Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Yep. This Is My Life

Lily and the kids and I went to the river today and we just never seemed to get into the groove with it. I don't know whether it was because Maggie was a little fussy or because Owen was being sort of an unhappy pre-teenish type child or what but it just wasn't the best trip ever to the Wacissa.
And then the yellow flies started biting and we said to hell with this, and packed up everything and left. But the water was refreshing and the world's population of yellow flies is three less than it was this morning so there is that.
May those fuckers roast in hell.

Speaking of insects, I had a run-in today with what might possibly have been the biggest roach I've ever seen. It was on my kitchen counter and I was paralyzed by its size and since I had neither a sledgehammer nor a Hazmat suit, I did nothing but let it crawl under the toaster oven.
I gathered myself and rolled up a sturdy magazine and gently lifted the toaster oven and the monster ran into the sink where there wasn't enough room to wield the magazine to good effect so I trapped it between a glass and a plate and threw it outside to the chickens but they were probably too terrified at the size of it to eat it.
Then again, maybe not. I've seen chickens eat lizards and I hear they also eat mice so...

So much nature. And what do you think of this?

I stole that picture from the online version of the Tallahassee Democrat about a local lobbyist who raises chickens. That is a Shamo chick. The breed comes from Japan by way of Thailand about four thousand years ago and if that isn't the most dinosaur-looking critter you've ever seen then you're a time traveler and have seen the real thing. Here's what an adult can look like. 

They are classified as "game fowl" and I'm not even sure why they're considered chickens but then again, I really don't know shit about the ins and outs of chicken breeds. 
And no, I am not getting any. They cost a lot of money. 

Since I'm being so random, here's a picture I took on my walk today.

They're tearing down an old and long-closed convenience store across the street from the also torn-down truck stop. 
Dammit. Lloyd appears to be devolving. 
I swear, when I lived a few miles down the road from here back in the seventies, there was a beautiful country store run by Miss Ruby, Israel's store across the street from that, the truck stop and that convenience store. Miss Ruby's store got burned down, Israel had to retire because of health problems, the truck stop got torn down because it was an environmental hazard (that's my guess) and now there goes the abandoned convenience store. We're left with one other ratty convenience store- the one where the woman who appears never to have been exposed to direct sunlight in her life works, and a Subway. 
Seriously. That's it. And a post office and about 597 churches. 
So you can buy beer, ice, a sandwich and candy. And that's about it. 

Well, that's life in Lloyd and obviously it doesn't bother me too much. 

I'm going to make our noodle soup tonight and am cooking the last three collard leaves I have. The remaining few precious peas will go into it too. We've gotten a little shower which brought the temperature down some and Mr. Moon is going fishing tomorrow and will be leaving at 4:00 a.m. 

I'm going to go pick some cilantro for the soup. 

Y'all be good.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Sun Draws Close Once Again

The air is heavy tonight which contributes to my general feeling of malaise and dis-ease. Another day of not-much although I did go to town for a few items but stayed on this side of Capital Circle which is what we now call what we used to call the "truck route" back when Tallahassee was still a small, fairly contained town with borders on all four sides which has now spilled over into the former woods and forests and pastures and even the other counties which surround it and Capital Circle cuts right through all of it, traffic jammed up it where cars used to speed from one point on the enclosed compass to another. There are chain restaurants and big box stores, office complexes and housing developments where once there was nothing but cows and trees and the wild birds and critters.
Still, I am happiest if my trips to town do not take me any farther than the old truck route and it's pretty easy to do. Lily's house, the branch library, two Publixes, Japanica, the Indian buffet, even Costco all lie this side of it and today I only needed to go to Costco and Publix and so was in and out in less than an hour.

I really don't have much to talk about or, to be truthful, anything at all. The picture above is my annual photo of the blooming clitoria ternatea, or butterfly pea as it is commonly known. I see them on my walk through the woods. The heat is building into summer's full blast and I come home with hair as wet as if I'd been in the shower. The beauty berries are beginning to form up, the wild grapes cover everything. When two people are in the post office at the same time the topic of conversation is the heat, of course, because it enfolds and covers us all.
Speaking of the post office, I have noticed that someone has left a copy of the Holy Bible on the table where people can stand to sort their mail or stamp their envelopes. It enrages me. I have not yet had the courage to either toss it in the trash or hand it to the post master, telling him that this is the United States of America and we have separation of church and state and this building is all about state.
Our post master now looks to about seventeen and comes in and quietly does his job and then leaves. I have no idea how he'd react to me giving him a piece of my mind about the bible being there where it does not belong.
Perhaps I should just go buy a copy of the Koran and leave it anonymously beside the Christian holy book but the Koran no more belongs in the Post Office than the Bible does.

And so it goes, as May is about to turn into June and the edamames have busted through the dirt and it might rain this week. Time, which is so slippery and so devious is passing even more quickly than it did last year for me when it seemed that I went to sleep in fall and woke up in spring. I did go through my shirt drawer and gather my long-sleeved shirts and put them away in the Rubber Maid bin in my closet, leaving my tank tops and short-sleeved T-shirts. I hardly want to waste the energy. It will be cool again so soon, despite how endless these hot days sometimes seem to be as the crickets sing and rise in chorus and quiet themselves again.

Here we are. Thank you for being here too as another season makes its presence known onstage and dances swiftly across it to the music of those crickets, the shrill whistle of the hawk, the frogs' jubilant song when rain promises, the mockingbirds' tunes which proclaim their own domain, the Chuck Widow's Will when darkness falls.

I am not sure about where you live, but here it is summer.

Love from Lloyd...Ms. Moon

The Holy Trinity

When we all got together for May's birthday, she gave me a present- the picture you see above. She found it at a Goodwill and knew how much I'd love it. It's hanging beside my bed now with all of my special treasures. Madonnas and Fridas and some charms which have been made for me with love.
But I rearranged things to make room for that.

When I tell you that one of my main influences in how I tried to be a mother to my children was Flo, a chimpanzee mother that Jane Goodall studied and wrote about, I am not being flippant. It's true. And I think that may be a picture of Flo and her then-youngest baby with a male whose identity I am unaware of.
I don't know. It doesn't matter. The love between all of them is apparent.

To me, that picture is as beautiful and telling and profound as any artist's rendition of the Madonna and child. Of any portrait of any family. The mother cradles her baby and kisses her. The male holds them both. The mother's gaze on the child is as pure as any human mother's gaze on her infant. And the hands. All of the hands, holding each other.

And May knew that I would feel exactly this way about the photograph. She knew because she knows me, because she knows that I think this is a representation of what holds the universe together.
Quite literally.

You can have your Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

I'll take the chimpanzees holding each other close in adoration.

Thank you, May. I love you. I love you like that mama chimp loves her baby.


Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

Well of course the Winn Dixie had dill seed. I bought four jars and that should do it. We opened a jar of my bread and butter pickles and Mr. Moon does not like them. He must absolutely not like them because he'd try to fake liking them if he just sort-of didn't like them.
I think they're great.
Oh well.
Maybe he'll like the dill pickles when I get around to making them. I also better get to it on the fourteen day pickles but that involves a lot of cucumbers.

I feel useless today and pretty much have been. I did finish Maggie's dress, buttonholes and all but I didn't do any embroidery. It's such a simple dress. I could have made it in two hours if I'd just gotten to it. I also fertilized my pepper plants which are all about eight inches tall except for the ones that are smaller. I have no idea why they haven't grown. They've gotten the same treatment as the rest of the garden which is growing fine. I also made a very decent weekend/holiday breakfast involving a fried biscuit. I made biscuits last night and Mr. Moon claimed they were the best biscuits I ever made and said, "Please remember how you did this."
I gave him a look and said, "You know how I cook."
Anyway, I made five biscuits and he ate four of them. I was lucky to get one. They were pretty decent, I have to say. Mr. Moon amused me by imitating Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry from the British Bake Off in describing them. He's a funny guy. I love him even if he doesn't like my bread and butter pickles.

And I have absolutely nothing else to talk about. Same-same-same-same-same-same-SAME!
Which is fine.
Just makes for boring reading.
It cracks me up when I read my posts from years past and realize that I do about the exact same thing every day that I have been doing for years. The main differences are the number of grandchildren and the names of chickens. Since my life is so swell, this is all fine by me. Some years it rains more than others. Some years the tomatoes do well and the cucumbers don't do squat. Some years my anxiety is terrible and some years it's not so bad. But overall, I grow the same things in the garden, I love my chickens whichever ones I have, I adore my grandchildren, whatever number and age they may be, I bemoan getting older, I water the same plants on the porch, I beat myself up for being such an anti-social hermit, I read a lot of books, and I am grateful beyond measure that I have this life with these trees and this little piece of dirt to play with and a husband whom I love and adore and who still makes me laugh after all this time.

And the Winn Dixie in Monticello still has dill seed.

Can you believe I've been using the same dill pickle recipe for forty years?

Hey. If it ain't broke, I'm not going to fix it.
Now...maybe the bread and butter pickle recipe needs tinkering with...

And here's a picture of August whom I miss so much it hurts my guts.

Love...Ms. Moon


What I would wish for everyone. Always.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Projects And So Forth

Don't quite know what you're seeing there? Well, it's not your fault. 
That, my friends, is a man standing in the middle of some Cushman scooter parts which have been hung from the ceiling so that he can paint them. 
Yes. That's right. I think it's rocking sort of a Calder mobile effect, don't you?

So that's what Mr. Moon has been working on today. Mostly.

I, of course, was determined to make pickles which meant I had to go to Publix. Before I left the house though, I got this text from Lily:

So of course I texted her back and asked what she needed from the store which gave me an excuse to play Benevolent Mother AND get to see the grands for a short visit. Now I swear to you- shopping at Publix is usually a pleasure but today I had a hard time. THERE WAS NO DILL SEED IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE DAMN STORE! They have canning jars and pickling salt and vinegars and pickling spice for sweet pickles and even jar lifters but NO DILL SEED! I can remember going through this painful realization before and as I recall, I had to go to Monticello to the Winn Dixie where making pickles is a way of life for dill seed. Anyway, I finally got everything I needed except for the dill seed and took Lily's groceries to her. Owen is doing that growing boy thing where he wants to eat endlessly and without ceasing and Lily is beside herself. I have suggested that every morning she give the boy his day's allotment of snacks and make him in charge of eating them when he wants. If he eats them all by 10:30 a.m. then so be it. He'll have to make do for the rest of the day with his regularly scheduled meals. 
Lily would like any other suggestions that y'all might have, knowing that many of you have raised/are raising boys. She needs help because honestly, both Owen and Gibson act as if they're being starved if they don't get food every fifteen minutes. 
But it was good to see the children and I swatted Owen on his butt when he told me that his mother doesn't feed him but only with a cloth grocery bag. 

I came home and determined to make bread and butter pickles since I couldn't make dill pickles and so I did. 

That is approximately nine pounds of sliced cucumbers and onions in my sink after they sat with salt and ice on them in the refrigerator for an hour and a half. 

And that's what all those cukes and onions made. Seven pints of pickles. All of which popped and sealed and I am happy. I hope they're good. They probably will be. I mean- cucumbers, onions, vinegar, sugar, spices- what can go wrong? 

I hope I didn't just curse myself. 

After I got the kitchen semi-restored to order, I sat down with my sewing machine and my Greist Buttonholer attachment. This is an amazing little device which I love and which was created to fit on a Singer like my old one. I have used it many times before with great satisfaction and success but it's been so long that I had to get the booklet out to remember how to attach the attachment. 

Just like the instruction manual that came with the Singer, the Greist buttonholer came with instructions that are perfectly written and illustrated so that even the most device-challenged among us can figure it out. And I was sailing along, changing out the template and screwing in the guard plate and blah, blah, blah when I realized that I do not have the required screw to attach the buttonholer to the machine. 
Where did it go? 
It's not in my sewing machine case. It's not in the box where the device and the templates live. It's not anywhere that I can find. I am hoping that Mr. Moon can help me find a suitable substitute but right now, he's working on his boat trailer. Which is another ongoing project. Which is to say it's been going on for about a year. 

Here's some chicken pictures.

Mick and Dottie. Dottie lays an egg almost every day.

Little Richard, Un-named White Hen, and Dearie.

Trinky, Nicey, Nora, and Tronky. 
Not a good picture but I do like the way Nicey's feet look. Are those some chicken feet or WHAT?

None of the young'uns are laying eggs yet and I am about to be frustrated. We've probably already spent hundreds of dollars on chicken feed, grapes, hay, special vitamins and probiotics getting these chicks raised and so far, they have given me nothing but, well, pleasure. 
I guess it's a fair trade. 

And that's what my day has looked like. I am hoping that Gibson feels better soon. When I left his house he was eating (of course) a salad made of Romaine lettuce and Ranch dressing which is what he had requested. I told all three children not to drive their mother insane because if they did, she'd have to go to the hospital and I'd have to take care of them (I'm not sure where Jason would be in this imagined scenario) and I'd just lock them in the chicken coop all day. 
They were not impressed. 
Nor were they scared. 
I guess they know that I can't even stand to leave the chickens in the chicken coop all day. 

Ah well. 

Take care, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


After reading the post below, Lily told me that she'd been wondering why she's been finding bent eating utensils around the house.
Mystery solved.
She also asked me if her father and I actually thought that Owen could bend a fork with his mind.
I told her that no, not really, but one never knows and that we thought it would be quite interesting to see what he did.
Which it was.
Also, hysterical.

True Story

It is Sunday and whoo-hoo and yee-haw and praise the Lord and I didn't even make biscuits. I'm just not feeling it today.
I did go out and pick some more green beans and cucumbers and am trying to gird my big-girl-panties-clad loins to don some Publix-appropriate attire and go in and buy the aforementioned things I need to make pickles and then actually make some.
Bless my heart.

So. Here's a funny thing that happened when Owen and Gibson were here and I'd forgotten it but Mr. Moon reminded me of it last night and we had a good giggle.
We were eating our delicious steak dinner and Gibson said, "Did you guys know that Owen can bend forks?"
"What???!!!" we said, thinking of Uri Geller who never met an eating utensil he couldn't bend with the sheer force of his mind. Is our grandson possessed of ancient magical mind-bending abilities?
"Show us!" we said.
"Okay," said Owen. He then picked up his fork and with his two hands, bent it.
Now I have fairly sturdy dinnerware so it wasn't exactly easy for him to do so it was a little bit impressive but he certainly wasn't using any mind-bending techniques.
Glen and I about split a gut laughing, all the while assuring Owen that yes, that was pretty cool.
"Now let your grandfather straighten it back out again," I said.
And he did.
And we ate the rest of our supper and were happy.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Things I Do Not Know And Things I Did Not Do

I did not make pickles today although I did get out the canning kettle. I began to peruse my recipes and realized that my dill seed was a bit old and that I didn't have enough of it anyway. Also, I probably need more pickling salt. And I might as well get more jars while I'm at it. And lids and bands.
But besides that, I have everything I need!
I want to make dill pickles and I also want to make fourteen day pickles. Fourteen day pickles are called fourteen day pickles because it takes fourteen days to make them. It's an investment in time and cucumbers and sugar and they are terrible for you but so what? They are delicious. There is no candy on earth as sweet as these pickles plus they also have a ton of salt in them which makes them even more toxic. I should make some mustard pickles with onions and green beans and maybe I will. When I was a good hippie woman I used to make all sorts of pickles and preserves and canned sauces and I know I've discussed this before but at one time I did all of this and had no air-conditioning so it was like 129 degrees in the kitchen as jars bubbled away and vinegar simmered on the stove and I filled up the sink washing things I had grown before I sliced or diced or did whatever I had to do to them before I packed them into hot jars, poured simmering vinegar or whatever over them, put their lids on and canned them.
Then I moved to town and didn't have much of a garden and went to nursing school and met Mr. Moon and got married and had two more kids and got back into the gardening business and sometimes did a little preserving or pickling on the side but I've never filled up the kitchen the way I used to back when I was in my young twenties.
Which is fine. I am not a Mormon.
I am still a hippie though, in my own way.
Which is all to say that I did not make any pickles today.

I did do a lot of laundry and hung it on the line and finished Maggie's dress except for the buttons and buttonholes and also, I sort of want to do a little simple embroidery on it. I may not, though, as it is a summer dress and summer is only going to last for about another six months and if I start embroidering it might take longer than that.
I don't know.
I don't know shit.

I do know that I am making spaghetti for supper. Not pasta but spaghetti. The kind with hamburger and onions and garlic and peppers and tomatoes and sauce. Like your mama used to make but not really. If you are my age, you probably grew up eating your mama's spaghetti at least once a week and if your mama was like my mama, spaghetti may have been one of the best things she made. Every woman had her own spaghetti recipe and I believe they all included a pound of hamburger, a can of tomato sauce and a can of tomato paste. At that time, no one had thought to make spaghetti sauce and put it in jars although Hunts may have had a canned sauce. I don't know. My mother's spaghetti sauce was fairly exotic in that she put a drop of Tabasco sauce in it. Only the one drop because Tabasco was considered to be nuclear in its hotness. Two drops surely would have melted our tongues. That bottle of Tabasco was brown because it had been in the cabinet so long. One drop a week doesn't do much to use up even the tiny bottle of Tabasco which is what my mother's was. And of course, there was always the green can of Kraft Parmesan "cheese" on the table when spaghetti was served.
Well, that's a tale from long ago and I would be interested to hear how your mama made spaghetti. I even knew a woman who used a can of tomato soup in her sauce and I have to tell you, it wasn't bad sauce. Of course, I was about sixteen years old when I ate it so what did I know?
I didn't know anymore then than I do now which means I didn't know shit.

Well. Here's a picture of August that Jessie just sent me.

He is getting so big. He'll probably be playing Carnegie Hall by the end of the summer or maybe the Opry House in Nashville. Either one or both. He may also be potty trained but maybe not. We shall see. 

Mick's out calling the girls to bed. A rooster's job is never done. Do you suppose that the derivation of the word "rooster" comes from the word "roost" and the male chicken's job of getting the hens to come in to it every night? 
Golly. I can't believe I never thought of that. 

See? I don't know shit. 

Love...Ms. Moon

My Brilliant Beautiful Babies

It is quiet in Lloyd again, just the occasional car going by, the birds, the washing machine chugging its swishy rhythm.
The boys have gone home.
Owen slept until at least 9:30 this morning after having fallen asleep before one word of Mr. Peep and Gibson said, "No Mr. Peep. Tomorrow."
And then he fell asleep.
They were tired boys. With tired grandparents who fell asleep not soon after.

I made pancakes this morning and bacon too, of course. And when all of that was over they begged me to let them give me a makeover.


I did. They made me over to be the Queen of the Ocean.

I have managed to wash most of it off. 

We had such a good time. 
Well, Gibson had a moment. 
I found him lying on the Love Couch in the library, gazing up at his mother's beautiful high school portrait. He had a tiny tear in his eye.
"Gibson, do you miss your mommy?"
"Yes," he sniffed. 
"Come have a piece of bacon," I said. 
"Okay!" he said, and jumped off the couch and ran into the kitchen and all was well and he was merry again. 

When Jason came to pick them up, he had Maggie with him dressed in the most darling seersucker sundress and she gave us all hugs and kisses and called out for "Owee!" and when I got up this morning Gibson greeted me with a giant hug and the words, "I love you!" and Owen let me rock him in the rocking chair where JUST YESTERDAY I held him as an infant and gave him his bottle. Now his legs are almost as long as mine, his feet reach to the floor, even when he's on my lap. 
But he is in no way too heavy for me to hold. 

They are the most loving children. And this is why.

All right. Time for me to wipe my eyes and get on with the day. I think I better make some pickles. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, May 26, 2017

Another Very Good Day

My big boys are here to spend the night and I'm glad to have them. Right now they're in the Glen Den, watching baseball with Boppy and building stuff. A little while ago Owen painted his brother's fingernails blue and I painted Owen's blue. Boppy was a little unsure about this but Owen pointed out that his mother had already painted his and Gibson's toenails bright sparkly red.
A real man is not threatened by corporeal decoration is what I say.
Plus, summer is here and the time is right for not only dancing in the street but also for trying out new ways to express personal style.
That's what I say, anyway.

I've had such a good day with plenty of energy. I went on a walk which started out tremendously. As I was just about to the corner, a van pulled up and in it was our dear Juancho and some of his kinfolks and they were on their way to the Florida Folk Festival and I got a stellar hug from Juancho. He's one of those people who, when they hug you, let you know for sure you've been hugged and you just feel better about the world in general and go on with a lighter step, which I did.

I came home and ate some lunch and then got out in the garden and dug up all the rest of the potatoes and did some weeding and pulled the spent lettuce and then harvested the rest of the onions and shallots, trimmed them and set them to dry with the others. I planted one packet's worth of edamame beans and then I picked green beans and cucumbers and Lord, it is past time to get out the canning kettle. I planted my little Ashe Magnolia and the other things I bought at the nursery the other day and gave the chickens fresh water.

Owen is helping me to write this by hanging over my shoulder and reading as I go. He asked me why I blog and I showed him by going back to 2011 when he was just a little guy and we looked at videos and pictures and saw Elvis and old Buster and even Trixie who is still alive.

Do you remember when Owen was my little Prince Rock Star and Elvis was just a young rooster? 

"I miss Elvis," Owen said. 
"I do too," I said. 
"ARE YOU DONE YET?" he asked. 
"I have to figure out the ending," I said. "That's the hardest part."
"Just put The End," he said. 

The End.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's Okay For You To Laugh. Might As Well

Miss Camellia who comes to visit me on the porch every day. 

Either it's time for me to start doing the heroin retirement plan* or else the fact that my antidepressant prescription ran out and I didn't get it refilled for two days really kicked my ass. 

Or both. 

It wasn't a bad day at all. Gibson's graduation went fine although there must have been ten thousand pre-K'ers graduating and they read every name and every child walked across the stage and got two fist bumps and a diploma AND they showed every child's baby picture and graduation picture on a screen while they played songs guaranteed to make you weep like a child whose dog just died including Somewhere Over The Rainbow as done by IZ Kamakawiwo'ole and if you don't cry when you hear that song just go ahead and leave the planet because you are not of this world.
There were also songs and a few short presentations by the children and all of this took quite some time but at least we had two graduates to clap for as Darling Lenore graduated too. 

Owen was in a tearful and bad mood and wouldn't tell us why and actually crawled under the pew to ponder his sorrows in darkness and peace (the event was being held in a church) and I got down on my knees to talk to him and asked him if he'd murdered someone and he said, "How could I murder someone at SCHOOL?" and I could think of a few ways but I did not share them. Maggie was pretty good and flirted with a lot of people and went from Mer to Bop to Mommy to Daddy and took off her shoes and tried to put them back on and clapped with everyone else when it was appropriate but she cried when she banged her head on the wooden part of the pew, piteously and with great volume. By that time there were about ten young'uns' being held by parents in the back of the church and Lily and Maggie and then Jason and Maggie joined them. 
Finally, though, it was all over and here are our two graduates.

In the church and

outside with the family, and

Boppy with Gibson. 

So all of that was good and joyful but before the graduation I went to pick up my Macbook and the guy wanted me to look and make sure that all of my pictures were there and the woman who'd worked on it was hearing impaired and he had to translate and I looked at my iPhotos and there were indeed pictures and thousands of them and so I said, "Fine. Thank-you," and gave the woman a thumbs up and we flashed smiles and I was rushing because I wanted to get to Costco before the graduation and when I got home I realized that the only photos were the fucking photos from the Photo Booth and who cares about those? 
God dammit. 
Now I have to go back AND admit that I was in error. 
Thus- feeling like a fool. 
But add this to it- I went to Publix with the intention of getting my prescriptions and when I got there there were at least five people in line waiting to pick up their own meds so I decided to do my grocery shopping and then pick mine up and you know what happened. Of course you do. I completely forgot. 

Mr. Moon picked them up for me on his way home so all is not completely lost but I believe I am. Lost, that is. 

All right. Enough whinging.  

I guess.

Did I tell you what Mr. Moon got on the trail camera he set up by the chicken coop? A coyote! A nice, big healthy coyote with a big bushy tail. Also a possum. The possum I was expecting, the coyote, not really. The lesson here is to close up the hen house before it gets dark. And we have been and will do. At least it wasn't a bear which would not be completely surprising. I hear a bear can tear up a hen house in less time that it takes me to peel an onion and if I went out to shut up the chickens and found a bear, I'd never get over it. 
Not in this lifetime. Especially if he'd already massacred all of my birds. 

Well, no massacre tonight so far and the sun is setting and shining all golden on everything and I got to talk to Jessie and August today which was wonderful. When I said hello to August he said the same thing to me that Maggie always says when I talk to her which is, "Boppa?"
Jeez those babies love their grandfather. 
Jessie reports that all is well and here's a picture she sent me the other day of August having his afternoon tea and crackers on the floor. 

Time for me to start making plans to visit Asheville. 

Also time for me to start making supper. 

Love from Lloyd...Ms. Moon

*Back many years ago Mr. Moon and I made a semi-serious vow to begin the use of heroin when we reached the point where we were probably about to need to move into a nursing home. We would ride the white horse until the money ran out and then OD and although we'd use up all the kids' inheritance, we'd save them the trouble of having to deal with adult diapers, etc. 
We have been told this is probably not a wise retirement plan but we still haven't quite discarded the idea. I can't imagine where we would find the dope but where there's a will there's a way. 
Stay tuned for developments as the years proceed. 

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch


It's unbelievable here today. Actually cool and completely blue-skied and all is well and I just called the computer repair place and my MacBook is ready to pick up and why hadn't they called ME? Or texted or something. Jesus. I tried 45 times last night to post a bunch of pictures from yesterday from the app I use on the phone and that never worked and I'm just cranky as hell today and it's all first world problems but when you think about it, so is Donald Trump and that's a pretty serious problem. 
Well, my technology issues and my blog are not serious problems and I am quite aware of that. 

So anyway, here's a picture of May and Michael from yesterday's lunch at Japanica. 


And I guess that's all that really matters except wait. There's this-


Wherein Lily proclaimed Maggie to now be a member of Club Mud and how I can feel cranky is beyond me but I do. 

I'm going to go take a walk and later I'll be going to Gibson's Pre-K graduation and hopefully I'll cheer up. 

Love to all...Ms. Moon 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I Remember

It is May's birthday and the beautiful rain falls and the chickens run about without caring a bit that water is coming from the sky and I just picked a gallon of green beans, three cucumbers and a squash with my umbrella protecting me. 

It is as beautiful a day as I can imagine. Sky blessings as I remember May's birth- the simple miraculous wonder of it, how at dawn I held and beheld the life I had labored all night to bring forth to such perfect result. 

I will take her some green beans today along with her cake and other present. I will hold her again, this beautiful grown woman as her family celebrates her. 

This is life. This is how it can be. 
I am still amazed. I am still in wonder at all of it. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The World At Large And In Small

Another day, another massacre, another lick of flaming evil in the world, taking down the innocent, the young, the blameless in the name of some god, some belief system which incorporates violence and hatred and calls it their god's will, yet another one-true-religion and fuck them all.
They're all used in one way or another to justify behavior that which, if it had no religious backing, would be seen as everything ranging from at least a little bit crazy to downright evil and insane.

Oh, I don't know. I've been sitting here this morning answering comments left on my post yesterday- all of them so sweet and so lovely and which have made me feel appreciated and cared for and I am so grateful for all of them. Overwhelmed, truly.
I sit here day after day and write what about what seems to be the same things over and over and that is my life, and of course the backdrop remains the same, and even some of the lines of the script, but sometimes new characters arrive, new scenery provides itself, the dialogue changes, the circumstances take on new meaning.


Today is gray and rain threatens or promises, depending on your perspective, and I am full of dread because although I went to town yesterday determined to get a whole lot done, I got almost nothing done. I ran into two old friends completely by serendipitous accident and we sat and chatted for a good long time and it was wonderful but after that, I felt the need to flee home, and why?
I do not know.
I enjoyed that time so much, the catching up, the gossip, the giggles and sweetness, the recalling of memories. But then I just had to go home, as if the bank of social behavior had been overdrawn.
I hate that. It makes me feel ridiculous.
Sometimes I think this is something relatively new in my life. It seems to me that I used to do a lot more things with friends. No. I DID do a lot more things with friends.
But looking back I remember having anxiety about those things even then and wondering what was wrong with me.

Ah well, who cares? It is what it is and I am who I am and today I have to bite the damn bullet and get back to town and do the things I did not do yesterday and that's all there is to it.

And I will. I will muddle through it all and probably deserve an acting award when I am done, having successfully (one hopes) managed to do a reasonable impression of a normal old lady going about her normal old lady business in a smallish town in North Florida as she wondered constantly if she should take one of her precious stashed Ativan.

Ah lah.

Such problems I have.

And then comes the guilt for feeling this way when, as I have said on innumerable occasions- I am the luckiest woman alive.

Be well, y'all. And thank you so much for all of the beautiful words you left me yesterday and today. I will take all of you with me in my pocket and will be comforted as I carry you there and in my heart.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, May 22, 2017

Walking Pictures, Plus An Anniversary

I got out and took a good walk this morning. It's not quite as hot as it has been, although it's certainly hot enough for me to sweat like a Trojan. I believe my grandmother used to say that although I may be making that up.

It is a beautiful morning with dramatic sky, clear one moment and with picture clouds forming and shifting and changing overhead the next.

I saw at least six little bunnies running across or beside the road which is an unusual number for one of my walks. Here's one who I think was quite young and was as curious about me as I was about her. Or him. As the case may be.

I love to watch them run, their little tails bobbing up and down as they go. 

I found this tiny flower when I ducked back off the trail and into the woods to pee. 

I have looked it up and it is a mimosa microphylla, otherwise known as "little leaf sensitive briar" or "little leaf mimosa". It is a member of the pea family and if the leaves are touched, they fold up. Isn't it pretty?

Okay. This picture is of a mud puddle. 

A large mud puddle, I grant you, but isn't it beautiful? It is to me as it indicates we've had some good rain. 

And there you go. It's Monday and another week begins. Wednesday is May's birthday and Thursday is Gibson's graduation from Pre-K. It is the time of year for celebrations and cakes and baby bunnies and blooming wild flowers and heat and sweet showers and the perfume of magnolia blossoms in the air. 

And I just remembered! Today is the tenth anniversary of my blog. This post will mark the six thousandth, six hundred and thirty-second post I've published. 
No. I can't believe that either. 
If I may ask a favor- would you leave a comment if you care to, to help me celebrate? Maybe tell me how you found me, how long you've been here, where you're from, etc? 
I would appreciate that so much. 
Thank you. 

So Much Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Was This A Great Weekend Or What?

Well, it has been just about the perfect weekend for me. Yesterday I was fairly productive and got a lot of stuff done in the garden including planting, as I said, and it rained which bodes well for the little seeds in the dirt, and I made two great suppers and today I mostly rested. Seriously. The only thing I've done today is to make breakfast for Mr. Moon and Lily and me and to lay those two pieces of pattern out which will be part of a dress I'm making for Miss Magnolia June.
There was also a game of gin rummy (I lost- who cares?) and some watching of Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery, and some excellent marital snuggles.

The bug bites sucked but that's just life. If you live in North Florida, anyway.

So do you want to hear what I made for supper last night?

Okay, that doesn't look like much but in all actuality, it was the very best noodle soup I've ever made. And healthy? Put your hand on the Bible, babies, this soup would cure your ills. Broth and tofu and garden onions and carrots and snow peas and ginger and collards and millet and brown-rice noodles and a few dumplings. Mr. Moon kept saying, "This is the best supper ever!" 
Which is weird because it didn't have any venison in it. 
And to balance all the healthiness out, I made

brownies with pecans and extra frosting!!!!!

Oh yeah.

So tonight we're having leftovers of pizza and noodle soup and brownies.
I'm way too excited about that to be a normal person.

So why did Lily come over for breakfast without her children?

Jason and his mother and brother and sister-in-law and Owen and Gibson and Maggie and darling Lenore all went down to Cocoa Beach for a ceremony honoring Jason's dad (among others) who was a police officer who was killed when Jason was a little boy. Of course they did a lot of other fun things like go swimming in the motel pool. Jason posted this picture on Facebook.

You can see just how much Maggie suffered, being away from her mother. 
That child. 
But Lily had some much needed rest and went out with Hank on Friday night for supper and drinks and came over here this morning to visit her old ma and pa and eat some eggs and biscuits and grits. I'm so glad she got the rest because good Lord, she needed it. And deserved it. 
And Jason gets the Dad of the Year award for offering her the weekend off and having such fun with their babies. 

I remember once when Mr. Moon took all of our kids to Nashville to visit his parents and gave me the weekend off. 
No. I will not report what all I did but trust me when I tell you it was wonderful and delicious and mostly legal. 

All right. To round things out, here's a picture that Jessie sent me. 

She and Vergil and August went to a family wedding in Lexington and on the way back to Asheville they stopped at a restaurant in Tennessee which is owned and operated by former Russian circus performers. 
In the middle of nowhere. 
They ate stroganoff and borsht and stuffed cabbage. 

And here's another picture of her handsome lads at a Huddle House which for those of you who do not know is like the rip off version of the Waffle House but which can serve a mighty fine breakfast. 

So it's been a good weekend and Lily just texted a picture of Maggie nursing and the words, "All is right with the world," and they are all home and they were all excited to see Mama. My chickens have made me laugh, my garden has made me feel wealthy and happy, and my husband has made me feel loved. 

I could not and would not ask for anything more. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Too Much Nature, Part Forty-Nine

Yesterday I must have been bitten by another yellow fly, this time on the hand. It is still swollen like a cartoon hand.

This morning I went to sit down in a chair on the porch, put my hand down on the chair and realized immediately that a wasp was already there. It stung me. Of course. Who can blame it?

Just went out to the garden and was looking at the chicken Mr. Moon was trying to chase out when it became abundantly clear to me that I was standing in a nest of red ants.

I might just go back to bed as I believe I may have already used up my daily quota of curse words.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

I Am So Grateful For All Of This

Old Mer is a happy woman tonight. I got a lot done in the garden. The onions and shallots had started letting their green tops flop over which is an indication that they're done growing so I pulled those and trimmed the tops and laid them on a sheet on the porch to dry and cure. It takes a few weeks to let the tops seal off and the skins to become papery. After that, they should store for a good long time. I did some weeding, pulled the rest of the collards, and planted some gourds and a little okra and some more zipper cream peas.
I am not sure when I think I am going to be able to shell all the peas I'm planting but I sure am looking forward to the ping of them as they hit the bowl after I've slid my thumb nail down the pods to release them.
And cooking them.
And eating them.
I picked another big bunch of green beans and Mr. Moon picked eight nice cucumbers, three of which we had let go a little too long. They are huge.

I will confess that I had to lay down for awhile with my fans blowing on me in the air conditioning between garden workings. And if sweating really does rid us of toxins, I am toxin-free.
Haha! As if.

Mr. Moon mowed and trimmed today and the yard looks great. Soon the phlox will be blooming and the whole yard will be a cloud of pinky lavender.

I've had a shower. There are clean sheets on the bed. I just watched Joe Cocker chase Miss Honey across the yard which indicates to me that these babies are reaching, uh...sexual maturity...which means that the hens should be laying soon. I've yet to hear crow one come out of either of the young roosters but I know that soon they'll be trying out their crackly young voices which always delights me and reminds me of the early years of high school.

Dear GOD I feel rich.

I remember telling a boyfriend a long, long time ago that I was a peasant. He laughed at me, but looking back on that, I think I had an absolutely true insight.
I am a peasant.
A peasant who sure is appreciative of air conditioning, running water, a good stove, and a device I can download books to listen to as I go about my peasant-y business.

All Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday morning and there are some of the chickens, Mick's head held high as befits his alpha rooster status. Hank asked me yesterday what I'm going to do if the new roosters fight and are mean.
I said, "I will teach them not to be mean," and then rolled my eyes because I have no idea how to do that. We shall just see what we see.

As we shall see what we see about how this day progresses. I want to get out into the garden but I am in a gap between hormone prescriptions and life may well become a living hot mess/hot flash hell. The temperature is not that bad- merely in the eighties I believe, but it rained last night (hurray!) and the humidity is horrendous. I will try, anyway.

Which is all we can do. A trip to the Wacissa may be in order later today.

Carry on, my wayward friends.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, May 19, 2017


Yeah. I'm a vain woman who is proud of her cooking.
There's no pizza delivery in Lloyd.
So this is what happens.

Which has turned into these:

The alchemy of flour and yeast and salt and water and olive oil and vegetables and a little bit of ham steak (buy one, get one free at Publix this week!) and fire, and cheese which is magic performed with milk. 

When I was eighteen years old I got to go to Europe and one of the places we visited was a dairy farm in Switzerland. We saw the pretty cows and we went into the barn where the farmer showed us how he made the cheese and then pulled an accordion from the rafters of that very barn and strapped it on and played it and sang a song in which yodeling was involved. 

I've never thought about cheese the same way again. 

How grateful I am for those cows, that barn, that farmer, that accordion. 

Time to eat!

Love...Ms. Moon