Sunday, July 31, 2022

Down Home Sunday

Here's a little shot of what Mr. Moon calls my "clown decor." He was raised in a very traditional house with a very traditional decorating scheme. Curtains that weren't made of old pieces of vintage bark cloth, pictures on the wall instead of someone's thrift-gift of ceramic hand-painted Senors y Senoras. Probably no cool postcards of Frida and Diego stuck in a mirror in the kitchen. 
I think my husband would probably be a little happier if I did things like have stenciled borders on wallpaper in the bathroom with towels to match but whatever. He loves me. He tolerates my eclectic and fanciful style. I think he's even come to love it in a way although I may be overstepping myself with that statement. 

I have been so lazy today! It's been a fuck-it day. But I've enjoyed it. I made a big pot of my favorite NYT's recipe's Best Black Bean Soup which has been simmering all afternoon. I started a loaf of sourdough last night by making a sort of sponge with the starter and half the flour and some water and let that sit all night and then this morning I mixed in the rest of the flour and water and salt and it has had two rises today and this is what it looks like. 

Is that not the saddest loaf of bread you ever saw? I mean, it's not baked yet but still- it's as lumpy as someone's face after running into a bee hive. 
Oh well. We shall call it "artisan."
I cannot really figure out how to time the rising of sourdough in order to bake it just before supper. If I make up the dough and put it in the refrigerator the night before, it can take all day to warm up enough to even begin to achieve the height it needs. If I wait until I get up and get moving in the mornings, it certainly doesn't have enough time. Not really. Any suggestions that do not involve me getting up at six a.m.? Because that ain't gonna happen.

Looks who's home! 

The Weatherfords are back in Tallahassee! We have not seen them yet but those two boys will be spending the night tomorrow. Jessie has a staff meeting on Tuesday and Vergil will be working and they have a lot to do to unpack and get settled so those boys will be here for a good visit. I hear that last week, Levon got his first crush. He and a little girl who was camping where they were, bonded over the fact that they both had stuffed black dogs as favorite cuddle toys. 
It went from there as these things do. 
I have a terrific picture of them but since I don't have the slightest bit of permission from the young woman's parents, I won't post it. In it, they are both sitting in Jr. size camp chairs, Levon looking a bit bewildered while trying to look cool, while Hazel, the lady of his affections, is holding BOTH black dogs (so you know he loves her if he let her hold his) and looks entirely in charge of everything. She has a band-aid on her left knee which only adds to her charm. So you can be sure I will be asking the boy about her. Of course, when they get here, they will walk right past me, say, "Where's Boppy?" and head his way. 
If I were of the jealous type, I would resent this but actually, it makes me so grateful that I married a man whom the grandchildren love so deeply and dearly. I done good. 

Okay. Here's a random picture. 

It is a recently deceased beetle whose formal name is Eophileurus Chinensis, aka Rhinoceros Beetle. You can see why. We found it in the Glen Den last night. For whatever reason, these guys do not bother me like, oh- roaches do. 
I saw a roach in my bathroom the other night that was so big that I just apologized, turned off the light and closed the door. And then- that very same evening, just as I turned out the light, some insect flew into my left ear and I was so freaked out that I almost woke up my husband who was already asleep. I have feared a bug flying into my ear my entire life. And here I was, in my BEDROOM, and it had happened. All I could think of was that it was a German roach, which is a much smaller version of the giant cockroach I'd just seen in my bathroom and which look like this. 

What to do? 
I picked up my phone and turned the flashlight function on and held it next to my ear, hoping that the insect would be drawn to the light and exit my ear canal. I guess it did because I'm pretty sure that it's not still in there. 
Man. That was traumatic. 

Oh, Florida. Why do I live here? Probably because I've never moved to Mexico or Puerto Rico or Belize. The exotic is erotic to me, at least in some instances. Not all. 

I suppose I should go preheat the oven to bake the loaf of bee-stung bread. Isn't it funny how bread-making, like gardening, can be done for many decades and yet never be perfected? 
I think the best things are like that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Was I Ever Hell On Wheels?

There is Dr. Pansaloony, the Noble Son of Violet. Or, some hen, but most definitely raised by Violet. I look at that comb and waddle and those tail feathers and that drape he's growing there and I am 99.9% certain he's rooster. He's still got those fluffy thighs. I think we may have two hens in the quartet. Not certain. They all have huge feet but possibly that's just a teenager thing. 

Another hot day with no rain here in Lloyd. It's 95 degrees right now at almost-six o'clock. Glen and I both worked in the garden today and neither one of us tolerated it for long. It's ridiculous working out there in the full sun. I get to the point where I start to feel a little nauseas and that's when I know I have to come in and cool off. Jessie and Vergil are on their way back with the boys and Lily told Jessie in a text today that they need to turn around and go back to North Carolina because it's too damn hot here. And that, by the way, we'd all be following them up there and moving in with them. Although it has gotten hot up on Black Mountain this summer, it's still going to be a hell of a shock for them to come back to Tallahassee. 

After Mr. Moon and I both came back into the house I asked him if he wanted to go to the river to cool off. "It's either that or take a shower," I told him. We debated the issue a bit. On the one hand, it's Saturday which means there would be a crowd down there and also I needed to get laundry off the line and make hamburger buns but on the other hand- well, the river. 

So we went to the river. 

It was crowded. We put our chairs in the shade and were close enough to the next group over that I could easily eavesdrop which as we all know, is one of my favorite things to do. The best line I heard was from a woman who said, "When I was in my fifties I was hell on wheels!" 
And I bet she was. I can't even remember my fifties. 

We followed our routine which is to set up the chairs and then immediately get in the water. It was as cold as ever but because of all the people it wasn't as clear and pretty as it usually is. There was a guy who kept yelling at his kids "Don't go over there! It's too deep! You come back here! You get back here right now!" 
I heard a mom say to her child, "Here, you can have a piece of chocolate if you'll just shut up!" 
A Florida Wildlife guy was checking a boat for violations at the dock and many, many water craft of various types were being launched and returning to land. A kid was riding a bike in the parking lot and a Jefferson County sheriff almost hit him pulling out of his space. One guy was grilling hot dogs behind his car in the parking lot on a tiny grill. It was a lot. As Mr. Moon and I were standing in the water taking it all in I said, "Human beings can fuck anything up." 
Even as I said it, I was under no delusions that I wasn't one of those humans myself. 
But we stayed long enough for two lovely dive-ins and once again, it worked its magic and we came home in a good mood. I still feel cooler and my skin feels softer although it also smells a little river-fishy. 
So what? 

You know how I said the other day that I am having great waves of flashbacks of memories of being in other places? One of the main ones I'm having is of being in Vero Beach, staying at the beach with my mother, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. We did this for many years, meeting up there semi-regularly, even long after Granny and Granddaddy died. The last time we did it, Jessie had been born and was generally in a sling on my hip so that was about 1990. It was always so much fun and we stayed at the same two places every time. For the earliest years, we stayed at Sea Cove Cottages which I have spoken of before. 

They were of course torn down eventually to make way for giant, ugly condos and so we all met at a place called The Aquarius Motel which I think is still there but under a different name. There was a shuffle board court and outdoor grills and kitchenettes and it was always so much fun. I keep thinking of those times. 
On my birthday, my cousin Susie posted a picture on FB that I think I've posted here before but will post again. 

Suzie on the left, holding my brother Chuck, my mother holding Russell, and me holding our cat whose name I do not remember. This was in Winter Haven, probably around 1970 or '71 and even though the picture wasn't taken in Vero, it brought back those beach trips even more strongly. 
I yearn to go back. 
Maybe we will. Go spend a few days in Vero and then head up to Roseland and spend a few days there. Why not? We're sort of, kind of, maybe retired. 

Well, enough of that! 

Off to make supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, July 29, 2022

The Best Birthday, Part II

It was a hang-the-laundry-on-the-line day. Hot and sunny. Despite the rain we got at the river yesterday, it did not rain here which is not untypical for these summer showers. They pour on one place and completely ignore others, no matter how much we may plead for them to head our way and bless us with their sky water. We've gotten no rain today either and the sheets were dry within a few hours, and now are on the bed, crisp and smelling of the outdoors, of breezes through trees and sunbaked cotton. 

I had the best birthday. It was exactly what I wanted. I was so grateful to my husband for so amicably accompanying me on the little adventures we took. Big celebrations overwhelm me and I do not deal with birthday tributes very well, to be honest. Even the good wishes I got on Facebook overwhelmed me although I appreciated each and every one of them. Because I actually know and am friends with almost all of my FB friends, I did not feel as if the messages were rote in most cases and I cherished them. Same with all of your comments here. 


After I finished my post, there was even more perfection. Mr. Moon had gotten me two beautiful new baking dishes for my birthday and when the snapper was thawed, I asked if instead of him grilling it for us, I could use one of my new dishes to try and make an old favorite from Angelo's, a restaurant that used to be in downtown Tallahassee that we both loved so much. Snapper flakes au gratin was the dish and it was something no one could ever forget. Great chunks of white fish meat (where did Angelo get his seafood?) in the creamiest white sauce, topped with a thick blanket of cheese, all baked until the cheese had melted and the whole thing was bubbling in its own little ramekin. It was the food that I always said a cat would eat in heaven- the fish, the cream, the cheese. 
It is a food I would gladly eat in heaven. 
And so, out of deference to my request and out of the sweetness of the memories of snapper-flakes au gratin, my husband graciously allowed me to cook the fish. 
I am not being sarcastic here. I love to cook and that's all there is to it, and having the new dish and the beautiful fish inspired me. 

But before I cooked a thing, Lon and Lis called and sang me Happy Birthday, which is what they do, and I was thrilled and we shared martinis, long distance, and clinked on speaker phone. That was another part of my happy, happy birthday. 

And then I got to cooking. Together we had shelled some field peas and I started them on the stove before I began on the fish. Talk about farm-to-table! And boat-to-table! What riches! I made a white sauce that was as rich as a white sauce can be without cream but with evaporated milk and 2% milk with butter, of course, to zhuzh it up. It had salt and pepper, nutmeg, and sherry.  That was all it needed. I buttered my beautiful new emerald green dish and laid the snapper filets in it and covered it all with the white sauce, then grated some parmesan and aged havarti, mixed those with some bread crumbs and a little more butter to top the casserole, and baked it to perfection. I added some rice to cook with the field peas when they were close to done and made a salad with plenty of basil from the garden. 
I am sure that somewhere we could have gotten an equally delicious meal but I seriously doubt that we could have found one made with such fresh ingredients and cooked with such love. 

And then...and THEN! I determined that what a sixty-eight year old woman needed on her birthday was a good dose of The Rolling Stones and so we found YouTube videos from their current tour that were taken, I think, by some super fan who appears to get the same seat right in front of the stage for each concert and who knows what the fuck they are doing when it comes to videoing. They are not videos that have gone through professional editing as one would see in a documentary or professionally shot concert but they are truly worth watching and the sound is terrific. And so, this old hippie who never truly fell in love with the Rolling Stones until her late fifties when she read Keith Richard's autobiography, was as happy as she could be. 

The footage showed a band who is absolutely not doing a summer reunion tour for old fans, playing their hits just like on the record. There is no doddering here. This is no phoning it in and counting on the nostalgia of the audience to make up for time's ravages. Of course they are no longer in their twenties or thirties or hell, even sixties! But they are a working rock and roll band who yes, plays their hits, but as if each time they play them, they are rediscovering them for the first time. There is still some jamming, there is still room for surprise, there is joy. 
Hell, Mr. Moon even got up, pushed aside the table, and held out his hand for me to dance. 
And we did. 
It was a truly symbolic and meaningful evening for me to watch these old boys as they are entering their older years, enjoying what they do so much that they can't imagine not doing it and who are still able to get the audiences they do. Who are still defining and redefining what a rock and roll band looks like. Sounds like. 
There is still plenty of strut left in them. They are still giving us what we want. 
And perhaps- NO! OF COURSE! they are giving us what we need. 

At least some of us. 

So that was my birthday, from flowers to fish to fan-girling. 
And somehow, Mr. Moon (who let me point out is a month older than I am) got up at 3:30 a.m. to leave the house to go to the coast for the last day of either grouper or snapper fishing and I should know that but I don't. Either way, he did that and I don't know how. I guess it's what I wrote to a friend today- he does what he loves. 

Here's an okra that I MUST pick tomorrow.

Isn't that just the prettiest little okra pod you ever saw in your life? 

One more picture. My friend Lorie who is, without doubt and universally known as the NICEST PERSON IN THE WORLD sent me a card and in with the card was this. 

Dang. It's like she knows me. 

Happy Friday. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Simple, Sweet, And Goodness

Well, that's pretty much what I look like now that I'm sixty-eight, warts, wrinkles, age spots, sags and all. When Maggie was giving me the make-over Monday night, she was pretty convinced that her Claire's powder would cover some of that mess up. She had to admit defeat though and concentrate on the eye-shadow. In this picture, which Lily took, I am wearing the earrings she made for me. Aren't they pretty? 

It's been such a sweet birthday! 

I woke up to find these by the coffee pot with a love note from my sweetheart. I pondered what it was I wanted to do today and decided that I wanted to go to Monticello AND the river and that is what we did. We did a little shopping at my favorite antique store there where I had to go and cuddle and kiss my baby doll. 

Y'all- something is very wrong with me. I yearn to bring this poor, slightly possessed, flaking, orange-eyed thing home. I mean, everyone that I show her to thinks I'm joking but my heart wants to give her a good final place to live where she knows she is loved. They are asking way too much money for her and she lives in a tiny dark room upstairs at the shop and no one is going to buy her, I think, so I will make an offer on her. I should have done it today. 
I am a little obsessed and I truly do not know why. 

We went to another store that Lily and I went to about a month or so ago that is so pretty. 

Especially the part with plants. And I asked Mr. Moon to buy me a little begonia and he did. 

I do love a begonia!

Then we went to the Mexican restaurant and had a nice meal. 

Of course. 

Then home, a change into our bathing costumes, and down to the river where we met up with Lily and the OMG's and we cooled off in the river and enjoyed each other's company and they gave me a Little Debby birthday cake-ette with a golden candle. 
And then of course, the skies let loose and we all hurried home. 

It's been about perfect. 

This morning Hank started sending me gifs, including this one. 

Which I love so much. 
In case you can't tell, it's Keith Richards fending off a guy who got past stage security and was heading right towards Mick Jagger, with cat-like swiftness and a guitar . 
I mean really- who doesn't love that? 

And now I think that yes, Mr. Moon is going to grill us some more fish and a martini is in the offing and a chat with Lis and Lon and I can't imagine a better day, all in all. One of the very best parts of it is that not only did Mr. Moon sweetly agree to accompany me shopping and to lunch and then to the river, but that being with him was what I wanted to do. 
I am so very lucky in love. 

All right. I am older but not yet ancient. Also, no wiser. I'm waiting for that part of aging to show up, drumming my fingers on the table and thinking of a doll that no one else wants. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Updated Post

 This sign always makes me laugh. 
"Watch Children."
Watch them do what? Run across the street, I guess. I don't think I've ever seen a child run across the street in Lloyd. Can that be correct? 

That's what the sky looked like this morning when I took the last walk of my 67th year. I haven't been out for a good walk in so long that I think I was mainly curious to see if I am still capable of walking a few miles. Turns out I am but boy, was it hot. 
I had an experience. 
There's a very old, abandoned, cabin just a little way down the road from us. I've posted pictures of it before but I wanted to get a few shots of it. I'd barely snapped this one

and was heading over to the right there to take another picture when I heard someone saying something. I ignored it and snapped a shot outside a window 

and was picking a path through the brambles and bushes to go around to the back when I realized the person was saying something to me. So I stopped and looked and it was the lady who lives across the street from the cabin. 
She was on a mission to prevent trespassing there (she does not own the property) and I had a weird and defensive reaction to something said by a person who obviously has many problems. The odd thing is, I do not feel ashamed of myself for having had the reaction I had but I do wish I had thought it out more reasonably. Now I just feel sad for her and I need to let it go. 

Anyway, for the rest of the day I've just done domestic things. I picked field peas and green beans which are definitely on their way out. I admired the okra blossoms. 

I did laundry and finally decided to make some jam with the figs that Mr. Moon had picked before we left for NC. I did not want to waste them and the tree appears to be done making fruit for the year. So I prepped the figs and peeled and cut up two apples what were on their way to apple heaven via chicken beaks, one of which had been sampled by Maggie and then almost thrown away until I rescued it, a peach, and a few frozen strawberries. I didn't even bother to sterilize jars or lids, just made the jam and put it into clean jars and capped them and they will go directly into the refrigerator. 

It is delicious. 

I have no plans for tomorrow which is my birthday. Perhaps I will make Mr. Moon take me to Monticello for lunch and then a trip to the antique store. Or perhaps we can just go spend a good chunk of the day at the river. 
I do not know. 

I do know that I can't believe I've reached the age of 68. For a plethora of reasons. But it would appear that I have. 

See you tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. I edited this post because I realized that I had totally infringed on someone's privacy in what I wrote and posted at first. I am not proud of myself for that. 
But there you go. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Miracle Cure


After our delicious supper last night, followed by a bath and a purple cow, Magnolia got in the guest room bed and informed me that she had to change Isabella, the doll I had made her, into her pajamas, which she did. 

Zippy has no pajamas so had to sleep in his overalls but he does not mind. 
And then it was time for a book and Maggie chose "Are You My Mother?" that eternal favorite which has fueled the fear of abandonment in so many generations, and she read it to me. 
It was slow-going, her sweet pudgy little finger pointing to each word as she parsed it out, and I helped her with the hard words but by golly, that child read the entire book. And she doesn't even start first grade until next month. 
She also read "Five Little Monkeys" to me but I'm pretty sure she knew that one by heart. Still- I could tell she was so tired but she would not give up. She is a determined child, like her mother was and still is, and it will serve her well. 
I was so proud of her. 

I tucked her in and turned off the light but after a few minutes, she decided that she'd changed her mind and would in fact sleep with me. She is such a little night owl I had to fight to stay awake longer than she did but once she was asleep, she was a pretty good bed partner. 

This morning we had a good breakfast of eggs and toast and bacon and then we let the chickens out and she gave them their scratch corn. She loves feeding the chickens. We played another round of "War" but it got to the point where it was ridiculously long and both of us grew weary of it so she was declared the winner and went out to ride on one of Boppy's "vehicles" with him which is her joy. This time it was the four-wheeler. "Vehicles" is how she refers to the four-wheeler, the golf cart, and the go-kart. 

Around noon, her mama came to pick her up and I girded my loins and went outside where it was hot and the air was thick with humidity, making me feel as if I was wading underwater in slow motion, to clean out the hen house. I got that done and I walked to the post office and that was enough to exhaust me and set me into a state of ennui and ugly thoughts. I finally went out and asked my husband who had not only mown the grass but was also working on Lily's "vehicle" if he would like to go to the river. 
He pondered all that he wanted to get done and said, "Can you give me a minute to think about it?"
"A little minute," I said. 
"Then, okay. Let's go," he said, and pulled Lily's car back into the garage and we changed into our swimming costumes and drove to the Wacissa and dove in and suddenly, life was lovely again. 

We stayed in the water for awhile, resetting our core temperatures and then sat in our chairs, being quiet and enjoying the breeze. Two young girls came and sat down on a towel nearby and then, like bees find flowers, two boys of about their age but light-years behind in all other ways, appeared, and soon more boys and as we sat and listened to them, we shook our heads at the painful ridiculousness of human adolescence, of baby teens trying with all of their might to be what they want to be which is more grown up and tough and worldly. 
When Glen and I went into the water for our second delicious dunking I said to him, "Those boys are the same age as our baby roosters," and he laughed and laughed because yes, they were, and yes, they acted like them too, even to the point of fake-fighting. 
We left soon after and I told him, "You know, Owen is about five minutes away from being at that stage," and he shook his head and said, "I know," and then he said, "Well, most of them make it through alive." 

Driving home in our newly cool skin with our clean eyes and hearts, we held hands and looked at the fields we passed, the ugly houses, the pretty little old cracker shacks, the oak trees and pine trees and crepe myrtles. Because of our rain this year, everything is so green and when we got home everything was so very green here, too, and I was grateful for that. 

Here's what my crepe myrtle looks like. 

Those blooms are way, way up in the sky because the poor thing has had to grow fast and is thus spindly, trying to reach the sun under the old oaks surrounding it. But still, I love those puffs of pink that probably no one even notices but me who knows they are there. I think we do not lift our eyes upward enough. 

A shame, really. We must miss so much. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, July 25, 2022

Life As I Know It

Well look who's here! It's Maggie's turn to spend the night and it's so nice to have her around. She's such a sweet woman baby girl. She has determined that she might sleep alone in the guest room tonight instead of sleeping with me while Boppy sleeps in the guest room. I'm not pushing her either way- it's her decision. But that would be a big step. 

So far since she's been here she's given me a make-over with her Claire's make-up set. 

"Claire's has the best make-up," she told me with all of the confidence of a professional make-up artist. She allowed me to choose what color eye-shadow I wanted and of course I chose the aqua. 
"Does it bring out the blue in my eyes?" I asked her. 
"It brings out!" she assured me. 

We have also played a game of Battle and got almost through a game of Go(ld) Fish before she said, "Let's pretend it's over." 
Fine by me. 

Then she helped her grandfather vacuum-seal some actual fish. 

I got chicken at the store today to make some air-fried chicken tenders but she said she'd rather have fish so we are going to eat some of Owen's grouper. What an honor! I asked her if she thought she'd like to go fishing with her Boppy when she gets older and she was quite enthusiastic about the prospect. Her mother and her aunt Jessie sure do love to fish as did her Great Aunt Dee Ann before she left us and as does her Great Aunt Brenda. Those Moon genes are strong genes. 

Here's some great news- Rachel is officially graduating with her MSW degree on Friday! We are all so proud of her. 

Y'all- this woman has accomplished this major achievement despite some truly hard circumstances. I mean- stuff that no one should have to go through. She's simply amazing. And by the way- she got a 99% on her last paper. AND she already has a job. 
I am in awe of her strength and resilience and determination. Not to mention her intelligence, work ethic, and oh yeah, sugar cookies. 

Let's see- what else? Oh, I just figured out today that my bananas are making banana babies. 

Is there anything more exotic and gorgeous than a banana flower? I want banana flower wallpaper and banana flower curtains and banana flower rugs. 

And now I have to tell you that Darla is gone. 
Not gone as in dead although I am certain that she is that, too. 
Yesterday she had gotten to the outside coop from the hen house and last night, when Mr. Moon went to put the chickens up for the night, she was nowhere to be seen and she hasn't shown up today. So I guess a predator, the same one that attacked Annie, most likely, snagged her. Nature can be cruel. We have got to figure out what's getting in and how. Meanwhile, her three children, the probable roosters, are all orphans but appear to be quite able to look after themselves now. Their aunties keep them in line, letting them know in no uncertain terms if they are crossing any lines or stepping outside the bounds of selfish behavior when it comes to eating the corn scratch. 

And so it goes. I better go cook some grouper and cheesy noodles. I have some broccoli which Maggie used to adore but now turns her nose up at. Lily says that really, the only green vegetable she'll eat right now is cucumbers. I bought some of those at Costco today because my garden is not producing any which is a huge disappointment. I have not made one pint of pickles this year which is so very wrong. Again- so it goes. 
At the moment Maggie is playing in the library the way she does, creating scenarios and stories and acting them out with dolls and a stuffed Babar, a telephone in an old purse of mine, apples in another. I rejoice at her ability and desire to do this as I believe that it shows incredible imagination which will serve her well her entire life. 

Oh, the gifts of my grandchildren! And oh, the gift of my grandchildren. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Do I Dare?

Here's the only picture I've taken today. I sent it to a friend with whom I trade recipes and food talk and other magical things. 
"An obvious favorite," I wrote her. 
I had plucked the card from my recipe file as I was indeed making a key lime pie and yes, I've made enough of them over the years to know it by heart but I often check with the source to make sure that I'm doing it right. I did not make a pie shell, however. I have long since switched over to a graham cracker crust which has now become the default for all key lime pies and no one makes a merengue any more, but only uses whipped cream but I have no whipped cream and since you use egg yolks, why not use the whites to make the merengue? And so that is what I did. 

I made the pie in tribute to the mahi-mahi Mr. Moon caught this weekend which I shall also cook tonight. A very long time ago, probably in 1986, he and I traveled to Key West with Baby Lily where we met up with my mother and stayed for some days in a nice little motel with a kitchen. Mother had just gotten a divorce and was feeling good about herself and so relieved to have that sick, evil 240 pound weight off her back and we actually enjoyed each others's company so much. I partially attribute that to the fact that every early evening we would put Lily in her stroller and walk to a little bar where we all had pina coladas (except for Lily, poor thing), even my mother who was an absolutely staunch non-drinker, and by golly, we all got just tipsy enough to laugh and be at ease while we watched the sunset. 
I think about this and wonder if Mother and I might have been closer if she'd had a few more drinks in her life. 

While we were there, my husband went on a fishing trip one day and he caught a mahi-mahi and brought it back to the motel where there was a little tiny kitchenette and I cooked that fish and we had a loaf of bread that we'd gotten from a bakery and that was what we had for supper. Fish, bread, butter. It was the best fish dinner ever. To make it even more perfect, Glen went to the restaurant next door and bought three pieces of key lime pie and we ate those for our dessert and when we talk about the best meals we've ever eaten, that one is right at the top. So this morning I made up the dough for a loaf of sourdough and I made the pie and in a little while, either I'll cook the fish or Mr. Moon will grill it. I think I'll probably screw everything up by also making a little avocado salad but no matter what, this supper can only be a tribute to that long-ago Key West meal which lives in our memories with such fondness. We were so young, so beautiful, and my mother had a good time and Lily took her first steps (at nine months!) in another restaurant there with the whole staff cheering her on. 
That was also the trip where I got to shake Matt Guitar Murphy's hand. 
It was a very good time. 

I feel a little time-trippy lately. Perhaps it's because I have a birthday coming up but who knows? I dreamed of Roseland last night and I keep having visual flashbacks to different moments of my life there and in Cozumel and in Winter Haven where I lived from the age of 12 to 18. Also of different places I've lived in Tallahassee which have ranged from literal shacks with no plumbing or running water to a huge and gorgeous house where we had a swimming pool that sparkled turquoise under the great bowl of sky the house was set under. We've been watching the Netflix docu-series, "How To Change Your Mind" based on the book by Michael Pollan of the same name and I have a sort of itchy yearning to do mushrooms one more time. 
There is so much evidence that psilocybin is a key to parts of the mind that are eternally aware of the most profound truth which is that everything is connected, including us, and that if we strip away all that we know as "ourselves" we are able to actually know that in the most primal and truthful way. As Ram Dass said, "All is one." The experience of taking this mystical journey opens us to that in a way that brings great relief to those who may have a terminal illness, to those who have battled depression, anxiety, OCD, addiction and on and on and on. 

You know I am not woo-woo. I'm just not. BUT, I have been privileged to ingest not only psilocybin but also LSD, mescaline, and possibly MDA. I may have even told the story before of the first time I ever did mushrooms in which a friend dosed me unknowingly and it was a most wonderful experience and I will be eternally grateful for his intervention in my psyche which was desperate for guidance. 
(Rest in peace, B-Boy, I say. To which he would probably reply, "Bite me, I wish I was still alive," and then he would hug me and that would be beautiful.)

The thing is, I am surrounded by cow fields where the psilocybin mushrooms grow freely and abundantly. When I was young, we had no compulsion about stepping over a fence and going hunting but now I am older and far less intrepid (not to mention physically able) to trespass even though my intentions are pure. I am completely certain that I could identify them still. They grow directly out of cow shit, have a top like a toasted marshmallow, a ring around the stem and- most definitively of all- bleed purple. 
Plucked and eaten in the field was always my preference and I never once got in the least bit sick nor did I ever have what the media so loved to call a "bad trip". 

In the docu-series, most of the portrayals of trips occur in clinical settings, albeit ones with trained, kind, and experienced "guides" and lots of choices of soothing music. I cannot imagine, though, tripping on a hospital bed in a building where medical things go on. I have always been a free-ranger, I suppose, when it comes to tripping, being mostly at home where I am in control of my environment, where I can step outside if I want, to breathe and bask in trees and plants and all sorts of nature. 

Well, this is something I am pondering as I am about to turn sixty-eight. 

And now let me point out that Mick Jagger will turn 79 in two days and that he and the other old boys played last night to 100,000 Parisians and apparently left the crowd satisfied, sated, and replete. It is one thing for a beloved old band to do a reunion tour which is entirely based on those who loved them way back when. It is another for a group to draw sold-out crowds who consist of four generations of fans after sixty years of never...really...stopping. 

Time to go bake the bread. Mr. Moon is considering grilling the mahi outside. The key lime pie is in the refrigerator, hopefully chilling to some sort of perfection. 

Darla is still alive. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Trauma, Drama, Pizza And The Patriarchy

I did not even open my eyes until ten this morning. I was so shocked! I rolled over and looked at Jack and said, "What the fuck, dude?" as if he had anything to do with my slothful behavior.
He was not perturbed. 
I jumped out of bed, immediately aware that what I was feeling was shame. SHAME! It was absolutely drilled into me as a child that no one but sluggards and the most despicable creatures sleep past eight. "I'm so behind!" I thought and then I thought, "On what?" 
I mean really. I had no schedule today. I had no timeline to follow. 
However, despite the fact that I've been sternly lecturing myself all day long on how it is absolutely fine to sleep late every now and then, I still feel guilty. 
I will never outgrow that, I'm afraid. 

I slept late because I did not go to bed until late. I had made that pizza you see above (no pizza delivery in Lloyd) which took quite awhile but since there was no one here starving for his supper, I took my time with the chopping and slicing and the making of the sauce. 
It was (and is- there is a lot left) a very fine pizza. 
And while I was eating my delicious pizza, I decided to re-watch "Nanette" on Netflix and I did and it was amazing once again and then I had to clean up the kitchen and then I had to take my shower, of course, and then I had to read for awhile. 
Again- of course.
So by the time I turned out my light it was quite late. 

Now the one thing I was really behind on was letting the chickens out of the coop so I hurried out there and when I opened the door to the hen house I found something quite disturbing. 
No, it was not a dead Darla, it was this.

A whole bunch of barred rock feathers. Far more than molting would cause. My one remaining barred rock, whom I call Annie, was nowhere in sight. 
And the other chickens, who were in the coop which is connected to the hen house with a run, did not want to walk through the hen house to get out which is what happens when something traumatic has occurred in there. 
At that moment, I saw Annie and she looked fine and she has acted fine all day long so I have NO idea what got in there and attacked her but obviously, something did. The door was shut so whatever it was must have somehow gotten through the little space between the coop door and the door frame. I guess. And why didn't it take Darla who was right there on the ground, far more defenseless than Annie? 
Chicken mysteries. They do abound. 
So anyway, I fed and watered them, gave Darla more food and water near where she was laying. She is still alive, still moving about from one spot to another. Last night two of her bebes were sleeping right beside her when I shut them up. 

I know that whatever happened in there last night must have been very traumatic and stressed her out even more but she is still with us. 

I did a tiny bit of mulching in the garden and then picked green beans and more field peas. It was sunny and hot and I could not take much more than that. It has rained some this afternoon which has helped with the heat but by the time things had cooled off some, I was already well-invested in sitting on the couch and shelling peas and watching Hannah Gadsby's other Netflix special, "Douglas" which I am not sure I'd ever seen before. It was not nearly as heavy and hard as "Nanette" but she still pulled no punches and I think she's a genius and I love her. 
It's funny how the older I get (do I say this in every post now?), the more aware I am of how the patriarchy and misogyny have, and still do, affect the lives of women in such deeply injurious ways, mine included. My husband gets quite defensive when I speak of these things to him and I doubt he could watch an hour of Hannah Gadsby without feeling hugely uncomfortable although of course, he would never knowingly act in a patriarchal or misogynistic way. What I try to explain to him is that these things are so deeply ingrained in our culture that even women do not always recognize them but just accept that things are the way they are because...well...that's the way they are. Gadsby shines lights where lights are needed and she is not afraid to say what should be said. She appears to be fearless but I think she's probably mostly just incredibly brave. I want to try to be braver myself. In which case I will probably be called a shrew or a bitch or whatever else our culture labels women who speak the truth are called. I'm sure I could ask Hannah Gadsby as she has no doubt been called them all. 

I just took a picture of Annie on the kitchen porch, hanging out with some of her sisters in the drizzle we're getting now. 

Like I said- she appears to be fine. I truly hope she is. And I hope that whatever got into the hen house has decided that another attempt would be a bad idea. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, July 22, 2022

Maurice Is Just Maurice And I Am Just Myself

I should not have said yesterday that Maurice is getting weirder and weirder. She really isn't. To be more precise
, I think that Mr. Moon and I are getting less patient with her and less tolerant of her sudden and unprovoked attacks which probably aren't even as frequent as they used to be. Of course now she also shows her displeasure (I guess) by occasionally pooping on a rug or peeing in the pantry which only adds to our frustration. I believe that behavior began when a big stray male cat started sneaking into our house, terrorizing both her and Jack. And peeing on things in a failed attempt to assert his territory in our house. Come to think of it, I haven't seen him in forever so maybe he's gone to live on a farm. 

I used to try and figure out why Maurice could be so sweet one second and so vicious the next and ended up believing what one cat behavior expert said which is that some cats just bite and scratch and that is all there is to it and the best thing to do is keep bandaids at the ready. 
While we were on our trip, I got a text from Mark who told me that Maurice had been petting herself with his hand and he was terrified. I do not think she scratched him. I guess she liked him. She certainly does not like children and all of my grandchildren are terrified of her. I have told you before that Maggie started calling her "Scratch" quite awhile back. August has told me more than once that I should get rid of her. Jack, on the other hand, is called "The Sweet Cat." 
I am sure that Maurice had a terrible childhood. When she showed up here, nine or ten years ago as a mature teenager and decided that she would deign to move in, she didn't seem exactly feral, but obviously had her quirks. I took her to a vet to see if she was chipped, she was not, so I got her spayed and she's been here ever since. 
We do love her, despite the many times she's made us bleed, and I have noticed that when I am sick or injured, she stays by my side. This has happened enough times that I am sure it is not coincidence. She is empathetic, in her way. I call her my "nurse cat". Before I went to the hospital the day my appendix began to attack me, I was laying on my bed trying fruitlessly to find a place of comfort and she was right there with me the whole time. When I broke my ribs she slept with me every night in Glen's recliner which was lovely except that every time I dared to move, I feared a quick flash of claws, a bite, a serious reminder that she was not to be disturbed in her vigilance. And that's what happened the other day to Mr. Moon. She likes to lie in his lap in the mornings when he gets up and has his coffee and reads the news online in his chair. This is their time. BUT, if he so much as adjusts the laptop, she becomes very bitchy. 
Love hurts, I suppose. At least when that love is coming from Maurice, the Ginger Cat of Lloyd. 

I was terribly unmotivated today. I was sort of motivated to get out in the garden and do some more weeding and perhaps spread a little mulch about but after an hour in the sun I had to give it up. I loaded one bag of mulch into the garden cart, thought, "Nah, I cannot do this," and came inside. I didn't even have the strength to pick beans and, oh, honey, they need picking again. 

So do the field peas. 
Tomorrow. It'll all still be there tomorrow. Weeds, mulch, beans and field peas. Just waiting like Penelope with her loom which is a little how I feel as the man is back at the coast fishing. He was just back last night long enough to bring Owen home and get some dinner and some sleep and this morning he got up at 4 a.m. to head back down with a friend to go out on the Gulf again. He's just texted me that they are safely back on shore, covered 115 miles today and that he caught Mahi-Mahi which is rare. He is happy. He couldn't stop bragging on our Owen last night. He was so proud of how he fished, how polite he was, how good-natured. And I think that Owen had a mighty fine time and this thrills me. I told him yesterday that his grandfather has been looking forward to taking him fishing since the second he was born and it is true. 

The older I get, the more I wonder what in this world I have done to make any sort of difference and I can't think of much. The one thing that brings me some comfort is the thought that my grandchildren will grow up knowing that they were loved and cherished by me and by their grandfather, too. And if there is one thing I know, it is that no matter what happens to a person in life, the more love they have known in their childhood, the better. 
So. There is that. 

Here's a picture of a butterfly I took today. 

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, although one of its swallowtails is missing. I had to take many shots before I got that one. Butterflies are just way too busy. No matter how sweetly you ask them, they will not pose. 

I'll end with this. For whatever reason, probably because St. Dolly Parton was mentioned, I clicked on a link today and I ended up with chills in my body and tears in my eyes. These ladies hit me in all the places that trigger my emotions. Watch it or don't. But like Simon Cowell kept saying in the video, "You have no idea how much I needed this today." Maybe you do too. 
Damn. Remember their name: Chapel Hart. They're going to be huge and well they should be. 

All righty then, happy Friday. Guess I'll go make my own martini and put the clean sheets on the bed. 

Love...Ms. Moon