Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Front Porch Pictures (Which Make Me Cry)

Those boys. Oh those boys.

Lady banana spider is taking out other lady spiders and keeping their boyfriends.

My beautiful daughter, husband, grandson.

Your Sunday lizard. Wish my eyeshadow looked that good.

The pancakes were wonderful. Peach, banana, pecan.
We also ate bacon. Nitrite free. Almost as good as Asheville's bacon.

Not quite.

Our Regularly Scheduled Breakdown Did Occur

I blew up last night.
I did it.
I didn't really.
I did.
Mostly I just cried.
I was so tired and then we had martinis and I made that supper and I wept. Just wept.

I think I carry a load of guilt around with me that bends my back and pulls me down.
All the time.
It's like when I was born, the guilt was handed to me and shoved into my mouth with spoons of pot tin.

Okay. Here's a true thing:
On my birthday, my mother called to wish me a happy birthday. We talked for a moment. She told me how bad she felt that day, her head, the dizziness, and then I told her I loved her. She said, "And I love you, Mary. I have been thinking about you all day. You were my first beautiful baby. That lived."

I cracked up but still...hey! Another lovely spoonful of guilt. Somehow.
My mother had a miscarriage and then a stillborn before I managed to pass the portal of life.

And I understand why she would say what she said but still...

Hank heard the whole thing and he laughed. "It's better," he said about my relationship with my mother. "But it ain't good."

Whatever. And still.
So instead of just being able to say what I feel I hold everything in until it all bursts out and for those of you who know me and have known me here for awhile, you know this happens. Sumertime it happens, and then usually somewhere near the end of hunting season.

I was so tired.
And then I slept for about eleven hours. Not kidding you. And I'm still tired.

And I need...
Oh hell, I don't even know what I need.

I did. I broke down last night, I broke out in weeping. And I could weep again this morning. In fact, I have.

I should go serve lunches at the Opera House today. I should. Oh hell, I should. I should weed the garden (call Hercules), clean out the chicken house, do more laundry, take the trash, mop the floors, wash the dogs, figure out a way to help earn money, lose twenty pounds, exercise more regularly, be a better wife, a better friend, finish my novel. Etc. Etc.

Instead, here I am. On the verge of weeping.
Lily and Owen are coming out and I am going to make pancakes. Do you see how blessed I am?

Sometimes I just feel so weak. Like, "Hold me. I am tired. Just hold me."

This life, this overfull, beautiful thing we call life and it requires constant tending and scrabbling and work and sometimes (summertime, end of hunting season) I am just overdone.

And I feel whiny and weak because...this is it. This is everything I ever wanted. And more.

And my vessel, this body/soul of mine are maybe not big enough, strong enough, to hold it all all the time.

And it overflows out my eyes.

And I feel guilty.

Well, that's all. For this morning.

Stupid Mary. Stupid blog. Stupid crying.

It is a beautiful day. I will say that and you can know it's true.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


My Lord, my Lord, my Lord, I am suffering from lack of writing.
Owen has just gone home a little while ago. We played for twelve hours, that boy and me. The men worked out in the woods until they were dirty, beat and stupid from heat. Why? I have no idea but that's what they did.
Owen kept wanting to go outside and we did but I kept saying, "Come on, boy, it's too hot out here. Let's go inside."
And then I'd bribe him with cold juice and maybe he'd come willingly or maybe I'd have to snatch him up and carry him. He loves the outside as much as his Bop does.
As much as his Mer-Mer does. And he doesn't mind the heat as much as she does although every time we come in the house he goes, "Ahhhhh...."

Oh god, I am tired. Five hours of sleep last night and then an hour and a half nap with Owen today. He was asleep before I quit reading his books. And when he woke up- "Done!" and he got off the bed and opened the door to the bathroom for me to go pee and put my hair up, brush my teeth and wash my face. He knows my every move.

We played ball on the stairs and built trains out of dominoes and buildings out of blocks. We fed an apple to the mule and Owen said, "Crunch!" We fed grapes to the chickens and corn as well. We got tomatoes from the garden and we checked out the gourds and sunflowers and butterflies. We walked in the front yard, we watered the plants. He took my bamboo knitting needle and poked holes in the ground. We had smoothies and watermelon and sunbutter and peach preserve sandwiches. We did laundry together. We folded napkins together. He hit a tree with a whip of bamboo I snapped off for him. He rode his his little scooter-bike all through the house. We read books and we played peek-a-boo and he laughed so hard I thought he'd pee. Okay, maybe he did pee.

I talked to Jessie and to May and to Lily and to Hank. I called Hank just to say, "Hey. I miss you!" It was so fun being with him for a week. I miss Lis and I miss Jessie and I miss Vergil. Hell, I even miss the kittens. And I sure as hell miss that condo and the three flat-screen TV's and the banjo music and the guitar and mandolin music and I miss Eating Local which I did not cook.

I miss Kava.

But I'm cooking okra that our friend Tom grew and I'm about to cook some bream that my husband caught and hell, that's pretty damn Local.

The crickets and perhaps cicadas are singing so loudly I can barely hear myself think. My man, whom I have seen for approximately fifteen minutes, is probably flat-out asleep in his chair.

Okay. Time to go heat the oil to fry the bream. Time to make the grits.

I asked Owen today, "What lives in nests?"
He said, "Birds?"
I said, "That's right. But guess what? Squirrels live in nests too!"
He said, "No."
And I said, "Yes they do!" and he hugged me.

I'm home in my nest.

It's hot and buggy and I'm exhausted and happy.

Love to all y'all...Ms. Moon


Home last night at eleven, asleep by one, Owen here already.
But we're here and safe and all is well and that boy is bigger and cuter than when I left. And he has so many new words.

Keith Richards read us all the way home and here is Lloyd, what do you know?

Oh my.

Mr. Moon and Jason have already taken off to the woods for some activity involving getting the hunting plot ready. Lis has already taken off for Gator Bone.
Owen is busy building a house and in the past hour we've gone to see the goats and the chickens and eaten yogurt and seen a train and hugged Lis and Papa and Bop and oh my goodness.

I am home.

Not a thing unpacked, the day is heating up, the boy is busy playing with his blocks and toys and my head is awhirl with images of leaving Asheville yesterday. Crying with both Jessie and Vergil holding me and letting me cry and saying good-bye to the the kittens and driving through miles and miles of beautiful southlands and finally getting home in the full-night dark to Lloyd and the man and Taylor was waiting to take Hank home to Tallahassee, her beautiful smile and here we are, here we are.

Jumping back into our lives with both feet and oh, this boy. He is so beautiful and he is full of hugs and kisses and new words and he has had a haircut.

Home. A hawk flew over while I was getting water for the chickens and roosted on a tree over the garage.

In Asheville the town is waking up and the Belle Chere festival is cranking up and people are walking around drinking coffee and maybe Vergil and Jessie are playing with the kittens and Lis is on her way home and Hank is sleeping in his own bed and I am here.

All is well and the earth is turning and day is heating up and I have been there and now I am here and yes, all is very, very well.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Homeward Bound

Here we are and are getting ready to hit the road home. What a week it's been and in some ways I will be loathe to leave the Land of the Local but oh, I do miss Lloyd.

Last night was so beautiful, so fun, and it's been a wonderful time, the entire week but...
Home is where the heart is although part of my heart is here, of course, being as Jessie and Vergil are here. I guess it's all right to have your heart spread out. Maybe it's like little drops of mercury that spill out on the ground when the thermometer breaks and how they seem to want to find each other again, to cling together if given the chance.

Or something like that.

We are washing sheets and towels, putting things back into suitcases. We are going to go home. Mr. Moon has eaten enough ice cream and he is threatening to kill the dogs.

Thanks for coming on this trip with me. I highly recommend Asheville as a place to visit, to live, and definitely to eat. Try the bacon.

Here we go....

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What A Day

What a beautiful day. I can't begin to thank all of you for your good wishes and sweet words.
This has been a birthday I will always remember.



Another Birthday

Last year on my birthday I spent part of the day filming with Freddy and we were working on that film, Faceless, and it was just the sweetest day.
When I was done, Mr. Moon and I got in the car and drove north on the road trip with no destination and we had so much fun.

And here I am today in Asheville, a year later, because my daughter Jessie, a year ago, fell in love with a boy named Vergil and boy-oh-boy, life just keeps on taking you to another part of the ocean, this current, then that one takes over the small boat we are holding onto the sides of as we go.

I looked in the mirror this morning and was horrified by what I saw. I believe I may have aged a year last night. And when I was getting dressed, I looked down to see my legs in the very bright morning light pouring in from the east through white curtains and that, too, horrified me. The age spots are taking over, huge and ugly and my legs are skinny but with skin hanging in ways that skin hangs when you are fifty-seven, I suppose, even though they are still strong legs.

I was rather glad to be alone. I need to fortify myself with coffee before I can unleash upon the world the oldness which is me today.

I know. I know. I am only one day older than I was yesterday but damn, y'all. Things will catch up with you.

Thirty-nine years ago I was turning eighteen in Paris, France, and I thought I'd be back there soon and no, I haven't been back yet. I went to college for awhile, checked out, clocked out of that, moved to Tallahassee, had a failed romance, had another romance, babies and marriage resulted, land was bought, the marriage ended, me and the babies moved to town, I went back to college, seriously this time, had another romance, got married, graduated, more babies.

Here I am, here I am, a grandmother and what can I say?

Fifty-seven years old today and feeling every second of it from the first breath I drew in an Army hospital in El Paso, Texas to today and somewhere inside of me is every age I've ever been from chasing fireflies down the dirt roads of Roseland, Florida to the girl falling in love for the first time getting her first kisses, learning to give them back, to the young pregnant woman to the mother, to the crone, here I am, the crone.

I guess it's okay to be the crone, what choice do I have but to be all croney and shit, skinny age-spotted legs, all those hours I laid in the sun, glowing golden, not knowing how gorgeous my golden limbs were, now my hands are ropey and yet, still strong and I will be changing the diapers of a new grand baby before this date next year with them. I will cradle that child to my old crone breast.

Well, it's my birthday and everyone keeps saying, "What's the plan? What are you doing for your birthday?" and talking about this and that and hell, I just want to do whatever it is I want but you spend your life taking care of babies and becoming a crone, it's hard to figure out what in hell it is you do want when you get the chance.

I wish I could get a kiss from my man but I'll have to wait for that until tomorrow.

Tonight we'll all go out and eat some yummy local Ashevillian food and that will be perfect and maybe today I'll go to that chocolate shop up the road and beyond that, I have no fucking idea.

I'd take a picture of myself but I can't handle that and you shouldn't have to either.

Here I am, fifty-seven years old, ugly as shit, happy to be here. Guess I'll take a shower. I have no idea, even after all these years what life is really about but I'm pretty sure that light and love and water are very, very important. So I plan to involve as much of all three of those today as possible and I'm thinking that's as good a birthday plan as there can be.

Older but no wiser...Love, Ms. Moon

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One More

More Pictures

I meant to post these this morning. Jessie and Vergil at breakfast.

They make me cry. I love them so.

Double shot of kava.

Kava Woman. Ain't she cute?

Altar at Jessie and Vergil's house.

Another altar.
Little altars everywhere...

Trumpet on the wall.

Portrait of Pearl that Jessie took a long time ago. What a noble beast that old girl was.

Plant with curtains that Vergil made:

Bean, the Famous Foster Kitten.

Heirloom tomato pies that I made for our supper tonight.

Grace. The daughter of Vergil's cousin. She is walking in Jessie and Vergil's garden.

Grace. Yes.


Being Shy

I got my bones out of bed this morning to say hello/good-bye to Lizzie who was fresh out of the shower and smelling like a rose and already busying herself with making her sandwiches for the day and eating her blueberries and picking out her jewelry.
She was wearing petticoats.
She is so lovely, that woman.
I was and still am, bleary-eyed and suspicious of a brand new day as I always am when I get up and I laid on the couch and watched her activity and bustle and when she got a phone call informing us that the girlfriend of the man who owns this art-decorated condo is coming here to make her lunch today, it disturbed me so much I had to start drinking coffee immediately.
What? What?
I must get rid of the beer bottles!
I feel as if Mother and Father are coming home. Hide the roaches!

I guess I'll call Jessie here in a few moments and we'll make our arrangements for the day, whatever they may be. I do not intend to be here at noonish, I will tell you that! Social Insecurity is my name and shyness is my game although when I'm around complete strangers I am friendly and outgoing if I'm in the mood.

Anyway, Lis has gone off into the world in a cloud of rose perfume with a swish of petticoats, off with her violin, her banjo, her guitar, her sandwiches, her tidy brown bag over her shoulder, her lipstick neatly in place. She says that she too is suffering shyness and has not yet gotten up the nerve to talk to the people she most wants to talk with. I find this hysterical- who wouldn't want to chat with Lis? Who wouldn't want to play with her, pick with her, listen to her songs?
It's a funny world and we humans are so insecure about our places in it, aren't we?

Let's not fool ourselves. We are all in kindergarten, our mothers have left us there and we are looking around, knowing for certain that the cool kids will not want to be our friends and praying that the boy with warts all over his fingers will not come close enough to touch us, but if we are lucky, we may spy another child whom we instinctively know is as shy as we are, look- her dress was ironed just this morning, you can tell, and perhaps we will become friends, maybe, maybe, oh my- she is looking over this way, she is smiling. Is she smiling at me? Really? Maybe she will sit next to me at lunch.

And it never ends.

Good morning and I will sit next to you at lunch if you'd like. Your hair is so pretty. I wish my mother knew how to do my hair like that.

Good morning.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Walk Like An Ashvillian

We went to West Asheville today, me and Hank and Jessie. We walked around and Jessie bought a very lovely dress at a sweet little shop that sells recycled clothes and the lady was so nice. So nice that she almost crossed the line into being obnoxious but she did not cross it and we left, happy to have bought something from her.

Hank went off for lunch with an online friend he had never "met" until today and Jessie and I had a sinful as hell lunch at a place called Sunny Point Cafe. We ate beef and we ate bacon and that bacon was the best bacon I've ever eaten. It was organic, applewood smoked and it was sweet, like it had been cured with brown sugar (no doubt organic brown sugar) and like every other place in Asheville, the food was not only organic but local. Local is the theme of Asheville, I think. The art is local, the businesses are all local, the blueberries and blackberries and eggs and lettuces and tomatoes and cheese and beef and pig and music and wool and EVERYTHING is local so I said that if I opened a restaurant in Asheville I would vow to serve nothing local and the name of it would be "Biggest Carbon Footprint," and there would be nothing there but Colombian Coffee and Mexican avocados and Chilean sea bass and cheese shipped in from Switzerland but that's just the old cynical bitch in me. Really, all the food here is delicious and so local is good. I know it is.
And I would never open a restaurant anywhere. Too much work.

After lunch, Jessie and I stopped by an Earth Fare and we were sniffing the soaps and sampling the cheeses and I eavesdropped on a girl telling her mother how the Diva Cup worked. The Diva Cup is a menstrual cup and the mother said, "But what do you do when it's full?" and the girl said, "Rinse it out," and the mother said, "That's just not right," which I thought was funny.
Then I called Hank to find out where he was and he said that he was right next door to an Earth Fare and wouldn't you know that of all the places to eat in Asheville, Hank and his friend had chosen a restaurant right next to the Earth Fare where Jessie and I were right AT THAT MOMENT? And when Hank and Elisha met us in the store two minutes later, I said, "Damn, Asheville IS magic."
I won't even mention the fact that the waitress we had yesterday at the Mediterranean restaurant was also eating lunch at the Sunny Point Cafe unless it was her twin sister. No, really, when we talked to her yesterday she told us she had a twin sister. Either way- wow.

The kids all went to see Harry Potter tonight but I didn't want to go so I decided to walk down the street to an old downtown theater where they were showing Woody Allen's new movie and also that movie Beginners which a lot of people have said they loved and I've wanted to go see so I walked up there and bought my popcorn and a bottle of water and it was okay. Just okay. I guess it was probably really GREAT! but to me, it was just okay. Everyone did a good job and the story was compelling but it just didn't do a damn thing for me, only made me sad that people wait so long to risk giving their hearts away and to accept love although I guess the moral of the story is, "Better late than never."
I swear, I almost got up in the middle and left. The angst, oh the fucking angst and all of the sorrows of the human heart and the reaching for love and the fear and the joy and then fucking death comes along and well, that's it baby.
That is it.
I watched the whole thing but when the movie was over, I did not sit and watch all of the credits, which I usually do. I just got up with my paper popcorn bag and my water bottle and I walked out. Done.

But I think that the walk home was worth the trip. I walked like I was twenty-seven again, just swing, swing, swing down the street and all the people were out on the street too, going to this restaurant or this bar and I walked as if my hips and knees didn't hurt, head up, like I too belonged to this street, this town, this planet, whatever and it wasn't dark yet and it was lovely to be outside. I punched in the key code when I got back here to Deluxe-Luxo and felt like a city girl, even though I was wearing my overalls which mostly city girls do not do, or at least any of the ones I've seen here in this city.

So here I sit now, on this cushy couch at the condo. Lis is going to be staying late at the Gathering doing Gathering things. It has been a full precious day and Jessie did my hair this morning before we went out and hell, I went to see a movie even if I didn't really like it very much, I did it. I ate local, I shopped local, I walked local. The beer I am drinking right now is LOCAL! y'all.

Tomorrow is my last day of being fifty-six and that's fine with me. I am enjoying myself tremendously although I miss my man. I miss my house and my flowers and my chickens and my grandson. But you know what? This is good. It is good for me to change it up, to walk down the street, swing, swing, swing, head up high, not exercising, just walking from here to there, music pouring out of bars, hard rock, bam, bam, bam, and the sun going down and no one here knows me at all, I am just another old woman, walking down the street, gray roots showing two inches, doesn't she care? no, not really and frankly, I doubt one soul even noticed me or my hair.
Everyone in Asheville is so damn polite they'd never say a thing if they did.

Breathe in, breathe out, take in, release.

Here we are, here I am, one day older than I was yesterday, one day younger than I'll be tomorrow, so random but if that means anything, it would be that I know enough to accept love, to give love. I don't know how I figured it out, but dammit, I did and that may be the wisest and smartest thing about me and yet, it's something that dogs know just by being born so I guess I can't be too proud of that.
No. Not proud.
But mighty glad of it.

Night, y'all. Be all local and shit. It's awesome. I promise.

Love...Ms. Moon

No Title

The only thing I could possibly find wrong with this Luxo-Deluxe place is the internet. If the wind is blowing right and the light shines in a certain way and, and, and, I can get online. I sneak through the list of available, unlocked wireless systems and one will work for a little while and then quit and I have to go through them all again so it's frustrating but let's face it- not earth-shatteringly awful.

I just talked to Mr. Moon and he is going to fry bream tonight and he asked where the grits were and I could see myself opening the cabinet at home and seeing that bag of grits and it's so odd to be NOT home, you know. So odd.

But Hank and Jessie are coming here to pick me up and we're going to go to West Asheville today and so there's another adventure. Lis is long gone back to school. She played banjo for me last night and how many people can say that?
She has troubles sleeping, that girl, and long past the time I fall out asleep in the huge bed I am sleeping in, she is still up, playing an instrument, working things out in her head.
She does not dream and so has to do all of her working-out-in-her-head while awake while I dream like crazy and so perhaps can go through life without a care in the world.


Good morning from Asheville. The sky is grayish, it is not so hot.
I am as boring here as I am at home.

But good-morning and I am suffering a bit from not being able to spend time with all of you, from not being able to answer my comments. I read them, I love them. Thank-you all so very much. You are my family too.

Love...Mama/Sister/Friend Moon

Monday, July 25, 2011


I am not sure why but Amy Winehouse's death has made me so very sad.
Bless her heart.

In Which I Buy Myself A Present

It's been such a nice day.

Hank and Jessie and I walked around downtown doing exactly and whatever we felt like doing. We ate lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant with all of my favorites- tabbouleh, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, etc. And a Turkish coffee. We all wandered through many chi-chi stores with jewelry and handicrafts and even books but I wasn't tempted to buy a thing until we went into a pen and paper and ink store and the next thing I knew, I was the proud and happy owner of a scarlet fountain pen, made cleverly in Japan as well as a fine pad of paper made lovingly in France.
Oh my.
It called to me, that pen, sitting up there in a cup by the cash register. I held it in my hand and weighed the balance of it and it felt right. I bought cartridges and a little converter thing you can use to put bottled ink it and when I got back here I unwrapped it and put a cartridge in it and wrote a haiku because you know, it is Japanese.
The haiku went like this:

Japanese ink pen
Scarlet like lipstick, it grabs
The paper with ink.

It writes so well, a fine point nib, and that is my birthday present to myself. Well, that and everything else on this trip.
It began to rain, just as Jessie and Hank and I got back to my little home here and we came upstairs and after they left, I went down to the Kava Bar and had another delightful bowl of a double-shot and talked to some sweet young people. Young as in they thought that the owners of the Kava Bar, who are in their thirties, are older people.
I could tell they were nervous with each other, this boy and this girl and so I talked to them a little to ease the air between them. I think they are newly dating or whatever it is that the Young People do these days in order to get together. They were so very sweet.
When I left I said, "Good bye, young people! It was nice to meet you!" And it was. And when I left, they had me to discuss for awhile, which was a good thing because I could tell that they had been struggling to find things to talk about.

Jessie and Vergil have a rehearsal tonight and so Hank is just hanging out at their house, reading and playing with kittens and Lis just called and is on her way home. I've had a bath with the Jacuzzi jets and I've written Mr. Moon a real letter with pen and paper and it's raining still and I am content and Kava-mellow, looking forward to some left0ver pizza.

Ah. I am as boring traveling as I am at home. But I didn't overhear any crazy conversations or see any truly strange situations. It is worth mentioning that the more I see of Asheville, the cooler I think it is. The beautiful architecture of downtown, the way people are so polite and friendly, and honestly, a extraordinarily good-looking group of inhabitants, to tell you the truth. Everywhere we went I felt that the person working behind the counter had to be one of the most attractive people I'd ever seen, man or woman. Not in an LA kind of way, but with a sort of natural beauty that comes from the eyes and from health.
Maybe it's the water which truly is delicious. If they bottled and sold Asheville water in bottles, I would buy it. That's how good it is.
The beer's not bad either.
And the Kava is...good and dirty.

Here's one building I liked, mostly for the curtains on that center window on top:

In a parallel universe, I am living there right now and I am eating Kalamata olives, tomatoes and cheese. I suppose I still have that lunch on my brain.

Here's a picture that I got of the three of us in front of a window which reflected us back onto ourselves.

Yeah. It's a sucky picture. I'll try to do better as the week goes on. Right now I'm still in Total Tourist Mode. "Hey, y'all! Lookit that!"

I am glad to be here; it is what I needed. To have time with some of my children, to be with Lis, to be in a situation where there is really no work for me to do but plenty of things to enjoy. Simple things like walking different streets, drinking coffee in different places, watching the rain come in from a balcony, tasting new things, laughing a lot, sleeping deeply.

When I was buying the pen, Hank and Jessie were saying things like, "She wants the fine nib," and "Mama, get the cartridges and the converter," and they the guy at the desk said, "Your children sure seem to know what you want," and I said, "Oh. They do," and he said something like how nice it was to see such a close family and I said, "I have the best children in the world," and Hank said, "She did a good job with us," and I said, "You have to have good material to begin with," and it was so silly and I teared up, right there, buying a red pen and a pad of French paper and it was one of those moments that you hope to your bones you remember forever.

This trip is a gift in every sense of the word and I told that to Mr. Moon in the letter that I wrote to him.

I am so blessed, whether in Lloyd or in Asheville or wherever I may roam.

Your intrepid reporter...Ms. Moon

Reporting In

Good morning! I know I just posted but that was from last night.
I got up today at the Crack of Nine, Lis already gone off to school. The Kava Bar's internet seems to be vaguely working for me and I feel guilty as hell about stealing their juice but I'll go back for happy hour this afternoon and drink another bowl of Kava. Jeez. I hope that stuff isn't addictive. Frankly, I'd go in there just for the ambiance. It's a beautiful little place and you feel calmer and more serene just walking in the door. The Kava buzz is just a plus. I really enjoyed talking to the beautiful lady who was working there, too.

It's funny but when you're traveling, you can sort of be whoever you want or let whoever it is inside of you who wants to come out emerge from her hiding place. It's sort of liberating, in a way. A good way. Oh, the "real" me is still very much in attendance. Believe me.
Hank and I went to the grocery store yesterday and I got stressed out for no apparent reason but I had a good time, too. We looked at all the groovy international foods and spent an inordinately long time trying to figure out what we needed versus what we wanted and so forth but we had fun. And they have a Starbucks right there in the grocery store and that's where I got my pre-Kava coffee to add to my jitters to test out the Kava affect.
Although really? I just wanted some coffee.

Yesterday we all met up at the Civic Center downtown where a huge arts and craft show was going on and where Vergil's mama and sister were playing a set of music. It was so much fun! The other two people in the band are Vergil's mother's best friend and HER daughter and it's heartwarming to see a family so close and loving and talented making music together. I bought the CD, as you can see above. The Virgin of Guadalupe incense came from the grocery store. Those are my two big purchases so far. I would have loved to buy something at the show but everything was high-pricey and deservedly so, so I just came away with images in my head of beautiful textiles and pottery and glasswork and some very fine leather bags. It was hard to walk away from the leather bags.

Asheville is just a damn happening town. Music venues, shopping, cafes, restaurants, bars, bookstores, you name it, it's here. All local. Hardly any chain stuff downtown. Lovely parks, people out listening to music, eating, shopping, walking, biking, polite, trim, good-looking, young folks, old folks, children.
Yesterday as I was leaving the Kava Bar I saw four adults and two children walk by and I heard one of the guys talking on the phone. He was saying this: "Man, we've been bar-hopping with a four-year old and a one-year old and it's been a blast!"
Then..."No! Really! It has been!"

So here I am perched on the edge of it, Jessie and Vergil's house just a little over a mile down the road which is all downtown and I feel no need for a car at this point but just my two strong legs and we had so much fun last night when they all came over and we cooked frozen pizzas and drank beer and were silly. I'm getting to spend time with Hank that I would never have gotten to do otherwise and that feels really good too.

Today I think that Hank and Jessie and I are just going to walk around downtown, go where our legs take us, do whatever appeals to us. I could spend fortunes here but luckily, I'm not really that type of woman.
Hell, I could spend fortunes on organic vegetarian meals alone. The food is SO good.
But now I'm going to go eat some cereal and fruit and then I'm going to meet up with Hank and Jessie.

I'm just so glad to be here. To see how much progress Vergil and Jessie have made with their little home. Their garden is beautiful, the little kitties they are fostering making it a merry circus. It's cheerful and light and colorful and Vergil and Jessie have made curtains and hung them up. Vergil's mother made them some beautiful shelves for the food in their kitchen. They have a washer and a clothesline.
It's all so good.
And Lis was up playing guitar when I left and this morning she's in a class with Janis Ian and I am sure that SOME of you are impressed with this fact.

I've talked to Mr. Moon and Owen, too, this morning. Owen told me he loves me. I told him I want to smush him with my love. I miss my home, my husband, my grandson and my May and Lily and I wish they were here too. I would smush all of them with my love. The dogs I would just smush.

So that's it from Asheville this morning where I am happy and content and have fresh peaches and blueberries in the refrigerator and where the mountains are hazy and beautiful in the background like soft bosoms and there is life and living going on all around me and I will be meeting up with two of my children and I am staying here in this beautiful place with my darling Lis.

Oh my.

Please forgive me if I don't get around to your places. Know I love you and am thinking of you and will try to read what I can because I know you are living your lives as I am living mine and somehow, we are all in this together and that makes me happier than you can know.


Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Will This Ever Get Posted?

You know, Ms. Michelle always says that the universe is abundant. Now, you know me and the way I think is that the universe has been exceptionally abundant to me but dammit, the sky is bound to fall at any moment because who am I to expect or deserve abundance?
And then I will be punished for using up the universe's abundance so undeservedly.

But damn.

I'm sitting here in the Luxo-Deluxe apartment with Hank. Lis is off to school at the Swannonoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College and Jessie and Vergil are coming over for frozen pizza and beer and I'm using the Kava Bar's wi-fi and besides that, KAVA ROCKS!
To test it out, being as how I am a cynical old bitch, I drank a nice cup of Starbucks plain black coffee beforehand. Then I went down to the aforementioned Kava Bar and had two shots (it's happy hour) and it tasted like tasty, refreshing dirt in a good way and it's served in a nice little white bowl and they give you chasers of pieces of pineapple (my favorite fruit) and I feel so nice and mellow now. My tongue's a little numb but I hear that's normal.
I could become a Kava Head!

Wait. I've lost my Kava Bar wifi signal.

Ah, whatever.

It's storming like crazy, Liz is back, my wifi is going in and out, I've got some pictures, all from or in this beautiful apartment.

Who knows when I'll be able to post this.

Love...Ms. Moon

We're In Asheville!

Well, here we are. Me and Lizzie. We're at a downtown bakery and cafe which of course is totally cool because we're in Asheville where everydamnthing is totally cool.

The place we're staying is luxo-deluxe but I haven't figured out how to cheat the wireless system yet. So, this is short, just to say, we made it, all is well, this fresh fruit yogurt parfait that we're eating is awesome and my presence online for a bit is going to be scant. I think I'll be able to rip off the kava bar (yes! KAVA BAR! LEGAL DRUGS!) that occupies space in the building where we are staying but they don't open until five. Plus, I have cool things to do in cool Asheville.

Until later....Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Here We Go

Well, Lis is in the shower and the oatmeal is cooking. We are not moving real fast around here. It's hard to move fast, you know. It's a beautiful day here in Lloyd and it's hard to leave. I realize that if I am indeed an agoraphobic, I have certainly created a beautiful place in which to hide from the world.
BUT, as Ms. Angella said the other day, there is something of a traveling muscle and it is certainly time to exercise mine. It is weak and it is flabby but, gotta start somewhere.

Here we go. Slowly, but still.

I'll report in when we get to Asheville.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lists And Lots Of Stuff

Packing makes me crazier than anything in this world. You get the clothes packed and then- oh my god. You have to pack the make-up, the jewelry, the toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lotions. Night face lotion, face lotion with sunscreen, sunscreen! body lotion. What about perfume? You want perfume? Shampoo, conditioner, razor blade, shaving cream.
Figure all that out and there's the jewelry.
Even though no, I don't usually wear much make-up or jewelry.
But the truth of the matter is, I love make-up and jewelry. And when we travel, it is a fine time to be someone we are regularly not. Or to be more of who we really are.
Or something.
Let us move on.
Books. Gotta take books.
Computer, cords, camera, batteries. Battery charger. Cell phone, cell phone charger.
Things I'm taking Jessie.
The bottle of rum Mr. Moon bought me. Bacardi Anejo, my favorite! Thank-you, Mr. Moon!
Coffee. Where Lis and I are staying is an apartment of the boyfriend of one of Lis's friends. One cannot chance that there will not be coffee on that first morning. I need coffee to get to the coffee shop a block away. I am NOT kidding you.
Medications. Sleep aid. Antidepressant. Calcium, magnesium, fish oils, adrenal support, red yeast rice. Biodentical hormones. Two emergency tablets of Ativan.
It's ridiculous!
I remember when I thought I would backpack through Europe. This is never going to happen now. I would need a Sherpa to carry my backpack. Or a mule.

When did this happen? When did I become this woman?

Tweezers, fingernail scissors, nail files, small mirror, hair ties, hair brush, comb. Hats.

Pillows. Can I take my down blanket? Who knows what the bedding situation is going to be?

Magazines. I have my unopened Esquire and Vanity Fair.

And here's the thing: Hank and Lis are also going along for this ride. We shall see just how much stuff a Chevy Impala will hold. Guitars will be involved.

Oh Lord.

Did I mention I have to take my bedside fan?

Why don't I just throw in a dog and a few damn chickens?

Time to make dinner. All will be revealed. And I keep thinking of the time my friend Lynn and I went to St. Pete and she started making lists of things to take a month before we left and she even brought a SEWING TABLE (long story) but she forgot to bring her clothes.
She wore the same thing every day and washed out her underwear at night.
Guess what?
She survived.

Love...Ms. Moon

Normal Pre-Trip Tripping

Some of you may remember this pretty little lady lamp although I myself had almost forgotten her. Her head had unfortunately snapped off and she's been sitting in the Museum Of Unfinished Projects (the garage/workshop) for at least a year but yesterday Mr. Moon brought her back in the house, all fixed up and with warnings that I am to be very, very careful with her.
Owen kissed her. Of course.
So she is back in the bathroom of Madonnas and Fridas and Mermaids.
The Goddess Bathroom.

Ah. My feet seem to find nothing but sand on the floor in every room of the house and the laundry is already going and will Mr. Moon remember to water my plants and how can I leave him with all these animals and will he eat? What will he eat? He has told me that if I ever left him or died he would probably perish from starvation. Now we all know this is not true, just as I know that he will not let my plants die and he will not let the chickens or dogs die either, although as for the dogs, it would not hurt my feelings at all if they did.
Go ahead, give me hell.
It's not that I hate the dogs. I don't really. I just hate what they do to my life, my house.

No, if I suddenly disappeared, Mr. Moon would replace me with a younger model in about three months. This I know for certain. Oh sure, he would cherish my memory but he is a pragmatic man with a huge heart and he likes being married. I think. He could be lying to me. But I am only going to be gone for a week- not enough time for him to find a replacement- I hope! Who will remind him to take his pills and who will make his smoothies and who will make his lunches and why does my stomach hurt so much?
God. You'd think I was about to leave on the Lewis and Clark expedition, not just getting in a quality vehicle and driving up the interstates to Asheville, North Carolina with climate control and Map Quest and cell phones and debit and credit cards. No. To my mind, it will look like this:

Without Sacagawea to guide us or all those studly braves.
Well, I guess Lis can be Sacagawea and Hank can be the studly braves. I'll be the guy who got small pox and died or whatever they died from in those days. An infected blister. Whatever. I am telling you- I could get lost in a paper bag. I DO get lost in parking lots and hospitals. And in Tallahassee where I have lived for 37 GEE DEE years!

Okay. I need to shut up. This isn't helping.
Mr. Moon will not die of starvation. Lis and Hank and I will not get lost and wander around the primeval forest for years, surviving only on road kill and foraged berries. They will not kick me out of Asheville for Abhorrent Clothing Choices.
Owen will not forget me.

All will be well.


As I recall, they sell awesome microbrewed beer by the quart in the Health Food Store right down the road from Jessie's house. I'll be okay. And when I get back, that pretty little lady will be right there in my bathroom, waiting patiently for me to come and turn her on again.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Boy Kisses

Here is what I am pondering this evening:

When will Owen learn that boys don't usually kiss other boys?
And more importantly- why does he have to?

Owen, as I said, became immediately entranced with Christopher who was so sweet to him that it almost made me cry. Owen wanted Chris to lift him up, to carry him, and everywhere Owen went he would call out, "Chris! Come!" And Chris would. And Owen gave him grapes. This is another way Owen shows affection- the giving of food.
Wonder where he learned that?

And of course, because Owen is a loving boy, and because he shows his love with hugs and kisses, he wanted to kiss and hug Christopher who HAS learned that boys don't just kiss like that, spontaneously and joyfully, and although he did let the boy kiss and hug him, I could tell that there was a part of him which didn't feel quite right about it.
And I understood. An eleven-year old boy, no matter how sweet, might just have a few qualms about letting another "guy" kiss him, even if the guy isn't yet two years old.

Although, I will say that I have seen boys of eleven and even older, kiss babies and allow themselves to be kissed by them with complete equanimity. Mostly these were hippie-raised kids and Chris is not one of those although Aunt Kathleen HAS been a big part of his life and he is as tender and gentle and open-minded and smart as any kid I've ever met.
But he has a big brother and well, you know....

And I just hope with all of my heart that Owen never really does learn that kissing someone for whom you feel affection is inappropriate. His daddy certain is full of kisses and of course his mama is and his Bop and his uncle Hank and his aunts and he has to fight his Mer-Mer off with all her damn kisses. For now, Owen's kisses are gifts that he gives to people he really likes and he knows that because we tell him. We ask for those kisses and show great delight when he gives them.

Well. That's just what I'm thinking about. It was a very fine day with two boys and when Kathleen came to pick up Christopher, there were more kisses and...
I'll let Kathleen tell you the good news here.
It is joyful news.

Yes. It's been a very good day.
And I am going to have to go without Owen Boy kisses for over a week and I am not sure I can stand it. When he left, I was the one asking for just "one more."

And then I told him that I was going to go bye-bye with Uncle Hank to see Aunt Jessie and that I would be gone for a little while but that I was coming back and he put his hand out like a traffic cop and said, "Stop," and I did, and he'll be fine but will I?

Oh. Probably.
But I am sure going to need a lot of kisses when I get back. I hope he hasn't quit giving them out so freely by then.

Because at some point, guys figure out that kissing their grandmother isn't the coolest thing in the world either.

God. Life is hard.

But generally, pretty okay. And with kisses, heaven.

How To Make A Small Boy Happy

Bring in a big boy for him to play with.

Kathleen's nephew Christopher is a joy. And Owen is completely in love.

This Is Turning Into A Newsletter

First off, I took down the post of the embedded video of Roseanne on Chelsea Lately because every time you came to my blog, that damn thing played an advertisement and I'm not getting any revenues from it so screw that.

So good morning. Glad that's cleared up.

I got an e-mail from my brother whose picture I so rudely posted here.
The e-mail said this:

I noticed you didn't-take a single picture of me when I was at your house on May first..why? But you show that funny picture on your blog? It wasn't that funny to me..but I dig the glasses

Well, he's right. So in the spirit of fairness, here's two pictures of my brother as he is all grown-up without the glasses. He shed those puppies as soon as he got his braces off and has worn contacts mostly since then.

This is my brother White and me back about five years ago? I can't remember. Anyway, Mr. Moon and I had gone out west and did a road trip which was fabulous and ended up on the Pacific Coast right beneath Canada which is where my brother lives.

And here's a picture of White at Jessie's graduation this year:

Fair is fair. White is NOT the little dork he once was and Lord Have Mercy, neither am I. I may be old and wrinkled and ugly but I am NOT a dork. I used to be. Oh yeah. Believe me. I was the dorkiest female dork on the planet. I have pictures to prove that too. Maybe I'll show you some one of these days.
I ain't proud.

So yesterday when I was in the Goodwill, a woman recognized me from the blog. It was odd! She said, "Are you Mary Moon?" and I said, "Yes." And then I think I may have actually said, "Do I know you?" Because you know I have that face recognition issue and so I may know someone but not recognize them but no, she recognized me from my blog and all I could think of to say was, "Well then you know a lot about me," which is true and for a second, I felt EXTREMELY vulnerable, not in the way where you think someone is going to shoot you, but still. She was very friendly, though, and sweet, and I got all shy and started channeling a former friend who is like the Very Princess of Southern Girl Sweetness which is not really like me at all but hell- that's what happened. And after we broke up our little aisle-tete-a-tete, I headed straight to the overalls, all the while thinking, Jesus, I am so predictable.
So thank-you for introducing yourself, Sharon Lou, and I am so glad you like my blog.

No. I did not buy overalls. I did not buy velvet, either. I am so fat I couldn't find anything I was even vaguely interested in which would fit my fat body except for an old hippie skirt and a blouse. Jesus. Thank god you can wear anything in Asheville. It is like the capital of Wear Whatever You Want, We Don't Care, which is awesome. Lis will be wearing her petticoats, I will be wearing my overalls, Hank will be wearing his whatever-he-wears and Jessie will be floating around us wearing things that make her look like a dancing hippie nurse musician beam of light.


Okay. I got boys coming over today and I need to get my ass in gear. Kathleen's darling nephew Christopher is coming around noon or so and Owen is coming around one. Two boys! I think that Owen is going to worship Christopher and this is going to be fun. It is a lovely day in Lloyd, Florida and the chickens are already out and finding tasty bugs except for three of the new ones who cannot seem to figure out how to get out of the coop. Three others did and I suppose that's an intelligence test right there. The two flocks are not blending but there doesn't seem to be a lot of conflict, either so that is good. I am wondering what will happen when the new babes reach maturity. Will Elvis want to fuck the girls and kill the boys? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, it is moulting season again and my yard is littered with chicken feathers and I'm getting maybe one egg a day and for the past two days, the eggs I did get got broken (one by Owen, one by me) and the dogs got to eat them directly from the floor.
Sad, sad, sad.
Except for the dogs who were happy, happy, happy.

I think it is Hank's last day of work with the state of Florida. Go either here or here and tell him congratulations on a new life! And check out his blogs because they are probably not like the blogs you already read and he's a great writer and has an amazing eye.
Love you, Hank! I can't wait to Rock-n-Roll with you up that road to Asheville.
(We're going to listen to the Keith book on CD and although it will be the THIRD time I've listened to it, I'm very excited at the prospect. Yes. I am weird. Possibly even a...dork.)

All right. Is everyone happy now? White? You cool with this?

Rock on!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Review

So we just watched two episodes of Roseanne's Nuts and here's what I have to say:
She and I are living the same damn life! With grandchildren and goats and chickens and a sweet man and well, hell. Except that she lives in Hawaii and has a lot of money and I live in Florida and don't.
Besides that- same-same!

I love that she's showing a vulnerable side of herself. I love that she seems to be living a perfectly genuine life. I love that there's finally something on TV that shows what it's like to be a fifty-five-plus something year-old woman who isn't botoxed and dyed and freaky-looking but who enjoys her life and is doing the best she can.

Yeah. I give that show my approval.

Just thought I'd say that.

Sweet dreams, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon


Ah-lah. I sat down and wrote an entire typical Ms. Moon word-journey about life and death and connectedness but it wasn't going anywhere and it didn't say a thing that all of us don't know and so what the hell? Delete, delete. Delete!

It is late in the afternoon, or early in the evening, depending on how you look at things. I have been unsettled today. I have thought a lot about what I wrote this morning about how the world got along just fine before we got here and will continue to do so after we are gone.
That gave me comfort as I suffered my usual anxiety about nothing, nothing at all.

And when I came home from town, my new chickens ran over to greet me. Not because they like me but because they have already started to associate me with food and isn't that the way? But still, it pleased me and I unloaded the groceries and the library books and took the trash to the trash place and the recycle too and I am going to make chicken and pineapple tonight and green beans from the garden and brown Basmati and wild rice and really, that's enough. Perhaps at least fifty percent of why Mr. Moon loves me is that he associates me with food. I would not doubt it. But that's okay.

You already know all that other shit I was writing about but deleted. The Be Here Now shit. The You Never Know shit. The All Is One shit.

I got nothing to add to any of that shit.

Aren't you glad I'm going to take a little trip? I'll have something new to write about.

It'll be a relief for me, too.

New shit. Something to look forward to.

I'm going to dress this pig up in velvet.

Stay tuned.

Pretend this is foreplay.

I know you can.

Paying Attention

Let's face it- taking care of Owen wears me out. And he's a GOOD boy. But the day after, I can feel my body's reaction to hoisting him up and slinging him on my hip which feels so easy, so right when I'm doing it but oh, the next day.
But when he lifts up those arms and says, "Mer-Mer!" I can't not pick him up.
I simply can't.
I know how quickly the time will come when he will NOT want to be carried by his grandmother. Ever.
That boy, that boy.
He demands and receives all of my attention. Every single thing he does, he wants Mer-Mer to watch. He gets on his horse and commands me to "sit," which I do. I sit in the rocking chair beside him and watch him ride. I say, "What a great rider you are! You are such a good cowboy!" And he asks for hats which we keep handy and he wears one for awhile and then takes it off and asks for another. Sometimes he puts the hats on the horse.
Hats are a good look both on horses and almost-two year olds.
He plays the piano. "Mer-Mer!" he calls. And I must sit and watch him.
Oh god. If it were any child but my grandchild I would be...not so patient.

But he knows me so well. Yesterday after our nap when we got up he went with me into the bathroom and fished around in the little wooden dish I keep my hair things in and found me a hair tie and handed it to me and said, "Here," because he knows that my hair is going up the second I get up. For some reason, that just knocked me out.

I guess what I'm saying here is that despite the aches and pains that come with taking care of that boy, the infinite patience it takes, I wouldn't trade doing it for the world. It is not a one-way thing, my relationship with him. He has learned what Mer-Mer likes and if he is in the mood (which is surprisingly, a great deal of the time) he will do his best to please me. And when I do say "no" which, sometimes, yes, I do, he is easily distracted and doesn't push the point. He doesn't take it personally. He knows I adore him.
Oh yes. He knows that.

Well, it's another morning in Lloyd and I have got to get to town and pick up a few things I need for my trip. Yes! I am going to Asheville, leaving Saturday morning early with Hank and we are going to meet up with Lis and pick her up and drive that long drive up to North Carolina and we are going to stay for almost a week. I'll be there for my birthday. I have been dealing with the pre-trip anxiety by ignoring the fact that I'm going but there are certain things which must be attended to before I go. My prescription, books, etc.
I am so looking forward to seeing my girl, my Jessie. I have been dealing with her being gone by pretending that she's not but I'm stretching even my ability to deny at this point. I need to see her. And I've never been on a trip with Hank. This is going to be so much fun! And Lizzie- she is the best, best traveling companion. We took a road trip once to St. Pete and honey- Lord. We had fun. Oh yes we did.
And we shall have fun on this trip too.

But. It's hard to leave. That boy. And the man, of course. We finally did what we've been joking about doing for years now and moved the outside chairs to right beside the chicken coop and I've been sitting there, watching the new chooks. This morning I let both flocks into the coop at once while I drank my coffee and it went well. Elvis mostly ignores the new ones although Miss Bob is territorial about the water and food. I gave them a few minutes together and then let the old flock out. Yesterday I let the new ones out too and they spent a pleasant day scratching in the leaves around the coop. At night, they all found their way back to roost. I love chickens. I will miss my chickens.
And my flowers and my house.

I will not miss my dogs.

My back hurts. My knees hurt. I feel old today.
Well. I am a grandmother.

And as such, I am learning patience. I am learning to accept that with pleasure, pain does sometimes come along for the ride.

The important thing is to keep riding. Wear a hat sometimes. Keep Ibuprofen close at hand. Take your vitamins, take your walks. Eat your damn vegetables. When your beloveds want your attention and say "sit," do it. The dishes will get washed at some point.

Don't make such a damn big fucking deal out of everything.

The world had been operating on its own for many, many, MANY years before you got here. It will continue to do so after you are gone.

I'm preaching to myself.

Thanks for sitting down beside me and listening. You have no idea how much I appreciate that.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pretty Amazing Day

So this is what I did today. This is pretty much what Owen and I do every day we're together. Chickens and sticks are involved. If you watch the video, make sure you really pay attention after Elvis crows- the way his crow ends with a sort of "waaah." I find this completely charming. Not all roosters do this. Believe me. I pay attention.

It was a nice day. Lily laid on the couch and didn't want much of anything but rest. Occasionally Owen and I would come in and Owen would give her snuggles and hugs. And kisses. We all three took a nap together on my bed with Big Bear and Zeke. One of the best naps in history.

He's learned a new word. It is amazing. No, really. The word is...amazing. Of course it comes out more like, "amay," which is said with the appropriate awe in his voice.

It was a prosaic day but an amazing one, too. I know I keep saying this but it's still just so unbelievable to me that this is my life. MY life. Children who still need me, a grandson, another grandchild on the way. A husband who comes home to play with the grandson.

Well, here's a few more pictures.

Owen applauding. We find a great deal to applaud about.

Owen. Just being...beautiful.

Well. There's a thousand words.

When I took Lily and Owen home this evening, he wanted three "one more" kisses.

I would have given him a million.