Saturday, April 30, 2022

Ooh-Boy


Well, well, well. 
Look who we have here. I was obviously off on my calculations by a day or two but that little one certainly looks like it's ready to go. I was so surprised when I lifted up Darla to count the eggs under her and to remove any new ones, to see that little gold peep. I swear- I just cannot imagine how that happens in three weeks. I mean, from an egg you would scramble without thinking about it to an entire being with eyes and legs and almost-wings and down and a beak and everything! 
Another pragmatic miracle, as I call them. 
And now of course the man and I are freaking out about what we're going to do with the mommy-baby units. Of course I SAID it was going to be root hog or die and that I was going to let Darla and Violet take care of the peeps in whatever way they deemed best but...oh, shit.
I don't know. 
We have nothing set up although I did tell Mr. Moon to get some chick starter feed today when he went to town and he did. I guess my instincts were kicking in that far, at least.
Well, we can ponder the problem for about another day or so. We have to give the rest of the eggs time to hatch and the babies are fine without eating or drinking for a little while. 

We had a good time with our Gibson. He enjoyed his spaghetti and meat balls and he let me read "The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza" to him before he went to sleep, along with "Professor Wormbog In Search For The Zipper-Umper-Zoo." He wanted to do the voices of the dog, cat, and duck in the Little Red Hen and he did a very fine job. He can read as well as I can so it was truly a mitzvah that he did, letting me read to him. He went to sleep so fast after I kissed him and turned out the light. And he let us sleep in until after eight so that was kind of him. 

This morning he pointed out that he and his grandfather were wearing almost-matching outfits. 


I took this picture when they'd been out kicking and using the machete on bamboo which is still popping up. 
He had his hip-hop dance class at 11:30 so after dealing with the bamboo and eating a fine breakfast of pancakes he got himself dressed and Boppy took him in to town. Before he left I gave him about seven M&M's and he said, "Why do you always do this?" and I said, "So you'll want to come back."
"I always want to come back!" he said. And I very much believed him but rituals are rituals and M&M's upon leaving are pretty sacred.
He's getting tall too. I imagine that by the time he's twelve, he, like Owen, will be taller than me. 

I did laundry, of course, after he left and hung it all on the line including the sheets. It would appear that the sun still came up this morning even though I did not wash them yesterday. 
Phew! What a relief!

I also made Jessie a cake for her birthday which is tomorrow. It's a carrot cake and I pulled three gigantimo (as Mr. Moon says) carrots from the garden and shredded them up and followed a New York Times recipe to the T which is quite unusual for me. Hell, I even used actual and real measuring devices. And the cake appears to be lovely although I have not made the icing yet. 

I've got a nice pot of pinto beans simmering away with a few pieces of left-over Easter ham I had in the freezer. I'll make some cornbread and a salad and honestly, that's about my favorite meal. In the garden, all of the beans we've planted are coming up, including the pintos, zipper cream peas, and field peas. I've got plenty of green peas to shell and make a meal of and that's coming up on the big wheel, as Lis says. I ate my first garden cherry tomato of the season yesterday and it tasted like summer.

Here's a few pictures that Lily sent last night when she and Lauren and Owen and Maggie were at one of Hank's trivias. Maggie wanted her picture with everyone. 


With Auntie Rachel! 


I love this picture so much and it gives me pause. As much as Owen looks like his mama, I can also see myself in him. 


Maggie and our beloved Billy. 


And of course one with the Trivia Master Himself- Uncle Hank. 

I do so love my family.

Love...Ms. Moon




Friday, April 29, 2022

This Is Pretty Much My Social Life


It's been a grandmother day and about to be a grandmother night. I got the spaghetti sauce made this morning before I left to go pick up Levon and cleaned the hen house, too, which really is not much of a chore but it's nice, I think, for the chickens to have a non-pooped-up place to roost. 

Levon was sweet as could be and like I told him today, "Boy! Every time I look at you, your legs have gotten longer!" 
"That's because I'm growing," he said. 
"I do realize that but it's just happening so fast!" I said.
He is such a funny little guy. Today he was quoting something from a book in a perfect southern drawl. I am constantly amazed at his verbal and conversational abilities. Same with his brother. I have better conversations with them than I do with many adults. 
We went and picked up August at his school and then home for snacks and books and the trampoline and a few Mentos videos and some ocean life videos.
Did you know that a giant squid can kill a 66,000 pound sperm whale? Now you do. 
Levon picked me quite a few mulberries off their tree which is producing more than mine this year. I kept thanking him and he said, "They're a healthy snack and that's why I'm picking them for you." 
Oh, my heart!


Now I'm home and Gibson is here. That boy is so special. Of all the grandchildren, he is the most physically affectionate. His hugs could be sold at market. 


His artistic abilities are blooming and while we were having a chat about some...thing...that I have no knowledge of, he asked for a pen and paper and just drew it for me. I love the fact that he can do that. I am in awe. I let him taste his spaghetti sauce with the simmering meatballs and he approved. He even noted and approved the peppers in it. 
He and Boppy have been playing Oculus and I'm about to go finish up making our supper. I've had part of a martini and am beginning to unwind. 

Guess what I did today? Even though it is Friday and sacred to the goddess of clean sheets, I decided this morning that I would wait until tomorrow to strip the bed. There was just no way I had time to wash the sheets, hang them on the line, and get them back on the bed in a timely fashion. 
If the world comes to an end tonight, you will know whose fault it is. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon





Thursday, April 28, 2022

I Buy A Dress; I Consider Smashing The Patriarchy

 I do not have one picture to show you today. And I'm not sure why. I even went to town and saw Jessie and Levon. Jessie's birthday is Sunday and I took her for a little birthday shopping. We went to the World Market and she got a few small things and so did I. It's been so very, very long that I was even in a store like that and it's as if I had completely forgotten that one can indeed buy cute and functional things for the house. At first I was completely overwhelmed thinking that I should buy everything from darling cards, to shelves for plants, to roomy baskets, to pretty hooks to hang things on. 
What I did buy was a new dress and a coffee mug. The dress is too sheer to wear off the property without a slip-like garment under it but it has nice pockets and it is all cotton, loose and as comfy as wearing a cloud. So there! 
We had a nice lunch at a Mediterranean place and enjoyed our dolmades and falafel and so forth. Levon got chicken nuggets and french fries which probably are not authentic Mediterranean foods but he enjoyed them. He was a hoot today. When I walked into their house I said something to him- I can't remember what- and he said, "I am not even believing you."
"I'm not even believing you either," I said. 
And it went from there. 

I stopped by Publix on my way home to buy the ingredients for meat balls. Gibson is spending the night tomorrow and that is what he wants me to cook him. Spaghetti and meat balls. We've had chicken spaghetti twice this week already but we will gladly eat more tomorrow for our Gibson. I told him that his grandfather would have to pick him up because I'll be doing the school pick-up and babysitting for August and Levon tomorrow as Jessie is working and he was totally cool with that. "Oh, Boppy and I will probably just play Oculus," he said. So when I got home I made up the meatballs and cooked them so at least that will be done when I get home. 

I went to Lily's new Publix and my check-out lady is a woman who used to work with Lily at her old Publix but she moved to this one quite awhile ago. We discussed Lily's move and how they used to work together and so forth and she asked me if I worked. 
Now this lady is from India and she must be at least in her upper seventies. I have always thought of her with the hugest respect. She started out as a bagger at Publix which is a pretty physical job and her English then was adequate, but not great. Whenever I meet someone who has immigrated to our country, especially an older person, who is now making a new life in a country so alien to them and who is having to learn a new language and new customs and...well- all of it...I am awed at their bravery, their strength, their determination. To me, these are the very people we should want to live here. And this lady is such a good example of that. 
I always feel a bit of guilt when I go through her line because of how she has made her place here and is surviving with her own work and intelligence, despite her age and the so-obvious difficulties, and when she asked me if I worked, my guilt tripled. 
Of course, of course I "work" but it's all on my own terms, and generally within my own timeframe. If I were presented with being in a situation like hers, I really do not know how I'd survive. So I answered her as I generally do when I am asked about working which is to say that I help sometimes with grandchildren and that we have a garden and chickens and I keep busy with things like that and that is all true but it's not like I'm plowing fields or managing a flock of chickens that we depend on for meat and eggs. Looking at it all through a certain lens, my "work" is almost a hobby. 
I think about this a lot and always have as I have mostly been a "stay-at-home" mom although looking back, I did generally have some little side-hustle of work going on and with four children spread out so far in age, I am not sure how I managed to do it all. But because nothing but the small part-time jobs paid anything, and they did not pay much, I have never truly felt as if what I did or what I now do, is worth a damn. 
I know this isn't true but lately I've been thinking a great deal about how our society still deems women as a little less-than men. We women internalize that to a degree that is actually quite unhealthy, even in the best of circumstances. There are so many residual side-effects of this born-in-the-bone teaching and belief that we do not even think about. Do not even realize. 
And speaking for myself, at least, I am absolutely a victim of this patriarchal thinking and it does not serve me at all. 

I find it mind-blowing that it has taken me all of these years to see how these issues affect all women- and men! It is so much more complicated and profound than "equal pay for equal work" or any of the issues we think of as "feminist" still. It is how women perceive themselves and the work they do and what their own worth is. 

Anyway, that's what I'm thinking about today. 
It is certainly worth considering.

Thoughts? And please- none of us needs to hear the trite lip-service that women and mothers have been paid forever about the many glories that only women can experience. We have heard it before. We know. We know. 

I also know that it is 2022 and here in America, at least, and specifically in states like Florida, we are being told once again that we do not even own our own bodies. 

I am old, I am tired. And there is so much work to be done. 

Love...Ms. Moon




Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Hood Report


This is part of the crown of the incredibly majestic oak that lives next door to me. The one I referred to when I told my new neighbor that he had not bought a house, he had bought a tree. 
Of course, one cannot really own a tree. At least, not in my opinion. At least not a tree like that which is hundreds of years old and which is so obviously a sentient being of its own. Not only that, but there is an entire ecosystem within its branches. I can't imagine the number of birds and squirrels and insects and plant species and fungi that have made and do make their homes in it. 

That was the only picture I took on my walk today which was truly a pretty fine one- four miles today! Admittedly, I did not walk very fast and I also stopped a few times to chat to people. When I walk, my aim is to walk steadily and not mosey, but when people want to say hey, I'm up for that. The first person I talked to was a neighbor whom I really like but probably only talk to maybe once a year. I think she's about as socially anxious as I am but I think she's a fascinating woman and whenever we meet, I thoroughly enjoy it and feel right at home with her. She was out clearing brush with a very handsome and sturdy looking swing-type tool. I was impressed. Of course we discussed the FDG and she is no more happy about it than I am. 
After I talked to her, I walked on down past the site again and the water is still there and my neighbor had suggested that perhaps they were going to put a retaining pond in and I think she may be right. They are certainly man-handling that property, shoving dirt this way and that. It has been cleared of every stick and stem and it looks to me like they've trucked in some red dirt to build up the lot. 
Y'all- I am losing any hope whatsoever that this project can be stopped. 
Another person that I paused to talk to was a man in a car right by the light at the intersection by my house. He wanted to know about a car that Mr. Moon has had in the yard forever. I had just told my husband yesterday that he needs to get that thing hauled away. He bought it from a friend, sort of as a favor, and he's done nothing to try and sell it, probably because it's not worth selling. So there it sits right next to the bamboo jungle down by the old barn. I told the man who was asking about it that it wasn't running and it wasn't worth trying to get running. Of course I really don't know a damn thing about it but that's my opinion. He told me that he always noticed a lot of cars and trucks in our yard and I allowed as how yes, that was true, and told him that my husband used to sell cars and although he still has a dealer's license, he's pretty much retired but he still has lots of project cars. 
This is absolutely true. 
Lots of project cars. 
The man ended up asking me if I was all right and I am sure that I looked like I'd been walking through the desert for forty days and forty nights. I wiped my brow, said I was fine, and that I was almost home. 
And then I saw my new neighbor in his yard and stopped to talk with him for a moment. He's just had two nice sheds put on his property, one, as he said, a She-Shed for his wife. He has a lot of tattoos. 

And then I came home and haven't done much of anything else all day long. My husband, the car guy, put on his plumbing hat today and replaced the toilet in the kitchen bathroom. For whatever reason, it always seems like a sort of crazy, bizarre magic that a regular person can go to a store, buy a toilet, bring it home, take an old one out, and install a new one. 
And yet- it can be done! 
And it was done today at my house. 
Mr. Moon is quite handy, I must say. 

Darla and Violet are still sitting on their nests. I have Darla's Estimated Date of Non Confinement as next Monday on my calendar, and Violet's as a week later. We shall see how close I get on those predictions, if indeed either one of them actually hatches out any bebes. 

The zipper peas I planted last week are popping up. I was a bit worried about their viability in that the seeds were a year old but they all seem to have germinated. I am picking peas every morning and am hoarding them like a woman hoards memories of long-ago kisses in the dark, waiting until I have a good amount to shuck. We had thought we were planting the types of peas that have delicious, sweet pods but these peas have stringy, fibrous pods so I'm picking the fat ones to shell. 


Oh gosh. How pretty are those? I am hoping with all my heart that I'll be able to find a few baby potatoes in the garden to go with them in a light cream sauce. Mr. Moon does not like green peas so I will be able to eat all of them myself. I think he will probably gladly eat some raw in salads though, should I deign to share any. 

We should be eating tomatoes soon. 


This is a hybrid called Cherokee Carbon and it certainly looks prolific. 

And so it goes and here we are and it ain't too bad. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A Deep Regret Amongst Blessings


This is a painting entitled, "Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine" done by a Tallahassee Artist named Stewart Riordan. Last night I discovered via Facebook that she had died and it rather rocked me, even though I haven't seen her in years. I would never say that she had been a best buddy but whenever we saw each other, we always had good chats and I've always thought her artwork was phenomenal. 
She carried that generally male name, Stewart, with such aplomb. It's not unusual for southern women to get what are thought of as male names. And the truly funny thing is, she had the girliest voice you ever heard, and her appearance was nothing but feminine. She often wore flowers in her hair. Her art, like Stewart herself, was at once intensely womanly and fiercely powerful. She mixed some of her own pigments with things like the red dirt which surrounds us here. She was supremely ethereal and radically grounded. 


When I was pregnant with Lily and feeling like and LOOKING like the largest land mammal, I ran into Stewart and she asked me to pose for her. I, because I am a product of our culture as much as anyone, said no, I couldn't, and now I am realizing that this is one of the biggest regrets of my life. 


The Tallahassee Democrat did an article about her in 2015 which can be found here. 

I think the world was better off for her being here and is the poorer for her death. She sure is leaving a lot of the magnificence she personally created and I am certain she is being grieved by many. She was always one of the cool kids. The coolest of the cool. 


That's her there, in the very center. And in a side note- the man on the left was one of Jessie's elementary school teachers. We loved him. 

I thought about Stewart all day as I ran my errands in town. I also got to have lunch with Lily and Rachel which was lovely. I am so lucky to have such women in my life. Such fine, strong, amazing women. 

Damn, I wish I'd let Stewart paint me. 

Love...Ms. Moon



Monday, April 25, 2022

What's It All Mean, Mr. Natural? Part XXXVII


As you can see, Miss Annie is doing quite well. She is giving me a sort of wild side-eye in that picture but due to the placement of a chicken's eyes they always give us the side-eye and due to the fact that they are tiny dinosaurs, they generally have a wildish look to them so that is not an unusual way for her to observe me. I am sure that she is more than grateful that I have stopped taking her off the roost at night to bring her in the house and do strange things to her. 

Perhaps I have learned my lesson about interfering with my chickens because I really have no idea what I'm doing. I did once heal up a hen's head wound, caused by the other chickens pecking her down to the bone, with golden seal and neosporin but that is the extent of what I am truly qualified to do and in that case, the problem was quite obvious, the remedy noninvasive. 

I took a real walk today, or at least what I call a real walk which I'm sure some people would think of as a minor stroll. When I say "real walk" I mean three miles at least and that I did. I walked down to the county line and kept on going for awhile, came back the same way and then continued on down to the site of the FDG. I am not sure why I keep going back there. Perhaps merely to fuel my indignation. My neighbor called me again today and she, too, is fired up. She sent me the links to the Jefferson County Land Use Codes which of course I am not going to read entirely through. Do I look like the hero in a John Grisham novel? No. I do not. My neighbor's education, training, and experience provides her with a fine ability to do research which she loves doing. My education, training, and experience provide me with a fine ability to bitch about shit which I also love doing. Generally in a useless way. 
Anyway, despite the fact that it has not rained in two weeks, the big pool of water on the property is only getting bigger as the water drains from the standing water just south of it. As my neighbor pointed out, there is a culvert which goes under the road a few feet away which would indicate that at least the road people knew that the land was apt to flood and needed some sort of method to drain the water when we get lots of rain. 
Oh, it's just a damn mess. I'll shut up. For now. 

Here's something pretty!


This is just a small portion of the roses growing on the fence of a house a few doors down and across the street. A man named Mr. Kinsey used to live there but he has since died. Still, his roses bloom. 


Aren't they just beautiful? 
I remember when we first moved here and I was out in the front yard doing something, and he walked by on his way to Israel's store which is now and has been for quite a while, out of business. Mr. Kinsey stopped to talk to me, introduce himself. He told me his name and age, which I can't remember but I'm pretty sure it was up there somewhere in the eighties. He was quite proud of that fact and the fact that he still liked to go dancing. He also told me that my yard would look nice if I got some grass growing in it. Even at that stage of ownership here I knew that grass would never grow in that part of the yard due to the lack of sunshine. I told him that it would make more sense for me to just rake the yard's dirt every day like ladies in parts of Africa do, to make everything tidy and neat. I do not think he was impressed. 
Eighteen years gone by since then. And yet, the roses still bloom. 
And I still do not have grass in the front yard. 

Here's another picture from my walk. 


Now this one just cracks me up. I respect the fact that the church requires masks but somehow the contrast between the two expressed thoughts makes me giggle. 

I spent at least an hour today looking for a new book to listen to. I had downloaded an extremely tacky but not badly written book that had some interesting aspects to it but after awhile, the sex just got to me and not in a good way so I returned it. I simply could not listen to another minute about the guy's "hair like silken flames" or the woman's throbbing...
You get it. 
I finally selected "True Grit" to listen to. I have never read the book but recently listened to another of the author's novels, "The Dog of the South." Charles Portis. I think he may be rather underrated as a writer and so far I am enjoying "True Grit" although I know that I will visualize John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn and I'd rather not have that image in my head. I've never liked John Wayne as an actor and will do almost anything to avoid watching him play any role but of course, when the original movie came out everyone watched it, me included. After I listen to the book, I plan on watching the 2010 Coen Brothers' version which I have never seen. 

Boy do I live an interesting life. 

I'm pretty excited that D.J. Orange Intestine has been found in contempt for refusing to submit documents in an investigation concerning his finances. Let us all take a moment of silence to give thanks to New York Attorney General, Letitia James. 
Also I see that Elon Musk has bought Twitter. This is beyond my ability to truly understand. I do not have Twitter and I do not exactly get the point of it but the fact that the world's richest person is going to be in control of something so huge scares me to death. 

With every day that goes by in this crazy, insane world, I am more and more grateful that I have this tiny spot in Lloyd to hide in. And also, if you want to know the truth- that I will be dead before the world completely implodes. 

I gotta go make supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Actual Sunday


Here we have my filthy porch wall with my hand carved and painted...wooden... things that I got at the Bad Girls Who Got Saved By Jesus thrift store a long time ago when they had actual treasures. But that's not what I came here to show you. I braided up the garlic I pulled the other day and hung it on a string to let it continue drying because that is how you preserve garlic. There is something quite satisfying about braiding garlic stems together. Not sure why but it is. For me, at least. All sorts of food preserving feel satisfying although I have to admit that freezing things does not give me that same feeling. I suppose it's not an old enough method of preserving to be in our genes whereas braiding garlic has probably been done for eons. Canning is also relatively new but there is no denying the way I feel when I line jars of canned foods on the kitchen counter and hear those lids pop. It's a very fine feeling. 

I worked out front for awhile again this afternoon, pulling crocosmia and rice paper plants. The chickens, alas, did not come to keep me company. Earlier, when I was looking for a hanging basket on the swing porch, I spied this growing in front of the front porch.


You cannot turn your back to bamboo! That stalk is taller than me. It was cleverly hiding in the sago palms until it grew too tall for them to camouflage it. Mr. Moon had to get that one with a machete. As you can see my front porch is in dire need of pressure washing and painting too. I am not unaware of the state of things around here as concerns such issues. Trust me. But there is a long story attached to the issues and they ARE issues and a lot of it boils down to the fact that two very stubborn, both in their own ways, people have control of this situation, or rather obviously do NOT have control of this situation. 
Sigh. 

Mr. Moon planted some pinto beans for me today. Pintos are probably my favorite beans and I have never eaten fresh ones, only dried. I am curious to see what they taste like. He's planting field peas as we speak. I have to say that since he's taken over much of the gardening, things there look better than they ever have and are more productive, too. The tomatoes are leaping up and need staking already, the beans are continuing to thrust themselves up to climb the fence, and the potatoes are looking promising. Of course, with potatoes, as with garlic, one cannot see what sort of crop is developing as the vegetables themselves are growing underground. The peppers and cucumbers do not, however, look as if they are trying very hard. I don't know what's going on there. 

When we moved here, there were two roses planted on the north side of the old pump house. They are a small, white climbing variety and since they are underneath the bountiful limbs of the magnolia AND a young live oak, they do not bloom very much although every year I clear out their bed and prune them back and mulch them with chicken-shit hay. Their leaves and branches grow beautifully, but not the blooms. Today I saw two deep, deep red simple roses, probably part of the root stock, growing from one of the plants. 


It's even better in real life. How I wish the whole plants made those blossoms. 

I talked to my across-the-street neighbor. She is an FSU professor with a PhD in something that I can't remember but obviously she is quite intelligent and she spent some time today doing research on various issues pertaining to the FDG. She is the president of the Lloyd Historic Preservation Society whose land borders on the FDG site lot. She was not notified by the Land Planning committee when they sent out the other notifications to residents living within 500 feet of the lot. When I talked to the woman at the planning committee last week, I told her that the Historic Preservation had not been notified and she said, "I don't know anything about that." 
I am not surprised. 
There are rules that do apply in this situation and we shall see if they are being followed. 

Perhaps, as some of you suggested, I got my Sunday blues out of the way yesterday and indeed have felt better today. Or at least after I'd been up for a few hours and some of my morning angst had drained away. It truly is good for me to get down on my knees in the dirt and dig and pull unwanted plants. Even the sight of small progress is at least some progress. And as with the braiding of garlic, the canning of food from the garden, the making of a meal from what we've grown, it is satisfying and ultimately soothing. 

I saw No Man Lord (whose name is actually definitely Harvey) go by on a tractor as I was working in the yard. He has transportation! Of a sort. I waved but he kept his eyes straight ahead and did not indicate that he saw me. 
I was neither surprised or offended. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Grazin' In The Grass, It's A Gas, Baby Can You Dig It?

As I wrote to a friend today, this has been the most Sunday-ish Saturday. It just has that feel of an irritating sadness, a yes-it's-beautiful-but-so-what? air about things. 

Perhaps it all started last night when Jack and Maurice had a fight ON MY FACE in bed. Jack got to the bed first and was settled in without a care in the world until I suppose Maurice jumped up on the bed to claim what has become her usual spot which she certainly does not share with Jack and upon discovering each other's presence they hissed and clawed and toothed, waking me up and causing me to frantically try to bat them away from me, which I did, and one of them ended up on the bed and other one didn't and I'm not sure which was which because it was so dark and when I got up, neither one of them was there. I have a tiny Bindi in the middle of my forehead now and a small, shallow laceration on an eyebrow but I am quite aware it could have been so much worse. 
You know, there are a lot of things I have never experienced in my life, some of them to my vast relief, and some to my vast regret, but having two cats fight on my face is not something I had ever even pondered happening in my wildest dreams. 
Mr. Moon slept right through it. I told him about it this morning and he said, "Did I wake up? Really? That happened?" Yep. It happened. Two feet away from his sleeping self. 
Notice to thieves and burglars: Do not even attempt to be stealthy if you enter our house at night. Just don't waste the effort. 
I guess when you learn to sleep through a train virtually going through the house every night, you learn to sleep though almost anything. 

So anyway, Mr. Moon was invited to a fish fry today and I, too, was invited but they know by now that I'm not showing up. I made a pasta salad for him to take but I don't think much of it got eaten. It had things in it like chard and kale and fresh peas from the garden and no one eats pasta salad for its health-giving benefits. Plus, I didn't use Good Seasons Italian dressing which I think is a requirement and don't get me wrong- I love the stuff but I made my own vinaigrette. I used two varieties of basil in it too which probably freaked out some taste buds. 
Anyway, I tried. 

I planted a row of zipper peas but since they are a year old, I have no idea if any of them will come up. Then, because I was feeling mean and ugly I decided to get started pulling some of this mess.


That's one small part of a corner in the front yard between the fence and the azaleas. There are at least four different types of invasive plants in there. Mostly what you can see are the crocosmia and the rice paper plants. I got down on my knees and hammered my trowel as deep under roots as I could get. The crocosmia grows from bulbs and I doubt I get a tenth of them when I dig them up. I think the rice paper plants may grow from roots which have been cursed with immortality and forget trying to get every bit of them up. But I suppose it was therapeutic in some way and I did enjoy it when the chickens showed up to scratch around. 


Liberace is so damn photogenic. 
Here's a picture I got of Miss Pecky pecking the gnats off of her rooster. 


This is a service that a good sister-wife provides and it always looks like kissing to me. 

I found a small creature clinging to a stalk of crocosmia and he/she (they?) were kind enough to hold still for me to take a picture. 


He-She-They were probably hunting for gnats too. Or mosquitoes. Plenty of those. This little one gave me pause- here I was, the great wildlife protector, devastating a habitat. I can only take comfort in the fact that crocosmia is the farthest thing there can be from a native plant species unless one lives in Africa. 
Which I do not. 

I read an article today in the New Yorker that gave me a great deal to think about. You can find it here. 
It's concerning a movement to make natural resources like lakes and rivers and forests entities which can sue for their own protection. With the help of humans, of course. This is not exactly a new or completely outlandish idea. I think I had heard something about Ecuador and how its constitution has some similar ideas in it. 

From the article:

When Ecuador’s new constitution was adopted, in 2008, it marked another, much more significant world first. The constitution’s preamble celebrates Pacha Mama, usually translated from Quechua as “Mother Earth,” and a later section enumerates the rights that Pacha Mama enjoys. These include “the right to integral respect for its existence” and “the right to be restored.” The constitution also includes a right to buen vivir, which translates into English as “good living,” but is itself a translation of the Quechua term sumak kawsay, which has far-reaching spiritual and political implications.

The effects of such a shift in thinking are almost beyond imagining. It could give environmentalists more and better tools to protect what we are so rapidly destroying. Is there time for such a change to be made to do any good? 
Well. I don't know. The cynic in me says probably not. 
The child who believes in magic in me says- why not try? 

Here's how much invasive pulling I got done today. 


But the chickens appreciated the disturbed earth, and delighted in what they might find in it. 
So there is that. 
Gee. Tomorrow is the real Sunday. I can't wait. 

Love...Ms. Moon
 


Friday, April 22, 2022

Trains And Trees And Truths


I took a fairly short walk around the neighborhood today and I don't know if it's an usually gorgeous spring or if I've forgotten how beautiful spring is here or if for whatever reason I'm just more aware of it this year. Whatever the reason, my mind is being constantly blown every time I'm outside or look outside. I could lie in a hammock under the magnolia all day long just looking up at that blue sky through the shiny green leaves, listening to the birds, watching the chickens scratch around me. 

The first thing I did on my walk was to take more pictures of the FDG site. My across-the-street neighbor has called the guy at the environmental permitting place too and he's definitely sending someone out to look at it. It hasn't rained here in what? A week? And look at this.


That's the south end of the property where the water is flowing in from where there's standing water almost all the time and definitely now. 


All right. I know. I KNOW! I'm obsessed! Yes, I sort of am. 
Ooh-boy.

When I was walking down Old Lloyd Road, a train went by and I got this picture right by the trash depot. 


You'd be surprised how much still gets transported by train these days. We generally have at least 2-3 go by a day. It runs right behind my house and as I have said before, the first night we spent here when the train woke me up from my sleep and I realized that the windows were rattling a little in their panes, I thought, "Oh dear god. What have I done?" 
I don't think it's woken me up since. 

Mr. Moon is home! He stopped on the way here and bought some shrimp and some crab and some crab claws. Stone crab. The best and their price reflects it. He only got a few and we're going to have those for supper and I made up some crab cake mixture with about half of the shelled claw meat he bought and I will cook them in the air fryer. The crab cake I got yesterday was sadly disappointing. Too little crab, too much bread product and it was sort of soggy. 
Harumph. 
It is very nice to have him home, my sweet man. I've caught him up on all the news that I hadn't already told him which was indicative of the fact that none of it was worth mentioning. He's laid eyes on Annie who is looking just fine. I really wonder if she has any memory at all of being pampered in baths and internally examined. I honestly doubt she does. It's not that I do not think that chickens aren't intelligent- I think they very much are. But it's their own native intelligence which is a very fine sort of intelligence to have. Whenever I hear someone say, "Chickens are so stupid," I am not only pissed off, I'm flabbergasted that someone would think that. Obviously, the humans who make that observation have never had chickens or if they have and still believe that, then they are not very observant, curious, or aware of the different types of intelligence displayed by all creatures. And plants, if you want to get right down to it. 

The other day when I was talking to Abraham, there was a log truck being loaded with the giant trunks of the pines that had been growing on that property, probably since Abraham was a boy. It sickened me, even though I am so very used to seeing trucks hauling the trunks of pines around here. Most of those, however, were planted pines, and these pines were native, growing where they'd sprung up. When I went around the corner and was walking past the cleared lot from the other side, there were two pines across the highway, rubbing together in the breeze, way, way up high. They made such a creaking noise with their rubbing that I could not help but stop and see where it was coming from. It struck me that they were sending out a warning to all of their kin. I had never heard that particular sound coming from pine trees before. I told myself that I was being a bit sentimental, a bit woo-woo, a bit, well, ridiculous. 
Myself told me that maybe I was and maybe I wasn't. 

Happy Friday.

Happy Earth Day. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Wondering, Wandering, Peace


 So for those of you who did not read the comments I left last night, I will now report on how last night's internal exam of a hen went. 
It went fine. 
The procedure did not appear to cause a great deal of discomfort to Annie who stood in the sink while I plumbed her depths. And I did not find an egg. From what I've read, if you can't feel an egg within two inches, you are not dealing with an egg bound chicken.
Honestly, I think that she, like her sister, may have been attacked by something. One of her wings looks a little funky and I noticed last night that underneath it, a lot of feathers appear to be missing. I'm certainly not a vet and I didn't do as thorough an examination as I should have but it's not easy to hold a chicken and examine under her wing by oneself. Again, I told her she was a brave, strong girl and I wrapped her up in the towel and took her back to the nest. I am starting to think that I am most likely causing her more stress by trying to "help" her than it's worth, especially since I am obviously not helping her at all. 
So. 
She seemed fine this morning but still with the very swollen butt. 
Darla and Violet are continuing their egg incubations. I caught another hen laying on top of Violet today, and indeed, there was another egg under her when I checked a little while ago. Two more under Darla too, and I took those. I'm keeping her to ten. I let Violet keep the three she's sitting on but I feel sort of bad because before she started brooding, I put two of her eggs under Darla, wanting another little bantam so Violet isn't sitting on any of her own eggs. 
Again- here's a stupid human trying to assist a chicken who is doing exactly what chickens have been doing quite well on their own for six or seven thousand years. 

I have not been very productive today. I met up with Jessie and Levon at a local farm-to-table place for lunch and between that and going to the library, it seems like my day just flew by without me getting much accomplished. It was grand fun, though. 


No pun intended. 
Levon got a grilled cheese sandwich which he proclaimed to be gooder than macaroni and cheese. High praise indeed! 
I had a salad with a crab cake on it and it would have been a healthy-ish lunch had I not used approximately three-quarters of a gallon of blue cheese dressing on it. Hey! It was ROSEMARY blue cheese dressing. 
I swear, I have left all will power and the making of good, nutritional food choices fall by the wayside. I mean, I still eat good food, it's just that the form I eat it in is extremely questionable when it comes to fat and calories. 
I remember when I would have just eaten the salad without a crab cake on it and used vinegar as a dressing. Guess what? I was a lot thinner then. What happened to me? Did I really give up giving a shit or has a lifetime of restricting every bite that goes into my mouth finally gotten to me? Both? Sort of? 
I do not know. 

Moving on, when I got home I got out the garden cart, a shovel, and my pruners and went out front and dug up the Norfolk Island Pine that was my Christmas tree for all the years it could still fit into a pot but which froze down to the brown bone a few months ago. Into the cart that went. Then I dug up a briar vine with a root that looked like an alien life form and which, had it been a yam, would have fed a family of twenty-seven. I picked up some sticks in the front yard, added them to the cart along with the bamboo I've been kicking over, kicked a little more that's grown up in the last two days, pulled a few small invasive rice paper plants which are hard to see because they're surrounded by such thick invasive Crocosmia which I haven't even started pulling yet, and towed all of that to the burn pile. Although it was less than an hour of work I was sweating like a beast by the time I was done. It's back up into the eighties here but not yet into the nineties so I should be grateful. 

My sweetheart will be home tomorrow. His time away has gone like a blink to me. Rather like a dream in which my days are far more formless and wandering without anyone else's schedule to consider. I do not have a demanding husband but he is another human with whom I share my life, my space and as such, his needs and wants must be considered which I am more than eager to do and yet, at the same time, having this time by myself is a sort of gift which I very much enjoy. I would feel completely different if I didn't know he was coming home when he's been away. I am vastly aware of that.  

Here's a little rose that is blooming in my beside-the-kitchen bed. 


I do not remember planting that rose and I swear to you, if you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't see it if it wasn't blooming because it's so tiny. And yet, it is probably the most exquisite rose in my yard. 

I have noticed that Magnolia Grandifloras are beginning to bloom. If I live to be a thousand (fat chance) I will never take those blossoms for granted and will never fail to consider them a wonder and a sort of miracle. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

I Am Not Lonely And Am Certainly Not Bored


As you can see, Ms. Annie is still very much alive. I just don't know what to think. She is walking, running (albeit in a waddling way) and eating but her rear end is still swollen. I tried to catch her this morning but even if she does have an egg stuck in her butt she can dart faster than I can. I managed to give her some calcium which is highly recommended. I ground up a Tums and mixed it in yogurt and she got some of it before the rest of the chickens circled up and finished it. I think tonight, when she's on the roost, I will do the lubing procedure and perhaps give her another bath. 
Whoo-boy. 
She's a tough one, like her sister was. 

This morning I determined to go walk down and take more pictures of the (what I am now calling) FUCKING Dollar General project from both sides of the lot and ran into Miss Liola's brother, Abraham. He was standing there watching the situation himself. He only lives a house or two down from where it's going to be. 


That is the view from his street, which is Main Street. We ended up talking for about an hour, first about the FUCKING Dollar General and then a lot more. He was born in Lloyd eighty-eight years ago and was raised here. As he said, he's been on every square inch of the place. He left Lloyd when he was younger but moved back for retirement after he was in a terrible accident. I enjoyed our conversation more than I can say. He's never seemed to have the desire to chat with me but for whatever reason, today was different. He told me that Liola has been moved into a retirement home in Monticello (same one that supposedly Pinot is in) by her son. I do not think he is happy about this. She is ten years younger than he is and he says that she does not really need to be there. I think he may feel that her son, who lives in Texas, just doesn't know what else to do with her. The thing he told me that startled me the most is that when he and his wife married in 1956, they moved into what I now call The Fally Down house. Some other woman, possibly a relative, owned it and lived there and they moved in with her. He chuckled at the memory. His wife has been dead for ten years now. He has five children and he says that all tell him what to do. 
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with him and I absolutely need to go visit Miss Liola in the retirement place. I could see Pinot there too if indeed that's where he is. It's odd that no one seems to exactly know. 

After I'm sure he'd had more than enough of my company, I walked on down to where the Fally Down house is and y'all- it is still there but there's not one straight line in it anymore. 


I asked Abe if he and his wife had been the ones to put up the wallpaper in the house and he said that no, it was there when they moved in. As you can see, it is slowly but absolutely becoming one with the earth. 
After I took that picture, I walked around the corner back to Highway 59 which I assume is where the entrance to the FUCKING Dollar General will be. 


Standing water for sure. I walked twenty-one paces from the marker for the corner of the lot and this is what it looks like. 



Can you see the water there? I believe that at the most, this is sixty feet away from the edge of the FDG property. 


And this is just a few more yards south. 

What's a girl to do? I reposted on Facebook and then I called the county land planning department in Jefferson County. The woman I got there was very polite and she admitted that just because their maps say that this is not a flood plain or a wetland, it doesn't mean it isn't. That she intends to have all of the commercially zoned areas rechecked but for now, it is what it is. We also discussed the fact that in Jefferson County, only residents who live within 500 feet of a proposed project must be notified before a project begins unless the project will be over 27,000 square feet. 
I may have used the word "sneaky" a few times. I should have added "slimy." 
She really did not tell me anything I didn't know but at least I registered my complaints. She did tell me that they had blocked another Dollar General which was supposed to go up in Monticello itself. There is already one there. I told her I wished they'd blocked this one too. 
As Abe and I discussed, while the need for a place for people without transportation to get food is great around here, how the FDG thinks it's going to make money off the purchases that such severely financially strapped people are going to be make is a mystery to us. 

Anyway. I'm doing what I can do. I just read an article in the NYT's about the abysmal, evil way the Dollar General treats its employees and I am even more opposed to them coming here. 
You'll probably get a pay wall if you click on that but trust me- it does not say any damn thing good about the company. 

To calm and cool myself, I went out to the garden and weeded, mulched a little, and picked the very last bit of broccoli. I also pulled a patch of garlic whose stalks have fallen over, indicating that it is done growing. 


There it is, starting its drying process. 

Whoa! This has been a long report from Lloyd today. I get so much done when Mr. Moon's out of town. We've been in good touch and I've kept him informed about the Annie situation. He tells me that he and Brenda have been laughing A LOT! 
And that makes me so happy. 
As did another box of precious things I picked up at the post office today from Linda Sue.  That woman! She sent more doll clothes plus other beautiful and funny and fun things. Would you look at this? 


Oh, how I wish I was five years old. 

Wish me luck on the chicken-lubing. 
Good Lord. 

Love...Ms. Moon