Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Finding The Light, Even If The Sun Is Hidden

Still gray, still drizzling and I'm not sure why but it doesn't bother me in the least. It was a perfect day to make soup, to make bread, to snuggle with little boys on the couch. Gibson was in his most loving, snuggle-bug mood, giving me kisses, giggling when I kissed him on the neck, offering me the other side of him to gather more.

Owen was almost himself today and when the weather cleared a little we went outside to collect two fine eggs and to feed the chickens their grapes, to kick the bamboo. He wanted to give the young chicks "middle" names. The only ones I remember are these:
Nicey Moon
Drogo Pogo
Eggy Tina 
That last one is my favorite. Eggytina.
I asked him what he remembered about the hospital. 
"That I didn't have to take any medicine."
There you go. It is true. He did not. 

I told the child I would fix him anything he wanted to eat. He asked for Chex Mix. I gave him some. He ate it. Later he asked for cheesy noodles. I made those. He ate perhaps a bite or two but Gibson ate two bowls full. But Owen drank Sprite and water and he is being wise. I remember in nursing school being told that when there is a stomach upset, the bowel sometimes just needs to rest. And he is resting his bowel. 

Boppy came home early and the boys were overjoyed. We played Wii games and Owen won and won and won. Gibson played too and was overjoyed just to make things happen on the screen, winning or losing not yet a firm concept in his mind. 

It has been that sort of day. No wins, no losses, just life. 

Tomorrow Jessie and Vergil will be here. We will celebrate Jessie's birthday and this is the second one of her life that she has not shared the day and a cake with her grandmother whose birthday was the same day as hers. I remember as a child thinking that the first day of May was a very, very special day and getting up early and going outside in the just-born morning to pick flowers for my mother to put in an Easter basket to lay beside her bed. That is the best memory I have of my mother's birthday. It came from a child's love and I did that for several years. When I grew up, I would send her flowers on her birthday and I know she appreciated that. She would keep them as long as she could, pulling them out as they died, keeping the ones that had not yet faded until they too, had to be thrown away. 
I will admit though that in the last decade or so, I sent the flowers out of guilt, not love, and I can neither be ashamed of that nor regretful. It is simply what happened, the truth. 
But she was usually here on her birthday, celebrating with her beloved Jessie, and her name would be on the cake along with Jessie's, and they would blow out the candles together. 
That, too, is true, as is the fact that she loved sharing her birthday with Jessie. 
I believe this was the last party they shared. 

I will think about Mother tomorrow. I thought about her on Monday night when we were in the emergency room because the last time I was there, I was in a different room, holding Mother's hand as she died. 

Birth, death, all the days in between, strung like jewels of joy and sorrow, of nothing more than making soup, kissing a child, listening to the rain. 
And thus, altogether, a life.

Might as well blow out the candles with exuberance. Might as well make a wish.

Might as well be glad for the rain. As trite as it is true, the sun will shine again.  

Five Million Shades Of Green

I am living in the rain forest and so, as to be expected, it is raining. Drizzle and downpour, they take their turns, the lightening flashes, thunder cracks startling me.
The drumming of the rain is a percussive song, the notes are liquid and varied and a part of the curtain which surrounds me, gray and green. In ten years living in this house, I am not sure I have ever seen it so green.

There are not enough words to describe all the shades of green from delicate, pale fern to deep emerald magnolia leaf.

The boys are coming this afternoon. Lily said that Owen slept a lot yesterday and did not eat a thing. His body is healing. Since it is raining, we will have an inside day and perhaps I will give him the pirate magnet set I bought for him in Apalachicola.

Yes. It might be the perfect day for pirates.

Tomorrow is Jessie's birthday. She will be twenty-five. I remember her birth as if it were yesterday and how when she was born a rainbow was in the sky and magnolia blossoms in the room and all my brothers and all my friends were in the house to welcome her as well as her big sisters, her brother.
She and Vergil will be here tomorrow and we are so excited, all of us, to have them back for a few days. Greta will be coming too, to the delight of Owen and Gibson. We will be going into town for supper, meeting up with the whole tribe and what a sweet and good thing it will be for me to have everyone together.
All my babies. Babies grown to the most interesting humans I know. Still my babies, I don't care what anyone says. And they will always be.

I am contemplating that today. How to be perfectly honest, being a mother has been the most profound fact of my life. I know that this is not true for everyone nor should it be.
But it is for me.
I am thinking of how in my beliefs, love is the current from which it all comes alive and indeed, from which it all springs and I do not have the mind to truly know what that means when applied to the Universe or the planets or dark matter or the stars or quantum physics but I still believe it. The love of the electron for the proton, of the light for the dark and the dark for the light. For the tree and the roots and the leaves and the water and the necessity of the sunlight. For the hand and the shape of the egg. For the pressing and stroking of the string to create the notes. For the exact and proper placing of the paint or the word or the colored threads. Our definition of love is so limited, so poorly understood and yet, so yearned for, so desperately sought, so brilliantly and in so many different ways expressed and interpreted.
And when I held my babies for the first time, I knew a tiny bit more of what love means, even as to the idea of the current which fuels all of it and if that is not holy, I do not know what is.

No more possible to describe than the green.

Not for me. Maybe for you as you see it. We are all so different and that is exactly as it should be.

And yet, connected, us, the stars, the chickens, the grass, the trees, the water, the fire, the earth, the feather, the finger, the fin, the blood, the bone, the light, the dark.

I am going to make soup.
Good morning.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Heart Is Filled With It

It torrented and then it didn't and water is standing everywhere and we're supposed to be getting more. I went to the eye doctor and I can't see shit because my eyes were dilated and I drove that way and it was like a nightmare and I never want to do that again. And this doctor, whom I have never seen before, may have figured out why my eyes don't focus in my glasses.
"Let me ask you something," he said. "Look in here."
I did.
"Do you see one image or two?"
"Does that happen to you all the time?"
"We're going to fix that."

It all has something to do with one eye being less nearsighted but with more astigmatism and one eye being more nearsighted but with less astigmatism.

I can't tell you how great it would be to not have to constantly shut one eye.

But that isn't what I came here to talk about tonight. What I came here to talk about is Sophie, Elizabeth's daughter and the remarkable change that cannabis has made in her life. I am almost certain that all of the people who read here read Elizabeth's blog, A Moon, Worn As If It Were A Shell and if you don't you need to. I've been reading Elizabeth for years now and her words have touched me so much, her pictures too, that I dream of her and her family quite often. And in my dreams, Sophie has always looked the way she is looking now.
And to see her actually looking THAT way makes me happier than anything I can imagine.

Go here and read what Elizabeth has to say today if you haven't already.

I got nothing to say that's as earth-shaking as that.

Love you, Ms. Sophie. Love you, Elizabeth.

Now let's make this a reality for all of the children who need it so that we can see their true faces, their smiles, that yes, they are in there. Of course.

And We Heard The Nurses Saying That The Guy In Forty-One Was Really Cute

The sky is rumbling, all god and his angels rolling balls down the celestial alleys, the weather radar looks like the world is about to change, coming in from the west, air still as no-breath.

Yep. We're about to get it. We've had so much rain that I'm not sure we won't float entirely away on this one. I'm not complaining. I feel snug right where I am and I don't have to be anywhere until three this afternoon.

We had that hair appointment for Lily and the boys and me at one but that's been canceled due to a stomach bug that hit Owen last night hard. Lily texted me when they got home from Jacksonville and said, "Owen just puked. Great."
We attributed it to the long day, driving all the way to Jacksonville and back, visiting the great grandparents, going to the zoo. Then at eleven, she texted me, "Are you awake?"
"Barely," I answered. I had just put my book down, was reaching for my wrist brace (sexy image there, right?).
"Can you call me?"
And of course I was up and out of the bed and calling her before she could probably catch her breath and as soon as she answered I could hear Owen in a true, agonized panic in the background.
"Help me, help me!" he was screaming. "It hurts, it hurts!" And then, "Take me to the doctor!"
He was having lower abdominal pain and had been puking again and you don't mess around when there's that sort of  pain and so we agreed that she'd take Owen into the ER and that Glen and I would drive in to town to stay with Gibson so Jason could go be with Lily and his hurty-boy.

When we got to their house, I made the executive decision that I would go with Jason and we were in his car and on our way in seconds. "A milestone," I told him. "Your first trip to the Emergency Room with your child."

When we got there, Owen had been triaged and was drowsing on his mama. "Does your tummy still hurt?" I asked him, brushing his head with a kiss.
"No," he said.
And that's probably when we should have walked out but you know how that goes. He already had on the bracelet.
Jason's brother and sister-in-law and their child had a stomach bug last week and Owen was exposed and he wasn't running a fever and his color looked good and I did my quick and very professional nursing assessment for appendicitis by poking him gently in the lower right quadrant of his little boy belly. "Does that hurt?" I asked him.
"No," he said again.
"It's not appendicitis," I said confidently.
So we waited and we waited and the little baby next to us had the croup and finally we got taken to an exam room and we waited and we waited and Owen woke up to puke again but fell asleep afterwards and a nurse came in and asked questions and then we waited and we waited and the PA came in and asked questions and poked his little boy belly in the lower right quadrant and asked him if that hurt and he said, "No," and she listened to his bowel sounds and checked his ears and throat and said that she felt it was indeed a virus, not appendicitis and that he should drink a little Gatorade and if he could keep that down we could go home.
I was like, "But...if it's a stomach virus, he's going to throw that up." I mean, not only am I freaking nurse but I'm a mommy. We all know how these things go.
But they brought the Gatorade and he drank about two molecules of it and that was fine and in a little while he wanted water so I got him some ice water and he wanted to drink it ALL, he kept saying, but we cautioned him to take tiny sips and he kept that down until the clerk came in to do the discharge paperwork by which time he was throwing up the water but she didn't care and we bolted out of there like wild horses in front of forest fire and it was 3 a.m.

I drove Mr. Moon home because I was awake and alert and he was half awake and not very alert and we drove through the early morning hours and came home and got in our bed and we fell asleep and I haven't heard anything from Lily this morning so I hope they are all sleeping and that Gibson isn't puking now too.

And now the rain has come, it is battering the earth and the trees are throwing their leaves off frantically in the wind and the bowling alley has moved in closer to my head and it's as dark as just-after-dusk and it's suddenly chilly.

No walk today, but maybe a nap later.

May we all be safe, may we all be well. May we all be grateful when the storms that will inevitably come, pass and leave us whole.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, April 28, 2014

What I Know

I am having a recovery day. I realize that I am probably having the oh-so predictable let-down after this weekend's perfection and laughter and shiny-light sweetness. Ah, so it goes. But slowly, like this guy

I have moved through my day and made appointments for me and Lily and the boys to get our hair trimmed tomorrow by sweet Melissa and also for me to get my eyes examined. I really need new glasses more than I need my hair trimmed. I think I am just going to let my hair grow until it doesn't any more out of sheer perverseness. Why not? 

I took that picture of the Florida Redbelly Turtle on my walk this morning. Perhaps it is a female, on her way down to the pond (where she appeared to be heading) to lay her eggs. I do not know. I know very little and with every year, I seem to know a little less. 
Again, so it goes.

I do know that I worked in the garden and de-pooped where the baby chickens sleep and like to hang out. I can't wait to let them free-range and see how this  whole thing will work. I also know that Drogo has got to be a rooster. Here's a blurry picture of him. He is swift and does not hold still.

Do you see his wattle growing? It is not as impressive as the one I myself am growing these days, but it is there and he is young. One day it will be his pride and he will wiggle it and his comb to get the girls all excited. At least, in theory.

Here's a picture that Lily sent me of Owen. They went to Jacksonville today to go to the zoo but mostly to see Jason's grandparents who are old and who will probably not be with us forever.

I'm sure that may have traumatized Owen who quite readily admits that he does not like very old people. They frighten him. I hate to tell him but that new visor and sunglasses combo makes him look like nothing more than an old dude who's retired to Boca. But, you know. He's cool. 

Here's Gibson, being Gibson which is to say, cute.

And I need to go finish up supper and I really haven't felt very well today and I hope that tomorrow is better and that the eye doctor does not discover that I have a brain tumor by looking into my eyes with his magical equipment. Seriously, I worry about these things. And so many more. 

I know less, I worry more. Shouldn't it go the opposite way? 

Again with the perverseness.

Better perverse than perverted though and I am quite certain of that. 

I Could Live Quite Happily Without These Dreams

When something doesn't go Owen's way, he sometimes says, "This is the worst day ever!" And you know, ten minutes before it could have been the best day ever and don't we all have those days?

So far, worst day ever.
Not really. Not by a long shot. But shitfire.

I woke up from a horrible, terrible nightmare. When I tell it, it doesn't sound that bad but I was shaking when I woke up. I had two houses, neither in repair, and people were all over them and I HAD SO MUCH SHIT. Shit everywhere. Rooms I had no idea about. With refrigerators in them, leaking stuff. And toys and jewelry (crap jewelry) and just crap, crap, crap. And snakes and some weird rodent-looking creature that was obviously a reptile despite the rodent-looking appearance. And I needed help and I was freaking out and I couldn't find my husband and no one knew where he was and I was yelling things like, "I own this motherfucking building!" and other things I would never say in real life and I was trying to call Glen and of course, my phone was not my phone and anyway, blah, blah, blah and when I did actually get up I found that on my computer (though not my phone or iPad) that my contacts have been erased in my email program.

Great. It always makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach when something goes wrong with my computer. I know that's ridiculous but I'm ridiculous in general what?

I think it's just hit me that we are leaving for Mexico in just a little over two weeks and I am not ready in the least.

Okay. I'll stop now.

Time to pull up my big-girl panties and cowboy up, cupcake, and get on with it all.

How's Monday in your part of the world?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

Porch plants watered, garden sprinkler going, baby chickens fed grapes, laundry going and going, bamboo kicked. I cannot keep up with this bamboo. Two days away and some of it is as tall as I am.

In chicken news, Drogo is now growing his wattle and when I fed them their grapes, he tid-bitted. Yep. He's a boy.
I can't wait to hear his first attempts at adolescent, voice-cracking crowing. When Lis and I were at River Lily, one of the ladies working there and I got into a discussion about our chickens. She has babies about the same age as mine and as Lis said, we got into a chicken mind-meld. We were ALL about it. I resisted temptation fiercely and did not show her pictures of my birds. It's funny. I can totally get the fact that strangers really don't need to see pictures of my grand children but for some reason, it seems more acceptable to show them pictures of my chickens.

I picked some kale and some baby collards that have not yet bolted. And get this- I am going to motherfucking massage that shit for a salad. I can't believe this. And yet, well, get out the olive oil and salt. Stand back. Greens massaging will now begin.

Lord. What have I become? Next thing you know, I'll be making raw nut butters and making my own tempah from organic non-GMO soybeans I grow myself.

Don't hold your breath though. Seriously. I'll let you know how much the collards and kale enjoy the massage.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Trip Report

I swear to you- this was the very best weekend I can remember. It was just splendid in every way. Even my little bout of illness was such a good thing. Can that be? Yes. It was. After I took the Ibuprofen and the fever and pain went away, I was, as I said, in the most languid and delicious of states. It was truly almost a narcotic feeling. I was spacey and had no anxiety and in fact, had possibly the opposite of anxiety and was just completely happy and accepting of whatever came my way and delightful things came my way every moment.
Lis and I spent at least an hour in River Lily, the shop with this mermaid, which you have seen before, I am sure.

We looked at everything and everything was worth looking at from the vast, beautiful array of earrings to the soaps and scents and the Christmas ornaments and when I say "Christmas ornaments" you have to imagine things like sting-ray ornaments and manatee ornaments and the most beautiful of fishes and birds and King Neptune and bats and things I would (and have, to a degree) hang all over my house. We looked at clothes and hair ornaments and necklaces. Oh honey, we looked at it ALL!
And I bought birthday presents for my two daughters who have birthdays coming up and that feels so good.
Then we went to The Grady Market where we fondled and swooned over the Johnny Was clothing and we had to leave, finally, to catch our breaths and slow our heartbeats.

The fellows met us and we went for coffee and I said, "Let's go play cards on the balcony!" and everyone said, "Hurray!" and we did and we played for about four hours, not kidding, and it was probably the most fun any of us can ever remember happening. Last year, for my birthday, Lis gave me a deck of antique cards, still sealed in their wax paper.

I had never cracked that seal, but grabbed the box when we left on Friday and those are the cards we played with. We laughed, we cursed, we upset a group of people from Wisconsin because we stole "their table" and we did not care. The wind blew one of the cards off the table and Mr. Moon and Mr. Lon ran downstairs and Mr. Moon climbed the bannister and reached up onto the tin roof and got it. SAVED! 
I had the worst card-luck of my life. To the point where I just enjoyed the debacle and finally, after all those hours, Lon was the winner. We dressed for supper and went downstairs to the beautiful bar of the Gibson and we had martinis and ordered from the bar menu and ate shrimp tacos and salads with shrimp and spring rolls and all sorts of groovy, delicious food and laughed some more. 
Then we went upstairs for more birthday cake and by the time we all went to bed, there had been tears as well, good tears, tears of relief and release, long overdue, and I looked around at the four of us and I thought, one day, we will not all be here and it was an overwhelmingly sobering thought but one that made me want, more than ever, to be with these people as often as possible, for us all to make time together like this to get away, to be silly and loving and jokey and serious and everything there is to be that you can only be with people with whom you can trust your very heart. 

We had breakfast this morning and hugged each other good-bye and we set off in our various directions. Mr. Moon and I stopped to buy crab claws and steamed crawfish and also in Panacea to check out a little fishing tournament weigh-in that was happening. Mr. Moon picked me a magnolia. 

We also stopped to look at a very old log cabin which has fascinated me ever since I've lived here. Robb White writes about it in his book, Flotsam and Jetsam: The Collected Adventures, Opinions, and Wisdom From a Life Spent Messing About in Boats. His family owned the house at one time and he spent his childhood summers there. It sounded crazy and idyllic, the adults busy with drinking and enjoying life and letting the children run wild in boats on the water in packs. The house has been for sale for some time but it says Contract Pending on the sign now and I do hope someone buys it and restores it because it is magical.

Right on the water, right across from Dog Island. 
By god, I do love the part of Florida where I live. 

And now we're home and all is well here and I had to sit and write all this down so I won't forget any of it and how lovely it was and how much I enjoyed it (with all of my heart and soul and being) and the magnolia blossom is in the hallway, making my house smell of its lemony perfume and I feel outrageously rich and lucky and content and I will tuck those Lone Palm cards away, not to be used again until the four of us are together again to sit and play for hours. 

I suppose we are getting to the part of our lives where a card game with friends just can't be beat which is ridiculous and wonderful and as sublime a way to pass the hours as any I know. And I hope we'll be doing that again before too much time has passed because time will pass and quickly and it is up to us to grab it and use it as we want.

As Gibson might say, "Dat's right. Dat's right!"

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, April 26, 2014

No Tiltle

Feelings Of Euphoria

If you ever have to be sick, this is the sick to be. After my stomach settled and I took Ibuprofen, I settled into a state of languid dreamy dreaminess. 
It's a perfect way to feel on this perfect day of cool, sweet breezes, playing cards on the veranda in the tree tops. 
I couldn't have planned it any better. 

Ah, Life

Last night was like this. 

And this. 

And this morning it is like this. 

My view from my pillows. I think I may have a little bit of what my baby Gibson had. 

I am hoping to rally. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

We tore it up last night here in Lloyd. Lon and Lis got in and before I knew it there was chicken salad and crackers on a pretty plate and then martinis were shaken up and chickens were introduced and it was so sweet and so fun.
Oh, the joy of having this woman here to share hearts with.
And her sweet husband, too. I swear, these are the best people in the world and it is pure joy to get to spend this weekend, Lis's birthday weekend, with them. We've been doing this for going on twenty years now and you have no idea how grateful I am for that.

I made Lis a pretty little spice cake and decorated it with pansies and pecans and every birthday candle I could find in the house including the fishy one and the star you see above. Why were there no pictures? I do not know.
I asked Lis if she'd made a wish before she blew out the candles.
"No," she said, "but my wish already came true."


We've had some French toast and bacon this morning and are slowly getting ready to head down to Aplalachicola for two nights. We'll be staying at the venerable old Gibson and our plans include shopping, playing cards, dining out. Lis helped me pack which means I'm heavy on the skirts and velvet. She has influenced my life so much, this woman. She has taught me more than I even know.

So. Happy Birthday, Lis, and thank you for sharing it with us.

It is a good day in North Florida and it was a good day, the day Lis was born.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, April 24, 2014

This Is Major Excitement For Me

As so often happens, life is indeed what happens while you're busy making other plans.

My baby Gibson started running a fever last night. I should have known he was sick in that he didn't want to eat a thing yesterday which is not my Gibson. Not even watermelon! He had a few grapes. He asked for water.
So he is sick and Lily doesn't want to bring him out but wants to stay home and cuddle him which means I have more time today to do a little cleaning and to bake Lis a birthday cake before they get here this evening.
But right now, I am concentrating on this guy.

It's a little oak snake but I'm afraid it's heading toward the bluebird nest and slowly, it is. I wasn't even sure there was anything going on in the nest but I went over to check it and the door had come open and sure enough, this is what I saw.

I securely closed the door and now I'm going out to check that snake about every five minutes and if I wasn't such a damn fraidy cat I'd slip the pitchfork under it and toss it into the woods, not that I'm sure that would do anything but slow down the inevitable. 

Damn. Nature can be so cruel. 

Ah. I see the parents have discovered the snake. 

Life in Lloyd. Never a dull moment. 

And it's hard to stay inside and clean with so much going on outside and the air is scented with roses and I went out to check on the snake and it's disappeared and I sincerely hope not into the nesting box and Elvis has had to escort three hens out of the nest and there's another one on the nest right now and so it is a day rich in doin's and and life and I am so sorry that Gibson is sick but sure as snakes go for eggs, viruses go for little ones and somehow, life goes on, even as we're busy making those other plans. 

The Evidence Amasses

And in chicken news, it appears to be more and more obvious that Miss Catniss is a rooster. 
Check out that crazy bird. 

Mr. Moon reported this morning that he was chasing the other chicks around, biting them on the neck. This seems to be pretty solid evidence to me. Neck-biting is a precursor to sex in chicken foreplay. I'll not be surprised to hear  tiny wavery crowing attempts coming from the little dude next.

The meanest rooster I ever knew was a red rooster named Krushchev (you'll understand this if you're old enough to remember a certain Soviet leader) who terrorized the children of the neighborhood when I was growing up. That rooster would come at you, wanting to peck and make you bleed. It was the memory of Krushchev that prevented me from getting chickens for years and years. I had no idea that roosters can be sweet until we had Elvis.

Hopefully, he will be sweet. Not as sweet as Elvis because that's impossible but sweet, still. I just can't abide the thought of a mean rooster around my grandchildren although a mean rooster can be a solid protector of his hens but I'll tell you this- if he goes after Elvis's hens, there's going to be some feathers flying because Elvis is going to take the bird to school.

When I went out to take his picture this morning he made it difficult by jumping up and trying to bite the camera. Which is because I always take them grapes, but it's a little frightening.

Then he started dancing around Chi-Chi.

Oh boy. Hormones. Whether in humans or chickens they are powerful things.

I've got a day's worth of stuff to do in the next two hours before the boys get here so I better get busy and quit ruminating over chickens and their sex, chickens and their gender, the possibility of chicken and dumplings, and memories of a terrorizing red rooster from my childhood.
But let me add- I remember when Kruschev had his head cut off and yes, it's true. Chickens do run around after their heads are separated from their bodies. And Mrs. Ferger, Kruschev's owner, had to stew that bird for an entire day to make him fit to eat.

Well, that's probably more than you needed to know this morning.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. I think I shall rename Catniss. From henceforth, perhaps he shall be called Kohl Drogo after this guy in Game of Thrones. Drogo for short. Yeah. I like it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Babies and Drunks

I know it's been said before but it bears repeating- babies, toddlers and young children are very much like drunks and spending a great deal of time with the aforementioned babies, toddlers, and young children is not unlike hanging out with drunks when you yourself are not drunk, nay, sober as a judge in fact.
(Actually, the only judge I personally knows does like a drink but not while he's working.)
Anyway, think about it.
Babies and kids drop things all the time. You know how some people come over and you do not give them the good wine glass? I mean, you just know it's going to hit the floor at some point over the evening. (And please, trust me- I've dropped my share of martini glasses.)
Yeah. You don't give a child his juice in your best crystal. Before they drop the glass though, they spill whatever was in it. Down the front of themselves. Onto the floor in a wash of sugary substance that's going to take some work to get rid of and you're probably going to be sticking to the floor as you walk and that's just the way it is.
Children eat like drunks. Sloppily. Half the food never makes it to their mouths. They slobber and chew with their mouths open and talk and scream too, while they're eating.
Like drunks.
Children also believe, as do many people who are intoxicated, that they can do ANYTHING. Children think they can jump off the kitchen porch without injuring themselves and drunks think they can drive just fine. Children are also pretty sure that you don't know what you're talking about but that they do. And logic has absolutely nothing to do with any of it. Just keep saying the same thing, over and over and louder and louder and eventually, you, the adult/sober person will understand the truth of the matter.
Babies and drunks also fall down a lot.  Luckily for babies, they're pretty flexible.
Babies and drunks like to register their complaints and discomforts loudly and demand immediate attention to remedy the problem.
Babies and drunks cry at the drop of a hat.
Children and drunks don't always hit the toilet. Any woman who has been employed in a bar and who has had to mop the restrooms is well prepared for toilet training when she has children.
Babies, children, and drunks don't have the inhibitions that sober adults have as pertains to what is and is not appropriate clothing or lack thereof. Or, to be truthful, as pertains to what and what is not appropriate to say.
Babies and drunks throw up frequently.

Should I go on?

Nah. It's just something I was thinking about today.

Okay- here's one more. Drunks and babies and children will pass out. Often times while eating.

Of course, one could also compare babies and old people too but as Mr. Moon so often says, "I resemble that."

Maybe I'll just be a drunk old person, go for it, shoot the damn moon, annoy the shit out of everyone by dropping things and falling down and spilling stuff all over myself and being whiny and demanding and loud and weeping a lot. As I've so often said, I'll be sitting on my front porch wearing a ratty, stained slip and drinking gin from a mason jar and yelling at people as they pass by.
Someone will lead me to the potty and feed me applesauce, surely.


God, I hope so should some miracle occur and I live that long.

Time will tell. I need to start buying slips. I already have the mason jars. Enough for plenty of breakage.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

P.S. The boys were really good today and hardly did anything that I have described above. Just wanted to make that clear. But I probably should mop the bathroom.

Yearning For Release

Well, my spate of not having anything to say seems to have continued. It's gray, it's a bit gloomy, I have numerous things I need to do and it is absolutely not true that if you pluck a hair over and over it will finally quit growing.

So honestly, you don't want to know what's in my mind today (a field of continually plucked and yet ever-growing hairs, as it were) and to be brutally honest, I want my dogs to die more than I ever have which is a whole lot. Do you know what my guest room smells like? Yeah. Dog pee.
Do you know what my living room smells like?
You're right! Dog pee!
Is it truly "quality of life" if the best thing you can say about two animals is that your grandchild likes to give them dog treats? Which he practically has to shove into their mouths because they can't see the treats?

All right. That's quite enough of THAT, Ms. Moon.

I expect the ASPCA to come calling any moment. GOOD! Come on, take custody of these animals.

I wish.

Hopefully, the day will proceed in a better manner.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You know what I just decided?

1. My day, as fascinating as it was to me (I BOUGHT A NEW DISH DRAINER! I KNOW! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!), is really not that interesting.

2. I would order a bathing suit online. Not just any bathing suit. I got to thinking about a bathing suit I owned and loved once. It looked like this:

I wore that thing until the elastic was a long-lost dream. It was made by the Esther Williams bathing suit company. So I looked them up and there they were and you can still buy the suit and I ordered one in black. I should have gotten red again. 

Anyway, there you go. 

It's been a good day. And I've sort of been wanting to share this because it blew my mind. 

I have no words.

Which is probably a good thing.

To Awaken After Good Sleep

It is heart-swelling, soul-stirringly beautiful here this morning.
And I slept last night. I took two Benadryl which was my indication to the universe that I was fucking serious and let's get this sleep shit going. None of this waking up and fretting all night. Uh-huh. No thanks. And the Benadryl and the universe said, "Well all right then. We hear you." And I slept and even my dreams were sweeter, more positive, and that is a blessing and I woke up in a mood to receive the goodness which was presented to me.
And so it is.

I was going to go to bed at nine last night but sat down to watch the last few minutes of Antiques Roadshow (we rip it up around here) and then, what should come on but that documentary I've been wanting to watch ever since I heard of it, Muscle Shoals.
Well, that was it for me. I sat entranced for almost two hours, watching in complete astonishment. How could I not have known all of this history? How could I not have known that there was one man and his band of country-as-hell white boy musicians behind everything from Mustang Sally to Brown Sugar? 
I think I may have posted this before but I'm doing it again

And I'd like to watch the entire documentary again because there were plenty of places where I just looked at Mr. Moon and said, "WHAT did he say?"

A story. A beautiful, crazy, powerful story and a huge part of the history, not only of the music of our country, but of the way the music brought people together to sweeten and make visible and audible the possibility of Civil Rights done the right way, the joyful way, the coming-together of all sorts of different people to create magic and art with no eye to what color a person's skin tone might be.
Or how long his hair might be either, for that matter.

So going to bed with that on my mind didn't hurt a thing.

I've got plenty to do today including listening to the last CD of Game of Thrones which I have been hoarding for days now. I have to take a walk, go to town, run errands, try to do a little cleaning, enjoy this day for it looks to be a splendid one.

Here are those tiny pink perfect fragrant roses. When I went to let the chickens out, you can be sure I stopped to smell them. I would wish a moment for you like that today as well.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Way You Do Dat Ting

The boys were so very good today. Gibson was his agreeable self, saying "yes" far more than "no" which was a refreshing change, to be honest. We didn't do much. The regular stuff. But we did pick up bamboo which had been kicked and put it in the garden cart and when we finished dumping it out, Owen decided that the cart needed washing.
"That's fine with me," I said.
I got them some shop rags and a bucket of water and let them have at it. They scrubbed for half an hour before Gibson tired of the game.
"You want to help, Mer?" asked Owen at one point.
"Nope. Thanks, though," I told him. I sat on a rock and watched them toil. It was strangely satisfying.

Gibson's really talking these days. When he hears something, from Elvis crowing to a train coming, he asks, "What dat ting?" which is about the cutest damn thing I've ever heard. We were blowing bubbles, or at least I was blowing bubbles (and yes, Mutant Ninja Turtle bubbles are amazing) and when Gibson begged to try and I let him and he managed to get a few bubbles out he said, "I did dat ting!"

Owen told me I was beautiful today but I'm pretty sure it was because I was making him a sherbet and grape juice drink. It reminded me of the part in The Yearling where Jody tells his ma she's beautiful and she's says something like, "You always think that when I'm fixing your vittles."
Yeah. Well. That's the way it is.
When I went to tell them good-bye in the van when they were leaving with their daddy, Owen gave me what I can only call a flirtatious wink which I'm sure he picked up from some movie. It cracked me up. Well, what else is a grandma for if not to practice your flirting skills on?
Ah, these days of sweet innocence.
They will not last forever.

Nor will this day which is good because I'm not really feeling that great. Just tired. And why is it that when you're tired, everything looms so large and seems so important? I do not know, but it does.

But then there is sleep and we get up and we do dat ting, over and over again.

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

A Little Frantic But What Else Is New?

I am way behind on answering comments and quite frankly, life is getting in the way. It's going to be a very busy week with lots of boy-time and getting ready to go to Apalachicola again this weekend with my Lis and Lon and so I guess I'm apologizing.
I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed this morning and something got into the trash that was outside waiting to go to the trash place and I had to clean that up and that is just not a good way to start a day, much less a week but the sun is shining, finally, and at last, and so we can play outside today and we will.

I have not been sleeping so well but wake up over and over and over again and my dreams are just horrible and I'm feeling like the world's worst mother and am fretting and worrying over things that threaten to overtake me if I let them and I need to stop and just...breathe.

Breathe. Let it go. Be mindful of this beautiful day, the light fully back, the clucking of hens next door, the calling of birds, the richness of my life, this cool, sweet air.

I have a rose vine which I didn't even prune this year and it snakes and climbs and drapes and catches you if you accidentally brush it on your way out to the hen house and year before last I cut it back to the nothing and still it grows and the tiny, baby-pink roses on it are a wonder and they smell exactly like roses should smell.

Here they are.

And now I need to go take the trash and make the bed and get ready for Owen and Gibson and pray that they are not too jacked up on yesterday's candy and let the chickens out and remember to be thankful that this is my life and that it is filled with beauty, both great and small and that all will be as it will be and it is not mine to control the world. 

Or something the fuck like that.

Happy Monday.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ham And Teachers

Well, beside the fact that none of the kids could out today except for Lily and Jason, it's been a pretty perfect Easter.
Here's what the food looked like.

And yes the greens were delicious and the frittata thing with the onions and peppers and potatoes and mushrooms and asparagus was just fine and the deviled (or as Ms. Rebecca says) Jesused eggs were terrific but oh my god...the ham and the pineapple casserole and the biscuits.
Chile, please. 
That pig was sanctified and bona fide. That casserole was sweet and cheesy and buttery and crunchy. And the biscuits were like little pillows of soft, warm heaven.

And no, I did not take the ham into the closet. There was plenty for all and in fact, my ham needs may be satisfied for another year. 

Eggs were hidden, hunted and found. 

And then two more warm ones, a brown and a blue, were discovered in the hen house. 

Bamboo jousting was enjoyed by Owen and his mama.

There was chick cuddling and goat-feeding and mule-feeding. 
And the men did the dishes. 

Pretty darn perfect. 

But here's another thing I want to talk about. This article was in the paper this morning.

We all had one, at least. A few if we were lucky. The teacher that made you hungry to learn. That made you want to do your best. That took an hour's lecture and turned it into the best hour of the day. That made it all come alive. 
That was Dr. Jones who is set to retire this year at the age of 83. 
I took his two of his American Politics classes. Neither one were required for a nursing degree but the basic American History class was filled up when I went to register and so somehow, I got in his class and I couldn't wait to take another. So I did. 
The first class I ever took from him, that man right up there stood in front of his class room, leaning over the podium in that exact posture (and '82 was one of the years I had him) and he began to lecture. He went right into it, never followed notes, just began to talk. And he'd barely begun when a timid knocking came from the door and he swiveled his eyes, then went and opened it. A worried-looking woman beckoned him out into the hallway and he shut the door and there was murmuring from outside it and then he strode back into the room, said, "Class dismissed. Goddamn fucking Datsun piece of shit." 
His 280-Z had caught fire in the parking lot. 

And that's the way he was. He cursed like a sailor. He called Richard Nixon "Trick", he made the presidents of old live and breathe. He didn't mince words when it came to subjects like slavery and politics, Civil Rights and Joe McCarthy. There was no text book. All of the exams (written in bluebooks) came directly from our notes on his lectures. He was amazing. 

I was in the process of getting a divorce when I was in his class and one day he came in and said to me, "You get divorced?" 
It had been in the legal ads of the paper. Do they still do that? Publish divorces? Anyway, they did then.
"Yes I did," I said. "How'd you know?"
"I've been divorced so many times I read that part of the paper everyday to see if I've gotten divorced again," he told me. 
I remember once when we had a paper due and I was overwhelmed with my nursing classes and my children and everything in my whole life, I went to him during office hours and asked if I could have an extension. 
"Sure," he said. "No problem."
And of course, the pressure being taken off of me, I got it in on time. And made an A on it. 

Here's another thing- I can almost bet you that if I ran into him today, he'd remember who I was. Of course, I sat on the front row and I paid attention but, still. He was (and I'm sure still is) a man who became deeply invested in his students. And not the sort of invested that my creepy-ass chemistry teacher was who closed and locked the door when his female students visited him during office hours and sat behind the desk and made subtle but not that subtle leering comments to us. Not Dr. Jones. He was straight-up and at the end of every semester, hosted a get-together at a local beer garden. 
He was awesome. And I'm sure he still is.
And I'm glad there was a lovely piece about him in the paper today and that he's still with us and sounds as vital and interested and interesting and invested as ever. I hope his retirement is a time of great and vast enjoyment for him. Maybe he'll write another book. Or four. Hell, maybe he'll even get married again. 

All right. Here's one more picture. And Mr. Moon took this one.

The grosbeaks have arrived. What a nice thing to happen on Easter or, in fact, any day. 

It's been such a good day.  And I'm still full from our lunch and rested from a nap. And restored. 
And according to those who blew bubbles today, Ninja Turtle bubbles are freaking amazing. So if you want some good bubbles, go to the Walgreens (which Hank calls the flea market of drug stores) and get you some. Because bubbles are magical and beautiful and wonderful and I can only imagine that if I was celebrating 4/20 that I'd be sitting in the back yard blowing some right now.

Love and kisses...Ms. Moon

We're Traditionalists

Because nothing says Our Redeemer Liveth! quite like a basket full of Mutant Ninja Turtles crap made in China. And light up ducks and plastic wind-up chickens that lay bubblegum eggs out their butts.

Happy Easter, y'all! May all your chocolate be dark and your hearts be light.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Talking About Ass

It quit raining but the sun has never come out and it's been gray and chilly all day long but no big deal. In a way it's nice to work out in the garden and not get so hot and sweaty I sort of want to die but in fact to merely warm up.
I finally pulled all the bolting greens and fed some of them to the goats next door. I have a terrible fear that I will feed those goats something as innocuous as bolted collard greens and then one of them will die and it will be all my fault. 
I have a rich fantasy life.

So okay, I went through my clothes today. As part of my rich fantasy life, I always think I'll get rid of things. But I don't. I just don't. All right, I did throw out a bunch of underwear I'm never going to wear again and a few shirts but this is how crazy I am- I have an entire bin of clothes I will never wear again in my life unless I get some dread disease in which case all I'll need is an old nightgown and not ten pairs of men's Levi's and some nice linen skirts. What the fuck is wrong with me?

Oh well. I have the room and if I keep all that shit it's not hurting anyone and there you go.

But things are more tidy and that feels good and I have the greens simmering and the angel biscuit dough is made and I've figured out how long I need to cook the ham tomorrow and I did four loads of laundry and cleaned out the old poopy hay in the hen house and the baby chicken shelter and put down fresh hay for their little feathery butts.
Speaking of butts, the other day Owen was talking about baboons. "You know," he said, "those things that have blue faces and red asses?"
I was a bit taken aback. I had never heard him use the word "ass" before.
However, I tried not to make a big deal of it and it's not a big deal. Ass is a perfectly acceptable word in my book.
"Yes," I said. "I do."
And that was that.

Mr. Moon went to a festival downtown today to meet up with Lily and Jason and the boys. He parked in a lot that had no signs posted concerning the illegality of parking there but his car got towed. Now if that had happened to me, I would have freaked out and just paid the fee to get my car back and probably cried and so forth. But not Mr. Moon. He actually got a police officer to walk around the lot with him to witness the fact that there were no signs posted and then to call the towing company to tell them that they had illegally towed that car. By the time it was all over, he had the car back and had paid no fee.
So good on him.
Do not fuck with Mr. Moon.

When he came back, we fed cut-up grapes to the baby chickens.

Of course that's Nicey eating from his hand. Catniss is the only other chick who will do that, the rest are too shy. I am almost certain that Catniss is a rooster and so what shall I call him? Suggestions? I was thinking of a character name from Game of Thrones but I'm not sure of that. And dammit, I am on the next-to-the-last CD of the first book and I'm already grieving.

Well, I better get off my butt or ass or whatever you want to call it ("buttocks" is a personal favorite) and go fold the last load of laundry and put it all away and then Mr. Moon and I are going to play cards and listen to Prairie Home Companion.

Saturday. A good one. And tomorrow I get to eat ham which is the ass or butt or buttocks of a pig.

The so-very-tasty ass or butt or buttocks.

I hope.

Love...Ms. Moon

Food And Stuff

It rained again all night long but softly, almost lovingly, not to anthropomorphise the rain or anything.

I just looked up to see Elvis fucking one of the hens. Man, that is some fast sex. It's like a poultry farm around here today. When I went to let out our chickens, Miss Honey from next door was in the pump house eating cat food from the cat's dish, and a rooster and a young hen, also from next door were eating scratch from yesterday in front of the hen house. I let our chickens out and and then went to give the young ones some scratch in the coop and Miss Nicey followed me right out. "No dear," I told her, and gently put her back inside.

So I did buy a ham yesterday. Some sort of "all natural" ham and what that better mean, for the price, is that the pig it came from was raised free-range in the woods and fed acorns and creamed spinach and cheese grits and given daily massages up until the moment it was given a painless and honorable death while prayers from all religions were chanted. I hope that "all natural" doesn't mean it won't taste hammy. I'm going to go pick the last of the greens and cook them today and then heat them up tomorrow. I'm going to make angel biscuit dough so that I can just roll that out and bake the biscuits for the brunch feast. And I guess I'm going to make some sort of frittata with our eggs and potatoes and asparagus. Lily's bringing a pineapple casserole which she makes from a recipe we got from a Methodist Ladies' cookbook so you know that's good. The ingredients are canned pineapple, Ritz Crackers, butter and cheese. That's food. Right?

So. Enough talk about food. Let's talk about something really important.
FSU's new logo.
Man, people are fucking up in ARMS about this shit.


I mean, you'd think from the news media that this is an issue of as grave importance as if FSU had announced it was changing its mascot from a Seminole Indian to My Little Pony. 
Mostly, people hate the new logo, HATE IT! Refuse to accept it! Etc. 
Do these people not have lives? 

Well, anyway, I do have a life, albeit a very small one, and I need to get busy and start doing things to keep it moving along as smoothly and sweetly as possible. The rain seems to have stopped, it is cool and the amaryllis is blooming although the rain has made it droopy.

A squirrel is literally doing this fifteen feet from where I sit:

He is eating so greedily that I fear that within five minutes he's going to fall with a thump from the feeder and be unable to crawl away home. 

Happy Saturday from Lloyd where all creatures, both great and small, have plenty to eat. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thoughts At Dusk On Another Good Friday

It is raining still and I wonder at the ground's ability to hold tight to the roots of the great oaks even as I think of the aquifer, refilling, the underground lakes which lie beneath us here receiving the waters, filtered by clay and dirt, by the bones of animals and men and trees, by the limestone itself which holds that which we cannot live without.

It has rained a night and a day, Lloyd itself threatens to float away and yet, we will not. I should walk down to Lloyd Creek through that overgrown path in the woods to see the swollen breast of it as it runs and washes down and over the banks. Maybe tomorrow I will.

I went to town today and passed the churches with their black-fabric draped crosses, wondering, wondering why there is this need to celebrate the suffering of any one human. I grew up in a house where suffering was sanctified and vilified, all at the same time and even as a tiny child I somehow thought it was my duty to do something about that suffering. And to make myself worthy of the suffering which occurred daily and always. It wasn't until I was full grown that I realized the foolish cruelty of that belief.
No wonder I shun it even as it is elevated and made to be the main message of a religion.
He died for us and our sins that we may live life everlasting.
It didn't make sense in a sad and dysfunctional household and it doesn't make sense in this world in which we live, either.
Not to me.

The only suffering which for me has been proven to be of worth is the suffering of the pangs of childbirth and through that suffering, came life. Even then, I had to come to an understanding of why birth has to hurt so much and I have come up with a reason to satisfy myself, as a mother, as a person who believes there are evolutionary reasons for most things. And my theory has nothing to do with Eve and an apple, or a snake or punishment.
Only that with the appearance of the babe, the first sight and sound and touch and smell of it, comes the complete relief of pain, the release of its overwhelming bloody grip upon the loins and womb, and thus, the baby itself imprints unknowingly itself on the mother as a savior, one she will do anything to protect and nurture. And perhaps it is similar for the child as well. I would not be surprised to know that birth is powerfully painful for the baby and that pain is relieved and released at the first sight and sound and touch and smell of the mother and thus is born the beginnings of that bond.
Or something like that.
But this makes sense. This is observable.
The salvation of mankind through the suffering of a capital punishment (which is what crucifixion was) makes no sense to me, however, and I doubt it ever will.
And I no more believe the resurrection occurred than I believe in the possibility of a Rapture.


Easter does get me going, doesn't it?

But strangely, I am in a good enough mood. It's Friday night, spaghetti sauce is simmering, my man is just now home. I haven't gathered eggs today because when I went out to check the nest, Miss Sharon was sitting on it. It's so funny how all the hens want to lay in the same nest, even waiting impatiently for one hen to finish while there are so many other places to lay and how the desired spot changes so suddenly from one place to another. I am quite certain there is a reason for this, as well, but I do not know it unless it is a desire to throw off the predators which might steal their eggs although they seem completely unconcerned that I take their eggs.
I am a benevolent predator, I suppose.

Anyway, I am content and peaceful this evening as the rain continues to drip, the birds twitter sleepily, the drums from the Holy Ghost Revival Center next door beat out a heartbeat rhythm, even as my heart within me beats its own rhythm.

May the ground hold tightly to the roots of the trees, may the sweet water be filtered and held deep below and rest pure and cold to sustain us. May we celebrate not suffering but the joy which comes when the renewal and creation of life continues and occurs. May it continue, all, despite all of our best efforts to tame and use it for our own needs and desires.
May we someday learn not to celebrate or worship suffering but to learn to bear it as all lives will contain it. May we do more to help ease the suffering of others and do less to elevate it into something it is not.

That is my wish for tonight.

Love...Ms. Moon

No Energy, No Good

I feel this morning as if I've been beaten. A distinct feeling of age and fatigue in the joints and bones. And it's raining, raining, raining and it stormed last night, great cracks and rumbles, the window panes shaking in their frames. The old deaf and blind dog scratching at our door. He must feel the storms because I know he can't see or hear them.
I opened the door to the henhouse and even Elvis just looked at me as if to say, "Oh, no. Thank you but we'll be staying in today." The little chicks (and truly, they aren't that little any more) scrambled out of their tiny shelter but part of the coop is covered and so they can stay relatively dry as they eat, and eat they do. They are eating machines at this stage, growing by leaps and bounds daily.

In the real news, I was reading an article about Edward Snowden in Vanity Fair yesterday and discovered something absolutely horrifying which is that the NSA can somehow use a cell phone, even if it is turned off, as a microphone. This is not paranoid science fiction bullshit. This is merely true.
What the hell is happening to us?

Also, it looks like it's taking an article in the New York Times about how Tallahassee Police and FSU shoved the possible rape of a nineteen year old under the rug because the accused perpetrator was FSU's star quarterback and a shoo-in for the Heisman trophy.
Supposedly the investigation was stopped because Winston refused to cooperate with questioning.
Excuse me? Is this how our justice system works?
What a stupid question. Of course it is, depending on who you are.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died at the age of 87 which I am sure everyone knows by now. He gave so much beauty and wonder to the world of literature that it seems ridiculous to mourn his death. To me it seems as if we should simply be celebrating his life although I do feel sorrow for his family, of course.

It's Good Friday and so is the day that Christians all over the world take time to honor Christ being nailed to a cross in some sort of God-Made sadistic plan to then use his death to save mankind from its sins.
I heard an excellent interview on Fresh Air a little over a week ago with an agnostic theologian named Bart Ehrman who has written several books on early Christianity and his newest book is entitled How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher From Galilee. 
Highlights HERE. 
Eye-opening, to say the least.

I need to go to town to get things for our own Paganish Easter Egg Hunt and Brunchy Thing which we are having Sunday. I am thinking of getting a ham and to be frank, when I think of Easter, there are two things which I consider to be worth celebrating. One is eggs and the other is ham.

(Sort of sums it all up, doesn't it?)

I always feel though that ham is too great a temptation for me. That if I bake a ham, people will find me in a closet with the ham and a knife and that if they open the closet door, I will thrust the knife in their face while clutching the ham to my bosom and threaten them in an Exorcist-style voice, "Leave me and my ham alone!"
This probably will not happen but it's a possibility.
Well, I may tempt fate anyway.

I need to stop. It's taken me approximately four hours just to write this horribly written drivel. Is "drivel" a word? Yes. Yes it is.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon