Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Day Tripper

Jessie and I met today at the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus Thrift Store. She's looking for a piece of furniture to go in her bathroom now that the diaper-changing table is long-since retired. It's a lovely, large bathroom and both of us are thinking that a chest of drawers would be a good thing. She could store towels in them and maybe the winter clothes. That sort of thing. And as I texted her, "The  Children's can surprise you." 
The real name, of course, is not the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus Thrift Store but the Lighthouse Children's Home. 
I think the name I gave it is much better and far more accurate. 

We did not find a chest of drawers and we discovered that whoever prices the merchandise has, as I said, lost their tiny little Christian minds. 
There was a lovely chair and I'm sure it is a fine chair in all regards but they wanted over two hundred dollars for it! I've never seen a chair at the Children's priced over thirty bucks. But then some things were priced the way they usually are, which is to say cheap. 
They were playing an album of some country music guy singing the old hymns for our shopping pleasure and I knew every one of them. Those things never leave our brains, do they? It was sort of annoying and sort of bizarre and sort of funny as my internal juke box set each one spinning along with the record. 
Alan Jackson? 
I have no idea. He sounded very familiar though. 

Ha! I just googled "Alan Jackson album of hymns" and I think I found it. "Precious Memories." 
Well, I'm sure those memories are precious to some. 

I had to take a picture of the jigsaw puzzle you see above. Who in the world would do that to themselves on purpose? Buy an "impossible" puzzle that comes with FIVE EXTRA PIECES! I would go insane. But I am sure that some puzzlers are so good at putting jigsaws together that they would jump at the chance. 
I did not. A fifty-piece child's jigsaw gives me plenty of challenge. 

Jessie ended up buying a pool filter which may or may not fit an above-ground pool they were given. It cost a dollar so whatever. She also got a pair of boots for Levon that he will either love or hate. They were stellar boots. I considered but passed up a very heavy, graceful glass pitcher that would have made an excellent vase and now I'm wishing I'd bought it. 
But I didn't. 

Then we went to lunch at a favorite seafood place which was fun and the food was good although they did forget the potato salad that goes in the Greek salad. I asked for some and they gave it to me so all was well. We discussed many things, my daughter and I, one of which is a podcast that we both listen to- Armchair Expert. We both agree that we would probably not be friends with the cohost in real life. 

And then she had to pick up Levon and I shopped at Costco and Publix where I got to visit with Lily in Aisle 11 where she was unboxing gluten-free bread to put into the freezer. It's not the best place in the world to have a conversation but it's not the worst, either. She told me that Gibson had told her the other night that he needed a poster board and a shirt that looked like what Michael Jorden would have worn when he played ball FOR TOMORROW! Of course. Lauren ended up doing the shirt for him and y'all- look at this:

She did it free-hand! 
Lauren's talents and kindnesses are uncountable. 

And why do children always wait until the last minute to inform their parents that they need five dozen donuts and a science project for school tomorrow? 


It's a universal problem, obviously. 

And that was my day. I am doing fine although mornings are still very rocky with my anxiety on high alert until I get through the existential morning angst with which I wake every day. 

Here's what the wisteria looks like now. 

And here's a picture of an extremely vivid pink azalea because flowers are pretty much the most exciting thing in my life at the moment. 

Which honestly, is all the excitement I really want. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 27, 2023

Not So Bad

Today has been a better day and how could it not have been, waking up to see the light pouring through that sort-of curtain? I got the yellow silk a million years ago from a sale bin in front of a Woolworth's in St. Petersburg. Florida. And the heavenly fabric over it is a silk scarf I got in a consignment shop once in Tallahassee. Together, they make me very happy. 

I did a few hours of weeding in the garden this afternoon and that was good for me. It has been in the low eighties but it was mostly overcast and breezy today and so I did not feel as if I would die of heatstroke. I also finally planted the Purple Haze camellia I bought weeks ago. The problem has been trying to figure out where to put it. The place I wanted to plant it was nixed by Mr. Moon as being too close to the house. Plants that touch the house cause continual dampness which leads to problems. And then it seemed like every other place I suggested was also a bad idea. Too close to the gas line. Too close to the generator. 
Hmmm...well. He's so practical. 

So I finally just dug up the camellia he'd planted a few years ago which had died, probably due to not getting enough water, and planted this one there. It's between two blueberry bushes which do not get enough sun but camellias like shade so as long as I keep it nice and hydrated, it has a chance. And we might actually get some blueberries this year because the few that always grew were plucked by the chickens who would do the most awkward flutter-hops to reach them with their clever beaks. 

The wisteria is already beginning to purple up. I tried to take a picture today but it did not turn out well so I edited it a tiny bit for light and color. 

I usually do not cheat my photos except for some cropping but sometimes, it is fun. Anyway, once the wisteria begins to bloom, you can practically watch the grape-like bunches of purple flowers appear, swell, and open so there will be more soon. 

The people who lived in the house before us built the trellis and planted the wisteria and that is one thing that they did which has my approval although due to the fact that we don't trim it enough, it has reached and twined itself into the lower branches of the pecan tree above it and tries desperately to grow up the roof of the house. Despite its springtime beauty, it is an invasive, just as the Bradford pears that grow in two rows in our back yard are. Mr. Moon has been saying that we need to take them out every year we've lived here. Today, in fact, he was standing in the yard looking at them and said, "It's now or never. I have to get rid of them. They'll be blooming any minute."
I know they provide us shade in the summers and their blooms are beautiful but they are a nuisance tree, eager to share their DNA with the native pear trees. The Bradfords do not fruit which is NOT what you are looking for in a pear tree. I suppose if we cut these down we could replant with the native sand pears but we'll probably be dead and gone by the time they provide shade. Of course my idea is to cut them, and then put in a pool. But that would require a screened enclosure because of all the other trees around the area. We would be trying to remove pecan and magnolia and live oak leaves constantly, not to mention the critters that would decide to take a swim and never get out. 
But oh, wouldn't the grandchildren love it? 
And wouldn't we? 

We had a pool in the last house we lived in. That house was far beyond my dreams in so many ways. It was a brick Colonial house, almost estate-like, centered on mostly bare lawn-covered acres with that pool in the back and it was a lovely pool and there was a huge screened-in back porch looking out on it. However, there were no trees around the house at all because the man who built it had worked for an insurance company and he was deathly afraid of trees falling on the house. 
Of course I planted a live oak and some olive trees and ripped out the boxwoods between the back porch and the pool and planted herbs and flowers and vegetables and palm trees and that was so lovely. It felt like a dream to have that pool. It still seems like one now.
But that house was never mine although it was a fine house. 
And this house is mine for as long as I can live here and I'm not sure I want to look out from the back porch and see a screened-in enclosure instead of the wild things I can see now. 

This weather is so weird. It looks like it's going to rain and yet, no rain is called for. It feels like it's going to rain with the wind kicking up...
It is raining. But just the merest sprinkle. 

All right. I've gone on long enough. Mr. Moon has gone to the last FSU basketball home game with Tom and already had his supper of left-over soup which is what I'll be having too. I feel at loose ends with nothing to cook. All of the laundry is folded and put away and as we all know, my routine is my routine and when it becomes disrupted, I just don't even know what to do. 

I suppose I'll figure it out. And the tiny sprinkle of rain has already passed us by. Wasn't enough to wet a frog's green head. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Dream Scrapes

Every year I post a picture of the bridal wreath spirea and this year is no exception. I never get tired of its ridiculously small, perfect bouquets that come together to form a blossom. And I really do think that this version of the iPhone's capture of the bloom is the best I've ever gotten. 

I hardly did a thing today except for the one thing I did do which was to survive. I woke up this morning with such an acute case of anxiety that I could barely function. I have not experienced anything this intense in a long time. 
Hello, panic, my old friend! 

I am not sure exactly what triggered it but the dreams I was having when I woke up had a lot to do with it, I'm sure. The main one was just another version of the I have children to take care of and my husband has left me dream. The most horrible thing about the dreams is that he does not show the slightest bit of remorse and shows no interest in having anything at all to do with me. 

I am quite sure that this sparks my old terror of abandonment. First I was abandoned by my father and later on in my life, a boyfriend whom I had thought would love me forever...did not. I was young and stupid and a mess and was looking for love so desperately. I thought I had found it in him at the age of seventeen. I had a tiny little Spanish style cabana picked out that I wanted us to live in. Friends of ours had found themselves pregnant and got married and lived in a little apartment and I was deeply jealous of them. 
Of course that didn't last and ironically, one of the women my boyfriend began seeing (naked) was the wife in that situation. 
We all know this story. 
And then my first husband did not comport himself well at all times, shall we say, and that left more scars on my heart, stripped more faith and trust from my soul. 
Nothing unusual, really. But I suppose we all internalize and integrate things differently and between all of that and being sexually abused as a child by someone I was meant to love and trust, my doubts about anyone loving me until death do us part (and please god, let me depart before he does) are rather exaggerated. 
As much as I love and trust this man I am married to, as much as I think he loves me, there is a part of me that has expected for over 38 years that one day he will come to me and say, "Well, that's it. I'm in love with...well, someone else."

Anyway, la-di-dah and I had to take a tiny Ativan this morning which did calm me some and I texted back and forth with a friend and that helped a lot because she knows. She knows. Oh, my god, does she know. But mostly I just did crossword puzzles and hung on. I couldn't even make our Sunday breakfast. Mr. Moon offered to take me out but quickly realized that that was not going to happen.

But I did make up a loaf of sourdough which will go into the oven soon. And took a picture of the spirea and also, one of my native buckeye which is putting forth its leaves and blooms. 

This guy is back, meowing most piteously. 

I've just noticed that symbol on his head. What do you suppose it means? Mr. Moon has taken to this cat. 
"Hey buddy," he says. "Do you want to come in?"
"NO FUCKING WAY!" I say. Can you imagine what Maurice would do to us if we allowed another cat into the family? She would slice our throats as we slept with her scimitar claws and then she would rip out our guts with her saber-toothed cat fangs. 
Or the other way around. 

May we all have good dreams tonight and wake up tomorrow in a state of near-bliss, our brains having miraculously cleansed themselves of fear and fevered worries in the sweet, cool waters of sleep. 

Or at least unscathed by either nightmare or ginger cat. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Saturday, February 25, 2023

Mostly Food

That, my friends, is a nice little pile of Cedar Key oysters. Since Apalachicola oystering is not happening, north Florida has had to find other sources to feed our hunger for the salty bivalves. They are actually farming them in Cedar Key and I have to say that these were some gorgeous oysters and were salty and delicious too. 

I had planned on making my version of Oysters Rockefeller and thought I had frozen spinach which of course would be a poor substitute for the real thing but needs must. However, it turned out that no, I did not have any spinach in the freezer so Mr. Moon went down to the GDDG but they didn't have any either so he just hopped on the interstate to go to Publix. I texted him that he might as well get fresh spinach and a loaf of French bread while he was at it and by the time he got home I was just about finished chopping and sautéing shallots and garlic and artichoke hearts, and grating parmesan. 

He hopped to it and shucked a couple of dozen and laid them out beautifully on baking sheets on foil and I steamed the spinach and then mixed it with the other ingredients and also a little white wine, a little nutmeg, a little grainy mustard, and a drop or two of Worcestershire sauce. I gave each oyster a dollop of the green stuff, topped them all with the Parmesan and baked them in a hot oven. 
Oh my. 

Y'all- that was fit to eat. 

And I seem to have suffered no ill effects and have felt pretty darn good today with no pain. 
Still, I've been fairly lazy. 

This boy came out for a tiny visit while his papa helped Mr. Moon set up his printer with the internet and everything that entails. He also set up my phone and laptop in case I want to print something. Vergil is such a fine guy. So is Levon. Doesn't he look grown-up with his new haircut? 
He had been asking me if we could make bracelets. That boy loves to wear things on his wrist. And of course I said we could and was going to take the beads and elastic cord over there on Thursday but that didn't happen as my services were not needed. So while the men fussed with the printer, Levon and I picked the best beads and he made two bracelets and I made one for August with a sort-of rainbow theme because that is what he loves. They had to hustle on home because he had a piano lesson. August couldn't come because he had a dance lesson. 
Oh! The lessons! 
I gave Levon two fun-sized bags of M&M's that I found in the cabinet, one for him, one for brother, and off they went back to town. 
That truly was the high point of my week. 

I've done a little pot-holder knitting and I've made a soup of venison and vegetables because we need some vegetables. I mean, we ate spinach last night but that was hardly an adequate amount of nutritional vegetable matter. I'm sure we'll have a few more oysters too, but this time probably just grilled with a little parmesan on top. Mr. Moon does like them raw and I enjoy a few now and then but I feel safest eating them cooked. You have to buy them by the bag or half-bag and even the half is a lot of oysters and they definitely have a use-by date which is quite short so unless you're entertaining the masses, you have to eat 'em while you got' em. 
I believe that oyster stew will be coming up next on the menu. Mr. Moon's mother used to make it with basically nothing but oysters, milk, butter, and salt and pepper. Of course I have to mess it up with celery and potatoes and onions and sherry. He likes it that way too. 
Fried oysters are manna from heaven but Lord, I hate to fry. It's such a mess and it's NOT good for us. And I'm sorry but you just cannot air-fry an oyster. The ghost of some Louisiana woman would come and slaughter me in my kitchen if I tried that. I can and do air-fry chicken, okra, french fries, pork chops and fish but I just can't go there with oysters. 
It ain't right. 

Here's my soup. 

I feel this will sustain us. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Friday, February 24, 2023

Take It Easy, Old Lady

Well, today was weird. 

I did not feel like taking a walk. I didn't feel bad, I just didn't want to do it and something was telling me not to. But because I'm a stubborn ass I decided that I was being silly and put on my walking shoes and took off. It was hot. 
Sometimes I play little games with myself to make myself walk further. Today's game was to take pictures of all the churches I pass on my walk which would take me down past No Man Lord's and to the county line and then back through Lloyd. I passed my house on the way to the third church and really did not feel like going any further but, you know- keep on truckin', right? 

So I walked up to where the interstate connects to Highway 59 and then back down Main Street so I could get the last two churches. By the time I got to the post office, I was ready to ask a stranger for a ride to my house which was about a block away. 

But I didn't. Of course. 

By then, the weird stomach/side pain I've had off and on for a few days was a tad screamy and I felt like I was about to spontaneously combust from heat. 

Reader. I did not feel good. 

I managed to do a few things like put laundry in the dryer and give Ralph a new vacuum bag and then I just had to lay down on my unmade bed where I read for awhile and then fell asleep. I was not in horrible pain but fairly strong discomfort, shall we say. 

I got up a little while later, ate a yogurt, made up the bed with the dry sheets and went back to sleep for about an hour. Woke up and I'm feeling almost 100% better. 
Still, I feel that it may soon be time to go see Dr. Zorn. 

I am thinking gall bladder, perhaps. I'm amazed I still have one. 

In the meantime, let's get through the weekend without a trip to the ER and all will be well. 

So did I get my pictures? 

You bet! 

And you know what? I remembered just now that there's another church that I pass on my walk but it's down a dirt road and I did not get a picture of that. So that's five churches within a mile of my house. 

This is the church next door to me. Our property extends behind it. 

The church up near the interstate. 

And now for the BIG church. 

I will leave it to you to determine which one of these churches does not have fish fries to raise money. 

When I moved to Lloyd, that last church was not nearly as big but then some years ago, about twenty luxurious-looking RV's moved onto the lot and a church-raising occurred. They were there for months and I have to say they built a fine looking church. I have only been in it to vote as it is a voting location. 

That's a little spot down near No Man Lord's place that must have been a homesite at one time because azaleas like that don't just occur naturally. They must be planted. And if you look closely, you can see that there are actually two varieties there. 

Another little mystery of Lloyd. 

Jessie reports that August just told her that his pain level is "zero and a quarter." I'd say that's pretty good. 

And look what Mr. Moon just found in the garden:

Potatoes coming up! That was fast. The onions are sending up shoots too. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Well, THAT'S Done

My curious familiar, hiding behind the ponytail palm fronds.

As dear John Lennon said, "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans," and today did not turn out at all to be what I thought it would. I got an early text from Jessie who had been put on stand-by for work AND August had woken up feeling very puny with a sore throat. I take it that throats are not supposed to be sore after getting adenoids removed, although the neck may be. So- is he getting another cold or something? He had a little fever but they had told Jessie that a slightly elevated temperature was normal. 
So who knows? 

Poor boy. 

I had had two of the most interesting dreams early this morning. One was that I had gone to a very fancy-schmancy elementary school PTA meeting only to remember that I had no more children IN elementary school and I was both relieved and a little sad. 
The other dream was quite unlike any dream I've ever had. I was on a boat on some sort of expeditionary trip and there were so many people on the boat with me and they were of all sexes and genders and ages and races and they were all just beautiful, interesting people. I would not mind my brain working on that one and presenting more versions of it. 

I pondered those dreams and tried to figure out what I was going to do with my day now that my services as MerMer were unnecessary and what I decided on was to start moving my plants back outside. Now I know it's only February but when the temperatures are reaching the eighties and your plants are almost audibly sighing in need of more light and a real, true, good drenching with a hose, it seems reasonable to risk it all and transfer them back to the porch where they live. 
So I began. I swept the porch and then I noticed the un-identified palm that I bought as a house plant and stuck in the dirt and which has huge fronds now, needed at least four of the fronds lopped off because they were brown. So I did that and hauled the fronds to the burn pile and in doing that I realized that there were a lot of downed branches from all the wind we've been getting so I got the garden cart and picked them up and hauled them to the burn pile and then I started moving plants. The ones I could handle on my own, anyway. 

The rearranging of the plants on the porch is not unlike doing a puzzle. I have to situate them so that the ones who need the most sun are on the west side of the porch where the afternoon light hits them more directly and of course there also considerations to be made for size. I have various plant stands and tables I set plants on and had completely forgotten the little beautiful green table that has been covered with small plants in the laundry room all winter which I wanted to move out there. 

I had not planned on getting Mr. Moon involved today but he volunteered when he came in for lunch and so we got everything moved out. He is such a darling. 

I tidied and swept all the areas where the plants had overwintered and cleaned off the table we'd set up in the library which had held a small jungle of plants (see above with jungle-tiger) and folded it up. I set the rug to rights and moved the rocking chair back where it belongs and then I trimmed the plants on the porch and I was happy to see that most of them look to have survived the winter fairly well. Some have even put out new growth which is heartening. 

Almost all of my plants have a story and I do love them. They mean a great deal to me. I ignore them sinfully for the most part, almost never fertilize them, and water them when I remember. 
This appears to be just the way they like it. 

This all felt quite productive and now I'm just hoping that we don't get another hard freeze. 
Now. Having said that, let me just say that my husband has just turned on the air conditioner. 
In February. 
Holy shit. 
He's been working outside all day and he is hot. In all the ways, of course. 
It's not just temperature hot, it's also muggy as hell. 

The last thing I did before I sat down here was to go and weed around two different rose bushes by the garden. Every time I pass them (which is frequently), I think, "Gotta weed those." 
And in today's spirit of gettin' 'er done. I did. 
We did.
Look what I found. 

I actually found buds on both of the roses I weeded. 
Can the wisteria be far behind? 

I'm sorry I didn't get to see my boys but I will see them again soon and my plants are grateful that they got my attention for a change.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Life In The Slow Lane, Part 327

That was Maurice watching me make the bed this afternoon. She just looked so perfect there that I had to take her picture. I was very late in pulling up the sheets and tucking them back in, smoothing out the wrinkles today. I just could not get motivated this morning. Not for love or money. My stomach is sort of bothering me and I almost wonder if I have ulcers or something. I had ulcers when I was nineteen. Migraines when I was fifteen. Hives my entire life. 
Name a "psychosomatic" illness. I've had it. 
I probably don't have ulcers and by noon I was feeling like I had no excuse not to go take a walk and so I did. It was probably 80 degrees by then. But you know- walks are good because you just put on your walking clothes and shoes and grab your walking stick (maybe that's just me) and head out the door, telling yourself you're just going to take a little walk, just to get the blood flowing. And that was my plan today. When I got to the sidewalk, I decided to turn right instead of left which is the route that takes me to the county line past No Man Lord's place and then when I got to Highway 59 I decided to take another right, heading north. I convinced myself I'd only walk to the bridge over Lloyd Creek, take a picture of the turtles and then loop back around and do the little streets of "downtown" Lloyd. But once I got to the bridge I thought, "Oh hell. Why not walk down to Lafayette?" which is a pretty little dirt road and so I did that and I walked down Lafayette and came on back. I stopped at the bridge and did indeed take pictures of the turtles. 

You can always count on them to be posing in the sun on that log. One of these days I hope to get a picture of an alligator in that creek but there was not one in sight today. 

It was pretty though. 

I also took a picture of a redbud which to me always looks like a pink cloud amongst the other trees. 

I crossed the road to get up close. 

There were bees zipping around like photographers at a red carpet event, trying to get the best angles on the stars. 

Here's one that's a little blurry but in my defense, the sun was so bright I couldn't even see what I was shooting and also, bees move fast. 

Anyway, by the time I finished walking I'd done three miles and after that I was TRULY unmotivated to do one more thing although of course I did a few things, all of which took forever because of but-firsts and also extreme spaciness on my part. I'd take the broom off the hook to sweep and then I wouldn't be able to find the dustpan which I had had in my hand not two minutes ago and the whole afternoon was like that. 

Oh, who cares? Not like I'm being paid by the task. 

How is August you may ask. 
He is just fine. Jessie kept him home today and this morning he still looked a little peaked but by this afternoon, he looked like this while he was getting his hair cut.

And he wanted to go to gymnastics and so he did. 
I do believe that if one of us adults got that surgery yesterday, we'd still be in bed, whining and drooling into a spit cup. 
So he is doing fine. I will hardly know him tomorrow without his curls. Levon got his hair cut too. 

Handsome lads. I sure hope they let me read them some books tomorrow. 

I'll report in. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

The yellow Jessamine is blooming now. The vines drape themselves around other plants and trees and fences, decorating them like birthday cakes. 

Sorry about the blurry blossom in the foreground but I loved the way it looked against the gray sky. 

I would like to take a moment to thank all of you who commented on yesterday's post and to those of you who e-mailed me too. What I think I am learning is that sex is something that many of us still appreciate and enjoy into our older years. That it can still be so very meaningful. Not always! For some, because of one or a myriad of reasons, the season of it in their lives is shorter and I understand that too. 
But mostly what I wanted to say is that you who wrote are so very brave to share your thoughts and I appreciate that so much. I also appreciate those of you who didn't. The topic can make people horribly uncomfortable and if I offended any of you, I apologize. 
I figure though, that if I can take on religion and Jesus the way I have and not worry about offending people, well- I can certainly have a little non-graphic discussion about sex. 
That was one perspective that I had, anyway. 

I took a hot and sweaty walk this morning. I did not seem to have much energy and I don't tonight, either. But I managed a few miles and saw a few things including that gorgeous Jessamine. 

And these. 

Violets and oxalis. I should have picked some for either a bouquet or a salad. But I just walked on. 

Today was the day August got his adenoids out. Poor baby. I do not think he ended up being as excited about it as he thought he would be. 

This is what he looked like when his mama brought him home and got him all cuddled up on her bed. She gave him an Ibuprofen and he was soon able to have a popsicle and some yogurt and then some sandwich so he will survive. 
Jessie wanted to make him some chicken and dumplings for supper because he loves them so and I had to come into town for a few things and picked up what she needed to make those fluffy dumplings in their delicious broth. Also, the fixin's for root beer floats. And I got a few kid magazines and two calculators- one for August and one for Levon. Levon had begged for one a few weeks ago and today I thought, "Oh why not?" They cost $4.99 which would hardly break the bank. 
The boys were thrilled. August immediately asked if he could use his to do his homework. 
"You can use it to check your homework," Jessie said, "But you have to use your brain to do your homework in the first place."

I hung out for awhile and Jessie and I talked while the boys played a game on my phone. I was feeling so lazy but I finally hauled myself up and let her get on with her life. When I left, the boys were trying to talk her into letting them have the root beer floats before dinner. 
Of course. 

The crazy catbird that tries to get into my bathroom was on his bamboo twig perch almost all day yesterday from early morning to very late afternoon. 

What a persistent little creature! 
Why isn't he out courting a lady cat bird? What is his point? He surely cannot see his reflection in the window at all hours of the day. 

The peas I planted last weekend have popped through the dirt. 

Look at those clever little pea vine leaves, unfurling from their seed-egg. Oh, my heart! 

And one more picture. 

That's the black panther kitty who is also trying to move in here. I have no idea if she's a she or he's a he. Whatever. Jack sat ten feet away from her yesterday on the back steps, just watching as she watched him. A few days before that, the other crazy-quilt cat walked about the same distance away from him across the yard and Jack did not say a thing. 
I feel certain that the strays would not attempt to get that close to Maurice. 

And that is all my news today. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 20, 2023

Warning: Talkin' About Sex

Just in writing about possibly writing about sex yesterday I got some very fine comments. Some people are completely comfortable with the idea of a discussion about sex. Some are most definitely not. So if the subject offends or disturbs or triggers or upsets you, just skip this one. I'm not going to speak of it graphically but I am acknowledging that people have it. 

Sex is the verboten topic, isn't it? And yet- a huge percentage of us do have sex or have had sex at some points in our lives. I mean- how many humans are on earth? All but a very few of those people are here because their parents had sex. This is one of the most obvious facts one could imagine. And yet- is there anything more icky than the idea of our parents having sex? Why IS this? And is it just our culture? I do not know. I'd like to think that the people in at least some cultures embrace the idea that their parents enjoyed each other in the most intimate and loving way possible. I'd also like to think that sex for most people is indeed intimate and loving but I was disabused of that notion a very long time ago. 

And in a way, it's ridiculous to think one can discuss sex in any depth at all in a forum like this. One may as well try to cover the entire topic of food and eating in a blog post. There are as many different cuisines and dietary practices and foods and attitudes about food and appetites and eating as there are people, I would imagine. We are born hungry and a baby being put to her mother's breasts is a universal practice. There we are at once nurtured and comforted. It is impossible to separate the pleasure of eating from the need to eat. 

And so it is with sex. It is an incredibly complex and emotional topic encompassing cultural beliefs and practices, religion, the patriarchy, who raised us, what specific preferences we are born with, and on and on and on. 

These days, sex as a topic is not as tiptoed around as it once was. Maybe. I mean, you can listen to podcasts that describe sexual activity in the most graphic ways possible while other podcasts are hosted by sex therapists who bravely do their best to try and educate people on sex and sexuality so that they may more fully embrace the intimacy and pleasure that can be found in it. On the other hand- what's going on in homes? Do parents feel more open about discussing sex with their children than they used to? I hope so. When I was growing up, it was absolutely NEVER DISCUSSED AND BY THE WAY, IT NEVER HAPPENED, EITHER! Well, of course that last part wasn't true. But perhaps if my mother, at least, had been a little more open about sex, her husband would not have been quite as able to abuse me. At least maybe I would have been able to tell her what was going on. As it was, I had no real idea of what was happening and yet, I knew it was wrong but was absolutely terrified to even acknowledge any of it to myself, much less my mother. I never told a soul until I grew up. 

I doubt that I was very good at talking to my kids about it either. It's not always easy. I remember that two of my daughters' Girl Scout leaders asked me to come and talk to the troop about menstruation because I was a nurse, which I did, with the help of some books that I found, and that went so well that I was asked back to talk about sex in the gentlest and most appropriate way possible. And I did that, too, also with the help of some books for girls that age. Thank goodness for those books! They helped me to find the right words, the right way, to discuss the topics. 
But all of that is so important! Children need to know about that part of their bodies and emotions as much as they need to know about nutrition and exercise and drugs. (And that's another topic.) Things need to be explained plainly, openly, and in a completely non-judgmental way. It is so important. There's a reason that "the talk" is often referred to as "the facts of life." They truly are. 

Okay. So all of that is one thing. Here's another- hardly anyone discusses sex in older age. In fact, that's a topic that a whole lot of people would just like to completely ignore. Hell, when I was a young woman, the idea that I'd still want to have sex in my fifties and (gulp!) sixties was unimaginable! 
Surprise, surprise. 

Because I was sexually abused, sex has always been a very tricky and dicey thing for me. And this is something I could write a thousand pages about. 
I won't though. Not right now, anyway. 
But one of the best things about being my age and in a loving marriage, is that sex is something I am finally coming to terms with, at least when it comes to trust. Which for a woman, especially, I think, is so very important. And I have found a freedom in lovemaking that I'm not sure I ever felt before. Not like gettin' freaky freedom. That ship may have sailed without me ever truly getting onboard. But an acceptance of myself freedom. The
 emotional and physical intimacy that is part of sex can become even more important, I think, as we age. There is a pure beauty to the closeness, the acknowledgement of our long years of love and loving. And of course, there are still the good hormones that flood us. The ones that make us (allow us?) to see our beloveds as just that- beloved. Truly. 

And having said all of this, I realize how incredibly fortunate I am, once again, to still have this sort of love in my life. 

And I have a lot more thoughts but if you have any you'd like to share, please know that I would love to hear them. And if I have offended anyone, well, I don't know what to say. Tell me why! 

Or don't. 

By the way, I went to the Wacissa today to meet up with Jessie and Vergil and the boys and Vergil's papa and his delightful wife today. Another sort of joy. It was beautiful. 

And we did see a big ol' alligator. Which sadly, is not in this photo. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Should We Discuss Sex? Thoughts


I spent about three hours today pulling the two types of plants you can see here- the dollar weed and the betony. As with icebergs, there is more beneath the surface than above, only in this case it's roots, not ice. 

This is not a real post. I mostly wrote a real post but I need to ponder about it some more. It's about sex if you want to know the truth and although I think of myself as a pretty open and honest person, sex is still something that triggers shame and shyness. Don't you think? 

So that's why this isn't a real post but it is a real post in the sense that I am saying Hello! Hello! How are you? I am fine. 

Here's Maurice. She needs to go to a fur salon. 

I would brush her but I don't have any elbow-length padded gloves. 

I'll be back tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Busy, Happy Day

That is what Maggie looked like last night after falling asleep. She is so beautiful in my eyes. Those eye-lashes and those eye-brows! A girl like Maggie needs good, strong eye-brows to announce to the world  her intent and strength. That rose of a mouth. Her darling little nose. She is, like so many children, complete angels when they sleep. 

She was pretty much an angel the entire time she was here. I asked her this morning when I was taking her to dance if she'd had a good time. 
"I was so happy that I kept smiling all the time I was at your house," she said. 
"And that makes ME so happy," I told her. 

She loved her dinner last night. We sat and ate and chatted and she found four fish bones which in this house translates to earning a dollar. Mr. Moon has long had a policy in which if anyone finds a fishbone they get a quarter. He prides himself on cleaning fish well but somehow this piece of Maggie's didn't quite get the attention the rest of the fish did. And of course she did not forget those bones and Mr. Moon gave her a crisp dollar bill this morning. She pointed out to me that our first president is on the one-dollar bill and she was under the impression that a two-dollar bill would have the second president on it and so forth. I said that this wasn't how it worked but it sounded like a good system to me. 

One of the things I truly love and admire about Maggie is her imaginary play. She can and will create an entire scenario just walking across the yard and when she plays with dolls it's an entire world. This morning she played with some of the dolls on my vanity and even asked for a chair so that she could sit down to play more comfortably. I asked if she'd like a pillow so that she could be taller. 
"Yes, please," she said. She has such good manners.

She got herself dressed for dance and when I told her how impressed I was she said, "Well, I'm seven. I'm a big girl now." 
I could only agree.

We had our pancakes this morning, of course. 

Precious girl. 

We made it to dance on time and since there's a Publix right next to the studio, I did a little shopping and then went back to the dance place and waited for Lily to get there to pick her up. Owen had had a friend over and she had to wait for his mother to pick him up before she could come. It was pleasant, really, to sit in a room with other parents and of course now they have video set up in the parent-area so that you can watch your darlings in class. Two grandchildren classes in one week! 

And then home where I caught up on little things. Laundry and plant watering and bed-making. I waited until today to wash the sheets and I did both beds so that took a while. 

I truly do want it to be noted in my obituary that I was an excellent laundry hanger. I think the way I pin things to the line is just truly a work of art. No messy haphazard mixing of items for me! 

Mr. Moon is going to go fishing early tomorrow morning so he's out getting the boat all ready to go and hitched to the truck. I'm writing this on the porch where I can see the birds at the feeder, getting in their last seeds before bed. The new finch feeder that Glen got me for Valentine's Day has been well and truly discovered by the little birds who flock to it and perch to peck away at the Nyjer. I feel so very rich in so very many ways as spring is rushing headlong towards us. The purple violets are blooming now, the mulberry and fig trees are becoming fully leaved. Flocks of robins on their way back north are stopping by to hop about the yard and get quick sips from the birdbath.  
And despite the fact that the pecan leaves are not showing the barest hint of appearing, Mr. Moon has already planted some tomatoes. He is the optimist of the family, the one who always says, "Why not try?" 

And really, why not? 

If he had not had that attitude about me when he met me, such a scarred and damaged woman whom he thought that he might just be able to love into a better place, there would be no Magnolia June with that mind, those eyes, that glory. 

And so it goes. 

Love...Ms. Moon