Friday, July 31, 2015

Breathing When I Remember To

Went to lunch today with Jessie, Lily, Gibson and Owen and then we went to Target. Jessie needed some things and wanted to scan some items for her baby registry and Lily and I needed a few things too.
Well, I didn't really NEED anything but I managed to spend a hundred bucks anyway. How the hell does this happen?
I took the boys off so that the pregnant ladies could ooh and ahh at all the baby things and I carted them off with me to look at bathing suits. I have not bought a new bathing suit in so long that I can't remember when I bought the one I always wear. I am afraid that at any moment it's going to do that thing where all of the elastic suddenly just goes and it will become a black hanging sag of a garment so I decided to get a back-up but I was not going to officially try anything on. I mean, forget it.
So I found a tankini and I tried the top on over my shirt and asked Owen how it looked.
"Good," he said,  barely looking up from the pictures of pythons on my phone that he was engrossed in. I looked in a mirror and it resembled something a dominatrix might wear to whip her paying customers in.
So I bought it.

Oh god. My shoulders feel as if they are strung with rebar. Why the hell do I get so tense before a trip? There's not one thing I can pin my anxiety on. It's just here.
I've cleaned out the hen house and watered the porch plants and written out a poultry inventory and drawn a diagram of how to use the chicken waterer for Hank. I have stopped short of drawing a diagram of how to use the dishwasher as well. The man has a genius IQ. He can probably figure this shit out.

I have not packed one thing. And honestly, I could pack like one dress and a bathing suit and a pair of shorts and a shirt and it would be enough. There's a washer and dryer right there in the cabana house because... of course, since it's perfect in every way. So I don't really feel stressed out about that.

I did go to the library and got enough books to read for a month. And by god, I'm going to read some of them. I want to read and rest and breathe and be. I don't care if I do one other thing. As long as I'm on the dock by sunset every night with a drink in my hand, I'm going to be happy. And I know it.
As much as I love my life (and I probably love my life as much as anyone living a life on this earth) sometimes, I just need to step out of it.
As we all do.

On the way back to Lily's house, Gibson had fallen asleep in his car seat and I said to Owen, "How am I going to live without you for a week?"
And he said, "You just broke my heart."
"Here," I said, reaching back to where he sat. "Hold my hand because I'm going to miss you so much."

And he did.

And I will. And his brother, too.

But we'll all live and I'll be a much better Mer Mer for having gone away and come back.

Tonight is a blue moon and tomorrow, when we get to Roseland, it will still shine bright and just-a-tiny-sliver-minus-full-round and I'll be watching it rise over the river I grew up on. I might take a late night walk down the white sand roads that will be gleaming on it and as I do, I might meet the ghost of a child who lived there long ago, whose soul was so worried and yet, whose soul was so comforted by the river, the trees she climbed, the jungle, the vast number of stars in the sky above her.

Like that.

Roseland is a just a full on magical mystery to me. Some of the worst things in my life happened there and yet, I still love it more than I can say.
Which speaks a lot about the place itself.

I'll be reporting in.

Much love...Ms. Moon

Anxiety Brain

We leave tomorrow therefore I am insane today.
Sometimes I just really get tired of being crazy. I think that I do this to myself. Well, obviously it is my brain attacking my brain so yes, I do.
I have already asked Mr. Moon about three times if he doesn't think we should just "stay home."

A few moments ago I watched Mick displaying his fancy dance stuff to Lisa Marie. He hasn't tried to jump on her but it's as if suddenly she's come onto his radar. He did a little two-step around her and he's watching her carefully. While this was going on, Elvira was up on a chair back, observing. When she flew down, Lisa Marie hurried over to her and they did a little tiny bow-up. No real pecking or anything, but almost a mime of that challenging behavior.
I wonder if Elvira's mostly-white coloring will ensure that Mick doesn't try to mate her.
We shall see.

I just saw a meme on Facebook that said, "A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there."
Oh, how I beg to disagree. My comfort zone is green and growing and healthy and busy and a happy, happy place.
Oh wait- does that mean that I won't grow here?
Well, that's a possibility.

How much more growing do I need to do at this age?
Why won't the world just give up on me? Can't I just perfect the crazy and halfway functional state I'm in?

And you know that in two days I'll never want to leave Roseland. It will have become my comfort zone.

And so it goes. I step carefully from one comfortable place to another, one known and loved place to another, as if I were stepping on flat rocks to cross a river.

Y'all go ahead and jump in rafts and go the white-water route and I'll go my way and I'll probably have the coffee on and the grits cooking when you get there.
It takes all kinds.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Watch The Video. You Will Laugh

The other day I watched this video via the Facebook and I thought it was pretty funny and also held a lot of truth. And I highly recommend that you watch it because it's entertaining as hell.

Anyway, I went shopping today and I couldn't stop thinking about the video and how it's the same for so many of us when we go clothes shopping.

I went to the damn mall. Yes. The DAMN MALL. But I knew that Dilliards was having a major sale and so I thought I'd trot in there and check it out and then scoot on down to Gap which is two stores away and that would be that.
And it was.
Still, though, it was a bit horrifying.

First off, this:

No. It is not a sleep shirt from Target. It's an Eileen Fisher dress. And like the guy in the video said, it would be a loose-fitting potato sack to cover up all of...this.
But. It cost $198.00. One hundred and ninety-eight dollars! 
After I quit laughing I moved on to the sale racks.

I found some flowy shirts and actually tried them on (and when did they start putting your name on a whiteboard outside your dressing room?) and was too mortified at what I looked like in any of them to even consider buying anything.

Moving on. I went to the Gap. They, too, were having big sales. Plus, if you bought $75 worth of stuff, they'd take off $25 so, as the saleslady who was explaining all of this to me said, it was basically like getting $75 worth of stuff for $50! Yes! I had already figured that out! But sure, it was nice to hear.
And then I found some shorts (women's shorts!) that fit me in size Godzilla (as I wrote a friend of mine) and I bought three goddammed pairs and two of them are linen and also a skirt and a pair of socks (to bring the total up to $75) and all of that only cost $50!

Are you following me here?
Can YOU do the math?
I knew you could.

Then I went to the Goodwill where I found nothing I wanted although I had a pretty good time because Goodwill is always a good time, wandering around and wondering who bought this shit to begin with. I swear I think I watched a woman scam her way into walking out of there with a piece of furniture she hadn't paid for. Not certain, but I think so.

And so that was my day.

I have woman shorts and they're fine although the pockets are sadly lacking in depth and number compared to men's cargo shorts. I guess women aren't supposed to put anything in their pockets except a credit card and maybe a tiny tampon. Whatever. I'm going to Roseland where the average age is probably about eighty-two although I am certainly senior citizen enough to fit in now whereas I used to be a spring chicken when I visited. It's going to be hotter than hell and maybe I'll go to the Goodwill there to see if I can find some shirts I like. I'm so excited to be going that I can hardly stand it. I am ready, y'all. And Hank is going to house and cat and chicken sit for us and so my soul is at peace there.
Not sure if Trixie's going to be here when I get back. I don't know if she's sick or if she's just really lazy. She sat in a potted plant on the kitchen porch for at least an hour this evening, her stalwart friend Miss Mabel beside her.

And then damn if Mick didn't jump on her when she got off and resettled back under a sago palm. I guess he still thinks she's pretty good-looking. It's so funny. I've never seen him fuck one of the white hens. He may be racist but he's not ageist.

The older I get, the less I understand about life. But it sure is interesting.

Love...Ms. Moon

Change Within Sameness

I am not sure why I ever really complain about my walks. Yes, the heat is horrible. I saw the Sheik today and he said, "Where you been? You okay?"
"Oh, just busy," I said. "I'm good. How about you?"
"I'm good," he said. "But this heat is killing me."
"Damn!" I said. "I know."

But as I said the other day, the heat does not generally kill us and there is something about walking in it and sweating through every pore and then coming home and splashing my face with cold water that is delicious. Perhaps that is why people do hot yoga.

And it is more than delicious, seeing the day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, season-by-season changing of the trees and bushes and wildflowers. The picture above is of dog fennel, which at this moment is like feathers on stalks. That soft and fine.

The beauty berry is coming on now. Soon those tiny berries will be the gorgeous mauve color that I adore so much. 
The butterflies are out in abundance, darting from whatever tiny flower they can find to another. Most of the wildflowers are through blooming for now but there will be more as fall approaches. The sycamores are already turning color even as the swamp ferns are thick and green and luscious. 

I walk past houses and trailers, a truck stop, through the cracked asphalt parking lot of an abandoned gas station, into the woods and down sandy paths where sometimes I see turtles, occasionally a rabbit, once or twice a fox, and rarely but magically, a deer or two. 
Even when I do not see any critters, I know they are there in the shadows of the pines and palmettos, I see their trails leading from the paths into the deep woods. I imagine them walking there, picking their way delicately underneath new moons and full. 

Even the parts of my walk where I go past places where people live are ever-changing, even if sometimes on a slow time-line. A house, long abandoned, is being fixed up and the yard cleared and I see my neighbors there, working. Their daughter is about to move into it and they told me that this had been Miss Ruby's house. Miss Ruby ran the store in Lloyd when I lived here back in the seventies. I had no idea she lived there. None at all. I am glad to see it coming back to life and when I walk past it now, I will always think of Miss Ruby and how kind she was to me when I was a young mother, how the beer cooler had a sign on it that said, "If you break a six-pack, I will break your arm."
Someone burned Miss Ruby's store a long time ago and she herself has been dead for at least ten years. The last time I saw her was not long after we moved into this house and she told me that she'd seen "something" here when she was a girl. Right here in this house. 
She would not tell me what it was. 
A mystery which I will never know the answer to.
The walls hold their secrets. Some of them now mine. 

And so it goes. I wake up and feel the shudder of what may be a small bit of PTSD from the summer I went insane with anxiety. I go about my business and take the trash and take the walk, come home and it is almost shaken off and I am here now, this summer, where the air feels like it always feels in summer, where the crickets sound like they have always sounded this time in summer, where the light falls and the birds call as they always do in deep summer, and yet, it's okay. 
I greet the coming-on beauty berries with affection every year, I sweat like a horse, I cool off in front of the fan, I drink ice water and sweep the porches, I wait for the hurricane lilies to begin to emerge. I know they will be coming soon and yet, just as with the pinecone lilies, the budding of the red passion flower, the flowering of the confederate rose, I am astounded anew every year and am more than grateful to be able to take these walks, to come and be surrounded by such a continuing renewal of life in its grand cycle. 

I move and I rest. I thirst and I drink. I look and I see.

And it is good. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What I Did Today

I picked peas.

I shelled peas.

I had help. 

Now I am cooking peas. 
Soon, we shall them. 

Logout When You Are Done And Completely

I was searching for a different vintage Florida poster to perhaps use as a heading when I came across this picture which was the banner at a sideshow and it just struck me as hysterical.

Also, it reminded me of our governor. But I don't really think he has seeds for brains.
I think he has a transformer or a microchip or a bit of alien goop or something.
Nothing as downhome and goodly as seeds.

Here's another flattering picture of him, costumed as a human.

Dude on the right. That's him. And if you want to read an article that just sums up Florida bullshit and politics, go here. 
You probably don't want to. Oh well. Just trust me- we live in Bizzaro World.

Goodness gracious but it is hot and steamy here today. Again.
We just walk around saying, "Seriously. I'm going to die." Then we get into our cars and crank up the AC and drive to wherever we're going that has AC and mostly we don't die but it sure feels like we might.

I think I made the best pizza last night I've ever eaten.
Pesto, fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, tiny bit of venison sausage. And the crust was a thing of beauty.
Is it lunch time yet?

Just about and I haven't done shit today.

Oh well.

Okay. So Lily's family has been invited to a birthday party and it's going to be a costume party. Gibson originally said he wanted to be Uncle Grandpa. Do you know Uncle Grandpa? He's a cartoon guy. He looks like this.

Yesterday, however, when we were in the Goodwill, he found a pair of white patent leather girl shoes with a little heel and fell in love with them and decided he'd rather be a girl for the party. 
So Lily got the shoes and a dress and sent me this picture last night.

I love that child so much. And his mama. 
If you look carefully over Gibson's shoulder, you can see Rusty the cat whom I rescued last winter when he was but a tiny ball of fur and razorblade claws. Remember that? He's all grown up now and has the fluffiest tail in the entire world and he won't let me get within three feet of him. 
There's gratitude for you. 
He has a happy life at Lily's house, though. 

Speaking of cats.

Last weekend Mr. Moon and I moved some furniture and activated a pre-existing dog door for Maurice to use. We then spent a good ninety seconds with her and a bag of Temptations, teaching her to use it. 
And now she does. 

One more thing.

I keep getting spam like this one:

Your mailbox has exceeded the storage limit is 1 GB, which is defined by the administrator, are running at 

99.8 gigabytes, you can not send or receive new messages until you re-validate your mailbox.

To renew the mailbox kindly  CLICK HERE

Thank you!
Web mail system administrator!

WARNING! Protect your privacy. Logout when you are done and completely

The AOL! Mail Team

And I'm tired of it. The address comes from
Not all of them, but a goodly number. 

What the fuck? No. I am not going to click here or anywhere you asshole. 

Well, that's life in Lloyd today. I'm thinking I might actually drive up to Thomasville and check out their Goodwill. I'm going on a trip. I need new clothes.

Much Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It Could Not Have Been Sweeter

Well, I think I've had the perfect sixty-first birthday.
First thing I did was go stay with the boys for about an hour while Lily went to the dentist. And they were so sweet to me. I'd put on eye makeup for the momentous occasion of my birthday and when they greeted me, Owen said, "What did you do to your eyes?!"
Maybe I should wear makeup a little more often.

Gibson kept snuggling with me.

"Why are you being so snuggly today?" I asked him. 
"Because I like you to hug me," he said. 
That boy is a love bug. 
And his brother gave me about one million hugs and kisses today too. 

After Lily got home we had some time before we were supposed to meet up with May and Hank and Jessie at Fanny's and so we went to the Dollar Tree where we had a great time buying treasures. I love the Dollar Tree. 

Then we went to Fanny's and were so excited to find that May had taken the day off so she could sit down and eat with us. She had a table all set up with flowers and a paper tablecloth and crayons so we could all draw. And there were party hats!

And her sweet man Michael was our server.

We had teas and salads and sandwiches and soups and Taylor cooked it all and it was just what I wanted. I got a Caesar salad with chicken salad and ate every molecule. Every leaf, every shred of cheese, every bite of chicken salad. 
Gibson had the Gibson Plate of pickled okra and deviled eggs and potato chips. Owen had a bacon and lettuce sandwich. They ate all of their lunches too. I suggested to the pregnant ladies that "Okra" would be a fine middle name for a child of the south.  
They were not convinced although Hank agreed with me. 

After lunch I opened presents. Owen helped me.

Jessie and May both made me cards and they made me cry and Lily and the boys got me so many treats. A BAG of treats. My favorite beer (Fin du Monde), candy (including Halva which makes me weak in the knees), earrings (which Owen picked out) and a can of my favorite, favorite espresso.

May gave me a copy of a picture of me nursing baby Hank when I was twenty-one, twenty-two? years old. 
"Who is that?" asked Owen. He figured it out, but he was a bit amazed that I once looked like that. Lately he's been offering the fact that I was born in the "olden days." 
He's right. 
What a precious gift. 

Then for the cake!
Oh my god. THE CAKE!

May and the boys took it to the kitchen and came back with it and it looked like this.

And then she lit the little candles inside that flower and it looked like this.

The flower opened up, it began to go around in a stately fashion and it played Happy Birthday. 
I laughed. I cried. 

And the boys helped me blow out the candles after we all made wishes. 

When did I start looking like Lois Armstrong? Or Al Hirt? Jesus. Oh well. We blew those candles OUT!

And then this happened. 

Best chocolate cake I've ever eaten and I am not kidding. I can't wait to eat some more. 

And then we all went to Goodwill! 

Now Mr. Moon is home and we're having a martini and I have pizza dough rising because I want a tomato and basil pizza. 

Yep. It's been a pretty perfect day in all regards. 

I feel like the luckiest and most loved woman in the entire world. 
Four children who are as different as they can be but who love each other and make each other laugh. Two grandsons who hug me to pieces. Two grand babies coming soon. A husband who works so hard and who is going to take me to one of my most magical places. Sweet phone calls and Facebook messages and texts and chocolate cake and you name it- I have it. 

Okay. Sixty-one will do for now. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Just A Po Girl, Born In A Quonset Hut

Well, so far sixty-one feels just like sixty.

Jo sent me this.

Pretty much sums it up.

Off to town to stay with my boys for a little while and then lunch with my babies.

I hear cake will be involved. Always a good thing.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, July 27, 2015

All Love. All The Time

For those of you who have not been here long (and thank you for being here!) there's a picture of the lion pool of which I spoke this morning. And the river beyond it.
For an explanation of what this place means to me, you can go here. 
For some posts about our last trip to Roseland, start here, and go back.

So I've been thinking about all of this today and my boys came over and we put the pirate puzzle together, Owen and I.


It was fun. 

And then Gibson asked me to play some music and so I did and we danced. 
Oh Lord. Booty dancing extreme!

Every time I listen to that song I realize more and more how, well, possibly racist and sexist and all kinds of "ist's" it is and yet, I'm sorry. I love it. And my boys love to dance to it. 
They have no idea what they're dancing to beyond voice, guitar, bass and saxophone. 
By the time they could have a clue, they won't be dancing in Mer Mer's hallway to the Rolling Stones anymore. They'll be so over that. It will be naught but an embarrassing memory to them. 

Anyway, that's what happened and Gibson and I had a good conversation about "real" versus "not real" which included mermaids ("probably not") and bunnies ("real") and dinosaurs ("used to be real but not any more") and so forth. 
We played pirate ship with Owen on the porch swing on the side porch and X marked the spot and we were rich, rich, RICH with huge treasure chests of diamonds and rubies. There was watermelon and there were banana spiders ("Mer, do the women spiders ever eat the men spiders?" "Yes, yes they do.") and stories about when-I-was-a-child in Roseland and egg collecting. 
And when they left, there were so many hugs and kisses and I-love-you's. 
And I will see them tomorrow.

Mr. Moon is in Orlando for auction and here I am with Maurice and the chickens have put themselves to bed and I need to go collect Elvira and Lisa Marie from the side-nest they always roost in and put them in the hen house with the other girls and Mick and close them up safe for the night. 

Tomorrow I will be sixty-one. Right now I am still sixty and I shook my booty with Gibson in the hallway today and in a few days I'll be skinny dipping in the lion pool with my husband (just kidding, kids!) and Jessie has made me a chocolate cake and tomorrow I'll be eating it with all my babies at lunch and it's good. 

I am the luckiest woman on the planet. And I'd like to quote The Dishwasher right here because what he said was so profound. 
"Love, goddamn it. All love, all the time, and fuck the rest of it in the ear."

Love...Ms. Moon


Dear Jo from Infantasia  sent me this picture on Facebook, knowing about my theory concerning the DNA experiment between apes and aliens which has led to the human race. And I love it! The caption on the picture is "Makes more sense than the book of Genesis" which of course I agree with.
Makes me smile.

Here's another thing that makes me smile- my husband and I are going back to Roseland, starting Saturday, to stay in the little cabana house by the lion pool on the Sebastian River, right down the street from where I lived as a child.
I am so happy about this that I feel as if I might burst with it.
Truly and genuinely. The river, the sunsets over it, the birds, the bamboo that clacks gently in the breeze, the white sand roads, the woods, the Atlantic ocean so nearby, the Ocean Grill in Vero, the beautiful little cabana house itself with its pink vintage appliances, all of it, all of it, all of it...

They say you can't go home again.
They lie.

I've done it many times and it is a wonder.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Let's Try To Do This Mostly In Pictures

Zinnia gathering. Love. 

It's this man's birthday.

He is 72 years old today and if you are as old as I am, he changed your life and your world whether you know it or not.

In fact, if you're younger than I am, he still changed your world and you probably have no idea. 
Genderblending, masculinity-redefining, and now- age-defying. 
Happy Birthday, Mick. 
You ain't no Keith Richards but you sure are Mick Jagger and together, you and he inspired more dancing than probably anyone on earth. Which is a real good thing. 

And those lips. Oh my god. Those lips. 

Allison- for you.


Ants in the sugar.

I was looking at this picture on my phone and all of a sudden, one of the ants started moving. 
Whoa! It was an ant on my phone. It's that bad. 

If you click on this, you can see the incredibly intricate web of the banana spider, glowing in the setting sun. 

I got to talk to my oldest friend today on the phone. We talked for at least an hour and a half and we discussed everything from chemo-therapy to radiation to grandchildren to husbands to how toilets are designed. 
It was a serious/hysterical/pragmatic/ beautiful conversation. 

And I talked to my Lis who is recovering from a setback she had when she tried to do two gigs last weekend. 

"What are you doing for your birthday?" she asked. 
"Talking to you on the phone," I said. 

Sixty-One. What a stupid birthday. In your sixties but not old enough to qualify for Medicare. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

Pair of old shears that Mr. Moon found under the house, rusted shut forever. 

It's Sunday and the great gaping maw of it yawns before me, the pancakes and bacon made and eaten and the kitchen cleaned up.

May I speak a bit more about how much I love my dishwasher? I run it once, twice a day! I do not wash anything by hand that could be put in there. Only my iron skillets and cutting boards sit in the dish drainer now. Did you know that seashells are dishwasher safe? I use big, flat pieces of shell for spoon rests and they go right in that beautiful machine and come out sparkling! I still hold my drinking glasses (mostly mason jars, but still) up to the light and say, "Look how clean!" No longer do my coffee mugs have permanent brown stains. My canisters have been washed free of decades of flour and sugar. Hell, I even put my flour-sifter in there last night!
I am like a child with a brand new toy and my delight is completely inappropriate but I do not care. I do not care at all.

But one cannot spend all day loading and unloading her dishwasher. No. And quite frankly, I have no idea what we're doing today. Mr. Moon is trying to reclaim his pressure washer from a neighbor in order to clean a boat and that's a good project for him. I could certainly find something to do but I feel vastly unmotivated. I have something stuck in the tough skin of my foot and when I step on it wrong, it feels as if a nail is puncturing it. I need to get a light and a pair of tweezers and see if I am bendy enough to do something about that. Go on a search and removal mission. Another thing that needs to be done today is to fashion a cat door for Maurice who has been renamed The Sleep Killer. This whole ignoring-her thing is not working. She has taken to throwing herself at the door right beside our bed when she wants out.
"What is she doing?" my husband asked me in the depths of the night.
"Trying to open the door," I said. Or perhaps she is simply trying to break through it. That's what it sounds like. I do not know. But this cannot continue.

Horrifying Fact: The other day when I was shopping with Lily and the boys I inadvertently held up a 12X's magnifying mirror to my face and almost passed out. I will never be the same. I was going to use it to show Owen what he looked like in a pair of red sunglasses (very fine!) and, as I said, I inadvertently looked in it myself, the angle being my mouth, my chin, my neck.
I'm still rocked by what I saw in that mirror. I make a conscious decision not to look in ANY mirror if I can avoid it so you can only imagine. I'm about to turn sixty-one and I can't even fathom how that's possible. And please, I beg of you- do not tell me that age is nothing but a number. My number is too high for that bullshit and now that I've actually seen the whiskered, sagging, wrinkled and cratered surface of my face that clearly, there is no way to un-see it, no way to think that, oh, I look pretty good.
For eighty. I would look pretty good for eighty.

Let's see- do I have anything else to discuss?
Ah, not really. All the chickens are fine. Even Trixie is out and about. The babies are getting their full feathering and Elvira looks so much like her grandfather. I am looking forward to their first egg-layings like a fourteen year old girl looking forward to getting her first period.
I hear a mockingbird singing and of course the crickets are buzzing. It's not as hot today, Hallelujah! and maybe I'll go weed a bit. The wild gladiola which barely blooms at all needs pulling, the garden is giving me nothing but cherry tomatoes which are growing increasingly smaller until soon they will be the size of b-b's. And peas, I'm still getting those. And zinnias. The lovely, lovely zinnias.

All right. It's one thing to waste my time, it's another to waste yours.

What are you doing today? Do you have anything planned? Oh. I hope so. Sunday's can be so fraught with angsty despair. It sounds as if someone in Lloyd has decreed this to be Drag Racing Day. Other than that...nada.

It's all right.

Be at peace.

Budding pine cone lily. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sugar And Salt, Eggs And Cheese. And Jewelry

Just when I think I have this pie crust thing down, I discover that no, I really do not.
I'm making a quiche tonight and the pastry looks like something a five-year old lumberjack might have rolled out on a slice of cut tree with a branch.
No. Seriously.
Oh well. I'm cooking about eight vegetables to go in it along with some ham and of course the eggs are fresh and then there's cheese which pretty much makes everything good.

I'm listening to a Prairie Home Companion and it's a very old one but I'm enjoying it. Taj Mahal is on and I'm already so sad, thinking about the fact that Garrison is about to retire. It's okay. The world will continue, but not quite as I know it. I'm sure Chris Thele is going to be an excellent host and I'm happy that the program is going to emphasize music and musicians but no stories about Lake Woebegon? Ay-yi. I'm not sure I'm cool with that.

It's been a real good day and Mr. Moon made 98% on his hunting test and we had a perfect nap and before that, I went out and picked up and hauled branches as I said. A huge walnut limb fell directly on the burn pile last night which I thought was quite thoughtful of it.

I mean, BLAM! right on top of it. What more could you ask? 

Not much. No. Not much at all.

My quiche is in the oven and with the leftover slab of thick, rough pastry dough I've made a tiny pie with fig preserves and a cut up peach, sprinkled with turbinado sugar and a little butter. I will give that to my sweet husband for his dessert. 

It's been another one of those days for me wherein nothing happened but life and that's what a life is all about- one day after another, strung together like pearls. Some of them rough and some of them smooth and some of them dull and some of them lustrous and some of them white and some of them gray and some of them pink and some of them black and some of them round and some of them misshapen and all of them the result of the grain of sand in the oyster shell of our existence and if we could finger them like a rosary, we would be amazed at the beauty they all make together and we would delight in their differences, our fingers telling us that this day was gritty and this day was as polished as a pebble, decades in a rushing river, and maybe we would be able to remember them more clearly, maybe we would have perspective on all of it. 

And maybe this is why I write here, to string together all of the days of this life, to give prayer to the beads I finger. 
I do not know. 
But it's what I do and maybe what you do as well. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Remember this? Well, it has been occurring to me in the last few days that I did not buy this flask myself (for it is a flask) but that, as with so many of the most beautiful things I own, it was given to me by my Darling Lis.
And I confirmed that on the phone this morning.
What a dolt I am!
With no memory.
She was very graceful about my faux pas because she is the most graceful of women.
And so I have.
Thank you, my darling girl!

And no, I have not been able to trace its origins and I have spent way too much time trying. I have found similar old flasks but none of them of remotely the same in manufacture or decoration.
Only that one in the house in Cuba where Ernest Hemingway lived.
I do love a good mystery.

Which leads me to this- no. I have not found my simmer mats.
If I ever do, I shall name them Hell and Damn.

All right. That's all. I need to get back to picking up and dragging fallen branches from last night's storm. There are a goodly plenty.

God Only Knows, Part II

Good morning from Lloyd.
This morning's miracles:

Lazy Miss Trixie, still alive, loath to get up and out to start her day:

I feel much the same. Mr. Moon is at a hunting class and here I am in my tiny world, glad to be. 

I watched a video last week and I can't get it out of my mind, my ears. So I am giving it to you now. 
It is gorgeous in all ways.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, July 24, 2015

When I was a child the last place we lived as a family before my mother took my brother and me to Florida, was Chattanooga, Tennessee. My father's people were from there and Mother herself grew up on the mountain. The Mountain. Lookout Mountain, where Daddy's father and his uncle, also had houses but grand ones, stone castles of houses rising up in magical settings on the green, green mountain. The house Mother grew up in was charming as hell and had magic of its own but it was no castle. It was more of a regular house, although perched right on the edge of a bluff from which, if you fell off, would land you halfway to Chattanooga, dead.

My mother and father and my brother and I lived in much more reduced circumstances. Looking back, we must have lived in one of those little suburbs, thrown up after the war. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, a den, a garage. My daddy was supposedly employed, at least some of the time, at his father's and uncle's law firm, an honored and venerable law firm, and yes, Daddy was a lawyer but he was mostly too drunk to work anywhere and we often did not have money for food but my grandfather's wife (not my father's mother) gave my mother a mink coat and it was confusing, at times. The memory I have of that house is of a yard horribly overgrown, much to my mother's shame, because not only was my daddy too drunk to work, he was too drunk to mow. He was mostly too drunk to do anything but disappear for weeks at a time. I also remember a geen-painted upright piano and a green vinyl couch and long, long drapes in the living room and my bedroom, which I shared with my brother and where I saw shadows of monsters and ghosts at night and had the first dream I can still recall which was of me on a pogo stick, frantically bouncing up and down to avoid the huge herd of alligators I had somehow found myself in, all of them snapping at me as I pogo'ed.

But what I'm thinking about today is about when we'd drive up the mountain to visit either my Granddaddy Miller or his brother, my Great Uncle Burkett. As I said, their houses were great and fine and I never felt comfortable in either of them. I mean- how could I? Black servants in uniforms would greet us, serve us. The lady-maid who opened the door at Granddaddy Miller's would hug me and call me "Gibby" (Gibson is my middle name) which always made me feel slightly uncomfortable- she knew me but I didn't know her, and Granddaddy Miller would play piano for me and sing for me, his round little body, moving on the piano bench with buzzy joy, his cheeks as red as Santa's and there were always drinks and strange foods I had no experience with at all and I had to be on my Very Best Behavior.
I don't remember a damn thing about Uncle Burkett's house except that there was a little chair elevator that went up the winding grand staircase that Aunt Bill could sit in because she had medical problems, not that I remember what they were, and she lived to be in her nineties, as I recall.

No, I don't remember much about those houses but what I do remember is the drive up to them where I would see tiny wooden houses, cabins almost, perched on the mountain right above the road, and sometimes Black folks would be sitting on the porches and there were always bright flowers, growing in giant tomato cans, lining the edge of those porches.
For some reason, those were the places that called to me. I could, somehow, imagine living in one of those, sitting on a porch with a smoking chimney atop the house behind me, watching the occasional car go by, the changing of the light as the sun rose into the sky each morning.
I think my little-girl soul longed for a cozy, tidy place such as that. Perhaps, even then, I knew that love did not live in those castle-like houses of my grandfather, my great-uncle, despite all the richness and riches there might be in them. It might have seemed to me, though, that love could bloom in those tiny cabins, or at least contentment, at least hope, like a geranium rooted in a tomato can to bloom like red fire in the sunlight of a mountain morning.

I don't know. But I do know that I have always wanted a home like that. A home with porches, with plants all over them. Not grand, but fine. Not castle-like, but home-like. Not so big that love doesn't get lost in the dark, polished furniture, the marble, the brass, the rugs, the silent, cold stone walls.

And I have this house now, which is somehow the fulfillment of those dreams I didn't even know I was dreaming.

I spent a while this afternoon after I got home, fiddling with porch plants, as I do. I took a knock-out rose out of a pot on the kitchen porch and planted it in the little bed beside the kitchen. It has not been happy in that pot lately. I put a split-leaf philodendron which is a baby of the big one on the front porch that I've had since Lily was a baby into that pot and then repotted a bird's nest fern into the pot the philodendron had been in. I settled a baby rose in a pot up there too, and one of my beloved begonias which hasn't been getting enough sun in the backyard, where it's been.

I noticed that the crepe myrtle I planted years ago by the street has finally put out a blossom, way, way up because that's how high it had to go to get enough light to make a flower.

I watered the front porch plants and swept the porch and cleaned the glass-top table out there. The banana spiders are back. Ladies and their brave, much smaller husbands in webs that stretch from here to there and which, when you run into, you bounce off of because they are so strong.

Nothing could make me happier than all of this.
And tonight is Friday and Mr. Moon and I are about to go have a martini on that porch.

I loved the house that Lily and Jason are trying to buy. It is comfortable and spacious and the boys run and run around it in circles. And there are so many trees and plants. Oaks and pines and crepe myrtles and a few camellias and gardenias and Australian tree ferns and azaleas, of course.

Here's the back deck.

Here are the boys in what could be their room.

There are three acres and lots of woods and a lake nearby where boys could fish, if they wanted to. There's room for a garden and fruit trees and chickens and whatever they want.

We shall see.

There is no greater blessing than having a home to fill up with love, to feel comfortable in, to feel safe in, to see beauty in and around.
A haven, a place of peace and sometimes wild-child voices, too.

It's been a good day and here's one more picture.

Three of my favorite boys on earth.
Togi, Hank, Billy.

Hank told Owen, "Togi's my bro!" And then Togi said, "I'm his Brogi!"


We've had a porch martini and watched a storm come in and now the power's off (of course) and thunder is rolling across the sky from east to west and I can cook everything we're having for supper except for the bread and eventually the power will come back on and it's sort of magic and it's sort of a pain in the ass and it's been a real good day and we're going to have crab legs and cole slaw and sliced avocados and I'm going to make cocktail sauce as spicy and hot as a Cuban salsa dancer and the rain is coming down.

Friday's can be awesome.

Love...Ms. Moon

You Can't Slow It Down

It is Friday and in a few minutes I'm going to drive over to the house which Lily and Jason are in the process of buying to see it. I am so excited. And then to lunch with Hank and Jessie and Lily and the boys. And then...
Who knows?

Life keeps swirling and whirling and changing and tilting and here I am at the center of this tiny bit of it (as we are all the center of our tiny bits) holding on for dear life saying, "I love you, I love you, I love you and don't let go."

I feel hypnotized, baptized, mesmerized, alchemized.

I hold on.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Oh My

So yesterday when we were waiting in various places at the doctor's office, I was going back and forth between a New Yorker and a Vanity Fair. I'd start reading something, realized I wasn't really comprehending anything, and switch back to the other magazine.


One article in the Vanity Fair did indeed capture my attention for a few moments.
And because it has to do with women and literature and, well, okay...
Just go to the link. 

Discussion please.

Typical Summer Post

Good morning from Lloyd where this old lady is staying close to home today. Yesterday wore my ass out and anyone who doesn't think that anxiety and stress can do a number on your body is just not wired like me. Last night as I was cooking supper (a delicious cherry tomato, chicken, and pesto pasta, in case you're interested) my left arm started hurting. I was pretty sure it wasn't a heart attack and I'm even surer now in that it still hurts and I'm not dead.
I think I actually pinched a nerve sitting there in that doctor's office.
Oh well. It's feeling better but I'm not planning on doing a whole lot today.
Not because of my arm but because I just don't want to.

It's a green, beautiful, steamy day. It poured rain last night and the wind whipped and it was simply magnificent.

Here's a little of what it looks like around here today.

Nope. Not going anywhere. May do a little light yard work.

So it's not just me? It really DOES feel like it's 110 degrees? 

Ah, whatever. It's supposed to be MUCH cooler than yesterday. Wow. It must have been pure-T hell yesterday. 

I'll report in later.

Love...Ms. Moon