Monday, April 30, 2012

Phone and Internet no longer going In and out, just out, simply that and it got hot today. The kind of hot that's oh-yeah-I-remember-this-hot, makes-us-cranky-hot; I have moved slowly.
I sit on the front porch and painfully type this with two clumsy thumbs on my phone with chickens for company.

Cut collards and mustards today and washed them and blanched them. I did. They're in the freezer. A lot of work for three batches. Pulled the plants too.

Three baby chicks now and I don't know if we'll get any more. The mother hen can carry them beneath her wings. They pop out like fuzzy accessories. She showed them the food and water. They are calm and self-possessed as if they knew they were entitled to life.

Mr. Moon gone out of town and I have sixty more pages of a fine book to read. TC Boyle's *When The Killing's Done* and it's a joy to lay on the couch and read it. If I ever get to the point where I can't read just shoot me.

Please. I mean it.

Tomorrow is Jessie's birthday. My baby-baby turns twenty three and how did that happen? Twenty three years ago right now I was prowling around like a cat looking for a drawer to have her kittens in, knowing that the process had begun, the tuning-up almost completed and the womb and the cervix beginning to do their dance together and I danced with that process all night and into the next day and there were magnolia blossoms in the room when she was born, creamy and filling the room with their ethereal lemon scent.

Oh, that darling dancing girl. She and Vergil will be down next week and I will hold her then.

A day, a day. It's been a day today of heat and greens and boiling water and baby chicks and my feet are black with Lloyd's black dirt and tonight I will wash it all away and lay down on clean white sheets and sleep well.

The Morning After

Well, I think that Mr. Moon and I both have adrenalin hangovers today. He was awake half the night worrying about those birds and then got up at quarter to six and went out and fortified the door to the hen house and put straw in the new little nesting coop. Here he was working on it yesterday:


This is what it looks like all closed up and snake proof:


Of course, he's using all recycled materials. Not because we're cool but because that's what he has and what he wanted to use. Also- it's cheaper. As in, free if you already have it.

So the lid comes up and I moved Flopsy and the babies and the eggs over there today. I have no idea if we're going to get any more hatched eggs but the two that we have are mighty darn cute.


That is not an especially good picture but I think that if you click on it, you'll be able to see both babies. Plus, it makes Flopsy look all motherly and shit.

I've probably screwed up the entire hatching process by moving the eggs. I don't know. We don't have a freaking clue but from what I read, it's not a big deal. The mother will take care of the babies if we just protect them from predators.

So here I am with three separate groups of chickens to take care of. The grown hens and Elvis, the month-old babies and the mother-baby unit.

Now Jodi- this is for you: Yes. Chickens have sex. As I have said here many times, Elvis loves nothing more than to have sex. With his hens. Sex, sex, sex. Sex in the morning, sex at night. Sex in the middle of the day. You have to have fertilized eggs to get babies. Just like with humans except that with chickens the eggs are laid and then the baby develops outside the mother in that egg. No womb is involved. Just a nest. Which the mother sits on and keeps those eggs warmed and turned properly. It's like SCIENCE only she does it by instinct and doesn't know about science. But she sure does know about how to sit on eggs.

Well, since I started writing this, about fifty things have happened around here or maybe just a few but I've had my bowl of yogurt and pear and almonds. It was good. I heard a thing on NPR yesterday about how much food goes to waste in this country- like BILLIONS OF POUNDS A YEAR- and it made me realize that we need to be even more mindful of food waste than we are. Which means that when a pear goes brown on one end, I need to cut that off and eat the rest and I know- whoo-hoo! who doesn't know that? but still. There really isn't a whole lot of food that gets wasted around here. What we don't eat, the dogs or chickens do so it's not that bad. But for instance- right now I have a bunch of collards in the garden that need to be pulled because they are bolting and I SHOULD cook them and freeze them but I doubt I will. The goats next door sure would like them and our chickens love collards too, so it's not that big a deal but we have to think about these things. I weeded the beans yesterday and we're about to come into a ton of those. I think maybe there should be some potatoes to pull as well, the baby new ones, and if there is anything better than a pot of green beans and new potatoes, I am not sure what it would be. We just have to eat what we have when we have it and get over our First World Belief that we need to not eat the same thing too many days in a row. Either that or I need to freeze and can more.

As always, living in a house that's been here for over a hundred and fifty years, I think about what the people who lived here a long time ago did and I doubt that they had tomatoes in winter and when the Papa went out and shot a deer, they probably ate venison until they were sick of it but were glad for it anyway. They probably smoked a lot of meat. I imagine they grew collards, just as we do, and potatoes too. I'll bet that hogs were raised on this property and no doubt I am not the first person to raise chickens here. Or find snakes in the hen house. Did you know that pigs will eat snakes? Maybe we should raise a few pigs.
Nah. I did that once. It was not a pleasant experience although I am older now and could possibly do it better. I feel sure that Mr. Moon could build a smoke house. He can build anything. Lis and I were talking about how if we got bombed back into the stone age, if we could get together, between Lon and Mr. Moon, we could survive. Those men would figure out how to get water out of the ground and meat on the table.

And Lis and I could garden and make preserves out of berries that we picked. We'd figure it out. Just like the hen with her eggs and babies, if push came to shove, we would figure it out and keep body and soul alive.
Or die.
That's always a possibility.

Well, I guess that's enough bullshit for now.

Thanks for your patience.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, April 29, 2012

WAY Too Much Nature

So what did I write this morning? That nothing was happening at all and that if anything mindblowing happened I would tell about it and that I hoped it didn't involve a snake? Did I say that? Yes I motherfucking did.

God I hate being psychic.

I was just sitting out here on the back porch with my internet working and I heard something going on in the already-closed-up hen house. Clucks and a few thunks and yelled to Mr. Moon and said, "Something's going on in the hen house!" and he and I raced out there with the flashlight and by god and by motherfucking hell there was a skinny-ass oak snake with his head in Flopsy's nest and Mr. Moon yelled, "Dammit! A snake!" and he grabbed him up and I was yelling and the snake wrapped itself around Mr. Moon's arm and even though he had that snake wrapped around his arm, we checked the nest and there was the baby chick under Flopsy and another one, too, just hatched and not all puffed out and dried and yet that damn snake had FEATHERS IN ITS MOUTH! and Mr. Moon grabbed the machete in the garage and took the snake to a stump and I yelled, "Kill that motherfucker!" and he hacked at the head and it wouldn't die. I swear. Snakes are tough.


How did I know that a snake was going to enter the picture today?
Well, I didn't. It was just a thought.
But it did.
Which is weird.

But not really, if you think about the fact that humans have to have more than the five senses to have made it this far.

Mr. Moon pinned the snake by the neck with the machete to the stump and he secured the hen house as best he could to prevent more snakes from getting in (they can get into the tiniest holes, believe me) and then he threw that snake into the woods and it landed with a thump and it was not dead but I don't think it's going to go hunting baby chicks again tonight with that bleeding sore throat he has.

I can't hate snakes but I can't not hate them. It's a strange thing. And if that one had gotten and eaten one of those baby chicks I don't know if I could have stood it. Of course I could have but it sure would have been awful.  Tomorrow I'm going to move Flopsy and whatever chicks there are and whatever chicks haven't been hatched to the new little coop he built. No snakes can get in there.

I know that snakes can't help it if they're hungry and not cute like baby chickens but it doesn't mean that I'm going to let them eat our baby chickens.

I'm just so glad I was out here on the back porch and could hear that something was going on in the hen house. I'm just so glad that Mr. Moon is brave and grabbed that serpent and hacked at his head.

Jesus. Too much fucking nature.

My mind is blown.

Maybe Not Mindblowing

But mighty darn cute.
Miss Flopsy has hatched one very darling peep.
Phone and Internet are both out and probably will be until tomorrow when they can hopefully locate someone who has some line.
Or something to that effect.

But that's what happened in Lloyd today. And Mr. Moon has been working on a new little shelter for Flopsy and resulting babies all day and I've been weeding and it's hot and we're filthy.

A good Sunday.

Ain't that a cute baby?

Well done, little chicken mama. Well done.

At Least It's Short

I have absolutely nothing to write about this morning. Can you even believe that?

No heavy thoughts, no inspiring thoughts, no funny thoughts. No nothing.

It's Sunday morning, we've had our pancakes (pear, banana, flax, oat, pecan, blueberry) and I have clothes on the line and there are more to hang in the washer and the chickens all appear to be fine and I've had plenty of coffee and I've watched a new Freddy movie which you, too, can watch HERE and it reminded me that I haven't been in a film in quite a while and I guess the boy doesn't love me any more or maybe that's not it at all, it's just that I've gotten old and fat. I mean, when he met me I was a young and spry 55 year old.
Oh, Freddy. I love you no matter what. You are a talented young-old soul.

So what else?

Same, same, same. But that is just fine with me.

Oh- the kohlrabi/potato thing was really good. Sort of an odd texture but delicious, nonetheless. And it goes without saying that the meatloaf was good. And the salad.

Oh god. I am so boring.

I guess I'll go weed. Or pick up more branches. Or both. I wonder if I'll break out in poison ivy.

My zinnias are about to bloom and I can't tell you how excited I am about that. There is NO irony at all in that statement.

Mr. Moon is next door helping our neighbors with a spray washer or something. Elvis is crowing. The sun is shining. It's not too hot.

Huffpost wants to know if I would get cosmetic surgery to fit into high heels.

Uh. No.

Guess I'll go put on my overalls. Perhaps something incredibly mindblowing will happen to me today and then I'll come back and tell you about it.
If so, I hope it doesn't involve a snake.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Did Obama just say at the Correspondent's Dinner that the difference between soccer moms and pit bulls is that pit bulls are delicious?

Oh my god. I love him so much.

That's My Lis

That's my Lis.

The Least We Can Do

 My land line has been in and out for days. The phone guy called me today (I had to call him back because he got cut off) to tell me that it's in the carrier line somewhere and that they're working on it. He's such a nice guy, that phone guy. We chatted a little, as we do around here. Might as well.

Anyway, I'm hoping that it's fixed now because if it's out, I don't have internet. Oh sure, I have the iPhone but it's not really sufficient for my blogging needs.

The boys came out today and brought their mother and it was a short but exciting visit which included two poops. I was proud they felt comfortable enough here to poop. Grandmothers will take any straw offered, you know. Owen helped his Boppy build which is what he calls anything which requires a hammer or a saw. He was in ecstasy over the table saw. That was almost more than he could bear. Gibson was NOT impressed. He wanted nothing more than milk. And a clean diaper. He gave us a few of his rare and precious smiles. They melt me.

It came time for Lily to go home and Owen insisted that he needed to stay here which was fine, Bop could have taken him home later but at the last moment, he decided that no, he had to go home with his mother and cried, "No leave without me!" and flung himself at the door. He got in his seat and we buckled him up and kissed him and they left with Owen's hand waving out the window and him shouting, "Love you! Love you!"

It was a great visit.

It was probably good that he went home. I took a Benedryl earlier for a mysterious itching of the hands (this was BEFORE I pulled up a lot of poison ivy and yes, I wore gloves) and that thing about knocked me out. After the kids left, we laid down for a nap and it was heavenly and I had to force myself to get back up and go at it again. But I did. I drank an espresso over ice but it didn't really help much. No wonder they make sleep aids out of Benedryl. That's what it is, you know. Plain old Benedryl and it's cheaper just to buy the store brand of that and pop one instead of any of that other fancy stuff which I buy sometimes despite the fact that I know better. Maybe because it's blue. Blue is a better sleep color than pink and white, right? I guess.

We do these crazy things. It's like the current obsession with sea salt. Salt is NaCl, period, the end, sodium chloride and I don't care where it comes from, it all came from the sea at some point in time and yet, I, too, have purchased sea salt. What for? It's not like it's fucking saltier. And the PRETENSION of buying salt grinders. Hell, Martha. I mean, freshly ground pepper is tastier than the stuff ground in a factory but we're talking salt here. SALT.
I could be wrong. Educate me if I am.

Well, I've got a venison meatloaf in the oven and that is going to be delicious. I've peeled my two kohlrabis from the garden and I think I'm going to cook them with the two potatoes I have in some broth with garlic and salt (whatever kind I have) and yes, freshly cracked pepper and then mash those suckers up with some fat free sour cream- don't you laugh- I have bacon on the meatloaf and we have to cut fat corners somewhere. Or at least I do. It'll be good and delicious despite the lack of fat in there and Mr. Moon will put a lot of butter on it anyway so no harm done.

The picture at the top is for Danielle de Santiago. I don't know how many of you know him. Those of you who have been here for a long time certainly do. He is part of our community. He has been going through a lot lately and yesterday was a very, very hard day for him and he has a request. Read about that at

Light is a lot like salt- whatever its source, it is true and real. And we need both in this life we lead on our planet.  I always think that lighting a candle is making hope visible. I believe that.
And it is better than cursing the darkness.

I got no reason to curse tonight and for that alone, I will gladly light a candle. Sometimes light is not just for seeing our way in the darkness, but for shedding light on our blessings.

Yeah. For all of that, and for Danielle and his beloved sister, my candles are lit.

For you, too.

Shine on.

Love...Ms. Moon

"If Mozart Hadn't Died, Stravinsky Never Would Have Arisen"

The world, and specifically, our area, lost a beautiful soul today. Her name was Anne Rudloe. She was a Zen Buddhist, a writer, a naturalist. She and her husband, Jack Rudloe have done more for the local preservation of our ecology here than anyone and they were co-directors of an amazing place called The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab.

Here is a video made before she died. It is well worth watching for many reasons.
I feel quite sure that Anne is just fine, whatever death has brought her. And we are the better off for having had her.  

Chickens, Children, Etc.

Today is chicken carpentry day. Mr. Moon is going to rebuild a chicken coop that will go inside of the big coop to put the young 'uns in because the little coopette they're in now is not adequate to their needs. It's not tall enough, for one thing. As I said, those birds can fly. Really fly like real birds, not like regular chickens who do hop-flights. The banty roosters next door roost up in the tree branches above their enclosure and their enclosure does not enclose them very well which is why we had eggs from them in our garage in the first place.

Are you with me?

We also need to put Miss Flopsy and her eggpile down on the ground in a protected place so that when (if) those babies hatch they won't tumble off the nest and down to the ground where snakes and coons can get at them.

Ah Jeez. As if I didn't have enough to worry about already.

We were discussing last night what we're going to do with all of the resultant roosters we may be getting. My theory is we let them be pets and see what happens. Seems to me that if Elvis doesn't kill them out of some fierce, biological urge then we can just let them be and we'll feed them and let them run around with the others. BUT, if they start getting mean as roosters sometimes do, I will have no qualms about asking Mr. Moon to cut their heads off.
That's just the way it is.
So- if they're sweet, they can hang out.
If they're mean and go after us and the kids, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS AND INTO THE STEWPOT! I myself could never cut a chicken's head off unless I was already weakened and yet strengthened by starvation but I don't mind letting Mr. Moon doing the dirty work.

Well, that's the theory and plan at this point.

And we all know how well plans go and how often theories prove out.

Today I am going to work on the theory that staying busy is staying sane. Syd was talking about this in a recent post. I don't know if it's really true but I do know that when I am feeling the way I am, which is anxious and low, it sure doesn't help to sit around. I need to either be moving or asleep. One or the other. If I try to sit for any length of time, I find myself jiggling my legs until whatever floor I'm sitting on is bouncing up and down and people are looking at me strangely.
Not that there's any people around here to speak of but you know what I mean.
I'm not much good as a carpenter but I am pretty okay at doing mindless gardening and branch-removal in the yard. I should go down Main Street and pick up trash because it is getting extremely nasty but I JUST DON'T CARE ANY MORE. Okay. I care a little bit but not enough do anything about it. Fucking trashy people are just fucking trashy people and short of cutting their arms off, I'm not sure what can be done as to a permanent resolution and even if you cut their arms off they'd probably spit their trash onto the side of the road with their mouths so there you go.

And right now, I just don't have the goodness-of-heart to be the one person in this whole damn community who cares enough to do anything about this situation. No. I do not. I can just see myself getting snake-bit in the overgrown roadside while reaching for a damn Ding-Dong wrapper. Fuck it.
And please do not suggest I go get one of those reacher-grabber things. Maybe Jefferson County could buy me one and an orange vest too. And maybe there will be snow tonight.

Here's a nice thing to report about our community though- the trailer that I used to bitch about regularly where EXTREMELY trashy people lived is now inhabited by non-trashy people who have cleaned up that yard and have giant tomatoes growing in pots and a little patio area and some nice little landscaping plants and I approve highly. Their neighbors, however, with the feral dogs in the yard are just as trashy as they ever were and their place is an eyesore. The chickens they used to keep have mostly disappeared and that hurts my heart. I feel quite sure that they ate chicken for a month.

Anyway, okay, the babies have now been put into their new facility. Mr. Moon did a few repairs to the old one and we moved it into the coop and the hardest part was catching the babies in their little coop and transporting them to the new one. That little one that escaped yesterday escaped again today and she ran into the woods but then ran back into the yard again and straight to some of my hens who did not know what to think. They stretched their feathers and turned a bit sideways as they do when confronted with something new.

Alien! Alien! yet...infant. 

We caught her and put her in with the others. My god, these chickens love to run. But for now, they are tucked up safely in the new coop.


I don't dare raise the lid up to take their picture because someone will fly out and they can get through the wire in the big coop without a thought or any effort at all and next thing I know, I'll be smashing through the cobwebs in the woods and chasing them down the railroad tracks.

Here's Elvis, trying to figure out what in hell is going on around here today.

Mr. Moon swears he's going to take Elvis to the fair next year. I say NO but he says he's going to do it anyway. Unless the desire to do so passes between then and now.
I hope it does. Elvis is not a display chicken. He is the Husband To The Sister-Wives, Protector Of All.

The mosquitoes are out like crazy, I need to add cleaning the chicken coop to my list of chores today which will involve rakes and the wheelbarrow and gloves and I might as well go put on my overalls, my big-girl pants, as it were, spray down with mosquito repellant and get started.

Lily just called and they're coming out later. Owen is about to die to come to see his Mer-Mer and his Bop. Or at least, to play at our house. Who wouldn't want to play at this house? It's like the damn zoo and the farm and the toy store and a restaurant all in one. And the jungle. So I need to get busy before they get here. I am very, very glad they're coming. I miss my boys and you know that's true.

Here are two pictures Lily sent me.

As you can see, Owen is taking a great interest in his younger brother and Gibson is rather fascinated with Owen. The other night when we were babysitting, if Gibson began to cry, Owen would immediately come to him and put his arms around him and say, "Don't cry, baby. Don't worry."

So. A chicken and children Saturday.
As the Great Blues Singer Eddie Kirkland (may he rest in peace) said to me one time when he was told that I was pregnant, "Ain't nuttin' wrong with dat."


Friday, April 27, 2012

Here We Are

I am limping along here in heaven and Mr. Moon is about to cook some grouper he caught and I have a fistfull of green beans from the garden and the Big Chickens are making a lot of noise in the iron plant outside the back yard and one of the bantys escaped when I filled their feeder this afternoon and he can fly like a damn eagle already but we caught him and put him back.
I think it was the baby from next door. Banty chickens are not regular chickens and I can tell you that with certainty.

I don't know. I don't know.

I donated to Public Radio today, finally, during the last hours of the pledge drive and that should make me feel good.


It's always the guilt.

Should we have grits with our fish and should we have stewed tomatoes and will I dare to eat a peach?

The mermaids call each to each.

I do not think they call for me.

There's a poem you can put in your pocket and I remember tripping my ASS off on LSD and my friend David reciting The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufock by heart, by memory in a car and we rolled the windows up so that none of it would escape.

Ah-yah. That was a long time ago.

Grits. I need to cook grits. And cook some tomatoes.

I am limping along in heaven.

I Do Not Trust Luck

Part of my backyard with morning light

I am having the hardest time today, trying to organize any thoughts.
I've sat down here a dozen times, at least, in between all of the other things I've done, to try and figure out what it is I want to write about because I always want to write about something. That is the truth.

But whether the banks of the river are overflowing and I cannot catch what it is I want to say or whether the flow of the river is at a trickle, I cannot say.

Or the other.

But I keep coming back to a comment I got yesterday about how all of my days sound so idyllic and I am sure they do and yes, in so many ways they are. And I am glad, in a way, that this is how I make them seem because honestly, yes, that is truthful. I have this life.

Externally, it is idyllic and perhaps that is part of my problem. It is very hard, sometimes, to match the internal life I have with the external life of such sweetness. Perhaps it is as simple as the fact that I do not believe I deserve it. Perhaps it is merely and only that.

I am not sure but it is a day here in Lloyd, Florida, of just incredible beauty and on my walk I saw this

which is a wild passonflower, already blooming in its alien glory.
I did not plant it nor tend it and yet, there it was for my pleasure and my pleasure alone but of course, not really. My pleasure has nothing to do with it, nothing at all. It is merely living out its destiny beside a dirt road which very few people use. It just is.

Is it that simple? Do I overthink every damn thing way too much?

I believe this may be quite possible.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Safe Return

I am home. Oh yes. I know you have missed me.

I missed you, though.

I had a very, very nice time. If there are any two nicer, sweeter, more gracious people than Lon and Lis I would have no idea who they were. And if you asked anyone else who knows them if they know anyone sweeter they would say the same. No. They do not. We went to a very fine place in Melrose, Florida for lunch. Melrose is about fifteen miles away from Gatorbone and it's of those places that you feel as if maybe you've been living there for your whole life (maybe a better life) in one of the charming houses, some parallel universe thing and we passed one house and Lis said, "D.H. Lawrence lived there," and I was like, "What???!!"
Anyway, the restaurant served us salads the size of semi-truck hubcaps and we ate and ate and ate and ate and Lon finished his and Lis and I didn't and then I felt like I was in a coma because we got VODKA TONICS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY BECAUSE IT WAS LIS'S BIRTHDAY! and between the vodka (not really very much, I swear) and the salad (way too much) I could barely move so then we went and got coffee and Lis and I had our toenails done.
It was awesome but Lis now has bruises where the massage chair massaged her. She is like the princess and the pea, that girl. I swear.
On our way home we stopped and Lon bought Lis the prettiest little rose. It starts out orange and then gets pink and it looks like dawn in every one of its blossoms and Lon planted it for her and also her tomatoes. He was Garden Boy for her birthday. We sat in the garden and admired him working and also our toes.
Then he made us martinis and I made a cake and then he cooked us little organic beef hamburgers on the grill and we ate outside and listened to the chuck's widow's will and the sandhill cranes and we watched the moon and the stars shine bright silver, brighter than the silver in Cozumel when you buy it which is mighty bright.

This morning Lis made pancakes AND bacon and we ate outside again and then Lis and I went to Keystone Heights and bought some more plants and dogfood and went shopping at an antique type store but we didn't buy anything there. But it was fun.

And now I'm home and it's all just the same and that makes me happy. Oh. We do have a new baby chick that our neighbor gave us to put in with our baby chicks because this chick's mama was a no-good crackhead hen who wouldn't take care of her baby. Flopsy is still sitting on all of those eggs and we've now marked them so at least she won't be sitting on ANY MORE eggs than the four hundred she's already sitting on because we bring them in.

Mr. Moon and I are going to town in a little while to baby sit our boys so that Lily and Jason can have a little date. I'm pretty excited about that.

Gibson has started smiling! What? Yes! Proof:

It's like- who is THAT baby? What? What have they done with Morty?

And talk about smiling. Mr. Moon took this picture of Owen yesterday:

So I'm looking forward to that and I'm home and I had a great time and I did get a little lost on my way home but it wasn't my fault in that they had the entrance to I-10 blocked off but I eventually found my way back and that's what counts.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fortunate One

You know, I am actually excited about going tomorrow. I had a great day today with grandchildren and children, I am having a lovely evening and I have wrapped presents and signed a card and packed brown sugar and pecans and my recipe for prune cake which is what Lis wants.

That cake. It is not your frothy-fluffy kiddy cake. It is a real cake with real density and spices and heft and weight and I keep thinking about how, after Gibson was born I made it for Lily and then when I took my mother over there to see her, I cut a HUGE wedge of it for Lily and then she got up to go do something and before I could cut a lady-like slice of it for Mother, she found Lily's plate and ate every bite.

It's good, that cake.

Tomorrow I'll be at Gator Bone. I am not going to worry one bit about what I'm taking to wear or any of that mess. Hell, if I went over there naked I would come back wearing something of Lis's. She's that sort of friend. We have been trading clothes for over fifteen years.

Mr. Moon checked my tire pressure and car fluids. I told him that I would feel safer and more loved if he did that and so of course he did.

When he asked me to marry him, that man, Mr. Moon, he said this to me:
I have always wanted to find someone who would love me as much as I loved them.
I can fix cars and I can fix houses. These are the two biggest investments that people make in their entire lives. We will never starve.

So far, so good.

Lucky. That's me.

Pictures From A Day

 Mr. Gibson Morty McChill Baby.

 Uncle Hank With Gibson

 Owen wearing a willow wreath.

 Owen with a beautiful pony at the Goodwill.

Owen figuring out what a real boy does with a beautiful pony at the Goodwill. He wrestles it to the ground.


Today I am going for a walk and then I am going to town and going to Costco with Lily and Owen and Gibson and maybe, if Owen is in a good-boy mood, we might be going to lunch.

Yesterday I went to World Market to see if I could pick up any little thing for Lis's birthday which is tomorrow and I did, I found a few things, and also, I bought myself a completely ridiculous bag, a purse, I guess. I could put a dozen well-packed babies in that thing. It is a hippie bag, made in India, it has strips of different fabric and dangly-down things and the tag says, "Shell: 100% Miscellaneous Pieces of Undetermined Fiber Content," which I love.

Tomorrow I am going to get in my car with my new bag of 100% Miscellaneous Pieces of Undetermined Fiber Content and the little things for Lis and I am going to drive to Gator Bone for Lis's birthday and we are going to get pedicures and Lon is going to do our bidding, I hear.
I told Lis to tell him to get his cabana boy outfit drycleaned and she said he had already mentioned something about his loincloth.

I am going to make her a birthday cake.

I am going to spend the night.

I haven't done anything like this in so long. Gotten in a car and gone someplace by myself. I needed a new bag which is big enough to hold everything I might need, magazines and books and my pens and anxieties and credit card and debit card and so forth. A totem-bag.

I can. I will. I will be going tomorrow. I will come home on Thursday.

I am going to have a good time. I am going to leave behind chickens and babies and husband and garden. I am going to take myself and be with Lis for her birthday. I remember being with Lis when she turned forty- is this possible? We are much older than that now. When she turned forty, Mr. Moon drove Lon and Lis and me to the coast for supper in his convertible and Lis and I wore scarves and sunglasses and lipstick and Lon gave Lis pearls and we celebrated in style.

We had no idea how young we were.

We are never going to be any younger than we are right now.

I am going for a walk now. I am going to go to town. I am going to see my grandsons. I am going to be glad that this day is a day of my life, this crazy-cool day where the new pecan leaves look like green feathers against a blue sky. I am going to take my bag, I am going to show my Costco card to the guy at the entrance and I am going to shop with my daughter and I am going to be happy and I hope I get to carry that baby boy in my arms, a perfect bundle of baby, he weighs over ten pounds now.

Going. I am going now.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Dark Colors

I went out to the chicken coop this afternoon after I'd gone to town and run my errands to find a huge black crow trapped inside of it. How the crow got in there is beyond me. He must have, had to have gotten in through the small run from the hen house. He was flinging himself frantically against the wire of the coop, swooping from one side of it to another in panic.

I opened the screen door wide and slipped it off its spring and within a few seconds, the bird had found its way out. Its feathers were glossy black, almost blue, and he flew up into a tree and cawed his rusty caw and then was gone.

So strange here today. So cool and it never did reach seventy in the house. Not even sixty-five.

I went to town and stopped on my way in to break off a few branches of a blood-red rose that blooms on a breaking-down fence beside where a house used to stand. I have tried for years to root that fucker and have never succeeded, despite using modern day scientific rooting hormones and today I decided just to cut them with my thumb nail and stick them in water to see if anything happens.
Anything at all.

They are so red, those roses when they bloom. Like blood from a vein which is returning it to the heart to be oxygenated again. They don't stop growing, even though the little green house is gone, no trace of it left except in my memory, and if I am recalling rightly, there used to be three of them, shacks for workers of some kind a long time ago and nothing left now but this broken down fence, those roses that someone planted so long ago, their blossoms coming in clusters and when I brought them into my car, I stuck them in my glass of water which I always have with me. I doubt they'll root but I ain't giving up.

It seems to me that some things, whether bird or rose, just really want to live and if I can help, why not?

Hot Mess

I'm really getting tired of nights that are almost as active as my days.
Last night I woke up when the electricity went off at two. No big deal. It's rained recently and great branches get sodden and break and fall on lines and power goes. I guess. Anyway, we were thrust into sudden complete silence except for the chirping of the battery back-up power strip in the next room over. No fans to shield us from that chirp-interrupted silence. We are not used to that. The room suddenly black as velvet, no LED lights or clock numbers glowing. Just...darkness.

Before I could get used to that, Dolly the dog started yipping the yip that means she's stuck somewhere. So I got up and blindmanded my way through the house, and yes, she was in the Glen Den behind a shut door. I let her out. Found my phone and activated the flashlight app. Do you have the flashlight app? It might be my favorite. On my way back to our room, I found and flipped the switch for the battery-backed up power strip.

Deeper silence and then back to bed and to sleep and then Dolly began yipping again. This time Mr. Moon got up and he used his miner-light to find his way across the approximately forty miles of house from our room to wherever Dolly was. He came back eventually to report that she'd been on the porch, just barking, and so he'd taken her to her bed and settled her in and then cleaned up three dog poops.

Back to sleep again and the next thing I know, the fans are on again and and Mr. Moon is setting his clock. His clock was purchased at Big Lots about ten years ago and I swear, it's bigger and more complex than the console of a 747. I've never figured out how to use it. This took awhile. It was 4 a.m. by this point.

And cold. Cold, I tell you. In April. In North Florida.

I finally really and actually fell asleep after that and although Mr. Moon got up at six to go to the gym, I slept until eight-thirty, got up feeling guilty as hell, and here I am. Another beautiful day in Lloyd, Florida, crisp and blue and I'm slowly working my way through my morning despair and anxiety.

Jason has a day off so Lily doesn't need me today and I miss those boys. Here's a picture that Lily sent me last night of Gibson after his bath.

She sent me a picture of Owen too and I'd put that here but it shows his pee-pee and well, you know, I am a thoughtful and tasteful Grandmother Blogger.

I need to go to the library, I guess, and the branch library on MY side of town isn't open on Mondays so that means I'm going to have to go all the way through town but it must be done. I finally finished listening to The Nineteenth Wife and it was sad to hear it end. I saw a thing on Huffpost last night about a female Episcopal priest who visited a Mormon temple before it had been sanctified or something and she talked about how she'd felt the presence of God in this room:

That cracked me up so much. God hangs out in a room decorated like a forties dream of interior design? It's called The Celestial Room and sitting in it is supposed to be like a foretaste of heaven.
Do you see any books in that room?
Well forget it then. If heaven is about sitting on uncomfortable-looking couches and staring at the chandelier with an empty cut-glass candy dish on a table then count me the fuck out.

They did give her a "chewy snickerdoodle" at the end of the tour.

I've said it before and I'll say it again- there's a god gene and I don't have it.

I'm not sure I have the sanity gene, either, but that's another story.

I need to get busy. I need to do laundry. I need to let the chickens out and I need to go to town. I need to take a walk, I need to lose twenty-five pounds. I need to call the dog groomer. I need to put on some damn long pants. I need to get my hands on some little boys I know.

I need to get a good night's sleep, go to the beach, get that garden weeded, figure out what to do with the two gallons of not-so-fresh-anymore soup in the refrigerator, force my husband to take me on a small and intimate vacation, write a novel, a screenplay, a stage play, a poem, figure out what to do about that United Nations of Eggs that Flopsy is attempting to hatch out.

I need to buy more coffee, find a purpose in life, have a drink with Keith Richards.

Yeah. That should do it.

Happy Monday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I went to the Opera House. It was fine and lovely and easy. I didn't feel anxious one moment. How could I? I love those people. I took some pictures, I fed lines. It felt easy and good.

This is going to be a very, very fun production. Judy and Denise and Kathleen have worked their butts off and so has the cast. It shows.

I came home and joined Mr. Moon in the garden. We weeded and weeded and weeded.
We didn't get nearly finished. But we finally said, "Enough!"

He's cooking some fish he caught. I need to heat up last night's leftovers. A Sunday night feast.

Time to put all the chickens up, set the table, make the cocktail sauce.

Another week has passed us by.

And so it goes and so it has gone and here we are.


When Owen was here the other day he found my camera and put the strap over his head and said he wanted to take a picture. Since I am his grandmother, I let him.
I showed him how to turn it on, to look through the viewer, to push the button.
Here's one of the pictures he took:


I think he did a good job.

I hadn't remembered that Owen pictures were on the camera until I took a few myself this morning.

There was a redwinged blackbird on the feeder. If I go outside, the birds fly away but if I am very quiet and move slowly, they will let me take their picture from the porch.


Not the best, but it shows some of the amazing color on that wing.  A red and yellow swoop to make Nike swoon.

Here's a squirrel who was fussing. Squirrels are inveterate fussers.

I often wonder what in HELL they are talking about with that tail-flick, the squirrel version of the head-roll.

The blackbird left, a male cardinal flew in to take its place.


These are not good pictures. I apologize.

It is Sunday. Gray. Coolish. Breezy coming on to windy. Brenda is packing up her car, getting ready to head out for the next phase of her driving-journey. In a while I am going to the Opera House to take some pictures for the production that Judy is directing.  I haven't been to the Opera House since we closed Nobody's Perfect.
I really haven't been much of anywhere.
Lily's house mostly. The library. Publix. Where shopping is a pleasure.
Speaking of, remind me to go back to Publix before Thursday to buy more Eight O'Clock coffee. It is BOGO this week. I need about, uh, forty bags or so.

Mr. Moon and I keep saying to each other, "Remind me to..."
We never do remember to remind the other. It's gotten to the point where when he says, "What did I ask you to remind me to do?" I say, "You didn't ask me to remind you to do anything."
I am lying. I know he did. I just can't remember what and I don't want to admit that.
I'll tell you what he's learning to do though- he asks Siri to remind him of stuff.
Siri does not fail.

If Siri could cook and make love, there would be no need for me around here.

Well. Sort of. I know I do other things. Remind me of what they are?

Oh yeah. I take care of chickens.

Flopsy is still on that damn nest. She is now sitting on FIFTEEN EGGS! I was telling May about this yesterday and she laughed so hard she might have wet her pants. We were on the phone so I don't know. I doubt she wet her pants. That's just a saying. But seriously, that hen is spread out like a damn tortilla over those eggs. Sometimes when I pick her up to take her to the food and water, an egg gets stuck to the bottom of her and drops off. They never crack and I just sigh and pick them up and put them back on the nest.
This has got to end. That hen is going to die. When I sit her in front of the water she remains in the tortilla position until she snaps to. Sometimes she runs outside and starts frantically scratching. Elvis invariably comes flying over and makes like he wants to fuck her. "Get away from that hen!" I shout at him. Jesus. Like she hasn't been through enough recently.

Here. I just took this picture. I think this is how more eggs keep being added to the nest. Flopsy doesn't look too happy about the prospect, does she?

The wind seems to be blowing some of the clouds away. The light is coming through. It's sixty-seven degrees in my hallway. That's ridiculous.

It is Sunday. I am going to go to the Opera House. I charged my camera batteries. I'll get to see people I know and love. They'll be all wrapped up in this production, there will be inside jokes that I have no knowledge of. That's how it goes when you're doing a play. You become a community. I am not part of this one and that's fine with me. They'll let me in enough to welcome me. That is the way of the Opera House.

It was mighty good to have Mr. Moon back in the bed with me last night. It was a comfort and a joy. I woke up around one-something and got up and went and read most of a New Yorker magazine. A small amount of Chex Mix may have been involved. It was peaceful, sitting in a rocking chair in the library, reading the New Yorker magazine. Insomnia isn't so bad if you just get up and have good reading material.
And Chex Mix.
When I went back to bed, it felt so good. I was sleepy again and dropped right off.
I was glad to have that man in the bed next to me. I sometimes reach over and touch him as lightly as I can in order to reassure myself that he is there. Sometimes he snores a little but sometimes he is so quiet.
I snore. He always knows I'm in bed.

That's all. It's Sunday. I'm going to leave the house in awhile. Then I'll come back. Maybe we'll play some cards. We'll eat some more crab and shrimp and broccoli. There are plenty of leftovers. We'll be alone again. Which is fine. It's been good having Brenda here. I love listening to them tell stories of their childhood, their family. She told me this morning that she and her brother had talked about some of the places they had lived when they were little. Some of them not much more than sharecropper shacks and yet, how each place had had something about it that they remembered with fondness.

I said, "You all had loving parents who loved each other and you children. That's all kids really need."

I believe that's true. I don't need to be reminded of that.

But that coffee- please remember to remind me.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, April 21, 2012

We Have Had Rain

My fisherpeople ARE back from the island and it has rained here. The drops are falling off the leaves now, a sweet muted thud, and the birds are talking about it all (Did you hear? It has rained!) and Mr. Moon stopped on his way back and bought crab claws and some shrimps and I am going to cook those for our dinner with some broccoli and a lemony sauce and some brown rice.

I swear to you, the Confederate Jasmine (is there a Union Jasmine?) is so strong in its scent that it is almost too much, even though I am at least twenty feet away from the nearest blossoming of it.

There are worse problems to have.

I am quite aware of that.

I assure you.

I Don't Know

I think the fisherpeople will probably be home today. They had some beautiful luck on Thursday afternoon, not so much yesterday.

It is supposed to storm later.

I saw a bluebird on the feeder today. Bluer than Robert Johnson's tears. Bluer than Prince William's blood.

The stupid dogs peed on the floor and the floor, she tilts, and the rug got wet and so I am washing it again, again, this is my life, washing peed upon rugs, cleaning up dog shit/chicken shit.

I have taken it to the basics. There is no farther down to go than shit. I promise you.

Some days this is fine and dandy.

I'm not sure that today is one of them.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Jesus. Well, it's happened to me too. Blogger just gave me no choice and handed me the new whatever-you-call-it. Template?
I guess I'll survive.

Anyway, what I wanted to say, what I came here to say, is that I am so grateful for all of your comments today and I am too tired to respond.

I have to go get in my bed.

Thank you. I love you.

I hope this works.

This Is What Happened On One Day In This Life

It was an Owen day and it was a good day.
My boy is changing so much and so quickly and I am constantly amazed at what I see and hear and observe in him. He holds his hand out to me to hold and it is a boy's hand now, definitely not a baby's. It is bone and flesh and purpose and the cleverness of the primate, the human.

He immediately wanted to go see the baby chickens when he got here. I had made oatmeal cookies- I finally did my baking- and I thought he'd want one but no, he HAD to go see the chicks and since I had one last batch in the oven, his daddy took him outside to see them. One of them escaped and was running around the little coop and I went out and helped them scoop him up and put him back.
"Chicken running around!" Owen said. He was delighted by this. "Running around EVERYWHERE!"

We did everything together today. We fed the goats some bolted collards and we played Hai Yah! or however you might spell that. We pretend-fished off the porch and I showed him how to hold a stick in his toes. He observed this and then did it too. We were monkeys with our toes. We looked at books, he washed dishes, standing on the step stool that he dragged into place all by himself, he played with his toys, we took a nap with Big Bear. I took him for a wheelbarrow ride, bump, bump, bump. We fed bread to the chickens and Cheerios too. "Here, Elvis, here!" he said, and threw the food. He can say everything. He asked for his Bop and I told him he was off fishing with Aunt Brenda in the boat.
"Nice," he said.
He asked me whose car was in the yard. He knew it wasn't one of ours. I told him it was Brenda's.
"Oh sure," he said.

He knows so much already. He is learning and retaining and he is loving and he is funny and he loved being here. When it was time to take him home, I said, "Owen, your mama misses you. It's time to go home to your house."
"No!" he said. "I stay Mer-Mer's."
Finally I got him ready to leave. He took a bag of cookies with him and a bar of soap that he wanted in another bag. He talked about taking his horse home with him but then he said sadly, "Too big."

On the way home I said, "Owen, Mer-Mer loves you so much."
"Uh-huh," he agreed. He knows.

When we got to his house, he ran in and kissed his mother, his baby brother. Lily asked me to hold Gibson and said, "He needs changing..."
She knows how much I love to change that boy. I took him into the bedroom and Owen raced in. "I help," he said. He perched on the end of the changing table, overlooking the process. He keeps a good eye on his brother. Gibson watches the mobile overhead that his Aunt May made which he loves. It has hearts and birds and bells and it fascinates him. Owen watches Gibson.

When I left, I stuck my head back in one last time to say this:

"Lily, you are such a good mother."

She is. Her house smelled of lentil soup that she was cooking and the cookies she'd made earlier. She had one son at her breast and another by her side.

I came home and tidied up. I rewashed dishes and put away toys. I called Bop at the island. I took Flopsy off the nest and put her out with the food and the water. I do this twice a day. The sun's last rays have changed from gold to silver. It is quiet here in Lloyd.

Listen- there is deep imperfection in this world and doubtless in me as well.
It was a good day filled with many moments of what I can only describe as perfection. They were so small and so prosaic that I wonder if anyone but me would even have noticed them, would have registered them as such.

I do. I did. I am.

It was a good day. It was an Owen day. And he soothed my soul and he made me laugh and you know, for the first time ever since I've been writing this blog, I honestly think about that and hope that one day when he is grown, he can come back and read this and know how much joy he gave his grandmother. How beautiful she saw him to be. How fine.

That's all.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

More Nonsense

My god. Morning just happens every day. Have you noticed that?
So far.
One day it won't. For me, at least.
I wonder what happens when you die. I'm not obsessed with knowing but it's a curious thing to contemplate. Frankly, I'm hoping it's like sleep only unlike sleep, you don't have bad dreams or any dreams at all. I mean, I get pretty worn out and call me crazy but I think one unit of life is probably enough for me. I have no desire to wear any golden slippers OR meet god OR greet former loved ones. I mean, really? Why would I want to see my father?

I'm reading a book (with my ears) which is absolutely one of the most ambitious books I've ever read. It's called The Nineteenth Wife and it was written by David Ebershoff. It's got entwined narratives about polygamy and Mormonism in the old days and in the now-days. The nineteenth wife refers to one of Brigham Young's wives, a woman named Ann Eliza Young who was, in fact, a real historical person who actually lived and who married Brigham Young (she may have been his 19th wife or she may have been his 57th wife, it's impossible to tell) but she got sick and damn tired of polygamy and she left the church and she wrote a book and she went on a lecture tour across the US, ending up in Washington, DC where she spoke before Congress and helped get the anti-polygamy laws established. It was after these laws came into effect that the Mormon church got a new revelation from their god telling them that it was no longer cool to marry more than one woman.

Anyway, the funny thing to me is that Brigham convinced his followers that celestial marriage (which is what they called the polygamous marriage) was god's real true desire and unless you were part of one, you would not go to heaven. The celestial kingdom, as it were.

And yes, people believed this crap.

And cared about it too.

So there were men who had many, many wives and god knows how many children and of course, as we know, there are still fundamentalist groups practicing this celestial marriage stuff out in the desert and when the boys get old enough to start being a threat to the old men they toss them out on the street of St. George, Utah, or whatever the biggest nearby city is because the old men want ALL the women, especially the young pretty ones.
And women allow this to happen. They allow themselves to be taken into "marriage" with these old prophets and dudes and they allow their sons to be taken from them and quite literally thrown away.


See, this is the problem with religion to me. You do things that make no sense because of a vague promise of eternal...something.

And yes, I am aware that people do really fine, loving things in the name of religion too but if you do something for eternal reward, is that better than just doing it because it's the right thing to do?

But the book is interesting and the author does a good job of maintaining the story lines and characters and some of his characters are devout Mormons who are dedicated to service and truth (as they see it) and some are street-kids who got tossed out of a sect and some are non-believers and I'm enjoying listening to it as I clean and garden and walk and so forth.

I'll be sort of sad for it to end.

When I was a young'un, I had a Mormon friend. I knew nothing about Mormonism at all but someone told me that Mormons used to have lots of wives (the men, that is) and so I asked my friend about that and she told me that it had been necessary back in the olden days because so many of the men had been killed by Indians when they went west to establish their kingdom.
There just weren't enough men to go around and so they had to marry lots of women so they could take care of them. It was a sacrifice which they made in order to protect the women and ensure the population.


I didn't really buy that explanation then as a child but my friend seemed to. She didn't wear holy underwear. She just wore regular underpants and bras and half slips. I wonder how they got away with that. She also had a lavender bedroom. I mean everything in it was lavender. They were a nice family, though. I especially liked the daddy. He seemed gentle and funny and hardworking. He wasn't born a Mormon but had become one when he married his wife.
I wonder what happened to Linda Sue. I think she went to Brigham Young University and became a nurse and got married in the Temple and so forth. She's probably still a Mormon and has lovely grandchildren, just like me, and probably still believes quite fervently that she shall be entering the Celestial Kingdom when she dies.

Hey Linda Sue!

Well, good morning. Not sure what I'm doing today but the chickens need putting outside so I guess I'll go load up my shopping bag and take them out there and make sure they have water and food and shade and so forth. I need to go for a walk and then maybe I'll get my Owen boy.

It's a beautiful morning. I can't even really imagine a Celestial Kingdom being much better. Maybe I just don't have a good enough imagination.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Utter Nonsense

I feel...unsettled. I went out to the garden to weed but I did a thing to my wrist today and it's fucked up and doesn't want to do that twist/turn/pull that weeding requires. I worked for awhile with just my right hand but I couldn't settle down into it.

I thought to go through a closet and throw away hundreds of tiny bottles of paint that I got when another sister-in-law died. Brenda is going through her own house right now, getting rid of things, getting ready to move to Texas, and she brought a few things here and I feel her pain. Her last several moves were done professionally and the movers just came in and boxed everything up and moved it and her husband put almost everything away but he died a few years ago and now she is left with the task of going through all of it- much of it family stuff that she knows will mean nothing to the next generation and yet, she is loathe to get rid of it, as filled as it is with memory and meaning for her.
But anyway, it reminded me of how I have things that I am holding on to for NO reason. I will never use them. Ever. The hundreds of tiny bottles of paint, for example, and so I got a big black garbage bag and began to fill it up but then I thought about Hank and how he loves stuff like that and does things with paint and so I called him and said, "Do you want these things?" and he said, "Keep them, I'll come go through them."

I feel like a weak kitten. I have no energy. I left the paints and the bags and the stuff I'd pulled from the closet where it all sat.

I am unsettled.

I need to go get those baby chickens and bring them in. They are growing so fast. A few of them look to be likely candidates for roosters with bright red combs coming in. Miss Flopsy is still on the nest and by god, I wish I'd never let her start this mess. Her pile of eggs increases. There are thirteen there now and this can't be right. Some of those eggs must almost be ready to hatch and some are freshly laid.
Chickens are not THAT smart. Believe me.
Brenda told me that when she was a child, she had a teacher who would give her duck eggs to bring home and put under a setting hen and the hen would actually DIE because the gestation period for a duck is longer than for a chicken and those hens just sit on those nests without eating or drinking and eventually, yes, they die.
So if any of those eggs under Flopsy hatch, I am going to throw the rest away and let her GET ON WITH HER LIFE!

Someone needs to educate hens as to their reproductive choices.

Pfft. Blah, blah, blah.

I want to bake something but what? And there's no one here to eat whatever I bake but me. No one I know personally actually needs baked goods. Neither cake nor cookies nor pie nor anything at all. Recreational baking is not a sensible thing to do no matter how sensuously satisfying it is to mix butter and sugar and flour and eggs together. I have an entire bag of lemons. I could make a chess pie. I could make lemon bars. I could make lemon meringue pie. God knows I have the eggs. Why in hell did I buy a bag of lemons? They looked so lovely, so fresh, they smell so good.
Now what?

Now what indeed?

Put them in a damn vase and pretend I'm Martha Fucking Stewart?
Yeah, no. I don't think so.


I have half of a whole pompano which Mr. Moon ordered last night for his supper. With corn relish and yams. I don't even have to make my supper. I am just going to put all of that deliciousness in foil and seal it up and put it in the oven and then eat it like an animal.

I am unsettled. The sun is going down. I need to go get those baby chickens. I have taken to transporting them in a canvas shopping bag. This pleases me. "Look!" I say. "I have a bag of chickens!" They don't care. I handle them gently and talk to them. All they care about is eating and drinking water. And growing and becoming big.

There is no one here to say, "Look! I have a bag of chickens!" to. Well, you. I just said it to you.

I suppose I better make it true.

I am NOT going to make a pie. Or a cake. I swear.
But I might put those lemons in a bowl. But then again, we are having a terrible problem with fruit flies right now.
Does Martha Stewart ever deal with fruit flies?

I have no idea.

I am unsettled. But here's the good thing- if I wake up tonight and can't sleep, I won't have to worry about waking Mr. Moon. I can just turn on the light and read. My insomnia is good in that I have read so many books lately. I just read and read and read.

I just looked up kohlrabi on google images. I realize I have two of them in my garden from when I planted my mixed mesclun lettuces. I thought it might be kohlrabi.

Goodness gracious. I lead such an exotic life.

Chickens. Bag of chickens.

Gotta go.

Love...Ms. Moon

Chicks in a bag.

They Meant More To Me Than You Can Know

Those boys. They were something. They sprang up seemingly fully formed and ancient and true. You heard them and you knew their music from somewhere, someplace before you were born, maybe.

Levon Helm died today.

Go on with you, then Levon. Thanks. You did your job and you did it well.

No more weight. Just pure light. That's you.

Busy Peace

Name all of the things in that picture. Find the hidden items, the hidden meanings, identify the metapahors, similes, sea creatures and crazy eyes. Count the number of Queens of Mexico. Please note the roses and jasmine. I grew them. Also the round shape of the vase they are in, which pleases me, roundness, whether in vases, turtle shells, or fatbaby knees.
Do you see the woman behind the curtain? Ignore her. She is not there now.

I have x-number of days by myself. Mr. Moon and his sister-in-law have taken off for the island with enough food for a month, enough fishing poles for a troop of fisherpeople, enough boat-length for ten more, and probably not enough bug repellent because there just isn't that much in the world.

They originally planned to go out today, return on Sunday but the weather doesn't bode well for such a long stay. One must be able to get back from the island which means that one has to keep a wary eye out for coming storms.
I had originally thought to go with them but I am staying here instead. I love my sister-in-law. She is a gentle, amazing soul who is stronger than just about anyone I know. I love to hear the laughter, easy, between sister and brother.
You know.
Dog Island.

Plus, who would watch the baby chickens? Yesterday I discovered that no, they are not smart enough to get in out of the rain. They were outside when it began to rain and instead of huddling up together under the piece of tin which would provide complete dryness, they choose to stay in a wet corner and we had to bring them in and let them dry under the light and they stretched their wings out and turned on their sides to luxuriate in the warmth. We did this before we went out to eat our dinner and it was a wonderful dinner. I told the chefs when we were leaving how much we enjoyed it. How tremendous it was. They ducked their heads and said, "Oh, sometimes we get it right."
I also hugged my old friend, the dishwasher. He is deaf and has the most beautiful smile in the world.

There was no dancing. Except for that. That hug. It was a tiny, still dance and if there was music, it was inside of our heads.

And so now they've gone. We went to the grocery store this morning for them to buy their food and then went by Lily and Jason's to see the boys.
I got to change Gibson's clothes. I can't recall ever delighting in a naked baby quite the way I delight in Gibson. I wish he never had to wear anything. He is that perfect.
As are they all.

Gone. They're gone. Pulled out with that giant boat, gone and here I am and the house is clean enough but there's laundry to finish up and the garden. Oh my, the garden. I could spend every moment of the next few days in there and it wouldn't be enough.
Tomorrow I think that Owen is coming over to play for awhile. I miss him. He mostly ignores me if anyone else is around (meaning his grandfather) but if it's just the two of us, he will deign to play with me. When we were leaving, Lily said, "Owen, give everyone kisses good-bye."
He said, "I gave hug Mer-Mer already."

He had. He did.

It is quiet and peaceful and for a day or two I will have my own schedule to tend to whatever I feel like tending at whatever time I want to.
Or not.

But I will. I am a tender.

And I feel very tender, as a matter of fact.

There is a cardinal in the bird bath. There is a blue-tailed skink on the back steps. There is so much green, fresh-washed and shining. The doors and windows are open and there is not much of a delineation between inside and out.
Roses and jasmine are in both places.

For no one's pleasure but my own. I feel sort of guilty.

But not really.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

She Puts On Her Silver

She does her very best.


My sister-in-law will be here any moment and I laid down a while ago and read for a few pages and then I slept and I slept so deeply and when I woke up, it was raining.
It still is.
Such sweetness. Such a gift.

We are going out to eat tonight. I shall wash my hair and I shall go out with my husband and my sister-in-law whom I love and the rain is washing everything clean outside and you have all given me of yourself today in your words and those are gifts beyond measure.


I Do These Things In Remembrance

A few days ago I was talking to my mother. She brought up a surgery she'd had a long, long time ago for a chronic condition which I shall not name here because it would be "indelicate" and when she mentions this surgery (which was not successful and she suffers mightily from the chronic condition to this day) she always says, "And that's when you were in the hospital and I had to spend all those hours sitting there in a chair beside your bed and it was torture. Do you remember that?"

I do, as a matter of fact, remember that. I almost died so yes, I remember.

And I never know what to say when Mother brings this up. Which she does. Frequently.

"Sorry, Mom. Sorry I was in the hospital because I was maybe dying? Sorry you had to sit by my bed?"

This is a part of our family history. These are the sorts of stories that are told.

They are...painful. Pain...full.

And I was thinking about this. About how I swear to you, I can't remember one time that we were ever together, my mother and me, or my brothers and me, for that matter, when we said, "Oh, do you remember the time we...?" and that the story was one about having fun.
I'm serious.

And when I wrack my brain to try and remember times that might have been fun that we had together as a family, I am stuck.
Every memory I have is tainted with some horrible sorrow.
And I'm not meaning to say, "Oh, poor me." I'm meaning to say, "Wow. That is so weird."

Every memory. Am I revising history?

Okay. Here's a memory I have that was fun:

It was when we were living in Roseland and for some reason, my mother and maybe another younger woman who lived in Roseland and I and some other kids were outside after dark and we were playing in the road. Let me explain- there was only one paved road in Roseland and there was literally no traffic after dark. Every one got home and stayed there. So we were playing in the moonlight and I don't even remember what we were playing but it was silly fun and I remember thinking, literally thinking, this is fun.

My mother was lighthearted that night. And I have no idea why.

But as to bad memories, oh, I have a million.

Fleeing my father, searching for my father with my mother in bars, my father leaving us in the car while he went into a bar. My father being too drunk to drive. My father screaming at my mother, my mother taking my brother and me to a neighbor's house so he could sober up or something. There being nothing in the house to eat but potatoes. You get the drift. I was only about four or five but I remember.

Then after we left my father, arriving in Roseland where my grandparents lived and Mother being so sick she had to go to the hospital leaving my brother and me with my grandparents whom we didn't know. My mother's crippling sadness. Her depressions. The time a child in her class at school (she taught at the local elementary school) got run over by a delivery truck when he ran out for recess. More and more desperate depression. Mother burning her wedding gown in a burn pit. Mother getting married again, then the abuse began, she got pregnant, she lost the baby, the gory details of all of that. I was nine.
The move to Winter Haven, the abuse continued. She got pregnant again. This one stuck but before she want to the hospital, she showed me the new pink sheets she wanted me to put on the bed before she got home...if the baby lived. That's what she told me. I remember standing in the bathroom in front of the closet where she had those new sheets.
If the baby lives.
I was twelve. Barely.
I don't know what the fuck I was supposed to do if the baby died.

The baby lived. That was joyous. That was.
Except the abuse continued. That house was the scariest place in the world.

She got pregnant again. I remember her being so tired. She was forty years old. I remember her lying on the couch, holding her hands as if in prayer, her eyes closed.

I remember my real father, kneeling in prayer beside a bed when I was a tiny thing, praying, pleading with god to take away his thirst for drink. Crying out to god.

I remember praying by my own bed for god to please make my family happy, to make my stepfather quit coming into my room. On TV, Billy Graham had promised that if I got on my knees and prayed, god would answer my prayers.
I remember reading the Bible straight through, forcing myself to read every begat so that maybe god would know I was serious, worthy of having prayers answered, also hoping that maybe the Bible would act as a shield against my stepfather.

Ha. On all counts.

I remember listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones in that same room on my radio. The Beach Boys. The Turtles.
That was the purest happiness I knew.
That music.

Saved my life. Over and over and over again.

Maybe god gave me rock and roll to save my life.

Anyway, I think of all of this. I think of all of the fear and the misery and the way each and every family gathering was somehow tainted/painted with blackness.

I think of how my mother talks about past events and says, "Do you remember?" and oh god, yes. I do.
Sometimes, on the other hand, I have asked her, "Do you remember?" and she has said, "Oh Mary. That never happened."

I had a therapist once, a very, very good one. She asked me why I am so attached to suffering.
I had no answer for her and I have been pondering that ever since.
Where did this need to suffer come from?

And finally I do realize. It was all I knew. It was all I saw.

Mothers suffer, fathers suffer, children suffer.

Life is suffering. Suffering is The Way.

And yet, I know it's not. I believe powerfully that as a species, we are no more meant to spend our lives suffering than the birds are. Or the magnolia trees.
Yes, suffering happens. Horrible things happen.
But why suffer if they are not?

Why do I continue to stew in a bath of suffering when there is no need? When I have everything that a human being can ask for?

Listen- I do know that suffering as a child gave me the ability to recognize suffering in others. To be quiet and listen to stories of suffering. To not be shocked.
Too much.
There are people who have suffered far worse than I did but that's neither here nor there and I refuse to believe that there is a scale of it, suffering, and that we should be able to pull ourselves out and be happy people if our suffering was only a seven on a scale of 0ne-to-ten.
Or something like that.

Plus, some of us are born with an innate sadness, I do believe. That's just the way of it. Depression runs in families.

And this is what I am thinking today, even as my roses bloom, even as there is plenty to eat in my refrigerator, even as I have those grandsons, even as I have this life.

"Do you remember, Mary?" my mother asks. "Do you remember my suffering?"

Oh yes, Mother. I remember.
The problem is, I can't remember anything else.

Sometimes. Sometimes I can't remember any...thing...else.