Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Some Cats, Some Books, Some Blah-Blah

Jack the Cat. 

I am so tired tonight and I don't even know why. I did not take a walk this morning but instead met up with Jessie and Vergil and Mr. Moon at the restaurant where May works so we could see her and have a nice lunch all together. 

And then I went to Costco and Publix and then I came home and that has been that. I know that being out in public can tire me like nothing else but it's not like I went to the dang circus. 

Oh well. Early bed for me tonight. 

Do you know what? I just realized that I really and truly don't have anything to say this evening. Believe it or not, this rarely happens to me. Even on days where absolutely nothing happens it always seems like something happened that was enough to capture my attention. 

Want to hear a pet peeve of mine? That's something, I guess. 
I rarely have that much in my cart when I go to Costco. I generally get a few things from produce that I like to buy there- the mixed cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, spinach. Sometimes the cereal that Mr. Moon likes. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, nuts. Things like that. And since Costco sizes are so huge, I don't really need to replace things that often. A bottle of their olive oil or vinegar will last for months and months. But the produce I do buy regularly. So anyway, I generally use the self-checkout because it's easy and fast. I know how to do it. I have my Costco card ready to scan and my payment card in my pocket where I can get to it quickly. But for some reason, the employees whose job it is to help with the self check-out see me and think, "Old woman who will hold up the line." And they come trotting over and start instructing me on how to do it and blah, blah, blah. 
It truly makes me want to yell. 
I never have yet but watch this space.

So that annoys the fuck out of me. 

When I got to Publix I realized I did not have my list. I had it in Costco but I had somehow lost it. So okay, maybe I am an old woman who would hold up the line. I know, I know- I should make my list on my phone but I like to make my list with my special fountain pen on paper. Index cards, usually. I keep it on the kitchen counter and as soon as I think of something we need, I write it down. And I am lost without it in the store. But I'm pretty sure I got almost everything that had been on it today and for goodness sake- forgetting to buy smoked paprika would not have been the end of the world. 
Plus- there's a Dollar General two blocks from my house! Right? 

Tomorrow is my pick-up day for Levon and August. I'm extra excited because I'll get to meet the kitten living in their house. Jessie took on a foster kitty today. It looks like this. 

A real bebe! 

She sent these pictures too. 

It's going to be a miracle if that tiny little wisp of a cat ever moves to another family in her life. 
She came with her own lamb. 

I would love to have a new kitten but I am so afraid that either Maurice or Jack would, if not kill it, traumatize it to the point that it would never crawl out from underneath a dresser. 

I just finished listening to this book. 

My neighbor recommended it to me and I did very much enjoy it. It's about the English codebreakers during WWII, many of whom were women. That was fascinating. The writing is very decent, the narration of the audio book is terrific, and I think that you, Liz (Boud), would especially enjoy it. 

And this book, which I am reading with my eyes

is one that I find myself thinking about throughout the day and looking forward to opening back up when I get in bed. I'll be sad when it's over. 

Well, I guess that's enough for now. As always, I did find something to talk about. 

Are we shocked? 
I think not. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, August 30, 2022


The hurricane lilies have done their magical, mysterious thing again and are blooming before I even noticed any of their stems popping up. I do not even want to discuss hurricanes right now for fear of jinxing us. It has been a very quiet year for them so far (knock wood, knock wood, knock wood) but the season is nowhere near ending and we have gotten some of our worst ones as late as November in previous years. 
I think of the lilies as warnings to be wary. I can't imagine what it was like before there were meteorologists and communication systems and all sorts of ways of detecting storms forming in the Atlantic and Gulf and reporting them. There is a feeling right before a hurricane hits and there are signs for those who are experienced and knowledgeable but these are things detectable only a day or so before the winds and rain begin to pummel. How many people had almost no warning before massive hurricanes swept down upon them, causing so much death and destruction? Even now, with all of the technology we have, there is no real way to know exactly when and where a storm will hit because they are influenced by so many different ever-changing factors and a few miles this way or a few miles that way can make all of the difference in the world. 

But there are the lilies, an eternal signal from nature that it is the season. 

I've had a good day. I walked and I have decided that I have to figure out a route that is more shady. There is White House Road where I walked for a few years but there is so little space on the sides of that road for me to step away from traffic. There are clay bluffs on each side of much of it, making it impossible to get more than a few feet from the asphalt. There is not a whole lot of traffic on it and it has far more shade than the route I take now but I do not really feel safe on it. I think I might try parking somewhere on Lloyd Creek Road which is a fine and shady place (mostly) to walk. I don't know. I just know that the heat of the direct sun is almost more than I can bear. 

After my walk I did a true trip to the Dollar General and I am going to admit right here and now that although there is, yes, a lot of damn junk in the store, there are also many items which are going to save a lot of people around here trips to Tallahassee or Monticello. They have a surprising amount of stock, from small electronics and tools to craft supplies to school supplies, to basic underwear and toiletry items. There are cat and dog foods and things that pets need. There was indeed some fresh produce and there are healthier yogurt options along with cottage cheese and even Asian frozen meals. There were home goods like pillows and rugs, a row of supplements and OTC drugs, and some cheapish toys. There are things like coffee and flour and a few simple spices, some Mexican foods, canned soups, condiments, and things like that. The aisles were still filled with unstocked merchandise and there were not nearly enough employees to shelve the items and wait on customers. 
Of course nothing there is of great quality although I did get a box of my usual brand of pasta for a dollar which is less than half the price it generally costs at Publix. I also bought a memo pad for a dollar and two quarts of half-and-half to go ahead and try to make ice cream. Which I have done, adding three egg yolks to the mix. Lily tells me that there is a whipping cream and heavy cream shortage right now and Publix is temporarily out of it so...
And thus, I have indeed danced with the devil but it may turn out to be a helpful devil. I would hate to think of myself as someone who is so close-minded and stubborn that I can't admit that perhaps this is a good thing for my community. It is not as ugly as I feared it would be and who knows? Perhaps the swamp will still function as a swamp and it is not truly the end of the world. 
Fingers crossed. 

I went and waited for Gibson and Maggie's school bus to arrive at the end of their road and drove them to their house. We let the dogs out, those two almost-twin cuties, Chloe and Pepper. The kids swore they didn't have homework and wanted to watch a movie and so that was what we did. Pretty soon Lily got off work and had picked up Owen from his bus which arrives later than the younger kids' and I came on home but not before getting these pictures. 

Maggie was not so happy because there was an issue with wanting to play a game with me that we did not have time for. She wants what she wants, that one. 

And here is Gibson in his new safety patrol belt and badge. If things are like they were in my day, being a safety patrol is a pretty big honor. 

I believe he may be proud and I am proud of him. 

I did not take Maggie her new doll because I am working on another dress but of course I screwed that up too. Ah well. I'll figure it out eventually. The seam ripper is my friend. 

I must tell you that Dorothy Anne looks happier and more content every day. I still do not quite understand the urge I had to buy her but I am glad I did. Every morning I take her from her make-shift bed under my vanity and wish her good morning, kiss her, hold her to my shoulder for a quick pat or two, and then put her on our fresh-made bed and every night I wish her sweet dreams, kiss her again, and tuck her back into her pillow bed. 

Can you see her down there? I took this picture a few nights ago because I loved the way the curtain on the door into my bathroom was reflected in the mirror. Which I do not look in. At all. Ever. 

Mr. Moon has many trips away planned for October and November and I have a strong feeling that Dorothy Anne will probably be occupying his side of the bed while he's gone along with Jack. I always loved co-sleeping with my babies. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, August 29, 2022

More About Vultures Than You Ever Wanted To Know

There you go- a picture of vultures. Or, as we call them around here, turkey buzzards. I really missed the best shot which was of about ten of them in that space, all with wings spread like so many English brollys in a downpour.  I had crossed the road so as not to scare them but just as I was aiming my phone to get a shot, a car drove by and scared them off. As far as I know, I've never seen that particular wing-spreading behavior before. I just looked it up on this site to discover that they do it for several reasons including thermo-regulation, help with parasites, and also for drying their wings. This is called the "horaltic pose." How cool is that? I had no idea. I also learned that vultures shit on their legs and feet so that the acid in their poop will kill possibly dangerous bacteria they've picked up by walking around on dead and rotting things. It's really no mystery why we consider these so-very-important birds to be nasty. 
I thought surely that the large group of them I saw this morning must have some very large dead animal they were feasting on but I did not see so much as a scrap of armadillo. Maybe they were just having a little committee of vultures, which is the proper term for a bunch of them just sitting around exchanging carcass-stripping techniques or perhaps family matters. 

So yes, I did take a walk this morning. God, I did not want to. I kept trying to come up with excuses not to but Mr. Moon was already at the gym working out and it was slightly overcast and thus, not apt to be quite as deadly hot, and really, I had no excuse. Of course, just like yesterday when I decided to go work in the garden because it was overcast and then the sun came blasting out, this is what it looked like after I'd been pounding that sidewalk for a mile or so.

Still somewhat cloudy but WAY off on distant horizons. That is one of the shadiest portions of my route. 
We're still in the nineties here daily with very high humidity. Blessedly, we are getting some rain almost every day. 
When I got home, Mr. Moon was back from his work-out and I asked him how it had gone and he told me and then he asked me how my walk had been and I said, "Look at me." 
That was all I needed to say. 

But because I suffered, I have felt virtuous all day long. I thought about digging up some more sweet potatoes but could not bear the thought of going back outside in the heat and so I did a little light housecleaning and some laundry and so on and so forth. I started a stock for a fish and corn chowder we'll be having tonight. I cooked us some delicious snapper last night and those leftovers will go into the soup. I roasted some peanuts which is a new favorite snack around here. And I've fiddled around with the sourdough bread dough I made up last night. I left it in the refrigerator overnight and took it out this morning and it's looking pretty fit to go into the oven. Soup and bread- what more do you need? 

I mentioned to the man yesterday that we haven't made ice cream in forever and he's been thinking about it ever since. He actually stopped at the Dollar General on his way home from town today to get some moth balls (they have been suggested as a way to get foxes out of their burrows) and he reported that not only do they have some produce stocked now but they had people restocking shelves all over the store AND that they had large containers of half and half in case I wanted to, uh, make that ice cream. I had to tell him that I needed actual cream for ice cream. He was a bit crestfallen. 
I have promised him that I will get cream soon, ice cream to follow. 

And so that has been my day. 
Here's a picture that Jessie sent of Levon waiting to get his covid booster. 

Cool kid with long legs. Tomorrow I'll see the Hartmann children as Lily has a gap she needs filled before she gets off work. I'll be picking up those kidlings at the bus stop. 

Bread's in the oven! Time to make the chowder. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Buried Treasure

I just could not bear another minute going by without getting in the garden to start clearing for the fall garden. I started by pulling up two rows of field peas and a lot of weeds in that strip of ground you see there. It was not wickedly hot when I pulled on my overalls but by the time I had gotten on my knees with a trowel, the sun had come out from behind the clouds, the clouds began to magically disappear, and it got at least five degrees hotter. 
Not unbearable but not exactly pleasant, either. 
Still, once I'm on a task I hate to leave it and so I got that bit done and then I decided to start pulling sweet potato vines. 
Probably about five years ago we planted some sweet potatoes and we never really knew how to pull them and in leaving some behind in the ground, we have ensured that every year the vines come up again and this year they were covering about a third of the garden. Nice, healthy looking vines they are, too. 
So I thought I'd pull a few and see if there were any sweet potatoes where they were rooted and after just a few seconds of pulling vines I came across this. 

Well now. To gain some perspective on the size I offer you this. 

That's a Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole right there in the palm of my hand. I continued pulling vines and finding more potatoes for about fifteen more minutes, max, and this is what I got. Banana for scale.

I feel like I've found buried treasure. I also feel like I'll be finding more when I get back out to the garden and start looking. The sweet potatoes have to cure before they are sweet and that involves keeping them somewhere very warm and with high humidity. This sounds like a description of my back porch and so I flattened out a a box that held beer to set them on and here's what my haul looks like. 

Since we stopped getting the physical newspaper, I often find myself puzzled at what to use for the things we've always used newspaper for. Doesn't really matter in this case. 

I gave the chickens a bunch of the vines I'd pulled. I have no idea if they'll like them or not but at least it'll give them something green to scratch around in. Mr. Moon spent a good part of the day dismantling two old structures in the coop that were used at one time to keep chicks in, thus giving the tiny flock a little more space. I told Glen today that I feel like I should be making meals for them. Like- a spinach quiche or something. They would love that. 

And that's what went on here in Lloyd today. Rain is suddenly falling from the sky. There was no warning- no thunder, no lightening, just an abrupt darkening and now rain. There are two cardinals on the feeder who look as surprised as I am, cocking their heads to look around. 
Oh my but it smells good. Those first drops wetting the earth release a scent like no other. It is funky and dirty and clean and crisp all at the same time. 
Sounds a little like the Rolling Stones. 
It's been quite awhile since I've posted any Stones videos. Let us remedy that. Here's an eternal crowd pleaser from back in 1981 when they were already being asked if it would be their last tour. 

I doubt anyone wants to watch all of it but just watch a minute or two to get your juices flowing. 

Be still my heart. And hey Punk Rock- Who's your daddy? 
Papa Keith. Bless him. Bless all those bad boys. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Taking It Easy

Here's Lisi in her finished dress. I sewed the velcro on to secure the back and thank you to whoever recommended that to me. I apologize for not remembering. It was so easy. I would have had to fuss for hours with buttonholes. And as you can see, I sewed one of the mermaid buttons on as an ornament. It looks like it was made for the dress, doesn't it? 
I think I need to give Lisi's hair some attention. Poor thing. 

I woke up feeling like my little cold was still having its way with me. Nothing terrible, just feeling slow and stuffy. I slept pretty late although Mr. Moon got up at five a.m. His fishing buddy down at the coast needed some carpentry help and so Glen went to help him. He's a good guy. 

Since the man would be gone today I decided to take it easy. I mean, I can take it easy if he's here but I feel less guilty if no one is observing my slothfulness. Never once has he ever criticized me for having an unproductive day but I was born with built-in shame and guilt and then those two feelings were nurtured carefully in my childhood. I have plenty to spare should you ever need any, by the way.

The only thing I did that was in the least physical was to repot my jade plant that the chickens had knocked over on the front porch. The pot broke as did the pot holding a begonia so I cleaned all of that up. I had to play pot musical chairs to get my jade re-homed and didn't have another for the begonia which was really leggy anyway. I broke off a bunch of stems and put them in water to root if they can muster the determination and strength to do so. Remember the little begonia I bought for my birthday? Well, even though I put it up where I thought the chickens wouldn't get it, they've nipped it pretty close to the bone. I suppose it's a tasty delight to them. Since they are in the coop for now, the poor plant will have a chance to make some more leaves. They just do love begonias. Some plants they don't bother with at all but begonias are definitely a favored salad green. 

After I got all of that dealt with and the porch swept, I mostly just puttered around. I finished the doll dress and began work on another one. Now let me tell you something- I have no ability to see things spatially. I'm not sure that's exactly what I'm trying to say. It's very hard for me to figure out how things work. I've always been this way but it's getting worse. For example- when I am replacing the hardware on a pair of overalls, I have to really, really study the situation to get the new buckle on correctly so that the strap can be lengthened or shortened. I don't care how many times I do that job, it's like brand new, every time. You'd think I was trying to figure out how to repair a jet engine instead of a dang overall strap. So, sewing without a pattern is rather difficult for me. I found some red-checked material that I'd made Maggie a few dresses with when she was a toddler and figured it was enough to make Lisi a dress. I had an idea in mind involving a lining for the dress and made a simple pattern- so far, so good, right? And then I sewed the lining to the outside fabric in completely the wrong way and I can either rip it all out or just throw it away and try again with some more material because I do not have enough of the checked material to make another dress. And I thought I had this all figured out. I have been sewing since I was in about the seventh grade! 
Well, hell. 

Thank goodness I don't have that problem when it comes to cooking. I was born to cook, no doubt, and although I am certainly not the best cook in the world, I pretty much know what I'm doing in the kitchen. Recipe or no recipe, I can figure most things out intuitively. As I've so often said, just watching the woman we called Granny Mathews in her kitchen informed me of how I wanted to cook which was from real ingredients, mostly weighed and measured by hand and eye. I am grateful to her to this day. 

Tonight's supper is a very, very easy one. A cheat, as I call it. I've got a spaghetti sauce simmering on the slow burner with onions and peppers and garlic and a little bit of ground venison and a jar of Rao's herb tomato sauce. That's the cheat. I am not too proud to use a jarred tomato sauce. I am not Italian and thus do not have a guardian ghost grandmother threatening me with her wooden spoon as I open and pour the sauce into the pan. 
I will, however, grate my own parmesan and of course I have a loaf of bread rising. 

The man has just pulled into the yard. It is drizzling a little bit which sounds and smells delightful. We still have five chickens. I am sure we still have a fox or foxes. I have been lazy today and that is okay. 

Vergil sent me the number to call to reach the Florida Department of Transportation permitting office for over-dimensioned and overweight vehicles. I will try to call them on Monday. I say "try" because making phone calls like that is anxiety-producing for me but dammit, I want to know what in hell that was in the video. Mr. Moon has theorized that it is going to be part of some underground system for one of those huge convenience store things that sell everything from jerky made with every type of meat animal (gator jerky, anyone?) in the world to fresh baked goods. They are clearing huge swaths of land near here by the interstate exit and entrance and that could possibly be the answer. 
Who knows? 
Not me. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, August 26, 2022

We Laughed Until We Cried

 I am such a stuck-in-a-rut woman and today my schedule has been a little disturbed in that I just got home from taking care of August and Levon and by this time of the day I have usually answered all of my comments and have already started on my blog post and of course, this must all be done in a timely manner or else supper won't be ready until nine o'clock at night and that is not acceptable. 
Unless it's just me here and I do not care at all when I eat as long as it isn't before 7:30. I refuse to participate in the Early Bird Special. 

So. What I'm saying is, I haven't answered comments but I will get to them. You all left me such sweet ones yesterday and today and I appreciate them all so much. 

I read a meme this morning on Facebook that absolutely sums me up and here it is. 

Do I have ADHD? Because that is me in a nutshell. When I have to leave the house at noon, I feel like there is no way in hell I can get anything done except for my basic morning routine before I leave. I take it a step farther. If I have something I'm dreading at the end of a month I know that the entire month before the event will be ruined by my anxiety about it. I plan my life around such things. For instance- I am trying to plan a little trip for us down to Roseland and Vero but I can't do it in September because on September 26 I have my rescheduled doctor appointment and there's no way I can enjoy myself with that in front of me. 
I tried to explain this to my husband and he just laughed and shook his head and said, "Okay."
Once again- I am so grateful for his tolerance. 

But this morning I somehow managed to wash the sheets and remake the bed before I left (at noon) and went out and picked okra and do you see that bee working away in the bloom? 
Okra honey. Nice. 

And then I drove to town and got Jessie's car with the carseats in it and picked up Levon and again we went to Publix and I got some sushi and he picked out a Hot Wheels car for both he and August and then we went to his house and he played with his car and I ate my sushi and then I started reading books to him. I started doing this voice for the mother bird in "The Best Nest" and I have no idea where it came from. It was a whole thing, voice and accent, and we both found it hysterical and we ended up laughing for about two minutes. We laughed so hard that Levon said, "It sounds like we're crying". It was that gut laugh, that choking laugh, that I'm-trying-to-catch-my-breath laugh, that okay-I'm-done-now, no-wait!-I'm not! laugh. 
My god it felt good and how amazing to share it with my four year old grandson, to know that he's getting so much enjoyment out of something I'm doing. That we are on the exact same wavelength. 

So that was definitely the high point of my day, perhaps my week or even month. 

There was a little confusion over when and where to pick up August. Supposedly he was going to the after-school program at a local park and I could pick him up after four but somehow that didn't happen so Vergil (who was working from home) and I got phone calls from the school, and Levon and I jumped back in the van to go and retrieve him. He was pretty cool about it. Back to the house where they ate some peanuts I brought that I'd roasted. 

They played with their Hot Wheels for awhile and some other toys and then we watched a few videos about walking fish which is just nightmarish to me, and also one about giant squid and then Daddy got off work and I collected my things and got ready to leave. 
And then something else wonderful happened. Both of the boys gave me such good and real hugs, and wanted kisses on their cheeks, that my heart exploded. As I have said so many times, these two save their displays of affection for Mama and Daddy for the most part and so this was really something special. 

I came on home and had a bit of a shock when I opened the door from the back porch to the laundry room. 

I walk through the laundry room to our room if I'm on the back porch and use that door many times a day. When I pulled it open this evening though, a very skinny and longish snake fell down off of the top of the doorway, right in front of me. Now. If it had fallen ON me, I would not be writing this but would probably be huddled in my bed, medicated with half of the Ativan I have left. 
As it was, it didn't scare me and as I reached for the phone in my pocket to take a picture, it slithered into a crack between the wall and floor. God only knows where it is now. I'm pretty sure it was just an oak snake or a rat snake. Not a venomous snake. 

And in the continuing vein of TOO MUCH NATURE, Mr. Moon did indeed get the two other hens into the roost last night so we still have five chickens. He got footage of the fox from night before last, walking past the baited trap. That fox walked right past that trap with no more interest than I'd walk past a display of nuts and bolts at a hardware store. Maybe less. Last night's camera footage showed raccoons sniffing at the roost door but nothing else. 

We're discussing fencing options and so forth. 

Meanwhile, I'm halfway through a martini, I have a dish of chicken enchiladas to heat up and guacamole to make. A few weeks ago I made the enchiladas and was wise enough to put them in two different baking dishes, one for that night, another to put in the freezer. I feel like fucking Einstein or something. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Can anyone out there identify what in hell SOMEONE  is hauling through the back streets of Lloyd at night? Mr. Moon took this video last night and it's not the first time this has happened. 

Thursday, August 25, 2022

A Dizzy Dame

There's Liberace through the screen door under the banana bloom on a rainy evening. I know that rooster is doing his very best to try and figure out how best to protect his hens. I may feel sorrier for him than I do for the ladies. 

I took that picture a few nights ago when he and the girls were on the front porch. He is trying so hard. They've destroyed some of my plants and I don't even care. 
Right now I've coaxed him and two of the girls into the coop. They did not want to go but I gave them some biscuit crumbs and some avocado salad and some honeynut Cheerios and those three did come in. The two other chickens we have left would not. I was hoping that Liberace would make his tidbitting call to gather them but he didn't. He is being so super cautious. But whoever I can get penned tonight will be staying enclosed for at least a few days. 
Mr. Moon did indeed try a live chicken in the trap last night but she just spent the night not getting killed by the fox which is in itself, okay. The fox couldn't have gotten to her in the compartment where she was so he couldn't have hurt her but like I said, I know it must have been somewhat traumatic. 
Why the birds don't want to go into the coop or roost is beyond me. None of them were killed in there lately. They are safe in there. But perhaps the fox runs around the enclosure all night and frightens them. 
But this is where we are for right now. One rooster, four hens. 
Dottie has been taken. So she is gone, too. 

Rest in peace, you sweet old hen. 

Yesterday I had a few dizzy spells and figured that it had something to do with one of my ears which has felt stopped up for weeks. This morning when I woke up, I had another brief bout of dizziness and my ear was quite stopped up and I was very sniffly in the sinuses. August and Levon and Jessie all seem to have a little cold and I guess I have it too. Anyway, my ear has cleared as of now and I am not dizzy in the least. I felt good enough to go to town and I did. I needed a few things at Publix and Costco, of course, and decided that fuck it, I was going to enter the demon doors of Walmart too. It's in the same shopping area as Costco and I usually avoid it like the plague but hell- that's such an entitled thing to be able to do, isn't it? I wanted to look for some velcro to use on Maggie's doll dress and also, look for a cotton dress like one that Jessie bought earlier in the summer. It's not age-appropriate in the least for me but it's not like I'll be wearing it to tea with the queen. I found one and it's made of Tee-shirt cotton with a tiered shortish skirt, short sleeves, and POCKETS! Very fine pockets. So, I grabbed it. I also bought a bra-like garment like one that Jessie had given me when we were in NC. It's made out of something incredibly soft. And I bought the velcro and also some awesome mermaid buttons which I might use for ornament on the doll dress. The best part of the whole experience was the lady at check-out. She was tiny, perhaps Indian, and her name badge said, "Vanlily." At first I thought it said "Vanilla" but no, I checked and rechecked. Vanlily. And her smile was brilliant. It was a million watt smile. I gave her my best in return. 

When I was at Publix I got what we all call a "Pub Sub" which is, as you might expect, a sub sandwich made to order in their deli. It is not unlike Subway except that the ingredients are 
a. Real
b. Fresh
c. Of good quality

After I finished checking out I went through a car wash and I have to tell you that there are few things more pleasurable for me than sitting in a car going through a car wash, eating a good sandwich. Especially on a rainy day. It feels like I'm on a completely different planet, alone and safe in the confines of my vehicle while great bouts of water and soap and suds envelop the car, and giant brushes scrub the outside clean. It's sort of magical, actually. To me, anyway. The machinery whirs and shifts and the lights tell you when you are all done. 
GO! They say. 
And I do. 
It really does not take much to make me happy, does it? 

It sure would make me happy if those other two chickens roosted in the hen house. If they end up on the front porch tonight, we can grab them in their coma-sleep and carry them out there. 
I cannot imagine a life without chickens anymore. 

It's still raining, a nice strong drizzle, distant thunder rolling now and then to the south. I can hear birds chirping over the patter of the rain. 

Here's a leaf that the magnolia tree shed yesterday which got caught in the spider web I photographed a few days ago. It looks like a magic trick, doesn't it? And remember- a magnolia leaf is about eight inches long. At least. That's some strong web silk there, y'all. 

Thank you for coming here and sharing my days. It's so odd when I think about it but it's also an incredibly important part of my life. YOU are an important part of my life. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Another First For August!

Well, not ten minutes after I posted my blog yesterday, I got a text from Jessie saying that Vergil was taking August to Urgent Care because he fell out of the wheelbarrow that he was playing in with Levon and landed on his arm and it was hurting him a lot. 
Hoo boy. 
Turned out that he did indeed have two very slight breaks and they put a bandage and brace on it last night with instructions to go to Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic today and get the professional opinion which he did. The doctor there decided that he just needed a brace for eight weeks and that he'll be fine. He told Jessie that his own son has broken his arm four times by falling on it. He's nine years old. 
So- lose a tooth, break an arm! 
But you know kids. August is really bothered and he said it doesn't hurt "too much" and he's already adapted to doing everything with the brace on. 
Here's what he looked like this morning after his appointment. 

Strangely there's a coffee shop and a farmer's market attached to the clinic which is where the cinnamon roll came from. I believe that thing could cure a lot of ailments. Jessie got some boiled peanuts which she said were delicious. 

So I offered to make a big pot of chicken and dumplings for the family so Jessie wouldn't have to cook tonight and they are August's favorite thing that I make and so after my walk I pulled out the big pot that I use because it has such a nice wide circumference which means plenty of room for dumplings, and got to work. Jessie texted me later on in the afternoon to see if maybe I'd like them to come out and get the dumplings. The boys needed some distraction and Levon needed a little nap and a car ride will generally help with that. 

As it did today. Look how big that boy is getting. 

So we had a nice visit. August put together the new puzzle. 

Levon cuddled his mama. 

I read a book to Levon and then Boppy got home from town and we all went out to release the young coon that had gotten in the trap. The little thing ran straight up a tree. 

This may have been the second time that particular young'un fell for the fried chicken bait. Hard to tell. Could have been a sibling. It's like The Animal Planet around here lately. 
And no, I do not want to discuss chickens right now. I'll just say that my heart is breaking. 
Like August's arm. Only not really. 
You know what I mean. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

GDF Dollar General Report

Well. I spoke with my across-the-street neighbor yesterday and she told me that she'd been in the GDFDG and that they do have some fresh produce as well as other groceries. I was a bit surprised to hear that but also glad. So this morning I included a visit to the store in my walk. Why not? I've not stepped foot into the place since it opened, of course, but my presence there is hardly tantamount to my blessing. 
I was hot, sweaty, and not smelling like a rose when I walked through the automatic doors. I was holding my walking stick. I suppose someone might have been taken aback if they had noticed me but I really don't think anyone did. There only seemed to be about three people in the whole store and that included an employee. There may well have been more. I didn't walk through the whole thing. 

As I entered the store I saw the refrigerated space where there WOULD be fresh produce had they actually had any. As it was, there were only empty spaces and a few bags of apples. I've heard that Dollar General is famous for understaffing and that may have been the problem. There could have been fresh produce in the storeroom and no one had had time to set it out. 
Who knows? 
Not me. 

Anyway, the entire length of the right side of the store was taken up with refrigerated and freezer cases. I honestly only breezed past things but there were items like cheese, yogurt, hot dogs, frozen pizza, Hot Pockets, and other assorted things, most of it not very damn good for you. There was also milk and ice cream. And I'm sure a lot of other stuff. The aisles were partially taken up by stacks of products needing to be shelved and the shelves were definitely in need of restocking. A large part of the store is taken up with grocery items like bread and peanut butter and all the regular stuff you'd see in grocery stores. An entire case of energy drinks seemed to be pretty well filled. 

As I said, I didn't walk through the whole store. I think what I did see was such a shock to my system that I couldn't handle any more. The very idea of retail items for sale in Lloyd is overwhelming. For so many years, decades, in fact, the only place to buy anything has been a locally owned convenience store that really does not have much of anything and charges out the yang for the few things it does carry. Beer, milk, ice, chips, etc. And I can pretty much guarantee that one of these days I will buy something from the GDFDG. We'll run out of milk or Mr. Moon will have an emergency ice cream need or...well... I don't know. I've lived here for eighteen years and haven't died from lack of frozen pizza yet. But it is annoying to have to make a trip to town to get that one thing you just have to have. 

And let's be honest- there are people who live in this little community who do not have easy access to get to a real store and this store, as much as I hate it, will fill a gap. 

So there's your report. 

My walk this morning was slow. When I woke up my hips hurt badly and one of them felt as if maybe I was having a sciatica attack. So that informed my pace. I doubt there was much cardiac benefit but at least I was up and moving. 

I took a few flower pictures. You've seen all of these from me before. 

I just love these fancy little blossoms. They're called several things including ivy-leaf morning glory, scarlet-creeper, and my favorite- star Ipomoea. 

I've always heard these called swamp mallow but they are also called rose mallow. They, like the okra, are part of the hibiscus family. 

And here's my favorite annual wildflower. 

The clitoria! AKA butterfly pea. 
Such a lovely lady plant, isn't it? 

I've spent most of the rest of the day making a dress for the beautiful, perfect little human doll that Linda Sue sent for Maggie which I have not given her yet. I found some leftover mermaid fabric from a dress I'd made for Magnolia herself and sort-of using the garment she came in as a pattern, I made this. 

It is miles from perfect in any way and I still need to do the buttons and buttonholes but it's not so bad. It shows her cloth-body parts because I am NOT going to the effort of putting sleeves in a doll dress. Not at this point, anyway. I'm not sure the little human likes the dress at all. She appears to be a bit disturbed by it to me. 
Oh well. 

Here's some news! 

Would you look at those eyelashes? 

August lost his first tooth! I hear he was very brave and let his daddy pull it for him. The tooth fairy left him a tiny Lego set which he loved and a note, and Levon, too, got a note from her that said "Just to say hi and keep taking good care of your teeth!" 
He told his mama that the tooth fairy was "very kind." 

In chicken news, one of the hens showed back up. The youngster hen. 

Funny how the three rooster kids got taken but the hen kid has so far avoided the fox. I hate to tell you this but Violet has not been seen for two days. I am heartbroken. I truly am. 
Last night all of the chickens roosted on the front porch which they have never done before. Actually, this is a pretty smart move because I'm not sure the fox would get that close to the house and that porch is the part of the house furthest away from where the fox burrow is. If they go back into the coop and henhouse tonight, we're going to keep them caged up for a few days. I have no idea what good that will do but at least for those few days, they will be safe. I think the fox must prowl around the hen house at night and the chickens know he or she is there. 

And that's all the news for today. On my walk I passed one of the local voting places and there were cars there. It's not our location and we had early-voted last week but I remember going there to vote for Jimmy Carter when I lived in Lloyd so many years ago. It's the old Woman's Club and now is used only for voting and as a regular AA meeting place. 

Life in Lloyd. Where you can now purchase Steak-Umm's. Moving on up. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, August 22, 2022

Not Much

The only thing I took a picture of today was of two vultures in a dead tree against a blue sky and it's not a very good picture and also, people tend to hate vultures. I understand that. They represent death, don't they? And they are not attractive birds in the general sense. But I am grateful for them and they are, of course, a vital part of the eco-system. 

It's been a fine day. I went to town and got my hair trimmed- first time in over a year. I loved seeing our Melissa whom we all love so much. She is the sweetest woman. There's hardly any difference in my hair at all. I literally just asked her to cut off about five inches and she did. I wear it up almost all the time because I can't stand having it on my neck. 

I think we are down to four hens and one rooster. We caught yet another possum last night. This could well be the end of my chicken-tending, y'all. I refuse to keep chickens just to feed a fox and I have no interest in keeping them cooped up all day, every day. 

I think this is about all I'm going to talk about today. I've got to make dinner. I had three phone calls while I was in the beginning stages of writing here this evening which is about three more phone calls than I usually get in a week. It's not fair to make Mr. Moon wait until he's starving to eat supper. And I really don't have much to say today anyway. All is well except for the fox and hens situation. 

I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully with something more interesting to relate. 

Until then...

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, August 21, 2022

A Very Gentle Sunday

As Dorothy Anne has become more comfortable here, I have introduced her to Zippy, my dear and darling vintage chimp. Did any of you have a Zippy? I had one as a child and he got lost somewhere and I do believe the first thing I ever did on eBay was to search for his brother. And eventually, I found him. There were many variations of Zippy but I wanted and needed to find the exact same one I'd had and eventually, I did. I bought him and have loved him ever since. I let the children play with him gently and in my presence but they do not understand my deep emotional connection with him. He generally lives on the mantlepiece in my bedroom, always keeping watch. I let him tend to a little monkey-sock doll that Lily made me as a child that I also adore and cherish. So yesterday, when I unwrapped Dorothy Anne from her swaddling blanket in which she sleeps every night (I am not kidding you) and kissed her good morning and had a few words with her, I put her on the bed after I'd made it and brought Zippy down to sit with her. 
I think they enjoy each other's company. And don't you think that Dorothy Anne is looking much more content and happy these days? 
I do. 
Yesterday while we were eating our picnic at the beach, August asked me why I bought a doll. I thought about it for a few seconds and said, "Well, I guess because I don't have any more babies to take care of." 
"You have Mommy!" he said. "And us."
Oh, that sweet wise boy. 
But as I told him, neither Mommy nor he nor Levon are babies anymore. I will never stop taking care of him and his brother and his mama but I do love babies. 

I laugh at myself every night when I wrap Dorothy Anne up in her flannel blanket and kiss her good-night and I laugh at myself every morning when I unswaddle her, kiss her good morning and carefully place her on the pillows sitting up so that her eyes will be open to the daylight. Yes, I am being so silly and no, I am not obsessed with her nor do I think she is a real baby but she has triggered something in my heart, perhaps my childhood heart, that so needs something so obviously in need of tender love. 
And I am most grateful that my husband does not laugh at me but goes along with my strange little quirk in this matter. Today I told him that the little sock monkey was the love child of Dorothy Anne and Zippy and he laughed with me. 

Mr. Moon and I are in a very sweet place right now. A long time love takes on a life of its own, doesn't it? I've always said that sometimes the tide is in and sometimes the tide is out and I think that's true although I've never once entertained the thought of voluntarily separating from this man, even during some of the very low-tide moments. And of course we've had them. Not so many, but a few. However, from the very beginning, I knew that his love for me and his acceptance and welcoming of my love for him was something precious. 
Is precious. More so all the time, I think. Something to handle tenderly and respectfully and with plenty of kisses. 
And lately I've just felt more and more in love with him in all ways and I know how lucky that makes me. We are loving, we make each other laugh, we support each other whether it's me and Dorothy Anne or my blog, or him and his Camaro or his motorcycle or his hunting trips or his fishing...

You understand. 

We understand. Another thing I realized a long time ago and I have said it before, is that although we may not understand all of each other's interests and passions, we understand that those interests and passions are of great importance to us and that is all that matters, I think. 
And maybe it all boils down to this- we both want the other to be happy. 

Well, as usual, that was not what I thought I'd be writing about when I sat down here this evening. My writing process is a mystery to me but it works. For me. 

Do you want to see something pretty? 

That's what the inside of the empty shell of one our green eggs looks like. I cracked the egg into a bowl this morning to cook for our breakfast and the intensity of the color made me stop and really look and take it in. Is there anything more perfect than an egg? A beautiful vessel of life. 

It just poured rain again, but not for too long. It started as I sat down to write and it has almost ended now. 

It is hard to get a good picture of rain, just as it is hard to define what love is, what a marriage is, what a heart needs and wants. Doesn't mean we can't try, though.

At least that's what I think. At least, that's what I've learned. 

Love...Ms. Moon