Monday, October 31, 2022

Here And Now, There And Then

 It's Halloween and there you have the requisite picture of a child in a costume. In this case, of course, the child is fairly well grown up but she sure is cute. Do you not love the cat tattoo? It's a fake but I like it so much I'd get a real one like that. It would like great on my crepey old chest, wouldn't it? Crepey AND creepy. 

It's been an okay day and I did take a pretty good walk and I also had a nice conversation with a neighbor who was two when we moved here and is now twenty which is hard to believe but yes. We were talking about whether our old houses are haunted or not (she lives in a house that is slightly older than mine) and she told me that she doesn't really think it's haunted but that she does not leave her room after three a.m., even if she has to pee. "I'm not superstitious," she said. "But I'm a little bit stitious." 
I loved that. 

I seriously doubt we'll get any trick-or-treaters. If we do I guess I'll have to give them a shot of tequila or something. Not only are there no children in my immediate neighborhood but due to the palm trees in my front yard it's not easy to get to my front porch under the best of circumstances. I haven't costumed for Halloween in eons but I do keep thinking about August suggesting that I should try and be "pretty" for Halloween. This truly does crack me up. It sort of reminds me of when he was a tiny boy and got so upset because the underneath of my stove's range hood was filthy that I had to clean it for him. Perhaps he believes that as with the range hood, some hard work and the application of magical potions might make me much more presentable. 
I love that child.

On Thursday I'll be leaving Lloyd to go to St. George Island where I'll be staying with my nursing school darlings. We did this last year after not being together for many, many years, and it was so wonderful we're doing it again. Of course, me being me, I am going through all sorts of anxiety about everything involved although I do know, because of last year, that it will end up being fabulous and wonderful and a tonic and a joy to my soul to see those women. And we'll be at the beach which is never a bad thing. For tonight's supper I have made one of Mr. Moon's favorites- white bean and venison chili- and there will be enough left over for him to eat a few times while I'm gone. 

So. I'm pondering how to go on with this story. What in hell am I attempting to do here? To just tell it in order for it not to be forgotten? 
And I wonder if I AM A NARCISSIST! It is one of my greatest fears to discover that I am and I think I have some of the traits. Is wanting to tell my story one of those traits? Are all memoirists narcissists? 
Let's try not to get too into the weeds with this. I mean- all bloggers feel that we have something important enough to say that we need to send it out into the world. And Instagramers? And Tik-Tok folks? And podcasters? Do we not live in a world built for narcissists? 

I have no idea. 

And I just deleted several paragraphs of more of the story because I am not in the state of mind at this moment to be able to determine what is too much and what is not enough. 
Perhaps I should just write all of this as a completely separate thing, not on a blog. Or at least, not on Blessourhearts. 
I have to think about this. 
What I was writing about tonight were the friends I had left behind in Winter Haven where I lived from about 1965-1972. Sixth grade through high school. Those are, of course, incredibly formative years and I have some amazingly wonderful memories of those years and I have some devastatingly horrible memories of those years but throughout the high school years, especially the later ones, I had friends whom I loved so very much. We were all broken toys as the saying goes and all too weird and strange and probably intelligent to fit into the groove of high school life and we supported and loved each other. 
We were in fact, each others' ride-or-dies in the most literal sense. 
It's lucky we lived and didn't die for the most part but as with almost all humans, we needed and craved and longed for a community of our own, for love, for acceptance. 
And in each other, we had that. 

There was also a boy (there is always a boy) whom I loved and who broke my heart and the girl he broke it with whom I had thought was my friend. 

And so a great part of my depression in Denver came from missing that family of broken toys so very much, and from grieving the love I'd thought I had with a boy who told me he loved me only to find out that he didn't. 
Oh Lord- such ridiculous normal-life, teen-aged treacle. 

More later, one way or another. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Another picture. 

How I wish that I could have seen that all those years ago and been told- this will be how it goes, eventually. Take heart. You will be loved. You will love again more than you could ever have imagined.

I probably would not have believed it. 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Cake And Story Continuation

First off- let me say that the cake I made yesterday might possibly be the best cake I ever made. And I have made a lot of cakes. It is dense and incredibly moist and yet not heavy. Probably half of it has been eaten already but it's not only Glen and I who have had a piece. He had a little duck snack-stick making party here in the garage today with two of the guys he went hunting with and they both got a piece of cake too. 
What are snack sticks, you may ask? And are they really made with duck meat?
It would appear that they are. Snack sticks are like, well, sticks of processed meat that you can eat for snacks. I assume. I am not a consumer of snack sticks. They are smoked after the meat is all ground up and spiced and mixed together and stuffed into casings. So like little sausages you don't have to cook. 

So. Should I continue on with my tale of how and why I got to Tallahassee in 1974? I feel a bit shy when it comes to these things. But I didn't do a damn thing of interest today and I have to write about something or else the world will come shuddering to an end and I would hate to be responsible for that. 
And I know I have told pieces of these stories before. So for you very, very long-time readers (thank-you!) some of this may sound familiar. 

As I said, I was attending college in Denver. University of Denver. I was vastly and hugely unhappy. I was going through my first major bout of depression although I did not know that's what it was. There were some good things in my life. For awhile I had a roommate whom I did adore even though we were as different as chalk and cheese. She was a wise-before-her-time Long Island chick who'd been doing drugs since Jr. High, wore lots of eyeliner and turned me onto Laura Nyro. Her father was a psychiatrist, her mother was an art therapist and possible witch. And this girl knew everything that I did not. I had a guy friend whom I adored but I think he was sort of in love with me and here I was- depressed, and he was depressed because I didn't love him the way he wanted to be loved by me and that got to be a bit of a mess. I volunteered at a place called the Open Clinic where people could call or walk in to get help with just about anything but mostly drug-related situations and I made some friends there. I remember these people although I have to admit it was mostly the men I recall. The guy who wore one earring. The skinny uber-intelligent guy whom I had a huge crush on even though he had a girlfriend and my love did not go entirely unrequited. The beautiful boy named Luke who is still as mysterious in my memory as he was when I knew him. The women intimidated me. They all seemed so much cooler and groovier and undoubtably skinnier than I was in their low, low-waisted bell bottom jeans. 
I had a lot of very interesting experiences, working at the Open Clinic. We worked first aid at concerts too and I got to see some good music including Carole King at Red Rock. I saw The Eagles and Jethro Tull. I saw Joe Walsh and I don't even remember who all. Most of our first aid efforts were directed more to tequila than drugs. Not that tequila isn't a drug because of course it is but it was legal. We worked hand-in-hand with fire rescue and they were the guys who got to give oxygen to the performers who were in no way prepared for the thin air at that elevation. I have a very clear image in my mind of Ian Anderson, the lead singer/flautist for Jethro Tull backstage, leaning over with his hands on his legs, gasping for breath. He was fine, just winded. 

I was having my own drug experiences. Mostly pot and a little peyote here and there. I got drunk on tequila a time or two and decided that wasn't a very good idea. I did acid a few times. I loved getting stoned and I loved the psychedelics. I was a very wounded bird, coming from what I now realize was a horribly dysfunctional family, unsure, to say the least, about my place in the universe and somehow, acid and peyote gave me a sense of deserving to be here. Of the knowledge that all is one with far more genuineness than reading anything Ram Das ever wrote which I craved because everyone I knew seemed to be more experienced than I was at everything, seemed to know all the things I did not. One thing I was good at though, was cooking and that got me some acclaim with the boys, at least. We could all be so stoned that the idea of even getting up out of a chair seemed impossible and yet at the same time, suffering desperately with the munchies and I could somehow manage to get up, find my way to a kitchen where I'd never been before, and make something edible out of whatever random ingredients I could find there which amazed and astounded everyone. 
I remember one boy, his name was Bruce Perlstein, and he would come over to my apartment and I would make bread for him, and soup, and he would ask me to marry him and I would laugh. I had become a vegetarian, of course, under the influence of Hanuman's Conscious Cookery Restaurant where the most blissed-out servers in the world who wore all white, including turbans, served up steaming hot pots of peppermint tea and individual dishes of mung bean casserole which lay under bubbling blankets of cheese that was probably made from the milk of holy goats blessed by the Dalai Lama. The bread was thick and dark and as far from the white bread I grew up on as a Bud Lite is from a craft IPA. 
I saw Allen Ginsberg there one night. Even I knew who Allen Ginsberg was. Even this plump little dumpling of a southern girl knew who Allen Ginsberg was. 
And I was amazed. 

And I think that's all I want to write tonight. 
I have supper to make. I've barely spent any time today with my sweet man as he was in the garage, making snack sticks. 
I've already made up a skillet spanakopita that just has to go into the oven to bake but I need to make up a nice thick, sherry-flavored white sauce to cover some snapper to also bake. 

Let me know what you think about this journey I'm relating. Is it interesting at all or is it like listening to someone else's dreams? As Yoko Ono once said, and which I have quoted many times, "Everyone has a story to tell."

Well. This is part of mine. Whether or not it's worth telling is...another story? 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 29, 2022

How Not To Tell A Story

I'm blaming the weather on that cake which is, by the way, an apple spice cake with a caramel frosting. 

The weather which has been coolish and overcast and humid all day long. It has looked like we might get some rain and felt as if we might get some rain but there is no rain. The radar shows some good rain to the west of us but it's probably not going to get any closer than Mobile, Alabama. 
Every time I think of Mobile I remember the time I drove through it when I was nineteen years old. I was on my way to Tallahassee from Denver, Colorado in a forest green Ford Capri which held all of my worldly possessions including a rocking chair, a pressure cooker, my books, my stereo and albums, and two parakeets in a cage. I was not just on a joy ride, y'all. I was making my escape. It was a last gasp from a severely depressed young human to try and bring herself back to life. Denver, where I had been attending college until I dropped out, was not for me. I have told this story before. Being eighteen when I moved there, I had not slightest idea what I needed and wanted to live an authentic life but it turned out that mountains, few trees, and no large bodies of water were not on the list. Neither was a college where many, many of the students were rich kids who chose Denver because they love to ski. I, of course, had only ever been on waterskis which, if you grew up in Winter Haven, Florida, home of Cypress Gardens, City of 100 Lakes, you most definitely had been. Hell, I barely knew what snow was! 
Anyway, okay. So I won't go into the part about living with the drug dealer or the reason I moved to Tallahassee but I packed up the aforementioned Capri with the aforementioned items and pulled out of the drug dealer's driveway about three days before he got busted and headed south and then east. When I got to Mobile I smoked part of a joint right before I got to the city and it was a most pleasurable experience, driving stoned through the insane five o'clock traffic. 
I'd die now if I tried that.

Good Lord! What in hell was I talking about? 
And no, I am not stoned. At all. 
Oh yeah. Okay. The weather which led to the rain getting only to Mobile which lead to that whole other story but I still haven't gone into the connection of it being overcast and humid with cake baking. 

I've been in a rather flat mood today. BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER? 
So I've just done little domestic chores and listened to podcasts and texted with a friend. I've been wondering what to do with a surplus of apples in my kitchen. Mr. Moon brought home apples that had been bought for the road trip and hadn't been eaten and also apples that had been in his bag lunch every day while hunting and I already had apples. So. Yes. Lots of apples. Last night we had Waldorf Salad but there were still too many apples. Not enough to make apple butter and can it but a lot. So today in my sort of lost and languid mood, I decided to make a spiced apple cake and so I did and there you have it. It has five apples in it that I ran through the food processor along with fresh ginger and cinnamon and nutmeg and molasses and brown sugar and raisins and pecans, and the icing is butter, brown sugar, and confectioners' sugar. 

So that is my story for today. I did of course get to Tallahassee when I was nineteen and I've never left except to move to the boonies of Lloyd which is just a shoulder-flick off the east side of the town. I never truly meant to stay here but once I started having children my roots got stronger and longer and now with the grandchildren all here I could not leave if I wanted to. 

I never, ever miss Denver, not one tiny bit, and I think that the drug dealer is dead. He was a sweet guy, really. He was a businessman who loved drugs and the Grateful Dead. I went skiing one time and almost fell off the mountain which I was assured could not happen. I went rock climbing once and promised a deity I did not believe in that if I ever got down safe, I would never rock climb again. So far, that bargain has been kept. There were a few good things I experienced from my time in Denver and I do honor and appreciate those. But overall, I now know without a doubt that I am a southern woman who needs to be surrounded by southern things. 

And as I have stated before- I still have that rocking chair. It is a beauty. And unlike the parakeets and the drug dealer, it will outlive me. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 28, 2022

There Will Be Blood And A Spirit In The Sky

 The Happy Couple

Twice in two days now I've not had time to answer comments which I am not comfortable with. But sometimes it happens. I got home a few minutes ago from town where it was Levon and August pick-up day. 
But before I get into that, let me show you these pictures from last night. 

When August walked in the door he announced that he had another wiggly tooth and did I have a paper towel because he wanted to pull it. He's lost three teeth now in a short amount of time. His dad pulled his first one, and he pulled the second one and he was determined to pull this one too. He made many attempts as you can see from the little toothy blood prints all over the paper towel. Jessie and I, who both graduated from four-year nursing school programs were being squeamish about it and advised him to just wait a day as it wasn't coming out easily. 
"No way!" he said. "Now when it's this wiggly."
And then he did it and he got the requisite warm salt water to rinse it with and then he looked like this. 

Mr. Snaggle Tooth! He was deservedly proud. 

Glen and Vergil got the whatever-it-was-they-needed-to-do done on the Camaro which started right up again and they came in the kitchen, happy and hooting. Well, Mr. Moon was hooting. Vergil was mostly just smiling. 
Shots of bourbon were consumed in celebration.
Jessie gave the boys their showers and put them in their pajamas while I cooked the dumplings and then we all sat down to eat. 

Happy, happy, happy. 
It was about at this point though that August and Levon began to hit their wild-phase of the evening. The combination of being tired and doing something different and exciting on a SCHOOL NIGHT overcame them and after supper they were bundled off into their car seats and driven home to sleep. 

When I picked up Levon at school today he said, "This is so silly!" 
"What's silly?" I asked him. 
"Seeing you today when I just saw you!"
"It is silly," I said. "Yet here we are."

We went to Lily's Publix and got to see her and I bought a few things I needed and got a sandwich and then Levon and I went to the library on that side of town where there's a cool little playground. Levon did all the stuff

while I ate my sandwich and then we went into the library where we both picked out some books. He helped me check them out with the self-check out and while we were doing that, we looked up to see my ex's wife who laughed and said, "We were just talking about you!" They've been in Vermont all summer and it's been a coon's age since I saw them even before that so it was nice to see her and we did a quick news-exchange. When we left the library, there was the ex too, who was waiting on his wife and it was good to see him. 

When Levon and I got back to his house, we read a few books and then I let him watch some horrible fifteen minute super hero thing on Youtube and then we went to get August. 
Now, Mr. Moon had told me that when he was on his four thousand mile road trip, they had listened to a whole lot of seventies music and that he'd really enjoyed it. So today in the car I turned on the radio to the oldies station and Levon and I both enjoyed that. I asked him at one point if it was too loud in the back and he said that no, it was too not loud enough. 
That's my boy. 
We heard Martha and the Vandellas and the Righteous Brothers and Norman Greenbaum and Barry White and Chuck Berry and the Mama's and the Papa's. Also, Jumping Jack Flash by the Rolling Stones. 
We were rocking out there in the old Prius. 
And hey- Jerry Lee Lewis, aka The Killer, died. Honestly, I had no idea he was still alive. What the hell? He was eighty-seven which is a mighty age for someone who lived his youth the way he did. 
Here is my opinion about Jerry Lee Lewis: If you took Richard Penniman, aka Little Richard, made him straight, white, and one quarter as talented, you would have Jerry Lee Lewis. 
And that is still quite a bit of talent. 
Of course, Little Richard was never suspected of killing a wife but that's a whole other story. 

Lily has sent out pictures today of her kids in Halloween get-ups. 
Here's Maggie with ghost buns. 

How cute is that? 
And from this evening where they are at a school sponsored outdoor Trunk or Treat Movie evening:

Maggie's costume seems somewhat self-explanatory but I was at a loss about Gibson's. Lily said that he is some sort of anime character to which I replied, "I have no knowledge of these beings." 

I have bought no pumpkins to carve, no candy to give out. Let people believe that my house is haunted as it is and as such, should not be approached for mortal treats. 
I definitely would not be adverse to handing out candy- it's just that no one has stopped by here in years and if I buy a bag of Reese's miniatures, they are only going to be consumed by me and the man. 
Which is not really so bad. But. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Doing Our Best

This is truly how blue the sky has been here lately. No filters, no nothing. 

We got a tiny bit of rain two nights ago and last night the temperature dropped again but only down to the high forties, low fifties. It's been nice today. The kind of day where if you see a couple on a Harley Trike you think, "Eh, that doesn't look bad."
Okay. That's probably just me. But we did see a Harley trike today and I did think that. 

After my walk Mr. Moon and I went to Monticello to get our voting out of the way. Just seeing names like "DeSantis" and "Marco Rubio" on the ballot should have taken my appetite away but they just added to my overall feelings of constant despair. 
Well. We did what we could do. 
And then we went to the Mexican restaurant where we ate a very fine lunch. 
Monticello is really getting classed-up these days. The old buildings downtown are being painted and they look so cheerful and optimistic. New businesses are moving in and there are plantings with flowers and shrubs that weren't there before. I should know more about what's going on in Monticello and I guess I could buy the weekly newspaper to try and keep up a little bit. 
They sell it at the GDDG, I noticed the other day. 

I've got a chicken cooked and deboned in broth with carrots and celery and green beans and garlic and onions and sage and thyme, ready to heat back up to put dumplings in. Jessie and Vergil are coming out with the boys in a little while. Mr. Moon needs some help with a mechanical/technological issue and Vergil is going to try and fill that role. Mr. Moon is a fantastic mechanic but newer cars have entire computer situations going on that require knowledge that's a little out of his wheelhouse. This is for the Camaro he's Frankensteined out of two different Camaro's. He's got it running but every light on the dash is lit up and it's a ways from being entirely ALIVE. I think of it as the delicate and essential nervous system of the car that absolutely must be all connected and running correctly for everything to work together. 
That's my completely ignorant interpretation, anyway. 

I don't think they've needed the overflow parking lot yet for the My G-Word Soul Boutique. I've not seen one car there except for the owner's since opening day. I'm sure there have been some, I just haven't seen any. The Dollar General never even has enough cars to halfway fill up their lot and they sell things people need and use. 
But you know- they are clearing land all over the place around here so I suppose these early businesses are just the sign of things to come. 

Here's a nice picture of Lucky. 

He's got some of his daddy's gleaming golden feathers but he's got some colors of his own, too. I wonder who his mama was. He's still growing tail feathers and is not entirely mature yet. His crow is sounding pretty authentic but I haven't seen him jump on Grace yet. She's still recovering from her molt but is looking better every day. I hope that when he reaches true adulthood he doesn't kill her with his love. If a rooster has many brides, he can sort of spread it around but if he only has one, it can be difficult for the hen. Polygamy makes sense when it comes to chickens. This couple stays within close range of each other all day long and share a roost in the hen house at night. They are their own flock. 
I knock wood and do not even want to mention the fact that they are still alive. 
I sure am glad they are though. 

And that's it from Lloyd today. A tiny green anole skittered across the porch this afternoon and I took its picture. 

Little lizard, large sweet potato. It is way overtime for me to bag those sweet potatoes up and put them in a dark place. Maybe tomorrow. 

I'm sorry that I'm sort of low-energy today. That's just the way it is. I'm a little tired and the bed will feel good when I get there. Meanwhile, it'll be sweet to see the boys and their mom and dad and feed them them food I know they like. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Well, the sweetness just kept on coming last night. While I was in the middle of making grits and baking stewed tomatoes and making salad and frying fish, the man came in with those flowers that he'd stashed earlier. And then he gave me the most romantic card AND a beautiful ring with three rubies and four tiny diamonds in it. And he'd already given me a pair of tiny gold hoops with rubies when we were in Roseland, pre-celebrating. 

I was so overwhelmed. Completely. When he was up in Tennessee for his high school reunion, he stayed with his cousin and her husband who is a jeweler and he bought my treasures then. I was almost mad at him for getting me all of these beautiful and meaningful things because, as I told him, "I only made you a dessert!" 
He was happy that I was happy. And he liked the dessert okay.
I woke up this morning and looked at my ring again and just thought, "Jesus. How lucky can I be?"
And it's not just that it's jewelry which, despite my overalls and the dirt under my fingernails, I do still love. Of course now when I get something new I think, "Which daughter will get this when I die?" I mean- it's an extremely valid question and I need to truly start thinking about this. I have three daughters, a granddaughter, and a good-as daughter-in-law. I suppose we should have a little party sometime and they can all give me their opinion on their favorites. 
I believe that a moderate amount of liquor consumption might be helpful in such an endeavor. Well, except for Maggie who won't be getting any. 

Anyway, that's a thought. 

We slept well last night and we confessed this morning that we'd both reached across the bed at some point to make sure that the other was there. He said that his thought was, "There's a woman in my bed!" which I find hysterical. He'd been afraid that he'd wake up at four and not be able to get back to sleep because he's been getting up so early to go hunt but instead, he did not get out of bed until eight which is late for him under any circumstances. 
Nothing like our own beds, is there?

I got my ass out and walked this morning. The last two times I've seen No Man Lord and offered greetings, he has completely ignored me. I am not offended in the least. He is a man unto himself and he owes me nothing. Who am I to him? Nothing and nor do I deserve to be. 

Greetings around here are unique to our geography and custom.  People in cars will give me the one-hand-up salute, and I return it. I know that those people live around here, even if I do not recognize them. Yesterday at the post office I saw a man I recognize from down the road and we chatted for a moment. He said, "I didn't see you walking today."
I am well observed here in Lloyd. We know each other's habits and usual paths. I remember when we first moved here and I started walking, people would stop their vehicles to ask if I needed a ride. I would always politely thank them and explain that no, I was just out for a walk which was mystifying to many. Now they know me. They know where I live and how many cars are in the yard. They know I have chickens. They know my husband by sight. And in many ways I don't just feel observed, I feel watched over. 
It is a comfort. 

I haven't done a whole lot today. I mended a pair of Mr. Moon's pants and also put new hardware on an overall strap of his. This required getting out the sewing machine and I decided that since I had not done it for awhile, I would oil and lube my old machine. This required getting out the manual that came with the machine which I hold to be one of the finest books of direction ever printed. 

I think it is as invaluable to the operation of this machine as the electric plug is. Which, by the way, the manual tells you how to correctly use. In good, plain written language with illustrations. 
Here are some of the places to put a drop of oil to ensure the proper running of the machine. 

There is a wee screwdriver, perfectly crafted to fit the screws that must be removed to get to the pertinent places. I feel an inordinate sense of pride that I still have this beautiful little piece of pragmatic and useful art.

I believe that tool will survive the apocalypse. The sewing machine may as well. The manual? Probably not. 

So I did that and I watered porch plants and I finished up the hunting laundry and I picked the greens for tonight's salad and I made a loaf of bread. Well, it's not done yet. It is still rising. I asked Mr. Moon what he wanted for supper and he said, "clam spaghetti" which is one of his favorites and one of the easiest things in the world to make so clam spaghetti it shall be. 

Lucky and Grace have had another good day in the yard. My heart is so happy to see them out doing chicken things.

Please forgive the mixed alignment style. Blogger is insisting that the paragraph above this one needs to be centered. Also, it does not want me to add a title to this post. 


Whatever. It's nothing in the grand scheme of things. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Maurice's Boy Friend Is Back. So Is My Sweetheart

 I made a quick run to Publix this morning to get a few things I couldn't get at Costco yesterday. While I was rushing through the store I felt a little giddy- my man is coming home! What would he like to eat? 
We had talked already this morning on the phone. He called to let me know that he was in Bainbridge, Georgia (I got married there once!) and would be home pretty soon. He told me that he would gladly take me out for our anniversary but I told him that no, I wanted very much to make him a supper. 

When I came home and unloaded everything, I went to the garage where the frozen fish is and chose a nice piece of red grouper to thaw. I knew he had not had any fish while he was gone up North where the lady on the tractor was making his meals. And then I searched the NYT's cooking app for a recipe for some dessert that included chocolate and coconut and ended up deciding on a Chocolate Coconut Pecan tart and that is in the oven now. 
I have no tart pan so it's going to be more pie-like, I think. I hope it will be very good. 

He got home in the early afternoon and it was so sweet. We just clung to each other. We chattered and I helped him unload his car. The laundry room is full of camo-wear and the bed in the guest room is covered in things he needs to put away. Maurice was as glad to see him as I was, I think. She has missed him so. Every time she crosses paths with me she has looked at me like, "Why aren't you the one who left? You are no good to me. You do not bring me joy."
At least, that is how I translate her looks. 
But when I went outside to collect the laundry I'd done earlier off the line she did follow me, or at least appeared out of nowhere, as she always does when I'm doing anything outside. In these situations she always seems to be saying, "Oh, hey. Didn't know you were here. I was just passing by. Don't worry. I'm not looking at you. Just going to lay here and doze for a minute. Carry on." 
I am a master at cat communication. 

And now the man is back in his chair, resting up after his adventure. We have had a lovely afternoon. Martini glasses are in the freezer, the fish is thawed, the salad greens are picked, the tart-pie is about ready to come out of the oven. I am afraid that it is going to be too decadent to eat. A dish that small should not contain two sticks of butter and yet, this one does. As Truvie says in Steel Magnolias after giving her recipe for peach cobbler, "And I put ice cream on it to cut the sweet." 
I should have gotten some ice cream. Or made some. 

And so here we are, wed thirty-eight years ago today. On that day we went to a park in Tallahassee with as many friends and relatives as we could inform about the wedding in the four days in which we planned it. He rented a suit and wore new Nikes. I wore a Gunne-Sax dress of white dotted Swiss. A woman lawyer friend of Glen's married us under some beautiful huge oak trees and Bill Wharton showed up and played Cadillac of a Woman. 
My nursing school girls had figured out flowers and cake. 
It was perfect. 
The kind of perfect our marriage has been which is to say- Full of so much hope and imperfection and beauty and homemade effort and love and joy and a good dash of oh my god what are we doing? 

It's worked out quite well. And now I am going to go cook some fish he caught and kiss him again and again. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 24, 2022

Freedom Isn't Free, Even For Chickens

Well, I did it. This morning I opened the door of the hen house and before I could even say, "Come on out, y'all!" they were sashaying themselves into the wild world again. 
Oh god. It's such beautiful sight to see them in the yard, scratching busily all day, their feathers glowing in the sun. Living a life in a coop is not a life at all and I am just hoping with all of my heart that they stay in the part of the yard away from the fox den and keep safe. I can't begin to tell you how soothing and joyful it is for me to see them going about their chicken business. I hope they live long and prosper but if they don't live long, at least I will know that the life they have led was a happy one. 

I felt so weird this morning. I tried, as one does, to figure out why I was really, really anxious. If I had to use words to describe how I felt it would be shaky and quaky. And yes, I did indeed have some anxiety triggers. Going to town, even for just a simple shopping and getting a massage can be a trigger for me. Mr. Moon coming home- another possible one. Will he still love me? Will I be able to readapt to having another person here? Can I refit my schedule back into "our" schedule? Will he even be glad to be home? 
So there was that but of course I knew that Mr. Moon coming home would be a lovely thing and that going to Costco and to get a massage was truly not anything to stress out about. 

And then, when I went to take my medications after breakfast, I had a strange feeling that I had not taken them yesterday and damn- I was right. The "Sunday" compartment of my pill container was still full. 
Ooh boy. 
This is a little scary. What if, for some reason, I suddenly have to come off of my meds? I heard an interview with Tina Fey and that very thing happened to her when she had some sort of medical problem requiring hospitalization. When she got home and was off her pain meds she went to a horrible spiral of depression and anxiety and flat-out feeling crazy. Her sister finally figured it out. Damn. 
So if the comet hits the earth and doesn't kill me but prevents my access to medications will I then go even crazier than one would go if the comet hit the earth? And also, you know- maybe die. Not all of my meds are for depression and anxiety.

That's a pretty extreme example but you know what I mean. 

Anyway, I took Sunday's meds and then I took a walk but it was late in the afternoon before I regained what I would call actual equilibrium. I guess I just need to do better about remembering to take the damn pills. This happened before, a few months ago. Hell, my mind, my body- it's all going. 

I feel about like this most of the time. 

I walked past the fally-down house on my walk and it is so slowly but so inevitably falling in on itself. 

My trip to town was fine and whatever residual effects of having skipped a day of medication was sent on its way under the hands of Nicole, the massage therapist. As I said yesterday, she doesn't do all over massage but works only on specific areas where you are having trouble. And some of that work can be...almost...painful but parts of it can feel wonderful. She is very, very good at asking about pain levels in relation to the pressure she is using. And she tells you what she is about to do and why. As her website says, "You are safe on my table." And I certainly feel that way. 

So. Back home for my last solo evening and sleep. I did not sleep well last night, possibly because of the skipped medications. But who knows? Jack did not start out sleeping with me but in the deepest part of the night he leapt on the bed and landed, quite remarkably, exactly between my hands which were positioned in such a way that that was possible. 
Did he do that on purpose? Or was it just a coincidence? Whatever, I indulged him, scratching his head and his back and it calmed me and we both fell asleep. 

My good, dear man will be in Montgomery, Alabama tonight and then drive on home tomorrow with his friend Jim and the two dogs, Cash and Teal. Lucky and Grace are already shut back up safely in the coop. They went to bed before the sun set, which is wise. 

I wish us all peace, good sleep and the ability to greet tomorrow with the knowledge that we are loved and that we love. 

As always...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 23, 2022

There Is A Lot Here

 I made a porch-necklace today. I guess that's what it is. For literal years, I have had a bowl of the small prisms which had come strung on wire that had rusted and broken and I've been planning to do something with them forever. Last night I decided to twist the wire out of them and run them through the dishwasher, which I did. And this morning I strung them along with the larger prism that had been in a bowl on the microwave for...years. 
It's silly. But I tell you what! If it was for sale at the MGWSB it would be one of the prettiest things there! 
God, I'm mean. 
But who can hate a prism? 

They make rainbows. 

Somehow this inspired me to clean the window of the doors at each end of the hallway. 

And then I decided, "That's enough of that nonsense."
Cleaning one small part of my house causes such despondence in me. There is absolutely no doubt that I have got to hire some professional cleaners to come and spend a WHOLE lot of time to really do what needs to be done. I can't even reach some of the places that desperately need cleaning. The ceilings, which mostly have mildew, are fourteen feet high. I think. Some of them, at least. And for some reason I have such an aversion to hiring cleaners which is ridiculous. I know that there are people who really enjoy cleaning for a living and I would not mind supporting them. It just feels like such a privileged and entitled thing to do. When I was growing up, it was absolutely not unusual for white women to hire a "maid" who would come in several times a week to clean and do laundry and the ironing. And even when I was a child, it felt weird to me. When the novel, "The Help" came out, I couldn't even bring myself to read it for a long time because I knew those women who toiled and labored and tended to white families and we even once lived in a house that had a fairly primitive bathroom tucked away in the garage which I came to realize later in life was probably built for the Black women who cleaned to use. 
This is the honest to god truth and another truth is that that bathroom with its sturdy wooden door that was built of thick planks and which had a securely screwed in hook and eye latch which I could fasten behind me, was the place I felt safest in that house because my stepfather could NOT get in when I was there, unlike my bedroom. 
Obviously, I have a lot of baggage around this issue. 

I feel very similarly about massages. I admire people who get them regularly. Anything that helps with pain and tension has to be a good thing. But. Do I deserve something that is yes, therapeutic, but which also feels so good?
And here we are with my therapist's question about my intrinsic need to suffer. 
Last week I started having a pain in the base of my neck which actually led over my skull, resulting in mild headaches. It was a knot, I suppose a tension knot of some sort, and even to the touch, that knot was tender. It still is. My back and neck are basically stone slabs, covered with flesh. So I did actually make an appointment with a masseuse that our family loves who does only area-specific massage. She has worked on me before. And even for this, I feel somewhat guilty. I mean- if I just did some fucking yoga, for example, I would not be having these problems. Or meditation! Or drinking tumeric tea or watching PT videos on Youtube and doing the exercises!  
But. I made the appointment and I am going tomorrow. 

Wait. What was I talking about? I have no idea. 
Cleaning, racism in the 50's and 60's, guilt, window washing, and of course- pains in the neck. 

I may be getting a little weird with all of this aloneness. 

I did a little outside work today too. I pruned and cleared around two rose bushes, one of them which was here when we moved in and one which Ellen sent me. As I always say, I know nothing about pruning roses but fortunately, the ones I have growing are practically wild and will gracefully tolerate almost any abuse. There is almost no time of year when these roses stop blooming so I just go at them when the spirit moves me and they are looking especially leggy. 

I also pulled some rooster lilies which bring me no pleasure and which I wish were not here. This is true for at least 50% of the plants in this yard. I would be lying if I said I got all the roots. 

There is a garden cart underneath there. 

One other thing I did today was to do a quick clean up in the hen house. The difference between having a dozen and a half chickens and two chickens is vast. And neither Lucky nor Grace sleep on a nest but up on boards that are part of the framing. 
Y'all- having just two chickens and keeping them in the coop is a source of deep sorrow for me. Grace hasn't laid an egg in well over a month. Lucky does crow, but rarely. 
They are not living their chicken lives the way they should be. 
I am seriously thinking of letting them run the yard and letting nature take its course because the life they are living is not much of a life at all. 

Ah well. Sundays. 

I've just watched this which made me smile and made me cry. 

Those sweet old boys. And how we miss the whimsical, mystical Charlie, the heartbeat, the secret sweet soul of the band. 

Off to heat up some split pea soup.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Bagel And Boutique Reports

My bed was so deliciously perfect in all regards this morning that I just laid there for at least twenty minutes after I woke up and luxuriated in the contrasting warmth beneath the duck and the sweet cold air coming in the window above my head. I don't think I turned over all night long. Jack wasn't even there to disturb me as far as I know, probably because of that open window. If he'd just get under the covers but no...

I did get up eventually. I mean- such a big day planned! Bagel-making and the opening of the My G-Word Soul Boutique! Shall we start calling it the MGWSB?  Perhaps. 
I started the bagels, following Rebecca's recipe. I decided to halve the recipe because six bagels would be a more appropriate amount to make than a dozen for a first try. And of course, there's only me here right now. It was a wise decision because there is definitely going to be a learning curve in this baking pursuit. All of the basics came together pretty well but I think that I may have put a little too much flour in the dough, preventing a superior rise. Also, I made the holes too big which flattened them out, too. 
Next time I'll do better. 
But the good news is is that they are delicious and that's the truth. 

I ate one right away with butter, having not prepared appropriately by purchasing cream cheese. Oh well. Butter is, if not better, at least almost as good. 

That project took almost all day but during one of the rises, I walked down to the new boutique. I took the picture at the top and didn't know whether to laugh or give the lady props for her optimism. At that point, at least, there was no need for overflow parking. 

When I walked in, there were two ladies at the counter, speaking with the owner. They were young women and I would describe them as hippie-wanna-be's. Maybe. One of them was going on and on and on about how happy she was to find a shop that sold things like this and was there any tea tree oil because she'd heard that tea tree oil is good for many things, including healing piercings. Or was it tattoos? I don't know. One of those. 
You get the picture. 

Speaking of pictures, here are two that I took surreptitiously. 

There were some things on shelves. Not a whole lot of things but some. There was a rack with a few items of clothing and there were a few Guatemalan bags. The items on the shelves ranged from home made soap that the owner makes to sage bundles to plaster things to a few candles, some cone incense and accompanying burners, crocheted pot holders and knitted caps. 
There was one Indian print bedspread that I really considered buying but I was not fond of the pattern or colors. So, no. 
A guy came in who recognized me. "Are you Hank's mama?"
This is how I am identified frequently. 
We chatted for awhile. He's a sweetie. 
And a few other people came in while I was there. A lot of us have been curious, I think, to see what the place would look like. 
The owner whose G-Word Soul informs the merchandise is retired from her job and has been wanting to open her own little place so yes, this is her dream. She wants to support local artisans by bringing their work in. The young hippieish woman was thrilled by this news. She herself makes...uh, something. Some paintings, maybe? I do know she said that she has a very hippie/boho/western style. 

I bought a bar of soap because I HAD to buy something. I am not sure what the scent of it is. If I had to guess, I would say...patchouli? It makes me sneeze. But I will enjoy using it. It is hemp soap. 
I wished the lady good luck. And I do! 
I can see her vision and it is laudable. I am just very unsure why her stock is so limited. She spoke several times about how although the shop is so small, it took SO much time and work to get it open. I looked around and couldn't figure out why. It is tiny. And the shelves are so empty. But she is probably starting on a shoestring and is hoping to be able to build up and buy more products and find artists who are interested in selling their wares there. 

After I made my tiny purchase, I walked home under the oaks and my neighbor's sasangua. Another incredibly beautiful day. I've had all of the doors open to let in the good clear air, to invite the outside in. I do love these days when I can do that. I am lucky to live in a place where that's possible. 

My sweetheart is actually on his way home. They are staying in North Dakota tonight. Our anniversary is on Tuesday and perhaps he will be home in time for a martini and some kissing. Thirty-eight years this year. 
We are coming up on the time of year we met for real and began a whirlwind romance. A little less than a year later we were married, a year from that we had a one-month old baby girl named Lillian Rose Moon and he had already built a business to support our family and in many ways, the whirlwind has never ended. 
And may I say (blushingly) that the honeymoon hasn't either. 

I will stop now for all our sakes. 

Oh wait! I got the very best spam-bot comment today on an ancient post and it amused me so much. Here it is.

"Hmmm, is there something wrong with the images on this blog? At the end of the day, I try to figure out if this is a problem or a blog.
Any answers will be greatly appreciated."

Spam-Bot- you and me both. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 21, 2022


Another perfectly beautiful day. I took that picture on my way home from my walk. It's the church next door where they are gathering, as we speak, for the Friday service. I guess it's a service. It could just be a musical type of rehearsal because I always hear drums and voices. I hasten to assure you that the church is not crooked- that was just my camera angle. 
The oak tree you see in the back is actually growing in my back yard. As I have said before, the lot we own is weirdly shaped. It's like a T with the arms outstretched behind us. We own the land behind the church and the house next door to the east of us. Supposedly, the man who built this house wanted to have as much property on the railroad tracks as possible because that was the big, new technology and...well. I have no idea. I have lived quite close to railroad tracks several times in my life. In Roseland, the tracks went a little ways through the woods by our house and I lived in an apartment in Tallahassee which was even closer to the train. And now, we are even closer than that and the trains do still run several times a day but even though they shake the house a little, we hardly notice them and they never wake us up at night. 
Funny how the brain can learn what is important to pay attention to and what it is appropriate to simply ignore. 

Once again I peeked into the My G-word Soul Boutique when I went to the post office today, expecting great activity due to tomorrow's much-heralded (on the two, now-curling, bright hot pink poster boards displayed on power poles) opening, but was quite shocked to see that nothing much seems to have changed. In fact, the shelves are almost entirely empty! WTF?
Even the little pots of succulents which were set on the window sills months ago seem to be dying. This does not bode well, does it? There was a table set up with what appeared to be a few possibly vintage serving dishes in front of one of the windows and another table with a large display of previously mentioned essential oils in their tiny bottles. Those have definitely been there long enough to collect dust. So I do not know what is happening. I will go and check out the situation tomorrow afternoon and see what there is to see. 
I am curious, of course, and in some strange, indescribable way, this all seems like such a Lloyd thing. 

I spent the day doing mostly what I said I would do yesterday. I took that walk, I potted up the dear carnation slips and repotted a small begonia. I washed the sheets and hung them on the line. I weeded a tiny bit in the garden and then didn't do a bit of yard work except to pull a few vines that were choking my wild azalea and collecting fallen branches and limbs and trundling them to the burn pile. I talked to Mr. Moon for quite a while on the phone. He is so happy being outside for sunrise and sunset, hanging out with guys and dogs. I love hearing that joy in his voice and I love that he wants to share that with me. He has sent me pictures of bison and a moose couple, the dogs, and some truly beautiful landscapes like this one. 

I reassure him that all is well here and it truly is. 

I sat down at the piano this afternoon for a little while and oh my god, my fingers, my brain are so uncoordinated and I play so very slowly, trying to just get the notes and chords right so that I can feel that harmonic sweetness reverberate in me and although I would die before I let anyone hear me, it makes me so happy to have this little bit of wonder in my life. 

Being alone allows me so much time to think my own thoughts, to pass my days within my own schedule. I think I am a very selfish old woman in some respects. For the past few days I have been listening to a book that our beloved poet and musician and baker and worshipper of the animal gods, Rebecca, recommended to me. 

Holy shit! This author absolutely has everything under control in such a smooth and silky way while telling a story of a family that is the farthest thing from smooth and silky that there can be. 
You know how I always judge an actor by whether or not I can see them acting? 
Jean Hanff Korelitz cannot be seen writing. It's as if the story just organically sprang from the ether. It is tight, the characters are fully and fascinatingly developed, and I only have two more hours of listening to go which makes me incredibly sad. Thank you, Rebecca. 

And also, because of Rebecca, I am going to try making bagels for the first time. She sent me pictures of bagels she had made and then, after I asked, the recipe. I had to order barley malt syrup online because she says it is the best for the recipe and I could not find it in Tallahassee. As in book recommendations, I trust Rebecca's recipes. I am looking forward to this. I've never made bagels in my life. 

I have split pea soup on the stove and a focaccia with cherry tomatoes in the oven.

Greens from the garden are in the refrigerator, washed and ready to be chopped and made into the most delicious thing you could possibly top a warm bread with. Jessie, Vergil and the boys stopped by here briefly so that they could collect a few things from their camper which is parked here to take on the camping trip they were embarking on. August, dressed so incredibly nattily in a pair of skinny jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and what appeared to be a suit vest, saw my focaccia rising with the tomatoes draining on kitchen towels to be placed on it before baking, and started talking about bruschetta which he loves so much that when he was a tiny boy, he called "Dream Land." 
I am not kidding you. 

We agreed that bread is the best thing ever, whether made into bruschetta, biscuits, focaccia or...sourdough. 
"That's the best. The kind that you make," he said. 
I swooned. 
When they were about to leave, Vergil said, "There's room for you! Want to join us?"
"Oh, no. But thank-you," I said. 
I need to learn to make bagels and finish listening to my book, play some more piano however badly, sleep on my clean line-dried sheets, and of course go to the opening of My G-Word Soul Boutique. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon