Monday, February 29, 2016

These Are Special Days, Indeed

Well, Mr. Tearful did not go down to Ocala due to circumstances beyond every one's control but I still got to see him and Yolie again today and now we're making plans to go to the Junior Museum tomorrow with ALL of my children and the grands. I'm even trying to convince Lily to keep Owen out of school so he can go too. I never was a big believer that kids had to be in school every time the doors opened and I know for a fact that many of the days I let my children stay out to do other things are the source of some of their best childhood memories.
It was a rare occurrence which made it all the more special.
But I do not want to cause Lily any emotional distress.
And she is the mama. Not me.

So. I found my coobie bra today. All of the mysteries have been solved. I found it when I was looking for a pair of pants I was missing. Found those too.

Note to self: When something is missing, look in the space between the stove and counter and/or in my shirt drawer. 

It might be that I need to organize my life a little better.
You think?

It's been a good day and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

I just feel so damn lucky.

And here's a picture that pretty much sums it all up.

Jessie and Vergil took August to meet his great-grandmother. Vergil's grandma. She has always been extremely important in Vergil's life and she was there the night that I believe my daughter fell in love with her grandson. At the rehearsal supper the night before their wedding, she told me the story. How all these different ladies had set their cap for Vergil at the Swannanoa Gathering which Jessie was attending due to the efforts of her fairy godparents, Lon and Lis. There was a dance and when Jessie and Vergil began to dance together, all the other girls just had to step back.
And the next day, I think, I got a message from Jessie saying, "I met a guy..."
And here we are.
Jessie said on Facebook that she kept trying to just hold August up so that his great-grandma could see him but that she just kept reaching her arms out to him. She wanted to hold him.

Scott and I agreed today that it is so good that we have met in the "meat" world as Rebecca says. 

There are many worlds. Probably more than we can imagine. 

But there is nothing like the great good grace of being able to reach out and actually touch the warmth of people we love, no matter if they are blood kin or some other, more mysterious kind of kin. 

When I am truly, truly old- if I should live that long, which I doubt I will- I hope with all of my heart that someone brings me a baby to look at in the eyes, to share all of that which cannot be said in words, and then to hold him or her. 
And to be able to touch and be touched by those I love. 

What more could any of us ask for?

Love...Ms. Moon

Extra Day? So Confusing.

Where has this day gone and where is it going? I do not know. But I just got good news about our darling friend in the hospital and things do not look as dire as they did yesterday for which I am incredibly grateful and we are all breathing a sigh of relief.

Sheets are on the line and Mr. Moon and Mr. Tearful are going to meet up here soon to travel together down to central Florida for a possible truck-buying. The Nomads need a new tow-vehicle. Funny how these things work out.

Jessie and Vergil and August are back at home, safe and sound, and Lily has taken Greta back to her humans. The camellias are giving me more blooms and the tea olive is blooming again. The Bradford pears which I thought would never lose their leaves this year are already plumping up their bare limbs with buds. It is time to go find new baby chicks, I think.

I did not watch five minutes of the Oscars last night. Three minutes of watching someone get an award was enough for me. I had no stomach for the humor which, in trying to address the racial inequality seemed to make it all even worse. That's probably just me, though.
I can't believe our country is still so stuck in this place. In some ways, it is worse than ever as certain political candidates call forth people to show their true colors, no pun intended.

Oh well. La-di-dah. I'm not solving any world problems today.

It's Leap Day, right?

Go ask someone to marry you if you feel so inclined.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 28, 2016

And It Unfolds As It Will

It's been a strange day, beautiful and quiet and I've not done much and that's felt okay. A perfect day to hang clothes on the line, to let the sun and breeze dry them.

We've got a beloved adopted family member in the hospital today, though, facing what might be a very difficult diagnosis. She's been ill for a long time but none of the doctors have really gotten onboard and have dismissed her symptoms over and over again and now...well.
We hope for the best of course. This week should bring more answers.
And another friend who recently had surgery for cancer is facing a long road of treatment and uncertainty.
Such things can't help but get under the skin, burrow into the heart, cause pain and worry.
I have thought so many times that I wish I was the kind of person to "let go and let god" but I am just not. I am old enough to know that there is only so much I can do but even that thought sometimes is enough to make me feel horrible.
It's a funny world. I got this from Billy the other day.

I don't know whether to be horrified by it, completely amused by it, or comforted by it. But I frequently have a sneaking suspicion that it may be true. I mean- let's face it. Of course I also completely believe that the Beatles were right when they said this.

And I am quite sure that we are all connected, me and you and that butterfly on the Serengeti who flutters her wings and changes things on a level we cannot understand and the rocks and the water and the stars and planets and galaxies and undiscovered creatures under the sea as well as those already known to us and blooming violets and candle flames which we make a wish on and blow out atop a birthday cake and the babies yet turning in their womb-homes and the intelligence of the trees and the secrets the wind carries and the notes the voice sings and the horrors that blind the eyes and the great joys of all sorts of love, which somehow is the very essence of all of the energy although as I have so often said, what we perceive as love is the merest shadow of the most distant universe imaginable and yet...look how powerful it is, even as we know and understand it with our limited human abilities.

I hold on to that. To love. And that sustains me enough to keep on with it all.

I guess that's good enough.

Love...Ms. Moon

I Am Pushing No Boundaries Today

Beautiful morning and Mr. Moon is in fix-it mode. He's repairing the back porch door now

and I'm being lazy. I made a breakfast but that's about my only claim to productivity today so far.
I did read a rather horrifying article in the paper about the devastation of Wakulla Springs, which was timely as we were just there yesterday. Despite the beauty still found there, it is apparent to all of us who have visited over the years that the water clarity is absolutely not what it used to be. And as the article points out, it's not just the fact that the springs and the river it feeds are so much darker now, it's the fact that the spring head is boiling forth with water from our aquifer, which means that our aquifer water is in dire trouble too.
Ah Jeez. It's taken white people how long to destroy what has been perfect and in place for hundreds of thousands of years?

Sometimes I am so ashamed of my species that I can barely stand it.

We are angels, we are demons of destruction.


It's a beautiful world/It's a scary as fuck world.

Well, it's Sunday. That's all I got for you right now.

Be well, y'all. I mean it.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 27, 2016

AND I Got Five Eggs Today

I feel weepy this evening but in a good way. It started when Scott and Yolie dropped me off at the house after we had a beautiful afternoon at Wakulla Springs with Lily and Gibson and Magnolia. Owen went off to the Flea Market today with Uncle Hank so he couldn't come with us but it turned out okay as Kaleb and Gibson seem to be a matched set of little guys who have started up their own country and don't really need anyone else until it comes time to eat or go to the bathroom, in which case they may need a little assistance.

Wakulla Springs is a state park now and it's one of my most favorite places here in North Florida and when people come from out of town, I love to take them there. This is what Florida was like, not only before Disney but before white people. And, in fact, before people of any kind. The spring head itself is supposedly one of the largest in the world and the skeletons of mastodons and saber toothed tigers have been uncovered in the soft sand around the spring head and it's a fine place to swim in the summer, the water staying at 68 degrees year-round. There's an old lodge there where people can still stay and a beautiful old dining room and a snack bar and gift shop and it's like stepping back in time to go there.
So. We drove down there today and had lunch in the dining room and then took the jungle boat ride and in the space of one hour we saw countless turtles and many alligators, so many birds including a bald eagle and a pair of ospreys, whistling themselves across the sky, great blue herons, white herons, white ibis, so many varieties of ducks, anhingas, AND a manatee.
Not Disney. Not at all. Those gators may look fake but honey, they are as real as real can be.
After all my years going there, I still get a thrill when I enter the park. There is a feeling of genuineness, of no guile, of good memories of spending half of the summer I was pregnant with Lily in those springs, submersed in the cold water as my body grew so heavy with my growing baby inside, Hank and May swimming like little fishes, us all eating snack bar food, making the most of a summer pregnancy in Florida. I was the largest living land mammal and those springs gave me comfort and pleasure when little else did.
I officiated a wedding there once, and it was the biggest wedding I ever did. It was a beautiful ceremony and the couple is still married, still very much in love, years later.
And so, sharing that place with Scott and Yolie and Kaleb with Lily there meant a lot to me.

I think they enjoyed it as well. I hope so. I only took two pictures because I discovered that my phone was almost out of battery. That was one. Here is the other. 

Magnolia on her first boat ride and she slept through it all. 

And so when Scott and Yolie and Kaleb dropped me off in Lloyd, I felt an even deeper connection with them. We talked a lot today and I learned so much more about their histories. Such incredible people and what incredible lives they have led! It's just mind-blowing to someone like me who is so home-centered, who has lived in one area for over forty years. And yet, it doesn't make me feel inferior- just- this is who they are, this is who I am. Here we are. And how fortunate I am to meet such people. 
And as I went to hug them good-bye, I teared up. This whole meeting and time together just feels like a perfect example of "meant to be" although you know me- I don't really believe in that hippie shit. 
Except of course I do. 

And there you go. Ancient waters, new, ancient? friends, daughter, grandchildren, new memories to add to old, good food, funny little boys, the bluest sky ever, perfect temperature and humidity, and absolutely no anxiety. 

What the fuck? 

Yet one more reason to ask- how the hell did I get so lucky?

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 26, 2016

And Soup Was Eaten

See those three feral puppies? 
Their names are Gibson, Owen, and Kaleb. 

You know Gibson and Owen. Do you know whose grandchild Kaleb is? 

He is the grandson of Scott and Yolie. 

Y'all! Scott and Yolie came to Lloyd! 
We just kept looking at each other and going, "Wow. Do you believe this? Wow! Do you believe this?"

I still don't believe it. 

Scott, the Tearful Dishwasher himself. And Yolie, our very own dear Planting Along The Verge. 
And Kaleb. Their grandboy. 
I don't think he has a blog yet. 

It's so odd in that when I first started reading Tearful, I thought, "I'm going to meet him." 
And then my logical brain said, "No way."
I told Hank this today and he said, "The future is a weird place. But I kinda like it."

Me too. 

It was complete and utter chaos with those three feral puppies running around like...feral puppies...and beautiful Magnolia

and Lily and Jason and Greta, too, who is staying with Lily and Jason while her humans are in North Carolina. There was a grand tour to see the trees and garden and camellias and chickens and cats and all of it. And we ate soup and bread and berry Pavlova and there were martinis too. 

Can you believe it? 
I still don't believe it. 

There will be more adventures with those beautiful people. 
They really are. Beautiful. 
In all ways. Even more than I thought. 

I can't believe the paths this blog has taken me on. I am so grateful. 

Namaste, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Lloyd Friday Report

The hens are already getting busy this morning and have gifted me with four nice eggs. For some reason, they are laying on the ground in the hen house in the same spot the ducks used to lay. I have no idea how they pick their laying spots but they are very determined to lay where they want to. That whole hen house with all the nests available to them and they will wait, literally pacing, to get on that one nest if another hen is already there.

It's been a nice morning already, my friend Liz Sparks having dropped by to give me a pair of overall shorts she picked up at a thrift store in Sopchoppy. She's on her way to meet her parents and then they're all driving down to Orlando to see her grandchildren. Liz is one of those people who brightens your day, just by her very presence. She is the gift, although I do love the overalls, too.

Speaking of grandchildren...Jessie sent me this picture. They are at a Waffle House. If you look closely, you can see that August is asking if he can please have hash browns with cheese.

Look at those darling fingers. He will get no hash browns. He has no teeth yet and is still being entirely breast fed and we tease Jessie all the time. 
"Come on, just one tiny taste of guacamole. Let him have just one tiny taste."
"No," she says but looking at the boy, I think she knows what she's doing. He'll be ready to eat something soon. 

A momentous occasion happened here last night. Jack The Cat and Maurice both slept on the bed. There was no hissing, no spitting, no slashing, no biting. They kept their distance from each other. Jack lay on one side of Mr. Moon and Maurice laid next to me, both pretending that the other wasn't there. Do not even try to tell me that cats can't feel possessive or jealous. I am, to tell you the truth, quite proud of Maurice for allowing this other cat to come into her domain. Perhaps it's due to that huge pair Jack is still sporting.
Got to get that taken care of. 
He's just so gentle and calm. 

Well. There is a bright red cardinal sitting in the camellia bush which is filled with white blossoms and it's a sight and I have much to do and better get to it. 

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 25, 2016

What Can I Say?

The cousins. Maggie six weeks, August almost six months. Can you believe it? I got this picture in a text and I texted back, "When did his little legs get so long and straight?"Magnolia is still in her process of unfolding from the womb, stretching out day by day, learning to smile and coo, while August learns to crawl and make new noises every day. Yesterday he was making an almost-singing sound and we were all enchanted. Gibson rocked this car seat and talked to him and August responded with that song-voice and Gibson said, "Mer! He making that sound!" It is so lovely, watching these children interact, taking note of each other, the older boys being protective and loving and the babies responding.

Jessie and Vergil are leaving tonight to drive to Asheville to meet Vergil's sister's newest baby. A beautiful daughter who was born after one and one half hours of labor. They will only be gone for about four days but I am already feeling a bit bereft at the thought. Mr. Moon was too and stopped by there on his way home to get a little August time.

I am jealous but...only four days.
And tomorrow I will see Owen and Gibson and Mag-a-nol-i-a because they are all coming to supper.
They are bringing their parents and this supper will also be shared by...
I'll let you know tomorrow.
I'm so excited I can't even talk about it right now.

In the meantime, I have an eggplant parmesan in the oven and our friend Tom is here, watching a basketball game with Mr. Moon who always says that he doesn't like eggplant but when eggplant is sliced and oven-baked with parmesan and panko and then layered with sauce and mozzarella, he likes it just fine.

Oh. My tiny little world.
It is so huge to me. It is all my heart can hold. I know. I am repeating myself.

I'm old. Give me a break.

Love...Ms. Moon

Another Woods Sighting

This morning, as I walked, I saw an animal I am not sure I've ever seen in the wild. I was walking down the dirt road to my turn-around by the horse farm and suddenly, there was a small Florida bobcat walking towards me. We both stopped and regarded each other for maybe a second or two and then he or she turned around and like the fox the other day, melted into the woods.
The woods and swamps are so beautiful right now, filled with water and the palmettos and bright green new ferns coming out. The soft moss, the fungus growing on downed trees, the glossy green of the magnolias which keep their leaves all winter long. The sky is cloudless, the air is cool. I saw some downed branches and a great large one had fallen in the yard of a trailer where I pass, knocking the mailbox from the post.
In another trailer yard, I saw a sign for Trump and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, just as I felt this morning when I read George Will's latest column in the paper which blames Obama for Trump's takeover of the Republican party.
I mean...
I mean...
Well, yes, if by saying that it's his fault because people have finally found a hero in a man who is an avowed racist, like they are.

Phew. Well.

I would rather think of the bobcat, small and tidy, silent and shy, living in the woods by the little pond which I pass, sleeping under the palmettos which grow under the pines.

Or this girl.

Clothes on the line, birds chittering at the feeder, the finches turning gold as spring approaches. Trees full of robins, dappled shade, a squirrel sitting up on the edge of a clay pot, holding his little hands clasped together in front of his white chest. A brilliantly-colored redheaded woodpecker, scooping air with his wings to go from tree to feeder, scattering the other birds. The gray and white cat coming onto the porch for leg-weaving and kibble crunching. 
There is still a good breeze and the magnolia shakes its rusty leaves and the towels on the line billow and relax. An old white cotton slip of mine dances as if it were a sail. 

Every day I wake up and think of all the things I should do with my life. Go take yoga in town, do volunteer work with...someone...perhaps learn to paint or join a club. A club! They have them for everything! Gardening and bird watching and books and cat fanciers!
Oh dear. No. 
It's too much to even think about. 
And I feel guilty for making my world so very small. 

But on a day like today with all of this before me, around me, surrounding me, right here for me to see and hear and listen to if I simply remain still and open, I can't imagine why I would want to do any of those things. 
Well, the volunteering...

My mother was one of the biggest volunteers in the universe. Her good-deed doing was legendary. And I do think her heart was in the right place with it. And she loved her bridge club. Adored it. Until she couldn't follow the game any more and what a heartbreak for her that was. She was a sociable woman, a joiner, a do-er. 

Me? Ah well, not cut from the same cloth. 

But I have a silver-plated platter engraved with thanks to her on it from some club she belonged to. It's still in the original box. And what do you do with that?

Well. I've gone from a bobcat in the woods to my mother. Not a long journey in my mind, but like with the Trump thing, I'd rather think of this day, perfect in the very whole life of it. 
And I am not alone in it. Not one bit.

One of my companions, Jack The Cat, who no longer fears crossing the threshold into the house one bit and who actually jumped into the lap of Mr. Moon this morning. And there is the orange cat and the rooster and the hens and we keep each other fine company, no need for small talk, none at all.

As small as my life is, I am not sure I could handle it if it were any bigger. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Love Part

Baby steps today and holding babies and kissing babies and hugging babies and shopping for books at the Goodwill bookstore and cuddling with Gibson and eating sushi and miso soup and the Bento Box with tofu and testing out all of the sofas and recliners at the Big Lots with Owen while Jessie made herself at home right there in one of the cushiest recliners and nursed little Maggie because she is helping Lily with milk and August got to try out the world's most comfortable sofa at the Japanica and I bought a beautiful 1955 edition of The Illustrated Treasury Children's Literature for two dollars

and I swear that this boy

grabs my face and mashes his pretty mouth on it. 

When I got home I was so tired I had to sleep for awhile and when I woke up my mind was still (is still) mushy as an old mango left too long in the bowl before being peeled but somehow I can still make supper, which is a good thing.

I am doing my best, I am doing my best, I did my grocery shopping and got everything on my list even though I forgot to bring my list which looked like this

after being added to and added to and it's okay to forget the apples or even the Crystal hot sauce but don't ever forget that love part. 

I don't think I will. No matter what. I don't think I will.

And The Wind Does Blow

Looks what's back! The AOL is suddenly giving me the pictures I send it and I am so grateful! That is a redbud tree against the dark sky behind it. Last night we had the tail-end of that horrible storm that swept through the south yesterday and it's still blowy and the sky is ominous. A branch just fell from the pecan tree over the bird feeder and scattered my chickens who looked like this just five minutes ago.

I got up at four to pee and went out to the porch and the wind was blowing and it was raining hard and lightening was flickering all around us, constantly. Apocalypse Now with the sound of gunfire edited out. When I got back in bed, Maurice jumped up and came to me to be comforted. I petted and stroked her and we finally went back to sleep, the storm still carrying on outside, our porches safe and dry under their new roofs. And we humans and cats cozy under the old ones.

This morning my heart is a great deal lighter, just a few tongues of dread licking me now and then, but my head still feels fuzzy and unfocused and my body feels as if it's been beat up. This is the way it happens- the periods of depression and anxiety affect my body so profoundly. My muscles try to hold it all in, I suppose, when it's happening, and when it relents a bit, they are as sore and stiff as if I'd worked in the yard all day long, especially in my back and shoulders. And the disassociation which occurs in my brain takes a while to dissipate, like pulling a ballon on a string back to where it belongs. There is no disease process whether of the mind or the body which does not affect the other.

But. I am so grateful for this lessening of fear and despair. They closed the schools in Leon County today so Owen is free as a little bird and we are going to take him to Japanica! We all miss it and yet, because that boy loves it so much, feel too guilty to go there without him.
Here is a picture that his mama sent me last night of our darling Magnolia.

Our little peach of a girl, our little rose-blossom of a child, our youngest sweetheart.

All the pictures. I will be posting all of the pictures. Just for the joy of it. And in that vein...

The old man in concert down in South America.

What if all of us at the age of 72 could feel such joy in our purpose on earth?
Wouldn't it be a better place?

Good morning. Good morning. Good morning.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

This Makes Me Happy

Walking On Through It

On the bad days I can feel it in my eyes.
How odd is that?
Black dog sniffing at the door, whining and pawing at it, growling under his breath.
He knows how to get in. That bastard. That bloodymouthed bastard.

When I took my walk this morning, I saw the sweetest, prettiest fox. They are almost magical creatures, a cross between a dog and a cat. As soon as I saw him, he melted away into the woods and I had nothing but the picture my eyes had taken of him to reassure me that I'd actually seen him.

My odd-feeling eyes. They still work.

Monday, February 22, 2016

I Just Don't Even Know

About two days ago I finally sent an e-mail to the AOL support team about my inability to open pictures on my desktop AOL account. Today I got an email in return which said this:

Thank you for contacting the AOL Email Support Team.

We apologize for the inconvenience, however, there was an issue with our email service that may have caused the issues you are describing. At this time that problem has been identified and is being addressed. The matter is happening with the emails that contain attachments that are sent from iPhone mobile devices.

While we cannot provide a specific time when the issue will be resolved, please be assured that our team is working to correct it as soon as possible.

Again our apologies and thank you for your patience.

Best regards,

AOL Email Support Specialist

Really? Oh well. Thanks, AOL! And please, bite my ass. My patience is coming to an end. Your best regards aren't quite enough. Could you not have sent out an email telling us about the problem before we went insane and downloaded new operating systems and went into hysterics and bothered our techie brothers and felt like complete and utter incompetent assholes?

Okay. Thanks. 

Anyway, la-di-dah, first world problem if there ever was one. 

I've been in a mood today which I can't describe because it's like a complex braiding of all the moods and all of the feelings and thank god I could get out and do something with Jessie and Lily and Gibson and August and Magnolia because it kept me from curling up into a ball and crying my eyes out or...
Well. Something not conducive to life. 

Here's a picture I just stole off Facebook. Jessie took it from the back seat of Lily's van where she was sitting between the babies. 

Gibson was in the way back. He and I learned today that if we put the sides of our heads together while we are eating croutons, we can hear the sound of our mutual crunching remarkably well. This may have just been a ruse for him to get all of my croutons, but it was worth it. On the way home he asked his mother if he could jump on the trampoline. 
"No," she said. "You cannot."
"But I no broke my arm!" he protested. 
Still, she would not let him. 

We were running late, as usual due to babies needing nursing and changing and so forth and I volunteered to go pick up Owen from school while Lily and Jessie unloaded the van and...nursed and changed their babies. When I picked up my boy, he said, "So Mer. Maybe we should go to that place where they sell toys."
He meant the Lighthouse Children's Home thrift store and so after a call to his mama, we went. He bought a Buzz Lightyear toy, still in the unopened package and we got Gibson a truck thing which Owen said he would like. 
He did. 

I was so loathe to leave Lily's today. I just wanted to hold on to all of them. Sometimes there is nothing as soothing and comforting to me as the simple holding of a child's hand, the snuggling of a baby to my body, the touch of a daughter or a son on my back or arm. So I stuck around as long as reasonably reasonable and then came on home to make Mr. Moon's snack bag, to get him on the road, to do a few chores around here. 

And here I am. My husband is gone to Orlando and I am still feeling all of the feelings. Jack is sitting behind me on my chair. I am going to heat up stuffed peppers for my supper. I actually charged the batteries for the "real" camera to take some pictures of the rising full moon through the naked pecan branches but it appears to be too overcast to catch even a glimpse of the full-bellied glory. 

It's like that for me now. I know the moon and the stars are out there but I cannot see them. Both realities- their presence and their absence- are true as true. 

I reach back and stroke the green-eyed cat. 

I am overcome with it all. 

The chickens are breakfasting on fallen white camellia petals.
I've never seen this before.

Good morning.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 21, 2016

In Which We Lose Electrical Power

Well, it has been a slow and good day. We planted a few potatoes, a few peas, a bit of a row of cilantro. The arugula and mustards that Mr. Moon planted last week are coming up. I did laundry and finished listening to Burt Reynolds' memoir and I'm glad I listened to it. In a way, he reminds me of Keith Richards in that in the end, it's the acting (his art) that mattered to him. And he says that being an acting teacher has meant everything to him.
There is something truly good about a person who finds his or her purpose in life at an early age and pursues that dream. It's inspiring. Old Burt is weak-voiced but he can still make you laugh. And he cries during the reading of the audio book when he talks about friends he has loved who have passed on and women he has loved whom he let go.
Interesting. At least to me.

We took a nap and that was lovely and I slept for over an hour and when I got up I went out and collected the laundry off the line and unloaded the dishwasher and started yet another load of laundry (one pair of Mr. Moon's overalls are almost a full load- trust me) and as I was starting the washing machine the power flickered and came back on and flickered again and came back on and went out. There was not even a breeze or a drizzle.
Probably a dead tree that dropped a branch.

Mr. Moon and I settled on the porch to play some cards and at one point, when the battery back-up for the router started beeping, I went into the bedroom where it's plugged in and discovered the source of the icky smell I'd detected when I woke up from my nap. Two dead mice, looking for all the world like the cat-toy mice you buy in the grocery store, but real and decaying. Oh, Maurice! Well, this is why cats live with humans and I guilted Mr. Moon into going in and dealing with them. I said- "Hey- I deal with poopy diapers and wiping poopy butts. You deal with dead things."
And he did.

He beat me quite quickly at gin and I sighed, thinking that well, at least I'm lucky in love, but then I realized- Hey! So is he!
Still, I laughed. I love playing cards with him. We curse like sailors and it's all just for fun.

I went into the kitchen with my miner's headlamp (which is such a good look) and as soon as I'd struck a match to light my gas burner to heat up leftovers, the power came on and for a moment, it was disconcerting. It was like leaving the 1800's and having the door opened back to 2016.
So. Heating up leftovers, all three simmer mats employed. Jack and Maurice just had a bit of a snit-fit about who could be on the table I'm writing on and I'm hungry as hell.

Lucky at love, if not at cards, lucky at life too.


Love...Ms. Moon

Being Gentle On A Sunday

Whoa! Quite an evening here in Lloyd! Our old friend came and we drank and feasted and talked and talked and talked and laughed a lot. It was...well. What can you say about someone you've known and been friends with for forty-seven years? Knew since you were kids, stayed in touch with through the marriages, the children, and now the grandchildren?
It just feels like such an honor somehow although I'm not sure honor is the exact right word. More like gift, perhaps.
He had plans with his family back in Winter Haven today and left before we got up.
I almost wondered if the whole visit had been a dream.

We slept late, Mr. Moon and I. He spent most of yesterday with Vergil, finishing up the porch roofs and was exhausted before we began our festivities. I think a nap may be in order today. I don't have any plans beyond hanging some clothes on the line, maybe a little slow yard-work or gardening or maybe just reading.
It is allowed, nay! decreed by GOD to rest on the Sabbath.
It's right up there with not committing adultery or killing or having no graven images or putting any other gods before him.
So you know it's important.

Ah, religion and I've been on that soapbox once too often, I'm sure, but I do love the idea of a day set aside for rest although we don't often take it. Still, it is lovely to feel as if it is enough once in a while to sit and watch the birds at the feeder and in the camellia bushes, the lizards on the screens, the chickens in the yard, to let the world turn as it will, the worlds, all the worlds, sling themselves through the universe and know without doubt that I am in charge of nothing.

I might even do some ironing. You want to hear something funny? I have become fond of ironing and even more than that- there is something that happens to cloth when it is ironed. It changes the very texture of it, making it at once more crisp and softer.
Who knew?
Oh, I'm not going to start ironing everything but a shirt here and there- a pillowcase now and then.
It makes my husband happy.

Oh Lord. Who am I and who am I becoming? I do not know. It's sort of a mysterious journey each and every day. I don't think this ever ends.

Last night when Kerry was heading to his room, a train was thundering by.
"I hope the train doesn't wake you up tonight!" I yelled/screamed at him as the windows rattled in their panes.
It made me laugh so much.
Not to think of the train waking him up, but of having to scream to be heard over the sound of the train about the sound of the train.

I'm not sure if this is a metaphor for anything in my life, but it may be. I'll ponder that today.
Or not.

Don't forget to keep the Sabbath holy. Okay? And enjoy yourself. I just opened the kitchen door to let Miss Camellia out. She got into the house and couldn't figure her way back out. She was a lady and did not poop.
See? That's holy.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Time To Get This Show On The Road

Well, it's Saturday morning and I have approximately seven hours to make this place look like something other than a daycare center which is about to be closed down by the health department.
A daycare center which allows chickens on the porch.
One of the Chi-Cha's is pecking away at the cat food as we speak, her beak hitting the little blue bowl with a ringing crunch, crunch.
It's going to be a bit of a culture shock for my friend when he gets here. He's been at Seaside all weekend which is a "planned community" a bit west of here. It's where The Truman Show was filmed. It's...hard to explain.
Let's just say that Seaside is to Florida what pornography is to love.
Or something like that.
Anyway, I seriously doubt that any of the porches in Seaside have chicken shit on them.

Mr. Moon has gone to town to collect Vergil. They are hopefully going to finish up this roof project today. They have beautiful weather to work in and Lloyd is peaceful and easy this morning and I better get busy with a broom and a mop. I had to buy a new mop bucket yesterday at the Big Lots and Gibson tried to talk me into buying him a bucket too. He "needed" it to go fishing with his Boppy. We convinced him that Boppy already has a bucket.

Here's a picture Lily sent me last night. You can't believe the Voodoo I just had to employ to get it here.

She gave me permission to use it on the blog. She trusts me. She trusts YOU. She accompanied the picture with a text saying, "Hard to have date in night when this happens immediately after work."
Poor Jason. He had a headache.
I texted her back, "Daddy just vacuum sealed a bunch of sausage. Romance is in the air."

Well, all of this is life. Not a bright, shiny approximation of life but real life.
And you know what? Romance often happens under just such circumstances.

At least in my experience.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 19, 2016

I Have Something In My Eyes

Aw, I've been a right weepy old bitch today. Everything has made me cry but not in a particularly bad way. Just heart-leaks, I think. The last thing that made me weep was a post on Facebook from the White House of Obama saying "We know it is Black History Month when you hear somebody say, 'Heyyyy, Michelle! Giiiirrrrllll, you look so good!'"

And why that made me tear up, I do not know except that I think about how remarkably lucky this country has been to have that man as our President, his wife as our First Lady.
Okay. I can't talk about it any more. I'll burst into real tears and there's just no reason for that.

It's Friday night and we're going to have a martini and it was a good day, despite the eye-leaking. We ate our lunch at the Indian restaurant I talked about recently and I was gratified to see that it was packed today. Gibson loves naan and he loved the rose milk shake and he ate some cantaloupe and a little bit of butter chicken and Maggie was wearing all pink, a ballerina onesie that Lily's best friend got her and she slept through the meal, the Bollywood music blaring out of the speakers and Gibson kept giving me good hugs and kisses for no other reason than that he wanted to.

We met back here after Lily picked up Owen and waited for the Amtrak train. We were going to go down to the old station to wave but Maggie was hungry and we thought we had time because Jessie had texted me when the train left the Tallahassee station where she and Vergil and August had gathered with a lot of other Tallahassee people to greet the train and cheer when the train stopped for a few moments. My ex and his wife were there too and got this picture which, is pretty stunning if you ask me.

This is a big deal for all of us because they haven't run a passenger line through here since Hurricane Katrina tore up so much track but it's all repaired now and it would be such a very cool thing if we could get a train in Tallahassee. 

Anyway...just as we were getting ready to head down to the train station/post office, we heard the whistle and Owen was the only one who got out into the yard in a clear area to wave, although we rushed. He had already been in the back yard and he stood and waved and he claimed that one person waved back. 
I hope so. 
My big boy. Waving at the train. 
And then I pushed the boys in the swings and and they played a game wherein they pretended to be old men, in turn, walking across the path of the swing and no one got hurt and then Owen climbed the fig tree as he has always done but he is too big now, even though the tree has gotten bigger too. 
Both of the boys decided to take off their shirts and show off their muscles and Lily and I laughed and laughed and Maggie sat in her mama's lap in the sunshine and the boys played another game which involved running towards the slide and then running up it and Owen, at six, is graceful like a little lynx and can run all the way to the top and Gibson, who is three (almost four!) ran like a little man-truck and would do a full stop before he climbed the slide in his Spider Man boots and Lily and I laughed some more and we clapped and told them both how big and strong they were. 
Then Boppy got home and he held Magnolia for awhile before they left. 

Oh dear god. I don't even know what I've written here but the frogs are singing so loudly although not as deafeningly as they will be in a month. The sun has set and Mr. Moon has gone out to put the chickens up and he just asked me if it isn't almost time to get some new baby chicks. 

Yes. Yes it is. 

I need to make supper and babies make everything better, whether human or poultry. 
Oh Lord. I'm tearing up again. 

A belated happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

A Big Event

My neighbor is working in his yard and has his radio on full blast and I can't complain because my husband does this too when he is working outside sometimes and my across-the-street neighbor does the same. He listens to NPR and my neighbor is listening to classic rock which is better than say, Rush Limbaugh.
I'm almost quaking today with anxiety and don't even ask me why, I don't know.
Last night I felt peaceful and good and I'm so sick of this and for someone who's never experienced it, it probably sounds so self-involved and petty.
But when you have anxiety, it's like constantly waking up feeling certain you smell smoke and every one of your senses tells you that a vast fire is about to suddenly ignite and although the day is beautiful and your house and home and children and barns and animals are all fine and well, they are undoubtably about to be consumed in flame.

Ugh. I can't write with this brain, with those guitar licks cutting through the air, the ads for personal injury attorneys blasting out.

It's all right. I'm about to go to town soon to meet Lily and Gibson and Magnolia and we're going to have lunch and run some errands and then after Owen is picked up, we are coming back here to watch the Amtrak train go by. This is a big thing and the train is stopping in Tallahassee- they are trying to restore an Amtrak route here and maybe if we wave, the passengers will wave back. Who knows? But wouldn't that be nice?
What will the people think when they go through Lloyd? Will they see my chicken coop, my old house, the ancient, spreading oak trees, two women and two little boys and a babe in arms, all of us waving hello-hello-good-bye-good-bye! and then they'll pass the old Lloyd train station where I get my mail and fly down the tracks headed east and will they wonder about what life is like here? Will they feel as if they have not just traveled through space but back through time?

They couldn't have picked a prettier day.

No. I do not smell smoke. I do not. All is well and all will be well and anxiety lies and so I breathe in, breathe out, taking in the cool clean air of Lloyd which is lovely, except for that dratted noise.
The train will drown it out. For a few moments, at least, and oh, how we will wave!

Here we are. Do you see us?
Here we are. I swear.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Life As I Am Living It

I've given up on the whole tech thing for today. Perhaps my brother can help me. He's very, very knowledgeable about the ways of the Mac and is also an AOL user so he would be the logical choice. He's just so very busy. I hate asking for some of his precious time when he has a very demanding full time job, two children, a wife, a home.

I haven't spent my entire day dealing with the computer. I took a good walk in the beautiful weather, then working outside some, cleaning the henhouse nests, picking up some fallen branches. There is so much to be done in the yard and in a way, that makes me happy because I do so love to be out in it. And the potatoes and peas need to be put into the ground and maybe we'll get to that this weekend.

Tonight I'm making some stuffed peppers. I haven't made stuffed peppers in forever and I'm thinking about when I was a vegetarian and missed the stuffing you put in turkeys so much that I'd make that stuffing and put it in peppers and bake it and it was good. But tonight, I've got brown rice and lentils that I cooked slowly, slowly this afternoon on a simmer mat and ground venison and mushrooms and tomatoes and onions and garlic to go in the pretty red and yellow and orange peppers.
I don't know why I haven't thought of making them lately. At Costco I can get gorgeous peppers for not so much money and it's a good thing to make and to eat.

Besides the stuffing-stuffed peppers, I am also thinking about the restaurant I've talked about before where I used to eat when I was a student at University of Denver. 
The Lost Days, as we may call that time.
But the restaurant- it was so fine. My first exposure to vegetarian cooking. Hanuman's Conscious Cookery, and the menu was always handwritten (of course) and besides the regular offerings, there would always be a daily special "according to the cook's consciousness."

I have one of my very oldest and dearest friends coming to spend the night on Saturday and I want to make him something delicious and special. My consciousness tells me that I want to make him something from the garden and from the woods. I am not sure what that will be yet. I asked him what he wanted to eat and he said anything, except for perhaps the Rotel dip and I chided him, telling him that the Rotel dip is freaking awesome.
But I probably won't make that. He is something of a gourmand although I remember so many years ago when he gave me a cookbook and inscribed it to me as "the best maker of a peanut butter and honey and raisin sandwich on earth."

Or something like that.

I still feel very unanchored, floundering and foundering, as it were, in the deep, great sea of life. But I am moving forward, or at least I am moving.

And surprisingly, listening to Burt Reynolds read his memoir, "But Enough About Me" is incredibly soothing and peaceful and comforting.

He knew and was friends with everyone from Betty Davis to Roy Rogers and speaks of them so lovingly. He talks about the filming of "Deliverance" and about falling in love with Dinah Shore. His voice, as I have said, is very weak and at times, hesitant. You can hear the shuffling of pages in the background as Burt reads and I am sure that in a production with a stronger-voiced narrator, those sounds could be edited out, but here they are heard and it only adds to the integrity of it all somehow. And at the beginning of new tracks, you can hear him, rested and in fuller voice and then, as the chapter progresses, you can hear him tire, the voice growing weaker, the words harder to come out.

I know that feeling. And I love and respect him for sitting down with a real writer and getting these stories set down on paper and then, sitting down in front of a microphone and reading what has been written about his life.

As I age, so many different things catch and keep me, inspire and sustain me.

The cook's consciousness. The woman's and mother's and grandmother's and wife's awareness.

My husband is hungry. I need to go feed him.

Love...Ms. Moon

Oh! Technology will make our lives so much easier!

I am alive. I am in tech hell.
But. I think I figured out a work-around until I figure out how to fix my aol account. This involves a gmail account. This, in turn, involves a fuck of a lot of fussing and fighting and fixing.

Okay. Obviously this is not really working.

I hate this shit.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It's Going To All Be Okay

I feel quite lost right now. I really do.
But here I am and nothing is really wrong and so much is truly right and there is that baby girl, six weeks old tomorrow.

Bear with me, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bitchy McBitch Bitch

I'm in a foul mood and just wrote and then deleted a long post about the service we got today at a restaurant which rhymes with Bolive Barden where we went because we were hungry and wanted soup and salad and we thought that would be quick and easy.
Let's just say that we all left in a foul mood and barely made it to pick Owen up in time when we'd thought we'd have time to shop at another place before that.

Let me also say that although I am quite aware that being a server is one of the most thankless, underpaid, difficult both mentally and physically jobs there are on the planet, some people should just not try to be one. 

But all of that is not really why I'm all funkified in the soul and it's all pretty stupid and I'll be fine but I'll tell you this- I'll be glad as hell to get in bed tonight. As bad as my dreams will be (and oh! they will be bad, trust me!), at least they'll be a change of scenery.
You know what I mean?

Lily just sent me a video of Magnolia June smiling at her daddy and I got to hold her and her cousin August some today and that was lovely and Gibson let me pretend he was my baby at breastfeeding group because everybody had a baby but me (and no, we did NOT breastfeed) and then we pretended at lunch that he was Mermer and I was Gibson.
"Can I play with your phone?" Gibson asked Mermer.
"No!" she said.
"Can you buy me a toy?"
"Can you hold me?"
"No. You too big."
"I don't like being Gibson," said Mermer/Gibson.
"Okay," said Gibson/Mermer.

And we switched back and all was well.

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

The Flock Is Fine

So I opened up my Facebook this morning and there was my Elvis in one of those "memory" deals and that was five years ago today. And speaking of, his granddaughter Lisa Marie, was running around inside the garden when I went to let the chickens out this morning.
I guess she got trapped in there although in my experience, chickens can most definitely fly when needs be.
She's probably full of tender collards and mustards.
Bless her heart.
And Jack, whom I hadn't seen yesterday all day, magically appeared in the house at five a.m. when Luna woke me up, scratching at the door. It was a freaking cat fiesta in this house before day break.
So. All critters present and accounted for.

And now I need to get dressed and get to Lily's house. Breastfeeding group and bridesmaid gown shopping. It's an even MORE beautiful day today in that it rained last night and so everything is clean and clear as gin and all is well. The cardinals are at the feeder in droves along with the tiny finches and despite the fact that we've hardly had winter, I can tell that spring is coming.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cat Rescue Successful! Now. Where Is My Hen?

Well, there he is. Safe and sound. Lily said that the first thing Rusty did when he got back into the house was to use the litter box.
Now THAT is a well-trained cat. Despite the fact that he'd been in the tree for at least two or three days, she said that he didn't appear to be any the worse for wear but is being quite affectionate.
No damn doubt.

She said the whole thing took about eight minutes. The tree guy scaled the tree and plucked the cat gently from the branch and tucked him into a pillowcase and down they came.

Our hero!

Lily wanted me to give this man a shout-out and I am so happy to do that.

Thank you, Stevie Allman! You are a good man. 

Now we can all stop worrying about Rusty and get back to worrying about everything else in the world. 
Ugh. It's a tough job but someone has to do it. 

My latest worry is that my email is getting wonky and today none of the pictures I have sent from my phone are showing up. The email itself shows up and indicates that there is an attachment but when I open the email, it's blank. Same with the pictures Lily sends me. 
I have done a bit of research on the all-knowing, sometimes helpful internet and I decided to just uninstall my AOL app and then reinstall it because obviously, it has become corrupted like a sweet little farm girl catapulted into fame and degradation in Hollywood.
And do not laugh at me about my AOL email account. As you may note, our Hero Of The Day, Mr. Stevie "Spiderman" Allman also has one. As I do so love to say- this is my "heritage account" and I will take no flack for it. 
I suppose it could be my computer because when I went to uninstall AOL, I couldn't find that particular app in my Apps Menu. 
Who knows? Not me. 
Do I look like an IT gal? No. I do not. 

And now add this to worry about- I just went to put up the chickens and Lisa Marie, the granddaughter of my beloved Elvis is missing. 
Shit. Fuck. 
I just saw her this afternoon and thought to myself that she had certainly grown into being a beautiful hen. I can't imagine what might have happened to her. She's probably the biggest hen I own and certainly not easy pickings for a predator. 
Maybe she's lost and will come home tomorrow, dragging her tail-feathers behind her. 
I certainly hope so. 

When Spencer and Marilyn were here, Spencer asked me where I got my chickens. 
"Well, some I got from the Tractor Supply in Monticello and oh, these came from a couple who had to move and I got Mick from a friend of Lily's who had too many roosters and I got that one after my friend Kathleen died, and that one (Lisa Marie) from a hen who laid her eggs and hatched them by our garage."

Good Lord. 

Animals. Technology. Heroes. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Well Then

A very mundane Monday and I'm waiting to hear from Mr. Moon to see if he needs a ride to pick up a rental car to get to auction and it's not cold and it's not warm and it's not blueskies and it's not raining, and Valentine's Day had a fine ending and here I am.

Thanks to Invisigal's investigative skills, a man is on his way over to Lily's to rescue Rusty which is good because Mr. Moon was going to go rent a bucket truck (no, I am not kidding) and I'd rather someone else risk life and limb to save that poor kitty.
Sometimes I really cannot believe the power of the blog community.
I am so grateful.

And I've just been informed that I do not need to go to town to provide a ride so I guess I'll go take a walk, having no excuse not to. I need to slough off some of this anxiety energy although it's not nearly as bad as yesterday's.
And for that, I am grateful as well.

Happy Presidents Day and I wish the kids were out of school today so that we could take Owen to Japanica because I am craving it and we never go there without him because he loves it so much and it would just be too mean.

Did you understand that? It didn't make a lot of sense, did it? Oh well. What the hell does?

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lost...And Found

Today has been a day for finding things. I seemed to need to just keep moving and so I did and pulled that drawer out from under the stove and used the flashlight to find what was stashed between the stove and the cabinet and mostly what I found was two forks, two simmer mats, an ancient "Perpetual Plum" lipstick without the top, a bunch of seashells, a few magnets, one of Frida, one of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and enough dust to fill a bushel.
I am thinking that two little boys I know might have discovered the fun of sticking things down that crack and into the hidey-hole provided under the cabinet when they were younger. We also found a fan remote control the other day (who needs a fucking fan remote control?) that Gibson used to use as a pretend cell phone and just the sight of it brought back memories of that little boy, walking around with the remote up to his ear saying, "Hello! Hello!"
So all of that is good and I now have more simmer mats than any one person needs and the fork inventory is back up to five. I tenderly cleaned up Frida and the Virgin, soaking them in some soapy water and then washing their faces.

While he worked in the garden, Mr. Moon found that tiny toy horse in the picture above and it always surprises me when we find something in the garden. You'd think by now we would have handled every square inch of dirt and everything it held in there. The horse is missing a tail and must be pretty old because his belly is stamped "Japan" and not "China." I put him on my dirty window sill next to a blooming orchid I bought myself last week.
Still life with Japanese horse and orchid, late-afternoon sunlight shining through.

I made the chocolate truffles and did a little weeding myself, did laundry, ironed some shirts. My husband keeps saying, "What can I do for you?" and I just smile and thank him and tell him I love him.

So it's been a quiet day and I got this picture from Lily.

My big boys, holding their little sister, their Valentine's picture. Owen being so careful with Magnolia, Gibson such a little man boy, that turtle neck, those eyebrows, that hand on his thigh. Magnolia our newest baby, our sweet little girl in her giant headband flower and matching red pants. We are starting to wonder if she is going to have blue eyes which would be incredibly amazing. Jason and Lily both have brown eyes, as does her other grandma and her Boppy.
I would like that, of course, my own blue-eyed DNA passed down to her. But it doesn't really matter. She is going to have beautiful eyes, no matter their color.

Jessie sent me this, speaking of beautiful eyes.

Her good-looking fellas picked her a camellia.

And here's a picture of what the garden looks like this evening with the sprinkler on it.

It is tilled and weeded and ready to receive the potatoes and peas and Mr. Moon even planted one last row of arugula and mustards before winter ends, to hopefully get a few more weeks of that goodness.

Rusty is still up in the tree and Lily has posted on Facebook, asking if anyone has a sixty-foot ladder or for other suggestions. The bin with the tuna in it is still there, and frankly, they can't afford the hundreds of dollars it would require for a tree trimmer to come and rescue him and I'm afraid the cat is so freaked out that he might actually jump if someone approached him like that. He's known me his entire life and still has only once let me pet him.
So that saga continues.

And it has been a good day, despite the panic in my belly and I have been listening to another book by James Lee Burke, read by Will Patton and my favorite line so far is this one: "Her smile reminded me of when someone opens a music box."

Keep moving, don't fight it, stay open to all of the possibilities of beauty and of love.

Open the music box, turn the little key at the bottom and let the tinkling notes fill your heart.

And so forth.

Love...Ms. Moon