Sunday, November 30, 2014

Greens And Goodness

Feels good. I got most everything weeded I wanted to weed and did a little fertilizing and then watered it all in. I expect my garden to leap to attention now! Uh-huh. Sure.
Anyway, what a gorgeous, beautiful day and I made some nice bread and took Kathleen and Bug half of that vat of soup I made and a nice lovely loaf of bread and we got to visit a little bit. I think that visits with Kathleen need to be short ones now. She tires easily and after Thanksgiving, I think she is a bit tireder than usual.
She will rally again though. I feel certain she will. That is the way she is. Indomitable spirit and true grace and goodness.
And a wicked sense of humor.

So. I got to see two ladies today whom I love forever and that makes it a most special day and here's a picture of Lisa and me and I surely would like to know just how I got this old.
I guess because I've just kept on living.

Ain't she precious? I've known her since she was a child. 
We call her Lisa-Lisa-Redheaded-Lisa-Whom-We-Adore. 

Pretty much sums it up. 

Time to make supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

A Fine Sunday

My Lord. Sunday has been busy so far. For Lloyd, at least.

Mr. Moon and I had just finished our breakfast (and Ashley loves bacon and cheese grits, by the way) when a car pulled up with my Lisa-Lisa in it and our dear friend Michele and two other folks that I was mighty pleased to meet. We had a very sweet visit and a walk around the yard to see all the chickens and the goats next door and the big trees and they had some coffee and pecan pie. They were on their way home to Tampa after the big FSU-UF game which, even here in Lloyd is impossible to completely ignore although I do my best.

So that was fun and heart-warming and now Mr. Moon is loading up all sorts of ladders and tools to go do something in town which requires ladders and tools and I haven't even washed the breakfast dishes but who cares? It's a beautiful day, warm and sunny and Elvis is watching his hens scratch under the Bradford pear leaves and I might just go do some more weeding and maybe even go crazy and fertilize the collards.

I woke up today in a cheerful mood and because that is rare and beautiful for this time of year I'm surfing on it, loving it, being extremely grateful. I love showing my house and yard to people who have never seen it and it makes me see it through new eyes again although I am almost certain that never do I take it for granted. Never do I quit being charmed by my own little world and in fact, astonished that I get to live here.

So that's me today. Being all cheerful and grateful and playing with the kitty and hugging people I love and watching the light shift as the sun moves across the sky.

How are you?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Life On Earth

We did the outdoors thing today. Mr. Moon got up on the roof and blew the leaves off which scares me to death. That's the back porch roof he's on there and here he is on the front porch.

I took that when I got back from the post office and I like it because you can see the leaves dancing down. 

I spent hours in the dirt, kneeling and weeding. Turns out a lot of the carrots came up but you couldn't see them for the weeds. My little bonsai garden. Eventually I'll get that bag of organic fertilizer off the kitchen porch and actually use it. Anyway, it was a most pleasant way to spend an afternoon, pulling tiny weeds by hand, some of them hardly bigger than a hair while trying to avoid pulling the lettuces and carrots. While I worked (if you can even call such a pleasant thing work) I listened to yet another Philippa Gregory novel, this one about Mary Queen of Scots. Mostly. I swear- I think I've listened to every one of her books available on audio available at the local libraries. Please don't judge me. They're perfect to listen to while doing housework or gardening or walking. I also listened to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, which is always amusing. 

So it was a perfectly fine day under the blue sky with the chickens clucking and scratching around the garden fence and beautiful English voices in my ears. 

Ashley is doing very, very well. Mr. Moon decided to let her out into the kitchen and laundry room again today because she is very obviously bored with the bathroom confinement. She meows and bats at the door. Lily really needs to get that kitty soon because of course she is stealing our hearts. 

When I come into her presence now she doesn't run and hide but stands her ground and looks at me. She loves to play with feather toys and will even play with us. She is, in short, becoming a cat. I took her into the Glen Den tonight and she is happy there, exploring and sniffing and jumping and playing with a turkey feather and sharing bits of cheese with Mr. Moon. When I went in last, she had settled down on some pillows like a tiny queen.

She is such a testament to what can be achieved with a lot of love and a little bit of patience and an unending stream of delicious foods. I keep joking that it's like she's on one of those all-you-can-eat cruises and she is taking advantage of every meal. I am so glad that I grabbed her that day last week and brought her in to warmth and safety, even if she did try to take my hand off. She couldn't help it. She was hungry and cold and terrified. 
And now she is not. 
And when she purrs she is so loud that it makes us laugh. 

I just read a thing on Facebook that is so true and something I really need to remember right now and I am going to copy it without the author's permission but I am going to beg forgiveness from him as soon as I publish this. The man who wrote it is Matt Haig who has written some very good books and I recommend that you read them because his heart is huge, his compassion is enormous, he is talented as hell and his struggles with depression are something he is not ashamed to talk about. Here is what he said:

The thing with depression is that, no matter how many times you get it, it always tells the same lie. The lie that everything is going to get worse. This is bullshit. It doesn't always get worse. It gets better. And then a bit worse again. And then a bit better. That is life. Ups and downs. Peaks and troughs. But depression doesn't believe in peaks, only troughs. Even if you know that things have been bad before, and got better, you think "But this time - THIS TIME - things are NOT going to get better, because they can't, because this time I just closed my eyes and saw a rat in a top hat and that must mean I am mad [OR WHATEVER]. But depression always runs out of energy, because however big it is, it is not bigger than time. And time reveals the lies depression tells. You don't go mad. You don't die. It takes hours or days or weeks or months but you come out of it, and you realise, yes, I was stupid. I am bigger than depression. I am the sky. Depression is the cloud. And clouds drift on by. But I will probably forget that again, next time I fall into the valley, so I will leave this here to remind me. Depression lies. It is full of shit. Never - for one second - believe the crap it is trying to tell you. It is an illness, not a personality. It is NOT YOU. Exist behind it. Above it. Through it. Watch it pass.

He tells the truth. 
I'm going to go make us an enormous salad. 
Be well. 

Love...Ms. Moon


The dreams have moved to big cities where I am visiting. Night before last, it was Detroit. I have no idea why.
A place I've never been and quite frankly, have never thought to visit. And now that I am aware that Detroit has an entire neighborhood inhabited by Steampunk zombies, I probably never will.
Not sure what city I was in last night but they do like their indoor malls/residential areas. And the elevators are horribly confusing and one shrimp salad and a drink cost $125.

I am sick of food. I never want to eat or cook again. I just ate half a turkey sandwich because I was hungry but I couldn't bear the idea of anything more sweet or salty or creamy or anything than a turkey sandwich. I think I have post-Thanksgiving-gluttony-flu.
I made Mr. Moon a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and grated apple and even the idea of that made my stomach roil.

I feel a bit strange overall today. Why is it Saturday? According to my mind, it should be Sunday. And yet, it is not. I wish I could just go to bed and sleep for the next week and get everything readjusted to normal. Which, you know, is impossible. Still. I don't seem to have the energy or desire to do anything. A little holiday depression, I suppose. Or else I'm dying.
One or the other.

I'll let you know which way the dice fall.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 28, 2014

How To Make Post Thanksgiving Soup

Get you a pot. A pot big enough to boil seventy-eight cabbages in. A pot big enough for a toddler to use as a swimming pool. A pot big enough, in fact, to put a turkey carcass in. Cover the carcass with water and whatever broth you might have left from boiling the giblets and any giblets you might have as well.
Cook for about three hours or maybe less, depending on just how done you cooked your turkey. The meat which hides between ribs and underneath wings should be falling off the bone and you should not be able to lift out the carcass in one piece. Strain it all out of the broth, all the bones and meat and gristle and great goodness. Put all of that in a huge bowl and let it cool.
To the broth add as much chopped onion and garlic as you stand to peel and cut up.
Then celery, a bunch of it would not be too much.
In fact, anything you have left from the relish tray needs to go in there. The baby carrots, the broccoli, the cauliflower, the baby asparagus, the bell peppers, the sugar snap peas all sliced nicely...whatever you got. Ranch dressing left over? Throw that shit in there too.
Bring it all to simmer. If the turkey has cooled off enough, pick every morsel of meat you can off the bone and add that to the pot. Go through the refrigerator. What else do you have? Leftover green beans or green bean casserole? Dump it in. Gravy? Oh yeah. Sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts? Yes, ma'am. That Tupperware full of collards, turnips, and mustards? Definitely. That container of wilty salad greens? Toss 'em in there. A bay leaf is almost required. So is some achiote. Trust me. Lime juice or lemon juice. Soy sauce, Bragg's amino acids- those are important. Some Worcestershire sauce never hurts because this soup is like America which is NOT a melting pot, goddam it, but a glorious coming together of all cultures and races and their foods. Leftover bean salad? You bet! Leftover rice if you have it and if you don't, some brown rice, some wild rice, some whatever-grain-you-like-to-eat-in-soup. Cut-up potatoes. Leftover mashed potatoes. Hell, I just threw some of my cranberry relish in mine which contains chopped raw cranberries, apples, oranges (including the skins), and pecans.
Let it simmer and simmer and simmer. This is a good project to take on the day after Thanksgiving when you're sick and tired of pie. I don't recommend throwing pie in there but I won't tell anyone if you do.

Somehow it all works. You could call it turkey soup or you could call it a big ol' mess. Doesn't matter to me. It's good. If you tend towards the Indian food side of things, add some turmeric and/or curry powder. Make enough to share with someone. Take that and a loaf of bread to a friend and they have meals for three days.

Soup is medicine to eat and probably more powerfully, to cook.

I just talked to Lisa-Lisa, Redheaded Lisa Whom We Adore and she is going to be here tomorrow.

Good Lord. Blessings abound.

Peace AND Prosperity

I woke up around three this morning thinking, "NOW I'm ready for dessert."
It was too cozy in the bed though and even the thought of pecan pie did not get me out from under those covers.

What another beautiful day it is here. There's one lone beer bottle on the table in the backyard along with the Saltines box from where the oysters were yesterday. Anna posted a picture on Facebook of the oysters and I stole it.

A Florida Thanksgiving still life right there, y'all. 
Thanks, Ms. Anna!

Mr. Moon and I had such a late breakfast that it could more honestly be called "brunch" although no cantaloupe was involved. Angel biscuits were though. I think this year's batch was the best I ever made. And speaking of baking, I have finally figured out how to make pie crust. I mentioned this a while back but to recap, I have never in my life been able to make a decent pie crust. Some of the most frustrating moments of my life have involved flour, shortening or butter, salt, water and a rolling pin. 
But then one day I got out the old, old cookbook that was my mother's and which she found me a copy of 

and I followed that recipe to the T. Except that I used butter instead of shortening. And dear god. It works. 

I know I have posted this recipe before but it bears repeating. For those of you who already make good pastry, go on about your business. For those of you who have struggled with it- give this recipe a try. I think that for me it went against my intuition as a cook to use the tiny amount of water given in pie crust recipes. How did that even work? 
Well. It does. Beautifully. The dough is not a wet dough AT ALL. Just moistened. And then mashed into a ball and rolled out after (ideally) chilling it for a bit. It doesn't break, it stretches and goes into the pie pan all lovely. 

Sixty years old and I finally learn to make a decent pie shell. 

Some of us are slow. 

Ashley is back in the little bathroom. Mr. Moon did not see the need to run a space heater twenty-four hours a day.
He's probably right.
However, she escaped a little while ago when I went in to try and get a picture of the tiny beast and is now somewhere in the kitchen or laundry room, hiding. 
Here we go again. 
She is so very, very shy. I let her and Maurice touch noses for a few seconds and they both handled the encounter with dignity and no aggression. A little curiosity and that was that. 
I think that yesterday was hard for her with so many people wanting to see her and pet her and hold her. She has made huge progress but we must be patient. 

And that's the news from here. Mr. Moon has gone to town to attend to various and assorted chores and errands. He is going to do my Black Friday shopping for me. 
Here is my list:
1. Kitty litter.
2. Chicken scratch.

I think I'm going to go work in the yard some, trimming back the dead and frozen parts of plants. 
I have been blessed with the knowledge that in the past few days I have won the British Lottery twice and now Mr. Ali Tarhouni of Libya is offering me 20% of 22.5 million American Dollars if I will only so kindly get in touch with him. Of course all of this means that I will soon be able to hire a gardener and will not have to do my own yardwork and that all of my overalls can be custom-made of silk, velvet, and cashmere. 

I'll keep you informed on how all of this goes. 

Enjoy your leftovers. Go make a pie. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 27, 2014

One Thanksgiving Day In Lloyd, Florida

Oh my. And yes. And oh my.
It was a beautiful day. I never once got stressed out. I just let things flow and be as they were. And everyone helped.
Hank does so much at Thanksgiving. He sets out the pre-munchies, the cheese and crackers and vegetables and dips and salsas and chips. He totes things from the garage refrigerator to the kitchen. He sets up the tables and chairs. He puts on the music which he knows will make his mama happy from Lyle Lovett to the Dixie Chicks. He brings Anna, our friend, who has had Thanksgiving with us for six years now. Anna is my coffee sister and the one who reaches up to get things off of shelves that I can't reach because she is a statuesque Norwegian woman from South Dakota. And oh, how I love to hear her laugh! When we first met Anna, she was naught but a lowly grad student. Now she is Dr. Anna and a history professor. We are so proud of our Dr. Anna.
Lily brought vegan everything. Mac and cheese. Cornbread dressing. Roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potato salad. Apple pie. Pecan chocolate pie. Rolls. Is that all? Good Lord. That is enough. And she helps get everything together and makes us all laugh and tends her boys like the mama bear she is. She was so beautiful in a deep violet skirt and a turquoise shirt and I called her my Mexican daughter because that's what she looked like.
Jessie got up in time for the Aunt Lynn Whoop-I-Aye rum toast. My dear, darling friend Lynn always used to come over on Thanksgiving morning while I was cooking to do a shot of rum with me and dance with me. It was our ritual, our tradition, and every year on Thanksgiving, at one point we have our Lynn shots. Lynn was one of the most joyful, dancing, love-filled people I ever knew in my life and when she would take a shot of rum, she would always say, "Whoop-I-Aye!" and I'm not sure why but that is what we do now too. Today it was Anna and Hank and Jessie and Lily and me and then Vergil came in the kitchen and he said, "What? What's this?" and we told him and offered him a Lynn shot and he did one too. We taught him to say, "Whoop-I-Aye!" and I know how happy Lynn would be to see our Jessie with such a sweet, good man. That woman loved love. And she was with me when sweet Mean Aunt Jessie was born. And Mean Aunt Jessie wore a beautiful flowing Johnny Was shirt that she bought when we went to Apalachicola together and have my baby back home is such a sweet, sweet blessing.
Mr. Moon shucked oysters and built a fire and roasted some some of them on the fire and searched all over the house to give me one on a cracker and it was delicious. All day long I just kept finding him and telling him, "I love you, Glen Moon!"
And oh. I do.

Jason helped shuck and he played ball with his boys and there is no one in this world whom I would rather have as the father of my grandsons and the husband of my Lily. I am blessed in my sons-in-law.

And trust me- he does have super powers because he keeps Lily happy. And because his sons are so absolutely sure of who they are and that they are loved. 
Jason's mama came to dinner too and it was good to have her here. At one point, Owen came in the kitchen when Lily and Joanne and Jessie and I were all talking and he said, "Are you grandmothers all having a good time together?"
Bless that boy. 

He had a little bit of a hard time today with all the people. When it came time for dinner, he just didn't want any. He and Gibson had filled up on chips and hummus and olives. Mostly olives for Gibson and so after we all said our "we are thankfuls for" Owen was missing in action and so I went and found him in the Glen Den where he was quietly crying. 
"What's wrong?" I asked him. 
"I'm not having the best Thanksgiving," he said. 
"Well, that's all right. Sometimes we get shy. Like the baby kitten. Come on. Let's go give her some treats."
And so we got some salmon dip and some turkey and took them into my bathroom and coaxed our wild child out from under the tub and she ate our treats with great gusto and I said, "Okay. You have to give her a name."
And he named her Ashley. 
I have no idea where he came up with that one but he did and that is her name as far as I am concerned. 
"Oh Mer!" he said. "I love her with all of my heart."

And I love him with all of mine so I understand. 

Gibson ate like a beast and his favorite part was the whipped cream which Vergil whipped by hand with a wire whisk. He didn't want pie, he did not want cheese cake, he didn't want pumpkin bars. He wanted whipped cream. On a plate. With a spoon. 
"Dis my hot pie apple," he said. 
And then he wanted more. And shitfire- I let him have more. So what? When he left he was so tired and he wanted still more of his "pie" and I gave him the spoon to lick because he kept saying, "Please!" 
How can you refuse that? 
When our friend Tom got here, we introduced Gibson to him and he said, "Tom! Tom! Tommy! Can you give me chips?"
And then he led Tom out to the porch where the chips were which some adult had pushed to the far side of the table where Gibson couldn't get any more because he'd already had so many. 
I'm sure that Tom pushed them back where he could get some. 

And so it went. There was turkey and stuffing and dressing and gravy and green beans with almonds and tomatoes and greens and the brussels sprouts and sweet potato salad and sweet potatoes with apples and pecans and guava-maple syrup and two types of cranberries and angel biscuits and stuffed chili peppers and ambrosia salad and oh...well. It went on for days. 

Now everyone is gone and here's what Mr. Moon looks like in his chair with Maurice who NEVER sits on anyone's lap.

And that was Thanksgiving and it's been hours since I ate and I am thinking that I might, at this point, be ready for a turkey sandwich. 

We have missed May all day long. I did not think I could throw Thanksgiving without her and we all talked about how much she would have enjoyed today but I know she is having a good time in Atlanta with her sweetie's family. So it's okay. 

But GIRL! we want you home next year! You hear me? 

Thank you Hank and Lily and Jessie and Jason and Vergil and Anna and Tom and Joanne and Owen and Gibson and Mr. Moon for such a beautiful sweet day. Thank you for coming here and being part of it all and bringing delicious foods and for making me laugh and be grateful and for helping to clean it all up too. 
And another thank-you to Vergil who set up the telescope and showed Owen the moon and its craters which caused Owen to say that it was the best, the coolest, the most amazing thing ever. 

And to this old house which has probably had over one hundred and fifty Thanksgivings celebrated within its walls and which so graciously and gracefully welcomed and sheltered yet one more. 

With all of our imperfections and perfections we came together today and it was good. And some of us snorted wine out our noses because we were laughing so hard. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P. S. And this is what I look like tonight in my painter-pants overalls, hoody, and great-grandmother's pearls. So that you know I am real person.

Thanksgiving Morning

The hunters have had their breakfast and ALL of the deer are having theirs in the woods this morning and Jessie is here after her night-shift, ready to go nap and Kitty is in my bathroom now which is about a hundred times bigger than where she's been staying and I have celery and onions cooking slowly and pecans roasting and it won't be long before people start coming out and the kitchen will be chaos and all will be chaos and Greta wants the boys to come and play ball with her and it is a most beautiful day, chilly but not cold, and I am grateful, thankful, for all of it and please know- for you. You and you and you, from here to there and all parts of this country, this world, my god, you have no idea how much you sustain me.

Thank you.

Maurice thanks you too.

May everyone be at peace and warm and have something good to eat and people whom they love to eat it with.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Music Can Save Your Damn Life

That's the picture that Owen took of me tonight on our way to town.
"Is that what I look like?" I asked my grandson.
"Yes," he said. "It is."

I believe him.

We dropped the boys off at their house and then went to see some music. Hank and May's daddy playing with his best friend since age two. They have never, they claim, rehearsed in their lives. It was amazing and healing and beautiful and I love these two men forever and for always. I wish I had gotten a video of them doing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" because it was the most beautiful thing I ever heard. But I didn't. I could not open my eyes. David just played the Country Music Awards and he was afraid he was going to embarrass himself tonight because he hadn't played in five days.

Here's a little bit of what I did get.

Mr. Moon held me and our friend Tom was there and Vergil came too (Jessie is working) and I saw some people I have known forever and haven't seen in a such a long time and it was a very, very good evening.
When it was over, the playing done, my ex came up and we held each other and I told him how much I loved the evening. How beautiful it was. Then I said, "But I have one request."
"What's that?" he asked.
"A little bit less Paul McCartney. A little more Keith Richards. Could you do a Keith song for me next year?"
"No problem," he said.

And I bet he will.

We came home and cuddled the kitten and now it's time for bed. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I will have lots to do.

Today I told Owen about how at the Thanksgiving dinner we all talk about what we are most thankful for. I asked him what he is going to say that he's the most thankful for. He said his grandmothers and his brother.

Well. What can I add to that?

Not one damn thing.

See you tomorrow.

I am, at this moment, happy.

I Broke

I broke last night.
I broke, I shattered, there were pieces of me everywhere on the floor and in the walls and under the rug and there was no end to the tears.
I used to do this all the time.
Now hardly ever.
When it happens, there is no way to predict it, there is no way to end it until it is ended. I shatter and shatter until there is nothing left and then there is the aftermath and I gather all the splinters and sweep them up and rearrange them as best I can and go to bed.

And so it was and so it is.

The sun is shining this morning, it is clean washed by all the rain, bright as a lighthouse bright as a newly minted dime, bright as the diamonds that dance on the waves and the sky is blue like the eye of Norwegian God.

Last night my boys were so sweet when I babysat them before I broke, before I had the slightest idea I was going to. They smushed me with their love and Gibson cried to go home with me and they're coming soon and Boppy is going to come home, that good man, that man who has had to watch me shatter so many times and who holds me so tightly to help the pieces all fit together again, to play with them and my hands know how to do the turkey, the cornbread, the sweet potatoes. My hands know how to roll out the pie crust. My hands know how to do it all, they barely need me.

And as I cook and tend, I am tending and feeding myself on this good day of sun and golden leaves and orange cat who shines in the sun like one of the leaves, she washes her face, she is gleaming and the little one, the little cat, she needs me and I think I survive, have survived, by being needed.
By being loved.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What the fuck and just what the fuck?
The world continues to make me sick and I'm an entitled-by-birth middle class white woman and if I feel this way, how do the mothers of Black sons feel and I'll never know but I can know that it's not right and I've never understood racism and I never will and we humans are fucked up and there is no justice and if you're a white person who thinks for one second that you can understand any of the rage and fear and frustration and sadness and grief then you don't know shit and neither do I.

It's still raining here and it feels like it will rain forever and there is not enough rain ever anywhere to put out the fire of the pain of injustice in the belly, in the land, in the heart, in the streets, in the muscles of the throat that stretches to scream and I'm sorry.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jessie- The Kitten Whisperer

We've been playing with that kittah all day long. We got her back in the bathroom (she barely tried to kill me) and then we've been taking turns holding her and letting her lick cream cheese off our fingers and oh, yeah...

we made a sling for it so that Jessie could carry the baby around while she's making pie and cheesecake. 

Here's the pretty little face.

And here's a picture of her (him?) in her/his entire fluffy glory.

It really does not do her justice but she (he) is learning to play!

We've come a long, long way in a week. 

Emotional Ranting

I cannot focus on one task this morning for more than thirty seconds. I take something out of the dryer and put it away and then decide to make the bed and then go back and take another thing out of the dryer and realize I never finished the dishes and then go do a few more dishes and then think I need to sweep the floor and oh, Lord.
It's pouring rain again.

I think this whole Cosby mess has dredge up the burnt crap at the bottom of the pot which should NOT be scraped up because it makes the whole soup taste like burnt crap and nasty, and soup you can just throw out and start again but you can't throw me out and start again, now can you?

In my dream last night about five people saw my stepfather trying to molest me and no one did a thing and I kept yelling at them- Why didn't you call the police?And they shrugged their shoulders and did not meet my eye and allowed him to just go on living his life in the house and he kept talking to me and I was supposed to just act normal as if nothing had happened.

I write those words and my soul shivers. I do not want to think about this. I do not want to and that's why I can't focus on anything today. Just keep moving from this task to another, it doesn't matter if I finish any of them, that's not the point the point is just to keep busy, keep moving, keep going and I feel like keening not just for me but for all the women, the children, who got turned a blind eye to when they were violated, molested, abused.
Who GET violated, molested, abused.
Who are BEING, as we speak, violated, molested abused.

In my dream my stepfather had a baby in his arms and I took it from him. I knew he could not take care of it. He would hurt it.

He is dead now. He can't hurt me or anyone's baby but here's the thing about violation, molestation, abuse, rape- it never dies.  The pain of it, the shame of it, the fear in there. You show me someone who says he or she has forgiven and gone on and I will show you someone who never chooses the long spoon to stir the pot.
La-la-la! Trills Oprah. Forgive for yourself! 
Yeah. No.

Cosby probably could have had any of those women. He was fucking Bill Cosby! But no, he wanted them drugged and powerless.
Sickness abounds and for every sick person there is someone who turns their back, closes their eyes, pays off the victim, terrorizes the victim into silence one way or another.

Have I ever turned a blind eye? The thought horrifies me more than anything else. What if I have? God damn me if I have. I never thought I did but what if, like my own mother, I have convinced myself that something which happened did not? But she most definitely did see other types of abuse from that man, directed at not only me but mainly my (baby) brothers and she did nothing but cry and plead with him to stop it.
She was terrorized too. I know that.
It's so complex and it's so sick and it's so sad, all of it.

And that's me today. My body hurts from it all and as it is raining again I wish I could just crawl back up in bed and read. I am exhausted. From nothing. From it all.

I think I finished washing the dishes. The floor could use sweeping again.
I could unmake that bed and crawl back in.

I don't want that little kitten to be afraid in the great big house. I don't want anyone to feel the pain of being alone, of being lost, not a child, not a sixty or ninety-year old person, not a chicken, not a cat.

Fuck you, Bill Cosby. Fuck you for what you did, for abusing the powerful love which came your way right along with the fame and the money and the respect. Fuck you.
And if his wife does not leave him now, fuck her too because who sticks by that sort of man and calls it love?

Harsh words but this is harsh shit.

And I feel certain that many, many pots, uncountable numbers of pots, are tasting of bitter ash and crap today. It does not taste good. But let's not throw ourselves away. We simply cannot and we have been through all of this before and we will go through it again and yet, we will survive.

I promise you.

It All Okay

The wind keeps coming and where does all this breath-of-earth originate and it shakes the lace of the Bradford pears and and it's so gray, so gray.
Luna, the gray outdoor cat is on the porch and she is crying her bitchy moany cry of despair and she drives me insane.


Is this what happens when the dogs die? The cats all move in?

Is this turning into a cat blog? NO, no, no, no but let me tell you that last night the Wild Child let me scratch her head but then this morning I spaced out like the bumbling idiot I am and left the bathroom door open too much and went across the street to let the guy who cleans the house in and he was already in and we talked for about half an hour and then I came home and let the chickens out and got some stuff out of the freezer in the garage and when I got back in the house I realized what I'd done and Baby Kittah was, of course, not in the bathroom. I feared so that she had left the house entirely but no, I just saw her, streak-slide across the wood floor and she is somewhere in this house which has ten thousand closets and fireplaces and underbeds and couches and chairs and blankets in cradles and so- feral cat wild in the house and god, I should trap her and take her to the vet because she can give Maurice diseases and Thanksgiving is in three days.

The world is going to hell in a handbasket and even in Tallahassee students are getting (got) shot and the gunman gunned down and a guy set a fire and ambushed and killed a deputy who has a family, goddammit, and I've already had two discussions about guns today and are we at war in Afghanistan again or is it Pakistan and I had a nightmare about my stepfather last night and here I am worried as hell about the cat, the cats, Thanksgiving dinner, it is drizzling, it is gray, my husband is home and it's okay and I never, ever believed, ever that I would grow up and then have this family, this man, these ridiculously beautiful tiny problems.

"It all okay, Mer," Owen used to tell me.
"You're getting better with your niceness!" he told me on Friday when I agreed that we could walk back from the post office on the railroad track.

I'm going to go eat an egg.
I am going to make chili. Jessie is coming out to make lemon pies because their Meyer's Lemon tree gave them dozens and dozens of lemons and I might make a pecan pie and here we are and the Wild Kitten is okay, somewhere in this house and Luna moans and the house sighs and accepts whatever life is being lived within it and me too, me too, me too.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

He's Home!

He had a terrible flight and lightening actually hit the little plane they were in and and when he came through the gate I jumped up and ran to him, he looked so beautiful. He was the first one off the plane. I had thought I'd be all cool and shit and saunter up to him but I couldn't help it, I didn't even think about it. I just ran.

So he drove us home through the dark rainy night and we talked about all the things that have happened in the past ten days and he's not even mad about the kitten but only curious and sweet and he did not shoot any deers or anything else but he got some good pictures, including one of a lynx he saw.

And now he's unpacking and I'm going to cook him rock shrimp and make a salad from greens I picked in the garden this afternoon and I think he's glad to be home. Well, he keeps saying he is. It's about ninety degrees warmer here than it was where he woke up this morning and he's having a hard time adjusting. It's lightening and thundering and raining again but all is cozy here and now he's seen the kitten and he says that yes, it is the cutest thing ever, and Maurice has greeted him and all is well.

All is very, very well.

He is home.

It's Dreary, Dearie

Still drizzling and gray as can be. A Sunday in all dreary ways. But my husband will return today and that will be so nice. I swear- after ten days alone, it is almost impossible to imagine him back. It's almost scary how much I enjoy solitude.
Probably not such a good thing though.

I have sheets in the washer and I think I will go to the store this morning and buy my turkey and let it start thawing in the refrigerator in the garage. And more cat litter. That child can poop! She/he has torn up that bathroom and of course she is bored. I have a feeling that Mr. Moon is not going to be completely delighted by the new tenant. I will buy her some toys, too, I guess. I made her a little aluminum foil ball to bat about if she wants to do that.
But how do get her to stop freaking out every time she sees me? Am I going to have to sit in that bathroom on the floor for endless hours, talking to her, trying to coax her to come out of hiding in the shower curtain?
Ah, Jeez.
I just took her some more mashed up chicken pot pie and set it down and she did poke her head out to let me see her. I knelt on the floor for awhile and talked in that high silly voice we all use to talk to babies, whether human or chicken or puppy or kitty.
Mostly what I say is, "Hey, little kitten! Hey little kitten. You're so pretty."
I mean- what else is there to say?

I talked to Jessie. She said she might come over tomorrow and make lemon pies and tame the cat. I said that this was a good idea. Probably shouldn't take her more than an hour or so to do both. Right?
She got home from work last night to find this:

Wall between kitchen and dining room GONE, baby! And pork tacos with chilies.
Is Vergil the Man or what?

I guess I better get to it. The day is going to creep up on me and I need to get things done before Mr. Moon comes home. I don't want him to think that all I've done since he's been gone is sleep and eat and drink and read.
Oh wait. Yeah, that's pretty much all I've done.

Those things and trying to tame a wild cat.

Happy Sunday. Here's your weekly picture of my favorite miracle.

Look at them gnarly old arms. Why do I think he's so damn cute? 

Who knows? Not me. Not sure what that T-shirt's all about but I want one.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rainy And Bleak But With Great Gratitude

It has been raining on and off all day and right now it is pouring. When I got back in bed a little bit after noon, it was just drizzling but gray enough and just rainy enough to give me full permission to cuddle down into the covers. I read for a little while but my eyes got so heavy I had to put my book down and I didn't even try to fight it. The book I'm currently reading is by Lydia Millet. Mermaids in Paradise. Because I always choose books by their covers in the library, I absolutely had to pick this one up.

I've never read anything by her although she seems to be fairly prolific and I have already fallen in love with the way she writes. Almost every paragraph has a sentence that I want to read out loud to someone. 
I'll let you know how it goes. 

Anyway, I slept for three whole hours with Maurice cuddled up beside me and then I laid in the bed for almost another hour, just laying there, eyes open, not moving a muscle, being still just for the pure delight of it, the sensuous pleasure of having nothing I needed to do and being wrapped in soft sheets beside a warm, sleeping cat, the curtain of rain and heavy pewter sky outside making a cave of my world. 

When I got up I decided to call an old, old friend. She'd left me a voice mail the other day about wanting to go to Roseland to cook in the pink kitchen, to skinny dip in the lion pool. It is hard for me to make phone calls but I called her with this pocket of time where I knew no one needed me. 
It turns out that she had some fairly serious news. A health situation and it hit me hard. We've been through so much together. Now this. But she is not scared. She's pissed at the inconvenience of it all but no, not scared. We talked about so many things and we laughed and we laughed. 
There is nothing in this world so warming to my soul as slipping back into a connection like this. And of course it is hard to hear about difficulties but here we are- sixty years old- and life is just going to jump out and kick us in the balls sometimes. That's all there is to it. And it's a comfort and a joy to hear that voice on the other end of the line. To pick up that color in the tapestry which is the story of my life. The color which is that friend's and that friend's alone, to weave into the pattern again. 
We talked too long. But she sounded so good and everything one of us said led to something else and then something else...
We ended with me telling her to get some damn rest and to take her meds. And that I love her.
Which she knows. 
Thank god I've never had a problem telling the people I love that I love them. 

Kitten is doing fine. I only go in that bathroom to give her treats, to once in a while actually use the bathroom. I talk to her sweetly. I certainly don't try to approach her. I just want her to get used to my presence a little. Once, when I went in today she actually looked directly at me and waited a second before she fled behind the shower curtain. I take that as progress. She surely does use the litter box. She certainly has spread out the towels and washcloths. She absolutely does love chicken pot pie mixed with warm water and mushed up. And she is, without a doubt, the fluffiest orange kitten ever born. 

Garrison Keillor is singing a song about immigrants. He's on the same side of it that I am. 
Welcome. Welcome, he says. So do I.
Thank-you, President Obama. Your legacy will be a beautiful one. 

If I ever get to a time when it don't bother me
To see innocent people degraded like dogs in the street
Who picked our vegetables, our policemen expelled
Then I've lost my compassion and mercy, as well as myself.

And this whole thing about Bill Cosby breaks my heart. I can't help but believe the woman who have come forward, and to the people who ask why it took them this long- all I have to say is- some of them came forward years ago and because he was The Daddy, the Sweet, Good Father, no one believed them. 
He gave them drugs which turned them helpless and powerless (like little girls) and raped them. 
I understand this way better than I wish I did. 

Right now they're singing a song on Prairie Home Companion called "That Old Time Atheism."
Oh god. I love Garrison. 
I hope he never raped anyone. 

It's a weird, strange world. 
I don't pretend to understand one bit of it. I just know that we need to love the ones we love and tell them that without hesitation. 

My husband will be home tomorrow. I can barely believe it. 

The rain is still pouring down. I need to get out the umbrella and go out and close the chickens up. I have no idea what to cook for supper. Maybe a poached egg. 

My heart is full of so many things. I am looking forward to tomorrow when my arms will be wrapped around that man. I will cook him rock shrimp and make an arugula salad and there will be clean sheets and because I AM sixty years old, I will appreciate every bit of that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Slow, Not That Steady

Since that picture was taken this morning, you can see that we all survived the night. Owen was counting the chickens and Gibson had been feeding them their corn and some bread. Owen can name all the young chicks and some of the old ones. Thirteen in all, so that's something. Mr. Moon sure can't. Sometimes I think about the fact that if I died, no one would know the chickens' names. How sad that would be.
"Is that Ozzie or Sharon?"
"I don't know. Let's ask Owen."
Of course the chickens would not care one bit as long as someone was feeding them.

I did not have a great night. I had heartburn. This is what I ate yesterday:
Curried squash and sweet potato soup for breakfast.
A cold pork chop for lunch.
Chex Mix.
Frozen pizza.
Did I deserve heartburn or what? Yes. I did.
About the time I got back to sleep, a train went by and Gibson woke up and grabbed me. I held him and snuggled him and he went back to sleep. Owen didn't stir as far as I know. I tucked him in bed and read him a book and then told him the Mr. Peep story. We got as far as Mr. Peep and then the goats and he was asleep. The curtains had fallen down over his bed and I was putting them back up after he fell asleep and he woke up enough to say, "But Mer, you didn't do the cats or the humans."
And then he fell back into dreamland.
This morning he asked me what animal he went to sleep on. I told him that I hadn't even gotten through the goats before he fell asleep. I told him about him waking up just enough to tell me that I hadn't done the cats and humans and he said, "That's a sweet story."
He cracks me up.

So. They're gone now but before they left we had pancakes and bacon and fed the chickens and let them out of the coop and played on the swing set and did other things. The house pretty much looks like it has been hurricane-pummeled. I need to get busy around here. When Mr. Moon left nine days ago, I had thought I'd finish weeding the garden and fertilizing it, do some work on my book, walk every day, get my diet together, etc.
But no.
He's going to get home tomorrow to be greeted by a woman whose face looks like she has some horrible disease, a yard where everything is frozen, dead, and brown, an unweeded garden barely making it, a wild kitten in the bathroom, and a messy, dusty house.

I better make him a good supper, right?

Kitten is still alive. Every time I go to check on her, she's laying in a nest made of formerly-clean washcloths on a shelf but as soon as she sees me, she leaps into the shower to huddle behind the curtain. This is going to take time and patience. Bless her scared little heart. I hope she can learn to trust and purr.

I suppose I better get busy around here. It's windy and chilly and working outside doesn't hold much appeal but I could do a little tidying and cleaning. And a nap is definitely on the agenda for today.

Maybe really soon.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tucking In And All Is Well

Kitten still alive. She has pooped in the litter box. For some reason, I am taking this as a sign of great intelligence.

Boys are here and cuddled in the bed. We've had a good day.

I just apologized to Owen for it being cold in my bed.
"That's okay," he said. "I'm not mad. I could never get mad at my sweet Mer."

Aw Jesus.

It's not that cold. Really. And he's under three layers of covers. He'll be fine.

So shall we all be. You too, okay?

Love...Ms. Moon


So yes, at one point I did very much believe I was hearing two kittens.
If that is true, I don't think the other one is around anymore and I have only ever seen this wild one now in my bathroom.

If another one DOES appear, you will no doubt hear about it.

The Bleeding Has Stopped Now

Really, Animal Gods? Really?

So, okay. I patiently waited for her to come out from under the house and eat some sliced turkey and then because I'm a complete and utter fool, I grabbed her (him?) without using a towel. The little thing just looks so sweet and fluffy and, oh hell. We all know what kittens look like. However, let me just say that they may look completely innocent but that they can rip you OPEN!
So of course she scratched and bit the everlovin' shit out of me because she's scared to death and I put her (I swear- I did NOT fling her) in the little bathroom off the kitchen, my heart beating like crazy (was I going to die from cat germs?) and washed, washed, washed my wounds and drowned them in peroxide and called Lily and called an angel-woman I know who works at the local Spay and Neuter clinic and I set the trap (which required viewing a Youtube, I am not kidding you) and put that in the bathroom with the rest of the sliced turkey and damn, if she didn't trip it and I thought I would just run her to the humane society in Monticello but Joanna, the angel-woman told me that they'd probably euthanize a wild kitten and I COULD try to tame her or, on the other hand, just release her back outside and feed her and let her be feral until she is old enough to spay. Or neuter. Depending on what sex she/he is.
Lily looked up "taming feral kittens" on the internet (how did we live before the internet?) and it's supposedly pretty darn easy and then I called Togi, another angel, who works at a vet clinic, and he asked everyone he works with what they suggested and it's pretty much been decided that yes, she is tame-able but if I let her back outside, she'll probably always be feral.

So. She's back out of the trap, has food and water and a cozy bed to sleep in and Lily is bringing me litter and if I can just keep the boys out of that bathroom, all will be well. 

I suppose I'll keep her in there and take her into the clinic on Monday morning to get her shots and see if she/he is old enough to be operated on (I don't think so) and try to just tame this tiny beast and let Lily have her/him.

Lucky for the damn cat she/he is so fucking cute. I mean look at that face. 

Oh boy. Mr. Moon is going to love this. 

Can I just say that people who work with animals are the most wonderful people and that they are so much to closer to godlight than I am? By far? 

Yes. I can say that and I just did. 

Wish us luck. 

And hey- Animal Gods! Enough already. 

Like The Loch Ness Monster, Now Caught On Camera

There. There is the kitten and it is the absolutely most darling thing I've ever seen in my life. She actually let me look at her for a microsecond this morning and I took that picture with my phone held outside the dog door while she was eating.
She is probably a he though, since most orange cats are. Maurice is an exception as well as being exceptional but that's another story.
She's run up onto the back porch steps several times now but flees like a bandit when she sees me.
However, there is hope that she can be tamed, I think. And Lily wants her. Or him.

So that is the big, big news in Lloyd this morning.

Now I think I'll take a walk.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Just A Simple, Good Day In The Life Of An Old Person

I took this picture from the back seat of my car today as Jessie was driving us around. That's Hank, sitting there up front. It was my first time in the back seat of my own car and it was wonderful. For some reason, I always end up driving and I think that Jessie was more than happy to take over for me. I am not a bad driver but the older I get, the more cautious I become. Especially backing up. It can take me approximately five minutes to pull out of a parking space. This is an old person trait like becoming extremely interested in birds and saying things like, "All this music sounds the same to me." And yes, these things apply to me. A song came on the Muzak at a store where Jessie and I were and she said, "Is that Miley Cyrus?" and I said, "How the hell would I know?"

Anyway, we went to a place in Tallahassee for lunch called Pho Me and they serve...Pho. And other noodley things and it was delicious and we slurped and sipped and talked and laughed and it was a very good time. I love Pho. The warm, salty broth, the spices, the bowl of bean sprouts and fresh basil to add to the bowl. A little fish sauce, a little siracha, it's a heart and body warmer. I'm not the only one who likes it. There was a line out to the door and people waited patiently for their good soups.

We went to New Leaf to hug and kiss Billy and he gave me a present.

A ristra which was his Maw-Maw's and I think we bought it together in Monticello. I love it. The vibrant colors, the fact that it was Maw-Maw's. It makes me happy and whenever I look at it, it will remind me of her and of Billy both and that is a very, very good thing. 

Some shopping ensued and we took Hank home and then Jessie and I went on to the MALL. She is looking for jeans and it is so hard for her to find jeans long enough for her legs because they go on until next year. She found no jeans but we found sweaters. I got one at the Banana Republic, believe it or not, which was on major sale because it had a stain on the arm and it is as soft as a baby chick and she found some at Gap, also on sale, and we got coffee because of course you have go get coffee at the mall and it was fun.
Mostly it's just fun to be with my kids.

I love the fact that they want to do things with me. I love the fact that they can tell me things. I love the fact that they trust me with their hearts. I love the fact that they tell me I'm beautiful. I love the fact that we all make each other laugh. 

Well. You know all that already.

Tomorrow night the boys are spending the night and we shall see how that goes. I've bought them a pizza and carrots and oranges and I hope that I can keep them entertained. I will certainly miss having their grandfather around to help. 
Hell. I just miss their grandfather. He's coming home on Sunday unless he decides to leave me for some snow bunny up north and if that happens, this is going to become a very different sort of blog. 

Meanwhile, I saw the orange fuzzy kitten again this evening. Again- a quick streak of orange fluff. That is one strong kitten. I set out some more food mixed with chicken pot pie gravy and chicken and a little mashed up vegetables. I have no idea where this saga will end. 

I have sweet potatoes in the oven and arugula from the garden in the refrigerator. 

Another day in this life and it has been fine. I may have a face that looks like it's been grated but I really don't care at all. And people are so polite- no one has said a word. Well, except for Jessie and well she should have. Maybe I am starting to accept aging. Or maybe I'm just in complete and utter denial. 

How the hell should I know? (Repeating oneself is also a sign of aging. Yeah. Uh-huh. I'm so there.)

I'm going to go cook a pork chop. God forgive me. I'm really excited. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Who the fuck is designing for Gap these days? They got some ugly shit going on. And their new catch-phrase? Dress normal. 
No thanks. 
In fact, fashion this year is the Big Suck. Luckily, being an old person, I know that it will all come around again. Just hold on and soon enough, they'll all be making things that actual humans will want to wear once more. 

P.P.S. I washed the sweater. The stain came out. It is still as soft as a baby's hair. Almost.

Kitten Update (Again)

Well, at least one of the kittens is neither dead nor living on a farm.
I just saw it. I swear, it's like a ghost kitten. It darts into invisibility before I can register what I'm seeing but what I saw was a very, very fluffy little orange thing. Most definitely alive.

I have set out food everywhere. The chickens will be so happy.

When You're Alive

For some reason I feel compelled to let the world know that I survived another lonely, lonely night. Haha!
Which I did, by the way.
Maurice knocked her food bowl to the floor sometime around 2 a.m. and I didn't even get up to see what was going on. Found it this morning when she was daintily picking out the Friskies among the broken glass. I swept it all up and gave her a new bowl. I also found a frog in the kitchen. I was sweeping up without my glasses on and suddenly what I had thought was a leaf or a glob of Play Dough (I'm blind without my glasses) suddenly stretched out and jumped off the dust pan. He is now outside.
In the kitten report- I have not heard them in two days. They may be dead (they are probably dead) but I am going to believe that their mother came back and got them.
Yes. And now they are all living happily on a farm with Lassie where a jolly farm wife in a white apron feeds them warm fresh cream and kippers.

I'm getting out of the house today. I've already talked to Jessie about that and we have vague plans. "Text your sister and see what she's doing," I told her. "And Hank."
I'm bossy. I'm the mama.

I've also talked to my across-the-street-neighbor who is out of town. She told me about the shooting at FSU's library last night.
All too goddam familiar at this point. What can you say? Get rid of the guns? Like that's going to happen. Get rid of the crazy? Well, sure.

I sigh a big sigh and let it out. Time to go on living because here we are. It's beautiful outside and I need to go let my chickens out and so I shall and then it's time to get dressed and walk among the living because I am alive too.

Jump off the dust pan, dust off the seat of the pants, go kiss a grown-child, maybe a grandchild, get some sunlight in my eyeballs, be grateful, be thankful, cuss and fuss and don't worry so fucking much.
It's never what you think that's coming to get you, and most of the time, nothing's coming to get you anyway.

Good morning from Lloyd.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Muddle Of A Day

I've been so lazy today and stayed inside and felt worthless and took a nap and finished reading a book in the bath and it took all day for the heat to get the temperature up to 62 degrees in the house which is yes, a very tolerable temperature. I have not been cold. I have also been re-informed that no good deed goes unpunished.

I hadn't heard the kittens all day and I had placed the trap on the porch, still set to spring because let's face it- although it is a very simple mechanism and Brian showed me how to do it, I figured that I might as well leave it the way it was but without any food or anything in it because if the kittens did reappear I might try to use it again and of course, Maurice, being a cat and curious, got in there and sprung it and I think she was traumatized because she won't go outside and although I have given her the most tempting of treats, she shows little interest in them.

Oh hell.

Anyway, I have fruitcakes in the oven, two loaf-pans full and several small round ones and a chicken pot-pie that I made myself and the house smells lovely again but it's of no real source of happiness or contentment to me tonight. I creamed butter and sugar and added my hen's beautiful eggs and vanilla and lemon extract and flour and baking powder and salt and mixed all of that into a huge bowl of candied cherries and pineapple and figs and golden raisins and apricots and pecans and it was so huge I had to take my rings off and mix it by hand.

A beautiful thing which has happened is that more of the Frank Baisden story has been given to me. For those of you who do not know, Frank and his wife Kay lived in Roseland and were friends of my grandparents' when I lived there as a child and I have several of Frank's paintings, given to me by someone who found me online via my blog. Frank was a hell of an artist and he and Kay were very much a part of my growing up years. I have spoken about them and their property and now much I love it and how I have always dreamed about living on it and anyway, a woman who knew them well as a child and who now lives on their land on Lookout Mountain got in touch with me and we have been communicating. Frank and Kay were her surrogate grandparents and she was with Frank when he died. It's a very long and convoluted story but it turns out that one of Frank's paintings

which was gifted to me via the internet connection is actually a picture of Frank and Kay's house on Lookout Mountain.

There is more. So much more. But as Hank said when I forwarded him the e-mail from this woman whom I'm in communication with, with the message, "It never ends. Dang,"answered, "Well someone's writing this story but I dunno if it's us."

And this woman, Julie, sent me a picture of Frank and Kay.

Say what you will about the internet. It has brought me magic and knowledge. 
Aren't they beautiful? 

And even as I write this, Frank's sunflowers which he gave to my mother as a housewarming present smile down on me. 

A muddle of a day. But perhaps one that I needed to live.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon