Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lloyd And So Forth

I am wondering tonight how the DT supporters are feeling about the way things are going. I suppose I could watch Fox news or go to one of the right-wing websites but I don't have the stomach for it.
Even on medication.
Speaking of which, I have no idea what I was expecting from a full fledged Ativan but I certainly did not reach any sort of Nirvana. I didn't reach anything except the end of the county line when I took my walk. Instead of heading right, I headed left and walked the sidewalk which the county so thoughtfully put in for us which is sorely underused but I'm still glad it's there. So instead of seeing woods and fields and the trash which people have dumped in the woods and fields, I saw yards and houses and dogs and said "good morning" to various people sitting on the their porches or in their yards. The No Man Lord Guy whose name I can never remember gave me his two arms straight up in the air greeting which is what he does and he seemed to be having a bit of a Wednesday morning party with a couple of guys in the yard under a tree. The smoker was smoking and when I returned, they were all tumbling out of the No May Lord Guy's trailer and seemed to be in fine spirits and we all said hello again.
This is not unusual behavior in Lloyd and quite frankly, very little which could possibly occur would be considered unusual in Lloyd unless it was someone building a mansion or putting in an office supply store or something like that.
I call the No Man Lord Guy that because for the longest time he had a sign nailed to a homemade cross which had the words "No Man Lord" on it but it hasn't been there for a long time. I did note today that he has used some spare lumber to spell out the words "I AM" leaning against his fence which is an interesting development. For all I know he is a Bodhisattva or Jesus Christ himself, come back to earth to live on a small piece of land in a trailer where he sells firewood and various other items, all used and seemingly donated like lawn mowers and tires.
Mr. Moon bought a plant stand from him for me some months ago, which you may remember. I think he's also taken him some things to sell when he has gone through fits of attempting to clean out his garage.
Whatever. This is Lloyd and I am grateful for the colorful inhabitants who come in all colors, shapes and sizes and at the end of the county line is the prefab home where the gay men live who have flown a rainbow flag in their yard for at least ten years and they may be the bravest people in town but I don't know that they've ever had any trouble at all.

So. That was about the high point of my day, not even having found any eggs. I did a little laundry, a little tidying, a little reading, watered the porch plants, helped Mr. Moon with a business letter, and took a small nap. I have to say that I did not waste much time worrying overmuch about anything but was in a state of fairly numb complacency which, although boring, was a huge fucking relief.

Tonight's menu is a venison meatloaf with baked potatoes and a salad from the garden. My grandmother and mother frequently made this meal although their meatloaves were strictly of the bovine origin and their salads were made of iceberg. Also, they both rubbed crisco into the skins of their potatoes before they put them in the oven and we always seemed to eat the skins after the potato insides had been scooped out and eaten with butter and salt, with their own pats of butter in them which, if you've never enjoyed baked crisco rubbed potato skins with butter smooshed into them, you've truly missed a treat.
No wonder I was such a fat little girl but then again, no one else in my family was fat and they ate the same things I did, including the butter-holding potato skins.

It still hasn't rained but has been windy today, on and off, the wind chimes tinkling little tunes, the leaves making more rusty-sounding songs. I have checked the radar and we may get the rat tail end of a front heading from west to NE and I would not mind that at all.

This is the news from Lloyd, Florida today and all of the remaining chickens are still alive and Jack has the pukes, probably because he eats like a pig here and then goes next door where he is known as "Hobo" and eats there too. I have never seen Maurice puke, ever, and still after all of these years, have never seen her at her toilette, either. She is a lady, albeit a bitch lady who still reaches out and snags me with her razor-like claw when I walk by her in the kitchen. And yet, I still love her.

Thanks for sharing my day. I mean it.

Love...Ms. Moon

That Kind Of Day

I think today is going to be a stay at home day. A move very slowly and get a few things done day. A take my pill and see what happens day.
A recovery from anxiety overload day.
I think my body is literally allergic to anxiety. I am breaking out and itching and this happens when things get to a certain point.

Okay. I've swallowed that pill. I had a little talk to myself and said, "So- what's the worst thing that can happen? What's the best?"

I need to take the trash. I need to take a walk. The air is so very heavy with rain perhaps coming.

The zebra-winged butterflies cannot leave the firespike alone. Every time I look, they are fluttering and feeding there. 

Today is a I will note the butterflies feeding all day long day. 

Today is an I will be quiet day. 

Today is the only day I have today sort of day. 
If that makes sense. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Food. Because

Mr. Bear Butt has a wide stance, doesn't he? He and Magnolia toddled around after lunch in a little patio area and Maggie slipped in the one puddle and fell and got her dress wet but her mother had a spare which was adorable.

We ate Middle Eastern today, falafel and hummus, dolma and chicken shawarma. 
Maggie and August sat in their high chairs right next to each other and gave food to each other and then stole it back. They like Middle Eastern as much as they like Mexican and Indian and anything else we give them. Which is to say- a lot. 
Gibson ate french fries. Mostly. 
Both babies are getting very reliable about giving kisses and when we said our good-byes, we were all blessed with baby kisses. I went with Lily because we came in together and Gibson was not sure about me today at all. I have no idea why. 
"Are you coming with us?" he asked. 
"Yes," I said. "I am."
He did not look too happy about that. 
We went to Publix, Lily and Gibson and Maggie and I and bought BOGO cat food and other things and I got my prescriptions and am still boggling over the fact that I have a bottle of many Ativan when for so long, I have done everything but sell my body on the street corner to acquire a few. I have not taken one, but if I need one, I certainly have it. 

After that, I went home with Lily and Gibson and Maggie and stayed with the children while Lily went to a parent-teacher conference for Owen. Maggie is extremely mobile these days, walking everywhere and far more quickly than you would think she could. Mostly I followed her around and took acorns out of her mouth (outside) and prevented her at the last moment from getting into the litter box (inside). She did get her hands on a glass of cranberry juice I'd given Gibson and before I could stop her, had put it to her mouth and tossed her head back and halfway drowned herself in the juice. 
Another costume change was in order which did not bother her in the least. 
Gibson is a good big brother and would announce, "She's got an acorn!" or "Maggie's chewing something!" Lord. 
Anyway, by the time Lily and Owen got home I was mostly just glad that the child was still alive and I came on back to Lloyd and let me note that Gibson had, by this time, changed his mind about me and asked if I couldn't stay on for "four more hours."

For supper tonight we are having chicken posole, or at least the Publix version of it. Lily has made this recipe several times and strongly recommends it. 

Of course I cooked my own chicken and have added this and that including tomatoes and greens from the garden. This will be about the fifth dinner in a row I have served which is to be eaten with a spoon but I don't think Mr. Moon cares. Sometimes, when we have soup for supper, he announces before he eats it: "Fuck you, Jay Leno."
This is in reference to a thing Jay Leno said somewhere which was that "Soup is just a way of screwing you out of a meal."
I would beg to differ. 
But each to his or her own. 
And perhaps Mrs. Leno does not need the therapeutic effects of making soup as much as some of the rest of us do. If this is true, then bless her heart. 
Bless Jay's too while we're at it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

A Morning

Yesterday afternoon I heard a chicken kerfluffle with great bawking and flapping of wings and ran out the back door and screamed at whatever was attacking because something was attacking. Sure enough, a hawk had tried to get little Violet- that pretty gray bird to the left of Miss Dearie. The hawk took off to perch in the magnolia tree above where the attack had occurred and Violet ran under the deck. Mick stood in sentry beside it for about an hour.
Dottie and Darla immediately ran into the hen house and huddled there and last night when I shut them all up, they were all safe and Violet seems to have suffered no injuries.

I woke up in the very early morning to hear rain, a good rain, coming down and it was beautiful. We are supposed to get more today. Even the little bit we got is going to help. Such a comfort.

I am feeling better in the mind today, even without having started on the new medication but my body is still in full adrenalin mode. People who have never had anxiety have no idea how physical this disorder is. And I am already second-guessing the antidepressant that the doctor has prescribed for me. I have heard bad things about it and one of the main side effects is weight gain and I certainly can not deal with that. What to do? Just take the anti-anxiety medication and see if that will do? I hate the idea of being on an antidepressant. I know what they do to me and on the one hand, they can make life worth living but they do bring side effects which can make life less pleasant. Does this make sense? Maybe.
All I want is to be able to enjoy and appreciate this amazing life that I have. I have all of the love anyone could ever want, I do not suffer from any unmet needs in any way. And I do appreciate and cherish and acknowledge and KNOW all of that and simply ask to be able to wake up and not have to fight my way though a day feeling as if a sword is being held to my chest.
I suppose that all I am asking is for some ease. Which may be too much to ask in this crazy world of ours. I don't know.

On one more topic- I am listening to "Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe" and I'd just like to say that this book which was written in 1987 is worth reading. Yes, we've all seen the movie- at least I hope we have- but the book is truly lovely and Fannie Flagg covered a lot of topics including racism, poverty, lesbianism, menopause, marriage, women's rights, and domestic violence. And she does it all so gracefully. If you're looking for something to read which is a good story and well-written and sense-of-place-and-time centered, this is a good one. I've said it before and I will say it again- Fannie Flagg is an underrated author in my opinion. Probably because she tells such a good story, is a woman, and is southern.

Well, that's my take on things. I am a simple woman and I have simple tastes.

Be well, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 28, 2016

I Went To The Doctor Today

Well, today was the day I had my appointment with the GP that a friend of mine recommended. The one whose receptionist kept calling me "sweetie" on the phone which almost made me forget the whole thing but I'm so glad I didn't.

I was horribly anxious last night. Had a hard time sleeping. Got up and took a fast, fast walk, my feet barely touching the ground with the adrenalin coursing through me. I was literally shaking.
I found the office and considered it to be a good omen that it was right across the parking lot from the oral surgeon who did my implant a few years ago whom I'd come to like so much. I was, of course, grasping at anything.
I went into the office, nervous and so panicky I was disassociating and was given the forms to fill out, as must be done whenever you go to a new doctor. They were pretty basic and one thing I did like very much was that in the section where you indicate gender you were given the options of Male/Female/Other. 
Well, I thought. At least there's that. 
As we all know, some of my favorite people on earth are "other." Good to know that in this office, they would be included as a matter of course.

The nurse was okay. My blood pressure was somewhat high- no surprise there at all.
And I didn't have to change into a gown but just sat in a chair by the little table and the doctor came in. Now my friend who recommended him said that not only did she like him, but that he was "not bad to look at."
She was right about that.
He's a young guy and he introduced himself and shook my hand and we talked about blood pressure and he said to take it at home a few times a week but not to worry. I told him about my huge fear of all things medical. "Why do you suppose that's happened?" he asked. He seemed to truly want to know.
"I don't know," I told him. "I've tried and tried to pinpoint something that could explain it and I just can't. I know it was true even when I was a little child, so perhaps something happened so far back that I simply can't remember."
"It's possible," he said. "These things run deep."
And then he proceeded to tell me that we'd go slow with all of these things and that he'd never ask me to do anything I didn't want to do. I told him about my anxiety and he wanted to change my anti-depressant to one which works better for that than the one I'm on. He also prescribed anti-anxiety medication which my NP had never wanted to do. I didn't even ask him. He offered it.
"Don't ever feel guilty about asking for medication," he said. "We may disagree but there is no guilt to it and we will discuss things."

I told him that I do exercise and spend a lot of time outdoors. That I take my supplements and try to do what I know I can do for myself.
"You're doing everything right," he said. And he listened to my heart and lungs and said, "Good," and handed me a kleenex when I began to cry and he even kept his hand on my knee for a moment when we were talking in a completely un-weird and human way.

Can you imagine how I felt?
It was the most comfortable I've felt in a doctor's office in a long, long time.

He gave me a lab slip to get bloodwork done but said that it could be any time I wanted. That he'd like to see me in two months to see how the prescriptions were working. So, hopefully, if I could, before that.
I told him I was going to go to Mexico for two weeks and he liked that idea.
"Remember," he said, "You can even call me from there. We have twenty-four/seven answering service."

What? What?

I think I may have found my doctor. And it's odd- for so many years I've gone to women practitioners, thinking that I would be more comfortable with them but that has not proven to be the case. I'm not sure why this is but it's a fact. That he's young seems a good thing too. Maybe he can be my GP for the rest of my life.

When I left, he shook my hand again and said, "It's been so good meeting you. Thank you for coming to see me."
And when I said, "I'm so glad I did too," I meant it.

And yes, the receptionist called me "sweetie" about ten times but it didn't bother me in the least. I liked her. A lot. I may end up calling her "darlin'."

So. That's my story of today. And I just feel so vastly relieved. That the appointment has come and I went and that it went well. And I keep thinking about how, when he asked me how I'd heard about him, I told him that my friend had recommended him and when I told him her name, he smiled and said, "Yes, she and I are getting to be good friends."
This is a friend who is gay and who has just gone through breast cancer and who is what some might call a "character." And I am also thinking of what her oncologist said about this doctor which was that he is very, very good. And I liked that oncologist.

And on top of everything, his uncle is a surgeon who has done several surgeries for our family over the years and so, I feel a connection there, which may be silly, but it's true. That surgeon has been steadfast and steady and I have always liked him.

"We will take this in small chunks," the doctor said today, and I knew that he had truly listened to me and I did not feel dismissed or condescended to, but respected and acknowledged as a human being.
And that is everything.

I am so very, very grateful.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 27, 2016


When Boppy took Owen home tonight.

Babies And Blessings

The good old bouncy horse that Mr. Moon and I bought in an antique store in Thomasville, Georgia when Owen was a baby was ridden by its third cowboy in our house today. He liked it, that August child. It was a fun day with babies toddling around and eating crackers and apples and dropping crackers and apples so that the other one could pick them up and eat them.
Gibson wanted to play games on my tablet, and did, and Owen wanted to hang with Boppy and they did, doing target practice with the BB gun. Owen ate kale from the garden and then he and Boppy got dressed in their camo and went to sit in the deer blind at our friend's house.
They've just come in and although they did not see one deer, they had a good time hanging out. I just told Owen, "You know, when you were born, this is what your Boppy was dreaming of. Taking his grandboy hunting."
"She's right again," said Mr. Moon.
"Boy, Mer, you know a lot of stories," said Owen. We had just discussed the story of the time I found a snake in my kitchen and had to call the very same friend whose land they were just hunting on to come and get him because Mr. Moon was out of town. I am not exactly afraid of snakes but I do not like to handle them and although there is part of me which would like having a pet oak snake in the house to eat vermin, there is another part of me which knows I would die if I reached for a plate to serve supper on and found a snake on it. Which is why I had to call our friend to come and get it while I still knew where it was which was behind the microwave.
Stories. Yes. I have a million.

So anyway, it was such a nice day that we took the babies and Gibson out back and spread a quilt for the babies to play on

which they did for about five seconds before they began toddling over to the play set where they tried to do completely inappropriate things like climb the slide and August did climb the ladder up to the platform with his mama standing right behind him. That child is a climber.

Gibson begged for me to swing him and so I did. "Higher! Higher!" he commands and demands.
I do my best.

Jessie and August did a little swinging too although August didn't quite get the concept.

But he giggled and tried to eat his shoe and we finally came inside and Gibson and I played one round of faux Monopoly and there was more snacking and cracker cracking and I went out and picked salad greens for Lily and I gave Jessie some of our soup from last night. I always seem to want to send my children home with food. At some point, both of the mamas decided that, sigh, they should get home and so some laundry or something and they packed up children and babies and food and everyone kissed and hugged good-bye.

I've had some more anxiety today but as always, the babies have helped distract me from it. I am so lucky to have such sweet distractions. It is chaos when they are here and crazy too but nothing that a few paper towels, a broom and a dustpan, and a little super glue can't fix right up.

I like being a grandmother who does not have fine china to break but instead, turtle shells found in the north Florida and south Georgia woods and brought home by my husband. I remember back when our own children were young and Mr. Moon and I despaired over ever having a piece of furniture or a rug or anything, actually, that wasn't child-broke or stained and we'd say, "Well, when the kids are grown..."
And they are but now the grands are here and so it goes and we are old enough now to realize that we do not nor do we care to live in a museum where things cannot be touched and played with, where breakage represents near tragedy but are happy in our comfortable and funky surroundings, our treasures the most mundane and sturdy of objects which can and do withstand the ravages of childhood.

This is the greatest luxury of all, I think. 

Yours truly...Ms. Moon


Another beautiful day in Lloyd and I think that Jessie and August and perhaps Lily and Maggie and the boys may come out to play.
Maybe. Perhaps. Eventually.
The toys are looking sad and lonely in the Glen Den and I keep walking past the little walker in the hallway thinking, "Well, time to put that back upstairs." All the babies are walking on their own now.
How does time pass so quickly?
Why do the babies grow so fast?

Mr. Moon plans to work on his boat trailer which has been out of commission since last June. Meanwhile, he is researching his cars for work on his computer in the kitchen. I made a huge breakfast and I doubt we'll need to eat again until tonight. I couldn't eat all of mine and gave the leftovers and some grits to the chickens so they have feasted as well. I should get out there and clean out the henhouse. The kitchen is cleaned up and the first load of clothes is hanging on the line. The weather app on my phone says we may get rain this week and I know I've mentioned this but it's big news around here. It is so dry and the azaleas and hydrangea are drooping and sad and the threat of wildfire is high. It's to the point where I can hardly imagine a rainy day but certainly would enjoy it.

And that's the news. Nothing and everything. The sun shines, the leaves are falling, the roosters crow, life goes on in Lloyd and perhaps where you are too.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Sort Of Miracle

Well, I didn't get every square inch of the garden covered in leaf mulch but I got all of the vegetables mulched and that makes me feel very, very good.
In so many ways.
This morning I was redlining on the anxiety but by late afternoon, I had calmed down in direct proportion to the tiredness and ache in my joints. This does not always happen but sometimes it does and I am so damn grateful that I can't even tell you.

I came in and washed up and made a big pot of venison and vegetable soup with sweet potatoes and red wine. I put three types of greens from the garden in it- collards, mustards, and kale. I've got a loaf of wheat and oat bran bread rising nicely too, and it will be a good and simple supper and for once, I'll probably be able to enjoy it. This feels like a damn miracle.

It was odd to read that Fidel Castro had died this morning. I thought again about my trip to Cuba last June and how that particular time seemed so fraught with history. Changes were coming about, slowly but surely. Obama had just visited, the Stones had just played, and Fidel was still alive. It was obvious that some private businesses were being allowed to operate and thrive and the state-run Fabrica de Arte Cubano was hot and happening. And by the way, if you're on Facebook, you can search for their page. They post regularly about the artists performing and showing there.
I look at the pictures I bought at the fine art museum in Havana which I bought and had framed every day and I think about that trip and what it meant for me. It was, in a way, a huge thing. First of all, that I did it and I never would have done it without Lis and her encouragement, and trusting in the group that I went with. And I think about the way it showed me that I could not make judgements about Cuba and its people and its government and that I could see no black and white answers to any of the questions my time there engendered. It was vastly more mysterious to me when I left than it had been when I arrived.
And I think that Fidel Castro probably engenders the same mysteries. I am certainly not an apologist for him but I will say that I think he began with a noble idea. And I think that he was a human being and that power probably got in the way of his original intent and many, many mistakes were made.
But I don't know.
I just know that the people I met in Cuba were beautiful people with hearts wide open to us American visitors and that they loved their country and that I will ever be grateful that I was able to go.

And this is what I'm thinking about this evening, even as I have insulated myself the last few days against anything and everything I possibly could. Today I made it out of my house albeit only into my yard, but I got something done and I feel so much better for it. Honestly, yesterday, I don't think I could have made that little move. So there is that.

And hey- while I was still stuck in my house, I got the kitchen mopped and a few shirts ironed and that ain't all bad.

And I think that little Dearie is now laying me her own tiny eggs.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 25, 2016

In Which I Am Still Here

I got to see Lon and Lis today and it was wonderful but I was a terrible hostess and I know it's okay. They love me anyway and know me through my various insanities. We talked a lot about the election and the why's and the wherefore's and basically decided that however it happened, we're screwed.
Screwed, screwed, screwed.
I showed them my garden. Lon and Lis garden too and Lon always asks, "Can I look at your garden, Ms. Moon?" and I was proud to show it to him today. It looks pretty enough, and certainly green.

I kissed and hugged them goodbye and didn't even cry the way I usually do. I haven't really cried since the election. Everything that's gone on and I haven't cried. A few tears here and there, but no big giant breakdown of weeping and I suppose that's coming soon although anxiety seems to have an anti-weeping effect on me. I can't allow myself to get close enough to any of it to admit to any of it enough to cry.
Does that make sense?
Probably not.
Who cares?

I went through the rest of my day doing little things around here. Sheets and clothes on the line, mopping the kitchen and bathroom and two square feet of the "laundry room." Reading. I started "Terms of Endearment" which I bought at the Goodwill bookstore a few weeks ago. It really is the book which comes after "Moving On" so it follows naturally that I would take it up. We've all seen the movie and I think I've read the book before, but I'm not certain.
My mind.
Another thing that Lon and Lis and I talked about was how forgetful we have become and how it's even worse since the election. We laughed, as we do, but after they left and I was sweeping the kitchen, I dumped my dustpan full of dirt and dust into the old metal laundry hamper I keep my rags and old towels and sheets in, instead of the garbage can which was right beside it.
Oh well. Nothing to do but go through all of the rags and shake them out and throw some away that I know I'll never use and I did find a little pair of baby shorts with dinosaurs on them that perhaps August can wear after I wash them.

I've made a completely bad-for-you casserole out of leftovers which is heating in the oven and somehow, I forgot to bring any leftover vegetables home and don't even have the energy to go out into the garden to pick for a salad. I just don't care. Cranberry sauce is probably full of antioxidants and all good things, right? I'll make a damn salad tomorrow.

The windows at the church next door must be open because I can hear the singing and the cymbals and a drumbeat. Lloyd is cooking and it's supposed to rain next week- maybe? maybe? please?- and maybe that will be some sort of release/relief. It's been so long. We're having a martini and Mr. Moon and I just had a good long hug and a little chat and told each other we love each other and we have clean sheets tonight and I have a book to read about the most narcissistic mother in the world, Aurora Greenway, and her daughter Emma and I know it doesn't end well for Emma but after this book, there are more books about Aurora and also Emma's children and hell, I can always reread "Lonesome Dove" which would take me through weeks of visiting with those good characters.

I wonder if I will look back on this time as the months of rereading Larry McMurtry and if I do, that's fine. I just look forward to a time when I do look back on this time and think, "That was hard. You made it through it. Good for you."
Whatever gets you through the night.
It's all right. It's all right.

Lord but the hours creep slowly until the time I can get in bed.

Maybe tomorrow I will rake leaves and finish mulching the garden.

We shall see.

Love...Ms. Moon

Post Thanksgiving Breakdown

It was a good Thanksgiving and I'm sitting here going through my pictures realizing I did not get one picture of May. How can that even be? Probably because she was so busy taking care of everyone, making sure that all the food got put on the table, helping Owen when he hurt his finger, seeing what was needed and doing it, and then, when it was all over, being the superstar and cleaning everything up because the rest of us faded to the point of invisibility.

Oh, May. Thank you my love!

Here are pictures of other people doing other things.

Hank, as always, holding a baby. This one is Ananda, her mother Donna sitting beside him. Ananda is another happy, happy child and can shriek with joy louder than any child I've ever heard.

August and his mama. He had the best time just exploring.

Maggie. Being adorable. Because that's what she does.

The fellows playing bocce ball in the late afternoon sun filtering through the pines.

Jason and his brother, Chris and sister-in-law Lauren. They are the parents of darling Lenore.

Gibson and the aforementioned darling Lenore, eating at the kids' table. Owen chose to sit on the bench around the oak tree. When we went to leave and I was kissing everyone good-bye, Lenore got up from what she was doing and said, "Bye, Mer Mer," and came and hugged me. She is such a precious sprite.

Our Anna. This is her 8th Thanksgiving with us. We are always so glad to have her. When she first came to our Thanksgivings, she was a graduate student at FSU and now she is Dr. Anna and teaching at FSU.

Lily and her daddy. 

And I think that's all the pictures I got because at that point I was too full and kept losing my phone and was too tired and it was all just too much and next year we need to set some limits on how much food there can be because this was ridiculous. Two turkeys, three different types of dressing, two different cranberry dishes, tempeh with stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, corn casserole, broccoli casserole, collard greens, smoked venison with a blackberry reduction, rolls, biscuits, gravy both vegetarian and non-, and I don't even know what. 
Three pies, egg nog cookies and pecan bars. 

We came home and it felt like it was 11:00 at night but it was only a little after 7:00 and I did a little bit of tidying in the kitchen and then got in bed and finished up reading "Moving On" which left me bereft and what am I going to do now for comfort? Finally, at almost ten I turned out my light and went to sleep and Mr. Moon eventually woke up from where he'd been sleeping in his chair and came to bed and here it is, the day after. 

And I am struggling hard. I cannot shake this melancholy, this anxiety, this sense of hopelessness which is so ridiculous and my riches make me feel even worse because- what right do I have to feel this way? 

Well. It is the way it is. 

The sun is coming up and it is quiet in Lloyd and Mr. Moon has gone to work and I clung to him before he left, holding on to his strength, his warmth, his goodness. 

There is so much good in this world, despite everything, and I am going to hold on to that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 24, 2016

How To Thanksgiving

Woke up this morning to find that the garbage I'd left on the kitchen porch last night had been torn into with garbage strewn everywhere. I know better than to leave garbage outside over night. Coons, possums- they love the opportunity. I sighed and put on my gloves and cleaned it up and that was that and got the paper which weighs twenty pounds on Thanksgiving morning, not due to news of course, but to the ads for Black Friday shopping.
Sigh again.

I made the stuffing and Mr. Moon went out to the garage to collect the turkey from the refrigerator out there and I stuffed the bird and slid it into the oven. I tidied up the kitchen and pulled the traditional antique fine-plastic turkey platter out of the cabinet almost creating a cascade of glassware but I somehow managed to stem the fall and thus, I feel successful and lucky this morning.

It's sunny and warm, a beautiful day, and in a few hours we'll all be meeting at Lily and Jason's. I need to make a list of all the things I'm taking or I'll forget something. And it really wouldn't matter if I did. There is going to be so much food. It always overwhelms me.

And now I'm not sure what I should be doing. I could sweep porches or even rake leaves for the garden but I don't feel like doing either. Maybe I'll just lay down and read, rest and be comfortable, feeling more than a little guilty because I'm not over at Lily's helping get ready.
Later on I'll whip the cream and make the gravy and it will be time to go.

Because almost every day of the year I mention here some of the things I am grateful for, thankful for, I don't really feel the need to list them all again just because today is the official day.
You know what they are.

Mostly, love.

In whatever form that takes.

Be well, y'all. Happy Thanksgiving. Wear your stretchy pants. Be as kind as you can be, be patient with everyone including yourself. Kiss the babies. Kiss the cook. Save all the vegetables no one eats off the veggie tray to put into turkey soup. Remember that truly, it's more about the love than the food and tell all the old stories and make sure the children hear you tell them. Remember those who are no longer with us, celebrate those who are with us for the first time.
Have a little tot of rum, dance in memory, at least a shuffling skip-hop or two, don't be afraid to cry and laugh at the same time if the need arises.

That's my advice.
Oh. And don't leave the garbage on the porch overnight.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Different Sort Of Year

Traditionally, it is not actually Thanksgiving day that I look forward to the most.
It is the night before Thanksgiving when there is music.
I used to host a party every Thanksgiving Eve to make sure this music happened. I mean- I worked my ass off, not just getting ready for Thanksgiving itself, but making that party for the night before. You can only imagine. And those were the days when I always had Thanksgiving here, before Lily and Jason took the hosting off my hands.
But it was always worth it and magical and there were usually oysters and a fire and the music, played by people I love and have known since forever and ever and this house was filled with light and people.
Some years ago, my ex-husband, who is one of those musicians, started booking a gig that night for himself and his best friend from childhood, a violinist who lives in Nashville now and who always came to the party too.
I have been pissed and relieved, both at the same time. The burden of the party was taken from me but so was the magic.
Last year's gathering was chronicled here, for those of you who might remember or care to know.

But tonight- I ain't going. And Lon and Lis are even going to be there as they are staying in Monticello for the holiday with Lon's sister's family.

I just can't. I don't have the energy to get dressed to step out the door. I simply can't, even though I slept for at least an hour and a half this afternoon. I just feel like shit and that's all there is to it.
My heart is sad.

But, hey. You know- life goes on.

I cooked my greens today. There were so many I had to take a break in the middle of cutting them.

And they will go back on the stove tomorrow to boil down that pot liquor or, as we call it these days, the reduction. Or something. Fuck if I know. These greens are not your steam-until-bright-green greens. They are the cook-until-they-are-so-tender-you-can't-believe-it greens. This is the way it is properly done and that is that. 
I do break with tradition in that there is no pork in those greens at all. No bacon, no ham, no pig. They'll be good though. I know they will be. 

The last thing I've done tonight is to bake the pies. The regular pecan pie is still in the oven but here's the chocolate pecan pie. 

My pie dough is iffy this year but it'll be what it'll be. 

And tomorrow all I have to do is to make the stuffing and get that bird in the oven and simmer the greens some more and whip the cream and put it all in the car and get to Lily's house by three. 

I think I can do that. 
I won't be getting up after a late night and my house is not filled with children sleeping over at Mama's and wanting coffee and breakfast and watching the Macy's Day parade while I cook and chop and boil and simmer and heat and roll out and so forth while everyone helps and gets in the way and makes me laugh and there are so many kisses that they can't be counted. 

Well. I had those days, I did it for forever and things change and we move along and I'll get my kisses at Lily and Jason's and next year I'll hear the music, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, and it's Thanksgiving Eve and I wish all of you the very, very best. 

Love...Ms. Moon

What Can You Do?

Woke up this morning with the cold everyone else has already had.

And so it goes.

Cooking is proceeding. Slowly but surely. The giblets are cooking with onions and celery, sage, thyme and a bay leaf. Pie pastry is chilling in the refrigerator. I'm about to go rassle with some greens and I'll start the cornbread for the stuffing here in a little while.

The sun is shining.

It's all okay.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Such A Pathetic Offering

I don't want to write anything. I have nothing to say. I sit down by habit, this long, long habit, and I have nothing to say except that which I have said over and over again.
I am anxious. So anxious.

I stayed as busy as I could today. I washed clothes and hung them on the line. I went to Monticello to pick up a processed deer and went to the grocery store and the farmer's market to buy greens for Thanksgiving because my garden, although full of plenty for two people, hasn't got enough collards for me to bring to Lily's for the dinner. The man brought out a bundle that took two arms to hold. $3.99.

They took up about a quarter of the back of my car and collards are not like other greens- they do not cook down to nothing. I will have to cook those in my giant pot and there will be too many, I know it. With all of the Thanksgiving riches of food, collards will not be high on most people's priorities but I have to make them. It's tradition. 
I came home and put the frozen packages of venison in the freezer, the collards in the refrigerator in the garage. I went to Tallahassee to take Hank some meat and we had a quick lunch and then I drove to Lily's where I stayed with Maggie and Gibson while Lily went to an appointment which turned out to be for next week but we're all doing things like that now. Getting everything mixed up and turned around and shaking our heads and saying, "God. What's wrong with me?"

Back home. Clothes off the line, wandering around the house wondering what I should be doing. Watering porch plants, accessing cold damage- not much, not much. 

It was good to be with Hank. It was good to be with Gibson and with Maggie. Maggie throws herself at me and laughs and cuddles and then throws herself away to do do perilous toddler things. She is walking everywhere. She can say "Mer Mer" when she feels like it, she can kiss when she feels like it. 

Here's a picture that Lily sent today from there walk in the local park where someone had made a flower-heart. 

This is perfection as she is perfection. 

Mr. Moon reports there has been a wreck on the highway and traffic is stopped. The ambulance and the wrecker have gone by. No traffic moving in either direction. He has had two incredibly long days. I want him home. I made soup last night and I want him home to eat his soup and come to bed. I want him safe. 
I want all of us safe. Every one of us on this planet and of course, that cannot be and never will. 

I have nothing to say because my heart feels as little and tight as a tiny stone, its weight too heavy to bear. Nothing feels safe, not really and the usual small comforts do nothing but carry me through the day until I can lay down in my bed and sleep again. 

I am so sorry. I want to have a place here where people can come for comfort, for sustenance, for reassurance and all I have is nothing and I'm sorry and it will not be forever thus and that is all I can offer, can hope for from this small and stoney heart. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

And Then...

A hard, hard, hard day.
Owen had another episode at school today and Lily went and got him and took him to the neurologist's office immediately. Jason met them there and I got there shortly. We had been under the misunderstanding that if they could get an EEG as close to an episode as possible, it might show something but one was not done and according to our community expert here, it would have done no good anyway. The doctor said that although he doesn't like giving medication when the specific problem isn't known, he prescribed medication which was confusing, to say the least.
And an MRI has been ordered and most importantly, the process has begun to get Owen into the pediatric epilepsy center down at the University of Florida at Shands which is supposed to be a very, very fine place.
We watch, we wait.

This is taking a toll on all of us, of course. Everyone in the family is involved. Jessie picked up Gibson from school and took him home with her, Mr. Moon got on the phone and called Shands himself. Hank and May are offering whatever support they can give. I am texting our community expert and getting her advice and wisdom and sharing that with Lily and Jason.
And I'm sure that Owen doesn't have the slightest idea what to think.

BUT. Our family is built on love and support. That is never in doubt and never will be. Emotional, physical, financial. We have all of the pieces in place and this is when their value, worth and truth is most important and obvious.

And all will be well. Owen will be fine. He is sturdy and healthy. He is strong and he is smart. And he is loved and all that can be done to figure this out will be done.

And that's what my day has been like. I sat in the waiting room of the neurologist's office to be there if they needed me to take Maggie and for a moment, I thought I might pass out. I've never passed out in my life. I got myself together and went to the women's room and peed and washed my face with cold water and took good breaths and went back to my seat and soon enough, Jason and Maggie came out, followed by Lily and Owen who was glad to see me and Maggie was gorgeous and wanted to walk around and wave at everyone who would look at her because that's what she does and then we went and got some lunch and Owen ate chicken and noodles and fruit and then Lily called Shands too and made the calls to get things together to get an appointment and Jason and Owen went and picked up Gibson and Lily took Maggie home where she made more calls.
And making calls for Lily is as hard as it is for me.
She and Jason are the most amazing parents and I am so proud of them.
I went to Costco and bought an organic turkey and balsamic vinegar and then to Publix where I bought butter-flavored Crisco to make the pie crusts and now Mr. Moon is on his way to auction to buy cars for clients because this is how he supports us and provides for his family.

And now, because everything has been so hard and so strange and so difficult lately, I want to end with a video that Lily made the other night of August watching his very first cartoon on TV which was "Finding Dory." Lily reports that he watched for such a long time and she made popcorn and he sat on the couch and watched and laughed and ate popcorn like a grown-up.

We have much to be thankful for. Because of it all and despite it all.

Much love...Ms. Moon

One More

Thank all of you so much for your words of sympathy last night.
I know that these birds of mine are "only" chickens and I EAT chickens but these were my chickens and to see their poor bodies with feathers surrounding them, so still and lifeless on the ground was heartbreaking.
I just feel terrible and it's like well- one more thing.
One more thing.
Life is already far more than I can handle at this point and last night it froze and I probably lost a bunch of my plants because we haven't brought them inside yet so there's another thing.
One more thing.
I wake up in the morning and I fight to stay asleep. I don't want to get up and go about my day.
Is Trump still the president-elect?
Well then, I'd just as soon stay asleep.
But the body will only take so much sleep and so I have to get up and every day it seems as if the news is worse and now there's the news that DT's wife will not even be moving into the White House because her son must stay in his private school in NYC and this is just an underlining to the fact that this man has no respect or love for our country. None at all.

One more thing.

And it's cold and I need to take a walk and I need to go to the store and I need to remember what a friend of mine said lately which is that life is fucking tough, doing nothing is easy, and achieving anything is difficult and we need to just be tough motherfuckers and try to get things done.

I've gone out to hang clothes and little Darla was outside the coop, trying to get in to her sister so I opened the door and she scooted in, she is fine. They are reunited.
At least that is one good thing.
And with that small cheering note to my day, I will go on.

What else is there to be done but get through one more day?

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I give up.
Mr. Moon came home and came in the house and hugged me and I knew something was very wrong and he said, "Something's killed our chickens."
Four bodies out there, one of them Otis. Chi-Chi and Cha-Cha and little Nicey Two-Two. And one chicken is missing.

I'm going to keep the chickens I have and not get any more.
I can't bear this.

I Do Know One Thing

Otis is such a pretty rooster, isn't he?

Sunday morning and it's what we here in North Florida call pretty darn chilly or, actually cold because our blood is thin.

I feel completely overwhelmed by everything and sad and anxious and ineffectual and yes, angry, and I don't know what I'm doing today. I should probably go to the store and buy a turkey (why the HELL didn't I just get one at the Costco last Friday when I was there?) and the rest of the things I need to make the dishes I'm bringing to Thanksgiving but maybe I'll just wait until tomorrow to do that.

I don't know. I don't know anything.

Except that Otis is a really pretty rooster. That I am sure of. That's one thing I know.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

So I Did Not Jump Off A Cliff And I Hope You Did Not Either

I've worked most of the day on Gibson's blanket and got it all done but for the embroidery that I do around the letters of his name and for the first time ever, I bought stencils to use as patterns for those and I feel as if I cheated a bit but so what?

The whole thing is incredibly imperfect, as imperfect as his grandmother, but it is going to be warm and cozy and soft and therefore, yes, like his grandmother. Or at least, as I would want to be for him. 

I finished listening to this book. 

I recommend highly. 
And then I immediately downloaded a new one. 

Generally, when I go to my app to find new books to listen to I search reviews before I download one but in this case, I just did it. I've only listened to a little bit of it and so far, I am pleased. We shall see. Right now I absolutely have to have something to listen to as I work with my hands. This is my saving grace, my coping mechanism, my way to get through my day. 
I talked to May tonight and it turned out that last week she was reading a book with her eyes at the same time I was listening to it. It was also a very well-written book and we both agreed it was fine. 

Although sad. But beautiful. 

A day. Another day in post Apocalyptic America. 
I took the trash, I cleaned the hen house, I did the laundry, I made the cranberry orange relish for Thanksgiving, I used my hands and thread and a needle and my grandmother's Singer sewing machine and flannel and scissors. I talked to my daughters and husband via text and phone. 

The sun rose, clouds came out and hid it, the wind blew them away, and it shone again. It is getting cold tonight. I made my bed so that when I get back into it tonight with my comfort book, I will be as comfortable as I can get. 

This is what I did today to try and stay on this side of the sanity/insanity fence. 
What did you do? I would like to know. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 18, 2016

This World, These Worlds, This Love

Now that's how to eat lunch, y'all. Laid back and plenty relaxed. Put your feet up, make a goofy face. Pretend to offer your cousin a cracker and then take it back and laugh. Oh, August.
It's so funny how he and Maggie are both on about the same track when it comes to walking. They're both toddling around like the little drunk monkeys they are. August is a little more skillful but then again, he's three months older. Maggie has the advantages of (a) being female, and (b) having siblings to teach her how to walk.

Such sweet babies.
"Just stay the way you are," I tell them, and they won't. They can't. But oh, what a sweet age. Maggie babbles and babbles her sentences and we pretend to translate them. She says "Uh-oh" and "ouch" very clearly. She says ouch when she tries to pull your face off.

Do not let those dainty looks fool you. This is a tough little woman baby. Do you remember when she was born and Lily said, "She doesn't have any eyebrows!" and Jason said, "She'll get one." 
She's working on it. 
My little Frida beauty. 

We had a good time at lunch. There was another baby behind us, younger than our babies, and Gibson made her laugh and he said, "I love babies. When I'm around babies I just go crazy!" And he does. He is the sweetest boy, that Gibson. He's pure honey and sweet cane syrup. When we went to get hair cuts, he said to me, "Oh Mer. Don't cut your hair. It is beautiful."

After lunch we went to Costco and got things for Thanksgiving. Pimento cheese for sure.
"Jalapeno or regular?" I asked, reaching for the container.
"Jalapeno," said Jessie.
"Yeah, the kids don't like it anyway," said Lily.
"Thank god. More for me," said Jessie. And we giggled like Betty Rubble and Wilma Flintstone.

After Costco, Lily and Maggie and Gibson and I made a mad dash back to her house to put all of the cold things in her refrigerator and then raced back down the road to pick up Owen from the bus and then we drove back into town for the haircuts with our dear, beloved Melissa or "Miss Lissa" as Gibson calls her.

Miss Lissa is a genius haircutter and when Owen said he wanted to be able to do a Mohawk AND keep his rat tail, she figured it out.

Believe it or not, he can do a Mohawk with that cut. 
And here's the rat tail, which is so proud of. Because...well, who knows? 

Lettin' his freak flag fly, I suppose. Seven years old and I'm already starting to see symptoms of teenagedhood and it's scary and wonderful and I love that boy so much. He got his progress report today- all A's. 

Here's Gibson's haircut.

He also wanted a Mohawk and also has a rat tail because his beloved big brother has them. 

Lily got her hair cut too and it is beautiful but I didn't get a picture. I love it. Melissa always knows just what you want and how to do it whether you're a four-year old boy or his mother. 

We finally got so tired of trying to keep Maggie out of the hair that we just let her get into it and this is what she did.

You can't really tell but she's trying to put the cut hair on her own head. 
Ten months old and she did this repeatedly. Attempted to attach her brothers' and mother's hair to her own little head where she's just starting to grow her own. 

My grandchildren are geniuses. 

Of course. 

So after all of that we went to Publix and finally, at around six I got home to Lloyd and unloaded the car and put everything away and went and shut my chickens up, all twelve safe and roosted. 

All day long I've been thinking about Cozumel and how yes, we are actually going to be there in a little over a month, me and my man. That this will be what we see. 

Every damn time I've ever visited, I've threatened to just stay. To send Mr. Moon home to tie up loose ends and sell everything and I'll find a place for us to live. If the children want to move too, we'll just find a damn compound somewhere in town. I told Lily today that this might be the visit where it actually happens. She said that she and Jason had discussed this and decided that if we wanted to do that, they'd sell everything and move down and start over too. 
Because you know- here I am, still as tied to my children as I ever was with the added inescapable gravitational pull of my grandchildren and I can't live that far away but dear god- if ever there was a time to flee, to go and live in a place where the water looks like this and the Mayans are so kind and it's so far away from what's going on here right now (which I cannot bear to talk about tonight- I just can't) then this would be it. 
A dream, a dream, an unrealistic dream. 
But what makes a dream reality? 
Simply choosing to choose it, I suppose. 

Well, for tonight I am simply going to think about the two weeks we'll be there which will pass like a dream, I know, because the time always does. A dream of that color of water, of a completely different world a few inches below the surface of it, of smiling faces, of soft air, of the smell of grilling garlic, and jungle and tiny ruins and sunning iguanas and watching the boats come and go, watching the sun set over the water, turning it every shade of rose and gold, of playing cards with my husband and laying in bed and reading books and listening to the sharp, liquid song of the birds, and going to see our old friend Rogellio to see what crazy trouble he's gotten into recently and eating the freshest seafood, the sopa de lima, the Yucatan style pork, walking in the square at night and standing in line for elote, flirting with the children, window-shopping the silver, all of it, all of it...just being. 

I remember when we first visited the island, almost thirty years ago and the only televisions were at the sports bar and they were all tuned to sports and the only newspapers were in Spanish and of course there was no internet and we truly could drop out of it all simply by arriving and staying, feeling as if we had escaped the very bounds of what we call reality but which, in fact, was exactly the reality I wanted to inhabit. Well, those days are gone and I'm sure we will get into discussions about that stuff with the people who live there and with tourists and I don't want to talk about any of it but we can avoid them if we try. 

And I am going to try. 

Lucky me. Grandmother of these beautiful babies, mother of my beautiful children, wife of my good husband, fortunate enough to escape the bounds of it all for a little while and to remember that civilizations come and they go but that babies are always beautiful and that there are places on this earth, for now at least, where we can breathe and sleep and dream of myths and legends and silver darting fishes and water as clear as gin, as blue as nothing you've ever seen before, and still, thirty years on, walk down the sidewalks holding hands with your love murmuring, "Buenos noches, buenos noches, buenos noches," and that is all that needs to be said. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Close To Home

I took that picture yesterday. The little guy seemed utterly unafraid of me and let me get so close. Usually they skitter away at the first sign of a human drawing near. Perhaps he was still cold from the night before and had just begun to thaw his tiny bones in the sunlight, perched on a candle.

Mr. Moon has headed to Georgia for one more weekend and then the rutting season will have come to an end. Go ahead. Insert any joke you may wish here. Trust me, I've already made it. And so, it is quiet here tonight again. After I took my walk and kissed him good-bye, I spent the entire day working on Gibson's name blanket and all I got done was to sew one piece on and then rip and resew, rip and resew. I am using stupid fabric for the back, and the blanket I got at the Goodwill to go into the center is stupid too. The backing fabric is a glorious color of teal and softer than a baby's bottom but it is stretchy and so is the inner blanket and I did not have these problems when I just used cotton flannel and nothing else. The flannel stays where it is pinned for the most part and this is not the case with these materials.
Aren't we supposed to live and learn?
But honestly, it was rather meditative. The library finally put some new books on their Overdrive app and I have been listening to a fine book all day. The premise is a bit odd and not quite believable but the writing is good enough to overlook that. And the title is wonderful.
Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty. The author is Ramona Ausubel. I am probably about halfway through it so I could change my mind but for today, it was a much needed and worthy distraction as I used my hands on the fussiest work of ripping out tiny stitches.
I've tried not to spend too much time in the vast wasteland of the internet today which has been good. I've just kept my head down (and quite literally, bent over my sewing and ripping) and getting up to do a little laundry, a little kitchen tidying. I made my husband a good breakfast before he left for the woods and I did take a fairly short but fast walk this morning.
I put the garden sprinklers on late this afternoon and when I went out to take the compost, the setting sun was shining through my beautiful greens making them glow like emeralds.

What you're seeing there is (from left to right, row by row) beets, mustards and rosemary, arugula, kale, carrots and baby mesclun. I've picked a mixed handful for a salad tonight along with the romaine which is not in the picture, nor are the collards. They're all growing nicely.

And there is grandchildren news- Maggie is now the one with strep- but she's handling it well and her parents have not lost their shit entirely yet.

And suddenly, my day of sitting and listening and sewing and ripping out has caught up with me and as soon as my supper is done and eaten and the kitchen cleaned, I am going to go to bed. I had some hours of sheer anxiety panic today and they passed but I am exhausted. Tomorrow I plan to go to town and have Friday lunch with my kids and then the Costco and then we're going to get our hair cut and trimmed by Sweet Melissa and that will be a full, full day and just the thought of it makes me a little swoony but dammit! I need to get out of the house, I need to see my babies and life goes on. 

And this hot mess will be waiting for me when I get back.

Love...Ms. Moon