Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Not Apologizing, Just Saying

The internet seems to be much snappier today and for that I am grateful. That is a picture of Ren, the dog who followed me on my walk yesterday whom I reunited with her human. I know and I realize that this is not a very interesting picture nor is the tale of finding a dog and calling her owner very interesting either.
Lord, but I have become more than boring. I have become...sadly irrelevant.
I do not say this in order to receive assurances that I am not. I know the truth of it. But here's the thing- this is just the way my life is right now. And quite frankly, I would so much rather be boring than have something like a dread diagnosis to discuss. And to be honest, I am not bored myself. At least, I don't think I am. I always seem to manage to find something to keep me satisfactorily entertained.
Why- take today for example! I cleaned the mud/laundry room! Last night my husband finally cleared his tools out of there. The tools he used to use when he was still redoing his bathroom. That project has come to a slow yet seemingly definite halt. I am not sure why. He got all the way to the point of putting the sink in when he just...lost...interest?
He claims that he doesn't really like the sink he bought but surely that can't be the whole story, can it? Thirty-five years with this man and I really can't say that I know him through and through.
Meanwhile, he has stashed tools and lumber and the offending sink in what used to be MY office but which is now a complete area of chaos and crap. Sometimes I get so mad about this. Or perhaps I am merely hurt. I don't know. And in his mind, I feel quite certain, he feels completely justified in doing this. I haven't used that space in a long time but what he doesn't understand is that for eons women have wanted nothing more than a room of our own. To call our own. To claim as our own. To deny entrance to to anyone else, no matter what we do or do not use it for.
I haven't mentioned the old toilet on the deck and yet, now I have.
I love that man with every fiber of my being and he will always be the miracle of my life but there are things he does that drive me insane just as anyone who is in a relationship of any length will admit to feeling about their partner if they are honest.
God knows that I do plenty of things that drive him crazy too, I'm sure.
But! I cleaned the mud/laundry room. I swept and scrubbed and mopped. I also cleaned the shower in my bathroom which I never notice the mold-growth in until suddenly, it is absolutely impossible to ignore. In my defense, I usually shower at night and at my age I keep the lights low in the bathroom in the fear that I might catch sight of myself in a mirror. The lower the lighting, the better. And how much light do I need to take a shower and brush my teeth? Hell, I could do those things in the dark if I had to.
That time may be coming.
But also- I obviously don't wear my glasses in the shower and that helps a great deal with the denial of mildew factor.
So anyway, I took my bucket and bleach and cleaning foams and potions and sprayed and scrubbed and now the shower looks better, even in the light. Even with my glasses on.

And THEN! AND THEN! I swept and mopped the kitchen and that bathroom and so at least the boards on that floor feel smooth and lovely against my feet for this red hot second. And the scent of vinegar and Fabuloso perfume the house and there are also  some clean rugs and I am happy about all of that.
It rained on and off all day but I did get out to the garden to do some weeding and picked some tomatoes and some beans, some squash and some leeks.

Here are the bananas growing beside my kitchen door.

Can you see them? Aren't they pretty? Do you think that the whole Garden of Eden myth would be more believable if the serpent offered Eve a banana? 
I do. 
A banana can give a girl ideas and it's such a delicious fruit. Or herb, I think it may be, technically. Did I just read that somewhere? 
I don't know. 

Anyway, Joanne from Cup On The Bus  asked me if I would give Granny Matthew's eggplant casserole recipe and I will gladly do that. I may have done so before but who can remember such things? Certainly not me. 
It's heaven-food for me, this recipe. Full of carby goodness and it tastes a bit like Thanksgiving stuffing if you use the Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix and bread crumbs as I do. I baked it last night along with a chicken and that was absolutely perfect. 

Granny Matthew's Eggplant Casserole

1 large or 2 small eggplants, peeled
4 tbs. melted butter (you can easily use half that if you want)
1/4 chopped onion (or, if you're like me- one entire onion, chopped)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of oregano
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbs. milk
1 cup crisp breadcrumbs 

Boil or steam eggplant until tender. Let cool a bit. Cook chopped onions in butter. Set aside to cool. Mash drained eggplant to a smooth pulp, add seasonings, eggs, milk, onions and butter, and breadcrumbs. Mix. Turn mixture into greased casserole dish. I like to top with a few more of the breadcrumbs, sliced tomatoes, and a little cheese before baking in a 350 degree oven for about twenty minutes or until set. 

Last night when I made this I carefully sliced a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes from the garden and layered them on top with the bread crumbs and cheese. I have also, in my vegetarian days, made this a main dish by draining, pressing, and mashing tofu to add to the eggplant. As with any recipe I may offer I will just say- make it yours. But this is the basic template and it is good. 

Now I am off to make tonight's supper which is going to involve the vegetables I picked in a stir fry. Mr. Moon is researching a soap and vinegar concoction to spray the field peas with to get rid of the black aphids which a million ladybugs could not deal with at this point.
You've not known grossness until you've picked beans that are covered in black aphids and let us not forget the ants which are also on the beans because ants actually herd and farm aphids and MILK THEM. 
I am not even kidding you. 
Thus, the bodies of the gazillions of aphids get smushed as you pick the beans resulting in a orangish brown stain on your hands and you also get ant bit. 

Gardening is one of the reasons that I never truly get bored but I'm not sure it's as interesting to anyone reading this as it is to me. Sort of like chickens. But, not quite as exciting. 

Ah well. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Just Stuff

I waited until way-too-late o'clock to take my walk today but it turned out that the timing was pretty good because I met a sweet little dog who appeared to be out adventuring. I checked her tag and there was a name and a number on it, as well as her name, which was Ren.

Since this is modern times, I could just take my phone out of my pocket where it had been reading me an audio book and called the number of Brett, the supposed human of this particular dog. He answered and yes, it was his dog and he'd realized he'd left the door open and had been on his way home from Monticello to find her when I called. 
Ren walked home with me and Brett came and got her.
She was a pretty little thing and followed right along with me and I thought about how dogs are so conditioned to obey humans that they'll even obey a complete stranger. Dogs are not cats, y'all. I suppose you have noticed this.
Brett was a nice guy and he liked my yard. We talked a little bit about gardening. He's just learning and I wish I'd had more to offer him in the way of advice but I don't. At least half the time I have no idea what I'm doing and that's just a fact, even after all these years digging in the dirt. Forty or more years, actually, and I've never felt like I have much of a clue.

I tried to work outside some after my walk, speaking of dirt. That lasted for maybe an hour. It's just too hot and humid and thankfully, a rainstorm came and I had a good excuse to come back into the air-conditioning where I stood in front of the TV and watched Tales of the City and ironed. I do highly recommend that series.

I got to see Owen and Gibson and Maggie and Jason today, albeit briefly. They came by on their way to go fishing. They needed to borrow a few of Boppy's fishing things. As Lily said they had a jug of water, a bag of chips, one fishing pole, and a tackle box from Jason's childhood. She also said that Jason was brave and maybe slightly delusional about how this was going to go. The kids sure were excited. Maggie had the little monkey woman doll I made for her and she was so thrilled to show it to me. "You made it for me!" she said. It was a cute doll. I had forgotten that I gave it substantial eyebrows to match Maggie's.

And now it's evening and it's still raining. I let the baby chicks go outside the coop today and I hope they're all okay. I'll go check in a little while.

None of my pictures will upload tonight. Our internet has been shit ever since they got it back on. It's better than dial-up used to be but not by a whole lot.
And I'm just feeling cranky.
Sort of mean.
Regretful. Self-hating. Guilty, shame-based. Anxious. All the usual stuff.
I don't know what's wrong with me but I need to snap out of it.

I've made Granny M's eggplant casserole out of the beautiful, gorgeous, shiny eggplant that I picked today. I've talked about Granny M. before. Sometimes we called her Mrs. Matthews but mainly, she was Granny M. and she taught me about half of what I know when it comes to cooking just from watching her shuffle around a kitchen wearing a negligee with a cigarette firmly held between her lips, cutting up this, adding a pinch of that, mixing up a bowl of something else before she poured it into a skillet and baked it. I loved that woman and I think of her more often than you'd think for someone who wasn't really related to me at all.
The rain is still falling, but gently.
There are clean, ironed shirts in the closet.
Whatever it is that I'm feeling or going through or imagining will pass eventually.

We persevere, don't we?
Yes. Mostly we do.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, June 17, 2019

Busy Day

This is going to be short and sweet. I got home late from being in town and staying with August and Levon while Jessie had another appointment and I have a dishwasher to unload and a soup to make.
Corn chowder tonight. Somehow we have ended up with many ears of corn. Not corn that I grew but corn that someone grew.
It's been a good day. I took a nice walk and didn't die and did some things around the house and then weeded cucumbers and picked cucumbers and then I went to town to stay with those boys who were napping the entire time Jessie was gone.
Poor little mama. She could have had a nap herself. It almost never happens that they coordinate naps.
But August woke up when Jessie got home and then Levon did too and I got to read August a few books. He handed me one, a Berenstain Bears story about manners and said, "This is a sweet book. It's like you and me."
Then quick, quick, I drove to Publix and did my shopping and now I'm home, car unloaded, groceries unloaded, everything put away, eggs collected. Today's pickings have been put away in the refrigerator.

I think it might be just about time to get out the canning kettle and the pickle recipes. 

I have some bananas growing on a stalk way up in the banana tree (bush?) and will get a picture soon. I have no idea how I'm going to get them down. I'm pretty excited though. This almost never happens. 

Alright. Time to go shuck corn and cut it off the cob. I know my husband is exhausted. He literally got up at 3:00 a.m. to drive to St. Pete to pick up a truck and drive it back. He's had a very, very long day. I need to feed him and direct him to the bed. 

It's summertime. No doubt about it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, June 16, 2019

In Which I Should Probably Lighten Up

That's a terrible picture, cutting off half of each baby, but by the time we all sit down to eat it's always a bit chaotic and I was practically standing on someone at another table and so there you go. It's sort of darling anyway, the two curly-headed cousins, eating their pancakes and bacon.

I've had too much sadness in my heart today. Do I always feel this way on Father's Day? I can't remember. I should go back and read what I've written before but I just don't feel like it. I am not entirely sad by any means. The fact that I somehow, by some damn miracle was able to find a man like Glen Moon to love me and be father to my children is a joyful thing. A thing I wonder at frequently. It is no secret that we choose the partners in life whom we feel most comfortable with because we know the steps we will dance with them. Thus, those who were abused pick out abusers to love, those who had addicts as parents pick out addicts to love. And so forth.
We all know this.
And yet, somehow, some way, when I met Glen I knew that I was being given a shot at happiness and at safety and security and even, dare I say it?
And the miracle part is that I did not just immediately disdain and discard him but instead, slowly accepted that he did indeed love me and that he would be the very best father my already-here children and any children-to-be-had could possibly have. All I had to do to confirm that was to look at his father who was good through and through and whom Glen loved tremendously and without reservation. Same with his mama.
And I took a deep breath and jumped and I have never, for a second, regretted that.
So there is that element to Father's Day which is yet one more made-up day that can bring up so many conflicted thoughts and emotions. Facebook is filled with pictures of loving good men, holding their children- husbands and fathers, all of them proclaiming, "Best Father in the World!"
In one way or another.
And I think about my own father whom I saw only once after I was five years old and how deep the wound was when my mother tore us away from him and how it's never healed and never will. She had no choice, my mother. The man well could have killed all of us, such a bad, bad drunk who had a gun.
There is a part of me that will never recover from that.
And then, oh yes! The stepfather. The Asshole. The abuser. I still can't say his name unless I am  forced to. That's how powerfully he affected my life.

In fact, I so often feel just this side of ruined by both men and there's a part of me who, when she sees posts on FB about how much someone misses their daddy who died I think, "At least you had a good father. At least you knew he loved you."
And I am bitter. And I am petty.

But. Even though all of this is on my heart today, there was this.

And there was all of this.

Levon wants to share food with Owen. He is a very generous child.

And this little girl who will grow up untarnished and unbent from her childhood. Who has a father who cherishes her and who has changed her diapers and picked out her outfits and rocked her to sleep and answered her questions and shown his love for her every day of her life. 

It is quite clear to me that she will never tolerate being treated in any manner which is not respectful in all regards. 
And there is nothing I could wish for more. 

It was a good Father's Day celebration. There were funny cards and sweet cards. Pancakes with sweet potatoes and bananas and apples. Bacon and sausage made of wild pig. The sausage, not the bacon. And there was a giant Costco cake. And little tastes of Vergil's latest oatmeal stout which was delicious. And a quiche that Lily made with tomatoes and basil and cheese. 
It was all good. 

Here is one of my very favorite pictures of the day.

Maggie had tucked one of her babies and my old Zippy into my bed together. Inter-species love. One of my very favorite things. 

After everyone went home, I took a long nap. Not so much because I was really tired. August slept beautifully last night and didn't wake up until nine this morning which might be a record for him. I needed a nap because in order to let things settle in my heart and in my brain.

Things are still settling. 

I saw a meme today that said, "Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers who didn't abuse their children." 
Wow. I know I'm not the only one. I wish to god I were.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Grandchildren And Food. What Else Do You Want?

Late afternoon shadow in the library.

We have had a perfectly lovely day with Levon and August. They got here about lunchtime and I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with apple slices. Levon asked for milk. So did August.
"Cow milk," August said. These days it's good to delineate exactly what kind of milk you want. There's your almond milk, your rice milk, your soy milk, your I-have-no-idea milk, and of course in some households there can be mommy milk.
Levon likes that kind the best but he likes cow milk too. So does August.
Levon is a fine little man and he was as happy today as he could be. He sort of likes me now. And his Boppy. I love the way he says, "Yes," when I ask him a question. It's so solemn and I'm so unused to little guys saying yes instead of no.
I discovered something he really likes today. Back scratching.
Let's face it- who doesn't love to have their back scratched? We never realize how itchy our backs are until someone scratches ours for us. So I scratched his for awhile and when I quit he hunched over and said, "More," and so I scratched it some more.
When it became obvious that he was getting tired I texted Jessie saying I had no idea how to get him to take a nap. She wrote back that I should give him a little something to eat, then some milk (cow) and then give him his purple shovel and put him in the bed and tell him it was time for a little nap.
"Ha-ha!" I thought. "Sure. Right. That'll happen."
Whatever. I gave him some food and then some milk and then I put him in the bed with his shovel and a few stuffed animals and told him it was time for a nap and by god that kid laid down and fell asleep. 

Honestly, I didn't even know this was possible. 
And he did not let go of that shovel the entire nap. 

August is just about glued to his grandfather. They watched some TV, they played Wii sword fighting, and then they fixed the lawnmower and August sat on Boppy's lap (with ear protection) and they mowed. When that was over he and Boppy both needed showers in the worst sort of way but before they got clean, they sat on the back steps and shared a Powerade which is something that August has never had in his life. 
He loved it. 
"What are you giving him?" I asked Mr. Moon.
"We need it!" said my husband. "We're hot and thirsty." 

So. That's what's been going on here. We've read a few books but August has a hard time tearing himself away from Bop. Levon rode the horse.

But now Jessie has come and gone to pick up Levon and I need to get supper ready because I think that August is going to be ready for bed before too long. I'm going to cook some snapper and real grits, the kind that take almost an hour to cook. There will be vegetables, I promise. Meanwhile, the two men are making popcorn to sustain them before the fish is ready. 

FSU is about to play some baseball on the TV and they need that snack to keep their strength up to cheer. 
I guess. 

And tomorrow is Father's Day and today is Jason's birthday and so everyone will be here for a brunch in the morning. Or, as I like to say, a brunch-like activity. Jessie bought a Costco cake and it's out in the refrigerator in the garage. I think this is our new tradition, started last year by Vergil who really wanted one of those giant cakes. There will be watermelon and sausage and bacon (oh god, I know) and pancakes and eggs. And cake. 
Food. I really do talk about it too much. 

Oh well. 

Here's a picture of Jason and Maggie that Lily posted on Facebook. 

Have I told you lately how much I love Jason? 
Well, I do. 

I sure do have some fine men in my family and I sure do appreciate them. 

We'll chat tomorrow, I'm sure. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 14, 2019

A Coastal Adventure

Oh, what a place of wonder and magic the Gulf Specimen Lab is!
Honestly, it's pretty funky and there is just about the perfect amount of things to see and touch and be amazed by and then you're done and the kids haven't entirely lost their shit yet and you can figure out where you want to go to lunch.
But it's a very big deal around these parts. When we got there a little before noon, there were two school buses parked out front and the place was packed. We waited a little while before even trying to get into the gift-shop/pay area because it would appear that every child who had been on those buses was buying a souvenir. Finally the groups loaded up and we went in and I bought a year's family pass which got all of us in except for August and Maggie, and of course Levon was free.
When you first walk into the tank areas, there are touch-tanks which the kids and yes, grown-ups too, can reach in and actually hold a sea urchin or a hermit crab or a scallop or a conch of one sort or another.
Let me stop here and tell you something. "Conch" is pronounced "Conk."
Period, the end.
Don't you dare try telling me about some conCH salad you had in the Bahamas. Okay? For some reason this really annoys the fuck out of me.
But, back to the touch tanks. There are also sponges and sea pork and other things that may or may not be animals. I'm sure I should know all about this but I don't. There are big, big tanks with nurse sharks and various fishes in them. And rays and skates and eels. Lots of eels in one tank. Eels are a little scary although they look like beautiful sea-dragons when they swim.

The rays will come right up to the edge and even stick their heads above the water to look at you to see if you have any food for them. They're a friendly critter. 

Levon was not quite sure what to think about all of this. At his age, everything is rather mysterious, I think. 

I loved watching my three little blond babies squatting down to look into tanks to see what wonders they might behold. 

Here's a lion fish. 

They are almost unbearably beautiful and also, they are a horribly invasive species which have taken hold from the Caribbean to Florida to the coast of North Carolina. Those beautiful fins are filled with a neurotoxin and they are way too good at cleaning out the native species. They've become a very big problem in Cozumel and they have tournaments to see who can catch the most of them. They are starting to get a grip on the problem, I think, and although I've never eaten one I hear that if properly handled and prepared, they are delicious. Even knowing all of this, I was somewhat astounded at how graceful and fancy they are. I've never seen one in the water up until today and I am still thinking of how elegant they are, how sensuous in the way they move. 

The octopus may have been my favorite thing there. 

This one is a common brown octopus and we stared at it as it stared back at us. 
"Wow," I almost whispered. "Talk about aliens." 

Even though the marine lab is indeed a small and funky place, I always get a sense of almost spiritual peace there, even with all of the kids running about and using their outdoor voices. Jack and Anne Rudloe, who started the business which led to the place we visited today were absolutely passionate about getting the message out to everyone they could concerning conservation and ecology and the incredible need to maintain the systems of the sea for all of its inhabitants and for all of us as well. Anne, who was not only a scholar but also a Zen Buddhist, died in 2012 but Jack and their children still fight the good fight and educate thousands of children as well as adults. They both wrote for National Geographic and other magazines along with their share of scholarly papers and also beautiful books. I've written about them before. 
I think you can sum up Jack's respect and love for the environment by how he releases sea turtles that have been healed and rehabilitated by the specimen lab. He dresses up in a suit and tie as he wades into the sea to return them to their mother-ocean. 

If that picture doesn't tug at your heart I'm not sure we can be friends. 

All right. A few more pictures. 

My Owen holding a horseshoe crab. Horseshoe crabs were here before the dinosaurs. 

August playing on a giant blue crab. 

Gibson holding up a picture he drew while we were waiting for our delicious North Florida seafood lunch. He is carrying his drawing pad and a pen around with him and this delights me more than I can say. There is no one like Gibson. 

And now Mr. Moon is home and did indeed catch some red snapper. He says that the seas were very rough today- five feet or more- and that no, he did not sleep well last night. Hopefully, he will sleep tonight because we've got August and Levon coming tomorrow to hang out while their parents get ready for their trek up to Asheville for the summer. So it will be lively around here for sure. 

Sometimes I just feel like my life is almost too full with responsibilities and things I need to do and things I feel like I should do and things I know I'm not doing that I should be doing and even my refrigerator is too full- I can't find a thing in it. And my kitchen center island is cluttered and full too, spilling over with tomatoes and eggs and love notes and magazines and I think, "Oh Lord. If this isn't the most ridiculous third-world problem I've ever heard of, I don't know what is."

Feeling insanely grateful and also, perhaps, merely a bit insane. 
Yours truly.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Big Little Stuff Of All Sorts

That's a pretty little frog who came to keep me company on the porch last night. Actually, he was sitting there to catch the bugs that dart about, drawn to the lamplight. I love his golden eye shadow. How lovely he is in his frog perfection!

It's been a nice day. I went into town pretty early to hang out with Levon and August and we had a good time. It is so fun, getting closer to Levon, getting to know him a little better as he feels more secure without his mama or his daddy within arm's reach. He's a funny little guy, easy to laugh and learning so much every day.

Here he is with his shovel. He can say the word shovel quite plainly and sometimes does but mostly he calls it his "fa-fa." I have no idea why although I did suggest to Jessie today that "Fa-Fa" is the actual given name of the shovel. Like, he's a boy but his name is Levon. He's holding a shovel but its name is Fa-Fa. 
Who knows? 
Not me. 
I do know that he worships his Auggie, as all small brothers do with their big brothers. August doesn't take too much advantage of this but I will tell you that they sometimes tussle like puppies. August ran his bike over Levon's feet today and I know he did that on purpose but Levon didn't really cry. He stuck that lower lip out and I thought he might cry but I whisked him off to change his diaper and August went to the freezer and got the little kitty-cat freezer pack to put on boo-boos and before we knew it, we were all laughing as I would hold the cold thing against their feet or legs or hands for a second or two and then shudder and say, "COLD!" with all of my dramatic powers and then snatch the kitty away which sent both boys into fits of giggles and Levon would hold his little foot out and say, "More," and I would do it some more. 
We read books and then August wanted a bagel so I got out the bagels and he instructed me on how to prepare them; to cut them and then to put them into the toaster, which he pointed out, and he got the cream cheese from the refrigerator and tossed it up onto the counter. 

They ate every bite so I guess I prepared them properly. 

When Mama got home we went outside to cut a few zinnias for me to take home. 

Jessie is definitely the boss of me when it comes to growing zinnias. I just weeded mine a few minutes ago and their stems are about the size of human hair and they only have about four leaves apiece. 
She has a whole other raised bed box full of them along with tomatoes and herbs. Levon picked quite a few cherry tomatoes and handed them over. Some of them were actually ripe. He's a very generous little soul. 

And then I went to Publix and then I came home and took the trash and recycle where the racist old Jesus-lovin' man was on duty. He and I pretended we didn't see each other. 

Mr. Moon is headed to the coast because he and some friends are getting up early, early to go fish for snapper and please, dear Neptune, let them catch a few. The one thing we ate at that restaurant in Birmingham which was truly delicious was a ceviche with red snapper. It was an appetizer portion and so course, that being a very, very fancy dining establishment, came in a dish about the size of my palm but I have to say that it was just about worth the price. After we'd eaten the approximately six slivers of snapper, I am not ashamed to say that I ate the lettuce leaf that was underneath the fish and THEN drank the remaining liquid. I'm not sure what made it taste so good. It's almost as if it had lemon in it instead of lime and I HATE the term "popped" when it comes to either color or food but whatever it was, it made that ceviche pop. 
Of course, I'm used to a serving of ceviche which looks like this.

That is the shrimp ceviche we get at Chen Rio, a beach bar and restaurant on the east side of Cozumel and it comes with guacamole and chips and we also order the fried red snapper which is the best red snapper in the entire world so those tiny slivers of snapper ceviche were just a mean tease to me but I did enjoy them for their deliciousness. 
Where in hell was I going with this? 
Oh yeah. Maybe if Mr. Moon brings home some snapper I'll make us a little bit of ceviche with it and see if I can replicate what we ate last Friday night. I probably won't be able to but it'll still be good. 

Lily and Jessie and I are talking about taking a little trip to Panacea, Florida tomorrow to visit the Gulf Specimens Marine Lab. 
Jessie's not sure she wants to expose Lily's children to whatever it is that Levon has but I think he'll be fine and so will they. His eyes already look much better and although he was running a bit of a fever today, I am of the optimistic opinion that whatever he has won't be a threat to Owen and Gibson and Maggie. 
I say this not as a nurse but as Pollyanna Grandmother. 
Anyway, I love going to the Gulf Specimens Marine Lab. So many sea creatures to see close up and some of them you can even touch. And the larger sea creatures are there because they're being rehabbed so I don't feel guilty about them being there. Sharks and rays and octopi and injured sea turtles that fishermen find and bring to the lab to be taken care of. When I used to rent that tiny block apartment on St. George Island, Lily and Jessie and I visited there regularly on our drives to and from the island. 

And so I have the house to myself tonight. I can't watch any of "Big Little Lies" which is what Glen and I have been watching because it wouldn't be fair to get ahead of my husband. I read the book a few months ago and I didn't think I'd like the series but damn. I do. As with all of these things I got hooked and drawn in. There's something completely eerily beautiful about the setting where everything takes place which is Monterey. The book was set in Australia (the author is Australian) but they've made it work in this California location. And no matter how much I do not want to like Nicole Kidman I have to bow down to her performance in this series. And Reese Witherspoon, too. The casting is perfect. Zoe Kravitz is a jewel in her role. She shines like the goddess she is. Laura Dern is now my very favorite villainess ever. Oh GOD! how I hate her. And Shailene Woodley, the actor who plays the pivotal role of a young mother whose son is accused by Laura Dern's character of harming her daughter, is scary-good. 
It's all about the women! 
Except for when it's about the men and that, of course, is where the trouble comes in. 

Here's a picture of Dottie posing by a pot of hydrangea. 

I think she misses the company of her sister, Darla, who is busy raising babies. 

And finally this- 

Is there any flower happier than a zinnia? 
I don't think so. 

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I frequently am. 

Love...Ms. Moon