Monday, July 31, 2023

Brothers And Sisters, Cousins, And The Middle Finger

Lily sent this picture to the group text a little while ago and I cannot tell you how much I love it. Owen was helping Maggie blend her eyeshadow because she had it too clumped up. Now if that's not the sweetest big brother in the world, I don't know what is. I'll never forget how incredibly excited Owen was when he heard that his mama was going to have a little girl baby. Or, a woman baby as the ultra-sound tech said. He had wanted a little sister with all of his heart. I know I've told this story many times before but when Maggie was born and I brought Owen and Gibson over here to play to give Lily and Jason and their new baby a little time alone together, Owen was not that happy about the idea. 
"I've been waiting for this my entire life!" he said.

I was the oldest child in my family and had three younger brothers and always wished I'd had an older brother. My mother had two older brothers and she adored and worshipped them. It looked like a good situation to me but that's not how it worked in situation and I adored my little brothers and was second mama to the two youngest for many years. 

Ah, y'all have heard all of that. 

Guess what I did today? 

Yep. I went to Publix and Costco with Jessie, August, and Levon. I had a great time. We went to lunch too. I thought the boys were pretty well-behaved. They did run a few races down the wide aisles of the Costco but were polite about staying out of people's way. August wanted to go eat lunch at the restaurant where you "serve yourself." He meant Chow Time. 
Didn't have to ask me twice. 
So that's where we went. Jessie only let them get one dessert today and they both picked sherbet which cracked me up. Neither one of them realized that's what we make their purple cows with.
There was a woman who was seated in the same dining area we were in, who stopped to talk to us. She talked. And talked. And talked. I think her husband had already eaten at least one plate of food before she even got her own plate. And although she wasn't completely inappropriate or whacky, she sort of was. And the boys just sat there and listened. At one point she asked August if she could sit by him. 
"Maybe," he said which I thought was pretty diplomatic.  
God. I'm probably going to be that lady when I get a few more years on me. I already interact with cashiers and strangers more than I think most people do.
I've been thinking that I should air fry Mr. Moon some chicken wings soon because he does love them so and the kind of chicken I like to buy only had "wing-ettes" and I had no idea what in hell that was so I asked a guy who was also examining the meat if he knew anything about chicken wings. 
"Not really," he said. And I still proceeded to say a few more things to him and he didn't want to hear me. He had earbuds in, for heaven't sake. I need to watch this behavior of mine and not let it get out of hand. I don't mind being viewed as eccentric but I really don't want to be a freaking pest. 

August shopped with me for awhile, holding on to the cart as I pushed it. He was my boy today. He asked me if I had bread at home and I said that I did. "Are you sure?" he asked. "Because you know Levon likes peanut butter and banana sandwiches and you need bread for that."
"Planning on coming over to my house?" I asked him. 
"Yes," he said. 
And in fact I think they will on Thursday when Jessie and Vergil will both be working. 

When we went into Publix, Lily was just getting off and we stood and chatted for a moment. She was off to pick up her babies. Levon and August wanted to know when Maggie was going to come to visit them again. 

"That's up to your mama," Aunt Lily said. I'm sure it will happen. 

One more thing I'd like to mention is that August and Levon drove to the restaurant from Costco with me. I still have their seats in my car. They were talking about something and August was about to ask me a question and then he said, "Never mind." 
"What?" I asked. 
"Never mind," he said again. 
"You know you can talk about anything to me, right?" Even as I said this I thought oh shit, what have I done?
"Even poop?" 
"Well sure, as long as you have something interesting to say about it or want to know about it but not if you just want to talk about poop for a long time for no reason."
"Even the middle finger?"
"Sure," I said. And we did have a little discussion about it and I told them that the middle finger was only to be raised in very, very extreme circumstances like if you were driving and someone was speeding and almost hit your car.
They contemplated this and began a discussion on car crashes, the middle finger forgotten for that moment at least. 

Like I always say, I do love conversations with children. They almost never fail to amuse and sometimes enlighten me. 

And that's about all I have to say except that it's stupid hot, as Glen said today when he came in from the outside. I swear, just walking through a parking lot is exhausting. 

Summer in Florida on steroids. 

Oh. This man died today. 

Actually, THIS man died today.

Paul Reubens. 

Pee Wee will never die. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 30, 2023

We Will Not Suffer The Loss Of Morning Coffee

 Here is a true fact: Every time I sit down to write my blog post I am at least a little bit excited. 

Every. Time. 

Some posts are harder to write than others for reasons ranging from going through hard times to having had the most boring day in the entire history of the universe. But I am always curious to see what will come to light on the page. I almost never know in advance. I may have an idea as with yesterday when there were a few things I wanted to clear up but as always happens, things arose from that discussion that I had no idea would appear. I was that kid in school who loved to write essays. Everyone else would groan and moan about an essay assignment but I would smile to myself and think, "Yesssssssss!" Even though I was a kid who had been trained to keep secrets from the age of six, or possibly before then, I could express myself on paper to the extent that I allowed myself to do. And oh, how I loved my English teachers. Almost all of them made me feel better about myself with their comments on my writing and I needed that desperately. 

Not so different from today. There are still things I do not write about but I love expressing myself and I love comments. I think this is probably true for all of us who blog. 

And once again, I have no idea where that little piece of random stream-of-consciousness came from but there we are. 

So. What's the deal with the coffee maker? Obviously, it is brand new. Which is sort of true and sort of not. A long time ago, possibly even a year ago, I bought that thing at Costco when they went on sale because although it was not identical to the one I had it was close enough- just a newer model. I've loved that coffee maker for years. I have no idea how many years. And it still sort of works but it's started getting funky and besides that, you could not read the different labels for the controls which we knew by heart but when others came to house-sit and were presented with that lack of basic written information, they were stymied. Buttons were pushed at random until something happened. So today when the coffee got made and the warming burner beneath it didn't stay on, I said, "I know what to do," and I went and got the new coffee maker from the closet where I'd stashed it (can you believe I remembered where it was?) and unpacked it and read the instructions- mostly- and ran a pot of water through it as per those instructions. I set the clock and Mr. Moon can program it to start brewing whatever time he wants. He gets up earlier than I do and thus, is in charge of the nightly setting up of the coffee maker. 

So that's the most exciting news from our house today. I barely did a damn thing. I worked on my jigsaw puzzle a little and I watched a little TV and did a tiny bit of embroidery. I did the crossword and I swear, I have no idea what else I did. I was lazy. And I didn't feel guilty at all. Mr. Moon was fairly lazy too, although he did vacuum-seal more snapper for the freezer. We're going to have to give some of this fish away. We have enough snapper for months and it can be a delicate matter to keep it frozen for too long without getting freezer burn taste. He always swears he doesn't taste it but I do and I cannot abide that.
But we've been jokey and lovey today and there were biscuits and grits and eggs and bacon for Sunday brunch. And all of this adds up to something close to perfection for me. 

According to the kids, there's a wicked storm going on in Tallahassee and yet, here we are fifteen miles away with nothing but darker skies. This is what summer always used to be like in this part of Florida- almost daily late afternoon rains. And oh yes, now I hear thunder but it's a distant rumble. 

The Weatherfords are not so far away according to Jessie's last text. I can't believe they're going to be home. When I was a young divorced mother, and Hank and May would go off to their father's house for a day or so, I would literally have to shut off all thoughts of them which of course was impossible but I got pretty good at a kind of dissociation from the reality of them being gone and I think I still do that when my kids or grandkids are gone for awhile. It's a coping mechanism and although it does work to a certain degree, the beginnings and the ends of these times away are difficult. I have to adjust my thinking, my very reality. 
But it won't be long before those two guys are busting into my kitchen and asking where Boppy is. And I think it's Gibson's turn to come spend the night with us now that they're back from California. 

Life goes on, doesn't it?

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Housekeeping Of One Sort And Another And Also: Spiders Ahead!

Well, today was quite a contrast to yesterday. Mr. Moon got up in the wee hours to go fishing and so I've been alone all day which has been fine. You know me. Miss Never Lonely. 


And I had a fairly productive day but before we get into that fascinating topic, I'd like to get some housekeeping out of the way. First off, the house. The House on 98. The House With All The Stuff! As I think I mentioned in a comment or something, Mr. Moon and I have just not discussed it for a few days. I was doing my thinking and processing and I had no idea what he was doing and so yesterday, at our festive and delicious Mexican lunch, I asked him what his latest thoughts on the house were. Turns out that he's decided not to make an offer and even told his realtor buddy that. 

Say what? 

"Ummm," I said, "I think maybe you should have told me that."

"I thought I did," he said. 

"Nope, pretty sure you didn't." 

"Oh, I'm sorry." 

And that was that. In his defense, he's been making lists of things he wants to get done around here and they range from getting rid of some of the vehicles he owns to finding someone to do some work on this house, starting with getting a new roof. 
Whoa! So once he'd made his decision about the house, he just moved on to the next thing. 

Another thing I'd like to clear up is what I referred to as my acting a few posts ago. Please! I was never famous or did anything but community theater except for being in a few short films made by a local young film maker named FC Rabbath.

This is what the Opera House looks like. 

Somehow, a long time ago, I got up the courage to go audition for a play there. Jessie went with me (she was still in high school) and we both got roles, hers one of the leads! And during that experience, I got to meet some of the most wonderful people who became beloved friends. I have written so much about that time and those people. I was lucky enough to be part of that group and community and it was one of the best parts of my life. I was in a lot of plays. I was not exactly young, but I could still play young and oh- I can hardly think about those times without crying. 
I'm not doing it anymore. Out of the core group of people that I most loved and bonded with, three died in a relatively short time and I...just...couldn't anymore. My heart hurt too much every time I walked into that beautiful old building which held so many beautiful and tender and hysterical memories for me. And like I said the other day, my ability to memorize scripts was never that great and there's no way I could do it now. 
Anyway, if anyone is interested, you can do a search on the blog up there on the top left for "Monticello opera house" and you'll get a ton of hits. Same for Fred Rabbath. Or FC Rabbath. Or Freddy Rabbath. 
It was a glorious time for me. The performances were never the main thing in my mind. It was the rehearsals, the working together to bring a script to life in all dimensions. It was the joy, the fun, the playing. 
I still can't really believe I did it and I am so glad I did. 

So. That's another item explained and cleared up. 

Let's see- what else? 

One thing I did want to mention was what Ellen said in a comment on the post I did about how whoever had decorated the House on 98 never met a wall or surface she did not want to cover. What Ellen said was something like, "Woman, have you never looked at your house?" 
And by god I have been pondering that ever since. 
Of course she is right! I have shit everywhere. I simply cannot deny that although I am not one to put pillows and shams and different layers of comforters on all the beds. But I guess that because the shit I put on my walls and on my surfaces is mostly thrift store stuff or even stuff that I've found at the dump (and I am not ashamed of that- some of it is great stuff) and things the children have made or drawn and all of it is something that means something to me, it did not occur to me that I have basically done the same thing. And we will not even begin to discuss the Glen Den which holds the taxidermied remains of many creatures and also some antique firearms and also pictures of fish and, oh hell, I don't know. However, I claim no responsibility for any of that. 
Once, my dear friend Colin who was one of my beloveds at the Opera House, described the decor of a house in Monticello that had been converted to a B&B. He said, "It looks like a doily factory exploded in there." 
And the House on 98 looked like a beach decor factory had exploded in there. 
And to be honest, my house looks like a junk store exploded in it. And also to be honest, when I die, if we still own this house, my kids can just come in with a few commercially-sized boxes of garbage bags and start filling them up with all this shit and then take them to the trash station which is conveniently just about a block and a half away. 

But I guess the bottom line is, as it generally is- who am I to judge? 

And also, I am casting a more discerning eye to my walls and surfaces and am slowly trying to gird my loins to reducing some of the clutter. 

So. Thank you, Ellen! 

I did take the trash today and there were a few things in it that I truly do not even begin to need that no one needs. At all. So that was a small start. I also have a pile going where I am putting things to donate. 

It was so hot and humid that every time I went outside felt like I was taking a little sip of hell and so I only did the things that I felt compelled to do. I swept the front porch and the swing porch. And oh- look at this pretty lady. 

It is a good year for golden orb weavers. I have an entire community of them in front of the front porch.

Organic mosquito netting! And the sun was just hitting it right for all of that to show up. 

It rained a little and I got a picture of this beauty and her bejeweled web. 

I picked the field peas and the twenty minutes that that took me was somewhat torturous. It was right after it rained which you would have thought would make things cooler but instead, it just made things more humid, the very earth steaming. 

And then, for whatever bizarre reason, I realized that today had to be the day for my bi-annual kitchen floor mopping. Okay, I mop that floor more than twice a year. Maybe five times a year. But it was filthy. So I moved everything out of the kitchen that can be moved and then swept twice and then mopped twice. I should have mopped three times but didn't. 

And that's been about it. I shelled the few peas I picked while watching TV. The garden has really gone to hell and we need to just go ahead and pull everything and clear it out. I noticed some potatoes coming up from the rows where we harvested months ago. I guess we missed some. And the sweet potatoes are still kicking ass and taking names. 

Lily got her babies back today from their California trip. They flew all night and were exhausted and she said they've had a most heavenly day of doing nothing and relaxing. She sent this picture. 

Look at that angel baby back with her mama. 

And Jessie and Vergil are packing up and will be returning to Tallahassee tomorrow. 

Mr. Moon decided to come on home tonight and he'll be here soon. All is well. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, July 28, 2023

Partying Like A MeeMaw And I Love It!

It has been the sweetest birthday. Just the sweetest. And I think I've basically done the same thing today that I did last year which was to go to Monticello with my husband and eat at Rancho Grande which is a fine Mexican restaurant and festive by its very decor and nature. 

Just one of the many glorious things in the restaurant. And my chilis rellenos were perfection. 

But before we went to Monticello, I had a perfectly perfect morning. I had gotten two boxes in the mail in the last week and kept them until today to open and they were both filled with such incredible gift treasures from people who so obviously know me to my bones that I cried. 
I am wearing one of the presents now and it is linen, blue, an overall dress, and has POCKETS everywhere. It checks all the boxes. 
The other box held things like this. 

Again- cotton, pom-pom trim AND the Virgin of Guadalupe. I could not be more pleased. Oh! And here's one of my mermaid eyes, made mermaid by eye make-up that was one of the gifts. 

I am an old crone mermaid but I am still a mermaid. In my mind, anyway. 

Lon and Lis called and sang and played Happy Birthday to me in delicious harmony and we got to talk for a few minutes. My oldest best friend called me from Maryland where she lives and we cackled like hens. Hank posted the sweetest, sweetest thing on Facebook. 

Mr. Moon gave me those beautiful roses and a card with a cat on it that looked just like Maurice if Maurice's scars were photoshopped out. 

I got to talk to Jessie and the boys who asked me if I knew they were going to see me soon. I told them that indeed I did! I've gotten beautiful texts from my babies and honestly, it could not have been a better birthday. I am overwhelmed and I have cried a lot for all the right reasons and we are yet to have our martinis! Which we are going to drink from the beautiful glasses. 

I'm going to make snapper flakes au gratin, ala Angelo's restaurant from way back in the day and I am extremely excited about that. Mr. Moon just cleaned the snapper. He caught it yesterday. My linen dress is as cool as it can be, and as comfortable as...a pair of overalls only more so because it's a dress. My new purse had its maiden voyage to Monticello today and there is not one thing about it that disappoints or annoys me about it. NOT ONE!

So that's me on my 69th birthday. Happy as if I had no sense, which is something my mother used to say, I think. Someone said it. But in fact, I do have sense, good sense, because I am damn well smart enough to know that I have everything in this world that a woman could ever need as well as a whole lot of things that a woman could want. 

And on top of everything, I have this community right here that I love and care for in so many ways. You have enriched my life, you have given me strength in times when I felt I had none. You have reassured me that I am not alone, you have accepted me for who I am, cuss words and Keith Richards obsession and all. You have celebrated the births of my grandchildren with me, you have gone through some deaths with me. 
I am so humbled by all of that. 
Thank you. 

As I wrote my children today, "From a military delivery room in a quonset hut in El Paso, Texas to here. It's been a ride!"  

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Hank also posted this on Facebook today. 

Honest to god, I love that song. I am not a vegetarian but my flowing skirt does blow in a transcendental wind. I will say no more. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Another Wandering On A Birthday Eve


Last night Lily called and we chatted and she asked if maybe I wanted to hang out some today. Jason has taken the kids to California so she's been at loose ends when she isn't at work. I told her I'd think about it and after I hung the laundry around noon, I texted to see if she wanted to go to lunch and she did so we met up at the local farm-to-table joint which I have mixed feelings about but mostly you can get a decent meal there. They are a little pretentious, though, if you ask me. One of the items on today's special menu was something that had three words in the description that we had to google to figure out what in hell they were. Mostly sauces. And it's not like we aren't relatively educated in the culinary milieu.
She ended up getting a chicken sandwich and I got a salad with a crab cake on it. It was good, most likely because it was one of those salads that you might as well just get a hamburger instead of because of all of the crispy and crunchy things in it that make it so tasty.

Anyway, the food is never the point for ladies who lunch. I had such a good time talking to Lily, just as I had a good time talking to Hank, yesterday. My kids are all so different and I love them all so much and deeply appreciate those differences. That's what makes our family such an interesting group of people, I think. I know it's a cliche but every child in a family IS different. Hank was talking yesterday about how sometimes when a friend of his is talking about how shitty their family is, he doesn't even want to talk about our family because it would be too braggy. How we support each other, always, how much we make each other laugh, how we're there for each other. 
And now I'm bragging, obviously, but it's my birthday tomorrow and if I want to give myself the gift of being openly proud of my babies, then I will do that. 
And so I have. 
I have never been anything near a perfect mother but every bit of mothering energy I had was directed towards letting my children know I love them. And now my grandmothering energy. There are a million ways to do that and I'm sure I could have done more but I think they all know that my heart was made for them. 

I'm being terribly soppy and saccharin, aren't I? Oh, who cares?

After Lily and I parted after lunch, I decided what the hell? I've really been obsessed with this purse thing. I'm like a junkie when I start craving a new purse. I guess it's that hit of serotonin I get when I find one and buy it. So I went to Marshall's which is very much like TJ Maxx, and perused their bags. I've gotten some lovely purses there. I went through all of them rather quickly and didn't see a damn thing I wanted or even anything close to what I wanted and then, BAM! I saw this tucked in the back behind some other bags that my eyes had originally just skipped over. 

Not the exact one I had hoped to find, but the same brand and pretty close. Backpack, plenty of nice pockets, leather, soft, large but not too big. I examined it to see if there was any obvious reason it was on clearance but it seemed fine to me so I went up front and got someone to unlock it for me. Do y'all's stores do that? Lock purses up with thin wires that stretch and retract? What a pain in the ass. 
And I bought it. Although it isn't the absolute perfect purse, what is? Also, it cost less than I paid for lunch today which was not that much. When I came home I looked it up online and via the company that makes it, it costs almost a hundred dollars more than I paid for it and that's on sale. 

So I'm pleased, and happy birthday to me. 

It took me such a short amount of time to find and buy the purse that I decided to walk down to the Ulta store which, for those of you who do not know, is a cosmetics place. I was looking for some Body Shoppe body butters and I knew they carried a few Body Shoppe products. 
I hadn't been in a place like that in forever. 
As I texted a friend, it was such a feminine space and it smelled SO good and I lasted about three minutes. 
I checked out the body butters and all of them seemed to have a stale smell to them so forget that. But honestly, I did enjoy my tiny bit of time there. 

Mr. Moon texted a few hours ago to tell me he was back on land so he should be here soon. I know he's going to be exhausted. It is so hot and so humid here and I can't imagine what it feels like on the Gulf. I'm sweaty and sticky from just bringing in the laundry. 

So here I am, on the eve of my 69th birthday. 
I did not see this coming. And I am serious about that. I never, ever thought I'd reach this age. 
Yet, here we are. 
And I may not be a Rolling Stone, still up on a stage in skinny jeans dancing like a dervish, and my knees hurt, and my hips hurt, and my hearing's shot, and my brain function is worrisome but I am still fit enough to enjoy my life. I can still garden, I can still walk, I can still drive and I can still love the ones I love. 

And I can still sit down and pour out my feelings here every day and that means more to me than you can imagine. 

We've been watching "Deadwood" for the third, fourth? time. And it is good. The actors are fucking amazing, the scripts are beyond terrific, the sets are perfect, the storylines are fascinating. Every time we watch the series, I am struck once again by how this show, and this show alone, makes me wish I was still acting. My short time doing that was absolutely joyful and I know I could not do it now. I could not possibly memorize a script. I just couldn't. I wasn't that good at it in my late forties, early fifties to tell you the truth. 
So. I guess that's one thing I can't do anymore but you know what? I did it when I could and I'm so glad I did. 

I don't have that many regrets and the ones I do have are not that big. 

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

A Holiday Marked On My Calendar

It has been an unusual day for me in that I went to town twice. I did not mind this in the least and probably because I had no desire to work in the garden and also because I had a most strange and disturbing and yet powerful dream this morning and I needed to switch channels, as it were, in my brain. 
The dream had Ross in it and he was there seemingly just to enter the ocean and while dreaming, I knew that he was gone and that it was an absolute amazement that he would come back at all. But he did, for a moment, and then into the ocean he dove and disappeared while dolphins swam and cavorted up and down the beach. 
The second part of the dream was connected to Ross but I am not going to say how, it just had someone in it who was very much a part of his life. This person has either (in real life) just gotten out of prison or is about to get out of prison and his sentence has been long. 
Over thirty years, I think. 
And this person was a friend of mine whom I thought I knew very, very well, and I had no idea he was doing the things he was doing that got him arrested and I've never quite recovered from that. I suppose it is easy to say that we can never really know someone but trust me when I say- FUCK! 

Well, so there he was and in one scene of the dream he talked me into taking a hit off a crack pipe and I did, and then immediately fell to the floor and I could see the very nap of the carpet as my head got closer and closer to it which is an odd detail, isn't it? 
Let me hasten to add that although I did have a short history with the friendlier drugs like weed and psychedelics, I have never even SEEN a crack pipe, much less hit one. So, so, odd. 

My first trip to town was only to Publix. Mr. Moon left this afternoon to go fishing and he needed some things and I was being in a very good-wifey mood and volunteered to go get them. Cut-up watermelon, a prescription, etc. He would do this for me anytime. He never fails to call me when he's on his way home to ask if I need anything from town and when I do, he never complains, but stops at the store and gets whatever I've asked for and brings it home. 

My second trip was to pick up Hank to take him to the doctor for a check-up. He and Rachel only have one car and so occasionally he needs a ride. I hadn't seen him for awhile so I had no problem with that and we chatted on our way there, and after his appointment we stopped at a different Publix so he could pick up a few things and we talked our way through that little trip too. I enjoyed it! 

That is the only picture I've taken today. A new cat decided to snooze in our backyard and for some reason, I am taken with this little beasty. It looks like a teenager and it got up at one point to go sip from the bowl of water I keep for whoever from the animal kingdom might need a drink. My initial reaction was to set out food but I know what would happen if the cat started hanging around regularly which is the same thing that happened to Sheba which is that Maurice and Jack would do whatever they they thought they needed to do to get rid of the invader. 
And there will be blood. 

BUT, none of this is really what I came here to talk about. 
Guess who turned 80 years old today? (Thank you, dear A.)

This beautiful boy. That was in 1972 and he was already being asked when he would quit going onstage to play rock and roll. I mean...uh, you're going to be thirty soon? 

If you go HERE you can (theoretically) see his Glimmer Twin, Keith, wishing him a happy birthday. 

I turned eighteen in 1972 and the Rolling Stones were already a large presence in my life. I honestly cannot remember the first time I ever heard a Rolling Stones song. It's like with the Beatles- just all of a sudden there they were like the moon and stars and water and air. As if the world had simply been patiently waiting, just twiddling its thumbs, for them to arrive and change the world. 
They changed my world. 
To be succinct, Mick Jagger gave me the permission to direct my sexuality where I wanted to. He was beyond naughty. He was nasty. He moved like a snake and he sang like someone that I would definitely let go farther than was acceptable. This was at the time when I was being abused and also being told (by my abuser) that looking at boys, that boys looking at me, was wrong and that I must not do it. Forget dating or kissing or any of that other stuff. 
But then, there was Mick, making it quite clear that doing that other stuff was not just okay, but was pretty much the secret to life. 
As dear Beth Coyote says, she saw the Rolling Stones when she was young and Mick Jagger WAS sex. 
And he was. He was bending genders before genders were anything besides what the doctor called you when you were born, based on your external genitals. Mostly. The world could hardly deal with his eye-liner, his hair, his sweet little ass. 
And yes, he borrowed and stole so much of his persona from Black blues musicians and people like Little Richard and James Brown. But by god he gave them credit and by god, he led so very many of us to the sources of that river. 

And now, he's eighty, which by human standards is a rather advanced age. And yet, he's still redefining what it means to be a musician, a rock star, a man. He's been in the studio making more music, he's got a six year old son whose mother is a young ballerina who appears to be very much in love with him, a few thousand children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and no, he's never been what a man is supposed to be and that's because he is Mick Jagger and no one else is. 

I don't "really" believe in astrology but Happy Birthday, Mick, you absolute most Leo of all Leo's. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Summer Sweetness

I have truly enjoyed myself today and honestly, the most exciting thing that's happened is that when I went to the post office and was checking my box, the postmistress said, "Miss Mary, there's a package for you." 
Now THAT my friends, is small town living at its best. 
And no, we shall not be discussing Jason Aldean and no, I have not listened to the song and no, I have not read the lyrics and no, I don't have time for that mess one way or the other. 

So. What else did I do on this day I've enjoyed so much? Well, I took the trash and I cleaned the toilets. I also played with my sourdough dough that I started last night, and I worked in the garden some more. Mr. Moon has pointed out, and rightfully so, that "my" sweet potatoes are taking over the whole garden and I pointed out, and rightfully so, that there ain't much left for them to take over but that he should feel free to cut cut back whatever vines he wanted to. 
He was not enthusiastic about this idea. He is in the middle of taking care of lots and lots of other things right now including closing down his car business and listing Dog Island for sale and all of this business requires a lot of activity like looking for car titles and, oh hell, I don't know. But he's doing the things I can't and so I can surely deal with sweet potato vines and you know how much I love being in the garden anyway, even if I can only handle an hour or so in this heat. 
The sweet potato vines were indeed overtaking the okra and some of the peas so I cut and pulled some of them. I do not want to pull the ones that are rooted because that's where the potatoes will be but the vines that are just snaking about like kudzu trying to cover the entire planet were up for grabs. Literally. Now, I know for a fact that the vines are edible and are part of the diet of many cultures. I had no idea about this until a few years ago and I've only tried cooking them once. I should try again because that's a wasted resource if there ever was one. It's also true that cutting the vines back encourages the growth of the tubers so there's that, too. 
In my trimming I accidentally uncovered two smallish sweet potatoes and I am going to try very hard this year to do a better job of harvesting that crop and preserving what I dig up. 

And then after I played with the sweet potato vines, I did some weeding around the peas. I think there will be more of those coming along shortly. I had thought about going to the river after I reached my limit with the heat but then I got to thinking about supper because you know I am obsessed with food. I knew I wanted to make a gumbo to go with my sourdough and that takes a lot of time. So I took a shower instead and got to work chopping and stirring a roux, and peeling shrimp and making a stock with the shells and so on and so forth. Because I never really figured out how to make gumbo or even tried before I hit my later sixties, I am making up for lost time. Here's what it looks like at this point. 

The shrimp will go in right before we eat and I'll make rice to serve it over. This is good stuff, y'all. 

I wish the okra had come from our garden and the tomatoes too but they did not. The peppers, however, did. 

That's what came out of the garden today. That poor last little cucumber. Bless its tiny heart. 

Just as with the camellias in the winter, the zinnias will no doubt be over-presented here while they last. I can't get enough of those glorious colors. 

And so it's been a pretty perfect day here in Lloyd for me. I've done the things I love to do and done a few things I don't love to do but don't mind doing and give me a tiny feeling of accomplishment. For this moment, everything here in my tiny world feels pretty okay and I am grateful for that. 

Here's a cartoon I saw in the New Yorker today. 

And if that doesn't sum up what I am feeling these days, I don't know what does. Again I want to say thank you all for your thoughts on this "whole house situation" as I've been thinking of it. I surely am learning a lot about myself because of it and if I distance myself from myself, if that makes any sense, it is quite interesting. 

Meanwhile, here I am, happy with the sound of the crickets singing as the sun is doing its slow dance to meet up with the horizon and my kitchen smells like heaven. I expect I'll hear that juvenile owl again soon as I have been hearing it every night. I am sure its parents must be ready for break from that demanding baby. 

Time to go stir the gumbo and bake the bread. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, July 24, 2023

A Tale Of Hippie Life

Suffering huge amounts of existential angst this morning due to being in my head which was up my butt, I decided to go do something physical in the garden. Because I am me, I had to wait until it was truly good and hot before I stepped outside but the sun was mostly behind a cloud for the first half hour and that helped. I pulled the spent tomato plants and their wire baskets, did a little weeding, and then picked the six rows of peas. As you can see in the picture above, some of them were already dried in the pod and that is of no matter. They will cook just fine, and since they are so small, will take hardly any longer to become tender than the ones that are greener and still fat with moisture. 

I was thoroughly soaked through with sweat by that time and came back in the house and after lunch I sat down in front of the TV and shelled pretty steadily for two hours and that's what I got in the next picture. Mr. Moon, who was taking care of business up until just a few minutes ago, took over the shelling. The heat and lack of water while we were gone did no favors to the plants and I'm not sure we'll be getting much more. This summer's garden is a bust, as far as I'm concerned. 
Except for the green beans, of course. 

Maurice has been crazier than usual since we got home. She has ignored her true love- Glen- and the one time she did pay him a visit in his chair she bit the shit out of his hand. For the past few days she's seemed to want to hang out with me which is fine except that yes, she bit the shit out of my hand too. 
I yelled at her. I know it upsets her a great deal when we leave but we can't not ever go anywhere just because our insane pet doesn't like it. Jack is always obviously glad we're home and snuggles up as close to me as he can get which is a rather nice way of letting us know he missed us but snuggling is not Maurice's love language unless it is accompanied by a clamp-down of her strong, fanged jaws on our old thin-skinned body parts. I swear that if Maurice was as big as a Labrador retriever, she could crush our skulls like eggs. 
And undoubtably would. 

I really appreciated all of your comments and thoughts on yesterday's post. I have answered them all. Many of you are concerned with rising sea levels and yes, that is a consideration. So are hurricanes. There is some natural protection from the barrier islands in front of the property- Dog Island, and St. George Island. But no house on the coast is ever entirely safe from the risk of winds and water and that absolutely has to be accepted by anyone who lives right near the water. The house is built way up on pilings and I cannot foresee a time in my life when water would rise that high. 

Am I saying that a hurricane couldn't rip off the roof and allow water in that way? 
Oh hell no. 
But these coastal houses are built according to strict guidelines which does increase their ability to withstand storms. I am always amazed while on St. George at the number of rather ramshackle older houses (more than forty years old), built entirely of wood with some built directly on the ground, who have survived so many, many storms intact. Oh, if only we'd bought one of those thirty years ago when the prices were less astronomical. I remember trying to talk Mr. Moon into buying a tiny cement block place on the beach on St. George and he wasn't interested in it and that house is still there and we have both expressed regrets about not buying it. 
But. You know. Live and learn. 

I probably shouldn't go on about the house like this because it is so far from being a sure thing and I am still very much waffling on whether or not I feel as if I could even begin to accept the reality of owning such a home. 

I remember, almost fifty years ago, living in a house just a few miles east of this house on the bay. It was a beat-up old thing, big and rambling, with the flooring in some rooms so rotten that you couldn't go in them. There was no electricity, no running water, and some friends of the band that my first husband was playing in were squatting there with a few other people. This was in Panacea, Florida. It sat right on the bay, that house, and so despite the shortcomings of the place, there were charms. We were at an in-between place in our lives with very little money coming in and had burnt out on living in the Jim Walters house north of Tallahassee on the back of a cow pasture although it did have electricity AND running water, so when these two guys who were living in the house asked us if we wanted to move in, we did. We got one of the rooms with decent flooring. There was a bed in the room already (can you imagine that mattress?) and there was a supply of kerosine lamps. The two guys owned a bar down the road a piece and the band was playing there a lot and I began tending bar there too. There was a shower in the building where the bar was and we made do with that for hygiene. Cooking was tricky in the old house and I do not really remember how that worked but I do know we cooked. 
I really have no idea how long we lived there. It could have been months or it could have been weeks. It is all very much a blur except for the day I realized I was probably pregnant. We ate breakfast almost every day at a now-defunct restaurant called The Oaks and the idea of eggs and all the breakfast foods made me nauseous and I ate a Greek salad for breakfast for weeks. 
And that was Hank wanting me to eat those Greek salads. I was just a few months past my 21st birthday.

There's a whole lot more to this story but soon my ex and I moved back to Tallahassee, first living in a room of some friends' house. They had children so things were fairly normal there. Running water, a bathroom, electricity, etc. And eventually we moved into an apartment not three blocks from where Jessie lives now and where Hank himself lived with his then-girlfriend Taylor years ago. It was a small apartment but it had a blue-tiled bathroom and that was all I wanted. 

And now here we are and even just considering buying a house near that one I lived in so long ago (which is now not even a pile of lumber) which not only has running water but also THREE bathrooms, and Lord have mercy! Each bedroom has a solid floor, is nothing short of unimaginable. 

The distance between Panacea and this house may be less than twenty miles but the distance between that house and this has to be measured in light years. 

And I feel more than unsure that this old hippie woman could make that leap. 

Here's one of the many, many electric light lamps in the house we looked at. 

And a little more wall decor for your viewing pleasure. 

Ay-yi-yi and Yippie Ki Yay, motherfuckers, as Bruce Willis said in the first Die Hard movie. I think. Correct me if I am wrong which I probably am. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Sunday, July 23, 2023

But It's Always The Water, Isn't It?

Phew. What an afternoon. We did go look at that house and I so wanted not to like it because...well, that is very complicated and I may discuss that further later on here. But overall, as you know well, anything that disrupts my life is something to be feared. Not just avoided but feared. And avoided. And buying another house that we would only use for fun and family gatherings sounds to me like a beautiful thing and at the same time, a thing to be sore afraid of. 
As it says in the Bible. 
Add to that the fact that this house is very large and newish and to me, very fancy, and you have a bit of a meltdown/breakdown situation. 
So no. I did not want to like it. Inside I have been fuming because Mr. Moon knew I said that I did not want a house in that location. I have passed by that area for eons and never once have I thought, "I sure would love to have a house here."
It's miles from a grocery store. As in- many, many miles. It's on the bay, not the ocean. It's right by a highway. It's...well. I don't know. I just never considered it. 

But I promised I would go look at it. That is only fair. And so he took me there today and I have to say that it is a beautiful house. Absolutely. There are things about it that I am not in love with. It does not appear that it's built to have open windows which, if you're on the coast especially, is something I consider to be of utmost importance. Why live on the water if you can't smell and feel the air when it's cool enough or warm enough to open it up? 
Another thing is that it's pretty big. As in four bedrooms and three? four? bathrooms. An open kitchen and living room and sunroom floor plan. 

Which I used to think was pretty cool but then I realized one day that having an open floor plan meant that I'd be trying to cook dinner while sports were on the TV just a few yards away. Still- look how pretty. And the floors are gorgeous oak, the cabinets finely made of pecan, the countertops some sort of marble-like substance. 
The people selling the house are quite old. One of them is dying. And the family does not want to have to deal with all of the things in the house which means that it comes as is. I think. Which is sort of cool- towels! sheets! dishes! and so forth but when I tell you that every drawer and every cabinet is filled with things, I am not lying. There is an overabundance of things in this house. Whoever decorated it never met a surface or wall she did not want to cover. And some of the things on surfaces and walls are not bad, artistic-wise. But others are just ridiculous overflow. I swear it has as many pictures on the wall as a museum. And most of the pictures are not bad! But then there are so many other things which I am sure much money was spent on at coastal decorating shops. 

But who am I to judge? I hang aprons on the wall and Christmas lights that have been up for a decade. Dolls from different countries and pictures galore that my grandchildren have made. 


It is a beautiful house. 

And then I started exploring the outside of the house and my heart sort of melted. 
There is jungle on the lot which acts as buffer to the houses next door and to the highway. 

Oaks and scrub oaks. Magnolias and palmettos. Palm trees and old, old pines. 

That oak is directly behind the house on the water. 
And speaking of water.

Although it's hard to see, that's Dog Island off in the distance. And from that dock we could swim and I imagine that dolphins probably come in right there and we saw pelicans and heard gulls and Mr. Moon saw mullet jump from the shore. Hell, there's probably bears in the jungle. 

Okay. I am overwhelmed with emotions. I realized on our way home that part of my problem with this house is that I formed my opinions of what a house should be in Roseland where my granny and granddaddy lived in a tiny cabin. Nothing fancy in the least. But a river across the white sand road and nature all around. I guess that funk and simplicity became beautiful to me in my childhood. Meanwhile, my husband who grew up not in poverty but certainly not in wealth, dreamed of growing up and playing in the NBA and buying mansions for himself and for his parents. 
Such different images of beauty and success. 

Well. Here's the deal- Mr. Moon has not yet done all of his due diligence which involves a great deal of research and work. He's done a lot, but not all. We would have to figure out things like screening in windows and part of the back deck that overlooks the bay. We have to figure out whether the kids would enjoy staying there. It's a few miles from the beautiful beaches at St. George but a hell of a lot closer than Tallahassee. Would that work? Could I find something to do there that would make me happy beyond cooking and doing laundry? How much work would it take to get rid of some of the busy-ness of the walls and surfaces? And cabinets? And drawers? 

I think of the little sideboard at Dog Island that has a drawer and two cabinets. The drawer has napkins that were there when we bought it, homemade and never hemmed but absolutely utilitarian. We filled the top of the sideboard with shells and pottery and driftwood we found on the beach. The cabinet on the left held the liquor, some of it from over twenty years ago when we bought it. And here's what the equivalent, I guess, in what this house looks like. 

This ain't Funky Town, y'all. 

I used to say "things will unfold as they should" but then I got older and things happened that should not have happened, I don't care what anyone says. BUT. Sometimes you just have to think that they will. Trust that they will? 

And even just contemplating this purchase has revealed quite a bit to me about myself and that alone is worth the sturm und drang I've been going through about it all. I doubt that my husband would agree but here we are. 

To be continued. 

Love...Ms. Moon