Thursday, March 31, 2022

Well, I Do Talk About A Few Books

Here's another in what appears to be a series of photos of bees on flowers. The best thing about this picture is that I blindly took it. The wisteria was way above my head, the sun was shining in my eyes, and I saw the bee, raised the phone up, clicked, and that was what I got which is actually pretty remarkable. I took it a few days ago. The sun would not have been a problem today. We never did get the fierce weather they were predicting but we got some good rain and a little wind. I have no idea why I actually even pay attention to forecasts but I do, especially in hurricane season when knowledge is power. Or at least having some knowledge is sensible. 

I don't post a ton of food pictures but that's the salad I made last night and it was so gorgeous. And so good. We were halfway through it when I said, "Oh shit! I forgot the tomatoes!" 
They were not missed. It had every other damn thing in the world on it. 

I've been struggling a bit today. Got the blues again and I can't even blame it on being Sunday because it's not. No need to wallow in it or go into great detail. We all know what it feels like. But I didn't do much. Not much at all. I did wash all my Goodwill cashmere and will put it up when it's dry. I think that cashmere season is over. 

I finished (finally and thank god) the Stephen King book I was listening to. Billy Summers. It started out with some promise but by the end I was appalled at the number of serious flaws in it. Come on, Stephen! You're a pro-damn-fessional! 
On the other hand, I just finished reading (with my eyes) a novel called Shiner by Amy Jo Burns. 

The woman can write and she has a story to tell. It's a hard story and one that you'd think couldn't happen in this day and age so when computers or oxycontin are mentioned, it's a shock and a shudder. It's a story of patriarchy and poverty, determination, and the literal toxicity of some religions. But most of all, it's a story of the love two women friends can have for each other, how different it can be compared to any other type of relationship. How sustaining and powerful, true and fierce. 
I say yes on this one. 
I'm listening now to Michael Pollan reading his book, This is Your Mind on Plants and now I desperately want to grow poppies. As with all of Pollan's books, it is well-researched, interesting as hell, and as mind-expanding as many of the plants he discusses. He's one of those rare journalists who can spin a story out of facts that fascinates, enlightens, and entertains.
Yes to this one too. 

And that's all I'm going to talk about today. 

Be well, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Pinot Update

 This morning on my walk, I crossed paths with No Man Lord who was probably walking down to the convenience store. He was walking on the opposite side of the road from the sidewalk and I have no idea why but as we drew closer together he began crossing the road and we exchanged greetings and I said, "Can I ask you a question?"
"Sure," he said. 
Now listen. There have been times when he and I have crossed paths and he absolutely ignored my presence. This is not rudeness, I do not think. It is simply the way he is. I am part of his world but not really part of his world. But today he seemed downright affable. 
"How is Pinot?" I asked him. "I know he had an accident and I haven't seen him."
"Yeah, he fell out. He's in the nursing home in Monticello."
"Fell out?" I asked. 
"He does that sometimes. Just falls out. Hits his head on the cement, bruises up his arms..."
"I don't know if he had a stroke this time or what."
As we were talking, I was really looking at his face and I tell you- if I were a portrait painter, I would want to paint him. His face is absolutely beautiful. It's like it holds the whole of human history in it. Again, it's hard to explain. 
But I swear- if the right artist painted him and you saw the portrait, you might find yourself crying and have no idea why. 
We said our good-byes and he even told me that he was glad to see me out walking. It's the way of our little world here- just as I have noticed NOT seeing Pinot, he has noticed not seeing me. 

It's so windy and has been all day long. Gusts so strong that the fact that the clothes I hung on the line didn't blow away is a testament to my pinning ability. We're supposed to get rain starting tonight and then more wind and more rain and possible tornadoes and gusts up to forty or more miles per hour and so forth. No doubt we will lose power although we won't with our generator. And who knows? Sometimes the lines will fool you, holding on during the craziest storms and then going out in a dead calm. I guess trees can fall over any time. At the very least, I imagine we'll have plenty of branches and twigs down by this time tomorrow. Mother Nature sure does know how to prune a tree. 

After my walk I went out and kicked bamboo and pulled up some of the horrible beauty bower. You can see some at the base of the stump that Liberace is standing on, either to keep watch over the scratching hens or to preach a sermon. One or the other. 

I've stayed pretty busy all day long. I cleaned all the window sills in my bathroom which was a desperately needed job and washed the sort-of curtains I have hanging in the east windows. I ironed them and rehung them. The way that bathroom was built is so crazy. It used to be part of a porch, the one we call the swing porch now, and they put windows on both walls that, if left uncurtained or without blinds of some sort, would expose the occupant of the bathroom to all and sundry in Lloyd. 

My neighbors would sue me for emotional damage! 
It's a real example of what the fuck were they thinking? 
I do love that bathroom and it is lovely, especially in the morning when the light pours in over the curtains but honestly, I can't even grow a plant in there because after an hour or so in the morning, it gets no direct light at all. 
I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, as so many things do.

I just picked what will surely be one of the last very varied salads of this year. 

The chard and the kale and the carrots will still be with us for awhile but the lettuces and spinach are definitely one breath this side of gone. Last night I cooked some beautiful tuna, encrusting it with sesame seeds and lightly searing it, then slicing it, and tonight's supper will be a Nicoise Salade with the leftovers of that. Since I got the tuna at Costco, you know I got plenty. It's so odd how portions look reasonable while you're there but when you bring them home and put them on your own counter, you realize you've bought enough to provide for a family dinner at a compound of practicing polygamists. 

Speaking of Costco, this picture came up in my FB memories today. 

That was four years ago and the joy on Maggie and August's faces will never not bring me joy. And then- Levon's little baby face. Lily was pushing the cart so she must have done something to make those cousins laugh. I can't believe my luck in being there for that moment in time with my phone-camera raised. 
Just lucky, I guess. As I so often am. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

At Least Nature's Putting Forth An Effort

 There's some wisteria gone wild for you. 

Same yard, just higher up. That house is three buildings down from us. The church is next door, the people who voted for Trump and who are still proud of that fact, evidenced by the signs fading in their yard, are next to the church, and then that house which no one lives in and which will, I am sure, eventually rot into the ground. I think our neighbors with the Trump signs own it. 

I walked down to the county line today and the main reason I did that was because my neighbor told me to. 
I am a good little Girl Scout. 
It was a nice walk though. A few houses down from the wisteria house is another house that was obviously built when the road was about wide enough to allow the passage of a horse and wagon as it sits almost on Old Lloyd Road. They have some beautiful azaleas blooming now and I was happy as heck to see them buzzing with bees. 

Now isn't that a fine, fat lady? 
I saw a little anole hiding amongst the blossoms too. She was shedding her skin and must have felt vulnerable because she scooted into the deepest part of the bush before I could take her picture. 

A little ways down from the azaleas, almost to No Man Lord's, I passed a beautiful wild azalea in full bloom. It was in the shade but here's the picture I got. 

I am thrilled whenever I see one of those beauties. You never notice them at all unless they're blooming as their foliage does not stand out in the least. Not to me, anyway. So when they put forth their flowers, it's like an unexpected and splendid surprise. 

No Man Lord was in his yard along with two other guys and I gave a quick wave but did not stop. Still no sign of Pinot and I would have liked to ask those guys about him but they were deep onto the property and I do not want to just walk on up because as I have said so many times, I deeply respect No Man Lord's right to privacy or at least whatever privacy he can achieve on a bare lot with two campers on it. It's not just his privacy I respect, it's his dignity. 
Honestly, in rural areas, at least in the south, it's not considered good manners to drive or walk onto someone's property unless you have been invited or have a really good reason. I'm sure there could be volumes written on the cultural reasons for that but the most important thing is to simply abide by the unwritten rules. Politicians and Jehovah's Witnesses break that rule all the time, considering I suppose that they think they have a good reason. Around here, a lot of the local politicians believe they have a god-ordained call to serve the public (or at least they say they do) and of course the Jehovah's Witnesses believe they have been ordained by their god to bear witness to his holy word and pass out those ridiculous Watch Tower pamphlets with the luridly colored illustrations. 

I've been in a strange state of mind today and I can't really identify what I'm actually feeling. An itch of sorts, an anxiety, a feeling of hopelessness, ennui, irritation? I don't know but it's not pleasant. I will most likely wake up tomorrow feeling better and more focused. I hope so. Ironically, I spent some time working on Maggie's doll's "big, red smile" this afternoon. She has her eyebrows now and so she is beginning to develop a personality. 
I hope it's a pleasant one. 

Here are two more pictures from my own yard.

I took this yesterday evening. It's my Japanese maple whose unfurling leaves were set on fire by the setting sun. 

A Southern blue flag iris. 
Did I plant it? 
Who knows? Not me. It's a pretty little thing though, isn't it? 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 28, 2022

There's A Redbird At The Feeder And A Squirrel Fussing In A Tree

 I had something I had to do in town this morning at nine o'clock which is about the time I'm generally having my second cup of coffee. Or, okay. Maybe first. 
As I was bumbling about the house trying to get ready to leave I kept saying, "Whoo-boy." 
Which was silly but that's what came out of my mouth. 
As hard as it was to wake up and then actually get up on a deliciously chilly morning when the bed felt so cozy and warm and where Maurice was sleeping so peacefully cuddled up to my side, I found it strangely not unpleasant when I did. Oh, I did bumble, as I said, and fumble too, but I managed to get myself dressed and fed and sufficiently coffeed-up before I hit the road. 
And after I did what I needed to do I did my shopping and got home before two o'clock instead of around four which is when I usually get home from town so there wasn't that frantic hurry-hurry pressure to get the car unloaded and everything put away and me changed out of my going-to-town clothes and into my real clothes and then to scurry about and get the small things that I feel I must do every day done before I sit down here to write, before I start our supper. 
It all felt so luxurious. And on top of all of that, Mr. Moon and a friend of ours went out to Dog Island today to truly start making a list of what needs to be done and what materials will be needed and maybe a few measurements and so forth. 
As many of you know, there is no bridge to Dog Island and the only access is by boat and then you have to dock at the "marina" and hopefully the beater car you have parked there will start and you can haul all the things you need for your visit to your house and then haul them up the steps (the house is on stilts) and through the door. This is hard enough if the things you need are "just" water and food and booze and ice and books and clothes and fishing stuff and blah, blah, blah. But if you need a new washer and dryer (we do) or a new toilet or sink or stove or hot water heater or lumber for repairs or flooring or furniture, all of that is a major hassle. I mean- just think about what a pain it is to get a new couch from the truck to the living room and multiply that by about fifty. 
I am exhausted just talking about it. 
And we do need a new couch and a new bed and a new toilet and lumber and flooring and of course all of the tools you need to install and repair and so forth also have to be brought over and have you ever once seen a repair job happen where there wasn't at least one part that someone had to go to the hardware store to pick up? 
No. You have not. So. Back in the funky car (and ours is not running right now which is another project) and back into the boat and across the bay you go and you hope that the Ace hardware in the little town there has what you need and, and, and...

ANYWAY, as you can imagine, many, many lists need to be made and revised and studied and shopped with and I'm thinking that the place may be ready for occupation in about 2035. 

At which time, I will be dead. 

But that's where Mr. Moon is today, happy as an old coon dog, knowing that he's going off for yet another hunt, ready to show the pups how it's done. 

And it's been nice (and I admit it) to have a quiet house to roam around in. I expect the men to roll up anytime and I have a pot of chicken and rice soup for them. I expect they'll be so very tired. 

When I went out to the garden to pick some kale and collards and mustards and carrots to go into the soup, I discovered that the cucumbers and some of the squashes are coming up. 



Those pudgy little leaves are swoon-worthy to me. I have been buying canning jar lids a box at a time lately, hoping for a bounty of lovely things to pickle and preserve. I am absolutely NOT counting my chickens before they hatch but I am prudently setting aside what I may need if we get a good amount of vegetables this year. I have ordered my favorite rattlesnake beans to plant from an heirloom seed company and they should be arriving any day now. Oh, if only this beautiful weather would continue all summer which would make gardening such a joy instead of the sweaty, hellish act it will eventually become. 
It won't.
Face it, buttercup. You live in Florida where anything worth doing is going to require vats of sunscreen, gallons of Deet, and the constitution of either a mad dog or an Englishman. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Mistakes Were Made. Of Course

The spirea is spilling over with its white blooms, fancy as a wedding cake. The tea olive is so heavily fragrant that I can smell it all over the side yard and part of the back yard too. It's been another sweetly mild day, offering soft breezes and very tolerable temperatures, a day to be outside. 

And yet, I've felt sad all day long. Is it just the Sunday blues? I don't know. 
I listened to a podcast last night where a guy spoke about regret and how it differs from shame and how all of the cultures he's studied seem to show that regret is universally human and no matter what language it is discussed in, the same words seem to be used to talk about it. It's as if we are encoded to look back and wonder, ponder, what our lives would have been like if we'd only done this instead of that, chosen something or someone different, took a different path, followed a different dream, made different choices. 
Regret is not shame and supposedly everyone but small children and sociopaths experience shame. We all know it. Some of us know it too well and it prevents us from being honest, from admitting even to ourselves who we truly are. It can also motivate us to change, to be different.

As I get older I think a lot about regret. Shame too, but not quite as much. There are some things I am ashamed of, without a doubt, but it is the regrets that I dwell on the most. I cannot say that I regret any of the biggest things I've done in my life, even marrying my first husband because of course I got my first two children from that marriage and he was not a horrible man. I don't regret divorcing him although I would have given anything not to break up our family which was absolutely one of the most painful things I've ever gone through. 
I don't regret going to nursing school for any number of reasons. I don't regret marrying Glen Moon in the least. I don't regret being mostly a stay-at-home mother. 
But I regret many of the things I did as a mother, the way I mothered, which (and oh, how I hear the echo of my own mother's voice here) I did the best I could. 
But did I? Don't we all say that? Is that not the (excuse me) mother of all rationalizations? 
So anyway, I've thought about all of this so much today as I've gone about my tiny life doing my tiny things, wasting my tiny time. I spent at least an hour trying to get a damn plant out of a damn pot and finally I asked my husband for help and together we ended up breaking the pot which was honestly the only way we were going to get that thing out of there. 

It's a lady palm and I wanted to replant it in front of the swing porch along with another one that I had transplanted there. Although it was sold as a house plant, it has done quite well in the dirt, surviving freezes merrily, growing well in the deep shade of that area. As I was pulling and cutting and snipping and troweling and pulling and cutting and snipping and troweling I began to despair and inside my head I was wailing, "Why? Why am I doing this thing that is causing me so much grief?"
Which seemed like a metaphor for so many of the things I do which I only do because I think I should and which end up taking all of my time in which I could be doing something I want to do. Truly want to do. 
Stupid, needless regret. 
After we finally got the plant out of the pot, I had several stalks of it with roots on it and I planted some where I had intended and took a few to the front of the house over by the church where Mr. Moon recently moved the fence back and was planting some more of it there when a lady I see walking sometimes came down the sidewalk with a young girl. 
"Where have you been?" She asked me. "I never see you walking anymore."
My tears welled up- that's how on the verge of crying I've been all day, and I told her that I've been a lazy slob and that I've had things I needed to do which is sort of true but mostly not. 
We talked a little more. The young girl was her niece and we traded names. "Is this where you stay?" the aunt asked me.
"Yes," I said. 
"That's a big house!" she said. And I immediately felt guilty. Of course it is. It's way bigger than we need and I know it. But I do love this house and buying it is not a regret. Which does nothing to mitigate my guilt. 
I asked her if she'd like a  piece of the palm I was transplanting and she said she would and I gave her some. 
"Now you start walking again!" she said. I told her I would and also said that if she was ever out walking and passing by and needed a bathroom or something to drink, to stop by, that I am almost always at home. She said she would but I doubt she will. 
She does not live very far from me.

And even as I write all of this I realize how ridiculous it is for me to waste time feeling these completely useless feelings- regret, guilt, even shame. The one main regret I have is something that I can't even really talk about because with it comes a great deal of resentment and whether it is valid or not, it is there. It is probably my way of blaming others for my own lack of determination to be honest. 
It is all so complex, isn't it? 
I suppose it's really only complex if we make it so. 

It is the golden hour here right now. And it truly is golden. I look out at my banana plants and how they are sending up their new leaves which are gleaming in the sun. The geraniums I potted up today that sit on the kitchen porch look happy and homey. I hear a dove cooing and other birds singing their evening songs. Everything the lowering sun touches gleams and shines, some new leaves are rendered almost transparent by the backlight. 
If I am completely honest with myself (and is that even possible?) I have to admit that I have everything I ever thought I wanted or needed except for a very few things. This old house, even with its peeling paint, its mildew, its warpy floors, its rambling rooms- I love it so much. It brings me such peace to live here with the oak trees outside, the camellias and azaleas, the graceful porches. The space for a garden that the man, the likes of whom I never even dreamed could love me has tended so well. 

And my children who seem to love me despite the many mistakes I made in their raising. The grandchildren who already know me as vastly imperfect but someone whom they know gives them her heart along with M&M's, advice and stories. 

It's all so much. Some days I suppose I am just overwhelmed by it all. The regrets, the guilt, the disappointments in myself right along with the incredible gift of all of it, so much more than I ever expected, so much more than I ever deserved. 

Fuck 'em.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 26, 2022



I took those this morning after I hung the clothes on the line. A day far too perfect to dry clothes in a machine. 

Today slid by faster than any day this past week. I honestly do not know where it went. After I did a few morning chores and did the crossword and ate my breakfast I started making potato salad for Gibson's party and then it was time to GO to Gibson's party and we were late, even though it wasn't set to begin until 2. 

We had all encouraged Lily to make this as easy on herself as she could and she did and it was a good party. Jessie and her boys were there, Mr. Moon and I were there, Hank was there. And that was it! May and Michael and Lauren had to work and Rachel wasn't feeling up to it and so it was just us. Lily put out bread and rolls and deli meat and cheeses and a veggie platter and chips and guacamole. I brought my potato salad, Jessie brought deviled eggs. It was perfect. The kids got to play and enjoy the incredibly beautiful day and oak tassels fell on us as we ate, along with caterpillars which there are thousands of right now. 

There's one on my laundry. Lord knows how many I brought in with the clothes. 

But we are used to oak tassels and caterpillars and remove both from our hair and clothing and arms, one as casually as the other. Here are some Florida boys. 

Lily took this one. 

Gibson is holding his gift certificate from Uncle Hank and Aunt Rachel for a visit to a comic book store and a supper out together. I think he will like that. 
I'm not sure how he felt about the puzzle I gave him. Hopefully, one of these days he'll be bored and decide to put it together and then do the riddles to give him the clues to do the escape room stuff with it. 

Here are Boppy and Jessie and Maggie and Levon eating their lunch. 

A boy blows out the candles on his cake. 

Which his mama made for him. It's a Mario cake. It was delicious. 

It was absolutely a sweet party and when Mr. Moon and I left the kids were having ALL the fun. 

They were playing video games which they had been promised earlier in the afternoon. 

I don't think anyone could have asked for more. 

Mr. Moon and I drove home in the late afternoon glory. The clothes are off the line, folded and put away, there's pastry dough in the refrigerator waiting to be rolled out for a broccoli quiche. The broccoli has just been cut, the eggs have just been laid. 

Before we ate the cake, Gibson came up to me and hugged me and said, "I'm going to be sad when you go home."
"Why, baby?" I asked him. 
"Because I love you so much," he said. 
He is the sweetest. He is just the sweetest. 

Maggie's parting words to me were, "What do you say about the little egg carton I gave you?" She had filled up a miniature egg carton with carefully selected candies for us. 

Although of course I had already thanked her, I told her, "Thank you, darling. That was so sweet."
Satisfied, she nodded her head and went back to her video game. 

Manners, y'all. We all need them. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, March 25, 2022

Is Change Afoot?

There's the tung tree underneath the oak tree which is itself underneath the bright blue sky we have had today. Another perfectly perfect day, warm but not hot, not so humid, and all you could ask of a North Florida spring day. 

I went and got a pedicure this morning with Lily and Jessie. Actually, Lily got a manicure instead as she had a pedicure recently so she didn't get to chat with Jessie and me as we had our feet taken care of. Hooves trimmed, claws cut, polish applied. It's so funny to see my toes doing the same things my fingers are doing. The toe knuckles are becoming gnarly and some of my toes are changing the direction in which they point. They could be worse but since I hardly ever wear shoes that put pressure on my feet, they are just growing old. I do remember the days when I used to wear heels when I'd go out with my nursing school friends. 
Lord, Lord. 
This was the early eighties and we wore tight, tight jeans and high heels to go dancing. I generally kicked off those shoes before I danced but I wore them when I came in and I wore them when we left. I remember a pair of pink "snake" skin heels I had. I loved those things. I wore them when I married Mr. Moon with my Jessica McClintock white dotted swiss dress that I bought two days before the wedding. 
Oh, those were the days indeed. 

Anyway, after we got ourselves beautified today we went to a little Mexican restaurant in what used to be just a Mexican grocery store, thus the name, "La Tienda." None of us had ever eaten there and it was fairly charming. 

However, it took over an hour to get our food- so long that Jessie had to leave to go get Levon from school. We were going to get her lunch packed up and take it to her at home but it took so much longer that she was actually able to come and eat with us when it finally arrived. With Levon, of course. And we really didn't mind waiting so much. It just gave us more time to talk and we did. And then a chance to see our baby boy. On the way out I saw Lily's midwife, a woman I've known since the second day I was in Tallahassee. She was eating lunch with her daughter, and it was so good to see them. 

For once I really didn't have a thing I truly needed to stop and pick up on my way home which turned out to be a good thing because I ended up waiting for Gibson and Maggie at their bus stop as Lily had a grocery order to pick up on her way home. 

Gibson was going incognito. We waited for their mama to show up which only took a few minutes. I showed Maggie the picture of her doll I took yesterday and she very seriously and with great authority told me that she wanted the doll to have a big red smile and a dress, and gloves, and shoes, and a hat. She thought a little more. "And a jacket!" she added. 
I told her that I wasn't sure I could do all of that and she said, "Well, get Boppy to help you." 
"Uh, Boppy really doesn't sew," I said. 
"What?! He doesn't know how?" She was surprised. Boppy can do everything. 

On Facebook this afternoon I discovered that the powers that be are planning a Dollar General in Lloyd. A woman I know had posted an article from the Monticello paper. 

The part about Lloyd is in the first few paragraphs and it was a startling thing to read. No one around here had been notified. My across the street neighbor got ahold of our county commissioner who explained that because the property is zoned for mixed-use, commercial, no one had to actually seek approval and it was presented to the county as a done deal.
Now I'm not sure about that and I'm also not sure about exactly where they plan to put the dang thing but the only place I can see that would work is a bit north, across from the old truck stop by the interstate exit. It would still be less than half a mile from my house but it wouldn't impact us too much. And quite frankly, if that is the truth of where it would go (and the county commissioner was not sure), it would benefit many, many folks around here who have zero transportation options. The nearest groceries stores are either in Tallahassee or Monticello and they are not within walking distance. And Dollar General is selling groceries these days along with a lot of assorted other things, some necessities, some junk. Of course I, with my Prius and my privilege, can get to a grocery store anytime I want but a whole lot of people cannot. 
There is a convenience store down near that interstate exit which has been in constant operation since at least the seventies, maybe longer, but they carry very, very little besides beer and milk and can charge whatever they want because they have no competition. That family has been milking the people of Lloyd for generations. 

So. Who knows? Dollar General is taking over the world and Jefferson County, too and there's not a lot I can do to stop them. 

I think for the moment I will have a martini and wish you a happy Friday.

And a little more purple. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Poor Little Darling

Little Dolly is coming along and it is vastly apparent that the good lord did not put me on earth to make dolls. Bless her little heart. I am much better at monkey sock dolls because it's all just so preordained by the socks and I'm not even sure why I decided to try and make this doll but I did and I have to say that I am enjoying myself, even as I laugh at myself. I plan on giving her some bodacious eyebrows because Magnolia already has a pair of those herself. Some of you may remember when Maggie was born and Lily said, "She doesn't have any eyebrows!" and Jason said, "Don't worry. She'll get one."
One of my favorite family stories. And although she has not yet achieved the status of having an eyebrow, she's sure got some good ones. 

And she uses them to her beautious advantage. 

I have no idea where this day went. I have no idea where this week has gone. It's just been like blink, blink...done. I have been experiencing time going faster now for awhile but the last few months seem to have been oiled with W-D40. I think that today I made a loaf of sourdough and did a load of laundry and swept some floors and cleaned some sinks and went to the garden with Mr. Moon (that sounds sexy, doesn't it?) to try to figure out where to plant all the summer stuff. We're in that time where entire rows need to come out but I'm hanging on to them with my bloody fingernails, even though the plants have bolted and are starting to get bitter. And some things just are NOT ready to come out. The potatoes, of course, which are not ready to dig, and the peas which are just learning to climb a fence, and the kale and chard which look fabulous and the onions and garlic...
Meanwhile, the tomatoes and peppers and basils and eggplants are yammering to get their root-feet into the ground. I went around and pulled the broccoli I've cut, the mustards that have bolted, and an arugula or two which is definitely, without-a-doubt, DONE! 
I sobbed. 
No, I did not. 
Anyway, I did that and then Mr. Moon took over the planting and I did something. I have no idea what. Worked on that poor, wretched doll. 
I've finished the Scientology book and am now listening to a Stephen King novel which is not reading like any Stephen King novel I've ever read. It's called Billy Summers and so far, I'm there, I'm hooked. 

And here it is Thursday and tomorrow is Friday which is how weeks operate. But seriously? How did this happen? 

Oh! Last night we had a power outage that lasted over five hours and our generator finally got a good test run. 
It was amazing. 
It does not take even a minute after the power goes out for the generator to kick on's like nothing ever happened. We have lights and fans and internet and TV and all of the modern stuff you take for granted until it goes away. And you know what? I felt guilty! Of course I felt guilty. Guilt is my default mode and here we were, living the life, not bumbling about with miner's lights strapped around our heads, lighting candles and wondering how in hell we were going to watch Survivor. Okay. One of us watches Survivor and it's not me. I felt better about it all when Hank reminded me that Mr. Moon had mixed and laid a literal ton of cement to make the pad the generator sits on. 
Thank you, O Wise Hank! 

And that's the story over here. Pathetic doll-making, audio book listening, gardening, sweeping, wondering where in hell the time goes. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Rain, Contentment, Worries

 It rained all night and most of the day today. I did not mind in the least. I slept late and then spent a leisurely morning doing leisurely morning things and then started working on Maggie's doll. 

I had started making her a doll a month or so ago and didn't finish it and when I showed it to her in its unfinished and unimpressive form, she barely registered an interest at all and so I put it in a closet and forgot about it but when I was talking to her on the phone the other day, she asked if I had finished it yet.
That girl. 

So I pulled it out of the closet today and sat down to work on it again. Y'all. It's a mess.

I know it's hard to tell but that's the head with most of the hair finished and that bang area? Good Lord. Obviously, I am learning as I go. I do like the George Clinton look of the colors of the hair. Perhaps I need to

just make the poor dolly a fancy hat and sew that on to cover the sins. Anyway, I've had a good time with it, listening to an audio book by the niece of the guy who runs Scientology. You know me and my cults.  What a story! 

This child was raised in the "church" from birth and at age seven was doing physical labor that a grown man would hardly be capable of and was indoctrinated in ways that can hardly be believed. She has left the "church" and this is her story. I put church in quotations because the only reason Scientology claims to be a religion is to get the tax-free religious exemption. I'm fascinated and horrified. Man, if I thought Mormonism was bad (and it sure can be), this is bad on a whole other level. 
So I was content to do things with yarn and a needle and scissors and happy to be at home doing homey things. 

I did read something disturbing in the local news today about a new bird flu that affects wild birds and domestic birds. It is advising people to keep their chickens inside a shelter and not to feed wild birds where the domestic birds can get to the seeds which may have been infected. Well hell. 
Our chickens are out all day, of course, and I can't see not letting them run. We should stop feeding the wild birds because our chickens love nothing more than pecking up the seeds the birds scatter as they eat. I hate to think about that but I suppose we really should. 
Right now I can see crows, cardinals, and wrens. I have seen red-headed woodpeckers today as well as finches and blue jays. The hawks have been calling for weeks now, soaring overhead. I hear one right now along with a mockingbird trilling. Although I rarely think of it in these terms, birds play a huge role in my life and that's not even considering what they do for the environment that I take totally for granted. 

One more thing to worry about in this crazy world of ours. One more thing to feel guilty about as I sit here, blithely enjoying the sight and songs of these feathered wonders who bless and enrich my life with their presence.

Meanwhile, another shot of a coming-along wisteria blossom.

I have already seen trees over twenty feet tall, covered in the purple-blooming vines. 

There will be more photos. Of course. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

A Day With Daughters And One Fine Grandson

I took that picture this morning when I let the chickens out. That's Miss Violet up there at the top and Dottie in the foreground. I would say that they are friends but I am not sure that Violet actually has friends. She and the rest of the flock tolerate each other and no one has pecked at her in a good long while. Chickens do absolutely have favorite friends and I bet anything that someone has done a study not unlike one of Jane Goodall's with the chimps, tracking and recording the activities between the different hens in a flock, observing those who are dominant and those who are subservient. There is a lot going on in a backyard flock of chickens. They are such flocking creatures because in numbers there is safety and it's easiest for the rooster, if there is one, to protect the hens if he can see all of them in one area but some chickens just seem to be born more as loners than others. Miss Gracie, as we speak, is looking for seeds under the bird feeder all by herself, no other chooks in sight, seemingly as content as she can be. Sometimes a hen will suddenly realize that she is all by herself and she may set up a squalling call to try and locate the rest of her community. As I have said many times before, the noise that a hen makes when she has laid her egg is the signal for the rooster to run to the henhouse to collect her and escort her back to the others. Since they circle the yard more than once every day, there is no real telling where they will be located at certain times. I call it the stations of the cross and they make their pilgrimages as devotedly as any saint of old. 

Jessie, Lily, Lauren, Levon and I met up today at Tallahassee Nurseries which is the oldest and biggest nursery in Tallahassee. I've been taking my children there their entire lives and although they used to sometimes complain about my endless shopping for plants, they are now as enthusiastic as I am, if not more so. It is a lovely nursery and big enough so that I do not feel frantic when I'm there the way I do in the smaller nursery that I sometimes go to.  Esthetically, it is a beautiful place with lots of room and many areas in which to wander and explore and wish for endless amounts of money in order to buy all of the beautiful plants we desire, along with gorgeous pots and statuary, fountains, and of course, wind chimes. 

The perspective is all off here but those wind chimes are huge and when the wind blows hard enough to move them, they make the deepest tones, a sort of Zen sound that resonates in the body. 

The wind was blowing today and we are forecast to be getting a cold front and behind that, a storm with high winds, tornado warnings, lots of rain...
The usual. It's not going to get nearly as cold as it was a few weeks ago but definitely cooler. Even so there were hundreds of people at the nursery, moving slowly along, reading plant tabs, pondering, picking up, putting down, picking up. We did that too. 

Levon is a most excellent wagon puller as we all know. 

I almost forced him to pose in front of the dinosaur for me. He didn't complain too much. 

And there he is in the greenhouse, an entire exotic and beautiful world of plants and a little pond with a tiny waterfall and big, chonky fishes.

After we all bought as much as we could rationalize buying, we went to lunch. Lily had brought Levon another dress of Magnolia's that she's outgrown. This one has a tulle skirt and a mermaid on the top part. He was enchanted and had to put it on in the car before we went into the restaurant. "Do you feel beautiful?" I asked him as we were standing in line to order.
"Yes," he said and he should have. 

I am thinking that I should make him a dress with a camo top and brown and green tulle for the skirt. Although frankly, he is as happy as can be with his mermaid dress. This reminds me of being at a friend's house many, many years ago and they had a boy perhaps five or six at the time who was dressed entirely in his sister's Little Mermaid costume and obviously, someone had teased him and he ran up to his mother and said tearfully, "But I AM the little mermaid!" 
I will never forget that. He is a grown man now, married and everything, as manly a man as there can be but to me, he will always be THE Little Mermaid. 

One more thing- at the nursery we ran into a woman I know from when she and Lily worked together and I haven't seen her in forever as she retired a few years back. We hugged and she said such sweet things about my blog and our family that tears are coming to my eyes right now as I write this. She says she reads my posts every day, every day, and so right now I'd just like to say thank-you to her again. Those words meant more to me than she can know. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 21, 2022

Today was get-off-my-ass day and I did. I took a walk down the sidewalk to the county line and walked back. There are a few lovely wildflowers blooming in the ditches. Not that I got any of their pictures and I'm sure I've posted a picture of that old house before. It's just down the road from me and they are clearing around it and I'm not sure why. I'm pretty sure the house is beyond repair. Perhaps they are just clearing the lot next to it for some reason. We shall see. Mr. Moon has seen deer over there in the early morning, right behind that back corner. It's funny how we never seem to get deer in our yard. I know they're around. 

I did not see No Man Lord today and I still haven't heard anything about Pinot. I haven't seen him recently either and I'm worried. I think I would have heard had he died. No Man Lord has a new arrangement in his yard of chairs, about half a dozen of them, maybe more, lined up one behind the other ending at a table where the last (or first?) chair is sitting exactly where you'd expect a chair to be, in just the right place for someone to come along and sit at the table. I sometimes think that No Man Lord is not quite of this time or place but lives in his own space and time. But I could be wrong. He may have the most logical explanations for the way he changes and rearranges his yard. He is a mystery to me. I would talk to him more but I can tell he does not feel comfortable with me. And I respect that. 

Remember my pepper seeds I planted a while back? I have been checking them daily and have not seen one hint of a sprout but today I saw this. 

I had just about given up hope but obviously, they have not. I cheer them on! Grow, my darling little peppers! Please grow!

I spent a good part of the day cleaning out the bed beside the kitchen porch where the bananas grow. 

This will be the first year that the area really gets much sun as we took down the cherry laurel that was shading it. As you can see, the rose has taken off like a rocket since I pruned it back and it barely took a breath before it started budding again. I pulled almost an entire 50 pound chicken scratch bag-full of various invasives. There are at least four types growing there happily. What I plan to do is to plant a few herbs in there. I already have mint growing and of course it will take over if I don't watch it. I'd like to put in a rosemary for sure, and maybe a few types of basil. Whatever I plant, it has to be something that chickens do not like. They consider that bed to be their own personal space and I do not have the heart to try and dissuade them from that opinion. 

Last night I cut some of our broccoli. 

Surprisingly, I didn't find a worm on it. And then I got out my grandmother's recipe for Lobster ala Newberg. 

Now my grandmother never once, as far as I know, made lobster ala newberg. But my mother did, once. Not with lobster, but leftover fish, and I will never forget how good it tasted. It was sort of a shocking thing for her to make. It was definitely not in her usual repertoire of things she cooked and also, it had wine in it. There was always a bottle of Mogen David in the refrigerator that supposedly the stepfather sometimes drank although I can't recall seeing him ever even opening the bottle. His poison was pain pills. Codeine, I believe. 
So you can only imagine how shocking it was to me for my mother to make this dish with its (to me) exotic ingredients. And then sometime later, I was eating at Hanumen's Conscious Cookery in Denver and ordered a dish that I do not remember the name of but in essence, it was fresh, steamed broccoli on whole grain toast, with a sauce that reminded me very much of that recipe. 
And so I have used it to honor broccoli ever since. Only the tenderest and freshest broccoli deserves it and last night's did. I had some of the leftovers for lunch today and it was still delicious. I am so pleased that although I had forgotten, we did indeed plant broccoli last fall and that is has lived to give us enough for at least a few meals. 

Mr. Moon is mowing the yard. First time this spring. The wisteria is putting out leaves and fluffs that will soon become luscious purple flowers. I saw some blooming in a tree on my walk, the vine so far up that I didn't even try to take a picture. We are in the magic spot right now with our weather which is so nicely and deliciously cool at night and not too hot during the day. The bugs are not out yet in force, every day we can see more proof that the resurrection in natural terms is real and true as trees and plants and ditches put forth the newborn green and bloom that only spring provides. 

And that is plenty for me to believe in. 

Love...Ms. Moon