this sweet picture and I think Lon is coming over too. There's a Duke/FSU basketball game on and since Vergil went to Duke it's of utmost importance that the game be watched. Even the little boys are excited although I am not certain that they're sure of what they're excited about. 

Do you think their grandfather is a happy man? 
I do. 
Jessie took that picture too. 

I've spent most of the day playing around in the kitchen. I found a pork shoulder from that wild pig we had last year in the freezer in the garage and have been cooking it all day in a very slow oven. Also mustard and collard greens are simmering with tomatoes and onions. I have plenty of leftover cauliflower, tomato, and goat cheese gratin left over to serve, and I'm making some mashed potatoes. 

We shall not starve nor suffer deprivation. 

I went out to look at the native Buck Eye today to find that it is leafing out and making buds. 

Yes. My house does need pressure washing in the worst kind of way. We won't even mention paint although I will say that Mr. Moon was a painter when I met him which explains a lot. He does not want to pay someone to do what he himself can do and yet, he has no desire to paint a house. 
An eternal conundrum when you are married to a man who can do everything. 

All right! Lon is here! Supper must be made ready. It is coolish again and I am so happy. I am dreading summer with all of my heart and every time the thermometer dips back down into the forties and thirties my heart is thrilled. 

Enjoy your evening. I certainly am enjoying mine. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 18, 2022

"Woe Is Me!" Said The Bitchy Martyr, And Then She Laughed And Laughed

Thanks, Joe!
Mr. Moon and I received our free covid tests in the mail today. Well, they could have come yesterday. I only go to the post office a few times a week now, usually when I take the trash. 

I had a martyr day today. I fully and freely admit that I have martyr syndrome. My mother did too, but she let us know about her suffering. She was overburdened and mistreated and made no bones about relating it to certain family members. (Me, especially.) I, on the other hand, keep my suffering silent for the most part but I know that by now, Mr. Moon can tell by the way I say just the word, "Okay" that I'm in the mode. I'm sure he wonders what in hell he did this time but it's not really him. It's just that he's the one who's here to bear the brunt. I get all martyry about things that really do not deserve my self pity or special recognition. Such as cleaning. It's mostly about cleaning. And doing things that I do not enjoy but which really must be done to keep a house functioning and within the realm of pleasant living. 
So, yeah, mostly cleaning. 
And of course no one (and guess who the only one would be?) ever notices the hard, hard work I do to create this functionability, this pleasant living experience. Although I will admit that sometimes out of the blue Mr. Moon does indeed thank me for random things like always washing his clothes and he almost always thanks me for cooking good food but of course I don't mind cooking much at all. In fact, I enjoy it for the most part. 

But some days I am just over it. Everything from dumping the compost out for the chickens and cleaning that container, to making sure that there's toilet paper in the bathrooms, to unloading the dishwasher, to sweeping the floors just pisses me off. 
Today was one of those days. I really didn't want to continue my pruning project. Was not in the mood. And there was a lot of laundry to do which was funny because I woke up from one of my eternal dreams about having hundreds of loads of sheets and towels to wash. So I did a lot of laundry. Including sheets and towels. 
And I swept and I mopped the kitchen and a bathroom and I washed rugs and I dried and folded and put everything away and I took all the trash and I made the base for the first batch of ice cream that I'm going to start here in a few minutes. I'm making French vanilla because I had six egg yolks leftover from the cake I made on Monday. I hope it's good. 
And really, none of that is much work, relatively, but I just felt bitchy about it. 
Maybe I have a bitch syndrome, rather than a martyr syndrome. 
Or...perhaps I have both!

But it's nice to have a clean kitchen floor and clean laundry and clean sheets and towels. I somehow survived the dreadful, painful toil. 

I'm listening to a novel, The Five Wounds, by Kirstin Valdez Quade, and the concept of martyrdom is strong within it although the person I would call the "main martyr" in the story is a woman who is truly trying to do the best for her family that she possibly can under unbearable conditions. But all of the characters suffer from the syndrome a bit, including her thirty-three year old son, an alcoholic who still lives with her, doesn't work, and yet feels that life has dealt him a bad hand and that his good intentions and "honest" mistakes are judged way too harshly. All of the characters feel that they are not being given what they deserve from others and this may be the true sign of a martyr. 
Perhaps I am not as much a martyr as I think I am because I honestly feel that I am treated so lovingly, so appreciatively by my family. In fact, far better than I deserve. 

So there is that. 

I am still, however, a bitch. At heart. Trust me. 

All right- I have started playing Wordle and within four days I have become addicted. Levon helped me play yesterday by hitting "enter" for me as he had done with his grandfather, M, when he was visiting recently. Thank GOD there is only one a day. What a brilliant and simple concept! 
Another thing that I did not mention yesterday was how after reading the book about octopuses, Levon and I kept seeing those creatures in all sorts of things- mainly trees with their spreading roots. It was magical. Also, we had read a book about listening when everything is quiet and I told him that when we are silent, we can hear so many things that we usually do not notice. For a moment we were both quiet and we heard wind chimes and birds. And then later on, in our walk, he said, "Let's be quiet," and we were, and we heard the wind blowing through the leaves of the octopus trees. 

I hope I remember that always. 

Happy Friday, y'all!

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 17, 2022

A Full Day

So I woke up at the ungodly hour of 7 am this morning and was surprisingly cheerful. As I drank my coffee I thought, "Wow! I should do this every day."
Even as I thought it I knew it would never happen. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and so forth. 
I thought I'd given myself plenty of time to get to Jessie's house at 8:45 but, as so often happens, I got behind a dump truck on Buck Lake Road, my usual route to town. It's a two-lane road and hilly and curvy so I just stayed behind him. A guy in a truck behind me obviously wasn't having it and pulled out to pass us both and almost hit an on-coming car before he swerved back into the lane between me and the dump truck. Good thing I don't tail-gate, motherfucker. The funny thing is, he stayed there the whole way. Perhaps he had learned a little caution. 
Even still, I got to the Weatherfords only two minutes after I said I'd be there and Vergil and I got to chat for a moment before he had to go shut himself into his office to make a business call. He works from home. Jessie was already at the hospital, doing some educational things. 

It had been suggested that I might want to take Levon to the park which is well within walking distance. This is the same park where I used to take Hank on walks, right after he was born, because we lived right down the street. But I wasn't quite ready to make that stroll yet so Levon and I read some books and giggled a lot and then he jumped on his trampoline and then we read a book about octopuses and so then I had to find videos of that amazing creature on Youtube and then we walked to the park. 
Levon is a most agreeable lad when he is with me. But of course that's because I am entirely at his service and also, I am the person who gives him going-away treats of M&M's so there is that. He held my hand and told me how to get to the park. I would put his vocabulary up to any six-year old's. At least. He is one of the most verbally talented kids of his age I've ever met. I mean- there is NO place in a conversation you can't go with that boy. 
At the park he wanted to play pretend baseball on the field (where Lily used to play softball as a child) but I told him I'd sit on the bench and play the grandmother who cheers. That was okay for one home run. Then he wanted to play a game of pretend where one of was asleep and the other person was Santa Claus and Santa delivered presents while the sleeping person, uh, slept. We found a piece of sidewalk chalk that we soon started using to draw pictures of presents which added to the reality of the situation a great deal. 
I got a front-end loader. 
After that, there was playing restaurant. I was the server first and welcomed him into the restaurant and took his order. He wanted one billion birthday cakes or, if they only had one, then that would do. Also, a popsicle. 
I ordered a sandwich and he brought me a pepperoni and pickle sandwich which sounded pretty good and also, a birthday cake. 
And so forth. 

We spent some times on the swings, too. Now I have loved to swing for as long as I've been able to do it. Swinging, unlike every other physical activity, was something I was good at. I could not hit a ball or climb a jungle gym or hang from my knees or do cartwheels and ended up crying with bleeding knees every time I ever played tether ball but I could swing as high as a bird could fly and oh! How I loved it. 
I learned something today though and that is the fact that a sixty-seven year old brain does not react to swinging the way an eight-year old brain does. 
I got dizzy! Not bad dizzy just disconcertingly so. 
One more great thing about getting older, eh?

Well, la-di-dah. I was about ready to back home so I asked Levon, "You got any snacks at your house?"
He assured me he did and so, hand-in-hand, we walked back home where we had some peanut butter pretzels (which he shared so sweetly with me), read a few more books and then did a little deep dive into gorillas. 
I now know far more about gorillas and octopuses than I did before today. I will no doubt forget these facts but Levon probably won't. I will tell you however, that even though we all know how very incredible both octopuses and gorillas are, they are even more amazing than we can imagine. Also- tip for the day: Never, ever, EVER get in a fight with a gorilla. It will not end well for you. 

Vergil took a break for lunch and we met Jessie after her testing at a restaurant right across the street from the hospital and that was fun. She looked so nursey in her scrubs. I am so proud of that girl. 

And then I went to Publix AGAIN and came home and did all the things I didn't get done earlier today and here we are. 

Mr. Moon has finished the railing for the kitchen steps. 

When that man builds something, it is sturdy. 

And hey! Look here!

So yeah. That's a bit cluttered but for now- it'll do. My life is cluttered. As long as I remember to clean around things and under things, who cares? I am not Martha Stewart nor will I ever be. 
I just realized that every one of those appliances are made by Cuisinart except for the thrift-store espresso maker. 
Huh. I didn't plan that, it's just how things in my kitchen have evolved. 
I've found a place in the freezer for the canister which is the most important part of the ice cream making process and since it takes 12-24 hours to get that sucker cold enough, I believe it will just live in there. I'm planning on doing a test run tomorrow evening. 

And by the way- my arm is fine now. I am just a hivey person. This is the way of it. Those welts I had didn't even itch that much. Nothing at all compared to yellow-fly bites which I'll be complaining bitterly about in a few months. 
Thank all of you who were concerned, though. 

Love...Ms. Moon