Monday, March 31, 2014

Daily Report

Gibson was in a mood today. And it wasn't a real good one, either. He also had an agenda and that agenda did not include listening to his old Mer. Here he is, having climbed INTO the little chicken shelter. Through the tiny door. The chickens were not especially disturbed but there's an awful lot of poop in there. Of course, I had to take a picture of him before I lifted him out.
He is two. And as I heard a guy on the radio say yesterday, "If two year olds were as strong as adults and could operate weapons, they would be the most dangerous creatures on the planet."
Yep. Pretty much.
Not that he did anything evil. He just wanted to do what he wanted to do and if that meant he wanted to sit on his grandfather's four-wheeler and pretend to drive it for three hours, that is what he wanted to do. I gave him fifteen minutes, standing there, watching him push buttons and shift gears, hoping that I wasn't allowing him to do anything that was going to fuck that machine up. What do I know about four-wheelers? Not one damn thing except that they have four wheels and little boys love to sit on them.

Of course Owen had an agenda too. He wanted to walk down the railroad tracks to the post office and then go for a walk on the road. This we could do. He pretends to ride a horse whose name is Bullseye. He graciously allows me to ride a donkey. When we get to the post office, we tie up our horse and our donkey and we go in and check the mail. Today I got a beautiful card from Ms. Jo, all the way from Ireland. When I showed it to Owen I said, "Look! Look at this card a friend sent me. Who does it look like?"
"Elvis!" he said. "That is so nice."

I completely agree. 
Thank you, Jo!

After we left the post office, we walked up Main Street to see if Ms. Liola was in her yard, and she was, raking, as she so often is. She keeps her little lawn as tidy as a floor. They boys had a nice conversation with her and I was proud of them for being sweet and polite. They told her how old they were and when she asked Gibson if he takes a nap for his grandmother, he went into a long speech about naps, approximately 85% of which was not exactly in English, but it was delivered in completely appropriate voice tone and with hand gestures. I believe that the gist of what he was saying was that he DOES take naps at MerMer's but you know that's pretty much a myth. 
So we visited for a little while and then we walked back home and when I say "we" I mean Owen and I, and Gibson was perched on my hip. "Water," he kept saying piteously, as if we were crossing the Sahara instead of the dappled shade quarter of a mile road back home. 
Oh, that boy. I am so glad to still have a strong arm, strong hips to carry him on these journeys. 

Our day also consisted of puzzle doing. Here is one of the puzzles that Owen did all by himself and then wanted to take a picture of.

(Photography by Owen.)

We "checked on" the baby chickens four times. We fed the goats and tried to feed the mule but she ignored us and stayed in a distant part of the yard next door. We fed Elvis and the sister-wives crackers on the front porch. We watched a little "Tom and Jerry" which is Owen's favorite cartoon. There were, of course, numerous snacks. And a building of an obstacle course with blocks. And playing on the play set. 
And then there was this.

Owen wanted me to film an entire series of videos of him doing things with a bowl of water. This is the best one although the one of him pretending to be a water fountain does have some dramatic interest. I would say, "And...ACTION!" and he would do whatever it was he intended for me to film and then he would say, "Cut!" although he didn't get that part included in this one. Where he learned that bit of directorial instruction, I do not know.
Before he started using the water for short video films, he used it to let his dinosaurs swim in. 
"It's pool day!" he announced, and kept asking for hot water to mix with the cold water to create warm water. 
And of course I complied. I pretty much do whatever they want if it doesn't seem to be something which will cause them bodily harm. 

By the time they left, I was completely exhausted and fell on my bed and took a nap, leaving the blocks and puzzles and dirty dishes where they lay. I slept for an hour, dead as the decayed, then got up and tidied and swept and even dusted the hallway altar and replaced the flowers in their vases.

 The azaleas will be gone soon, to be replaced by the Tung blossoms, the graceful wisteria. I asked Mr. Moon a few days ago if he even notices the flowers I put there. 
"Uh...well," he said.
"That's all right," I told him. "I do it for me so it doesn't matter."
And it's true. 
Which reminds me, I need to plant the zinnias so that I will have their beautiful crayon colors to cut and put there for the summer. 

I've just fed the cat and the dogs and shut up the big chickens but the little chickens seem to choose this time of day when the sun has slipped beneath the horizon to venture out and have a final sip and snack from the feeder and waterer in the big coop so I shall have to go back out and shut them up in a few minutes. 
Owen said today, "You sure have a lot of animals. Maybe you should give some to some other people."
"I do have a lot of animals," I said. "And I wouldn't mind giving the dogs to some other people."
"They are stinky," he admitted. 

Little man tells the truth. 

I am cooking Kamut which has been soaking in water all day. This shit is never going to be less than crunchy, is it? Oh well. I'm all about the ancient damn grains these days. I'm going to live forfuckingever. 

God, I hope not. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Just Another Manic Monday

So I had one of those dreams where you can't use your phone. This phone was all kind of fucked up. It was missing numbers. The numbers were stuck into a sort of fleecy stuffed thing and they kept falling out. I was at a party and had a baby and I kept saying, "I just want to call my husband and take my baby home!"
No one could help me. And I don't know why I couldn't just get in the car and drive home.
Of course there was the part of the dream where I told the young and idealistic girl why artists who made lots of money hadn't necessarily sold out. I told her, "Look, to be able to earn your living doing your art is the finest thing there can possibly be. And we live in a real world where we have to eat and have shelter and so we have to find a balance between our art, our ideals, and those realities."

Okay. WHY? This is not a debate I have in my head as far as I know. And yet, it must be there. And how would I know anything about earning a living through art?

Here's what the mean streets of Lloyd looked like when I went out to get the paper and feed the cat this morning.

Sort of pretty, isn't it? 

Well, those boys will be here soon. I guess I'll go whip up some healthy smoothies in preparation. That's as far as the lesson plan for MerMer's Day Care goes for today. Drink smoothies. 
Also- try to stem the anxiety. Mine. Which I am having. I'm pretty sure that neither Owen nor Gibson has much anxiety. I hope they never do. 

One more thing- why is it the last day of March and I am having to wear a sweater AND a jacket? Three of the hens slept together in one nest last night to try and stay warm. It's supposed to get up to 77 today. That would be nice for the chickens and the people too. 

All of us who live on the Mean Streets of Lloyd. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I'm Doing My Best

I worked in the garden mostly on and a little off for seven hours. I weeded, I hoed a little, I planted some regular green beans and twice as many of the Asian long beans. Also four hills of squash.
Before I did that I cut down three cherry laurels which had escaped my attention until they got too big to pull. I had to get out my husband's saw, pushed and pulled its toothy mouth through the slender trunks, more stem than trunk, to be quite honest. Hauled them to the burn pile. The cherry laurel seeds get spread everywhere, mostly by birds, I think. They come up in the thousands, the tiny seedlings. They ensure I will always have something to do.

In the midst of all of that I was feeling anxious and so I made a loaf of bread. I mixed the oat bran, the flours, the salt and yeast and water with my bare hands in a bowl, then punched the dough and pulled it and folded it and slammed it on the floured kitchen counter.
It is baked now, a loaf of almost obscene shape and proportion.
I tried a slice. It is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and it is good. Maybe the boys will want some tomorrow when they come over.

I did hang the clothes on the line, I took them in, air-folding them as I do before I set them in the basket, put them all away. My overalls are in the washer now with a rug. They are too filthy to wash with other clothes. I have the sprinklers on the garden, watering in my seeds, as well as the potatoes, the peppers, the tomatoes, the greens, the peas, the basil, the eggplant. Slowly it is coming along. I still need to put in more beans and also cucumbers, some different types of peppers. The potatoes are looking especially promising this year, coming up sturdy and sure. Mr. Moon brought home bags of beautiful leaves to mulch with and I need to do that too. But not tonight. Oh, no. Not tonight.

I am exhausted. My shoulders ache, so do my hips. I don't care. My goal is to sleep tonight with unprecedented deepness. So of course I won't.

Mr. Moon made it over to the island safely. The baby chicks are all fine. I took them some cut-up grapes and they stormed them. If chickens love anything more than grapes, I have yet to find out what it is. I threw some whole ones to the big chickens and Elvis called the hens in with his deep crooning call which means good food, good food, come and eat this good food. 

I have had a shower and am wearing my old short round man Levi's from the Goodwill, faded to barely blue, soft as a beloved baby's blanket. They are absolutely one of the least flattering or attractive garments I own and in my top-ten favorite things to wear. They are holey at the inner corners of the back pockets and I wonder if the old short round man carried a lot of stuff around in them or if he was one of those people who walk around, thumbs hooked in pockets. No way to ever know. I feel as if I can see him sometimes though. I like to think he was merry and that his face was crinkled with laugh lines, his skin leathery and perpetually ruddy from a life spent outdoors.

Yeah. Try getting a story like that with your pair of two-hundred dollar True Religion jeans.

Oh my Jesus God. I just googled True Religion jeans and discovered that you can buy these overalls

described as "The Erin Rolled Crop Relaxed Denim Womens (sic) Overall Boyfriend" for 358 fucking dollars. And they're labeled as "Best Sellers!"
And they help you out with sizing by stating, "Yulia is wearing a size 26. She is: height 5'10", waist 26", hips 34, dress size 2."
i.e. Yulia is an alien with an eating disorder/and/or twelve years old and preternaturally tall.

Bite my motherfucking overall-wearing ass. Lord, what fools these mortals be. That is hysterical. I've never paid more than twenty-five bucks for a pair of overalls in my life except maybe my black velvet ones I got at the Gap about twenty-five years ago and I am still wearing them.

Ah well. To each her own. Some women wear overalls with high-heeled shoebooties to go out and have a night on the town in (I presume) and some women wear overalls to go kneel in the dirt of their garden in for seven hours. And my ass in my overalls sure don't look as good as Yulia does in hers. 

Then again, I doubt Yulia ever got beans and squash planted either.

All right. That's enough. I'm going to put the chickens up and heat up my shrimps in spicy mustard sauce with brown rice that are leftover from Friday night and make a salad. And slice a little bread and then get to bed early because the boys will be here before nine.

For a Sunday, it's been a good day.

Let's all sleep unprecedentedly deeply and well to the best of our abilities.

Love...Ms. Moon


Mr. Moon just left the yard, the two bluebirds which had been perched on the back of the boat fluttering up to a pecan branch as he began to roll.
They are the busiest, flightiest birds and if they do have a nest they sure aren't spending any time on it. They're too busy pecking at their images in side view mirrors and pooping down the sides of cars.

Alone. I'm alone. Well, I have the chickens and the dogs and the cat. When I was hugging and kissing my husband good-bye, Elvis stepped out of the bushes.

"Take good care of your wives," Mr. Moon said.
"He's going to take care of me," I told him.
"Take good care of our wives," Glen said, and I told him to let me know when he got to the island and that I love him and he told me he loves me and then he pulled out of the driveway, the bluebirds fussing at having been disturbed, Elvis seemingly unperturbed at all while I myself was a bit wistful to see him go.

This is another day of startling clarity and clearness. The new green of the leafing trees is set against the completely blue sky, the bees are all up in the azaleas and wisteria, the squirrels are flicking their tails and doing their high wire acts on branches and fences, light puddles and illuminates everything from birds to camellias to the Whataburger beach balls the boys have left in the back yard. It does not discern, the light. It merely beautifies everything it graces from the sublime to the most prosaic.

I was going to go see The Grand Budapest Hotel today but my date had to reschedule and so I think I shall just work in the garden and yard all day and why I call it work, I do not know because I would pay to be outside in this most beautiful of days and if that pay consists of weeding and chopping and pulling and hauling, all for the better. I have everything in the whole world I could possibly need right here. A refrigerator full of leftovers and staples, cabinets full of coffee and beans and grains. A garden with greens. A hen house where I will probably find at least an egg or two by the end of the day. I have books to listen to and books to read. A brand new Sunday crossword to work if I should want to do that. A line to hang the clothes from outside, the little meditation of taking the wet things from the basket and pinning them carefully to dry in the sun and breeze.

Everything. I have everything. But still, as I said, I am feeing a bit wistful. Not lonely. Just wistful. Last night as we were sitting and watching the baby chicks, laughing at the way they would all rush the feeder and then, at the slightest disturbance of wind or distant hawk call, run back to huddle beneath their shelter, I said to that man I do love so much, "I'm glad that the little things make you so happy too."
And I told him again how much I love him and how I can't imagine living without him and he said, "You won't have to. We're both going to go at the same time."
"I'm not sure how we're going to work that out," I said. "But it sure would be nice."
Let me go first, I added silently. Just let me go first. 

It's so odd how our love has changed and evolved over the years we've spent together. Time and life have worn off so many of the rough edges that used to catch and cut. We are old river rocks now, worn smooth. Some things that used to be of such importance have lost their weight and heaviness while other things which were a part of it always but perhaps not as valued, have turned out to be the very foundation of all that we cherish.
Well, speaking for myself, at least.

It is Sunday morning and my husband is on his way to the coast for a few days of well-deserved enjoyment. I have a perfect day to be alone in this spring light. I see the birds and sky, I hear the stiff-petticoat rustle of leaves and the notes of the wind chimes in the breeze. I taste the coffee in my cup. I smell the tea olive blooming beside the porch. I feel the cool air on my skin and the mixing-in-my-heart-and-belly emotions of great love for my husband and the temporary tiny loss of him as he drives away from me. I am, at this moment, completely overwhelmed with it all and suddenly feel compelled to make an altar before I begin my day of peaceful work.

There. That.

With every cell in this non-religious body, I give thanks.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lloyd, Florida In Springtime

The sky cleared this morning and it has been beautiful all day long. Gorgeous, clear, breezy, warm. Perfect weather.

Still, I baked and cooked. I made a huge pot of soup, a vat of cookies, two loaves of bread. My husband will not starve this week.

I swept the porches and tended some plants and watered. I moved the plants I could move out from their wintering place in the house and sweetly asked Mr. Moon to move the rest which he did. I tidied up the mud room where they had been, took out the old, ugly plastic table they'd been resting on for the past four months. The mango tree in its pot has been taken outside from the laundry "room" and now I have a place to put the laundry basket. Such a small thing but not so small in my own particular life.
I did laundry. I swept the kitchen. I fed the baby chicks cut-up grapes, I walked around and took pictures of my yard.

The old rescued Red Flyer with pansies.

Wild violets and betony weed.

Three eggs in the nest. 

Baby chicks in their little shelter.

The swelling mulberries. 

A late blooming camellia.

The Japanese Maple with light behind it. 

A cascade of wisteria over the bamboo jungle. 

Another angle. 

A leafed fig for Ms. Rebecca.

Front porch. 

This is where I live and it suits me.

Maybe a little too damn well. 


It is now the time for the parade to start and wouldn't you know? The sky is clearing over Tallahassee. I mean, I can see blue sky that way.
Don't I do this every year?
You'd think I'd learn by now.

It Rained On My Parade And I'm Not That Concerned

It is still raining and Mr. Moon and I decided to forego the parade. Hank's house is as big as a thimble and we may regret our decision but we'll live, I'm sure.
When we got up, we were undecided. But then I found out that Jason was off today and that he could go with Lily and the boys. Owen has been excited about the parade for days. He collected extra peppermints when we went to Fanny's for lunch on Thursday and said he was going to sell them to kids at the parade. So Lily felt like she had to take him. But did we have to be involved?
"Let them do what parents do," my wise husband said.
And so it goes.

I just looked up to see Elvis standing in the hen house, his gaze trained on the nest which I assume has a hen on it, trying to lay an egg. I wonder if she'd like some privacy.
"Hurry up," he's probably saying. "I don't have all day here."
Or maybe he was just taking a break from the rain.

I have no plans for today. Can't work in the garden. Well, I could but frankly, that sounds too much like mud wrestling which I've never once had a yen to do. I just discovered that the word "yen" comes from the late 19th century China where a "yan" was the craving of a drug addict.
So, no. No yen for mud wrestling or, to be more exact, weed wrestling in the mud.
I am going to make Mr. Moon some cookies to take to the island for his fishing trip. He sat in the kitchen this morning while I was making breakfast, trying to come up with ideas for feeding the guys. Things that would be quick, easy, and healthy. Real offshore fishing is hard damn work. Those men go out and come back exhausted and hungry. They don't feel like making a meal, either. They just want to eat and go to sleep and get up and do it all again.
"How about if I took a meatloaf over there?" Mr. Moon asked.
"Mmmmm," I said, sauteing the peppers and onions and mushrooms for our breakfast. "I could make you up a meatloaf I guess."
"Maybe just a big pot of soup," he said.
"You're determined to get me involved in this, aren't you?" I asked, breaking the eggs in a bowl. Two blue ones and a green.
"Yeah, sure. I could make you up a pot of venison and vegetable soup," I told him.

Why not? I have time.
I could make a few loaves of bread too. This actually sounds like a lovely thing to do today as it rains outside. Better than cleaning, I'll tell you that.
Sort of a perfect Saturday where the rain is falling and I can come out to the porch and therefore be inside and out at the same time. Watch Elvis and the Sister Wives as they parade around the yard. They won't be flinging beads or driving tiny motorcycles while wearing Fez's but that's okay with me. I mean, I do love a parade, I really do. I'm just getting old and lazy, I guess. Too much of a wuss to stand outside as the rain falls, praying the Shriners don't wreck their bikes on the wet road and require medical assistance.
Yeah, I'm rationalizing.

Do you remember this?

Man. I loved that movie.
You know what else I love? That I can go to Youtube, type in Big Chill, Jeff Goldblum, rationalization, and there it is.

Okay. Let's try this again.
Keith Richards...

And if you've never watched that, you really should because it's AWESOME and then to make it even more so, listen to this:

Okay. I could do this all day. But I won't.

Well, I might but I won't subject you to it.

I hope this has been as much fun for you as it has for me.

Oh wait. One more. I sat through an entire fucking movie for just this scene.

"Does this face look like it's been to the Fountain of Youth?"
No. It looks like it's been to the Fountain of yan. And lived to tell the tale.

Love you...Ms. Moon

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rain Is Coming Down

The rain finally came in this afternoon. It patters down, it falls gently, it is a soft gray curtain around my world. The wild birds do not mind it. The chickens, on the other hand, come up to the kitchen porch and sit out of it, Elvis bedraggled, his fancy feathers an old sorcerer's cape, none the better for wear.

Still, he is my noble rooster. 

If Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday were days of pricking nerves and anxiety, today has been a day of contentment, of peace. On my walk I encountered the Sheik. "You running late today," he said. "Yes I am," I told him. "And who cares?"
He told me that yesterday he'd heard a woman screaming and he'd hoped it hadn't been me. 
"If it had been, you'd have come to save me, right?"
He assured me would, although I rather doubt it. I think, however, he would have taken note. 
Ms. Liola came out of her trailer home to talk to me and I stopped to chat. She gave me a hug! The first time ever. She was so glad to see me because she, too, had heard the woman yesterday. Turns out she and The Sheik had worried over me. 
"You seen her yet this morning?" the Sheik had asked her.
"Not yet," she had told him. 
It was nice to know that I'd been worried about. That they were concerned. I hope that whoever the screaming woman was is okay, too. 
I told Ms. Liola that if I see anyone whom I do not know and who raises my hackles, I just turn around and go the other way. 
She agreed that was the right thing to do. 
We are so different, Ms. Liola and I. She is dark-skinned, I am light. I doubt she ever went to college. She lives in a single-wide and I live in a big house that I would not be surprised to find out that some of her forebearers built. When they were slaves. 
And yet, we have so much to talk about. So much common ground. She loves her yard, the blooming flowers as do I. She wants to plant a little garden. She is talking about starting to keep a few chickens. I showed her the picture of Nicey on my shoulder and she got a kick out of that. We both grew up on dirt roads, playing hopscotch and marbles in them. We climbed trees as kids, we ran in the woods. She has grands, I have grands. 
We never run out of things to talk about. 
We hugged again before I proceeded on my way. I apologized for my smell. I do sweat when I walk. She said it did not matter and I don't think it did to her. 
I need to take her some eggs, some mustards from the garden before they all bolt and are gone. 
I love living in this community where we are so mixed, so different, yet in some ways, so much the same. 

I went to Publix but they had no wild shrimp and I refuse to eat shrimp farmed in Thailand or somewhere far across the world. Fuck no. So I drove the miles to Mike's seafood which started out in the Oriental market next door to it in the strip mall with The Dollar Store, CiCi's Pizza, and the Big Lots. The seafood market outgrew the oriental market although I know they still own it. It was packed at 2:00 on a Friday afternoon. Everyone in Tallahassee must be eating seafood tonight. People were buying grouper and salmon and oysters and bay scallops and crabs and lobsters and one lady dragged her ice chest in there. It was like a party, those of us waiting in line, visiting with each other. Talking about what we were going to do with our particular seafood purchases, perusing the vast selection of crab boils, seasonings, grits, corn meal, hot sauces. 
I got two pounds of head-on Gulf shrimp, right from the Apalachicola bay. They are still on ice in my refrigerator and I am going to cook them tonight. 

That's the view from the front porch where Mr. Moon and I just had a martini. Our Friday nights are so special. We sit and we talk about all the stuff that's important that just doesn't come up during the week, somehow. I read him the comment that Hank wrote on my post yesterday about divorce. 
Can I say that there are almost always tears on our Friday nights?
They are good tears. They are tears of heart-filling-up-and-spilling over. 

And now, y'all, I am going to go pop those shrimp heads. I've got brown rice on and I do believe I am going to make some spicy mustard shrimp which is one of the most delicious things I make. The rain patters, it has been a very, very good day here in Lloyd, where I live, which is the tiniest place you can imagine, a flashing red light in the road, a truck stop and a post office and a place where we sit and watch the rain off the front porch, where the oak trees rise up in branchy skeletons, adorned with new-made leaves and Spanish Moss. Where we can stop and talk to neighbors about things that matter. 

Where my heart overfills with it all as I discuss grandchildren and soul-things with my husband on a Friday night and the church next door wails with drum and bass and soprano and if we do create our own reality, I done real good.

Love...Ms. Moon 

Weighty Issues

Friday morning and gray here again. Rusty blackbird song, wisteria gone purple, falling in cascades of bloom from the oak trees. I'll get a picture when the light is better.
Azaleas still blooming, a few camellias too.

I go to let the chicks out and Nicey pokes her head out first, scrambles to me, I lift her up, put her on my shoulder, she is happy there and I wish I could carry her about all day, perched up there, her softness next to my cheek.

She has some pretty big feet and she may turn out to be a rooster and if so- how wonderful! A sweet rooster is a joy in the yard. 

I made the very best dinner last night. Venison tacos with refried black beans and guacamole and tomatoes and arugula and jalapenos and corn tortillas and we wanted to eat and eat and eat but we stopped well before we hurt ourselves. 
I wonder how much weight I've lost but not enough to get on the scale. The way my clothes are fitting is a good enough indication for me. I have a scale neurosis which is odd in that I used to work for Weight Watchers and not only weighed myself weekly but also all the other folks who came in and I hated that part of it. 
It was nice for the folks when they'd lost weight but there was also so much shame involved when someone stepped up to the scale and started making excuses before she even stepped on. Bad week, went out for Margaritas with co-workers, grandkids were over and so had to make cookies, etc. and etc. and things that I really did not need to hear, TMI in the worst sort of way, usually involving bowel habits.
I tried so hard as a leader to stress the fact that the numbers on the scale did not mean that much- they were merely a tool- but let's face it- we lived and died by those numbers. 
I also tried to emphasize the point that losing weight was an extremely multi-layered thing. That food is not just nutrition or fuel for us in our culture but pleasure, reward, love. That balance must be struck between reality and how we view what we eat, that we must adopt eating habits that are healthy, yes, but pleasurable and flexible enough for us to continue with for the long term.
It was so hard. 
And no one who has never struggled with his or her weight has any idea of how hard it is. 

I still struggle. I can no longer count points or calories. That is just not going to happen in this lifetime. And I'm not going to give up entire food groups. If I did give one up voluntarily, it would be vegetables and no, one can't give up vegetables. But I have found a fairly decent balance of eating that seems to work for me when I do it which is to try and eat from the ground up and I guess they're calling that "clean-eating" and so yeah, maybe that. I don't know. 
More vegetables, more fruit, less juice and far less white stuff. Sugar, flour. Less bread in general although bread will always be my staff of life and so I make my own mostly with enough whole grains in it to at least not feel horrible about it. Less cheese. Oh, how I love cheese and I still use a little but not great amounts. I do not fool myself about what we so often fool ourselves about which is that the salad choice is always the best choice. We get so creative with our salads these days with nuts and fruits and cheeses and dressings and that's fine but the calories add up fast and sitting down to a gargantuan portion of one of these salads is no more apt to help us in our weight loss efforts than grabbing a Big Mac. 
Trust me. 

I guess being mindful about it all is what I'm trying to do and I have, for many, many years, tried to do that. Some things, one learns, are just not worth it. Fast food comes to mind. Great slices of pizza with gooey cheese and sliced processed meats. Doughnuts. Any beverage with calories which isn't going to give me a buzz.
Oh wait. That's a personal thing. 

And yet, I still cherish the memory of sitting in my car, eating a huge Publix pre-made Cuban sandwich with pork and ham and cheese and white bread, reading a New Yorker magazine and I'm glad I did that sort of thing. Will probably do it again some day but not today. Not this week. 

I find that once I've started eating this way- far less processed food, more grain and vegetable based, it becomes easy. I eat lots of small meals during the day. Or maybe they're just snacks. Why define them? A small handful of raw nuts, a banana, some hummus on a piece of my bread, a bowl of cottage cheese or plain yogurt with fresh pineapple, a bowl of beans with rice- these are good foods. They are real foods with plenty of fiber in them. And no one is really tempted to overeat any of them because they are not loaded with the sugars and the fats that tell our bodies we want more, more, more. I try not to allow myself to get really hungry because when that happens and the blood sugar drops, we can't make good decisions and we grab shit and eat it because it's easy and even the "healthy" protein bars and bottles of juices and endless numbers of prepared and processed foods we find in the "natural" food stores are neither natural nor that healthy but are as processed as a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and frankly, if I'm going to go there, I'd rather have the Reese's. 

Ah, it's a journey. 

But I'm still not going to get on the scale right now. And I'm still going to look back on my years of working for Weight Watchers (which is a remarkably sensible and healthy program and flexible as hell for any sort of dietary needs) and feel some guilt because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't entirely eliminate the shame which our culture puts on people (mostly women but not always) for being overweight, for not being able to control what goes into our mouths, for not being able to simply eat less, to be more active. 
I tried to be real and understanding and above all- fairly light-hearted and humorous about the struggles because why not? There were the leaders whom I silently labeled as the Weight Watcher Nazis because they DID shame their folks. They did lay down strict laws and seemed to expect complete compliance and you know what? Some people respond well to that. They want to be told what to do in no uncertain terms and shame works for them.
But I couldn't do it. 
I've lived with too much shame my entire life to want to add to anyone else's. 
And now I don't tell anyone how to eat or what to do. I just know what works for me and it doesn't mean that it would work for one other person on this planet. 
We are all so different in our appetites, our needs, our physical make-ups, our backgrounds, our cultures, our beliefs, our abilities in the kitchen, our time, our access to decent food. 

Time to take a walk on this gray day. My walking shorts, which were getting snug, can now be pulled off without even unbuttoning them. So no matter what the scale might or might not say, should I even get on it, I am happy with how things are going. And that is good enough for me. I am almost sixty years old. I am not going to be wearing mini skirts and belly-baring shirts. I am not going to define myself by the numbers on a scale. I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin, in this aging body which has served me well for so many years. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Conscious Uncoupling

So, yeah, Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Chris Martin are getting a divorce.
Now I gotta tell you, I don't give one good damn about those people in any sort of real-life way. Ms. Paltrow never struck me as one of the most talented of actresses, although I could be wrong in my opinion and I just this very second went and checked out her lifestyle blog, for the first time and it's about what I thought it would be, all New-Agey and just chock full of great advice on how to live and shop and eat and exercise and be a parent, blah, blah, blah, although of course, all of that advice would mostly be valuable if you lived on the same planet she does, which I do not.
I think she's a sincere and lovely woman, though, and I know nothing at all about her husband except that he's a musician from Great Britain.
So why do I care that they're getting a divorce?
Well, it's this whole phrase of "conscious uncoupling" which they're choosing to call what they're doing and it freaks me out divorce really supposed to be like that?
Conscious uncoupling?
As if they were two train cars that are now just going to be uncoupled and sent on their merry ways to travel different rails? After ten years and two children together?

I've been divorced. And although my ex-husband and I are now on the very best of terms imaginable and I consider him and his wife to be very good friends, it was not ever thus. We had to consciously (yes) work very, very hard to get over the emotional train wreck that divorce was for us. I had grown up without a father and he had too and I knew how much children needed a father who was present in their lives. And by god, we had to swallow a lot of anger and we had to get past a hell of a lot of hurt and it took years for us to achieve what we have achieved.
And yet- still- when I think back on what it felt like to tear my little family asunder, even now, knowing as I do know that it was the right decision for everyone involved, my heart still quakes.
And we're talking thirty-four years now.
I will never get over the trauma of that and I doubt my kids will either, no matter what they say.

And so when I hear that Paltrow and Martin are blithely announcing this conscious uncoupling thing and claiming to still love each other so very much, and acting as if all were just a joyful little change in living arrangements, I think that either (a) they must be lying their fucking heads off, (b) they are very, very shallow people, or (c) they really and truly are way more evolved and cool and spiritual than I ever dreamed of being.

And if it's (c), well then good for them and maybe the world is changing and facing the reality that many, many couples do not stay married forever.
But somehow, I just don't believe that.
Humans are humans. Two people who still love each other tremendously don't just up and decide to get divorced. Especially if they have kids. Something happened or a lot of somethings happened and the things that happen which make people decide to get divorced are usually far more hurtful and deep than "he never puts his clothes in the laundry hamper," or "she doesn't spend enough time with me."

And it's none of my business what happened and quite frankly I do not care. But what I do care about is this very false image that divorce can just be a small bump in the road, a furthering along of the spiritual and material path of two people and their children. It strikes me as ridiculous and silly word-play. It strikes me as a lie.

And about as helpful as the tips on Goop about how best to live.

But you know, maybe on the planet these people live on, divorce can be so very different than what it's like for us down here in the trenches. We don't fly first class, we don't spray active silver around us on flights to keep the germs at bay, we don't eat kale at every meal and we don't have Tracy Anderson as our personal friends and trainers. We also don't have Oprah or world famous spiritual leaders on speed dial to help us through the rough patches nor do we have all the money in the world to spend on buying the moving-out spouse another mansion within walking distance so that co-parenting can be a breeze.

We ain't got none of that.

So we do the best we can with what we do have and sometimes all that consists of is grit and determination and an overwhelming desire to make sure our children feel safe and loved even as their worlds are torn apart.

And there's nothing fun or lighthearted or blithe in that at all.
There wasn't in my experience, anyway.

Instead, there were years of nights of tears and self-recrimination and bitterness and deep, dark depression and anger and guilt and hard, hard work to rebuild myself, my life, my children's lives.
And there had to be grace and love on the part of not only me and my ex-husband but on the part of his wife and my husband. There had to be acceptance and sacrifice.
And not one damn bit of it came about through magical thinking or magical labeling.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe divorce doesn't have to be that way.

What do you think? I'd like to know.

Love...Ms. Moon


Oh gosh. Here we are.
I feel like I'm in the agitate portion of the wash cycle.
Agitato, as Kinky Friedman says.
And all because there are tiny little bumps in my regular routine. The springtime parade on Saturday which we traditionally go to Hank's house to watch because his place is right downtown on the parade route. Of course the weather forecast calls for 60% chance of rain. So that's worrying me.
Mr. Moon is leaving on Sunday to go grouper fishing and then on Thursday he and I and his sister are all meeting up in Apalachicola to spend the weekend together. And that will be great fun but just the thought of leaving my home, deviating from my little rut-of-a-life in these few ways has me whirling inside. And it's so ridiculous. It's not like I'm flying to some war-torn country to distribute aid to the starving.
What is wrong with me?

Well, that's a good question, isn't it?

I'm so tired of being such a fucking wuss that anything requiring me to creep beyond my regular parameters can cause me to freak.

I guess the important thing is that I can do these things and will do them. I'm not yet to the point where I'm completely chained to my house and yard. At least I have a pretty big yard.

I may dread and fret and worry (and I know this all sounds so crazy but hey! that's only because it is and I do recognize that) but I will pull up my big girl panties, I WILL cowboy-up, cupcake, and go to the parade (if it doesn't rain) and to Apalachicola and the damn thing is- I will enjoy myself tremendously. I know I will.

There. That's me this morning. Anxious and crazy and the sky is gray and it's chilly and I have to take a walk and I'll probably go to town to go to the library (which thankfully is still within the bounds of my sanity to go to) with Lily and the boys and then maybe to lunch, too.

I know I sound ridiculous. You should try listening to how it sounds from inside my head.
Nah. Don't.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Laughing And Crying, You Know It's The Same Relief

The boys are gone and it was a very good day with them, despite the disassociation the anxiety brings with it, the tiredness. It is as physical as it is mental, this wave of a malady.
I am calling it a wave because I am visualizing it passing on, leaving me a bit sand-scraped but intact.

We did puzzles in the hallway and I put the Rolling Stones on because we haven't listened to those fellas for awhile and we all lit up and Gibson ran back and forth, laughing in the hallway, wearing his hat, still, and Owen figured out the puzzles and he was so very proud of himself.
We played Monopoly, which for us means rolling the dice and moving our car or shoe or hat or dog or train around the game board. We don't bother with money or hotels or houses. We just count the dots on the dice and then count as we move. As good a way to learn to count as any, I think. When Owen landed on "Go To Jail!" he said, "I don't want to go to jail."
"Okay," I said.
Then when I landed on the same spot, he said, "You need to go to jail."
"You didn't," I pointed out.
He had to agree that fair was fair. I did not go to jail.

They wanted chocolate milk. Here's a little video of that.

We played with the chickens and fed them grapes. Owen is trying to teach Nicey to fly. He picks her up and puts her up on a roosting branch and demonstrates wing-flapping.

Eventually, she flutters down and he is happy.
"See?" he says. "She can fly!"
"Oh Owen," I say. "I'm not sure she really likes it." But since she continues to come running to him, I guess she's mostly okay with the whole process.
The boys found three eggs in the nest and brought them in safely and whole.

We fed carrots to the mule who lives next door.

She's just as sweet as she looks. She lets us scratch her nose and behind her ears. She leans up against the fence and the boys adore her.

But while we there, over by the goat pen, Gibson got into some stinging nettle and I feel awful about that. It's a particularly noxious weed that stings and burns and itches and he's so allergically inclined and it immediately raised up into welts but he didn't cry, merely rubbed the places and whimpered a bit as if, "Why did the grass hurt me?"
We ran inside and I applied both Benadryl AND the "natural" comfrey cream, trying to cover all my bases and he sat on my lap and fell asleep, holding the carrot he was eating, against my old bosom.
I hate it when I let one of my grandchildren hurt themselves.

I've mostly survived this day. Mr. Moon is going to go to a basketball game in town and so I can watch crap TV without feeling guilty. Go to bed early, read. I've talked to Jessie on the phone and to Billy too. I've gotten e-mail and texts so sweet they made me cry.

So many things have made me cry today. It's okay. It's letting go of the anxiety, the pain, the fear. It's also the springing forth of all of that which nestles in my heart so sweetly, always there, no matter what else tries to displace it.

I hear the baby chickens peeping in the coop. Soon, maybe even tonight, I will hear the Chuck-Widow's-Will crying off in the distance for love. The owls will began to hoot and pant for the same. I think of the desperate need all creatures have for this connection. I think of the way my baby grandson felt as he fell asleep on my chest today. I think that life, even with its incredible difficulties and sadness and confusions is worth all of our attention and I am not ashamed as I struggle.
I am a creature and I am alive.

So are you.

We All Dance In And Out Of Shadow

The sun is out and it is chilly and my anxiety came back last night like a tsunami and it's still here this morning and I really cannot cope with this.
I have no idea what triggered it. Nothing has changed. Nothing. I still live here in this house I love and as far as I know, my children are all fine, my husband too. The bluebirds are flitting about the yard, the males are bluer than any blue I've ever seen or can imagine. They are raising their babies, I can only assume, as they should in spring. I don't think it froze last night although Mr. Moon covered up all his tomato plants with buckets and bins. The world continues to spin, the stars have not fallen from the sky, the first wisteria blossom on the trellis is showing purple.

I think I even see swelling at the tips of the pecan branches. 
There is food to eat in cabinets and refrigerator, water comes forth from the taps. 

All is as it should be and my soul quakes. It was so odd last night. I just suddenly felt as if some horrible disaster was about to occur and I had to talk myself down from that. It's only chemicals, it's just a feeling, feelings are not real...

I go to the calendar to see if this is the date of someone's death whom I loved but no, in fact it is Billy and Shayla's ninth anniversary- a day to celebrate, only happy memories associated with that good day. 

Well. I will keep moving. I will go let the chickens out and I may take a walk or I may not. I will get ready for the boys to come out. I will uncover the tomato plants. I will be gentle with my soul so that it may unfold again. I will remember over and over again as my mind trips into the dark place that this is illusion, that everything is fine. I can see that, touch that, feel that. 

It is a beautiful spring day and I need to come back from the edge and I will, I am, I swear. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Ill Wind

The wind has been blowing all day and maybe it's that which is making me feel ill-fit for my skin, ill-fit for anything.

The baby chicks are huddled up in their little house in the coop and the last of the Bradford Pear blossoms have drifted to the ground and the leaves from the oaks which hung on so tenaciously all winter are whirling down in spirals as the new green takes their place.

I went out to weed some more but even as I did it, I knew I was consigning myself to another night of discomfort and that took the joy out of it. It was pain and not pleasure. My whole body aches, each finger joint, hip joint, muscle ache a reminder of some insult I have suffered. Falls and overuse and the carrying of burdens. Some of them physical, some of them probably not.

I keep making lists in my head of all the things I need to do and haven't done. The CEU's for the nursing license, the appointment with an optometrist, the garden I need to get planted, the limbs and branches fallen and dead, waiting for me to pick up and take to the burn pile. The flower beds that need tidying and weeding. The house that needs a good cleaning- or any cleaning at all.

None of it. I do none of it.
I make soup and listen to the wind and just ache and hope that tomorrow is better.

Here's two pictures of the old graveyard in the woods I pass on my walk sometimes. Somehow, it feels fitting this evening.

There Is No Theme Here

My wrist kept me awake half the night. I wake up to a numb hand. Well, numb except for the pins and needles shooting through it. I turn, I stretch, I try to change things up with pillows and position and I fall back asleep and then wake up again, go through it all again. Over and over and over.
It's annoying.
As fuck.

Oh well. You live long enough you're going to have some shit like this to deal with.

Hank's coming out today to help me with some graphics and other things I need to get done for this Shebooks situation. I am overwhelmed by the simplest things. I need help. Thank goodness for my boy.
For all of my boys but today, especially for Hank.

Spaghetti squash?
Okay. Not that great.
But it's food.

My mustache is out of control.

This is weird- when I was on Lexapro, I noticed that I would frequently break out in localized hives that itched. Welts. Whatever. I have been doing the same thing on the Celexa generic. So okay, yeah, I'm slightly allergic. BUT, it's very mild and doesn't happen every day although if I go out in the evening, it will sure as shit happen and it will itch like crazy.
Stress, even the slightest amount, can wreak havoc on the body and intensify things greatly.
You probably already knew that.

I better go take a walk. I already took the trash. There was a truck parked there with a bumper sticker that said, "Got Ammo?"
I keep thinking about that woman whose son-in-law is in Jacksonville getting a new heart. She said it with about as much concern as she would say that he was in Jacksonville getting a new sofa.
Are heart transplants truly that commonplace now?

What are you pondering today?

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 24, 2014

Some Day

I tell you what, this day just picked itself up and turned into one I have enjoyed tremendously. How did THAT happen? I don't know but it did.

I went to the grocery store and I was hungry. Let me just say that my smoothie does very little to fill me up, especially if I walk and I know you shouldn't go to the store hungry but since I am eating all healthy and shit (and don't you think that would be a good title for a diet/cookbook? Eating All Healthy And Shit?) I bought things like spaghetti squash and beautiful peppers and avocados and and sweet potatoes and strawberries and fresh pineapple. Once you sort of eliminate certain foods from your diet, you do find yourself looking forward to eating really good food. My theory is that there we are always hungry for things like pizza and Doritos but if you just mostly put your foot down about those sorts of things and actually become hungry (not starving, but merely hungry), things like spaghetti squash can be pretty delicious.
Or I may just be fooling myself but it's working for me so fuck it.

Anyway, I did the shopping and came home and unloaded everything and cut up grapes to feed the babies when Owen and Gibson got here and oh! we had so much fun with those chicks today. Nicey, it turns out, is just perfectly named. She will actually run up to us and let us pick her up. Owen is delighted.

Who wouldn't be?
And Nicey seems to like to perch on your shoulder. Perhaps she was a parrot in her former lifetime. 

Anyway, we had at least three playing-with-the-chicks sessions and several feeding-the-big-chickens experiences too. After Mr. Moon left for auction, Gibson wanted popcorn like I had made for his Boppy so I made a bowl for us and we sat on the back steps and fed Elvis and his wives and Gibson screamed with joy when Miss Ozzy ate out of his hand and Owen proclaimed Elvis to be his "brother" and when Elvis had the indecency to cover Miss Sharon right there in front of us, Owen thought they were wrestling and he fussed at Elvis and I did nothing to enlighten him about what they were really doing and it only lasts for about a second anyway, so no harm done and Elvis proceeded to eat popcorn from Owen's hand as if nothing had happened and there you go. 

We went for a walk today. We walked up Main Street and stopped and visited with a Boston Bull Terrier named Harley and his owner's mother. She was a voluble woman with extremely black hair who explained she was house sitting because her daughter's husband was in Jacksonville "getting a new heart." Owen and Gibson talked with her as if they'd known her all their lives and it was an interesting conversation, I have to say. 
We walked all the way up to Ms. Liola's house and I was hoping she would be in her yard so that she could see the boys but she was not and I didn't feel like knocking on her trailer door in case she was napping. So we turned around and came home but the boys got distracted by a small pile of dirt in the road. I swear. They had more fun in that dirt than they would have if I'd given them pads of paper and new boxes of crayons. Gibson literally cried when I picked him to make him leave. 

Main Street in Lloyd is pretty much the road less traveled so it wasn't a big deal but after about ten minutes, I, at least, had lost interest. 

The boys also dug around in the yard for treasures and as always we found broken pottery and we also found two old marbles and I thought about how boys and girls have been playing in this yard for over a hundred and fifty years. I always talk to Owen about these things but I'm not sure he can grasp that. One of these days, he will. Just as one of these days he'll figure out exactly what Elvis was doing with the hens and that it was not wrestling. 

When we got back from the walk, Owen wanted to have a picnic even though there had already been about three snack episodes. Whatever, I thought, and we put sliced apples and a banana and some Chex Mix in a bag and went out to the back yard and I spread a tablecloth on the ground and we had a damn fine picnic and I laid on my back and Gibson attacked me and we talked about birds and Owen asked me when I was going to college and I told him that I already had and he asked, "Boppy?" and I said that yes, Boppy had gone to college too and then we talked about what Owen is going to study when he goes to college and no surprise- dinosaurs. I told him that would make him a paleontologist and we talked about how someone who studies the things that live in the ocean is a marine biologist and someone who studies bugs is an entomologist and that people who study people are called anthropologists and then I said, "What do you call someone who studies poop?" and he said, "A Poopologist!" and we laughed and laughed. 

There was also a lot of playing on the play set and also, some fig-tree climbing. Here's Gibson, standing inside the budding branches, showing me how old he is now.

As you can tell, it takes some concentration but he sure can do it. 

So there you go. That's what we did today. And it was great and I had plenty of energy and I have the spaghetti squash roasting in the oven and I'm going to make a little sauce with some leftover chicken I cooked last night with lemon juice and vermouth and garlic and onions and I'll throw in tomatoes and peppers and mushrooms and basil and pine nuts and spinach. Mr. Moon is on the road and won't be here to eat it but he's not that fond of spaghetti squash anyway although he would eat it because he's sweet like that. 
It's about time to go shut up all the chickens in their various roosting places and there were at least two dozen cardinals at the feeder and in the camellias around it and just now a squirrel scared them all and they sounded like a buzz bomb, taking off for safety. 
But they're already drifting back to snap seeds and I saw my first blooming wisteria today when I was walking with the boys and it's going to get chilly tonight but that is okay because it's going to get really hot really soon and the memory of these cooler days and nights will be sustaining. 

Owen was talking to me today about how he wished I wasn't old. This is a big worry of his. But we discussed it and I told him I was still not that old and that I am still strong, which he didn't believe. 
"I can still pick you up!" I told him.
"You can't pick up Boppy," he said. 
"I never could pick up Boppy, honey," I said. Although the truth of the matter is that I guess at one point I DID pick up his Boppy and that too, shall be something that he will some day realize and I told him that one of the good things about being older is that you learn to love the people you love more than you ever did before and that also, you get grandchildren.
He pondered this and stirred his chocolate milk and I have no idea what he's going to remember about these days of long talks and Lloyd walks and chickens and picnics and digging for treasures but I'll tell you this- somewhere in his bones he's going to know that he was loved by an old woman who lived in an old house and that she may have been old but that she was strong enough pick him up and hug him to her. 
And hopefully, so will his brother. 
"Even after you die, you are still in people's hearts," Owen said to me today.
"That's right," I agreed. 
And I started out to try and explain genes to him but I quickly realized we're not there yet. But someday he'll know. 

Some day. 

In the meantime, this day is plenty good enough. 


I took a good walk and Bubba-With-One-Leg told me that I am "just like fine wine."
Which cheered me considerably. As did the dogwoods blooming in the woods, the red clover blooming by the side of the road and for a moment, my heart sailed so far up into the sky as I watched a Mississippi Kite take wind and soar.

And The Point Is...

The sky looks like an old tin pot here today and if yesterday I was oozing gratitude and contentment like a happy old cow, today I'm having to force myself to find the good and that, too, is me.
Even the sight of the bluebirds this morning didn't delight me as much as it should have and I need to take a walk and I need to go to the grocery store and the boys are coming this afternoon.

Maybe my mood is dream-induced because the dreams I CAN remember were not happy. I kept yelling at people and getting my feelings hurt and so forth. What was the point of that, brain? And I woke up one million times and I swear to you, I think Mr. Moon and I wake each other up all night long although you'd think that after thirty-something years of sleeping together it would be like the train which our brains just decide not to notice but it's not.

Oh well.

I better go drink my delicious and healthy smoothie and take that walk and get on with it.

Sorry to be so boring but it's Monday morning and the sky is dull and so am I.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Don't Pack The Cashmere Away Just Yet

Well, I've spent most of the day weeding and yet, the result looks about like what an industrious eight-year old could have accomplished in fifteen minutes.
I am not complaining. I just got to spend the entire day with my hands in the dirt, kneeling and  plunging my trowel to cut the roots of the weeds and then shaking the dirt from them and tossing them in an old canning kettle which, when full I empty into the garden cart, having arisen painfully from my knees to do so.
Meanwhile, listening to a semi-amusing audio book about a blogger. It starts out with a rich, famous blogger (think Dooce, think Pioneer Woman) finding her husband with his jeans down around his feet in the front seat of his Audi while her 26-year old assistant is assisting him in "mouth to penis resuscitation."
Okay, not too original but it's good entertainment as I plunge and tug and pull. Lily got it out of the library and passed it on. It's set in Florida so there is that too. It is not, you may surmise correctly, Great Literature but as a story, it will do.
It has rained and it has become sunny again. It is going to get back down into the thirties this week. I am mildly surprised but not shocked as the pecan leaves have not yet begun to show and the old wives tale is that you should not set out your tomatoes until they have.
We've already lost one row of tomato plants by ignoring this advice and I hope we don't loose the two rows Mr. Moon planted to replace and add to those. The potatoes and peas and onions will be fine but the peppers and eggplant and those tender little 'mater plants could be in danger if we get frost.

Ah- the eternal problems and worries of the gardener and let's face it- the same thing will happen this year as happens every year which is that the weeds will return to take it all over again, despite all my vows to "keep up" with them that I make every year. And the red ants will overrun the garden and the tomato horn worms will suddenly, as if by spontaneous generation, appear to eat all the tomato plants and the stink bugs will suck the juices out of the tomatoes that do survive and besides that, the garden won't get enough sun and so the plants will all be of the Bonsai variety anyway.
Remind me again- WHY do I do this?

Oh yes. Because I love it. And because I must.

The baby chicks are doing very, very well in their new home. They are being chickens, scratching and snapping at mosquitoes and gnats, exploring their new world. Owen asked the other day if they had started laying eggs and I envisioned tiny eggs, the size of quail eggs being laid by my baby birds.
"Not yet, honey," I told him. "They have to grow up first. "
And they do. And hopefully, they will.

I saw Elvis, Jr. in my yard today as I weeded. He was accompanied by Miss Honey, which I found delightful. Wouldn't it be funny if he took a liking to my new chicks when they achieve maturity and became their husband?

God. I am so easily amused. It's really shameful. But honestly- I find all of this so fascinating. It's like I'm Margaret Meade, studying the natives of some far-off island, taking notes on their culture, their ways, their behavior. Or perhaps Jane Goodall, studying the chimpanzees in the Gombe. Okay, maybe not that fascinating but I don't have to live in a tent, either.

And Mr. Moon is home and I have watered the porch plants and the outside plants still inside for winter which need to go out. Soon. When the pecans begin to leaf. I feel no need to rush this. I feel no need to rush anything these days. I want time to slow down. I want my grandsons to stop growing up quite so fast. I want to be able to admire the fuzzy buds of the wisteria for a little while before they so very soon turn into the beautiful purple grape-like blossoms they are destined to become. I want to plan our trip to Mexico slowly and with joy, dipping into my sense memory which is so strong of it that I can literally find myself there for a moment, as if I had slipped the bounds of time and space and see and smell and feel it, exactly as if I were there.

I want to shiver in the anticipation of things.

Contrast that with how I felt two months ago which was that I just needed to get through this thing and then needed to get through that thing and my whole life was pinned and ruled by just-getting-through-this and it was all dread and fear.

And now there's this:
Having a martini with my husband, sitting by the chicken coop, watching the chicks and the chickens

as they run about the coop as the sun goes down and the cat comes up to join us.

And we clink our glasses and we say to each other, "Thank you for this life," and we go and pick arugula for salad tonight and damn.

I am the luckiest woman on the planet. And I know it. And I want it to slow down so that I can savor every bit of it.

Amen and hallelujah.

Love...Ms. Moon