Bless Our Hearts

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

A Day Date In The Deep South

It's been a very pleasant day here in Jefferson County, Florida. I spent a leisurely morning replacing some overall strap hardware and taking up a dress a few inches. I'd been meaning to get around to those things for awhile now and it's nice to have them done. 

Mr. Moon had errands in town this morning and didn't get back until it was time to leave to go to Monticello to get our second boosters. It was another excellent experience there with a nurse who's shot-giving abilities were the best I've ever personally encountered. I swear- I felt almost nothing and certainly no pain. Glen said the same. Taking the band-aid off later hurt far more than the jab had. 

Since neither one of us had eaten lunch we decided to drop into the Rev and get our lunch there. A date! We were on a date. They were out of my favorite chicken salad so I got a Greek salad as did Mr. Moon. Our server, who bore a passing resemblance to Chloe Sevigny was brand new and when she brought our salads I realized that they had no feta cheese and HELLO! What is a Greek salad without feta cheese? A green salad with some olives and peppers on it, that's what. We pointed this out and she brought us each some feta. Why is it that restaurant salads just get bigger and bigger as you eat them? Have you noticed this? You can eat on that sucker until you're bored with the eating of it and you still seemingly have as much as you did when the plate was put in front of you. 
The people at the table beside us seemed to be discussing the possible running of one of the women for the school board. Or school superintendent. Something. I had a hard time eavesdropping as we were outside and there was lots of ambient traffic noise. 
Note: If you do not want to be eavesdropped on, don't sit next to me. 
She appeared to be making a pitch to a guy whom I heard say that he was born and raised in Jefferson County and I swear he said his folks went back nine generations here but I find that hard to believe. The woman had a sort of pinched face, blond hair that didn't quite know what style it was supposed to be, and had lots to say. I could not figure out if she was affiliated with Republicans or Democrats but then I definitely heard the man ask her, "Do you think you can you work both sides of the aisle?" and she said, "I think so. I can attempt to seem fairly moderate. And as far as I can tell, we don't need the Democrats at all."
All righty then! 
I did not stand up and smack her. You would have been proud of me. 

After lunch we went into Wag the Dog. They had nothing I needed but it was nice to meander about, treasure hunting. Then we crossed the street to an actual antique shop, one that I have talked about before, and spent some time checking out their merchandise. They have very nice stuff and when I'm there I always find myself wishing that I had some empty spaces to fill but the fact is, I really don't. I do have some  stuff that I'd love to replace but is it necessary? No. It is not. 
There's an entire upstairs portion of the store where they keep less valuable things, things that are smaller, and we trudged up there to check it out. They have sold the chaise lounge that I really thought I wanted at one point and then decided I did not and my heart did not hurt to see it gone. When I had explored all the spaces and rooms up there, I took the picture you see above. There is something that feels very good about that upstairs area. I could be all wrong about this but to me, I get a sense of light-heartedness about it. As if happy people had lived there. I hope so. I am sure that at one point in the building's history, it had been a commercial enterprise downstairs with the family, probably, living upstairs. It's a corner building a block from the courthouse and I bet it was prime property when Monticello was more of a going concern. Red brick, still solid and apparently in decent repair. We didn't find anything to buy there either although I sure could have. There was a large, unusual vase, labeled simply "yellow vase with swirls". It had no markings on it. I'd never seen one like it and I could just see it with a palm frond or a split-leaf philodendron leaf in it on my table in the hallway and now I'm having not-buyer's regret. 
Ah well, I can always go back and get it if it's still there. 

My calf muscle feels better today and I think that resting it has been good for it. I am already starting to feel the effects of the booster, I think. A bit achy and tired. It's starting to get really hot here. Spring has taken its bow, the curtain has lowered on it and is rising again to the appearance of summer. There is only a smattering of applause from the audience as we wipe our brows and dream of rivers and springs. Hurricane season begins on June 1 and as always, we know that we must become observant and wary.

Here's a magnolia that Jessie picked for me yesterday from a tree beside our garden that I always forget is even there. 

Now to me, that is beauty. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

What The Dang Heck?

Twenty-seven years ago I was at the beach with Mr. Moon and Lily and Jessie. It was one of the summers we were staying in the tiny little block apartment across the street from the ocean on St. George Island. The yard was made of rocks and cactus, the kitchen was definitely not big enough to swing a cat in, I slept on a futon next to the canned goods, but the AC worked great, the beach was steps away, we could see the Milky Way at night, and those were some of the best summers of my life if not THE best. It was truly paradisiacal, partly because of the simplicity. We had a TV but this before internet had reached St. George Island and our days were spent playing and walking on the beach, swimming in the warm green Gulf, reading books, spying dolphins swimming to the south in the morning, the west in the early evening, dipping and rising, blowing and rolling- a sort of holy sight, no matter how many times we saw them. 
But one day, I think it was a Sunday, I was coming up out of the surf and I was in very, very shallow water but as the edge of the surf often is, the ground was uneven due to tide and current and I put my foot down in a way that was wrong and a small wave hit me from behind at that exact second and a pain shot through my calf so severe that I actually thought something had risen from the ocean and either hit my leg or bitten it. 
And yet there was no sign of anything. No shark swimming about, no giant ray, no blood. Within minutes though, my calf was starting to turn a worrisome-looking bruised color and I could feel endorphins hitting my system the way they had when I'd broken my wrist as a teenager. A most unmistakable feeling of almost euphoria making the pain almost an afterthought, even as I knew it was still there. Very much so. 

I hobbled up the beach and across the road and to the little apartment and laid down on my futon and over the course of the next few days I realized that what I had done was to somehow rip my calf muscle. Badly. That calf turned every color in the rainbow and it took weeks of rest and icing and Ibuprofen to regain my ability to feel safe walking on that leg again, for the pain to truly recede.
And no, I did not go to a doctor. 
Since then, that calf has not bothered me one bit. You could look at my calf muscles and see the difference in them but there has never been any weakness or residual pain at all. 
Until yesterday after my walk. 
Oh fuck. And I really do not know if what I'm feeling is related to that long-ago injury or not. It could very well be. I am quite aware of the fact that things we do to our bodies as younger people can come back years and years later to bite us in the ass, to cause us pain and difficulties. And I think that's what's going on now. 
I know that the calf area is one that can be the site of a deep vein thrombosis but I don't think that's what I have. I do have some swelling but there is no redness nor heat in the area and if I don't move it, it doesn't hurt. 
This morning, when I got up, it was still there, you know, the way things can be after a night's sleep, but not terrible, and I decided to try and just take a short walk to see if I could stretch it all out. 
After about a third of a mile I realized that no, this was not a good idea, turned around and came home. 
Why does it seem like every time I get started walking again, working up to some time and distance, something happens to put pause to it all? The last time I got really serious about my walking and was doing five miles or so several times a week was two years ago when I fell and broke my ribs which was not related to walking at all but occurred when I slipped down some steps, hurrying to hang a hummingbird feeder in the rain. 

So. I guess I'm going to give this a few days to see if it's just, as I suspect, a sort of spasm of the muscle in there, a tightening, which will loosen with regular activity. It's certainly not too painful to just move about from house to garden to clothesline. Nothing like the pain that summer of 1995 when I laid on my bed and watched the OJ Simpson Trial, my calf encased in ice.

Darla and the Chicks came to pay me a visit today. They climbed the steps to the kitchen porch. This, too, is a lesson from Darla as the kitchen is where the best food comes from. I threw them a little bit of dry cat food which chickens love and they were quite pleased.
And this afternoon Jessie brought the boys out for a little visit. They too, like treats from the kitchen and ate the doughnuts that Jessie had stopped on the way for and then wanted chips and salsa which, to their minds, is a perfect accompaniment to doughnuts. Their Boppy was here today so they spent some time with him while Jessie and I talked and laughed and then they got a ride on the four-wheeler around the yard. 

Levon was being self-admittedly "silly." Oh well. 
Later on they let me read them some books and it was a joy. 

Tomorrow we'll go get our booster-boosters and then we'll see how the next day goes after that. Perhaps this is good timing- I may not feel like walking at all if I have a reaction. Rest the body, rest the leg. 

And all will be well. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, May 16, 2022

And Here We Are Now

 I got up off my lazy weekend butt today and took a walk. It was hot and for awhile I thought that perhaps we might get some rain as the sky to the south was looking bruised while great puffy clouds like the ones in that picture were scuttling across the sky to the west. I did not run into anyone I needed to talk to, didn't see a soul at No Man Lord's. I just walked and came home. 

I took a shower and went to town for groceries because I'm not sure how this week is going to go. Tomorrow the stove repair guy is supposed to come and I have no idea when. And on Wednesday we're getting our second boosters, or, as I like to call them, the booster-boosters. I know that some people have fairly severe reactions to those so I don't want to have to go to town if I don't feel like it. 
When I got to Publix, there were about four police cars parked right in front and officers of the law were escorting a man out of the store with his wrists in cuffs. Yesterday I had watched a video on FB of a guy getting tased by police in the parking lot of another Publix and I don't know what that was about but he DID have a large axe in his hand which he refused to put down so I suspect some sort of drugs. 
I saw Lily as soon as I walked into the store and said, "So, is this get-arrested-at-Publix-week?" 
She said, "I guess so."
There had been some situation where a guy cut off another guy in traffic and supposedly the man in the state-issued bracelets had pulled a gun and followed the other guy into the Publix parking lot and THEN into the store and there was a great deal of yelling and Lily said she was quite understandably frightened. And wouldn't you know that the guy who reportedly had the gun was a white guy and the guy whom he had brandished it at while driving was a Black guy and as Lily said, at least this time the police got it right. And no gun was found but dear god, after what happened in Buffalo an incident like that cannot help but feel extremely dangerous. I cannot believe that we are now in the space and time where a lunatic can get a gun and, acting on his own racist beliefs and the filth he finds online supporting and encouraging those beliefs, travel to a place where there are likely to be people of color shopping and shoot and kill them and we just...shrug? Get enraged again? Become even more despondent, depressed, and anxious? 
I don't know. I do not know shit.
All I know is that we seem to have lost all sanity and decency as a society and I swear to you- I don't think there is any way to fix this. 
For two years we were deathly afraid of being exposed to Covid in grocery stores and now we need to consider whether or not there is a psycho killer with a gun sitting in the parking lot who could very possibly make the decision to get out of his car with that gun, enter the store, and kill everyone in his sights to register his hatred of anyone who does not fit his definition of an acceptable fellow American. 

What the hell, people? What the fucking fuck?

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Although I was lazy as a lizard today, I feel like I got something huge accomplished in that I sent in a request to book a place near Black Mountain, NC, for us to stay when we go up to visit the Weatherfords this summer. This has become a much-beloved ritual for us, to travel up to the Smoky Mountains and stay for a few days, enjoying the views and vistas, the rocky rivers, the charm of Black Mountain, and of course Vergil and Jessie and the little boys we miss so much when they leave to go join their mountain family. 
For some reason, this year I just did not stress out about finding us a place to stay. Of course there is always the FOMO- fear of missing out, not to be confused with MOFO which Mr. Moon did immediately upon me explaining what those initials mean. 
I'm pretty sure he did that to make me laugh. Which it did. 
There are hundreds of listings on VRBO for the Black Mountain area, not to mention the ones on AirBnB and the hundreds more for the Asheville area. So of course I want to make sure that I am getting the BEST place to stay for the money and I've already spent a few days clicking and scrolling, clicking and scrolling. 
Our priorities are to be somewhat near where Jessie and Vergil stay on their mountain and that the place has some privacy. I have no desire to be on top of anyone else's hideaway cabin. We need at least one king-sized bed with no footboard for my giant man, an extra room or two for when August and Levon join us for the night and bring their mom and dad along. A kitchen that I can cook in (which would be almost any kitchen) and a big table where we can all eat. Almost everything else is negotiable but this year we decided to go for it and I found us a place with all of that AND an outdoor hot tub, plenty of room, lots of windows, and a little burbling creek. 
And if that creek doesn't burble, someone's going to get an email about false advertising. 
Nah. Not really. But won't the boys have fun playing in a creek? 
I think it will be lovely. Of course you have to send in your request and payment method and then within 24 hours you're supposed to hear back as to whether or not you've been accepted. I think I have a decent profile on VRBO and if all goes well, we are good to go. 

I am excited about the prospect of this trip. We've done it enough now that I don't have a great deal of pre-trip anxiety, of fear of the unknown. Mr. Moon and I have already been reminiscing about former trips and the things that made us laugh and the things we surely want to do again and the things we surely do NOT want to do again, one of which is to stay at a Quality Inn on the way home which although there were no actual bloodstains on the walls, still managed to transmit a feeling that an episode of CSI Buttfuck, Georgia may have been filmed in it.
There was a Waffle House across from the parking lot which, although a plus, did not begin to redeem the creepiness or smell of the room. 
So we are excited and now I have to figure out a book for me to read out loud on our journey as we drive. 

I told Mr. Moon this morning that despite what my weather widget said, I thought it was going to rain because my old hips ached so much. And sure enough, later on this afternoon as we were lazing about, a sudden boom-blast of thunder hit close enough to make the window above us rattle. 
"Whoa!" we said. 
And before long, we were getting another downpour. 
It was beautiful. 

It did not last too long but long enough for it to cool everything off and make the air feel soft on my skin, to hopefully bring up some yummy bugs for my chickens to scratch out of the earth, to give the garden another drink of sweet water. 

Chicken story of the day: This morning when I went to let the chickens out of the hen house and throw them their scratch and fill up their feeder, Violet's little baby had failed to follow her out of the coop and was frantically trying to get to her mama through the wire. I have come to think that this is part of the mother hen educational strategy because Darla just did the same thing last week and I've seen it happen before. Generally, the mother does not get far enough away from the chicks to let this happen but perhaps, in a safe, controlled environment it can be a teachable moment to let the young'uns try to figure their way out of the coop. So Violet's baby (shall we call her/him Pansy just for fun?) was peeping and peeping and peeping and trying to squeeze her little body through the even smaller holes in the wire and because she was in a corner I was able to scoop her up, intending to take her outside, thus probably setting her training back a week or two, and Darla, who was already outside near Violet with her three lost her mind and flew up and bumped me when I got outside. It wasn't even her baby and she was in attack mode! Whoa girl, I said and gently put Pansy down next to her mother and Darla went on about her business, convinced, I'm sure, that she had saved that child's life. 
She is a good mother. 

There is a woodpecker busily searching for bugs in what sounds like a rotten tree limb. It is making a loud, hollow sound and reminds me of a New Yorker joke that I saw today that made me laugh. 

And for those of you have been wondering what old Jack looks like these days, I give you this.

The bane of Maurice's life, the big boi who sleeps wherever he wants, whenever he wants, the man with no plan, the King of the Porch. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Minding My Peas and (Barbe)Cues

That may well be some of the last of the green peas. I have enjoyed them so much this year. Sweet as candy. Delicious cooked or raw. Mr. Moon has even eaten some and he really does not like peas. But it's hard not to like these. 

Our evening with Owen was lovely. We watched the British Bake Off while we ate our chicken parm which he claimed was even better than his mama's but I doubt that. Lily is an excellent cook. The chocolate ice cream was just ridiculously good. He helped me get the ice cream maker all set up and ready to go. He is just a very fine young man. He was tired after supper and took his shower and got in his bed and I kissed him good night and that was that. 

This morning we had our pancakes and then the three of us played Yahtzee. I'm glad I got that game out the other day. I'd forgotten how fun it is. Owen won today, of course. I felt so grandparent-ish, playing a game like that with him. We met up with Lily and the other two kids after that at the Hilltop for lunch. 

There was some sort of craft fair going on down the road and there's also a motorcycle thing happening in Tallahassee and even at 1:30 the place was crowded. It's not a big place and I couldn't deal with all the people waiting for their orders so I went outside and vultured the people eating at the tables there in order to snag one for our crowd. 

It's set up oddly. On the left there, you can see the few shelves of convenience store groceries they carry but their main business is the selling of food made to order. You stand at the counter and look at the two huge chalkboards and one white board with menu items, make your choice, order, and then wait. For quite awhile, usually. You can get everything there from subs to salads to fish dinners to shrimp po'boys to barbecue to Reubens to Cubans. The side orders range from the usual cole slaws and french fries to fried okra, green beans, fried green tomatoes, potato salad, onion rings and so forth. There is also a cold case with cakes and pies. 
When you get your food, they call your name and you go collect a styrofoam box with an order ticket on it and you take that and your drink (they have excellent iced tea) up to the counter and pay and then you can either take it with you or find a seat. 
The food is not very healthy nor is it fantastic but it is food and generally good and there is a grand variety of it and it's the only place to get food between Tallahassee and Monticello. 
For now, anyway. I imagine things will be changing. 
There are always workers of every kind there along with hunters, fishermen, sheriffs in their full regalia, families who are treating themselves to a meal out, folks just driving the backroads for sightseeing, people who don't have time to cook, and, today, lots of motorcycle riders. Like the Wacissa river, like a watering hole in the Serengeti, like the DMV, it is a place where all gather peacefully. Today Patsy Cline was playing on the sound system and the man running the cash register was singing the words to "Crazy" right along with Patsy. I had a pork barbecue sandwich which was delicious and a side of coleslaw which was definitely made in-house and was actually incredibly good.

I know I've written about the Hilltop before but it's a part of the local color and it's also a part of our lives. 

Everything seems to be fine in chicken world. I saw Darla and her kids taking a dirt bath today, wallowing down into the soil of the kitchen garden and it was too cute, watching those babies sift the gritty dirt through their little wings. I saw one stand up to his full hight and I really cannot believe how much they've grown in such a short time. 

It poured rain here for a very short amount of time yesterday evening and today has been the more beautiful for it. Everything as green as it can possibly be, the birds happy, Daddy cardinals feeding their young on the feeder, and the sun still luminous and not yet a burning coal in the blue, blue sky yet. 
It'll get there but for now, it's all pretty much a joy. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, May 13, 2022

It's Owen's Night!


Oh, how quickly Owen is growing right now. Some of you remember him from when he was a newborn, some from when he was a bit older. He was four in this picture. 

Now Melissa? She hasn't changed one iota in eight years. But Owen certainly has. 

I spent all day doing a little cleaning around here. I washed the sheets on both beds and I mopped two rooms and the hallway. I did a lot of sweeping and although I did not take a walk, I've logged almost ten thousand steps anyway, just going from one end of this house to the other, out to the clothesline, the garden, the hen house, and back again. I made up the goop that will go in the ice cream freezer in just a little while. Cocoa, sugar, milk, and cream. And vanilla. I've got the chicken all ready to go into the air fryer in preparation for the chicken parmesan, pounded and coated with flour, egg, and panko. Isn't it amazing how I can compartmentalize the love of MY chickens and the chicken I buy in the store? As I always say, I am such a hypocrite and I know it. 

Our biggest boy is here, and it's a joy. He and I have already discussed family history and relationships, religion, roosters, and the fact that schools should mandate classes in the arts. He's taking guitar now at his school and loves it. 

I was looking at his beautiful face as we chatted on the back porch. He looks like his mother but he mostly looks like himself. The Moon genes are strong in him, at least when it comes to his physical being but I am sure there is some of my family in the mix. There has to be. And isn't that what our biological purpose on this planet is? To pass on our genes?

His ring size is already the same as his grandfather's and let me just tell you- that's a large ring size. As Mr. Moon shook up our martinis just now, I thanked him for letting me mix my genes with his. 
"You're welcome," he said, handing me my icy drink. We clinked and kissed and now I need to finish making our supper. 

Happy Friday, y'all.
Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, May 12, 2022

We Sure Do Have Some Blue Skies Around Here Right Now

I had a GOOD walk today and y'all- it about killed me. I did Lloyd Creek road again and it is so lovely and provides shade but the mile and back from it are full-on sun and although it's still not terribly hot, it's hot enough. My hair is still soaked from sweat. 

This is about a third of a mile from my house, looking back. On the right we have the house and property of the people who drive around with a big Trump banner and a big American flag flying from their pick-up truck. On the left is the dump depot and the volunteer fire department building which is a quonset hut. 
I think I was born in a quonset hut. 
No. Really. 

On my way back home I walked down Main Street to take another picture of the FDG to enrage myself even further. 

And if all this shit wasn't bad enough here's another article in the Monticello News. 

The meeting was canceled. I do not know why. This area is about a mile and a half away from us, across from where the interstate is. I knew the behemoth Amazon center that's being built in Tallahassee right off the next exit from ours was going to impact us. You cannot believe how big that thing is. 

Let's see. Where should we move? Wilma, can I come join you in Belize? 

But other than all of that, I had a nice day. Jessie called to see if they could come out for a little visit this afternoon and I said, Oh, please! It was so sweet to see those boys and their mama. 

We played Yahtzee! Jessie and August played on one team and Levon and I on another. Levon is good at rolling dice and August is getting very good at counting and adding. I hadn't played Yahtzee in years and it was fun. And then they let me read them some books which at this point is just such a gift to me. I'll never be on the big stage but by golly, I can read a kid's book out loud with the best of them. My accents make the boys laugh which is sweeter to me than all the applause on Broadway.

I saw something today in the world of chickens I'd never seen before. I didn't see how it began but I looked up to see Darla and her sister Dottie fighting! Bumping chests the way chickens do, although generally roosters. I think that perhaps Dottie had gotten too close to the babies and Darla was not having it. They made no noise, just the jumping up and bumping and then Liberace ran over and quickly intervened. He finally got inbetween them and gave Dottie a little peck and sent her on her way and it was over. Darla went back to scratching in the magnolia leaves with the triplets. 
My god, I love that rooster. 
And then a few moments later there was this: 

Dottie was pecking off dead skin (I think) from Liberace's comb. I usually think she's getting gnats off of him but I saw no gnats today. Anyway, all was forgiven and it was so sweet, the way he bowed his head to give her access to groom him. 
I just can't help but think it looks like she's kissing him. 

Well, my man just got home from town. I think I will go kiss him. And then make our supper. 
It's a good life, Fucking Dollar General or not. 

Love...Ms. Moon