Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things- Accepting and Letting Go

Well, I should have known it would happen. I am slowly bringing things back here from my mother's house, one small bit at a time.

Mostly they are things which I do not even remember, or if so, only vaguely. Things which do not strike a memory in me, one way or another. Today it was pillow cases, but only the very soft ones, and some table scarves and doily things and tablecloths- you know- things she never used but kept. I also brought back some practical stuff- old, worn towels which Mr. Moon needs in his garage. I swear, I do not think my mother has bought a new towel in thirty years. They are mostly rags.

I threw away three huge yard-trash bags of stuff. Stuff, stuff, stuff. Partially used bottles of shampoo and OTC medicines. Coat hangers. Hell, I don't even know what all. I'm gathering and piling things for Goodwill or another goodly cause. I want the children to come back over and see if there's anything they want.

There are so many pictures. My brothers should be involved in deciding what to do with those. I sat on the floor today and reached in a box and grabbed and looked at packets and packets of pictures. My mother was no better at getting pictures in albums than I am. Pictures of the family from the seventies. Pictures of trips my mother and her husband took, unidentifiable landscapes, the colors faded and muddy. There are pictures of that man- the stepfather- and I look at them and I feel a slight aversion but unless he is posing with one of us children, so what? His sins were with us and the sight of him in the picture with one of my brothers or with me makes me shudder but beyond that...throw them back in the box. I'll start sorting for real one of these days.

While I was there, a huge storm came in and thunder cracked and lightening flashed and the rain poured down but I was fine. I was listening to a book on tape and the washer and dryer were going. I washed up the sheets on Mother's bed and the towels in her bathroom. It was almost cozy there, even with half of the furniture gone, boxes and piles of things on the floor.
It is a fine place for what it is and it is time for us to get it cleaned up, put on the market, and let it go to someone who needs a safe and sheltered place close to shopping, the post office and with a pool right out front and a working fireplace.

I got home and it has rained here and again, I am grateful. We need every drop. When I got on the interstate, I saw a young oak, an adolescent, perhaps, toppled over from the roots. I guess there was wind. Strange to see a tree, lying on its side, the roots exposed like that.

Well, my trees all appear to be fine. I am cooking artichokes as big as a smart newborn's head for our supper. I am going to Monticello to the Opera House and I will see Kathleen and I am glad for that but I have to leave Mr. Moon some supper, of course. There is half of a cake but man does not live on cake alone and I love him and cannot let him

So it goes. The load of laundry I put in here is done, the artichokes are simmering, the rain is dripping off the leaves, the sky is very gray but light, too, somehow.
The chickens are doing their evening promenade, I have been to the library, I have thrown things away, I have looked into the face of my abuser, albeit through faded pictures, I am okay.
I am good. Things are merely things. If they do not help us or delight us, we should let them go. Sometimes it is hard to know if a thing represents one of those and sometimes, it is very, very easy to know. As I get older, it seems to get easier.

I suppose that's good. I think it is.

For This Moment In Time

Mr. Moon said the "M" word yesterday. For those of you who do not know me, the "M" word is (I can barely type this)...Mexico.
I merely said, "Oh? Really?"
We were on our way to Lily and Jason's for the party.
I am afraid to jinx anything.

I will say no more about this.
For now.

I consciously left dirty dishes in the sink last night. DO YOU HEAR ME? Ms. Moon left dirty dishes in the sink. I chose to do that. I never, ever, EVER leave dirty dishes in the sink over night.
Okay. Maybe a bowl that someone ate a late-night snack out of.
But I looked at those few dishes that were there from the last preparations of the things I had taken to the party and I said, "No. Not tonight."
And guess what?
No one died.

And I've already washed them and done a load of laundry and it's time to take a walk and then get to Mother's old house to get rid of things and oh yes, oh yes, oh YES! I've talked to Kathleen. She is back in the states. Exhausted but happy and eager to get back to her house, her animals, her life. It turns out in Spain that no eats before midnight. Here in Jefferson County, we've usually been asleep for two or three hours by midnight.
She is high on the wave of Quantum Physics and is ruling the universe now.
Look- I don't doubt her. If anyone could do this, it is Kathleen.

Maybe she will teach me how to do it too. I don't want to rule the universe. I just want to make it rain sometimes.

I feel good today. I keep thinking about last night, how much fun it was. I keep remembering how Owen sat on my lap and patted the Batternburg lace on my new shirt all along the yoke and kept saying, "Nice. Nice." I am thinking about how lucky I am to be living this life. When Mr. Moon left for work he was wearing one of his new shirts. He looked so handsome. I am thinking of the way Billy and Shayla love their boy and also, how much their boy loves Hank and how long Hank and Billy have been friends and how lovely it is to see lives evolve together, delivering one joy after another along with the difficulties. I am thinking about small miracles and large ones. I am thinking about the kudzu growing over a power pole in Kingston, NC and how people think it looks like Jesus and how one man said, "You can't spray Jesus with Roundup," and that makes me laugh.
Would Roundup kill Jesus?

Who knows?
Not me.

As usual.

All I know is that my miracles, the ones I recognize and ponder, are far more mundane, and yet, at the same time, far more...miraculous.

They may have something to do with Quantum Physics.
Or they may just have a lot to do with love.

As always...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For Hank

Yes. A snake ate a frog. At the party. While we were grilling the burgers.
The nature just never ends around here.
Click if you want to really see what's going on.

Pictures Of A Birthday Party

When we left Lily's house just a little while ago she said, "Now go home and update your blog."
She just likes to see cute pictures of her son.
Well. What can I do but her bidding?

It was really a fun party. Just a few of us. Just enough. Lily and Jason and Billy and Shayla and Waylon and me and Mr. Moon and Hank and Owen.
The kids love Uncle Hank. Both Waylon and Owen think that Hank is the coolest thing ever.
They're right but somehow my presence scared Waylon to death tonight. I have no idea what I did but from the moment I stepped out of the car, he was NOT HAVING IT!
I felt bad but not that bad. I mean, I'm the old woman that children in grocery stores flirt with. I was mostly just puzzled.
Here he is, holding on to his Dad's hair, giving me the suspicious look.

Personally, I think he believes I want to steal him. He could be right.

Owen mostly just helped his Bop celebrate. Here he is, sticking candles in the cake. Waylon helped with this project too.

Then he helped Bop blow the candles out.
"Make a wish!" I cried as they breathed in.

I hope they did. I swear to you- that cake was not tilted like that when we left the house with it. It's sort of a Dr. Seuss cake in the picture. Who cares? It was good.

Then Owen helped Bop unwrap presents and read cards.

I got Bop three shirts and a pair of shorts. Owen had to try on all the shirts.

Actually, Kathleen gave him this shirt. It's traditional.

Here's one I gave him.

The best part of the whole crazy evening, though, was when Owen stumbled and fell and began to cry and Shayla offered him comfort. He went right to her and hugged her tight. And then he kept on. Hugging her and hugging her. And hugging her.
That boy! He just loves to hug the pretty ladies. Check this out:

He knew he was getting some lovin'. It reached the point of ridiculousness and he was still hugging, still grinning.

It was almost embarrassing. Owen was full of the hugs tonight but Shayla got the best and longest. Without a doubt.

We finally wrapped it all up after everyone played some sort of crazy video game while Shayla and I washed the boys.

Mr. Moon won.

Which is fitting. It's his birthday.

Ah-lah. I am tired. So were these boys.

Another successful birthday celebrated. Thank y'all for coming along.
Now let's all get some rest.

Love...Ms. Moon

It's His Birthday

The birthday season around here starts with a bang on May 1 when both Jessie and my mother have birthdays. May 24th is May's birthday, then June 10th is Hanks. Jason's is June 15th and today, June 29th, is Mr. Moon's.
Six birthdays in two months.
It doesn't sound like such a lot but when you're as old as I am, time already flies at supersonic rates and it seems like every day I wake up and it's someone's birthday.

And today, as I noted, I did wake up to a real birthday, Mr. Moon's, but he had gotten up early and gone to the gym like the good boy he is and I slept late, dreaming of houses, the way I always do. These days I wake up and I think, "Where have I been? What did I do?" and oh yes, is it a birthday?

Anyway, fifty-seven years ago Mr. Moon was born. His mother told me that when she went into labor and Glen's daddy took her in, the nurse hurt her feelings so badly by saying, "Well you don't look big enough to be having a baby mouse."
This is not what people said to me when I was pregnant which was mostly, "Are you having triplets?" which also hurt my feelings and which is why you shouldn't say stupid things to pregnant women.

When my husband was born, my mother was pregnant with me. She is from Tennessee, which is where Glen was born, I was born in El Paso, Texas, where my father was in the army. Glen and I met in Tallahassee, Florida.

He was married once before he met me and I was married once before I met him.

When I was a young girl, living in misery and fear, I had a dream one night that stuck with me forever. I dreamed of a boy. He was standing there and he held his arms out to me. That was all. It was the most loving gesture and sometimes, when my heart was broken or my spirit was broken or my soul was broken, later on in life, I would think of that dream and wonder where that boy was. The one who had merely held his arms out to me.

The second time Mr. Moon came to my house I looked out at the window as he got out of his truck, holding flowers, and I said to the person sitting there with me, "That man is going to ask me to marry him."

I think maybe I recognized him. He had already held out his arms to me in real life, the first time he'd come over and so by the second time, well, I knew.

These days when we sit on the porch together and we look at each other and declare our abiding love and remark how far we've come and how rich we are in love with each other and our family, he always says, "I told you. I told you it could be this way."

He did and since I had no reference for such things, I almost kicked him out. I tried, in fact, during the early days.
Maybe that dream, the one of the boy holding out his arms to me, had told me that there was a man with whom my life would be safe, would be good, would be spent in love.
And somehow, I finally let him hold me, truly, and he's been holding me ever since, truly, and here we are.

I am going to make him a red velvet cake. I think he mostly just likes cakes with cream cheese frosting. We're going to grill burgers at Lily and Jason's tonight. Our grandson will be there.

He was born fifty-seven years ago and a month later, my mother had me.

It took us almost thirty years to find each other but we did. At the right time. When we were both ready. Well, one of us more ready than the other but...

Happy Birthday, my love. Please keep holding me. And I will hold you, too. It works out nicely that way. You got here a little bit before me but we found each other. And you've taught me so much about love and courage and work and family. I am grateful for every breath you've ever taken and ever will and keep on breathing forever and ever, okay?

And one more thing- you just keep getting better looking. You handsome thing. You strong, sweet man.

I love you.

Keep having birthdays. I'll bake the cakes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It Was A Tie-Dye Day

Oh my. Even though the boy and I had a good nap, I feel certain we will both sleep well tonight. If you look closely at the pictures of Owen's face, you will get a clue about the heat and humidity here today.
Every day.
Of the summer.
And part of the spring.
And fall.
And yes, sometimes...winter.
Not often though, in winter.

Here's Owen putting an egg in my pocket. We also put four tomatoes and a half of a sleeve of Ritz crackers in my pockets. I have BIG pockets. Our egg ritual goes as follows:
Go to hen house to look for eggs.
Carefully check for snakes.
Lean over nesting boxes. Comment on the poop.
Find egg. Hopefully. If egg(s) is found, exclaim excitedly!
Let Owen hold egg.
Owen puts egg in Grandmother's pocket and it is thus transported to the kitchen where it is moved to a bowl.
Every time.

Owen pushing a plastic container. It does have wheels at one end. He is a hard worker.

Owen in the garden, demonstrating how to snap beans.
He never really ate lunch but he did consume raw beans, cherry tomatoes, Ritz crackers, a few bites of the carrot he was carrying to give to the mule, and some smoothie.
I think he'll live.

Cucumber blossoms. Of course.

Owen has discovered how to get into the little closet under the stairs. You cannot believe the quantity of shredded wrapping paper in there. The mice have been very, very busy this year. I need to clean it out.
I also need to wash the dogs, finish the laundry, thaw the chicken, pick the eggplant and pepper for tonight's garden medley, and oh hell, I don't know what all.
Wrap Mr. Moon's birthday presents. Well, that problem is taken care of. I let Owen have the only paper that would have been appropriate for the wrapping to draw on. All yard and a half of it. He wanted it, I gave it to him.
Are grandmothers more lenient or just too tired to say no?

Hell if I know.

Owen isn't sure either. He's just happy about it, whichever. Because he knows damn well that if he just asks, Mer-Mer gives. Or if he wells up in sobs which he is learning to do to get sympathy. Or fake coughs to distract me from getting him to sleep. Or tells me he has ants on him for the same reason.

But really. Could you tell this pretty, dirty, sweaty, sweet boy no?

I can't. It works out. I spoil him and he hugs me and says, "Squeeze!" and then he does.

Fair is fair.

Grandmother Rules.

I hate wrapping presents anyway.

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa

Well, Dr. Stephen Johnson says I made my husband murder "a native Barking Treefrog, our largest and most handsome native treefrog. This species was recently designated as Florida’s State Amphibian."


Shit. Shit, shit, shit. I feel so terrible. I still stand by the fact that that frog was bigger than 2.5 inches.
But hell, he's the expert and there you go.

Well, I have learned a lesson which is to STOP FREAKING OUT!

Sure. I'm quite certain that I have now learned that lesson permanently and will never freak out needlessly again.

You betcha!

Okay. I have the dirtiest boy in the world here, crawling around under the table and getting dirtier by the second. I may be a murderer of one of Florida's State Amphibians but I try to be a good grandmother and I think it is time to clean this boy up, feed him some lunch and get him settled for nap time.

Oh God. I feel terrible. And I am sure that Dr. Johnson is shaking his head in disgust at the hysterical woman who lives in Lloyd who made her husband shoot a poor innocent frog.

I am a moron. You read it here first.


Welcome, welcome! It rained enough last night that all things are pacified, even if not completely satisfied, and that's good enough for me. The earth is humming along, the crickets are tuning up, the birds are singing, twittering, calling, burbling, doing all that which birds do vocally and it's so quiet I can hear the flutter of wings when they take off from a nearby branch.

I am almost afraid to go out to the garden, knowing that it is full of ripe vegetables which should be dealt with. No matter how well you water, there is nothing like a good rain to bring things along. Weeds included.

It is going to be a good day. Owen is coming over and we shall have adventures, I am sure. We shall let the chickens out today since we're going to be here although I am not sure at all what I think I can do about hawks. Yell a warning? But somehow, if I am here, I feel safer about letting them roam. I am considering the possibility of getting some guinea hens. My neighbors used to have some and I loved the way they walked in a line, uttering their rusty calls. They got picked off, one by one though, as they traveled and now there are none.
Did you know that guinea hens can keep a yard free of ticks and fleas?
They can.

Well, Owen is here and ready to rock and roll and so it is.

He and his mama are already out with the chickens and so I must go too.

It's a good day in Lloyd.

Be well. Love....Ms. Moon

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thank You Notes

Dear Former Sheik of Araby of Lloyd,
Thank you today for telling me that I have good legs, even if you only meant that in the fact that I don't need a cane to walk.
Sincerely...Mrs. Moon

Dear Owen,
Thank you for pointing to my toenails and saying, "oooh," and not in a good way. I came home and cut them and at some point, I may actually paint them.
Love...Your grandmother, Mary

Dear Owen,
Thank you for brushing my hair. It was awesome.

Dear Owen,
Thank you for kissing me when I changed your diaper. It was like my favorite kiss I've ever received in the world.
Love...This Old Woman

Dear Sarcastic Bastard-Beloved,
Thank you for giving me the exact words I needed today. You have no idea.

Dear Woman In The Mall Who Was As Big Around As My Little Finger,
I just wanted to say that seeing you in the food court at the mall, sitting there with a table-full of food from Sabarro with everything from calzones to pizza to pasta, made me hate you. I was so hungry.
Love...Ms. Moon

Dear Dudes Who Worked At Gap And Old Navy,
Thanks for being so sweet to this old woman and talking to her as if she were a real human being and not just one...more...damn customer.
Love...This Damn Customer.

Dear Hank,
Thank you so much for looking up shit about frogs on the internet. I know you love your mama and let me just say this- YOUR MAMA LOVES YOU!
Love...Your mama

Dear Woman Who Was Working At Old Navy Today,
Thank you for being one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. I wanted to be in your check-out line so I could tell you how beautiful you are with your skin, your smile, your eyes, your earrings. I was not but I am telling you here.

Dear Progress Energy,
Thanks for getting my power back on.
Love...A Customer Who Is Obviously In The Wrong Grid

Dear Mother,
Thank you for finally and at last, being happy. I am sorry I thought you were a dork when you demonstrated The Twist for me back in oh, 1962. Or so.
Love...Your daughter

Dear Presbyterians,
Thank you so much for creating such a beautiful place that my mother could move into. I am not kidding you.
Love...A Possibilian

Dear Lis,
Thank you for calling me.
You are my heart.

Dear god,
Thanks for making it rain.
Love...You must know who. You are god.

Dear Husband,
Thank you for shooting the frog.
Always loving you...M

Dear Pig,
Thank you for living and dying and giving me a pork chop.
Your carnivore worshipper,
Ms. Moon

Dear Bethany,
Thank you for the gourd and cucumber and zinnia seeds. They are all blooming like crazy.
Love..Mama Moon

Dear John Gorrie,
Thanks for inventing the ice machine and air-conditioning.
Yours truly...M. G. Moon

Dear Publix,
Thanks for having a pharmacy which I can call and ask for refills for my antidepressant which works so well and easily. Also, for having those cooking demonstrations which allowed me to have a late-afternoon snack of a tiny bit of sausage sandwich with pickled onions. That was delicious!
Love...A Faithful Customer

Dear Bill Murray,
Thanks for letting someone take your picture and filming you.
Love...A Fan

Dear Me,
Thanks for not leaving your keys somewhere in the mall which would have required you to go back and look for them. Good job!

Oh Dear God

I was rushing around, trying to get to town this morning and I looked up at the window of the door which leads out onto my office deck and I saw something that chilled my very blood. A frog. Obviously a tree frog. But not one of our cute little native tree frogs. Oh hell fucking no. It was very similar in shape but its size was...well, as big as my palm whereas our little guys are about the size of the end of my thumb.
I freaked.
And then grabbed the camera and went outside and took his picture.
For those of you who are deathly afraid of frogs, forgive me but here it is:

For size perspective, here's another shot:

Yeah, yeah. I know. This is not the biggest frog or toad in the world but let's just try to imagine something that looked very like oh, say, a regular garter snake but instead of being two or three feet long, it WAS THE SIZE OF A PYTHON!
Or a wasp as big as your fist. Or an anole as big as an iguana. Or a squirrel the size of a Volkswagan.

You get my drift, right?
It was just WRONG! Wrong, wrong, motherfucking wrong.

Well I wasn't going to touch it and I was trying like hell to get to town and so I left it where it was and then did the most cruel thing I've probably ever done to my son and called him as I made my way to Tallahassee and described it and had him look it up on the internet. Now, as icky as I feel about frogs, Hank feels a million times more than that icky about them. So why did I set him to this task?
That's right. He is. And so I did it.
As he was looking up pictures and information I said, "I feel like I'm going to vomit. It was that bad."
He said, "I don't think you have to explain that to me."
He also said, "I will not be house-sitting for you during the rainy season. Oh no. You can kiss my ass. I will not be doing that."
Of course he said it in the most loving way possible and I completely understood and took no offense whatsoever.
He sent me the link to a scientist who studies the very invasive Cuban Tree Frog, which is what I thought it was and which Hank seemed to think it sounded like, at University of Florida. This man, Dr. Stephen Johnson, is an expert on the frogs and he has loads and loads of information up online. Go HERE for a start if you have any interest at all, although unless you live in Florida I am not sure why you would.

This is an extremely invasive frog and is eating all of our native tree frogs. Dr. Johnson wants people to report them. He also tells people how to humanely euthanize them. Hank was reading these suggestions to me and every one of them made us groan and retch. I suggested just doing the obvious and calling 911.

Help! I have a giant tree frog! Send reinforcements! Bring weapons! Big ones! Really, really BIG weapons! Bazookas! Hand grenades! You know! Flame throwers!

Anyway, after I talked to Hank, I called Mr. Moon and told him that when he got home he had to KILL THAT FROG!

I went on about my business, but I swear to you, it took at least an hour before my stomach settled down. I took care of my boy and I did some shopping for Mr. Moon's birthday and then I went to Gap and Old Navy where I bought some sweat-shop clothing for next-to-nothing and when I was in the Old Navy Mr. Moon called and said, "The Evil Frog is dead."
Oh. I do so love that man.
He dispatched it with a 22 rifle.

When I got home, I sent pictures and descriptions to Dr. Steve Johnson and I am so hoping he doesn't write me back and tell me that I made my husband shoot some endangered species. I really think, though, that it was the dreaded Cuban Tree Frog because Dr. J's website says that any tree frog over 2.5 inches probably surely is one and that frog was WELL OVER 2.5 inches and yes, I know I am yelling. You would be too.

Spiders, snakes, rabid foxes, mice, cockroaches the size of beer bottles- all of these I can take calmly and rationally but please. The Cuban Tree Frog may do me in. They have toxin on their bodies. They can trigger allergies and asthma. THEY DO NOT BELONG IN LLOYD!

Well, the trauma for now is over, although I feel quite certain that if there was one, there are probably about a million of them out there, just plotting on how to get into my house and clog up my toilets.
And it is raining like crazy which I should be grateful for but all I can think of is how much the Cuban Tree Frog probably loves rain.
And Mr. Moon is gone and the power has already gone out once today and it will probably go out again and here I'll be, in the complete black darkness, wearing my little dorky miner light on my forehead, searching anxiously for Cuban Tree Frogs in the toilets.

Well, that's the news from Lloyd. I know that all of you are even more eager than ever to include our picturesque little village on your next family-fun visit to Florida. Hey people- this IS Florida and what Disney World has to offer is fake, fake, fake and of course, safe, safe, safe. Unless you get stuck in It's A Small World which would be like hell for me. The burning fires of hell would be nothing compared to that. I know that someday we will be going to Disney World with Owen but I will NOT be on that damn ride. That's what mothers and fathers are for.

Grandmothers are for going to the Pirates of the Caribbean, riding on the teacups and buying children ridiculously large lollipops. Grandfathers are for...KILLING CUBAN TREE FROGS WITH A 22 RIFLE!

I'm pretty sure it says all of this in the Bible somewhere. And if it doesn't, it fucking well should.

Love to you all...Ms. Moon

Letting Go By Running Hard

Monday morning and I have darts of anxiety striking me like tiny acupuncture needles sent directly to the points most likely to release the vein-rivers of worry directly into my bloodstream, fuck. I hate that.

Well, what are you going do?

It suddenly strikes (haha!) me that perhaps I am a person so afraid of change and what-might-come that even getting up on a new day is enough to make me slightly crazed, has more to do with my morning despair than anything. How sad and ridiculous is that?

I took a good hard walk, striking (I love that word today, obviously) the ground with my feet, hard, the way I do, the sand on the woods-trail more packed today, more dense, from last night's rain. The little drainage pond I pass is almost dry, Lloyd Creek is barely a trickle and I remember a few years ago when we got that huge storm and the railroad tracks were covered by it and no trains could run.

Everything does change, every day, every second, month, year. I think of all the things we've done, experienced, felt, seen since we moved here seven years ago.
Seven years!

So lah. I need to take a shower, cool down, make Mr. Moon's snack bag as he is going to auction tonight, get to town, do a little birthday shopping for him- his birthday is Wednesday- go be with Owen for a few hours, come home, go to Monticello.
There. The day laid out before me, a blue-print, an outline, a plan.

I think it is best, some days, to just plow forward, step, step, step, keep moving, keep going, not taking too much time to stop and smell the roses because on those certain days, if you do, odds are good that a bee will merely climb up your nose. I spend plenty of time smelling the roses, the four-o-clocks, the phlox, the magnolias and mulling about the meaning of everything.

Today I am going to try to just walk strongly through the miles I need to go before I sleep, thank-you, Robert Frost, and let the world take care of itself and I will know that despite my inattention, all will be as it should, or at the very least, as it will.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

And So It Has Been

I went to the Opera House this afternoon for the Radio Play auditions. Not to audition. I may be in Asheville when the play is performed, but just to help Judy who is directing and also, of course, just to hang out at the Opera House. I literally dream of the Opera House. It is such a magical place that in my dreams it is no more so than it literally is. The old wooden stage, the ceiling which our Colin painted, high, high up on a scaffolding which he probably built, the perfect acoustics, the scary room upstairs backstage where the costumes and props are kept.

There were new faces at the auditions, a few at least, and some dear familiar ones. It must be hard when new people come in because of course us older-timers have our own jokes, our own memories but if they stick it out for just one play, the new ones will be old ones and they, too, will be part of the family. That's the way the Opera House is. That's the main reason I love it so.

I was quite surprised when my brother, Chuck, showed up. My own sweet brother who has a voice for the stage and who has never used it in that way. I was thrilled to see him. Not only will I get to spend some time with him but also- being at the Opera House could be the best thing that ever happened to him. Well, of course besides getting married and having his babies. He is the best daddy in the world and his work is in childcare so his days and nights are filled with children and he is content with that but I think that he will find that being in the Radio Play will add a completely new layer of life to his life. It has for mine. It has saved my life, being part of that place. The people there and what I do there- yes, they have saved my life before.
There are so many things which have been put before me which have given me so much joy and support that I have been able to always go on and the Opera House is one of them.
Not saying the Chuck's life needs saving. Far from it. But...oh. He'll enjoy it SO much and the Opera House will enjoy him, too.

While we were there, the heavens opened up and poured down rain. The way it's been lately, it can rain in one place and be dry as a bone two miles away so I had no idea if it had rained in Lloyd or not. After the auditions I went to the Winn Dixie (yes, we have Winn Dixie's) and bought some onions and fruit and honey and milk and three African violets. I drove home, hoping, hoping that I would find it had rained here and it had.

I took the camera out and took a few pictures of drops-on-leaves, just for fun. I wish I was worthy of my camera but I am not and do not have the steadiest hand in the world. Ah well. It was fun.

I dug my toe down in the dirt in the yard and the rain barely penetrated the top layer of it but still, the air is so much cooler. There has been relief. It was so hot earlier that I tried to work outside but gave it up and came in and Mr. Moon and I shelled peas while watching Lost In Translation and that was a sort of perfection. Bill Murray's face, sitting on the couch with the dogs, Mr. Moon next to me in his chair, the opening of pods, the sliding of the thumb to release the peas into the bowl. We got a goodly plenty and I need to freeze some of these precious tiny orbs of protein, each one so carefully freed from its jacket of bean.

A good day, and a sweet one. Simple, simple pleasures, always the very best ones. Breakfast on the back porch, a lunch of tomatoes on good bread with Miracle Whip, the shelling of our own peas, the short trip to the magical Opera House where I saw faces of people I love, the softness of the air now that it has rained, the quiet of the early evening.

The picture at the top is of the green-hearted leaf of the redbud.

Here is the banana leaf, broad and shiny, slick with wet.

A droplet holding on to a palm frond's drying tip.

A fig leaf asking nothing more than for more of that.

I am grateful for it all. It has been a weekend of many pleasures, all of them recognized, all of them savored.

I hope yours has been too.

Your Usual Sunday Ramble From The Church Of The Batshit Crazy

Do you see that tiny frog in froggy jail? He's not really incarcerated. He's hiding under the dish drainer. If I were you I would click on that picture because he's such a cute frog.

Actually, he's not there any more. Mr. Moon came and removed him for me and put him outside where he belongs. I do love my tiny frogs but I do not want to touch them.
This is one of my many phobias.
I was at the tail-end of making breakfast when I discovered the little guy. Or girl. Who knows? Anyway, Mr. Moon rescued him and then we sat down and had apple/banana/pecan pancakes with maple syrup and yes, bacon.
Oh, it was a fine breakfast.
I talk about food a lot, don't I?
Food and weather. Every human on earth is affected by these two topics. You betcha!

Now I'd like to talk about gay marriage. So New York has legalized it and boy-oh-boy, better late than never. Here's what I am wondering- why hasn't the Supreme Court taken up the issue of the fact that if you are straight and get married in New York, you are still married by law and by god in Florida. Done. You don't have to apply for reciprocity to make your union legal in Florida just because you got that license in New York.
So how come if you're gay and you get legally wed in New York but you move to Florida, you ain't married?
Don't even give me that shit about this being a state issue. It's not for us breeders. Just for those gay people who should be delighted and happy and thrilled that they were given the right to marry in the first place and let's keep them all in the crazy places that have legalized gay marriage such as New York and oh, yes, Iowa, that known bastion of insane liberals and the gay lifestyle.

I mean, come on people! Don't believe in gay marriage? Don't marry someone of your same sex. Simple, easy, get on with your damn life.

I know it's going to take these small steps to get people to come around to the fact that homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexuals and I suppose we should celebrate the small steps but it's just absurd to me that you would have to say, "Yes, we are married in Iowa but not here." I'm still shaking my head in disbelief at the Prop 8 thing in California where people were swayed by the Mormons (Mormons!) to vote against such a basic human right.
California is NOT Florida or Alabama or Louisiana. It is California!
And Mormons didn't quit believing that in order to get to heaven if you were a man you had to have at least three wives (or something like that) until 1890, which, yes, was a long time ago but not THAT long. I won't even go into some of the other things that Mormons still believe because when you get right down to it, they're no more ridiculous than a lot of the things that other more-familiar-to-most-of-us religions believe such as the virgin birth and eating a wafer and having it turn into flesh in your body and drinking wine and having it turn into blood. Cannibalism, pure and simple and it's one of the basic tenets of a lot of religions no matter how you look at it and it's going on right now as we speak in about a hundred churches in this tiny county of rural Florida alone.

How did I get from a frog to religion?

I am not sure but I think that pancakes were involved.

Well, let me just say that food and the weather are not the only things which affect all of us. So is love and the ability to express it as we see fit if it is between consenting adults and marriage is basically a public announcement and pledge of that love and a lot of people want to get married because they want to start a family, both gay and straight, and a lot do not, both gay and straight, and some people are attracted to members of the opposite sex in the sexual and loving sense and some people are attracted to members of the same sex in the sexual and loving sense and there are more complicated situations too but hell- we're still working on the basic two attractions here in the United States of America where it would seem that we're not really that united at all so let's not even try to muddy the waters with those other complications because we're a simple people and can't begin to wrap our minds around anything which is more difficult than one plus one equals two or maybe sometimes three or four or, if you're a Dugger, about a thousand.

Okay, it's Sunday. Let's try to mind our own business and make it legal for everyone else to do the same. My marriage is my marriage and it's complicated enough. Yours probably is too if you have one. I happen to think I have a good marriage and when I get annoyed or he gets annoyed we always remember that at the base of all of this there is love and dammit, that has nothing to do with the fact that he's a man and I'm a woman. It just is.
And I feel comfortable enough in my relationship to not feel threatened if the guys down the street get married and I wish they could because I've never seen a couple of any sexual inclinations who love and support and take care of each other so tenderly and they inspire me in my marriage and my relationships with others and by god, they should be allowed to have a wedding and have it be legal!

Frogs should be free to roam and eat flies and people should be free to marry whomever their hearts desire (if they are consenting adults!) and if pancakes are occasionally involved than so much the better although scrambled eggs and toast are good too.

Happy Sunday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 25, 2011

An Embarrassment Of Riches

Leftovers of collards and pasta and peas and rice and sea bass and just-picked tomatoes and onions and green beans and cucumbers oh my god.
Too many choices. What to make for supper?

What a day it has been.

On my deathbed I hope to remember it.

Now. If I only had fresh peaches to make a pie.

Because I Am So Lazy Today

I could just sit in the yard and take pictures all day. None of them worth a shit, either, but it's such a nice day, the ground still damp, the green so green, the birds so happy.

I tried to convince this man

to stay in the bed with me for the entire day, just being drowsy and dreamy but no, he had to get up and go to work building a sign.
Ah. Lah. That man. So I got up too and we heated up leftovers from last night's dinner out and dined on the back porch.
He doesn't know I took his picture. I feel like Harriet The Spy.

I told you the phlox would soon be blooming. I should really look into planting a variety of a different color, although this color is nice. My yard is filled with it.

It is hard to take a picture of a cardinal. They are very flitty. And flighty.

Oh Elvis. My fine rooster. He and the hens have done a lovely job, the last few days, of weeding out (and fertilizing, I am sure), the kitchen garden.

And I wander around with my camera in my hand and the garden calls.

There are beans which need to be picked

swollen and ready to shell.

The crazy-yard-longs are still growing like crazy (yard-longs).

The cherry tomatoes are bursting, too, and beg to be gathered and et up. Mmmm. Tiny jewels of warm sugar.

Here's a watermelon. It does not require anything of me right now except...oh, if I don't weed, we won't be able to find it to pick when the time comes.

The zinnias (thank-you, Bethany!) are beginning to bloom and the butterflies are dancing around in anticipation.

They, too, would appreciate some weeding. The zinnias, not the butterflies. They do not care at all.

The hens do not require my help but perhaps they are happy about the fresh straw. I told Mr. Moon last night that I had cleaned the coop and put down straw and he said, "I don't want you to put straw down in there."
I said, "I know. But I wanted to."
I was high on pain. He laughed. Not because I was in pain. But because he loves me.

Here's Buddha. He's up to his neck in flowers now. He just laughs and laughs and laughs.

He reminds me to slow down and be happy. I listen.

Then I see this:

Cycle of life, y'all. Cycle of life. The katydid dies, the ants will feast.

Well, I guess I'll put on my overalls and go do something of worth in that garden. It has been so good to us this year, I should do something for it and actually, it makes me so very happy to do so.
But I ain't gonna do it fast. I'm going to take it slow and easy. I'm going to enjoy it.

This is medicine, this is peace, this is good.

J.G. Moon, RN, BSN

Jessie passed her nursing boards and she is an RN now. A real, true, RN.
She called us this morning to tell us.

She called me two days ago after she took the test and told me that she thought she'd failed. Ha-ha! That girl.

Oh. That girl.

Well, here are a few pictures of her, growing up. I would go on and on about Jessie Moon and what a joy she's been as a daughter and a friend and for the entire world and universe but, well, everyone already knows that.

Jessie and her beloved Papa

Jessie and her still-friend, Melissa, playing at their high school graduation.

Jessie holding her newly born nephew, Owen.

Jessie and Buster on the porch.

Jessie and her Fairy Godparents The Day She Got Her Mandolin

Jessie and her gorgeous sister, May

Jessie, Mama, and Melissa, laughing at something slightly naughty.

The day she graduated FSU nursing school.

Jessie and Vergil, right after he surprised her by showing up the night she graduated.

Jessie and Vergil on the front steps of their house in Asheville, N.C.

So. There she was, here she is, living life the way she's always lived it, dancing, dancing, singing, playing, working, loving, being joyful.

And now she's a nurse.

Congratulations, Jessie Moon.
We're all so proud of you.

Love...Mama and Daddy