Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shameless Promotions Presents

Jessie and Vergil just got to town with two kegettes of beer that they made. It's tasty!
They're about to go Trick-Or-Treating with Owen and Gibson and then go to a party but the main reason they're in town is because Jessie is playing with the Cicada Ladies on Saturday night at the Monticello Opera House. 

Our wonderful, dear, talented, beloved friends Lon and Lis have a recording studio at their home in Gatorbone, Florida and on Saturday night they are presenting three of their artists. Or groups. Or whatever. So besides the Cicada Ladies, there will be Frank Lindamood and The Aaron O'Rourke Trio. All fine musicians and a good time is guaranteed for all. I think Lon and Lis are going to play too but damn if I know for sure.

Anyway, for those of you blessed and fortunate enough to live in our lovely, lovely North Florida area, I strongly recommend that you attend this event on Saturday night.
That's Saturday night, November 3, at the Monticello Opera House. A full sit-down dinner will be offered beforehand at 6:30 and the concert will begin at 8:00. Price for dinner and the show is $35 and for the show only, $15.
Call the Opera House at (850) 997-4242 for dinner reservations. Or, simply go to to get it done online. A vegetarian option is available. Dinner is being catered by Carrie Ann and Company so you know it's going to be good.
So hurry. Do it now. I should have posted this LAST WEEK but I'm lame or something. I don't know. Forgive me.

Okay. There will be more tomorrow. But this was the important thing for today.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. And if you can't make it on Saturday night, stop by the Mockingbird Cafe on Friday night where Lon and Lis will be playing. You will not be sorry. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Ramble

My house is smelling heavenly again because I've pureed all those roasted vegetables, the carrots and acorn squash and tiny sweet potatoes and a red onion and garlic and cauliflower and three beets, and they're simmering with some chicken broth and I have a chicken in the oven and it's just been a wonderful day.

I think about how very, very down and completely filled with despair I become for no apparent reason and then how I generally perk back up like a tomato plant which needed nothing more than a good drink of water and I wonder what it is which waters me, revives my soul and spirit.
I honestly do not know and after all of these years, cannot detect a pattern.

I took Buster in to the vet early this morning and then went to the grocery store and came home and then went to Monticello which is where I vote. In Florida, early voting started on Saturday and I didn't expect anyone to be there, really, but there were nine people outside in line when I pulled up and I joined them and waited my turn and when I put my ballot in the machine, I teared up. As much as I say that I do not have the patriotic gene (and I swear, I don't), there is something about voting that gets me in the gut. I filled in the circle beside Obama/Biden completely and darkly and laughed to myself to see Roseanne Barr's name down there at the bottom of the choices and if I hadn't felt that truly Obama is the one for this job, I would have voted for her.

I'm feeling real emotional about this election. I just can't fathom how anyone could think that Romney is a better candidate than Obama. I mean, I JUST DON'T GET IT. The man can't open his mouth without an untruth coming out of it and his sense of reality is not what I would call grounded, if you know what I mean.

Well, I didn't really come here to talk about the election. It's just a major thing hanging over us right now and I'm concerned because I really hate the idea of living in a country where the populace would be so stupid and dare I say it? racist (because that has to be a huge part of it- I'm sorry but it does) as to elect someone like Mitt Romney as president although hell, we allowed George W. Bush to be president twice and if that's not proof of stupidity I don't know what is and racism wasn't even part of that equation.

I went back into town this afternoon and Lily and the boys and I went to the grocery store AGAIN! Three times for me 24 hours. I mean, that's ridiculous. But Lily needed groceries and I had to come in and get Buster anyway, so I went too. Owen wanted to tell everyone he had a runny nose including the ancient bag "boy" who can't hear shit. Owen kept saying, "Sir! Sir! I have a runny nose!" but the old man ignored him completely, hopefully due to deafness and not rudeness. I love Publix for hiring the elderly and the handicapped but I've never liked this old man, even when he wasn't that elderly, approximately twenty years ago. He's been working at that Publix forever and I swear he's there every time I walk in the doors and my heart always sinks a little when I see him because he's just bad vibey and that's all there is to it. He scowls. All the time. He ain't got no smiles to spare. Not even for a little boy with a runny nose.

But yes, Owen and Gibson both have colds and so do Lily and Jason and they've all felt terrible but they're excited about Halloween. Owen is going to be a RED Power Ranger and Gibson is going to be a chicken. They're coming out tomorrow before six a.m. and I'm hoping that it's as easy and laid-back as it was last week. I hope they both take some good naps because they're going to need their energy for Trick-or-Treating, not that Gibson's really going to Trick-or-Treat but he'll be going along with his brother. Jessie and Vergil are coming in and they want to go Trick-or-Treating with the boys and May and Matt indicated they may want to go and I can just see fourteen adults following Owen around watching him ring doorbells and saying Trick-or-Treat! and then going into ecstasy at all the candy he's collecting.
I guess Mr. Moon and I will go. We'll see.

We picked up Buster and then I came on home and Mr. Moon had just gotten home and it feels mighty cozy, having him back from Orlando and the soup simmering and the chicken roasting and the heat on. I'm about to go make some muffins. Oat bran with bananas and pecans and hell, maybe raisins too. Why not? Let's go crazy!
And yes, I bought goat cheese today. And some sort of "cheezy" ramen noodles because Owen likes them. I'm a fool for that boy and his brother too. As I should be. I figure that as Owen's grandmother, I don't really have to provide for good nutrition. I just want him to love me so of course I'll let him eat crap if it makes him happy although mostly he eats apples and peanut butter and stuff like that when he's here. And smoothies and muffins. May took care of the boys out here on Friday when Mr. Moon and I were away and she said that every time she told Owen he couldn't do something he would say, "Mer Mer let me. I do it ALL the time." Which is probably true.

So I voted for Obama and I went to the grocery store twice and I took the dog and brought him home and that's a good day for me. Especially the voting part. I feel so honored to vote for that man.

I don't know why anyone would want to be president but I'm glad he does.

Here. I'll leave you with these that I snatched off of Facebook. Thanks, Ned Stuckey-French and Billy Lunsford.

Night, y'all.
Go vote. It might perk you right up.

Love...Ms. Moon


We couldn't take Buster The Dog in for his ear surgery yesterday because we had not witheld food and so I'm about to take him in this morning.

So odd to think of how life goes on here exactly as it always does while so much of the Northeast is being rocked and socked into a state of chaos and wind and water and powerlessness and one emergency after another and it is truly life and death and here, well, I contemplate the soup I'll make tonight with the roasted vegetables I made last night and how the way they smelled as they cooked filled my house so completely that every time I woke up from sleep I could still smell them and it was a powerful aromatherapy of curry and garlic and sometime, in the middle of the night, I decided to roast a chicken to go with that soup tonight- such a small tiny plan that made me happy.

It is clear here today and chilly and Buster is scratching himself, his tags rattling, the roosters are crowing and the heat is on, purring away.

Should I put plain yogurt into the soup or go crazy and get some goat cheese?

I feel guilty, thinking about such lovely things while elsewhere devastation greets the dawn.

Well, this, too, is life and some time in the future we will be the ones facing a hurricane's aftermath while the New York City subways will rumble as if they'd never been bathed in Sandy's waters.

But be safe, all of you who probably can't even read this because you have no power. Somehow know that we are thinking of you, even as we go about our regular, insanely-beautiful-in-their-normalcy lives.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 29, 2012

Too Many Pieces In This Particular Puzzle

They called me from the assisted living this morning that my mother's eye was red and swollen and that they had made an appointment for her with her eye doctor and that the bus would take her.
I sighed because I knew that just taking her to an appointment was not enough. Whatever the doctor told her, she would forget before she got back home and so I needed to go.
And so I did.
She was hugely upset, not because of her eye (and it turned out to be an oil gland on the lid which was inflamed, not the eye itself) but because she had lost a hundred dollars. She had called the week before in tears- she had a hair appointment but no money with which to pay for it. We haven't figured this money thing out yet. There used to be a bank branch in the basement of the AL but it's no longer there and it's a moot point anyway because Mother can't remember her password for her debit card and so getting cash that way is impossible for her. Besides that, she loses every debit card Mr. Moon gets her and then he cancels them and gets her another and the cycle is repeated. So he has been taking money from her account and taking it to her which he did last week. One hundred dollars in twenties. And he gave her the money and watched her put it in her wallet and she went to lunch and he left.
And then, she did something with that money. She had told Mr. Moon that she wanted to take some out of her wallet- that was too much money to keep in one place and he had said, "Fine, do whatever you want, it's your money but do it after lunch. You need to go eat."

And in her mind, the money had never been in her wallet. She swears up and down that no, she had not even seen the cash, it had been in an envelope and she had put the envelope of cash in a stationery box but now it was not there.

I checked her wallet when we were at the doctor's office and her entire purse. No cash there at all. I told her I'd help her find it when we got back to her place. And I tried. I looked through every stationery box (and there are many) and through things in her desk and in her drawers. I found other things- a gift certificate for $250 from 1982 to a jewelry store in Winter Haven. Other gift cards from Target, Barnes and Noble, and an old bank envelope with four dollars in it. But no envelope with one hundred dollars in it. And she kept saying over and over again that she had taken the envelope from Mr. Moon and put it on top of a cabinet and then, after lunch, she had put it in a stationery box but Mr. Moon said there had never been an envelope and when I would tell her that, she'd say, "Well, that's just not true," and she also, at one point, told me that the bills had been new and crisp although a little while later, as I said, she declared that she had never seen the cash itself and when I pointed this discrepancy out, she said, "Well, I don't remember telling you that."
She knows she can't remember shit and it's killing her. But she refuses to believe that there was no envelope and that the money was ever in the wallet. "I'm the old one so we all know who everyone thinks is crazy," she kept saying.

She went and got her late lunch and I continued to look through her things for the money. I HATE going through her things. It's one fucking memory after another. The jewelry gift certificate was from my stepfather. Just seeing his name made me want to scream. There's old jewelry and old pictures (interestingly enough, and perhaps telling, as well, I never found one picture of me and there are no pictures of me in her room on display either) and old obituaries and newspaper articles and decades of years' worth of address labels from different charity organizations she gave to and I just hated going through that stuff. I found symphony tickets, some for concerts yet to be played and when I showed her those she said, "I didn't buy those. I don't remember paying for those." And then she said what she always says, "I just wish I were dead."
She must have said that ten times today at least.
And it's not that I can't sympathize with her when she says that. I can. What sort of hell on earth is it that you can't remember anything, whether it's what the doctor told you two minutes ago or it's buying symphony tickets or it's where you hid what seems to you the vast sum of one hundred dollars?
But I can't take it, hearing that. I have heard her say, my entire life, that she might as well kill herself. From my earliest memories I can hear her saying or screaming or sobbing that very phrase and finally, today, I told her, "Mom. Please don't say that to me anymore. I know you feel that way but what can I do? I can't kill you and I can't change anything and it just makes me feel terrible."

She didn't know what to say. I've never really spoken to her that way. I've never been able to tell my mother how what she says makes me feel. I tried once or twice but was shut down so severely and so quickly that I simply quit. It wasn't worth it.

And today, after I said that, she said, "I don't expect you to DO anything about it. I don't mean to make you feel bad." And I'm sure she doesn't but god damn!

I do not especially like the way I am with my mother these days. Not that I ever have, truthfully. But there seems to be some evil side of me that comes forth now and I contradict her, even if I know that it does no good. I tell her flat-out if what she is saying is not truthful, even if I know in my heart that what she is saying is truthful in her mind, whether it's that there was an envelope and the money was never in the wallet or that they make them eat dinner at four-thirty or that they assign them seats where they MUST sit in the dining room no matter how much she doesn't like a table mate. I just tell her the truth of the matter and she disagrees with me or shuts up with a resigned and hurt expression on her face and frankly, it doesn't bother me and I wonder- am I truly evil? I am quite aware that it does no good whatsoever to point out the truth to her. Her truth is her truth and nothing I say is going to change what she perceives that to be.
And really, this is the way she has always been and of course, it is the way she will always be, however long she lives.

And so I finally gave up looking for the money. I told her to please try and relax, that perhaps if she quit worrying about it, she would remember what she had done with it. She told me that she would be worrying about it for the rest of her life, no matter what I said. She had lost Mr. Moon's money.
I told her that no, it was HER money. And that seemed to calm her a little bit although she is quite certain that she knows exactly what she did with the money and it is just not there any more.
At least she isn't blaming any of the AL's employees for the missing money. At least she isn't accusing them of theft the way the table mate whom she does not like is constantly doing.

Oh, god. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic. She also told me today that the candidates running for the various city offices had come to speak to them and the woman who was running for sheriff is just way too little to be a sheriff. That there's no way she could handle a criminal.
I was thinking, dear god, does she believe she lives in Mayberry?
I told her that in Tallahassee, the sheriff probably never goes out on the street to deal with criminals and that size does not matter. She thought about that and I think she realized this might be true. That, she believed. But she does not believe that the hundred dollars was ever in her wallet and she does not believe that she can sit anywhere she wants to in the dining room and you know what else I think she does not believe?
That her husband sexually abused me when I was a child. Or that he may have abused his sons, as well.

And there you go.

That explains almost everything.

Except you know what? I think maybe she does believe it. I think she always had an inkling. Why else would she never have redeemed that gift certificate at the jewelry store from him from 1982 which was years before I told her about the abuse? Two hundred and fifty dollars in 1982 could have bought some sweet jewelry. And there it's been in that desk for thirty years where it was easy to see. I took her to buy a new watch at Walmart today and it cost thirty dollars and she thought that was an enormous amount of money to spend on a watch. She knew the value of two hundred and fifty dollars. She knew it. She just didn't want to accept any gifts from that man, her husband. Or at least, that's what I am thinking. I could be so very, very wrong.

It's all so tangled and so hard and if I was half the person I wish I was, I could figure out some way to heal things, to ease her mind. To be more loving. And maybe before it's too late, I'll figure out how to be that person.

I'm not counting on it though. Which only adds to the entanglement, the difficulty. I know that. I'm not stupid and I'm not truly hateful.

Well, I'm also not going to solve anything tonight.

But it's time to make supper and that I can do.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon Who Talks Back To Her Mother And Who Does Not Feel That Good About It

This Day

I am here. I am alive. I took a shortish walk and it helped me tremendously.

It is clear and breezy and cool and getting cooler. I'm about to take my mother to the eye doctor (and yes, I know, I said I would never do that again- I lied) and take Buster to the vet.

This is life. I keep plodding forward. You do too. Okay?

All of you in the path of the storm- be safe. I mean it.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Getting Through This Day

We are home and the temperature is dropping and the sky is a gray bowl of cotton above us and I am wearing socks and long sleeves and a jacket and my body is aching as it seems to do all of the time now and for the very first time in however long it's been since I've begun this blog, I just don't feel like talking about any of it.
Not really.

We had a very good time in Fernandina Beach and we came home to a peaceful and tidy house and all is well. Fine. Lovely. Got laundry going, need to finish unpacking. Mr. Moon's off to town to show a truck to a potential buyer. He just drew bloody fluid off of Buster's ear and he'll probably be getting surgery on that tomorrow.
Life. You know?
Put things away, wash things, put those things away, take care of the animals, business, cook supper. Eat it, clean up. Go to sleep.

I feel as gray as the sky. As flat and uninteresting and uninterested as the sky is in all of us below it. I feel as if I've crossed some line into a world of even greater isolation. As much as I enjoyed our trip, I couldn't enjoy the shopping parts or the going-out-to-bars part. We walked into two bars after dinner one night and walked right out. I didn't want to deal with people or with stuff. Stuff. I'm so sick of stuff. The holiday season is coming up and here we go- one getting-together after another and I don't feel up for any of it. Not that I ever do but somehow, I feel even less inclined if that is even possible. I don't feel like discussing my ridiculous fears or my neuroses or my lack of interest in any sort of socialization at all.
Is this a mental illness?

It's getting cold. It's going to be in the thirties this week. A giant storm is about to deliver possible devastation to the Northeast. The presidential election is about to happen and I am so afraid. I have no desire to be with people and I am sorely bored with myself. I can't help but believe that there is nothing which comes out of my head or comes forth from my hands which is of any worth to this world at all.

It's gray and the wind through the trees sounds like bones rattling. My plants will be dying soon, or least giving the appearance of death. The only birds I've seen since I got home are my chickens, a hovering, floating group of vultures and a murder of crows.

Well, this is the way it is today. Maybe not tomorrow. We shall see. I keep thinking about a little dog we saw on the beach yesterday. She was free as a bird, no human in sight and if I have ever seen a happier creature, I don't recall when it may have been. She ran and raced with the incoming waves and there was no doubt that she was in love with it all- the winds, the foam skittering across the sand, the sand and water themselves. She was simply and completely at one with it all.

That was the closest thing to joy I've seen in awhile. I keep pulling the image out like a handkerchief and then putting it back in my pocket for safekeeping. I am sure there is something to be learned from it, that image. I am trying to figure out what that may be.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Sea She Was Angry Today, My Friend

Nothing like a little hurricane off the coast to liven things up. We had a nice walk on a windy beach. The waves reminded me of why I think of the Gulf as a baby ocean.

And now we're about to have lunch at a place right on the water.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012


We've found a hotel two years older than our house.
Giant oak tree?
Mermaid fountain?
You bet.
So far so very good.

Our Marriage Is So Mature Now That We've Been Married For Twenty-Eight Years

Conversation yesterday before supper when Mr. Moon observed me watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills:

Mr. Moon: You just want to go live out there with those botoxed women and wear all that jewelry and stuff.

Me: What? Are you kidding me? Look at me! (You can only imagine what I was wearing and how I looked- no!- worse than that. Men's cargo pants with holes in them, stretched out t-shirt with baby poop and spit-up on it. Dirty feet. Many, many wrinkles. Hair perhaps not brushed all day. Etc.)

Mr. Moon- Yep. I think that's what you secretly want.

Me: That makes as much sense as me saying you like to watch pro football because you want to go play it.

Mr. Moon: It could happen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

For Fun And For True

Thanks, Hank.

Good Stuff

I can't believe I'm saying this but it really has been a lovely, relaxing day. 

I also can't believe I'm still awake but I suppose that miracles do occur sometimes. When I know the boys are coming early, I invariably wake up around three and from there until approximately a half hour before I have to get up I go in and out of sleep and mostly out, until that magical thirty minutes beforehand at which point I fall soundly back into it but then, well, it's time to get up.
But when your grandson looks like this at six-thirty in the morning, well, you just can't help but feel happy. I mean, really.

Yes. He is always, always smiling. Here he is sitting on a towel in the kitchen playing with some stuff. He's happy with anything, that child.

I did try to get them both to go back to sleep a little while after they got here and Owen remembered the routine. We went back to my bed and he got out Big Bear and put him in the bed and got a few books which he read to me while I gave Gibson a bottle but then Gibson decided that he did not want a bottle nor to go to sleep but wanted to sit up and play, and Owen wanted to play and before I knew it, they were playing hide and seek under the covers and I gave up the idea entirely. 

It was fine. We had smoothies and apples and cheese and crackers and Owen played with the little cocktail mermaids and monkeys and swords which he always plays with and we put a puzzle together and I rocked Gibson while Owen rode on his rocking horse and Gibson fell asleep and was down for two hours and so I got time with Owen alone and then Gibson woke up and we all played some more and then Owen fell asleep and Gibson fell asleep again and then I discovered what the definition of heaven is for me which is lying on the couch holding my sleeping grandson while watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
I told you I'm trashy. 
But seriously. That was the best. 
And then Gibson woke up and for the first time ever I really had some time just with him because Owen was in a sort of sleep coma and we snorgled and he laughed and I kiss, kiss, kissed him and he's doing this thing now where he waves his right hand in the air and says, "Ba-Ba-Ba!" and he likes to pat his mouth while he's humming and it makes that sound that babies like to make and we entertained each other for a good long while. May and Matt came over to get their instructions on how to take care of the animals while we're gone because they're going to house sit and they snorgled and kissed that boy some and then Owen woke up and was all cool like, "Hey, how ya' doing?" and he had some juice and Chex Mix and then his mama got here and it was like a very short tiny party (my favorite kind) and then everyone left and I straightened up the house which had been basically destroyed in every room.

And that was it. Such a good day. 

And now I'm waiting for Mr. Moon to get home and tomorrow we'll take off for a little tiny honeymoon anniversary trip after he takes Buster to the vet because Buster's OTHER ear (the one we didn't just get surgery on) is swelling up like a fried pastry and that'll probably cost as much as our entire little trip will cost BUT WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? Dogs. Damn. I'd rather spend the money on my grandchildren. Or, to be honest, even a piece of jewelry for myself because I am a selfish old bitch. 
But that's just me. And because we're "decent" people we'll pay to get that old blind dog surgery again, most likely and I swear- if I ever breathe the slightest thing about getting another dog y'all hunt me down and whack me over the head. I MEAN IT!
But. It'll be okay. 

And tomorrow we will have been married for twenty-eight years. 
That fact struck me hard this morning at six a.m. when we were both kissing our grandchildren. How there was no way in hell we could have imagined any of this, not one bit of it, that fine October day we stood up in the park and promised to love each other and be married and all those other promises you make having no idea in the world what you're promising. None. 

But I'm just so glad we did. For lots and lots and lots of reasons. Many of them entirely selfish. Because honestly, I am selfish. 
But. Mostly for moments like this:

We created beauty from our love. And joy and more love.

If I had to do it all again, I would not hesitate for one second.

Except for the part about getting dogs. That I would not do again. I promise you.

And I would have gotten chickens a lot earlier. But as to all the rest of it- oh yeah. 

Talk to you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It has been a slow and quiet day for me. My hips have been flaring with pain and I, in my innate and powerful wisdom, decided that a four-mile walk would be the best thing for that.

Well. Maybe not.

I do not, however, have a cold. I think I just have a whatever-it-is that comes upon me sometimes and makes my body hurt and my eyes ache and my mind melancholy and most apt to eat itself with doubt.

I think it's a virus. I swear. I think I have a mental illness virus. There is really no other explanation.

Whatever. I have made soup. Too, too much soup. Of course. Would you be surprised if I hadn't?
And bread. And too much of that, too. The soup is chicken and carrots and celery and bay leaf and four kinds of peppers and tomatoes and garlic and more garlic and onions and more onions and wild rice and brown rice and if that doesn't do it, then just dig a hole and shove me in.
The bread is oatmeal, whole wheat, and white. It is rising into pretty loaves.

I've read today. A book with my eyes. And am still listening to the John Irving thing. After I finish it (and I will finish it) I am going to have to reread Terms Of Endearment or Duane's Depressed or some other Larry McMurtry book to bring me back to myself. Thank god I have that option. Mr. Moon and I are leaving on Thursday for a little anniversary trip to a beach, perhaps, or somewhere, at least and as he drives, I think I will actually read him Duane's Depressed because he has finished Texasville and DD is next in the series. I love this book. It's about a middle-aged man whose children and grandchildren and wife and old lovers and oil business and debts and friends and community are all pressing down on him so heavily and so steadily that he has to slip out and away and he puts his truck keys in a dish on a high shelf and he begins to walk everywhere he goes and he goes to a cabin way out of town and he gets a therapist who advises him to read Proust.
I mean really- have you ever in your life heard of a better plot line than that?
I think not.
I've probably read that book five times already. I can't wait to read it again.

So. That's it. I really am wearing blue linen and tomorrow I'm pretty sure that my boys are coming here before dawn so I won't have time to be achy or melancholy. I will be doing puzzles and changing diapers and having deep and solemn discussions about poop. I will be nuzzling and smooching. I will be slicing apples and perhaps we shall even make muffins.
I will be taking Ibuprofen. If I need it. And I may not even need it.

Did you hear Obama explain submarines to Mitt Romney last night? Did you hear Mitt say that he wanted to promote gender equality in the middle east?

Okay. That's all. I have a viral mental illness. Let's just leave it at that.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

October Instructions

Slant of light, exact composition of air, scent of tea-olive, downed pecan leaves crunched under feet, these bring it all back, whatever it is, this diamond-sharp shard in heart.

Just as new injuries exacerbate old ones in bone and muscle in the corporeal sense, so they do in emotional sense too and none of it makes any sense except that it all does and there is fantastic relief in that- knowing that perhaps 99% of everything felt is nothing more than scar tissue, stretched and re-reddened, the rub of old bone-sticks against old bone-sticks. I think of Halloween's skeletons, their merry grin, they know it all.

Look- pain catches but simply hold still. Breathe in and out, it melts away, there is nothing at all to fear.  Red tides come and go, pain's memory is held in every cell, can it be washed away, ever, by the great, good healing of joy?

What is any of this except the undeniable map of a life lived so far? What is any of this at all except for molecules of light, of scent, of pulse of sound upon eardrum?

Wrap your body in blue linen that flows around your legs like water, your arms in softest cotton which holds them as gently as a lover's arms, warm under the covers. Feed your mouth sweet apples and bitter greens and look upon your feet, strong as a dancers', having yes, danced, through all these years. Comb your hair and tie it up above your neck which holds the head which holds the brain which holds the thoughts collected in all the cells through all the years. Ignore at your leisure, review at your pleasure, wear all your jewelry like queen's gold treasure around neck, around arms, around fingers, dripping from earlobes, fat like Buddha's, perhaps, or not.

It is the end of October and light like honey falls over all, pouring shining illuminating, go ahead and close your eyes against it, it is too strong and will not be shut out. Be gentle with yourself and hold a fresh warm egg in the palm of your hand, notice the perfection in both, be aware of that possibility even of your own hand- perfection- holding an egg- and the honey light filling all the spaces where the egg does not and even in the spaces it does.

The light will not be shut out nor the sound or the scent which it seems to carry just like the warmth of it, not in October, not today at least. It is something like joy, don't you think? And if there is pain, simply be still and breathe in and breathe out feel it melt away, softened and changed and then gone.
Repeat and repeat and repeat as necessary.
Then rest.

There. See?

That is what this day is for, today, maybe not tomorrow but this shining day of light.

Monday, October 22, 2012

One Happy Baby

This is what Gibson looked like today when Lily gave him a soda bath for a diaper rash.
Have you ever seen a happier baby in your entire life?

I think I'm coming down with a cold. Elizabeth- did you give me your cold?

And that's all I think I have to say tonight.

Maybe I'm Just Ignorant

I am pretty sure that many of the people I love and admire and respect simply adore John Irving. Or, his books at least.
I am not one of those people.
I remember when I read The World According to Garp I was mostly horrified. But I was mostly horrified when I read my first Updike novel (Rabbit Run) and I grew up and came to love his books and his writing to a powerful degree.
And when I saw the movie they made of Garp, I changed my mind about the book. I had missed the existential humor in it! Ah. There you go.
And then I read more of his books and I tried so hard to love them. My kids adore The Hotel New Hampshire but I just can't. I don't. The Cider House Rules, however, I not only enjoyed but I recognized it as a very, very important piece of literature. The movie of that one was terrific too.
Then came A Prayer For Owen Meany and I sort of hated it. Hated the movie, too. There were just too many themes repeated over and over in these books- you know them- the older women, the MIA father, wrestling, bears, Vienna, prostitutes. And I guess that none of these themes resonates with me on a gut-level. You'd think the missing father thing would but it doesn't. Perhaps because of our gender difference. I don't know. But I keep trying. I tried to read Until I Find You and I just couldn't.
Still. I have not given up. I am listening right now to an audio version of In One Person and I just feel incredibly frustrated. Okay. So the bears in this book are not ursine, but they are there. As is wrestling and the missing father and Vienna, and, and, and....
And also, I swear to god, if anyone can make sex sound as boring as Irving does, I have not yet met them.

It's hard to admit this. This inability to love an author so very beloved by people I respect so much but there you go- I cannot love John Irving. Maybe it's his New England Teutonic voice. But I don't think so. And occasionally, he hits the mark for me but I don't think I ever have once read a sentence of his and thought, "Well, there you go. That is it exactly." Mostly I read his sentences and think, "Really? Again?"

So what am I missing here? Is there, like with Garp, a humor I am missing or perhaps a sharp universal truth that I am not recognizing? I am not giving up on In One Person. I am respectful of the complexity which he is bringing to the sexual identity of his main character but it does not especially interest me. I feel no hot-bloodedness here. Not even much warm-bloodedness. I find it telling that one of the earliest characters introduced in the book is a person named Miss Frost.
Yes. I feel frosty towards this book and the characters as well, or most of them. A few of them are somewhat endearing.
Not to the point that I'd want to have lunch with any of them.

Speaking of which, I'm going to town and Lily and the boys and I are going to go see my mother, I think. And then maybe we'll get lunch. We shall see. I've had my walk and it's time to leave Lloyd, for god's sake! And I miss my boys. My baptized boys. I hear that Owen growled at the pastor yesterday which cracks me up. He growls at me too so I'm not making any big deal of this but still. I miss my growly boy and his smiling brother.

It's Monday, y'all! I hope you're having a good one. And if any of you can explain John Irving to me and what I'm missing in his books, please do.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 21, 2012

He's Home

Watching the chickens go to bed. Cuddling the feral cat.

It's been a real good day.

Mockingbirds Are Singing My Hymns

I trimmed the wisteria yesterday, to the best of my ability. There are still tendrils which reach up and grab the pecan branch above the trellis but I can't get to them and so it goes. I hope I didn't cut away all of the growth which would provide blooms when spring comes but it had to be done. The vines will snake their way under the lap siding of the house beside the trellis and separate boards, one from another. I wonder if we'll get a good azalea bloom next spring. This year's was sad and extremely limited. The bushes were full of just-opening buds when we got a hard freeze and that was the end of that spill of color.

I looked out this morning to see that a butterfly lily was blooming.

The butterfly lily and the tea olive are the sweetest smelling flowers in the world for my money. The tea olive's blossom is tiny but powerful.

I never notice it until its scent catches my attention and then I look for it and yes, there it is. 

The Confederate Rose is still blooming, gaudy as a tutu. I never get tired of it. It has no scent that I can discern.

It's amazing, really, that so many flowers bloom here in the fall. My neighbor's sasanqua is in full bloom, the pink petals litter the ground beneath it. My camellias, the sasangua's cousin, are all budded up and there is one blossom on the Sea Foam in the front yard which is actually opening which seems early to me and I wonder if this portends something as to the winter we may expect. 

I spent a few hours in the yard yesterday with my loppers and my pruners, dragging my Rubbermaid cart around. I cut and trimmed a few of the sago palms and the two cabbage palms which I planted in front of the house to be sentinels, gardians of the front porch. Mr. Moon is constantly reminding me that I planted them too close to the porch and he is right, but as they grow tall their fronds will be high enough up not to be an annoyance. This is my theory, anyway. 

The one on the right gets more sun than the one on the left, thus its bigger size. I wonder if I fertilized the smaller one if it would catch up. Perhaps. I doubt I will.

I love my yard and it is a magical place to me. Some of the things I planted myself. The camellias and the palms (although not the sagos). Some of the things were here when I got here. The wisteria, the firespike, the elephant ears and bananas which never bloom or fruit but I leave them where they are as I love their leaves, 

and feel that they are beauty enough to allow them to take up space. Their fronds are turning yellow 

and before long I will cut them down to the ground, my sharp knife sinking through the soggy flesh of their trunks with ease but for now, I let them stand and the chickens scratch underneath them. 

Everyone who has ever lived on this two acres in the past one hundred and fifty years has added something, I am sure, some of it still here, some of it gone forever. I hear there were once grape arbors and I can't believe that before I moved here there were never camellias or palms or fig trees or a mulberry tree although there were none when I got here so I have rectified that. 

I just went out to let the chickens out of the henhouse (another thing we've added to this property and you KNOW it's not the first one ever to be built here) and I discovered that the red passion flower I planted on the fence is blooming again. Such a drama queen, the passion flower!

Such a prissy little spaceship of a blossom! 

My grandson, Gibson, is being baptized in church in Tallahassee today and I am not going. I went to Owen's baptism and that was enough of that for me. The boys' other grandmother is the church-goer, the one who wants them to be baptized and that's fine. She loves church and it's a part of her life but the whole experience is an anathema to me. The Christian rock band, the people singing with their eyes closed, heads down, arms stretched into the air, wasting, in my opinion, a perfectly beautiful Sunday. If I went, I would just be judgemental, silently thinking about what Roseanne Barr said about Christian Rock which was, "What's next? Christian PORN?" and I'd be wishing I was home in Lloyd in my yard where my trees and flowers are, where the hundreds-of-years-old oak trees rise up into the sky, their branches draped with Spanish moss, where I feel the holiness lies. I have no need to eat the flesh of Christ or drink his blood and in my opinion, the first time Gibson got his head sprinkled with rain drops was his true baptism and besides, I have no desire to put on a bra. 

The next time the boys come out here, I'll take Gibson around the yard and show him all the flowers blooming and direct his attention up to the highest branches of the oaks and down to the tiniest ants on the ground and we will feed the chickens and the cool air will kiss him all over and he will hear the birds singing, just as I am hearing them now and he won't have to wear a long white dress and I won't have to wear a bra. 

You got your holy and I got my holy and right now, I'm feeling mighty grateful for the Church of the Batshit Crazy. Instead of communion, we'll be having some eggs because my hens laid me a few yesterday. It's as fucking beautiful here this morning as it is anywhere on this earth and instead of sitting in a church, I'm just, as I say, cutting out the middle man and worshipping the creation instead of listening to what the creator will do to me after I'm dead if I don't follow the rules. 

I personally feel that my grandson was born a Buddha, a Jesus, just as all babies are and that no baptism is necessary. He is a miracle and I am wallowing in miracles this morning, simply wallowing. My spirit is reaching up to the sky just as the wisteria is reaching up to the pecan tree and all, for this moment, is right with my world. The promise of a heaven where we will go after death is one that no one on this earth can guarantee but the heaven that I am surrounded by right this second is real and true and I am paying attention to it, I am tending it and I am glorying in it. 

I am alive and I am in heaven. I am taking the Sabbath and I am keeping it holy.

Happy Sunday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Am Not Lonely

I've had a day of perfect solitude and I think of Thoreau and I think of Greta Garbo and I think of that Buddhist nun who spent some inordinate amount of time in a cave all by herself, just meditating and I think of Robinson Crusoe, but oh wait, he wasn't alone through choice.

I like being alone. Perhaps way too much. I don't know. I think maybe I've always been this way. The most happy memories I have of my childhood involve me being by myself, usually outside under a tree or in a tree with the sky above me or on a dock with the water below and beside me. Usually with a book but not always. Sometimes just me and the sky or the water or the green branches making a cave around me.

Being with people can be tricky. It can be wonderful, don't get me wrong. But Lord, it can be tricky. Yesterday when I was cooking, the dogs raised a ruckus at the front door and I went to see if they were barking at someone walking by or if someone was actually there and someone was actually there and I could tell he was someone running for office because he was wearing a T-shirt with his name on it and was holding a flyer or a brochure. The front doors were open but the screen doors were closed and I was holding a hardboiled egg in my hand that I'd been peeling. He introduced himself and asked me how long I'd lived here and some other stuff about this house and if it was the sister-house to the one across the street and if I realized how bad the school system was here in Jefferson County, which of course I do. He's running for Superintendent of Schools and good luck with that, buddy. This county ain't got no money and if you have any money you send your kids to private school and that's just the way of it and it sucks but it would take some sort of miracle to change it.
But then he did a thing that completely pissed me off. He opened my screen door! 
No. You do not open my screen door without my permission unless I know you. This is the country way and by god, he should have known that. He's lived in Jefferson County his whole life.
But he did. He opened the door to try and shake my hand which I did not allow, pretending that my hand was wet from my egg-peeling and then he handed me his brochure and I let the door close back on him.
"I'm best friends with your neighbors!" he said cheerfully, as if that was all it would take to get my vote after such a gaffe. The neighbors he was referring to are the people who put up the Romney/Ryan sign practically on the property of the Holy Ghost Revival Center. My neighbors are fine people in their way and if one of us needs each other we are there for each other in the neighborly way but I have a feeling they don't even know where Public Radio is on the dial just as I do not know where to find Rush Limbaugh on the dial if indeed he is on the dial but I feel certain they do.
Know what I'm saying? I'm sure you do.

When he left I tossed his brochure directly in the trash and went back to my egg peeling. I will not be voting for him. Let me count the reasons.

But what I'm saying here is that...people. They can be so odd. And rude! And uncaring.

When I went to the dermatologist last week and was so very frightened and the doctor told me that no, that was not skin cancer on my leg and I burst into tears neither he nor either of the two women assistants in the room gave the slightest indication that they had any sympathy at all for what I'd just gone through which, admittedly, wasn't really that much but still. I had burst into tears! I am a human being who was crying within two feet of all three of them and not a one did a thing but to look at me stonily as if I should have known, for christ's sake, should have known that this black thing on my leg wasn't skin cancer, Cowboy Up, Pony Girl and shut the fuck up. 
Or that's how I felt, at least.
And so then I dried my eyes and as the doctor did the full-body skin-check on me, I did what I do to try and diffuse a stressful situation which is to use humor and so I started cracking jokes but they didn't respond to them either and finally I said, "Y'all do realize that I'm trying to make a joke here? You don't really think I'm crazy, do you?" but they didn't say anything and by god, I feel pretty sure that they do. Think I'm crazy.
And then before you knew it, I was smelling my own flesh burn as the doctor removed the ugly thing on my leg and no, none of them offered the slightest bit of comfort at all.

It was so awkward and is it wrong, is it ridiculous to think that when you're in a tiny room with three people and you're the only one whose tits and ass are being bared and looked at that it would be the graceful thing to do to pretend to be human? When that person has just cried in relief? Would it be so hard to laugh at the lame jokes that person is trying to make in order to preserve some sense of dignity? Would it? Really?
I'm not going back to that dermatologist. I'm going to fire him and I'm going to a different one.
He does not get my vote any more.

Of course I had the most precious, sweet time yesterday with Molly and her husband and their new son. I will be floating on the holiness of that one for quite awhile. It was loving. It was a connection on every human level. And here's what I think- I think that's the only kind of human encounter I want to have these days. Even when I'm checking out at the grocery store I want to make it as real and human as possible. When the check-out person says, "How are you today?" I want to answer, "I'm good. And how are YOU?" and really mean it. I want to hear. I want to know. I want to look into that person's eyes and let them know that I am a human and I know that they are a human and even in this brief moment, we can be genuine. I do realize that such a situation is not the time to go into long discussions about things but by golly, you can be brief and still be genuine. And I have had some of the most intense connections with strangers in the least expected places just because I allowed that to happen and so did the other person and those encounters warmed me and made my day better and maybe even my life richer and what in the world is wrong with that?

So no. I am not adverse to any and all encounters with others but I have no patience for the entirely social interaction and and real interactions take a great deal of energy. And sometimes, I just don't want to have to go there. And thus, I do love being alone.

Back to childhood- it was when I was alone that I didn't feel inadequate or fat or like an alien. I didn't have to bear the sympathy of adults because I was the child of a divorced mother and I didn't have to listen to the teasing of other children. My mind could go where it wanted. To visions of pirate ships and sea monsters or of castles in the clouds. I could pretend I was whole and okay. I didn't feel the impossible neediness of my depressed mother or the impossible expectations of my strict grandfather. No one could touch me if I didn't want to be touched, no one could judge me. I could simply be myself, lying on a dock or under a tree or walking the beach and looking for Spanish treasure.
I guess it was a habit that I got into. The pleasure of being alone.

And I don't know if it's a good habit or not but it's mine.

I like people fine. Or at least, some of them. But some people- oh, they give humanity a bad name. And instead of feeling like I'm crazy, I wonder why more people aren't like me- wanting not to be a part of the shallowness or hurtfulness or rudeness or just general energy-sucking socialness of it all.

But then, to be honest, sometimes I do just think I'm crazy. That I'm just afraid of being hurt or that I'm excessively judgemental or that I am not tolerant or that I am simply incredibly self-centered.

And sometimes I think I just think too much and that it's okay to want to be alone and I don't need to analyze it but to just enjoy it. And also, to enjoy the times I do have with people I love and truly care for and the times when I feel as if a true human connection has been made even with a virtual stranger in the most unexpected of circumstances.

Well. I'm going to go make my supper and I'm going to cherish this solitude and I'm going to not feel guilty about it.
All the while knowing that my husband will be home tomorrow and that if I truly wanted another human being to be with me I could call any number of people, some of them my children, some of them my neighbors, some of them my friends, and they would be here for me if that is what I wanted. If that is what I needed.

And you know, it's also such a solace, feeling as if you too, yes, you, are here with me in a way. And that you do not judge me but understand the need for time and space to be alone with my thoughts. I think most of you understand this very well. And if you do, I understand you as well.

Sweet dreams, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Not Lazy. Languid

I have had a morning of complete leisure so far. I watched an episode of America's Next Top Model online because I keep forgetting to watch it on TV on Friday nights. The woman I know in the show is still on and good for her! She was the main focus of the "storyline" on the last episode I'd watched. The rest of the girls on the show were concerned about her eating habits. Or, shall we say...not-eating habits?

Shockerooni! A model who may have issues with eating!

Ah well. Reality TV. I will say that having known the girl a little bit in real life I don't think that the eating-disorder accusation was entirely unfounded. I don't care what anyone says, it is not natural for a six-foot tall woman to weigh approximately 90 pounds.

I am in a very good mood this morning. I am attributing that to the fact that I spent about half an hour last night laughing so hard that I was in literal pain. Sitting here all by myself. Laughing until I cried.
Yes, yes. I was on the website damnyouautocorrect.

I can't help it. I find these things completely hysterical. 

I'm a real high-brow sort of gal, aren't I? Well, I never claimed to be. 

And now I guess I've wasted enough time on this beautiful morning and I'm going to go try and trim up the wisteria which is completely out of control. It's so funny. I could do a million things today. Just getting rid of some of the spider webs around here could take hours but I feel so languid. 
Ah. What a nice word.

Yes. I am languid today, completely enchanted with the shining coin of an entire day to do exactly what I want. It's up to me as to how to spend it. 

Good morning, y'all. 
Good morning. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Unheard Of Wealth

I feel so rich tonight. As if I was dripping in gold. Maybe it's the golden light from the setting sun that's making me feel that way but I it's not just that.
I had what, for me, was a near-to-perfect day. I cooked and I cooked and I baked and I chopped and I made beautiful foods for Molly and Ben.
Here. I had to take pictures. Of my beautiful food.

Doesn't that salad look like something straight out of a 1970's cookbook? Which just pleases the hell out of me. The best thing about this salad is what I call the goop, but which is actually the dressing. It's just so not gourmet. It's so pre-fat-and-sugar phobia times. Here are the ingredients:

1 cup of vegetable oil (not olive- vegetable)
1/2 cup of sugar (yes, white sugar)
3/4 cup of wine vinegar
3/4 cup of chili sauce (Heinz of course)
1 Tablespoon of soy sauce

Take my word for this- it's just the most awesome goop in the world. After you cook the beef, you let it sit in a bowl with a cup of that stuff for an hour or so. The rest you use as dressing. Which you can then sop up with a piece of this bread.

And no, it doesn't have it's egg-yolk wash because believe it or not, I used every one of my eggs in the other recipes. Three in the salad, two in the bread itself and three in the cake.

The cake. Sigh. The cake. 

So I just feel so rich in that I could make this food out of my own kitchen. Rich food. Sinfully, lovely rich food for a new mama. 

And then I got to drive to Monticello where the new parents live and it's the most beautiful day and when I was driving home, I sort of wanted to just keep on driving until I ran out of gas because the road rose before me and the trees were glowing and there were horses and cows and men putting up fences and little old churches and I felt like I was in a dream. 

I got to hold that new baby. I held him and he slept and made those new baby faces as he dreamed his new baby dreams. He smiled and he scrunched up his face and he made all the expressions that humans make, but in his sleep and in a brand-new way. I cried. And I cried talking to the new parents when I heard the story of the birth and I cried telling them to trust their own selves when it came to how to take care of their new baby. I told them what I tell all brand-new parents: No one in this world has ever given birth to this baby. And no one on earth knows how to take care of this new baby the way you do. 
The lactation consultant at the hospital had given them strict rules to follow about how often and how long to nurse and all those things that lactation consultants tell new parents which scare the motherfucking shit out of them. 
God. I am so grateful that I didn't have a lactation consultant when my babies were born. I only had other hippie moms around who made nursing look so easy. Which, after a few days of getting to know my babies and their ways and them getting to know me and my ways, it was. 
For me. 
See how rich I am? 

So that was simply a wonderful and soul-satisfying thing to do, to take food to that couple and tell them how very, very proud I am of them and what a creamy, dreamy peach of a baby boy they have. To see Molly all grown up and so strong- SO STRONG- and to meet her husband, a man I liked tremendously from the first second I met him. To sit in their beautiful, airy home and hold that boy. 
My soul. Oh, my soul. 

And then that dream of a drive home and there were my chickens whom I love, even if they're not laying very reliably right now, spread out in the light of the setting sun, doing their last scratching in the dirt of the day. 

My home, my beautiful home and my garden and my collards are coming up too, and the sun setting the oak trees on fire.

It's going to get chilly tonight and I can already feel that in the air. I have my down comforter already laid out on the bed, just waiting for me to crawl under it with a book. My kitchen is full of clean dishes for me to put away and some waiting to be washed and I have a piece of salmon to cook for my very own supper and a half pound of spinach and portobello mushrooms and quinoa and peppers. 

God! I am SO rich! 

I have been that new mother and I am now a grandmother and I feel almost a grandmotherly love for this new boy I met today, having known his mother since she was a baby and I have spent my sleepless nights with my babies and now I can have entire nights of rest under a down comforter under a tin roof under the branches of the oak trees under the clear night sky and there is nothing I lack for, nothing at all and my wishes tonight are simply, as always, more of this, and let my husband be safe and my children, too and let us all be this rich with the most profound sweet goodness of this life, at least sometimes. 

I can hear the chickens flapping up to their roost, I can hear acorns dropping on the tin roof of the hen house that my husband built, I am content with my riches. 

I am aware of their completely simple and miraculous value. 

A Lover, Not A Fighter

Yesterday was a crazy bitch. My walk left me in so much pain I could barely hobble. And my not-a-skin-cancer-surgical-site hurt. And I had to go to town and had five stops I had to make. FIVE! Jesus, damn, it was rough.

I know. I am SUCH A WUSSY! Well, yes, I am. So what?

My first stop was at Lily's because she was out of toilet paper and a mother may not be able to solve every problem her child has but she can sure do something about toilet paper. And so I did. And I sat and visited with Lily and the boys for awhile and I cuddled Gibson and kissed him and let him bounce in my lap and watched Lily throwing Owen up in the air over her head the way she does and he kicks and screams and laughs and loves it. I can't even imagine what it must be like to have a mama like Lily. She's so strong and so loving. I doubt there's an hour of the day if you add it all up that she's not holding one of those boys. Or both.

I had to drag my ass out of the chair, finally, after about ten more "just one more" kisses and head back out to run my errands and I went to a shop for a birthday present and the library and the Costco and then, finally, my last stop, Publix.

Where shopping is a pleasure. 
That's their motto. And I agree. Everyone at Publix is so damn nice. Well, the employees. And I don't know who's doing the hiring these days but every young male who works there seems to have the prettiest eyes. I've never in my life seen such a concentrated group of beautiful-eyed boys. I have to shut my mouth from telling every one of them how beautiful their eyes are. I don't want to come off as creepy, you know? Plus, Lily works there which would make it doubly creepy somehow. 
But still. I look. I appreciate. 

I came home and unloaded everything and attended to some laundry and made a shot of espresso because I was dying and put everything away and washed the dishes that were in the sink and started supper and then Mr. Moon came home and we had our Friday night martinis a night early because he isn't going to be here tonight and okay, here's what I really wanted to talk about.

We were talking about anger and violence and he said that he was so grateful that he'd never been filled with such rage that he'd been violent against another person. And then he said, "Well, you know about that meeting."
"What meeting?"
"The one my mom and dad had when I was born."
If I'd ever heard the story, I'd forgotten about it. So he told me.
"When I was born, my mom and dad had a meeting and the question was, 'Do we make him a lover or a fighter?' and they decided on lover."

Now believe me, Mr. Moon's parents were not hippies. His father never finished middle school, as far as I know and I'm not sure his mother graduated from high school. They worked as hard as two humans could work their entire lives doing everything from farming to running a gas station and repair shop. Glen's daddy was, at various times a carpenter, a mechanic, and a cop, just to mention a few. They were poor and they raised three kids and what they did have was a completely overwhelming desire to raise those kids the best they could and give them every advantage that they could and I don't mean fancy clothes, either. I, opportunity, love and support. 
Love above all.
And they decided when their baby boy was born that it would be for the best if they didn't raise him to be a bully or mean or a fighter but to be loving. 

Can you imagine? 

And they did. 

I'm pondering that one today. And I'm thinking how incredibly grateful I am to be married to a lover, not a fighter. A man who can hug and kiss on his grandboys with as much unabashed affection as I can. Who is simply and truly kind. 
Oh sure. The man can and does stand his ground and I've seen him deal with some threatening characters but I've never seen him punch anyone or even get into a heated argument with anyone but me and that hasn't happened very often, even though there have been times in my life when I would have caused Gandhi to abandon his principles of non-violence. 

Well, that lover of a man has gone off to hunt and that may sound like a violence of sorts but no, for him it's the quick-killing of meat and mostly it's sitting in a deer blind listening to audio books and watching the woodland creatures. Haha! He was so happy when he left this morning and now I've got this day before me where I'm cooking my traditional postpartum meal to take to Molly and her husband this afternoon. My traditional postpartum meal consists of a salad, the recipe a very old one from Southern Living full of iron and protein and which involves beef and spinach and mushrooms and a dressing that is a SIN but dammit, women who have just given birth deserve all the sinful goodness they can get, and a loaf of Challah because it is beautiful and always rises as high and light as angels' wings, shiny with egg yolk, and a prune cake because it's delicious and if you've ever pushed out a baby you know the value of prunes afterwards. 

I use actual recipes for all these things which is not the way I normally cook but this meal is a ritual giving and I want to get it right. Lily and I were talking about this salad the other day and she said that it was almost worth going through labor to get it. 

I hope it is for Molly, too. 

When Mr. Moon was leaving, he told me to tell Molly that he sends his love and wishes for her to have a wonderful life with her baby. And then he kissed me one more time and drove off. 

I wish I could tell his parents that I've had a wonderful life with their baby. Who grew up to be a lover, not a fighter because of the meeting they had and the decision they came to together. 
And of course because the man is naturally a peaceful soul, I think, and also, men who are as tall as my husband don't need to put on a veneer of physical threat. Which is one of their blessings. That and being able to see everything that's going on.

All right. This hasn't really come out the way I wanted it to but my mind is in the kitchen, mashing prunes and kneading dough and slicing beef and mushrooms and onions and cooking brown-sugar icing so I'll let it go. I just wanted to get that down, the part about his parents having a meeting. In these days when bullying and violence are so much a part of our world, I wish that every parent would have a meeting like that. Oh, no, it's not that simple. But by god, it's a wonderful start. To completely and clearly define such a desire and then to try and make it happen with love. 

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon