Thursday, February 8, 2024

Memories And General Meandering

These are azaleas which are starting to bloom. Sorry for the lighting in that picture. It was not taken at the proper time of day. At least you can get a sense of the color which is almost vulgar in its strident pinkness. I love it. 

The mulberry tree is starting to put out leaves. That is always exciting. I wonder if it will be a year of plentitude for the mulberries or a year of sparseness. It varies for reasons unknown to me. 
The craziest thing is that I swear I can see the pecan tree branches starting to swell with new growth. They have that arthritic knuckle look about them. It's weird because pecans are always the very last tree to leaf out. They are the first to lose their leaves in the fall, the last to get them in the spring. I have been observing that everything else seems to be blooming or leafing in the regular time but this is truly odd. Perhaps I'm wrong but when I brought it to Mr. Moon's attention, he admitted that he thought so too. Our pecan trees are very old and the branches are very high so it's hard to tell for sure but damn! I just went outside to check on the one right behind the back porch and I can definitely see leaves coming out.

There you go. That limb that shows up black in the photo is a pecan branch and it is making leaves. The tree behind it is a water oak and they keep their leaves through most of the winter and do not drop them until the new ones come and push the old ones off. Same with the live oaks.

We really ought to take these pecans out. They never produce more than what the squirrels can eat. 

They're tall and spindly and drop branches in a breeze. They are...old.

I'm feeling so old. I don't exactly know what's going on with me. I think that perhaps this stupid kidney stone that's too big to go through my ureter may be playing up. I've been having achy pangs and my stomach has the same feeling it did with the last one. Sort of...not right. 
Or I could be making this up because it's my mind that's not right. 
Yesterday when I was talking to William, the guy who owns the landscaping company, he said, "We never see you at Kool Beanz anymore." I agreed that was true and told him that I rarely go out at night, that I have a lot of anxiety these days. 
"Well, you can't let that rule your life!" he said, and I thought, Oh, you sweet, sweet boy.
He and his husband love to travel and they got back from Tanzania recently. TANZANIA! I have other friends who have made plans to go to Chile to stay in a place in the most arid desert in the world. 
I hear the stargazing is amazing. 
People DO these things. 
People go to Walmart too which is almost as unfathomable as going to the most arid desert in the world to me but not quite. I do go to Walmart sometimes. 
Needs must, blah, blah, blah. 

Thank goodness I can still go to lunch. I mean- where would my career be if I couldn't? For those of you who missed it, I recently described going out to lunch as my new career. Today I met Jessie and Lily at The Wharf which is about a thousand times better than that Fish House place Jessie and I went to last week. It's also right beside Costco so there you go. We had a good time talking, as always. Before Lily got there, Jessie told me about her experience at the birth yesterday. It wasn't exactly typical, if there even is such a thing. The mother's first two babies had come very fast and this one came even faster, I think. Jessie was not there when the nine-pound boy arrived. Tanashia, the midwife, had barely gotten there herself. A birth that happens within three hours of contractions starting is called a precipitous birth and when you read about women who have their babies on the way to the hospital, that's often the story. In my experience, precips are generally pretty uncomplicated. Not always, but mild shock seems to be the most commonly reported negative outcome. These are the babies that firefighters and police officers and EMT's and daddies and siblings often end up delivering. Or the mothers themselves. I remember a home birth I attended once where in the prenatal visits, the father said over and over again that he really did not want to be in the room when the baby came. 
So of course he ended up catching that child himself as his wife's labor was so short that neither the midwives nor I made it there on time. 
All was well. 


For several weeks now, I've been thinking about making a hippie apple cake. That's the kind of cake that when I was a very young hippie I could throw together in almost any kitchen while everyone in the rest of the house was quite stoned and listening to records or making music in the next room. Don't get me wrong- I was stoned too. 
It was my super power. The munchies are true and powerful and having cake magically appear was astounding. 
I rarely bake these days except for bread and I'm having a hard time with it. My bread does not rise the way it should and it's not the yeast. It foams up nicely. So I am not really surprised that the cake I just made looks more like bread pudding in texture than cake-like. 

I have lost my baking magic, it would seem. 
Probably because...I am old. 
Or at least, feeling so old. 

I guess I'll go make a little caramel frosting to go on it. That will help. And at least the cake is full of apples and raisins and pecans and spices. 

Owen is coming tomorrow to spend the night. I am very happy about that. He and his Boppy are going on a youth duck hunt early Saturday morning. He wants chicken and dumplings for his MerMade dinner and so he shall have it. There is something about my feelings for Owen that are so tender and deep that if having to be old is a prerequisite for having a fourteen-year old grandson to love so much, I guess it's okay. 

And damn. The tears come again. 

It's all right. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. You sound delicate today, emotionally a bit fragile. But with some joy, so there's that.

  2. is your oven temp off???? my rice never cooks right here when it's humid so maybe that too??? xxalainaxx

    1. No. I've checked it. It's fine. I'll check it again though. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Maybe the problem with the Hippie Apple Cake is that you needed to get stoned before making it! :) Just a thought.

    I've never seen pecans starting this early either but I trust your eye. I wish we had a pecan tree or two. I love the nuts but they're really expensive in the stores.

    For some reason I've always had an aversion to that color of azalea. I like small pale pink and white azaleas, though.

    1. You could be right about the stoned part! I so wish I liked to get stoned. I could get my medical marijuana card in a heartbeat.
      I don't know how long it takes for pecans to start putting out nuts after you plant them but problably awhile.
      That is a fairly gaudy pink.

  4. Lol at Jennifer! All joking aside a few CBD gummies might not go amiss.

    1. I've never done well with ingesting weed orally. But then again, I've never tried gummies.

  5. I wonder if the type of flour you are using is correct for what you are baking!
    Marcia in Colorado

    1. Yes. It is. I use AP for everything except bread and I use bread flour for that.

  6. That cake looks wonderful. Here's another piece of advice I like: "just stop worrying about it".

    1. You're right. I need to go down a few notches on the worry-o-gram.

  7. My mother always used to say that if you are not feeling well your baking won't turn out. Just a thought.

  8. I hope you all have a great visit and that you begin to feel better.

  9. If things aren't rising the way they should perhaps the flour is too old. Try it with a fresh box/bag/packet and see if it makes a difference.
    The cake looks done around the edges but not in the middle, could it be weighed down with too much apple?

    1. No. My flour isn't old at all.
      And yes, I did put too many apples in it. I guess I was trying to be healthier. Ha! Better to just eat the apples.

  10. Did you put weed in the hippie apple cake? How did it taste? It looks beautiful to me. I’ll bet that father who “caught“ the baby is really happy about that now. Just to clear things up, we are the same age. I am NOT old. Therefore, you are NOT old. Here it would be said that we are mayor, which I suppose means in our majority. And that’s not viejo (old). I love your new career. Do you get coffee breaks? And, yeah, sweet, sweet boy! Oh, those pep talks by the unaware.

    1. No. I never wasted weed in food items. Remember when pot brownies were the big thing? I ate some once and thought I was going to die.
      I've often wondered what happened to that father and mother and the quick baby! The child must be forty-five, at least, by now.
      Okay. I'll just be mayor, not viejo. I'm trusting you on this.
      I really don't get a lot of coffee breaks with this job. I should complain to management.
      Just...DON'T DO THAT! That's what I hear when people who have no idea what they're talking about give me advice about depression or anxiety.

    2. One of my faves [least faves] is, “It’s all about your attitude. You just have to be positive.” To be clear, you would be vieja, not viejo. But mayor is the same for us both, which makes it easier. I suppose you can incorporate your coffee breaks into your lunches. Everyone has stories I think about their first pot brownies, etc. “I don’t feel a thing. Do you?” “No. Let’s have more.”

    3. I guess I generally have iced tea breaks incorporated into my lunches.
      I am so embarrassed! Even with my limited Spanish I should know the difference between "viejo" and "vieja".
      Yes. "Just choose to be happy" is as valuable as "Jus choose not to have cancer." Ummm. Okay.
      "I don't feel a thing." Gawd. Yes. So many intensely uncomfortable experiences began with that. Live and learn.

  11. since I don't bake or make bread I have no input on either. and I'm a bit older than you and I'm with Mitchell, you aren't old, you're aging.

    I think I'd like to travel again, experience another country and place, but then when I really think about it I have no desire to experience airports or planes again.

    1. Aging at a frightening rate, to be honest.
      I know what you're talking about- airports? Planes. No thank you. I'd rather not.

  12. I'm not a baker so I can't help with that.
    I'm sure an overnight with Owen will do much to lift your spirits. Hope so!

  13. That azalea photo -- you're sorry for the lighting?! It's beautiful!

    I have no clue about the apple cake, but I bet it tastes wonderful, which is what matters. May it transport you back to your hippie years. :)

    Your pecan trees look about like our elder trees in the back of the garden. I'm wondering if we'll regret not taking them out entirely, but they're still leafing out in the spring and I figure as long as they do that I'll keep them around.

    I love how expressive you are in your feelings for all your grandchildren. They will get so much out of reading your blog for years to come.

    1. In the morning those azaleas are glowing and that's when I always think about taking a picture but never do.
      The cake did not taste wonderful. I didn't eat my piece. I put it in the compost. Glen claims it's pretty good. He is lying.
      Yeah. What DO you do about old trees? At least they are giving us shade.
      I hope my kids want to and can read my blog when they're older. They all know about it and they all know that I write about them.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.