Bless Our Hearts

Friday, December 2, 2022

Anxiety Was The Calm Before The Tsunami Of Emotion

I just spent two hours trying to write a post about how I am too emotional to write a post and then with the slip, the flick, the trip of a finger, all of it disappeared from the ether and the internet and I think that was me telling myself that I was correct in my assessment of my state of mind. 

All is truly well, I just seem to have had a lot of saltwater that needed to be leaked through my eyes and a whole lot of snot that needed to be leaked through my nose. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Questions. They Have Questions

I had a good day with my boys but besides that, it's been a hard day. Being with August and Levon was good. They require my attention and I gladly give it to them. But I'm sure they could tell I wasn't all there. But I kept them alive and hydrated and there were animal crackers and we did read the book about the Managing Hen and it was exciting and I think they enjoyed it although August told me that if there was a shorter version, he might enjoy it more. 

Levon started off asking me many questions, none of which I could answer. The first was, "Mer- how were planets built?"
Okay then. 
You know, you sort of think you know how things work. You go to school, you read some books, you go to college and take physics, and so forth. And then your five-year old grandson asks you how planets were built and you find yourself wondering how in hell they WERE built and trying to come up with a halfway accurate response and finally saying, "You know what, Levon? I have no idea." 
I babbled on about space rocks and the gravitational pull of the sun and then I said, "Ask your daddy."
This reminded me of when Maggie asked me during the Grandparent's Day lunch how human beings came to be. I actually had more of a clue about that but still...
I can't remember many of the other questions Levon asked me but I do remember that I basically did not know the answer to any of them. One of them was how does the car know when there's something or someone moving behind it and how does it know to make that beeping sound? This one I referred him to his grandfather on but I said something about motion sensors and lights that come on when something moves below them and so I suppose that they could hook up a beeper noise just as well as a light. 
Oh yeah! He asked me, "How does Santa get his magic?" This question came after he told me that he wants to be Santa when he grows up. I did not feel too bad about not knowing the answer to that one. Plus, I'm too old to be making up shit about the Santa myth. Believe it or don't, kid, but don't worry overmuch. 

And then when I picked up August he asked me how much my car had cost. Again- ask Boppy. "Was it used?" "Yes, yes it was." So I was doing better there. 
But overall I've come away feeling as if I know nothing, nothing at all, and even if I do, none of it is anything that a child wants to know. 

But I do know that I have beautiful grandchildren and that they are exactly as smart and curious as they should be. I suppose that children want to know that their grandmother believes that about them and I think that my grandchildren do know that. 

The hard part of the day has been anxiety. It is "playing up again" as you Brits say or as I say, Fuck this shit I hate it with all my heart and soul and mind and blood and bones and it is not anxiety it is terror.

Well. I suppose I should just "sit with it" as they say and if I ever say that to anyone please shoot me. 
I actually heard an "expert" on a podcast talk about what a gift anxiety is because blah, blah, bullshit blah, and I thought to myself that that woman has never had real anxiety. That statement is right up there with god never gives you more than you can handle and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

In the meantime, I'm sure all will be well and this is just a fluke, a reaction to some stuff, a temporary state of affairs and I hope to plant some garlic this weekend and work on Maggie's blanket and right now I need to make a salad with greens I picked this morning and stir the spaghetti sauce I started before I picked up Levon and boil some pasta and oh! I hear that Oprah's Favorite Things List is out and I've just checked it and I probably should order some handwoven plates ($98 from Amazon) or perhaps the Musee Words of Encouragement Soap Set ($45 from Amazon) and for sure and without a doubt, Oprah's own The Life You Want Daily Inspiration Cards ($49.95 from Amazon). 

I'd rather just look at this picture. ($0 from my iPhone which yes, did cost money but it also has google where I can, theoretically find out all the answers that Oprah may not address.)

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

In Which Fruitcakes Are Made And Bruce Springsteen Is Viewed

 I was going to go to town today to meet Jessie and possibly Lily for lunch. In fact, we were texting and planning and doing all that stuff (where do you want to eat?) when all of a sudden the wind picked up and the leaves started fluttering and the limbs began to tremble and dance and I realized that perhaps that tornado warning we'd gotten wasn't kidding. Then I heard a transformer pop and the power went out but no worries here because of our amazing, wonderful, terrific, miraculous generator which powers the whole house from internet to lights to refrigerator to...everything. It cranked up and life as we know it continued on with barely a hitch. 
But lunch plans got canceled because I wasn't too excited about driving to town in such conditions and so I decided to go ahead and make the fruitcakes. 
And so I did. 
I always forget how much batter that recipe makes, especially if you do like I did and one-and-a-half it. Does that make sense? I knew I didn't want to double it but I had too much fruit for just one batch so I one-and-a-halved it. 
And in the process I got every bowl in the house dirty and am on the second run of the dishwasher. I should have just washed all those bowls by hand but by golly, I waited so many years in this house to get a dishwasher and didn't complain but once I got it, I intended to use it and so I have. And I do not feel guilty. I remember once someone I knew posted on FB about how washing dishes by hand was meditative and good for our souls and I commented that actually, meditating by actual meditation was better for my soul (not that I meditate) and if I used the dishwasher I would have the time to do that. 
Moot point, sure, but you know what I mean. 
Now weeding is meditative to me and I love doing that but washing dishes is something that I've done enough of in my life, thank you very much, and I am still thrilled, years later, to have a dishwasher. And no, it is not just as much work to rinse off the dishes and put them in the machine. By a long shot.

We never really did get strong winds or terrible rain but it's drizzled all day and so I stayed inside and did inside things like make those fruit cakes and bake them and now they are wrapped in a little bit of cheesecloth with a little bit of rum and then in aluminum foil, tight and cozy to wait until Christmas or whenever the hell we want to eat them. 

While I chopped and mixed and baked and did some laundry I've been listening to an audio book. "The Love of My Life" by Rosie Walsh. Great narrators. And the book is not bad. It's a bit of a thriller, I guess. I can never figure out how these things are going to end. I hear people say that they know by the third page or a who-done-it who the murderer is and I feel ashamed because sometimes I haven't figured it out entirely even after I've finished the book. Which reminds me of a silly, silly play I was in once. We'd been rehearsing for at least a week before the person playing the murderer said, "Oh my god! I'm the killer!" We all laughed. It was a pretty horrible play but we had such fun with it and by the last night, we'd pretty much rewritten the whole thing which improved it tremendously and of course it didn't matter who had done it at all. 

I also sat on the couch and did some stitching on the Maggie letters and watched part of an interview that Howard Stern did with Bruce Springsteen. It's on HBO Max. In the manner of Bruce's performances, this interview goes on for days. It appears that Stern has become a legit interviewer these days, shedding (for the most part and certainly in this case) his shock-jock schtick. Bruce Springsteen is such a conundrum to me. I have loved him and his music since around 1978 when my first husband and I went to see him in Jacksonville. He was so young then, still the skinny kid from New Jersey who leapt onto speakers and also into the crowd which carried him overhead like a beloved holy icon around the audience. He wore a Fruit of the Loom T-shirt and a pair of Levi's and it was indeed a religious experience. I saw him again in 1984, I think, when he was doing the Born In The USA tour and I am not making this up- a friend of mine claimed that his music cured her uterine fibroids. 
And I sort of believed her. 
I'm not sure that anyone on this planet gives more of themselves in a concert than Bruce Springsteen does. 
When his autobiography came out in 2016 I read it avidly but came away from it sad. He has struggled so much in his life with depression and anxiety. He's had a lot of therapy and at least has a far deeper understanding of why he is the way he is but I got the feeling that despite the joy that he gets from being onstage and from his wife and his children, he will never be a truly happy person. 
The Stern interview is a good one and Bruce does some playing and singing in it. They discuss fathers and love and therapy and work. 
I think the thing that makes me the saddest about Bruce Springsteen is that despite the absolute joy and exaltation that he fills his audiences with, I don't know that he experiences those things personally except when he is onstage. Which is probably why he does such long, long concerts. 

My main take-away from this interview so far is that religion and fathers can fuck you up. Springsteen said a very interesting thing that I think has a lot of validity which is that every artist he knows (and I am sure he's only speaking of the male ones here) had a mother who thought he was the second coming of Jesus and a father who thought he was a piece of shit. 
Interesting theory. 

Mr. Moon has gone to a basketball game with Tom and it's quiet here. I can still hear the rain dripping. The power came back on many hours ago so the generator is silent, waiting patiently for when it is needed again. 
Tomorrow is my day to go pick up Levon and August from school and tend to them while their mama and daddy are working. I can't wait to see what they think of "The Managing Hen" book. I love to hear children's opinions about things. They are often far more interesting and complex than we would give a child credit for. 

Supposed to get chilly here tonight. Everyone stay warm. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Goodnesses, Goddesses, And Gratefulness


I did a little weeding this afternoon and when I came out of the garden, Jack was in the garden cart having a sip of the muddy rainwater that I haven't dumped out of it yet. I've been piling my weeds in it and when it rained the other night I just let it all sit as if I was making some sort of dollar weed/betony/mud tea and I guess I was because he seemed to like it. 
No wonder that cat vomits all the time. 
Well, not all the time. 
Or I suppose, it could be ingesting things like that which give my cats such life-prolonging powers. My pets never die within the expected timeframes for pet lifespans. 

I did get to see Lis today! And Lon, too. Mr. Moon and I met up with them in Monticello where they are staying with Lon's sister's family and it was a joy to see them. They are simply the most precious people. We had a nice lunch, sitting outside by the courthouse. A roundabout circles the beautiful old building and there is a lot of interesting traffic that goes by there. Lis and I were eating at the same restaurant once when an accident occurred and a van ended up on the steps up to the courthouse which was loud and alarming! No one appeared to be hurt and the cops were there within seconds as the police department is a block away. Monticello is not a big town although it is the only town in Jefferson County where I live. Lloyd is just a community, really, or a village at the most. We do have a traffic light here, a block away from my house. It is a flashing caution light and people get so confused about it. I've heard many wrecks at that intersection. I hate that horrifying sound of a skid, and then an impact. There is no mistaking it for anything else.

But everyone drove carefully on the roundabout in Monticello today and we sat and ate and enjoyed the weather and the company and we got to catch up a little bit. Lon is putting a new roof on their house by himself and the lake they live on is almost full. Their fifteen year old grandson has just gone on his first date. We discussed grandchildren, of course, and projects, health-related stuff and just a whole lot of telling each other how we miss the four of us being together. 
It wasn't nearly long enough but it was far better than nothing and at least I got to set eyes on those beautiful people, to give and receive hugs. 

They had to run and so they did but Glen and I hung out in Monticello for awhile. We went to Wag the Dog and I bought some lovely place mats, a spool of wired velvet ribbon, and an old children's book called, "The Managing Hen and the Floppy Hound." 

The illustrations are gorgeous. 

I just leafed through it a bit and oh my goodness! This is not a silly, happy book about a chicken and a dog! It's got some serious stuff going on about critters who steal and kill chickens and a strong, brave woman who scares off those critters with her great-grandfather's old gun. She also grows the food and cuts down trees on her property in the Smokey Mountains. 

Well, if it would be appropriate for any kids today, it would be appropriate for my August and Levon who have a grandma who lives in the mountains in North Carolina who keeps chickens and gardens and is as strong as any woman I've ever known and has been known to scare off full-grown bears from her apple trees! 
Ooh! I can't wait to read it to them! 

Good find! 

I also bought a little something-something at another store, a "real" store that is going to be someone's Christmas present. I think I know whose. So pretty. 

And then I came home and did a little weeding and now I'm going to make egg rolls for our supper. I better get started. They are fussy. 

But before I go, here's a picture from a few Bradford pear leaves that I found today beside the kitchen porch. 

Not all of the dropped leaves have this border effect but as all of you know, they remind me of the images of the Virgin of Guadalupe whom I love. 

Mother Goddess of Mexico. 

Bless her La Reina corazon. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Monday, November 28, 2022

Back Out Into The World


I woke up this morning feeling absolutely fine. Whatever little bug that had come to visit didn't stay long for which I am very grateful. So I decided to go get my shopping done. I've been out of Rinse Aid for a week! God knows that is practically an emergency. No one wants spotty dishes, right? 
Oh, there were other things on the list, including eggs. All right. Not to be crass here but for over thirteen years I've only had to buy a few dozen eggs and we always joked that the eggs the hens provided for "free" were actually more expensive than the store bought ones when you added up their feed and the hay we put in the hen house and all of that and now here I am without yard-egg one and eggs at the grocery store are at an all-time high! And out of solidarity for hens, I am buying the organic "free range" ones and those things are more expensive than cocaine! 
Haha. I have no idea how much cocaine costs. Probably far less than eggs but you get my drift. 

When I was at Costco (along with the entire population of a small nation, it appeared) I walked past the bakery area and had a sincere moment of grief for the fact that they're not making fruitcakes anymore. I did love those Costco fruitcakes. But it didn't even cross my mind to consider making one of my own this year. I have no idea why. I have made many fruitcakes. I believe I made some last year. 
But then in Publix I saw an endcap with all the fruitcake stuff on it and I thought, Huh. Well, why not?
So I got some of those horribly vilified candied fruits and they are now up on the shelf, waiting for me to get out the Mrs. Harvey's White Fruit Cake recipe. 
I'm a little excited. 
It is mostly May and I who love the fruitcake. Everyone else thinks we're crazy. A story I probably tell annually is about the year that May and I ate so much fruitcake that Lily freaked out and took it away from us. We're still laughing about that. 
So, making fruitcake is up on the big wheel of things to do, as Lis would say. 
Speaking of Lis, I may get to see her tomorrow. It's a convoluted situation as these things so often are but I hope it works out. I miss that girl so much. 

Do you see those beautiful baby things? They came in a package I got today from...Linda Sue!  They are for Dorothy Anne who definitely needs them as it about to get chilly. Also in the package were two cashmere sweaters with teeny tiny moth holes which I will take great joy in mending. My own pre-worn cashmere sweaters are in tatters. That is not hyperbole. So I am thrilled! As I said recently I haven't found a cashmere sweater in Goodwill in years. 
Linda Sue is the most amazing gift-giver/package-sender in the world. I swear. You can ask Magnolia June if you don't believe me.
Linda e-mailed me yesterday to ask if I'd gotten the package as she'd been notified that it had been delivered on November 22. I told her that no, I had not. The way it works in our post office here in Lloyd is that if there's a package too big to go into your box, you get a slip informing you that they have something in the back for you. 
I had not gotten a slip.
So this morning I asked the post-woman if perhaps there was something for me which somehow I had not been notified about? 
Now I have to tell you that this post-woman is new. I'd never seen her until about a week ago. And not to be judgmental here, but she does not look like a US Postal employee. For one thing, she has neck tattoos. I have nothing against neck tattoos. Just saying that I'm not used to seeing those on the people behind the counter at our post office. Also, today she was wearing a pair of stretchy shorts that may have been tie-dyed and looked like something you might buy in the sleepwear department. And a T-shirt with a completely different pattern on it. 
Anyway, she checks a list and says, "Nope. Nothing." But then she did go actually look and I heard her say, "Oh yes! Here's a package! It must have just come today!"
Whatever. I got my package. 
I sure do miss the days when Miss Martha was behind the counter and would call you to tell you that your package had arrived and besides giving excellent postal service, she always had all the latest community news. 

I better go make our supper. I am going to go cook some very fresh grouper which is a beautiful and delicious fish and if bought in a store or fish market, costs more than EGGS! So of course it also costs more than cocaine. 
I did the math. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Feeling Better All The Time

I haven't felt great again today but it hasn't been so bad. As the day has moved along, I've felt better and even gotten a few things done. And stayed out of bed, too! 
At one point Vergil came out with the boys to drop off the meat grinder and although August and Levon weren't going to get out of the car, I pled for them to be able to and I stayed at least four feet away from them at all times which is NOT EASY TO DO! I said, "Oh, how I wish I could read you a book," and Levon who was sitting on that love seat he's on in the picture suggested that I could sit on the crack of it while each boy sat on an arm of the little sofa but I sighed and told him that probably wasn't far enough away.
But they figured out what to play on their own. My old plug-in phone was sitting there on the love seat and Levon was in charge of that while August got on one of the trikes in the room which has a good bell on it and he would ring, ring, ring and Levon would pick up the phone and say, "You have reached Toys, Incorporated. How can I get your order?" 
I loved that. 
And they played just like I played with my friends when I was little. 
You say this and I'll do that and the script unfolds as it is played. I can remember feeling a passionate joy in that sort of play as a child. We could be princesses or soldiers or Tarzan and Jane or runaway children or stranded cowgirls in a snowstorm or anyone in the entire world and as such, we were free to act as we wanted, a continuing story of pretend and it never got old for me. 
So watching the boys play like that was good for my heart and good for my soul.
Just as I was about to make Levon a requested peanut butter and honey and raisin sandwich with the crusts cut off, Daddy said it was time to go home and so they both got a banana and some juice. 
Their visit was definitely the high point of my day. 

I finally gave up and took the piece of fabric that has the letters of Maggie's name on it off of the backing which would not stop puckering up no matter how careful I was with it and that probably took forty-five minutes with the seam ripper, carefully taking out one stitch at a time. But it's so much easier now to embroider around the letters and I can even use an embroidery hoop which- oh gosh! who knew! makes for much more controlled and tidy stitches. Not that all of the stitches are tidy but more of them are. And when all of the embroidery is done I can resew the whole panel together and sew that onto the quilt. I've been making these things for over forty years. You'd think I would have figured it out by now but no. Not really. 
While I picked stitches I listened to a podcast, sitting at the table on the back porch where the sun was shining brighter than any lamp in the house could have. It was a cheerful thing to see the sun again after so many days in a row of it hiding behind clouds as gray and dense as a thousand years of spider webs covering a window. 
And when I began embroidering again I watched a movie on Netflix that I thought was going to probably be horrible but the trailer had such a sparky, funny thing going on with excellent writing and a terrific bit of acting that I thought- eh, what the fuck? I'll give it a shot.

And it was surprisingly delightful! It's called "Friendsgiving" and is on Netflix. Such movies are always formulaic, of course, and this one had elements of all of those but it popped out some definitely different storylines. So I enjoyed that. A few days ago I watched another Rom-Com-ish movie, "People We Hate At The Wedding" and I was vastly disappointed in that. The performances were okay but it was...meh. 
Sometimes all's-well-that-ends-well just is not good enough. 
Know what I mean? 

And that's that. I've done laundry, made a loaf of bread, cleaned a toilet and a sink, picked some greens, and figured out a quilt problem. So the day hasn't been a total waste, I guess. 

Onward and upward! Time to heat up the soup! 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, November 26, 2022

A Very Quiet Day

I found this note by the coffeepot when I got up which was long after the fishermen had left for the coast. Such sweetness. 

It was so nice to have Owen here. At one point when I was making our flautas, Mr. Moon came into the kitchen for something from the Glen Den where the guys had been watching the FSU/UF game and he said to me, "We have a fine grandson."
And we do. 
Because Owen was the first grandchild and the one I took care of the most, I think there is a very strong connection there between us. He grew up partly in our house, really, and every room and nook and cranny in this old house is attached to a memory of Baby Owen and then Toddler Owen, and then Gibson joined us and, well, they are my boys. I told Owen last night about the first time his mama brought him over for me to take care of. She had to go back to work and I was so nervous that I literally sort of dissociated and for a few minutes couldn't remember the names of my chickens before he got here. You would have thought I'd never taken care of a baby in my life. I just found the blog post I wrote the morning he was about to come over. It is HERE. 
So I told Owen that story and we laughed. Obviously I did manage to keep the boy alive and now he is a strapping (what does that mean?) thirteen-year old and in some ways we are bonded forever. 

Many of you know that he gave me my grandmother name which is MerMer and is perfect. I had no idea what I wanted my grandchildren to call me. Nana? Memaw? Grandmary? So I just referred to myself as Grandmother and Owen began to call me MerMer when he started attaching names to things and that was perfect because it's what my little brother called me when he was that age, being unable to say Mary, and besides that, my email name since the beginning of the internet has been MerLuna so it was meant to be. Obviously. 

So there is all of that in me when our biggest boy comes to visit and there is a joy attached to his presence and a peace, too, as he grows older and we become more and more aware of how fine a grandson he is. 

The fact that he now wants to and can go fishing with his grandfather makes Mr. Moon happier than anything I can imagine. He has dreamed of this since Owen was born and now it has come true. 

This photo was my header for a long time and I know some of you will remember it. 
I've heard from Glen and they had a good day out on the water. Owen caught grouper and other fish and I know he helped with all of the many things that have to be done when it comes to fishing offshore. I imagine that Mr. Moon is so very proud of him. We both are. They are on their way home. 

I have not felt very good today, in fact I'm thinking I may be coming down with something. I've been so very tired and cold in my bones and my eyes feel strange. I laid down and took a long nap under my duck and woke up to find it dark which is so disconcerting. But it's been a gray day and so staying in hasn't been bad at all. I made a turkey soup early on so that we'll have something to eat with all of the good stuff in it. Greens and carrots, tomatoes, celery, onions, garlic, corn, turkey and vegetable broth, rice. And oh yes- turkey. That soup could sustain life forever, I think. I'll squeeze lime juice in it before we eat it. 

And that is how it has been in Lloyd today. I don't believe I have taken one step outside. I am still trying to get used to having no chickens. My body and mind alert me at certain times that I should go let chickens out and feed them or go tuck them into their hen house. I have those thoughts and then immediately think, "No. No need." And I am sad. 

Things change. To everything there is indeed a season. The Bible got that right. 

Love...Ms. Moon