Sunday, June 30, 2024

Crazy Summer Stuff

Bathroom window ornamentation.
Linda Sue sent me that awhile back and I'm always sort of shy about telling someone that I've put something they gave me in my bathroom but the truth is, my bathroom is where all the coolest, prettiest things go because it is the coolest, prettiest room in the whole dang house. It is, in a way, my gallery of favorite things. 

I really haven't taken many pictures today at all. I generally take outside picture although not always, of course. But today it has been unbearably hot and humid out. It did rain last night, a good earth-slammer of a downpour which was a beautiful thing and then we got another quick, hard shower today but when the sun came out full strength, it appeared to be trying to turn every drop that had fallen into steam. It has been sauna-like. I took my basket out to pick in the garden and forgot my sweat rag. Since it had just rained, I thought I'd be fine but no, I was not fine. By the time I came in the house I was awash in sweat. Not just drenched. Awash. Like it was sheeting off of me. And that was enough of that mess. 
I got some more beans, of course, and some more of the oh-so prolific cherry tomatoes. One good cucumber which does not a jar of pickles make. Also some peppers. Our regular tomatoes are not faring so well. We have many lovely green unripe ones but as soon as they start to color, the bugs come in and destroy them. Ugh. 
I saw a little video where a guy that I have no idea who is but who LOOKS knowledgable, said to go ahead and pick your unripe tomatoes and put them in a paper bag to ripen. That they will emit a gas that has hormones in it which cause them to color up and grow ripe. I'm trying it. Why not? What have I got to lose? 

Look how gorgeous these tomatoes are, still hanging on the vine.

I love their rather striated, variegated appearance. They are Nebraska Wedding tomatoes, a heirloom variety that sweet Jennifer sent me the seeds for. I am loving watching all the different heirlooms grow that I started from seeds she sent me. I go out and cheer for them, encouraging them as much as I can. "You go, Hillbilly Potato Tomatoes! You can do this, Italian Romas! All right, you Berkley Tie-Dyes, I'm counting on you! Mama wants to make Papa a tomato pie!"

And so forth. 

So. In yesterday's post I made a glaring mistake. That was NOT a red snapper that Mr. Moon caught. It was indeed red but it was a red grouper! Commenter Barbara pointed this out to me. I am slightly embarrassed but I freely admit that I am no ichthyologist or even a fisher person. I am just a wife who is given lovely cleaned fishes to cook which I gladly do. 
Thank you, Barbara. 
We are not having snapper or grouper tonight but instead, cobia. One of the guys on the boat yesterday caught a massive one and they all shared the meat. I have never even eaten cobia as far as I know, much less cooked it but I'm going to try tonight. I hear that it is a fish prized for its buttery taste, and the steaks cut out of it big as big steaks. Glen sort of wants me to try to blacken it which is another thing I've never done but in the spirit of making the fisherman/husband/birthday boy happy, I will try. This involves spices and a skillet that you get really, really hot. It's going to be tricky because these steaks are thick and the line between blackened and burnt must be respected while at the same time, getting the fish done all the way to the middle. 
I hear that you may want to open doors and window before beginning the blackening process. 
Ooh boy. 
We shall see how this works out. 

When Glen got home last night he was indeed exhausted. But he was also hungry so I heated up a plate of food and he ate that, tried a bite of his cake, and then came to bed. He was up with cramps a few times but did all the remedies including drinking pickle juice and eventually, he was able to go back to sleep. I slept through it all, of course. 

And today has been a sweet day of many birthday kisses and a Sunday morning breakfast which involved biscuits, and here is Jack, sitting in the kitchen on a rug that I dug out of the rag box last night for Mr. Moon to wipe his feet on. 

Cats have such an innate sense of where they will look the best. He's getting his thyroid medication every day and he will eat some of his Meow Mix but he's not gaining much weight, if any. I don't think he's losing his hair the way he was though. I imagine this is a slow process. 
And I know I could fix up that rug but we are no longer using small throw rugs due to Mr. Moon's neuropathy and balance issues. We adapt, don't we? But it certainly still looks fine with Jack posing on it. 

I hear thunder off in the distance again and I suppose we may get more rain this evening. I am yearning to get back into the garden to pull weeds. Strangely, weeding has become one of my most favorite activities but I cannot do it in a sauna. 

I'll let you know how the cobia turns out. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 29, 2024

If You Are Arachnophobic, Just Skip This One

 Not an overly exciting looking cake, is it? I assure you that it is not as tipsy as it looks in the picture. For one thing, my kitchen goes downhill from one side to the other and also, I was taking the picture. 
Anyway, that cake is pretty much the sum total of what I did today. 
I realized when I was making it that the filling of a German chocolate cake is quite possibly the most calorie-dense food on earth. It contains a can of sweetened condensed milk which has so much sugar in it that it should be banned, a cup of sugar because the sweetened condensed milk didn't have enough, four egg yolks, and 3/4 of a cup of butter. Also a bunch of coconut and pecans. And that doesn't even include the four eggs, two cups of butter, two cups of sugar, and a lot of chocolate in the cake itself. 

Eat at your own risk. 

Just got a text from the birthday man. They arrived safely in Lanark which is where they dock. They appear to have had a great day of fishing. 

That is one hell of a red snapper. 
I cannot imagine how happy and how tired he must be. He was tired when he drove down there last night and I know they get up so very early to get out on the water, then fish all day in this heat which is no joking matter, and this is not sit-on-the-bank-with-a-worm-on-your-hook-under-a-shade-tree fishing. 
I'm ashamed to say this but there is nothing in this whole world that I can imagine putting out that much effort for in the name of pleasure. And you could also take off the "in the name of pleasure" part of the sentence and it would still be true for me. 

So yes, I made a cake and I also met up with Lily, Rachel, Owen, Gibson, and Ms. Magnolia June for lunch at the Hilltop. I was so happy to see them all. I swear on all that is holy that Owen has grown a few more inches in the two weeks I haven't seen him. He's not just taller than me. He towers over me. He's as tall as his mama and he is nowhere near growing yet. Gibson, too, is growing and I'll be looking up to him before the summer is up. Maggie's getting taller too. That Moon gene is a strong, strong gene. 

I imagine that DNA getting together with my DNA and saying, "Get out of the way, you puny little runts!"

We had a good time at the old Hilltop, as we always do. I got one of my usual lunches- a chicken salad on a salad which is a tasty mayonnaise fest. I eat so slowly now. I remember my mother doing this. What the hell is that all about? There are SO many things they don't tell you about aging and eating slower is one of them. I do not mind eating slowly at all but when I'm eating with a lot of other people, I always feel as if I'm holding things up. Glen and I both remember when Lily was a baby and then a toddler and when we'd go out to eat with the family, one of us would have to take her out in the stroller to walk her around because if we didn't, she'd scream bloody murder. So we'd rush through our food as fast as possible to let the other one eat and after it was all over we'd look at each other and say, "Did I eat?"
But these days I take it slow and it's nice. I enjoy it. And I enjoyed talking to the kiddos and to Lily and Rachel. Hank had a lunch planned with another friend so he couldn't join us and of course May was working. But it was a very nice time.

Dear god it is hot again. Actually, the temperature isn't quite as high as it has been but the humidity is 72% which means you basically need scuba equipment to breathe outside. No sweet, sweet rain to offer relief today. 

I've done a lot of thinking today about the whole debate debacle and how everyone in the Democrat party is calling for Biden to step down. I mean- I opened my New York Time's news app and there were like five or six opinion pieces on that very subject. And meanwhile, have there been ANY Republicans who have called for Trump to step down as their presidential candidate due to his mental, moral, and criminal liabilities, not to mention that he's a sex offender, did a terrible job of running the country when he was president, and reportedly shits his pants? No. No they have not. They throw the red carpet down for their royal Emperor with No Clothes On, tossing flowers and praise and begging and pleading for the honor of kissing his butt. They have, with very few exceptions, blindly followed this sociopath into complete La-La-Land and handed over the keys to the kingdom, making his daughter-in-law the co-chair of the Republican National Committee. 
So- what the FUCK, NYT's and all you other news outlets? Why haven't you made a big deal of the Republicans having a convicted felon as their candidate? 

Another thing I've been thinking about is how Biden does have a stutter. A speech impediment, and I think that most likely the fact that he knew that he only had two minutes or one minute for each answer or rebuttal stressed him out a great deal which of course caused his stutter to be worse. You could see him pause and search for how to say what he was thinking. And I am not saying that his performance was anywhere near what it had been at the State of the Union address when he was on it, strong and clear. But in that speech, he had the time to find and use his own rhythms and employ the strategies he must use in order to express his thoughts clearly. He did not have that on Thursday night. 
And on top of everything else, everything that was thrown at him by Trump was such an obvious lie that I'm sure he was somewhat flabbergasted. 
Which is just as outdated of a word as "malarky". 


When I went to bed on Thursday, after watching the debates, I saw this on my new bark-clothed covered little nightstand dresser. 

At first, my brain would not accept what I was seeing. It wanted to believe that that was just part of the print design on the fabric but I quickly realized that it was not. I did not scream but I did take a picture, and texted Glen who was still in the Glen Den that this was in our room and to bring a jar, please, right now! 
Unfortunately, in my agitation, I sent the picture and message to someone else whom I'd been texting with about the debates. When he didn't respond, I rushed to where he was sitting in front of the TV and told him what was going on, hurried to the kitchen to get a container to catch the spider in, and he followed. Unfortunately, at that point, the spider took off and scampered under the bed so...I have no idea where it is now. I looked under the bed for it but did not see it. I think it was a wolf spider which is scarier-looking than it is dangerous. 
Still. I mean. My god.

And then the next morning, when he'd already gone to Tom's, I found a mouse in the library whose head had been removed. I am sure that Maurice killed the poor thing and ate the head although who knows what Jack does at night? And so I had to sweep the poor little corpse into a dustpan and throw it out into some distant bushes. 
And I suppose- better dead than scurrying around, making more mouse babies. 

I thought once again of what Lily said once when we'd recently moved here and she got up before dawn to go to work and somehow a bat and a cockroach both got themselves into her personal space in the bathroom and she screamed, "Too much nature!"

Never boring in Lloyd. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 28, 2024

All The Emotions

I sent this man off an hour ago to head to the coast to hopefully go fishing on the gulf tomorrow. That's how he wants to spend his birthday which is no big surprise to me. He found that picture in his memories the other day and sent it to me and Jessie and it perfectly represents the true way he holds and enfolds all of us. And the way he loves with all of himself. And of course, the way he is loved back.

I am feeling raw this evening. I got an e-mail from a reader who lost her husband just a few days ago and my heart broke for her. Mr. Moon and I have been especially tender and loving these past few days. You know how relationships are. I always say that sometimes the tide is in and sometimes the tide is out. Sometimes the moon is full and sometimes it's just a tiny crescent. But the moon and the water are assuredly still all there, even when it appears that they are not, but oh, it is glorious when we see them in fullness. And as we grow older and the fact of our mortality becomes more and more real as I said yesterday, I think we become more careful and cherishing in our love for each other. At least, that is how it seems to be for us. Certainly for me. 

Look at this.

That is Tom's tiny house and if you will notice- the lights are on. So is the air-conditioning, according to Glen. The water is hooked up, the hot water heater too. The refrigerator is running. He even found an old antenna set to go on Tom's TV so that he can get local channels as he has no internet or cable. It is all ready for Tom to move into. Glen was up and out, working on it all before I even woke up this morning. He wanted so badly to finish it before he left to go fishing. 

And he did it. 

It is not just the fact that we are getting older that makes me respect and cherish this man more, it is the way he continues to show me what he is made of and he can still surprise me with that. 

So. I am feeling raw too because of last night's debate. You all know what I am talking about. I so hate to say this but Biden appeared so frail, so unsure of himself at times, and so, well- let's face it- old. 
Yes. He had a cold. Yes. He has a stutter. Yes. He is 81 years old but shit, Mick Jagger will be 81 next month and let us just say that Biden is not making us say, "Wow! I can't believe he's 81!" 
The debate was poorly moderated. No fact checking and of course everything out of Trump's mouth was a lie. He is the greatest, his four years of being president were the greatest four years in the history of the US. He is the best golf player. He did not fuck a porn star. Illegals from prisons and mental institutions are swarming across the border, taking all the "Black jobs" and sucking our country dry. In some states, abortion after the delivery of a full term baby is legal. It was never-ending. 
All of what I just said is true. 
But this is also true- his followers do not care. They already know that he is a con man, a liar, a convicted felon, a man who has no morals or scruples or empathy or concern about anyone but himself. They know it but they love that about him. They have convinced themselves that he is worthy of their undying support as surely as they have convinced themselves that he is their god's one, true choice to lead our country. 
They are in a cult and he is their leader. 
And what about those who are still unsure which way they want to vote? 
Well, to my mind if you are still undecided as to who the better candidate is, then you're obviously as delusional as the people wearing Maga Hats, American flag shirts, and adult diapers outside your clothing holding signs that say, "Real men wear diapers."

I, as so many other people, would vote for a steaming pile of a yellow dog's shit before I'd vote for Trump. But are there enough of us? 
I don't know. What I do know is that Glen and I both sat in front of the TV last night, absolutely devastated. I wanted to knit as I watched but ended up merely trying to untangle a ball of yarn. Finally, I got up and said, "That's enough. I'm going to bed."
And then I did. 

I got out into the garden this morning and I weeded in the sun and the heat until I was running with sweat, trying to purify myself, I suppose. I came in to eat my lunch and it began to rain which is only a blessing in this time and season. I sat on the back porch and listened to the wind as it gusted. Somewhere in the yard there's a tree that has a branch that cracked and then cracked again, but I never heard a fall. 

Tomorrow I am hopefully going to spend time with Lily and Lauren and the kids and maybe Hank and Rachel too. We shall see. And I will be making a German chocolate cake for that good man. I hope that he has a wonderful time tonight with his buddies, drinking whiskey, going out to eat, laughing and telling stories and will come home to me, seventy years old, as handsome as ever, more precious than I ever could have imagined when I was the twenty-nine year old woman who met and fell in love with him. 

I suppose I should tell you that yes, my bed has clean sheets on it and that I am sipping a martini. Life goes on. 

Happy Friday, y'all. Or at least as happy as it can be. Here's what one of my oldest friends wrote to me this morning after I'd written him the terse message, "We are fucked."
He said, "I take some hope in that there are several months and numerous possibilities."
I am trying to do the same. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Still More Beans But Some Other Stuff Too

I really thought I'd do a repeat of yesterday because I enjoyed it so much but that's not what I ended up doing. I didn't do any weeding but just picked beans so yes, I have more now than I did before in my kitchen but I'll tell y'all something- the pot of beans I cooked last night was one of the best pots of beans we've ever eaten. They were creamy and delicious. Took awhile to cook them. Not as long as if they'd been dried but they were worth every minute it took them to render them tender, not to mention every minute it took me to grow and shell them. I've been convinced for years that these heirloom rattlesnake beans were the only pole beans I'd ever plant again because of their vigor, hardiness and long and abundant yield. But now I feel like I've found a completely new thing about them to love which is eating the shelled beans when they get too large to cook as green beans. I just looked up the origin of rattlesnake beans and a website called "Gardening Know How" says that they came from the Southwest and are mainly associated with the Hopi. I feel certain that although they most likely did eat some of the young tender beans, they probably grew them primarily in order to shell and dry them when they got bigger, thus being able to store them for winter eating. I ate a bowl of the leftovers for my lunch today along with a piece of the cornbread I baked last night. 
Because it's been so hot I haven't wanted to turn on the oven last night so I baked my cornbread in my air-fryer/toaster/oven and then air-fried the grouper I was cooking. Such a fine little kitchen appliance. It'll cook one of my smaller skillets of cornbread perfectly in about fifteen minutes. If that thing breaks down, I'll buy another one. It is that useful. 

I know you are all so tired of my bean talk. I'm sorry but I freely admit I'm obsessed right now. I remember once when I was planting my garden when we lived in town, the little boy next door came over and saw what I was doing and he said, "Mary, why are you planting those seeds?" and I said, "Robert, I'm not sure. I just know I have to."
And I do. All these years later, I still do. 

But back to the day- Glen's birthday is on Saturday. He will be turning seventy and then a month minus a day later, I will be seventy as well. Somehow I like the idea of being seventy. Seventy sounds so much more...legitimate...than being in my sixties. Maybe it's because I remember when my grandparents were in their seventies and still hale and hearty. Or at least my grandfather was. Granny was frailer, and didn't do much at all outside the house while he planted things and tamed the Roseland jungle and pruned the palm trees and made things out of wood in his shop. Granny was profoundly deaf and had been from a much younger age. Whatever it was that caused her deafness affected her balance tremendously. I hear that she was quite active in her younger years, teaching physical education to girls which was a rather shocking idea at the time. My mother said she'd loved to dance. But still, she and Granddaddy lived a fairly active life and had friends with whom they played cards and went out to the Anchor restaurant to eat with. 
I guess what I'm saying here is that I have good associations with the idea of people in their seventies. But I'm not sure Glen does. Neither one of his parents made it to that age. And while we were on our trip, he got a phone call from a very good friend of his from basketball days whose wife had just unexpectedly died. Glen had been at their wedding, eons ago, and the news struck him hard. 
This is what happens at our age. The idea of death becomes more real with every passing day. 
"Isn't it funny?" I asked my husband the other day. "Not one human has ever not died." 
I feel certain that we will not be the first to do so. Immortality is not part of the deal. 

Anyway, Glen will probably be fishing on Saturday, or at least he hopes he will be. He says he doesn't want anything else for his birthday but I did buy him a bottle of the bourbon he loves and I asked him what dessert he'd like me to make him. He said that he'd really like a German Chocolate Cake and so I will make him one. But that meant a trip back to the store and so off I went after I picked the beans, had my lunch, and took a shower. I went to Lily's Publix and got to visit with her for a moment and that's where I bought the bourbon. I also bought other groceries, despite my assertion TWO DAYS AGO that I would not need to go back to the store for two weeks. 
I read a recipe in the NYT's cooking newsletter today that intrigued me so much I wanted to make it and needed a few things for that and the cake. The NYT's recipe sounds ridiculous in view of the ingredients in it but it got so much praise in the comments, hundreds of them, that I feel I must try it. Plus, it has tomatoes in it and although all I have at the moment are cherry tomatoes, I'm going to make that work.

Hopefully. The name of the recipe is Dumpling Tomato Salad with Chili Crisp Vinaigrette. See what I mean about the ingredients sounding completely unrelated? 

I'll let you know how that goes. 

And here's a lovely picture of Maurice, putting her feet up after a long day of lazing about. 

A little while ago when I walked past her, I reached out to give her a little scratch which usually results me getting a big scratch but she gently held my hand in her paws with claws retracted and gave the back of my hand a little rough-tongue grooming and then let me go without injury. 
Miracles never cease. 
Thank all of you for the suggestions on how to get these cats back on their dry food. Maurice has pretty much accepted the fact that she's not getting more than a tablespoon or so of wet food a day and is back to eating the formerly beloved Meow Mix while Jack is still yowling at me to tell me that he is going to die if I don't spoon some more chunks and gravy into a bowl and set it before him. 
Well. Too bad, Jack. Time to get on with your life. 

Are you going to watch the debate tonight? I will but only because I am hoping to see DJT stroke out on the stage when his pathetic, swiftly rotting brain completely goes haywire, short circuits, and renders him literally speechless. 
Look. I didn't say I wanted him to die. Okay? But if that were to be part of god's plan, I would not weep.

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Beans And More Beans

 Not a one of you commented yesterday on the photo of my salacious sago palm. Does this mean that I am more easily amused by juvenile humor than the rest of you?
Probably. I should apologize if I offended anyone but hey! I didn't design sago palms that way. Talk to your own personal creator/god about that. 

I basically did two things today. 
One was weeding one of the field pea beds. Bean beds. Whatever. 

At this point in summer, if you don't keep up with the weeds they'll be knee high and thick as the fibers on a fine shag carpet if you turn your back. I had noticed that there are sections of our garden that are right on the verge of that and those three rows was one of the areas so I worked for probably about forty-five minutes, clearing them, and that was absolutely all I could do of that and I had to come inside. Soon after I did, though, we got a beautiful little storm, thunder and all, with a decent soaking rain. Not too long, not too hard but it surely did drop the temperature a good ten degrees which was a blessed gift. It's still cooler. 

I settled inside with my beans and worked on those some more. I started watching a series as I snapped and shelled that I've been meaning to watch for a long time. Hank has told me over and over again how much I'd like it and I know that Ellen and her husband love the show as she speaks of it frequently. So I began and before I knew it, I was deeply involved in the characters. Oh! I forgot to mention the name of it- Reservation Dogs. Perhaps reading Quiet Until the Thaw, which takes place mainly on a reservation, influenced me to finally see what was what. Hank and Rachel love it so much that they have not watched the two final episodes because they don't want it to be over. 
That, when it comes to a series, is true love.
So yes, I'll be watching that and another thing that summer provides along with weeds, is plenty of beans to shell which is a very fine thing to sit and do while watching TV. I know, I know- everyone's grandma always sat on the porch to shell their bushels of beans but it's 2024 and I'd prefer to sit on the couch in the air conditioned Glen Den and watch some television, thank you very much. 
I bet your granny would have too. 

So. What has Mr. Moon been up to since we got back? 
Well, he got a call from Tom who is now ready to make the move into the Tiny House. Although rain and bugs and no electricity was not enough to get him out of the trailer, this heat has been. And of course the Tiny House has not yet been hooked up to electricity so guess who rented a trencher today in which to lay the power line which guess who arranged to be put in? 
Oh, you know. Glen Moon. Who also used the trencher to dig the trench and who also hit a water line because Tom did not remember it was there, nor was it marked, so when he goes back tomorrow to return the trencher to Home Depot, he'll get the PVC he needs to fix the water line. 
This project never will really end, will it? 
But I know that it really makes Glen feel good to do these things, not only because he loves to work hard at a project but because he knows that no one else is going to do it. 

Here are the beans I shelled today. 

And that was a few hours of work. This is not a speedy operation. But that's okay. I enjoyed every moment of it, being all cool and comfortable and watching a new (to me) series with excellent acting, good story lines, and, as I can tell, even better ones to come. 

I've got those beans cooking right now with a piece of bacon, some chopped onions, and a few of the more tender snapped beans. I hope they are good. For whatever reason, growing beans of that size makes me feel as if I am growing REAL food, as opposed to, eh- cucumbers? So silly. 

I'll let you know how they taste.

Oh- I have gotten an e-mail from a regular commenter who says that her comments won't publish. Is anyone else having that problem? I haven't changed any settings so I have no idea what's going on. Of course, if you can't comment, you'll have to email me to tell me. My email address is right up there on the blog page under Ms. Moon. Also- it appears that the method of posting pictures on the blog has changed. It actually seems faster and more efficient. Any of y'all notice that? 

Technology. It is a boon and a bane, isn't it? 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

It Is The Season Of The Phlox


That is exactly how far I've gotten on the Great Green Bean Project. I did have other things to take care of today before I got to that but honestly, I'm simply overwhelmed and I really need to let go of my insane desire to preserve all of the beans I picked yesterday. That really is not rational. 
When I got up this morning, I looked around the kitchen and said, "Well, I see the canning fairy did not show up last night."
And no. No he did not. I have no idea why I think the canning fairy would be male but I do. 

What you see in that picture is my bag of beans which is about 1/4 of the beans I picked yesterday and the colander is holding the beans I consider young enough to snap, the metal bowl contains the beans I have shelled, and the basket is what I'm putting my pods in and that will go into the compost. 
Here's how big and lovely the beans within the beans are.

I may try to blanch and freeze those and will them cook them the same way I cook my other field pea beans. They are just like dried beans but fresh and so take a lot less time to cook. I will cook a potful before I go to the trouble of freezing them to see if indeed they are tasty enough to go to the trouble of shelling and freezing them. 
I think they will be. 

One of the things I had to do today was continue with my tidying efforts. I just wanted my house to feel like my house again and as I often say, I equate this to a dog peeing around the perimeter of his space. I know, I know. That's uncouth. 
So am I.
One of the things I did was to put the new piece of bark cloth on the little dresser by my bed. 

It is perfect with the monkey lamp. 

I love my mama-baby monkey lamp. It is the last thing I see every night when I reach over to turn out the light. 

I also wanted to tidy because Candie was due to come this afternoon. One MUST tidy before the cleaner comes, right? But around noon I was done with what I felt needed to be done and got dressed and went to Tallahassee to go to Costco, Publix, and the library. The Diana book was due today and not renewable because it's just been published and I'm sure there's a waiting list. I enjoyed it but it was like all of Chris Bohjalian's books in my experience- good plot, pretty good writing, but there's always just some spice that's missing. And the ending of this one was tied up in a bow that was way too pretty and fancy in my opinion. Oh well, it did keep me interested and entertained. 

Nothing too exciting happened at Costco. One funny thing occurred when I threw a bathing suit into my cart that I've been looking at for at least two months. The thing I like about it is that it has no real bra situation going on. I am not putting on a bathing suit with a goddam bra in it. No way. And at this point in my life, I have very little pride and I know I'm going to look the way I look in whatever I wear so the no-real-bra factor is about good enough. I find the print non-offensive.

I love the way they sell those things on a woman-shaped piece of cardboard. An old guy (probably my age) was walking by just as I put it in my cart and he said, "That's you!" 
"You think?" I said.
"Oh yeah. You're gonna look good in that."
I rolled my eyes so hard it's amazing they're still in my sockets and walked on. 

Publix wasn't too exciting either. I got more canning jars. And other things, of course. I swear- except for maybe Mr. Moon needing more cereal and milk, I do not see why I'd have to go back to the store for two weeks. But of course I will. 

I came home and unloaded the car and Candie fussed at me because she would have done that and I said, "This is my job. I do this all the time." Candie is the most wanting-to-be helpful person I believe I've ever met. I will gladly bring in my own groceries and pay her to vacuum. 

This morning before I left, I decided to take some pictures of the blooming phlox. It is in brilliant bloom. 

This is the bed between the kitchen garden and the old shed. I love the combination of the palms trees with those flowers more than I can say. This is Florida, baby!

These are the ones in the little banana and everything else garden by the kitchen. 

And this is part of the original kitchen garden. When the house was built, it was traditional to put the kitchen separate from the house to cut down on the danger of fire (wood-fueled stoves and ovens, of course) and probably to prevent the house from getting so hot. 

The phlox growing behind the fence in the front yard. They cheer me there and I hope that people walking or even driving by will notice them and think, "Now that's pretty."

While I was taking these pictures, I noticed how the male sago palm is doing. 

Looks to me as if he is almost inappropriately ready. And randy. 

And that was my day. I do have a question for y'all. I need help. Since I started giving Jack his pill in a tiny bit of obviously yummy chunks in gravy cat food and giving Maurice a tiny bit too, they have completely stopped eating their dry food. The same dry food they've always eaten. I mean...I'm afraid they'll starve to death before they eat another kibble of Meow Mix. I know I could try mixing in a little of the wet food with their dry food and see if they'll take that but I don't want to start with that sort of foolishness. I am not a cat short order cook and besides that, even the canned food at Costco is not cheap. 
Any suggestions? 
And please do not bother to tell me that if I were a cat, I would want the wet food too. I am not a cat although I understand that concept. 
I've ruined them. I knew this would happen.

Still hell hot here although it looks like instead of a high of 99 tomorrow we may be dipping into the mid 90's. Even that would help. People are falling out from this heat. Falling out, falling down, probably falling dead. I think about how this is not just a matter of our comfort and safety as humans but also a huge threat to our farms and fields and thus- our food supply. Of course this is a huge duh but the way it feels too hot for man nor beast is bringing the reality of it all home. 

Stay hydrated, my dears. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, June 24, 2024

Back To Work!

Both Mr. Moon and I slept very, very well last night and we woke up feeling pretty energetic and ready to GET TO IT! His first priority was that starter for the generator and he did indeed get it where it's supposed to go and all hooked up the way it's supposed to be and now it runs like a fine diesel truck engine and as long as a tree doesn't fall on our house we'll be fine during hurricane season. 

I did a load of laundry including my bedspread quilt which Jack had obviously napped on a lot, and a tablecloth and some other things and hauled them out to the line and hung them out in that baking sun. By ten o'clock it was already hot enough to make me sweat, just pinning those things up. But oh, it made me so happy to dry them outside. 

My main goal for the day was to get the beans picked. But before I did that I needed to do a few other things, including going to the post office to collect the mail. 
We have a new post mistress and her name is Keisha. She is about as different from the one we did have as a person could be. The lady who just left told me she was leaving before we took off on our trip. I had been leery of her at first as she never wore anything resembling a USPS uniform at all, and bedroom slippers may have been involved, and she has a lot of tattoos, including neck tattoos but she turned out to be a very good post mistress, going out of her way to help when she could. She told me she was going to be working only at the Monticello PO and it was an advancement so I'm glad for her. The Lloyd post office is only open in the mornings and it's sort of a forgotten land in the vast postal service. But Keisha was wearing the full regalia, looking fine and professional, hair done, and long, long fingernails that came to a rather scary point at the ends painted a vibrant yellow. 
She went and fetched a package that had come for me and said, "What a pretty box!" and I looked at it and knew immediately who it had come from. Linda Sue, the sender of treasures! And inside that pretty box, I found treasures indeed including this lovely perfect little piece of art that she made. 

I walked with the lovely through the house to try and find where she wanted to be and I don't think I've found it yet so I set her with a group of dolls that Linda Sue  has sent me so that she could soak up that good Linda Sue energy and love and know that she is in a safe and loving place. 

Plus there is a nurse on duty so all is very well. 

There were other delights in the box including yet another piece of bark cloth which I love and adore and I believe I'm going to put that on the little dresser that serves as my night stand. 

So that was a really nice surprise but oh my goodness it was time to get out and pick those beans! I knew that many of them were going to be too big to cook normally as they would be tough but I think I'll be able to shell them. 
Y'all. It was hot. Hell hot. Satan's balls hot. I picked my regular picking basket full, came in and dumped all of those in a very large canvas shopping bag, swigged some water, splashed cold water on my face, and went back out. I picked another basket full and put those in my big white plastic bowl that I use for so many things. I think it came from the Dollar Store and I sure have gotten my bang for the buck on that kitchen tool. And THEN, I picked another basket full. 
Also a few cucumbers, an eggplant, and some cherry tomatoes. Mr. Moon also picked cherry tomatoes. 
Here is what is in my kitchen right now.

I am completely overwhelmed. I have no idea what to do with all those beans. I'm not sure I could even give them away due to their post-mature state. I simply did not have the energy left after the picking in the heat to do another thing with them. I suppose I should at least put them in the refrigerator if I can find room for them. The cherry tomatoes will be used in a pasta dish I'm making tonight. Or at least some of them. 

I did three more loads of laundry although I did not hang it outside. I dried those and folded them and put them away and then got the things off the line and all of that is where it belongs now. I also gave all the plants a good watering. I don't care how often Mark did it, it still needed doing. I think the plant that is happiest in this heat and its place in the full afternoon sun is my sea grape. Do y'all remember when I collected a bunch of sea grape pits when I was last in Roseland? I think that was two years ago. I planted every one of them eventually, and out of all of them, I got one plant that survived. I love that plant like I gave birth to it. 
Okay. Almost.

I still don't have a great deal of faith that it will continue to thrive but it sure is loving this heat and is putting out new leaves. It needs a bigger pot and more dirt and it probably needs a completely different sort of dirt. Sea grapes grow in a mixture of soil and sand and I have no sand. I suppose I could find some. Anyway, I'm proud of that thing. Along with my Roseland mango tree that I started from a pit, they are little living pieces of my childhood and they mean a lot to me.

So that's been my first day back home and I feel like I got some things done. I just went into the kitchen, looked at the beans and realized there is no way on earth I can fit those things into the refrigerator. I suppose I could take them to the refrigerator in the garage but I have used up every one of my heat units today and that's not happening. I sort of have to go to town tomorrow to do a little shopping and I need more canning jars so that I can do something with the beans anyway. And let's be honest- the world will not come to an end if some of those beans just get thrown into the compost pile. Of course that might result in the biggest bean patch in the world if those things started sprouting. 


I better go start cooking up cherry tomatoes. There will be more tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. The zinnias are coming along too. 

Sunday, June 23, 2024

We Have Traveled And We Have Come Home

Here's another thing the south has plenty of- churches. We passed possibly fifty of them today and they ranged from tiny to huge, from humble to impressive as hell. There were churches built of wood like the one above and churches built of brick. There were churches built of vinyl siding, or so they looked. We passed one Presbyterian church that was everything you'd want in a storybook version of a church. White, made of wood, like the one above, with a high, high steeple reaching up to heaven and a bell tower with a bell in it. I have no idea its age but it's been sitting there quite awhile. 
When I talked the other day about the durability of southern homes, I did not mean just the palatial ones. There are very small houses, built no doubt by farmers or store-owners for their families that are still as straight and true now as they were a hundred years or more ago. They have been "kept up" as we say. 
Here's one that isn't humble but isn't huge either and it's a pretty thing.

It does suffer a lack of flora though, doesn't it? Could definitely use some landscaping help. Many of the old houses are shaded so elegantly by giant oaks that were probably giant oaks when the houses were built. 

I suppose you can tell that we are home. It was not a bad drive at all today. We still took mostly the backroads which by now we have become somewhat familiar with. 
We stopped at one convenience store to use the restroom and walk around a little and I had to take a picture of the entrance. 

How much do we love those urns of plastic flowers? And then, when I asked for directions to the restroom, I discovered that we had stopped at the very same place last year because I definitely remembered the bathroom which was through some double doors that led to a restaurant and bar which shared the restrooms with the store. 
And I cannot tell you how many convenience stores there are between Black Mountain and Lloyd.
Nice, clean bathrooms, too. 

Yesterday, I finally finished reading "Crazy in Alabama" to Glen. We started that book years ago. It is not a bad book at all. We enjoyed it and the storyline was good enough that we could remember where we'd left off many months before. If you've never read it, I recommend it. So today we started one of the books I bought at the library in Black Mountain.

For those of you who have read any of Fuller's books, you know why I picked up and bought this, even though I had never heard of this title. And it is amazing. And yes, she was accused of appropriation when it came out because it is a book about the residents of a reservation for the Lakota but I don't care. Fuller grew up in Africa when there were wars about the appropriation of land by white people from the native people there and I think she has a right to write this story. Considered from any level, her writing is gorgeous and I probably read out loud for at least six hours today, reveling in her words every moment. 
I think that Mr. Moon enjoyed it too. 

So here we are, back home. When we pulled in I was so happy. My phlox are brilliant and glorious, and as soon as I got out of the car I called my cats and believe it or not, Maurice came running up, meowing, which is not her usual behavior when we return from a trip. She generally refuses to show her poor old scarred-up face until she feels that we have suffered enough. 

As we unloaded the car and set things down in the kitchen, she hung out in a sunny spot in the library and watched us. When I went back to unpack things in my bedroom, she followed me. 
And of course Jack is here and demanding treats as if he has not been fed since we left over a week ago although Mark left them three bowls of food. 

Y'all- it is so fucking hot here. It was 101 degrees on the kitchen porch when we got in. And of course, as soon as we had everything unloaded, we went out to the garden because that's how it works. Mark has made sure that everything has gotten watered while we were gone from porch plants to tomatoes. Bless that man. 
We took a few moments to walk around and check out what was going on and everything looks pretty good. The cherry tomatoes are going crazy, we had two lovely ripe Cherokee Purples, the eggplant is coming along, I found two more acorn squash and the volunteer butternut squash looks to be about ready to pick. 
And how about the green beans, you may ask? 

We picked a tiny bit and I am going to make a salad for us here in a moment with some of that. 

Yes. It is good to be home, despite the heat. I will be so glad to lay down in our own bed tonight. I tell you what, though, I'd give a whole lot of money to be sitting in that little North Carolina creek right now, up to my bosoms in that cold, moving water with my sweetheart who makes me laugh so much, sitting right beside me, skipping rocks and roiling the already roiling water with his walking stick. 

I may be visiting the Wacissa sooner rather than later. 

Let's all have sweet dreams tonight, okay?

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Almost Home

We said good-bye today to the sweetest rental house imaginable, Jessie and Vergil driving back to Black Mountain and Glen and I to Athens, Georgia. We had such a good time in that little house this year. Actually, it's not such a little house, and does not feel crowded at all with two children and four adults. As I say, it has everything we need, including space. And of course, that creek beside it that sings its own chuckling song all day and all night, lulling and laughing, telling the story of water over rocks, rushing down mountains. 

Yesterday was a big day for all of us. The men and boys went off to hike and fish and the ladies to get pedicures and shop and lunch and be self-indulgent. Vergil took some wonderful pictures of their adventure. 

Not to be outdone, Jessie and I soaked our feet in some sort of bizarre "detoxifying" gel which I will never do again but oh well- that, too, was a sort of adventure.

It was weird, y'all. But the leg massage I got was helpful. I have had a wonky and painful knee for a couple of weeks now which has made it hard to hike or go up or down steps. This is my left knee which just goes out at times. It's been doing it for many years. Usually I can attribute it to something but this time I merely woke up one morning, got out of bed and realized I could not put any weight at all on the knee. After a few minutes of standing upright, the pain eased and all was well and I've just been vaguely curious to experience the comings and goings of the whole situation but in the last few days, it has reached the point where I can't really trust it. It's not that bad, really, but forget hiking. 

After lunch Jessie and I went shopping in some fancy places and I finally bought myself a real and true splatter screen at Williams and Sonoma. The one I had Glen bring home from Dog Island proved to be useless in that it kept catching fire due to the decades of gunk around the edges that I could not scrub away. 
But now I have a really beautiful one. 

After the boys' long day in the mountains, they were wild children, flinging themselves about the house and making the sounds that wild children make. Jessie channeled some of it by helping them brush their teeth.

They finally settled down and went to sleep and after the grown-ups ate our supper, we all got to bed a little early because we knew we had to get up and pack and put the house back to rights. The hostess of this particular house does not ask the guests to do anything except perhaps start the dishwasher but of course Jessie and I are not that sort of women and we stripped beds and washed towels and made sure the kitchen was as tidy as it could be and we all pitched in and got the cars loaded. 

It was a bittersweet good-bye. We'll be seeing them again in a little over a month so it's not a huge deal. Plus, I know that those boys are having one big joyful moment after another on the mountain with their cousins and other grandparents. 

Now Glen and I are in Athens, Georgia where we are staying at the place we always seem to end up in which is fine with me because I love it. They have changed the name this year but very little else.

This carpet in the lobby is new and old and new and I love it.

We ate supper at the place we love.

It is funky and fancy and pretty and they do southern cuisine very well, not making it so haute that it destroys the roots of what makes it good to begin with. It's respectful.

And now we're back in the room, tired but content. Tomorrow we'll be heading back to Lloyd and I will be so very, very glad to be home in my own house, my own kitchen, my own bed. I miss my porches, my garden, my cats, although not in that order. 
Of course it's hot as balls everywhere in the south now and probably where you are too. It's supposed to be 99 degrees as a high for the next four days at home. I wonder if my garden is baked beyond repair. 
We shall see. 

This trip has been great but it is time to tend to my home again which is how I tend to my soul when you get right down to it.

Love...Ms. Moon