Friday, July 23, 2021

Pictures Of Children With Food

 That was Maggie yesterday, sitting on the back steps and feeding bread to the chickens which she loves to do. She is a friend of all animals from dogs to caterpillars. Even Maurice seems to recognize this and will actually approach her which I've never seen her do with any other child. Maggie is wary of Maurice though, having been scratched by her before. In fact, she gave the cat the name "Scratch." 

It is pouring rain right now. I mean, the water is falling from the sky in endless buckets, the back yard is now a shallow pond. Or at least part of it is. I don't know how the dirt is absorbing all this water and I fear that at some point it will stop. Mr. Moon finally got the mowing done today before the flood. 

It's so green and pretty. There is a lot of dollar weed in that "grass" but still, it is green, and the grass is starting to fill in. There will never be grass in my front yard. Too much shade. Every time I look at it, I think of ladies in Africa who sweep their sandy dirt yards every day. I should probably do that too. 

We're having some cracking huge thunder and lighting along with the rain. It's cooled off at least ten degrees since it began falling. 
I am grateful. It has been god awful hot here lately. I know it's been even hotter in other places though, and I'm not really complaining. This is the way it is. 

We had such a good time with Magnolia. She was a fine guest, helpful and jolly. She loves to wash the wooden Buddha that I have on the back porch, as many of you know, and yesterday after that task was complete, she searched for other things to wash.
There are plenty. 
Here she is washing some paper mache Mexican dollies that hang on a wall. 

I do realize that paper mache is probably not meant to be washed in water but it all turned out well. I told her that she was so very good at washing things. 
"I know," she replied with no false modesty. And she is. 
She is such a beautiful child. 

She helped set the table and she helped me make the hamburger buns. She wanted a rolling pin to shape hers with and so I gave her one. Why not? It came out great. She was agreeable in all regards and she and I had some good chats. She bowled me over when she told me that when she'd gone back to school this year in Mrs. Paul's class, that she had been a "bit nervous." 
But she assured me that everything had gone well. I think she is very excited to start kindergarten. She plans on learning to read and she assures me that she can already write her name very well. And this, too, is true. 

After supper last night and the requisite Purple Cow (she chose that over peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream) she took her bath and we continued our chatting there and then after she was bathed and in her pajamas and ready for bed we read a few books but then she wanted to talk some more and so we did. I find these talks with my grandchildren to be the most important and interesting things I can do with them. They will show me their hearts in unexpected ways and words. Anyone who thinks that a four or five year old does not have much to say that is serious or well thought out has not been paying attention. 
Finally, she told me that she was tired and she got in her little bed beside our bed and cuddled under the softest blanket we own and fell asleep immediately. She slept soundly all night long. We had talked about cuddling when she woke up and we did indeed do that. She got in bed and snuggled and then she went back to sleep and I dozed some myself as Mr. Moon slept beside us and Jack curled at our feet. 

She had planned out breakfast before bed. Eggs, bacon, and toast with jam. 
And that is what we had. 

Is she not absolutely gorgeous? 

She had also planned that after breakfast, we would play the matching game. With Boppy, too. And so we did that. I think it was Boppy's first time playing that particular game. Maggie whipped our asses. She was thrilled. We were too.

And then we packed up and she and I drove to town to meet Lily and the brothers at a kitchen supply store where I was shopping for my birthday present. They didn't have exactly what I was looking for but I did buy a popsicle maker for Maggie and the boys. After that, we all decided to go to Japanica! because we haven't been in well over a year. The place was almost empty because it was well after two. 
What memories! No babies to pass around the table today, no toddlers who needed high chairs. Just big kids eating sushi and miso soup and salad with ginger dressing and other tasty things. Owen got a Bento Box lunch today- his first time- which is what I always get. He got chicken, I got tofu. 

He is growing up so fast. They all are. 

And then I had to run and get a little Costco and Publix shopping done, race home, and put it all away, get the sheets in the dryer. 
It is Friday, after all. 
I can't believe that it was a week ago that we were packing things up on Black Mountain to come home. This week has gone by like a wink. We've been so very, very busy trying to catch up here. Every moment has felt a bit frantic with the need to do and get done. Even this morning was like that, trying to get breakfast made and chickens tended and laundry done and playing with Maggie. 

Mr. Moon is going fishing tomorrow and I think I might just kick back a little. We shall see. I need to do something with the rest of the peaches. And the green beans need picking and, and, and...

So here we are. Another week almost past, more days ticked off the timeline, more jars of food in the pantry, more meals cooked and eaten in a world that is changing so swiftly that none of us can fully catch our breaths, I think. All the more reason to slow down, to listen to children as they talk about the things on their radar, the things in their hearts, to listen to all the ones we love in that way. 

I finished the last book in the Lonesome Dove series a few nights ago and I feel bereft. I bought a copy of Roughing It in North Carolina and although I have read it before, I am thinking it will make a good transition back to books which do not have Texas Rangers and the people they know as main characters. Approximately the same era is being written about and some of the same landscapes. And one can really never go wrong with Mark Twain. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Never Stop, Never Stop, Never Stop

The Magnificent Magnolia is here for a sleep-over. She is not wearing that jacket now but actually was when I took the picture. Her mother had begged her not to wear it (I mean, it's like 95 degrees here) but she insisted. After being here a few minutes though, when her mom suggested that perhaps she could leave the jacket here for August or Levon because really, it's a little too small for her, she immediately took it off and gave it to me to give to them.
That girl is sweet. 

And because she's here, I have to keep this short. It's time for me to start concentrating on our supper and I still haven't quite finished cleaning up from the cobbler I just made. 

And I made that after my day's pickling and preserving effort which yielded three and a half pints of peach preserves and seven pints of dill pickles. I feel quite satisfied with all of that. 

So all of that is good and there were no boil-overs today and I've used up almost all of the peaches. Lily and I tasted the pickled peaches and I have to say that they may be the best thing I will preserve this year. If I ever do peaches again, I'm concentrating my efforts on them. 

Here's a picture I took last night of the okra and tomatoes I was cooking. 

I took the picture because it was just so dang pretty. 

And here's a picture I took of the babies where they were roosting in the hen house last night.

But all of this (except for Maggie's visit) pales in comparison to this. 

My heart is dancing. The old boys are going to start it up again. I bet they're chomping at the bit to get back on the road with their spouses, their partners, their kids, their kids' spouses and partners, their grandkids, hell- their GREAT grandkids. 
In Mick's case at least. 
I probably won't even go see them but I am completely happy knowing that they are all fit enough to be insured to go on tour. 
Ooh boy. 

Gotta go make supper now. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A Day In Short Paragraphs And Small Jars

Started out this morning with such joy and high hopes. I was going to get so much done! My cucumbers and onions and peppers had been in the refrigerator all night with salt and a weighted plate on them and all I had to do was drain them, rinse them, drain again, wash canning jars, sterilize canning jars and lids, make the magical pickling concoction with vinegar and water and sugar and spices, pack the jars with all of that, and put them in a water bath! 

Easy peasy! 

And it sort of was. Honestly. 

I made six pints of pickles. Not bad. 

Clean up the kitchen to begin afresh.

Then on to the peaches which I tried to do the blanch-and-peel thing on but they were really not ripe enough for that to work so I ended up knife-peeling and pitting four pounds of peaches, then making the syrup (and it is a syrup- one cup of vinegar, one cup of water, four cups of sugar), then boiling the peaches in the syrup with spices. Again- jars and lids and bands were sterilized.
Now. Let me tell you what happens when you let syrup boil over on the stove. 
You don't want to know. You can imagine. Stove top and some of the floor covered with a nice candy coating. So there was a bit of clean-up involved there and while I was at it, why not scrub the oven door and window clean? Right? 

Peaches all finally in their jars and in the water bath and they came out looking pretty. 
All three pints. 

Oh well. So what you see above represents my day. 

I had thought I'd make peach preserves and/or some dill pickles today but that didn't happen. I'm going to give the peaches another day or so to try the preserves. And I want to make a cobbler in there somewhere. 

Food. Food, food, food. 

Now it's time to make supper. I've already got some pretty little field peas simmering and I'm going to make some okra and tomatoes and a small cornbread and cook a little fish. 
Literally- it's a small fish. I don't even know what it is. It came from the Gulf of Mexico. My husband caught it and cleaned it. It'll be great.

It's raining. The frogs are singing. 

My legs are tired. 

I had to rearrange the pantry today to try and fit more jars of food in. I guess that the seemingly small amounts of food I'm canning on a day-to-day basis do add up. Lily's having the same problem. We're both insane. 

On another note, we woke up this morning with both Jack and Maurice in the bed with us. Both cats in the same bed. I thought perhaps it was the end times. 
If it comes to pass that one day I do wake up and it is the end times, I'll at least have a full pantry. 

Rock on.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Blast Off!

When we were in North Carolina I stole those pups from a plant that was in a pot nestled in the poison ivy in a little seating area outside the kitchen. Plus one more. I brought them home in a plastic bag and got them into temporary housing today. They are commonly called Hens and Chicks as each plant produces smaller versions of itself which nestle up under and beside the mother plant. 

I plan on sharing them with the kids. I am usually loathe to even take cuttings from other people's plants although I have been known to do it. But somehow in this case, it felt okay to do. It was almost as if the pot was abandoned there by the little fence so I helped myself. I left many, many more. 
Turns out that North Carolina has plenty of poison ivy, and it has invaded the yard where we stayed. When I sent my review to the Airbnb, the review for the owner, not for the public, I said something like, "There seems to be quite a bit of poison ivy growing in the sitting area by the kitchen which should perhaps be attended to as it could be a problem for someone unaware of what it is."
That was diplomatic, don't you think? 

Today's mission was to FIND CANNING JARS! As we all know, everyone in the world is putting up food for the apocalypse or something with all of the fervor and enthusiasm with which we all made sourdough bread and hoarded toilet paper. 
I, having been a canner most of my life, feel as much resentment about these Johnny-come-lately's in the world of food preservation as I did about the people who suddenly decided to make bread and bought up all the damn flour in the world. 
I am not an especially nice person and that is just one example. 

I went to the Ace Hardware in Tallahassee after calling the Monticello Tractor Supply who had none, and found 1/2 pint and quart jars. I bought some of both. Then I decided to fuck all of my morals and ethics and go by Walmart where I scored. I got three dozen wide-mouth pint jars, which I like best because it's easier to arrange more beans or cucumbers in them before I pour the brine or syrup in. This brought me a great deal of satisfaction, I have to admit. 
While I was doing that, Mr. Moon was back out in the mosquitoes between rain showers, picking the rest of the garden. There is now an entire canning kettle full of beans for me to do something with. Many of them, in my opinion, are too mature to make good dilly beans or even to just cook and eat but Mr. Moon disagrees. I cooked some last night and he thought they were great. 


When I got home from shopping I fully intended to make some bread and butter pickles OR pickled peaches OR peach preserves but I wanted to make tonight's gumbo first to use some of the okra and also because we love it. I haven't made bread and butter pickles in a long time and did not remember that the cucumbers, onions, and peppers have to sit in the refrigerator with pickling salt overnight. Pickled peaches seemed to be quite a project also, and preserves take quite a while to make. So I made my gumbo and then as it simmered, I cut up the vegetables for the pickles and salted them all down, put a weighted plate on top of them and set them in the refrigerator. I'll make the pickles and can them tomorrow and I'll also, hopefully, do something with the peaches which are getting riper by the second. 
The only thing I've ever done with peaches in my entire life is to make cobblers with them, slice them to go on cereal or in yogurt, and put them in smoothies. So this shall be interesting. 

Mr. Moon is now sitting in his chair, watching movies and shelling field peas. Luckily, those are very easy to preserve by blanching and freezing. They taste as good to me when they come out of the freezer as the fresh ones do. And that is very good. 

So Jeff Bezos spent how much money getting himself shot into space today? And Richard Branson did the same last week. 
Hoo boy. 
Say what you will about Bill Gates. At least he's spent his money (or some of it at least) doing things that benefit humanity rather than riding penis rockets into the sky.

Okay. Tell the truth and shame the devil. That was Bezo's penis rocket. Branson did his trip via a plane with a carrier plane. I do not quite understand how this works and yet, it did. 

Listen- I have always supported the idea of NASA and space exploration because it has intrigued me since I watched from my school yard in Roseland, Florida as Alan Shephard's spacecraft was launched in 1961. That felt monumental. As did the walk on the moon. The books of Robert Heinlein fed my imagination and the books of Ray Bradbury inspired my imagination.
But this just seems like two billionaire's wet dreams. 
They're in competition now to see how many people will sign up for a seat on a very short ride to experience zero gravity for three minutes. And according to what I've read, a whole lot of people have already signed up for that privilege. 

Well, whatever. I guess it's their money and they can do with it what they want. They can further destroy the environment of their only home planet but they're going to have to return (very quickly) to deal, as all of us do, with the reality of that destruction. 

And hey- I went to Walmart today so who am I to judge?

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, July 19, 2021

Life In Lloyd, Part Ten Thousand

More zinnias in a little glass vase that Hank left me here. I cut the flowers short because I wanted to use it. It's so sweet and the zinnias look extra happy there. They are blooming their pretty little heads off. 

The chickens are found. I got a call about 9:30 last night from my next door neighbor who also keeps chickens. Darla, for whatever reason, decided to go roost over there and so she took her babies and broke into their fence. My neighbor put them all in a dog kennel and we went over there and she handed them over. They are all safe and sound and I hope they don't do the same tonight. 

What a day it has been.  It's rained on and off and sometimes it's deluged, not rained. The grass, while we were gone, grew about a foot and there's no way Mr. Moon can get out there to cut it if it doesn't dry up a little around here. I'm not complaining but these are the facts. I felt as if I had a million things to do today and I sort of did and each one of these things required a "but-first". I was so overwhelmed that I spent a good deal of the day simply walking from one room to another with items in my hands, wondering what I was doing. One thing I had to do was to clean out my freezer. I must have left it slightly open when we left because it had frosted up like crazy although all of the food in it was still frozen solid. So I took everything out and got the ice off of it all and cleaned out the bins and then put everything back. That took awhile.
I did laundry. Loads and loads of laundry and I'm not sure why because we had a washer and dryer in North Carolina.
I unpacked. I put everything away. That felt good. I swept up a broken china thing that was in my bathroom which I am sure Maurice knocked off the dresser in there because that's where she likes to sleep sometimes. 

This does not sound like much and yet, it somehow filled my day. It finally quit raining long enough for us to go out and pick the garden. 

Here's some of what my husband picked:

Hard to get a scale on all of that but take my word- it's a lot. And I picked less than half of the green beans which filled an old canning kettle 3/4's full. 
"I am not having fun," I told my husband.
He was sympathetic. "Finish up tomorrow," he said. "Or I'll get the rest." 
I settled on the tomorrow option. 

The mosquitoes are horrible. A trip outside requires Deet. Don't even talk to me about the "natural and organic" types of bug spray. The mosquitoes around here drink that stuff for fun. And then drink our blood for sustenance. With all of the rain we've had, it's no big surprise. I doubt I saw ten mosquitoes the whole time I was in North Carolina. No yellow flies, either. In that, at least, North Carolina is truly superior to Florida.

The most wonderful thing that happened today was that I went to the post office and found three boxes waiting for me. All of them from two different blog friends who I feel are real friends. It was like ALL the Christmases and ALL the birthdays rolled into one. Two of the boxes were so filled with beautifully packaged things that it took me at least half an hour to unwrap and swoon over all of them. Here are a few of the things. 

Probably many of you will recognize who the sender had to be. She is cleaning out and getting rid of things. And she obviously has the best things. She has inspired me to go through and get rid of some of the things I have although trust me- none of my things would delight anyone to receive. Well, maybe some purses. I do have a thing for fine leather goods. 
But honestly, I was completely overwhelmed with her generosity. I really was brought to tears. Even Glen was excited to watch me unwrap treasures. 
I am a terrible gift-giver and am bad at receiving gifts too but as I told the sender, I am going to try to just accept these gorgeous things with gratitude and pleasure and not allow a bunch of weird and unhelpful emotions to get mixed up in it all.
My other gift was a grinder full of Madrona smoked pepper which I think is going to change my life and my cooking. It smells like heaven. Hot heaven. Smokey hot heaven. I'm going to try it out tonight. 

So that part of the day was a delight and I've just popped a loaf of sourdough into the oven and that too, is a pleasure, although on a completely different level. It was fine making meals on the stove in NC that we had in our rental and it was even a gas stove but MY stove is the best and I missed it. My kitchen is filled with produce from peaches to okra and I'm trying not to panic about getting it all preserved in one form or another. I'm trying to remember that life is not about accomplishment so much as it about just living. The pure living of it.

Or not. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Trip Report

We are home. 
So far we've unloaded the car and I started a load of laundry and besides that we've mostly wandered around the yard a little, picked a few things in the garden, and wondered where Darla and her bebes are. No sign of them anywhere although Hank and Rachel saw them this morning so they must be around somewhere. I can't think of anything that would take out all of them without leaving a sign. 

It's good to be home although we had a great time and we've already been talking about the boys and the funny things they said and did. Levon has started saying, "Or not," in a completely appropriate way and that's our new catchphrase. 
"Maybe we should eat there for lunch."
"Or not."

The child said it to me at two in the morning when he got out of bed and I went to tuck him back in and I wanted to put his head in one place saying, "Lay down here, baby."
"Or not," he said, as he laid down with his head where he wanted it. 

Oh, it's good to be home. It's raining gently and I'm on my back porch and I do so love my old house. The house we stayed in on Black Mountain was a fine house but we never did feel comfortable there and I can't even tell you why. It was just odd somehow. I kept getting disoriented and it wasn't that big. The kitchen was adequate and the knives there were even sharp which is a big deal to me. I cooked a few fine meals in it. But Mr. Moon had trouble sleeping and I ended up sleeping in the basement bedroom a lot so that he didn't worry about waking me up and I wasn't snoring right in his face and I did enjoy sleeping in that cozy space but still- it didn't feel quite right.
But now we're back in the best nest. 
For us. 

We took two days to make our way home. We actually bought an atlas of the United States- a book of real paper maps- and Mr. Moon traced us out routes on the small roads and we just meandered. Last night wasn't great. We were tired and ready to get supper and go to bed and were in a small town in Georgia called Greensboro and ended up at a Quality Inn which was a huge misnomer if there ever was one. The room smelled of a strange mixture of tobacco, urine, and whatever horrible product they'd used to try and cover it all up with. We found detritus on the floors and a roach (the kind you smoke) on the bathroom counter and the bedside tables were filthy. 
I didn't even want to take my shoes off in that room but what can you do? 
I went online later to read reviews people had left for Quality Inns, all fired up about the review I was going to leave but after I'd read some of the ones posted I thought, "What the hell? No bloodstains on the walls here. I guess we're okay!" 
And there was a Waffle House right across the parking lot so there was that. 
We found a restaurant a few miles away where we had one of the best meals we had on the whole trip. Mr. Moon got a steak, I got an ahi tuna salad, and the bread came with an incredible smoked sun-dried tomato concoction that I must figure out how to make. Plus, the martinis we ordered were generous and delicious so we slept quite well in the nasty-ish room, got up, had breakfast at the Waffle House and got on our way. 
And there's an entire story about that Waffle House but I won't take the time to tell it now. I'll just say that the crew there affected me profoundly and I felt deeply that I would never be as good a human being as any of them were. 

I read "Streets of Laredo" out loud to my husband as he drove unless we were passing through the little towns where there were beautiful old houses, both plantation style, and cracker style that I wanted to see. There were miles of pasture and forest, miles of planted fields of cotton and corn. Pretty creeks and large lakes, little Southern towns with magnificent City Halls dating back to the 1890's, downtowns that bustled and downtowns that were swiftly dying. In Elberton, Georgia, we came across an old car show in the downtown square so we stopped and parked and walked around. A sweet surprise, especially for Mr. Moon of course. 

Today we drove through another town in Georgia called Fitzgerald. Never heard of it in my life. We passed a place downtown that I had to stop and take a picture of. An old theater? I do not know. It's filled with old stuff now. Building materials and old furniture. I have no idea but it's certainly not a going concern. 

Can you see the wasp nest and bird nest?

The little town was fascinating. All of the downtown architecture was amazing. 

We were hungry and looked online for a place to eat. We discovered a restaurant called something like "Soul Food" and followed the directions to find that the name of the restaurant had changed to "Flossie's Country Kitchen". The outside was not very fancy.

Neither was the inside. But we stayed and I'm glad we did. 

Don't Worry Bout It. Pray Bout It.

That lady behind the steam table was serving up delicious food. I suppose she was Flossie. 

That's a pork chop, cabbage, and (be still my heart) cornbread dressing with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce. 

And then on we drove through more fields and forests until we finally got to Lloyd. 

OH! We stopped again in another tiny Georgia town called Barney (I am not making this up) where we stood in line to get peach ice cream and Mr. Moon bought this. 

"Honey!" I wailed. What am I going to do with all of those peaches? 
"Don't worry," he said. "We'll freeze them."
Oh Lord. We'll give a bunch away. Lily and I can both make preserves and maybe I can make some pickled peaches. 

Maurice and Jack seem to be extremely glad we're back. Maurice won't quit meowing at us and I feel certain she's expressing deep unhappiness that we left her. Dottie is brooding. She's sitting flat as a pancake on five eggs. I just went and checked and Darla and the young'uns haven't showed up. I'm beginning to worry a bit. I suppose I better go unpack some stuff. My mind is so full of so many images and so many emotions and so many thoughts. Travel is good for us that way. 

It was wonderful to see the Weatherfords and experience a little of what their life is like on the mountain. To get to read books to the boys and chat with them. They'll be back to Florida soon. School will be starting up. August will be in kindergarten, Levon in preschool. I told August that he might learn to read this year and then I asked Levon what he thought he might learn in school. 
"How to drive a track-hoe," he said with all the solemnity that a three-year old can muster. Which is far more than you would think. 
I fear that he is going to be vastly disappointed to find that Temple Israel does not offer track-hoe operating instructions in their preschool program. 

Mr. Moon and I are going to keep that atlas and plan the road trip across the US that we've been talking about forever. We are good traveling buddies and we make each other laugh a lot. There are so many things to see and to do and so many stories to hear. And Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series is long enough for many, many thousands of miles of reading and listening. 

We will not, however, be staying at any Quality Inns. Trust me. 

I've missed you all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Wednesday, I Think

 If you look very carefully there, you can see the tiny trimming of a baby's fingernail of a moon. Because I read The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver, I know that the moon is waxing because it is making a D shape which stands for Dios, God, while if the moon is curved the other way, it stands for Christo, which means Christ who died, which means it is waning. 

I am having the strangest reaction to the idea of blogging right now. For whatever reason, I really do not feel compelled to write for the first time in however many years I've been doing this. Unbelievably, I have posted over 8,000 posts and never once have I become disinterested in writing my thoughts here the way I feel disinterested right now. 
Of course, here I am- writing my thoughts here. 
But I could just as easily not do it. I would be fine. 

This is not to say that I am not having thoughts. Perhaps I am having too many thoughts. Perhaps I am simply not up to the regular ritual of reportage.
Today we did this. And then we did this. And then this happened. And then this is what I thought about it. 
And so forth. 

Perhaps I have too many conundrums going on in my head about this experience. Parts of it have been stunningly beautiful. North Carolina is incredibly beautiful. Sometimes staggeringly so. The shades of green and blue with the mist of lowered clouds like gauzy veils on distant mountains along with the impossibly verdant hillsides and deep gullies knock me to my knees and sitting in a creek as the water rushes around me while butterflies and damsel flies flit and dart is almost too much to bear. 

The view from the back of Vergil's mama's barn on Black Mountain.

And at the same time, some of the roads being so close to drop-offs that are hundreds of feet down scare me to my bones. I have actually cried, not quite from fear, but from an awareness of how literally close death can be. And yet- these are roads that the people here drive daily to get to work, to the store, to school and meetings and to get a haircut. It is absolutely foreign to me. So are paths that Heidi would feel comfortable on, taking her goats to pasture. The other night we went to a cook-out supper between Vergil's mother's house and Vergil's sister's house where the RV is parked and I watched in utter amazement as August and Levon and their three cousins ran up the hill and then back down, like little goats, like Heidi and Peter, seemingly propelled by nothing more than sheer joy and life.

So. So. So. 
What am I saying here? 
See. I don't know. 
There have been parts of this trip that have been worrisome- parts of aging and change for both me and my husband. Or if not even worrisome, then different. 
Okay. Worrisome. 
And different. 
And once again, we learn how to adapt and cope with the tools we have and we are fine. 
The sweetness of being with Jessie and Vergil and August and Levon in their mountain place is overwhelming. Seeing the way the boys interact with their cousins here is beautiful. August has an almost-twin in his cousin Maida. They are close to the same age, the same height, each with curly blonde hair, both thin and long and strong-legged. August has huge, beautiful brown eyes, Maida huge beautiful blue eyes. Last night, we saw them hold hands, walking to see Vergil's mother's chickens and we almost swooned. I hope never to forget that. Part of me wonders if I am being incredibly selfish in wanting them to live in Florida when I see how amazing their life here would be. 
Too much to think about when I consider what my life without them would be. 
And yet, I could not move here, leaving behind my other grandchildren, my other children. And as beautiful as North Carolina is, I am a foreigner here. 
I am a flatlander. That's all there is to it. 

So I am thinking about all of this because of course there is no way I can just take a week's vacation of enjoyment and adventure without dredging the deepest trenches of meaning as I go. This is just who I am. And the older I become, the more meaning things take on while at the same time, the less significance other things hold. 
The conundrum of it all. 

Meanwhile, we have had fun. Jessie and I went to Asheville yesterday to get massages while Mr. Moon hung out with August and Levon. Today Boppy and I took the boys to the grocery store and they beep-beeped the entire time 

I took a nap with Levon this afternoon, telling him the Mr. Peep story until he feel asleep. As we cuddled up on the bed I told him, "Levon, we are in the nap club. Just you and me." This delighted him. 
While we slept, August drew a picture for Boppy. 

We had supper here tonight with Jessie and Vergil and the boys. We laughed so much. 

This morning we ate breakfast in Black Mountain which is obviously where the celestial hippie movement is centered. 

August ate so much I thought he'd truly burst. 
As we were eating, the guy who is probably at least a co-owner of the business came around to check on things. He had a very, very hip man-bun hairstyle and the sort of body which would seem to indicate at least eight hours of yoga a day. 
"Is everything delicious?" he asked each table. 

In a way, that sort of sums it all up for me. 
"Is everything delicious?" Well. Yes. Sort of. Not entirely. No. Actually, I didn't like the potatoes. It wouldn't really be life if everything was delicious, would it? 

Meanwhile, we learn to live with the parts that aren't, we recognize the parts that are. We make do, we go on, we are humbled by the experience. 

Or so it seems to me. 

Love...Ms. Moon