Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Back To The Big City Of Tallahassee

Honey- those boots weren't made for walkin'. 
And the picture does not do them the slightest bit of justice. They were the sparkliest inanimate objects I've ever seen in my life. You'd need a video of them to really be able to see the way they caught light, tossed light, splashed light, and lit up the world. Those shoes are the disco balls of footwear.
Jessie was modeling them in the Goodwill. 

She texted this morning and asked if I wanted to meet her in town. She was going to take Sophie to get groomed and needed to go to Goodwill to look for costume items. Tomorrow is 100th day at school for August and they can either take in a hundred items of something or dress like a one hundred year old person. Also, Jessie and Vergil and some other folks in the family are going to an Edgar Allan Poe reading at a bar this weekend and dressing appropriately is suggested. Vergil had nothing to wear for the occasion so obviously a trip to the GW was indicated. 

We dropped off Sophie at the groomers and then went and ate lunch. We were at the way north side of town where neither of us ever go. I used to live up there on the road that the pet place borders along with about a million other stores, shops, bars, and restaurants. When I lived there, back in the seventies, I doubt there were thirty houses on that road and it's not a short road. There were a few churches and two juke joints. It was a Black community with one very large house where white people lived. The other white people who lived out there were, to put it bluntly, hippies. My ex-husband and I were two of those. We were so graciously welcomed into the community. I cannot stress that enough. We rented a little bitty house from a woman who lived next door in her double-wide which was a far superior dwelling in all regards to the house we lived in. I've written about this time in my life before and I won't go into it all again tonight but I am so grateful for those months we lived there. Perhaps a year? I don't remember. But I was allowed to be a small part of a community so rich in a completely different culture than the white one I'd always lived in. 
But now that whole area is one mini-mansion after another and although we did not drive down the whole road, just being on a small part of it was almost more than I could bear. If you're interested at all in that time of my life and some of my experiences then, do a blog search for Smitty's Club. 

But back to lunch. We chose a place that serves seafood which you know we love. Jessie had read some good things about the place and so we decided to try it. 
Okay. Let me ask you a question- have you ever worked in food service? If you have and you have nightmares about the worst experiences you ever had working in a restaurant, then you know what was going on in that restaurant today. It really bothered Jessie far more than me. 
First of all, the food was sort of ridiculously expensive. Secondly, the service was wacky. Both servers seemed to get everything wrong from dishes to checks. And there weren't that many tables filled. But you know- you forgive that sort of thing. However, it was one apology after another. "He's new, I'm new, we only have one cook," and so on and so forth. 
We finally got our food after a somewhat extended wait. I had ordered a shrimp po'boy. The roll for the sandwich was not exactly what you'd call fresh. It wasn't grilled or heated. There was some nice looking lettuce and tomato on it and a few dabbles of what was described as "our own Remoulade sauce." No worries. I threw the Louisiana hot sauce to it and tried one of the shrimp. It was way too salty and fried so hard that it was like trying to eat a piece of something chewy wrapped in asphalt. 
Also, the thickness of the bread and the lack of moisture created a situation where it was impossible to take a bite of the entire thing. I ended up just discarding the bread entirely and eating the shrimp and lettuce and tomato like a pathetic salad. 
Jessie got shrimp scampi and it had absolutely nothing to recommend it. 
So when the lady server came by to ask us how things were, Jessie said, "Oh, okay," but I said, "The shrimp are over-salted and over-cooked."
I was not fucking around with that shit. 
To her credit, she took my sandwich off the bill. I had been chewing steadily for at least fifteen minutes and had not managed to eat all the shrimp. And I told her- look- I'm eating it! You don't have to do that." And she said, "No. That's okay."

I was not sorry to see that plate go away. 

And then we went off to Goodwill where we had a good time looking at stuff. Here's my nomination of "last thing I'd ever buy in a thrift store."

I'd buy a broken Fry Daddy before I'd buy that. 

Here's something lovely though.

It wouldn't fit either me or Jessie but I should have bought it just to hang on the wall because you know I would. I always love coming upon Indian dresses at Goodwill because they are so often handmade. I think this one may have been. The fabrics are gorgeous and brilliant in their hues and sheens. Just so lovely. 
Jessie did get this.

She did not buy the disco booties but she did buy some other sparkly shoes. Also, vests for both August and Vergil, a pair of shoes for Vergil, and some shirts for the little guys. I found nothing I needed and very little I wanted. I didn't buy anything although I was happy to find some really nice Williams Sonoma place mats that Jessie bought. Their colors made it obvious that they belonged at her table.
And then we picked up Sophie who was a bit traumatized. She looked like a teddy bear going in and more like a lamb coming out. She's such a cutie. 

On our way to the pet place, we'd passed a huge new building that looked like it had to be place of worship of some kind but not anything we were familiar with. There are some HUGE churches on that road, even one that just flat out calls itself a cathedral, because it's rich people territory. But this was...different. And then I figured it out- it's a new Mormon Temple. I'd heard they were building one. The temples are not to be confused with the regular Mormon churches which look relatively normal. Temples are where they hold special secret ceremonies like sealings (marriages) and do Temple work which is where members go and wear special garments and get baptized in proxy for everyone ever born in the history of mankind. Well, that's the goal. So temples are big deals. Here's what this one looked like as we passed it on our way home. 

And there you go. Sorry it's such a crappy picture. 

And last but not least, we went and picked up August and Levon at after-care. I was so happy to see those boys! And I think they were glad to see me but would have been more glad if I had brought them treats. August was carrying a yard sign that said, "Kate Sullivan Elementary A+ Student." 
"Whoa, August!" I said. "I'm so proud of you."
I was quickly informed that no, it was Levon's sign. August had not gotten all A's this semester. 
"What you gonna do?" he asked, as he closed the car door. 

I like their haircuts. Precious boys. 

And here's a picture of some of the blooms on the Japanese Magnolia tree in Jessie's back yard.

Mine here in Lloyd hasn't begun to bloom but all over Tallahassee they are showing their glory and so are the redbuds. 

The wheel of time turns and turns and with it, comes nature's reminder of the repeating patterns that form the structure of our lives whether we realize it or not. 

Or, you know- we can use things like the Super Bowl to keep track of where in the year we are. 

Each to their own.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

All Well And All Is Well

As you can see there, I felt much better today. Practically perfect! Well, you know- for an almost 70-year old woman. And I went to Publix and got cat food and CAULIFLOWER which I will be eating tonight with my soybeans because I think they're just about done. Last night I made my mustard-shrimp dish with rice and it was so good as was the salad that was as plain as could be.

Greens and carrot from the garden. I dressed it up with a little lemon juice, balsamic, and olive oil. Salt and pepper. All you need for perfection in my opinion. Funny that this dish is called a salad while that plate of cheeses and bacon with some chopped tomato, a few small pieces of lettuce, and a half of an egg we ate at the restaurant four days ago is also called a salad. I told Glen while we were eating that delicious sin-on-a-plate that it was a salad in the same sense that a mixture of Jello, pretzels, and mini marshmallows is a salad. Which it must be. Look at any good southern church's self-published cookbook in the "salad" section and you will see that I speak truth. I once discussed pretzel salad on this very blog many years ago and by golly, the very next day I went to a funeral in a Texas church and what do you think was on the salad table at the reception after the service?
Yes. That is right. Pretzel salad! 
We do things a little differently down here. 
Sometimes I miss Jello. 

I didn't take a walk today. I got distracted. I do not want to go into great detail here but a possibly Very Exciting Thing happened this morning. A friend of mine who lives in a certain village near the east coast that I adore texted to tell me that a house there might possibly be going up for sale soon. He'd spoken to the owners who are considering a move to be closer to a sister which would mean selling their house. This house is on the river about two lots away from where my Granddaddy's river property was in front of his house. I have known this house since I was a child. It is almost catty-cornered across the white sand road from where Granny and Granddaddy lived. 
Every time Glen and I pass that house I say the same thing- "I sure wish they'd sell that house."
It's a tiny house. A cottage, really, with one bedroom, one bath. An addition has been built on connected with a screened-in breezeway with a bedroom, sitting room, and bathroom. The original house is probably about a hundred years old and very, very old Florida. 
I read my friend's texts to me and I bet my blood pressure went through the roof. He told me that he'd asked the couple who owned it if it would be okay for him to tell me about it and they said sure and he sent me their phone number. They really liked the fact that I had a long history with that area, not wanting someone to buy it, raze the house and build a mini-mansion. 
I have talked to them now and they are a very nice couple. I told them about my childhood in that little community and how my dog Snoopy used to go visit the people who lived in that house because the lady who lived there always gave him something to eat. Children and dogs were free-range then which is nicer than saying "feral". 
Mr. Moon has spoken with them too, calling from Arkansas, and he doesn't have the feeling that they're quite ready to make a move. There is absolutely nothing certain about this and prices for real estate down there are astronomical. And we would not live there full time. You know I can't possibly leave my babies and their babies for too long. Also- I love my house here in Lloyd. 
Two very, very different types of old Florida houses, two very, very different types of geographical areas in the same state. While we have giant oaks and camellias, cypress trees and magnolias, they have mangos and avocados, pines, cedars, sea grape, many varieties of palms and hibiscus. We have the gulf of Mexico close by, they have the Atlantic ocean. 
It's funny but the worse things get in Florida politically, the stronger my love for the land itself becomes. 
The house that might possibly be up for sale is very close to the railroad bridge that goes over the river there. That would probably not appeal to a lot of people but of course here in Lloyd, the railroad tracks go right behind my back yard and I am quite used to having my house shake when a train goes by. I asked the couple if the dolphins still play under the trestles. They said that they do. 

Well. I remember how excited I got when my grandfather's river property went up for sale. A very ugly house had been built on it but still- I could deal with that in order to have the sunset that I loved over the river so much. The smallest part of me, the part that has an almost primitive woo-woo faith thought that perhaps this was it- this was my gift from the universe for loving that piece of dirt on the river so much. 
And the universe laughed and laughed and someone else bought it. 
So I'm not going to do that this time. (She said.) And I could happily live right here for the rest of my life. 

It's so odd to be at the age I am, contemplating something like this. There is absolutely the possibility that we could buy it, make it our own, enjoy it for a year or two, and then one of us could die. I mean- let's be real. I read the obits. I'd like to think that I'll be hale and hearty for at least another ten years but who knows? And even ten years is not that long. I've lived in this house for almost 21 years and it's gone by like a dream. 
Then again- if we're ever going to do something like this, now is the time. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, January 29, 2024

So Many Camellias

Another perfectly beautiful day and I've been inside feeling somewhat miserable for all of it. I have not felt better today and in fact, a little worse. It's not terrible but it's not great either. The only things I've done outside are to dump compost, pick salad greens, and cut camellias to bring in. I don't hurt anywhere and I'm not coughing my lungs out and I'm not totally congested but I'm achy and slow and my eyes are gritty and my brain is so foggy that it feels like everything's been wrapped in wet gauze. 


If I still feel bad tomorrow I'll do another covid test but I really don't think that's it. Mostly I just feel like I'm wasting time, you know? These gorgeous days and me just sitting around and being useless. I know, I know- that's what I need to be doing but why couldn't I have been sick last week when it was so gray and gloomy? 
Too bad you can't arrange your illnesses around the weather forecast. 

There's nothing wrong with my appetite though. This morning I decided that what I really wanted to eat was some soybeans with the delicious goop on it, based on the recipe from the Farm cookbook. You know- the mayonnaise, soy sauce, and garlic powder sauce? To me, that is comfort food. So I started cooking the small amount of the beans I had in my little grains and beans refrigerator this morning in my beautiful white pot that I'm still completely enamored of. Soybeans take the longest of all beans to cook, probably because they have the most protein. 

Well, these soybeans must have the most protein in the world in them or else they're just really old because they've been cooking for eight hours and I still can't smash one between my tongue and the roof of my mouth which is the way I test them. As Ina May Gaskin said once, "Crunchy soybeans don't make it."
So I may have to go to some plan B for supper. 
With my soybeans I also wanted some sort of healthy hippie bread and that is actually coming along nicely. Whole wheat, oat bran, etc. 

I thought about walking up to the GDDG because I'm about out of Meow Mix and you know that's not going to work. I just couldn't, though. I've got enough for at least one or two days left and I can always drive. I didn't even want to do that today. 

This girl came in and woke up me this morning. 

Yep. Deja vu all over again. She and I ended up back on the sofa, me making a weak attempt at stitching, she snoozing. I guess this morning she decided that someone needed to get me out of bed and when I say "someone" I mean her. Cats, like dogs, know our routines and habits better than we do and they do not need to know how to tell time on a clock or a phone or a watch to know exactly when things should be happening and I guess I had exceeded my time limit in bed. She came in and meowed questions at me until I said, "Okay, okay," and got out of bed and she lead me to the bathroom as if to say, "And this comes next," and I suppose she figures she's done her job for the day and she has. I think that Maurice is just like me in that following routines helps her to control her anxiety and her humans are very much a part of her those. If we deviate from them, she's right there to do her best to get us back on track. 

Mr. Moon called and he sounded overly cheerful in my opinion. He reminded me to eat all the peas and cauliflower now while he was gone and I told him that I had not yet made it to the store to buy any cauliflower but he did not seem to detect the hint of snippiness in my voice or, if he did, he chose to ignore it. 
Oh well. 
Honestly, it's easier to be under the weather if he's gone anyway. He's not a demanding husband but I do have that slightly unhealthy need to please and if he's not here, that is not a problem. 

I just went and checked those damn soybeans. They are not anywhere near tender. 
Oh well. 
I've got some frozen shrimp that'll thaw out in minutes. I might make some barbecued shrimp to eat with that healthy hippie bread, thus undoing all health benefits involved. That's okay. I'll eat some salad too. 

I am not unhappy and I am not, despite what I said earlier, truly miserable. Just tired, mostly. I hope I feel better tomorrow. At least good enough to walk up to the poorly-lit, florescent-light-humming, aisles-blocked-by-boxes-of-things-needing-to-be-shelved, no employees-in-sight, incredibly convenient Dollar General to buy a bag of overpriced cat food. 

We shall see. 

Meanwhile, I plan on getting lots of sleep tonight. I better start early because you-know-who is going to make sure I get up in a timely fashion tomorrow. 

Sweet dreams, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Exhaustion Explanation

A few days ago I saw a picture on Facebook of wild trilliums blooming in some local woods and as I do every year I thought- "Whoa! The trilliums! I wonder if mine are up and blooming?" They're in a spot in the yard which I do not regularly visit and every year I forget they're there unless I see pictures elsewhere of some blooming or I stumble upon mine by accident. So last night I asked Siri to remind me to go look at the trillium this morning at 11:00 and she did because she's good like that, and I went out and checked and there they are. I really need to clean out around them. 

These are close by the other little outcrop of them and they are not quite as far along yet. They feel like such a gift to me. They are rare in Florida so there is that, too. Now that I have been reminded of them, I will be checking on them and giving them some love in the next few weeks. 

I figured out why I was so exhausted last night- I am sick! Not real sick, just a little sick. For whatever reason this often happens when Mr. Moon is going away. Perhaps it is my body's way of making me rest more fully and I do because I have no one to tend to but me. I am tired and a bit achy and have some upper respiratory symptoms. Nothing bad. I took a covid test and was negative. 
I had talked to Jessie about bringing the boys over today but I called her this morning to tell her that it probably wasn't a good idea. She agreed. I got a little teary though- I haven't seen those boys in over a week and you know they've both probably grown at least six inches since then. She sent me videos of each of them playing soccer (European: Football) from yesterday. They both seem to be enjoying it a lot and Jessie says they're doing well at it. Levon made two goals, I think. You know what a fierce little guy he is. She also sent me pictures from today. They got their hair cut too! 

Sitting in the chairs.

Enjoying that post-haircut lolly-pop. 

Mr. Moon has made it to Arkansas. I didn't even hear him get up but he set my coffee for me so it would be ready when I got up and left me one of his very, very sweet notes. I'm glad to know he's safe and sound and I really hope he has the very best time. When I talked to him on the phone he asked me if I needed him to come home and take care of me and I said, "Oh, god, no." 

So what did I do today? Not a whole lot. I really thought about doing a little experimentation with canning cooked greens in the pressure canner. Do a little research, try a few jars, see how that comes out. But Idid not feel up to picking and washing and cutting and all that stuff so I didn't. I would love to have some quarts of my collards and mustards and kale and turnips in the pantry to open on those nights when I have completely run out of ideas for vegetables to serve. I keep thinking that there really should be more vegetables than the ones we generally eat and I am sure there are but they must be keeping them in the countries of their birth. I NEVER buy greens to cook in summer because that is not right. And I've never cooked a frozen green other than spinach. I did once buy a can of turnip greens in a grocery store in Denver, Colorado because I was so homesick. 
They were disappointing, of course. 
I've talked about how really nice it is to have the green beans I canned last year to open and cook to have with our suppers. They came out great in flavor and texture and this summer I'll make a lot more of those. 
Too bad I can't can salads. Or freeze them. I guess that's one of the things that makes our winter salads so precious is knowing that in a few months, all of those lovely lettuces and the arugula will bolt and that will be that for another six months or so. 

So instead of getting out the pressure canner and getting to work on that project, I just lazed about and watched most of a movie and did some mending on one of my old nightgowns which is a rather ridiculous thing to do because it's as thin as a teenager's excuse for staying out all night. I actually have THREE of these nightgowns because I love them so much and for years I ordered another whenever one wore out but then they became unavailable so I use one for spare parts sometimes and sometimes I just patch with some other fabric I have lying about. Visible mending is, by its very name, supposed to be visible, right? 
And Maurice came to help me.

Don't you love her contented, loving expression? 
If I had to caption that photo I think it would be, "What the fuck do you want?"

And so that's been about it. I've enjoyed my day alone, thinking my own thoughts, being able to follow them as far as they want to go. It has been a beautiful day, the sun back out in a winter-blue sky, the temperature back down to what I would consider to be perfect for January in Florida. 

Here's a funny thing- yesterday when I wrote my post I included the name of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. who is not someone I really think about that frequently. I love him on "Finding Your Roots" and if I had a bucket list, having him go over my genealogical chart with me would be on it. But- I'm not obsessed with him and he's not really a part of my life in any substantial way. 
So when after I published my post and started looking on my phone to see what podcast I'd like to listen to while I made supper, I was a bit surprised to see that he was the guest on the latest episode of one of my favorite podcasts which is "Armchair Expert" with Dax Shephard. And so I was able to spend almost two hours between last night and today listening to the episode with him and it was wonderful. What a life he's led! What an amazingly humorous and brilliant guy. And what a funny coincidence. 

Here's one more picture. 

August in a tree. How did he even get up there? 
Kid magic, that's how. Also, he's a monkey. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Food, Food, Food, Food, Food. And More Food. Also Religion

Rachel posted this memory from five years ago on Facebook when we were at the Hilltop where we had all gathered for lunch. Look how little the kids were! Levon was still a baby! And then today Lily texted the group and asked if anyone would like to meet up there today for lunch. Jessie couldn't make it because Levon had a soccer game but Lily and Lauren and Gibson and Maggie and Rachel and Hank and I all got together for a fun afternoon. Owen was at work. Lily informed us that he'd cut all his hair off. Actually, Lauren did it for him. I can't even imagine what he looks like. His family all agreed that it was darker now. 
Oh gosh. Remember my little blond rock star? 
I can't even remember the last time Owen had short hair. 

I had to take a picture today.

Maggie decided not to participate. She was too busy doing an experiment with a sago frond, trying to get it to float on the air coming from the AC unit. 
I don't think it worked. But she gave me a very sweet hug and kiss before they left. 
The Hilltop was the Hilltop. One of the ladies working there has a baby that she brings to work. Last week when I picked up sandwiches there for Mr. Moon and me, the baby was in a high chair, playing with some toys but today her mother was wearing her as she slept. Later on, she woke up and was toddling about and is just about the cutest thing ever. I said to Lily when we were standing in line to order, "We need to get us one of those."
"I know," she said. "Too bad it's illegal to just take one."
I always think of Raising Arizona and how much Holly Hunter wanted a baby and made her husband go steal her one. And of course disaster ensued. What a great movie that was. 

We sat outside to eat at a picnic table and had a fine conversation. There were two men sitting at the table in front of us when I first sat down and of course I had to eavesdrop, that being one of the most pleasurable things in my life. There was an older guy and a younger guy and the younger guy was going on about the Bible in an instructional manner, talking about David in the old testament. The older man asked about Bathsheba and the younger guy said, "You know, Jesus came from Bathsheba's direct line," just as confidently as if DNA tests had been performed and reported on by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on Finding Your Roots. 
I wanted so badly to jump up and say, "Now how the fuck do you know that?" but instead, I just stared at him with as much skepticism on my face as I could possibly conjure up and he saw me and looked away. I don't even know what's wrong with me lately. When I hear people talking about religion as if it were proven and accepted science, I just want to scream. There are so many reasons I am not fit for polite company and this is one of them. 
Anyway, in what was probably excellent timing, the rest of the family came out and started talking and I couldn't hear the conversation any more. 

This morning I picked some greens and turnips for tonight's dinner. 

Aren't they pretty? They're cooking right now with a little bacon, onion, and the sliced turnips. And other things, of course. 

I also made Mr. Moon's survival cookies that I generally make him before he takes off for a hunting adventure. 

I call them "survival cookies" because he could live off those things  for weeks if not months. He'll be leaving early in the morning. Maurice is already very nervous, knowing exactly what his duffel bag laid out on the guest room bed means. 
"It's gonna be you and me, baby!" I told her. She looked at me like, "Why don't you leave and let him stay here?"

We just had a nice little storm with some cracking good thunder and lightening and a downpour. It's already passing though. We may get more rain tonight and then it will be cooler again. 

Exhaustion hit me this evening, right about the same time it did last night. I have no explanation for it today, though, having done little more than go to lunch, which seems to be my new career. Maybe I'm still tired from yesterday, my body trying to adapt to my walks again like me trying to adapt to cold weather, then to hot, to having my man around, to not. I'll be just fine. Meanwhile, it'll be nice to spend the evening with him, eating supper and watching another episode of Northern Exposure which we are only falling more in love with with each rewatching. 

Lily sent a picture of Owen with his new haircut. He wanted us to all see it. So here you are.

Still a rock star. Still my little prince. 
Still my beloved O-Boy, the child who made me a grandmother, who gave me my grandmother name. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, January 26, 2024

Sweet And Busy

Another walk on yet another gloomy, doomy day. Muggy too. As in- where did winter go? It's so confusing. You just start to get acclimated to the cold and then the heat and mosquitoes show up again.

But yes, I did take another walk, and this time I walked down to Lloyd Creek Road and then walked a half mile on it, turned around and came home. I didn't feel like I was going to die but I didn't walk very fast, either. I saw a dead armadillo and a dead snake. Because I am kind, I did not take pictures of the poor creatures. 

Here's the railroad track.

Yep. Looks like a railroad track, doesn't it? They keep it pretty tidy. 

And here is a picture of the flags in front of the Trump lovers who live right across the street from the dump. Not that there's anything wrong with that! But hey- Dump rhymes with Trump. Coincidence? I think not.

They've been flying those fucking flags upside down since Biden came into office. 

It was a Candie day and for some reason, I end up doing some housework myself on those days. Today was mostly all about laundry and bed-making and sweeping the floor after Glen took the four ferns back outside because they were shedding a dry green leaf confetti. "What are you DOING?" he asked me when I was sweeping. "That's Candie's job."
"I know, I know," I said. "But, but, but..."

The man had to go to town to do some business and after I got back from my walk he called and said that if I hadn't eaten my lunch he'd love to meet me at a restaurant right off the interstate which I thought was pretty sweet. We had a date! The restaurant is one of those supposedly "farm to fork" places and they do have a lot of growing going on right there. Greenhouses and mushroom cultivation and citrus trees and vegetables, all right there on the property. Also chickens! 

An artist's rendition of the place. It's semi-accurate although I have no idea what those cloud/mountain things in the background are supposed to represent. This is not saying I don't like the picture. I very much do. 
Here's what the front garden looks like as a photograph. 

Even a tractor for the kids to play on. That bare tree in front on the right? It's a pear tree and it has a secret. 

Super scary! Some poor child probably left it behind one day. 

The food there is good but not always healthy. We decided to split a wild boar burger and a Cobb salad. The server said that if they plated the shared meals in the kitchen, there would be a charge of three dollars but that you got more food that way. Mr. Moon, who was in a most genial mood, said that would be great! 
And then she brought out our salads and I said, "Well, bring me a to-go box too because this is more than enough for lunch." And it was. As for it being a salad- well. Let's just say if you'd had a couple of tortillas, you could have made about five delicious quesadillas from those two salads. There was enough cheese for ten salads PLUS bacon. And some lettuce and tomatoes. 
Of course we had to try a bite of our boar burgers and they were tasty and there was no way we couldn't eat any of the french fries so that happened too and yet, there was still enough left to fill up the to-go container with no room to spare. 
We had a good time. We're in a sweet place right now, Mr. Moon and I. You know how tides come and go? Our tide is high and that is always a joy. We talk and find each other incredibly funny and laugh a lot. So we had a very fine time eating and looking at their garden and it really does look good with all the winter vegetables as green and sturdy as they can be. 

Of course neither one of us is hungry again yet, but I've made the beginnings of one of my favorite soups which is the creamy cashew butternut squash soup from the NYT's food app. I've got the squash and also a sweet potato because that's how I make it southern, the cashews, onions, garlic, broth, ginger, and curry spices all simmering away.

I've also got naan bread dough theoretically rising and in a little while I'll puree the soup and add the coconut milk and taste it for needed salt and pepper and a little more of this and a little more of that. 
Yet another fuck you, Jay Leno! dinner. 

After I'd gotten all of that together, I suddenly felt as if I'd hit a wall. Between the walk and the little bit of housework and going out and then chopping and steaming and peeling and mincing and so on and so forth, I was done. 
I think, however, after I finish this delicious martini I am sipping I'll be just fine. And oh, how good those clean sheets will feel! My floors, thanks to Candie, are spick and span and smelling of Fabuloso and vinegar, and the bathrooms are sparkling. 
So a very fine Friday indeed. 

I have a sneaking suspicion that Mr. Moon's good mood may be at least partially due to the fact that he is going to leave to go to Arkansas to hunt ducks on Sunday. He'll be going with his Nashville friends and he always loves hanging out with those guys. He's making plans to take oysters up there and will be gone for a few days. Whatever it is, making him so happy, I'm glad for it because I get the overspill. He told me to go ahead and eat all the cauliflower and definitely the cooked peas and carrots while he's gone. I told him I would. I will also bake him cookies tomorrow to take with him. 
Golly, I'm such a good wife. 

And I've got a good husband so it all works out. 

Happy Friday, you dear people.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, January 25, 2024

In Which I Visit Another Universe Altogether

I keep forgetting to post this picture of the plant monster in the hallway along with its shadow. I really like it, being all dramatic and everything. 

I got out of Lloyd today. Lily was off work (a rare event) and had let Ms. Magnolia June play hooky which is something I used to let my kids do sometimes. It started for me when Hank was little and had terrible tummy aches at school and always wanted to come home. I was a single mom in nursing school then and it wasn't easy to go and pick him up and I'd always talk to him about whether anything was worrying him or not and of course he'd tell me there wasn't but I'm sure he had lots of worries in that brilliant little brain of his that he didn't feel like he could share with me. Finally I came up with a plan- if he didn't go to the clinic for a certain amount of time, I would let him stay home from school for a day every month. And I did and he soon got better. Just knowing that he was going to have a day at home with mama helped, I think. 
I don't know. I sometimes look back and wonder why my kids still love me. I made so many mistakes. It's easy to say well, I did the best I could, but did I? How do we know? 
Don't ask me. 

But that's not what I came here to talk about. I came here to talk about the fact that I went to lunch with Maggie and Lily, and Jessie met us too. Lily and Maggie had just gotten pedicures and manicures and Maggie was quite proud of her shiny golden toenails and fingernails. The girl wanted a hamburger and french fries so we went to Bumpas, the place where I always get the chopped ahi salad that is so good which is what I ordered again today. Jessie and Lily made me laugh so hard. They were the tonic I needed and Maggie made me feel honored when she said she wanted to sit with her Mer on one side of the booth and that her mother and Jessie could sit next to each other because they are sisters. 
Here is the requisite photo.

Maggie was about over it at that point and Lily took her on home. 

Jessie said she needed to go to the mall to find new bras. I said that I needed to go to Joanne's fabric to buy the flannel for Levon's name blanket and she offered to go with me. I thought it about it for a second and it occurred to me that if I went to the mall with her, it would truly be something to write about. 
Yes. I shamefully took part in a visit to the mall where I have not been in so many years I can't remember, just to get some blog fodder. Also to be with Jessie, of course. 

There shouldn't be anything about going to the swiftly dying mall in Tallahassee on a Thursday early afternoon that would cause anyone a great deal of anxiety. But you know me, and dammit! Anything for the blog! For you people! 
Okay, not anything but perhaps the mall would be okay. 

And it was. 

I took that picture from the second level of the only store I went in. Dillards. Dillards is a very nice department store with lots of clothing and cosmetics and shoes and purses and menswear and jewelry and housewares too. All the stuff I used to love to look at and even better- buy.  Sometimes. 
I met Jessie in the lingerie department where she was in a large dressing room with the store bra-fitter and a woman/girl whom she was mentoring. Training. Whatever. 
It was a hoot. 
I sat down on the lovely bench and watched as Jessie tried on one bra after another with the help of the bra lady who is known, even on social media, as "Debralady". Her name is Deborah and everyone calls her the bra lady makes sense. She was obviously quite comfortable with the process of bra-fitting and made it comfortable for everyone around her. Except for perhaps the trainee. I could not tell what was going on behind her face. I desperately wanted to take her picture but somehow could not manage to find the opportunity. She was thin as a rail and wore the palest make-up and had the longest false eyelashes you can imagine and she looked EXACTLY like a mannequin. Her face rarely registered an emotion and she probably spoke less than ten words the entire time. 
I was fascinated. 
Debralady was round and funny and talked a lot. She called breasts "girls" and referred to each bra as "she". As in, "How does she feel under your arm there?" Or, "Can you see how she supports you without pushing the girls up too far?" 
It was a little confusing. 
Jessie entertained us all, trying out each bra by doing a little shaking of the girls to see how she (the bra) would work if she (Jessie) were dancing. I did not raise a shy girl. 
She finally found one she liked pretty okay and was in a rush to buy it and get out of there because she had to pick up Levon to take him to a piano lesson. I actually stayed behind and walked around the clothing sections for awhile and do you know what? I enjoyed it. It was so nice looking at lovely clothes, velvets and corduroys, cottons, linens, and other fabrics unidentifiable without reading the label. I even found this...

My old boys when they were young. Keith, Mick, and Charley, right there in Dillards. The Rolling Stones are timeless, are they not? 
No. I did not buy it. 

I kept examining how I felt. Physically, that is. I realized that I was having a little heart palpitation situation but nothing too serious. Enough though to tell me that I didn't need to spend a whole lot more time there. I felt ridiculous, having that reaction to a practically empty store but I did. I went downstairs and looked at the shoes in a very brief sort of way and then I remembered the purses. 
Dillards has always had lovely purses. 
Oh dear. I discovered that they now carry one of my favorite brands of leather goods, Bedstu. Oh holy shit. My heart beat even faster but for a very different reason. 

This, my loves, is almost the perfect Ms. Moon bag. I like bags that look like something a medicine woman might have carried across the prairies with all of her herbs and childbirthing supplies in it. There was also a backpack bag, same brand, and that might actually have been THE perfect Ms. Moon bag but I did not take its picture. No worries, though! The internet is filled with pictures of it! Here's one in black, being worn by a man. 

Oh sigh. 

But I did not buy that either. Those things are not cheap! 

And then I left the store and walked out into the gray day and had to calm my nerves. It had been an experience and I remembered why people like to shop in retail stores that sell new things. 

I would say that I'm proud of myself but honestly- visiting one store in a mall and spending more than half the time there in a cozy fitting room with my daughter and Debralady and the mannequin woman/girl is hardly reason to qualify for an award. 

But who knows? Maybe I'll go back! Maybe I'll make it all the way to the middle of the mall and get a coffee at Starbucks! 
Oh god. 
Maybe not. I don't even like Starbucks' coffee. 

Well, anyway, that's my report for today. I better go make our supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

I Appear To Be In A Funk

See the bee having her way with the beautiful camellia? There was another bee in the top flower when I stepped up to see them closely but she decided to be shy and fly away. 

The weather could not make up its mind today. At first it was simply dreary. Gray again but much warmer. Rain had been forecast but it was not raining. Then, slowly, the clouds cleared, the sun came out, and the sky was blue once again. And then that whole pattern pretty much repeated itself all day. At one point when I was out doing a little yard work, I felt the lightest mist of rain. It was so light that I wondered if perhaps a bird was on a branch above me, peeing down from a great height. And the sky looked like this. 

Excuse me, sky gods? My skin did not even get any damper because I was already sweating. It got up to 78° today. When I got back from my walk (two days in a row, y'all!) I was hot enough to plug in the fan on my back porch. I didn't walk as far as I did yesterday. I just could not. It's strange to have lost so much ground in my fitness. Not only did I stop doing it regularly for too long, I am also older which absolutely makes things different. I am no spring chicken of sixty-five anymore. I was determined to get some outside work done this afternoon and I did, but could only manage a little over an hour. My legs and my lower back were not having it. But I got a few small spaces cleared of dead lilies and betony, or rattlesnake weed, as we sometimes call it. Go ahead and google betony and you will find websites about growing it as an herbal addition to your garden and also websites from the south on how to try and keep it at bay in your yard. 
There are plants that just do way too well here. 
Kudzu for example. Kudzu was introduced from Japan as an ornamental and was then planted for erosion control all over the south. Now it is quite fondly (haha!) known as the plant that ate the south because of situations like this. 

Seriously- just drive through Georgia and the Carolinas and see for yourself. Florida too, of course. I hear it's spreading all the way to Oregon at this point. It may one day be known as the plant that ate the continental United States.

Okay. I'm wandering here. Wandering and meandering and going down side roads, back roads, and dirt roads. 

Mr. Moon was getting ready to go to the gym this morning when he got a phone call from a friend asking if he wanted to go fishing right that minute. Well you know damn well he did. He got out of his gym clothes and into his fishing clothes in one red-hot second, grabbed his fishing poles and took off. He was the happiest man in the world. He just got home a little while ago. It was a very low key Wacissa River trip with his friend and the friend's elderly father-in-law. But he had a good time. Of course he never ate lunch and was starving by the time he got home. I don't know why but it makes me crazy when that man forgets that he needs to eat. He's one of those people who will do that, although it seems absolutely impossible to me, and then he's suddenly starving, feeling sick, and a little bit on edge. So he had some leftovers which will tide him over to supper. 

Those frog birds are making their whistling calls quite enthusiastically, a veritable merry chorus of them. I think it is their please-come-rain song. Maurice has just come to check on me. I am not sure what's going on right now but both she and Jack have been crazy affectionate lately. 

And as you may be able to see, the moisture under my laptop screen has almost completely disappeared. I sure dodged a bullet on that situation. 

I'll try to do something more interesting tomorrow. I promise. And if I don't, I'll make something up. 
Not really.

Love...Ms. Moon