Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I Want To Hold Your Hand

I went with Jason and Magnolia today to get the poor old van which Jason carefully drove home to park until further notice and I got my car back. On the ride to the repair shop I sat in back with the girl who wanted to hold my hand the whole way which I so gladly did because I love to hold her hand which is as soft as silk velvet and warm as a fresh-laid egg. We talked about stuff and when it was time to say good-bye, she took the pacifier out of her mouth and pursed those pretty little lips and kissed me so sweetly.

Since it was then lunch time and Jessie was already on that side of town with the boys, we met up at Japanica which was a treat as always. August wanted his own soup ("my own!") and so he got it and this is what he looked like while he was eating it.

You will notice that he kept one hand in the edamame bowl because those, too, were his own, although he did share them. He traded me a pod for my spring roll which I thought was a fairly decent trade. 

Levon either sat in his seat or in my lap or in his mama's lap. 

He's really getting good with the smiles. 
And looking all coy. 

Here he is wearing his MerMade fish embroidered onesie and holding his sterling silver rattle which was mine when I was a baby. 

Obviously doing his muscle-man exercises. 
I wonder what rich relative gave me that rattle. I think I probably know. I think my mother probably would have appreciated having the utility bill paid more than a silver rattle for her baby. But hey! Now my grand babies can play with it. 

When Jessie had buckled August into his seat after lunch when it was time to go home for naps, Levon needed a little nursing so I read August a book and the funny thing was- HE wanted to hold my hand, too. Mostly my finger. When Levon had had enough and Jessie was getting him into his seat, I said, "I can't leave. August won't let me go."
He did, of course, although he wouldn't kiss me. He thought that was hysterical. 
"Okay," I told him. "You don't have to."
And I flashed him the peace sign and said, "Peace!" and he thought that was pretty funny too and off they went but he did yell, "I love you!" out the window. 

Mr. Moon brought home his B-12 vials and syringes tonight and so we're about to begin on that. I watched a Youtube on giving a B-12 injection and it made me feel confident that yes, I can do this. You know- I worked at a birth center and the only injections I gave there were in sort of emergency situations where a woman was bleeding too much and needed pitocin. At that point, the adrenaline always took over and I could draw that pit up and stab it into a thigh like nobody's business but this is a different thing entirely. I know I can do it although this is hardly the sort of bonding I really want to do with my lover man/husband/co-grandparent. One never knows though. It may add a new depth to our relationship. We shall see. 

Meanwhile, what in the world did we do before Youtube?

Mr. Moon told me the other day after he'd learned how to do some sort of repair on his car after watching a Youtube that he was pretty sure he could find a video there on how to do open heart surgery and could handle it if he had to. 
"Mmmm..." I said. "Perhaps you should stick to car repair and plumbing."
He agreed that this was probably true. 

Well, I just put the bread in the oven and it's time to make the salad and boil the tortellini. 

The guys next door are blasting metal music out the windows and I sort of want to text them and say, "Shut the fuck up!" but I won't. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How Was YOUR Day?

It's been a very, very weird day.
Okay. Maybe it's only been weird enough to rate one very but it has been odd.
First of all, I was going to go to Lily's and drive with her to an appointment with our beloved Melissa to get her hair cut. Lily. Not Melissa.
Of course.
But then Lily's car started doing something very weird when she took the boys to school and so I went and picked her and Magnolia up there, where she'd parked her car. We drove to town and Lily got her hair cut and Maggie ate lollipops and got hair on her lollipops and when she had a little fit of unhappiness, she threw herself on the floor and got hair on herself.
She looked like she had a beard as the hair stuck to the lollipop juice.
Mr. Moon was called in to do something with Lily's car because he is the Car Guy. This involved a lot of different stuff which is all pretty boring but Lily's car got to the repair place, Mr. Moon got to work, I got home, and Lily is driving my car because I would just as soon never go anywhere and she has an action-packed life involving young men who need to get to places like school, soccer, and baseball.
Anyway, by the time I got home, I was exhausted. I didn't really sleep very well last night and I decided to just take a damn nap, which I did.
When I woke up, my husband was here, working on the bathroom.
"I got you a pint of water to make your espresso with," he said, as I made my way to my bathroom to wash my face post-nap.
"Okay," I said. "Thank you."
I did not realize that he had not gotten my espresso water ready because he thought I'd want coffee when I got up but because he had turned the water off to work on the bathroom.
That was hours ago and I still have no water and need to run the dishwasher and do a load of clothes and cook supper, all of which require water, and I feel quite bitchy, even though as he pointed out, none of this is really a life-or-death matter and I do have enough water left over from hurricane preparations to make supper.
But my inner bitch has decided she's dancing the lead role today and there you are. I am not nearly as bitchy these days as I used to be and IN FACT, my inner bitch does not come out that often but when she does, she likes to have her way and damn the fall-out.

So I have done NOTHING productive today except to work on Gibson's monkey man and watch some trash TV. I was going to start working on some curtains I'm going to make for August's room but the though of handling that much fabric was just too daunting.


Water back on. Dishwasher running. About to do a bleach load. Lily's van is terminally ill.
Dinner will be cooked.
I will probably watch perhaps three minutes of the State of the Uniom address.
Who in the world could have predicted that it would be reported that the president of the United States had paid a porn star $130,000 to keep her mouth shut about an affair he had with her while he was married to a woman who had just given birth to his child and we would all just be like, "Ho-hum"?
I think that most of us were baffled that the amount paid was a paltry $130,000. Did he really think that was going to stop a porn star from talking about his underwear?

Dear god.
It's like a constant Limbo Contest these days.
How low can you go?

I've developed an eye-twitch.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, January 29, 2018

It's Just Really Okay

Are you tired of the camellias yet? I hope not because I can't stop loving them. I made Owen really take a good look at them yesterday- the ones still on the bushes- and I made him see that there are many different varieties and I told him that I hope whenever he hears the word exquisite, he'll think of those camellias.
He probably won't but an old Mer has to try, you know?

Another day that slipped away while I was doing the small work of life. My dizziness has departed entirely and I wonder if it's truly gone or if it will decide to make another appearance. It's a bit odd- in the last years of her life, my mother's biggest problem and complaint was dizziness. She would say, "I'm dizzy as a drunk!" and then would make sure that her listener knew that she never drank so she didn't really know but that's how she felt.
Doctors could not seem to help her. She went to all kinds of them and she even did physical therapy for the problem and that didn't help either. It wasn't her inner ear and she didn't have a brain tumor and there just seemed to be no solution. I remember taking her to an ear, nose, and throat guy who just flat-out told her that as we age, things get weird and funky (okay, I'm paraphrasing) and that we just have to accept some things because modern science doesn't have the answer.
Boy, was she pissed off.
And boy, do I hope I don't have whatever it was she had. And if I do, I hope I have the grace to shut up about it occasionally.
That would be richly ironic though, wouldn't it?

So. Not dizzy and I took a decent walk after I'd shaken off my bizarre dreams and I went to the grocery store and did laundry and all of the regular stuff and now it's suddenly night and time to cook supper and I feel content and fine in all ways. Not ecstatic or melancholic or manic or depressed, just sort of...fine and good.
Which makes me very, very happy.
It also makes me happy that it's getting chillier again and this may be the first winter I've ever felt this way. Perhaps the cold days make me feel as if global climate change isn't that bad although I know that's a fucking lie and it's not logical but somehow, it's reassuring, like rain.
Also, it makes walking and working outside so much more comfortable.
And let's face it- after a certain age, comfortable is a hugely appreciated way to feel.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Lovin' Life

Despite a bit of rain and my dizziness returning, it was a truly jolly day here at Casa Luna de Lloyd. Last night I sent everyone a text asking if they wanted to come over for "late-ish" brunch, wondering as I did it if it was the alcohol talking but I am so glad I did. Hank and Rachel and May and Michael couldn't make it but Lily and Jessie and their young'uns did. The other day Owen noted that he hadn't seen Levon in so long he'd almost forgotten about him and I sure wouldn't want that to happen. As you can see, they renewed their friendship.

It just seemed like everyone was in a very fine mood today. We had pancakes and Boppy's deer sausage AND bacon AND eggs with all sorts of tasty vegetables in them. There was running around and there was, "Does anyone know where Maggie is?" and of course, "Does anyone know where August is?" and oh, let me point out that when August got here, he zoomed past me in the kitchen without a single by-your-leave and was sitting in his grandfather's lap before I'd had a chance to kiss his mama. There was toy playing and running around outside in the almost rain. There was playing on the play set and climbing and sliding and swinging and hanging upside down and pretending to be a monkey.

Maggie blesses the gathered. Her hair was curlier than ever today with the humidity which only serves to make her cuter which is getting dangerously close to the cuteness limit if you ask her grandmother.

Gibson swinging. You may note that everyone got a little dirty.

Monkey imitation. 

The mamas picked greens from the garden to take home and the boys picked carrots which are still really too small to eat but they ate them anyway. 
"Y'all! Stop eating all my baby carrots!" 
"But they're good!"
"Dang it."
Lily and Jessie cracked each other up the way they do. When they were children, they did not always get along that well but now they make each other laugh like no one else can. It makes my heart so damn happy to see my kids having fun together. There is nothing on this earth that pleases me more. 
Unless it's my grandkids having fun together. 

Before everyone left, we had to have a bit of time in Mer's comfy bed for book reading which quickly turned into what can only be described as Professional Grade Cuddling. 

First Lily's kids all piled on top of her and then August, who was excited beyond belief by the silliness, decided he wanted to participate. When Maggie took off to parts unknown, he got his chance.

Levon is watching and learning. 

It was all just high-test fun and when everyone had finally gone it was almost two o'clock in the afternoon. I finished cleaning the kitchen and started a load of laundry and Mr. Moon got back to his project which is now looking like this.

He and our friend Tom got that five-hundred pound iron tub out of there yesterday and it's at the dump now. The guy who works at the dump said, "You could have used this to make a nice worm bed." 
And he is welcome to do that himself. 

So that's what happened here today. It's drizzling off and on and there was a small nap involved as the rain pattered outside and I had so many moments where I just smiled inside and out, loving the chaos and the crazy, the babies and the big boys. I even loved it when Maggie came to me and said, "Gummy!" and blasted me with her fresh spearmint breath and we discovered that she had half a very large container of Mentos gum in her mouth. I loved it when Gibson made us all join hands and do another funny blessing although August refused to participate, and I loved it when he and I went outside without our shoes on and I said, "We're barefootin', August!" and he said, "Barefootin'!" I loved it when he and Maggie kissed each other goodbye and Maggie told him she loved him. I loved it when Owen laughed at the silly song I made up when he was hanging by his knees. I loved it when Maggie found the cherry tomatoes and ate a bunch of them and I loved it when she carried an egg all the way from the henhouse and dropped it on the floor, right as she was about to give it to me. I loved it when they all wanted pickled okra. I loved it when Maggie wanted me to have my arm around her when we were in the bed, reading, just like her brother Gibson used to do. I loved it when my daughters laughed and I loved it when Levon gave us his wonderful smiles. I loved it when Gibson got himself a glass of water and called it his "cuppa Joe." I loved it when Owen and Gibson wanted to each take an apple to eat on the way home with toothpicks in them. I loved it when Mr. Moon told funny stories about when he was in college and temporarily got straight by joining the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and how that turned out. 

I loved it when that same man leaned over during all the chaos in the kitchen and kissed me. 

And that, my friends, is foreplay for grandparents. 

Excellent Sunday. Just excellent. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Stuff And Stuffing

Camellia (not to be confused with Miss Camellia) with ant.

I've felt lost today and a bit weepy and finally pulled my head out of my ass long enough to go prune the Confederate jasmine and weed the onions and shallots in the garden but none of that really gave me much pleasure. 
It wasn't unpleasant, but it sure didn't feel like a religious experience or anything. 

And I don't really care to talk about much tonight. I will say that it pisses me off that every old hippie woman on TV and probably in the movies, too, is portrayed as being kooky and off her rocker and a believer in all sorts of new age garbage and at the very least, eccentric and kooky but maybe in a cute way, an endearing, oh-isn't-she-cute way. 

Fuck that. 

Yes. I've been watching Grace and Frankie again and I do like that the Frankie character loves fast food and Bagel Bites, even if she makes organic yam lube. 
Organic yam lube. 
Trust me- not all of us hippies named our kids after spirit totem animals or things found exclusively in nature such as River, Flower, Sky, Meadow, Feather, or Star and not all of us named our kids after Bob Dylan or Donovan either, although I have to admit that I've known kids with almost all of those names. 
Maybe those TV people have it right and I just refuse to admit it. 
Maybe I was just a bad hippie. I've always suspected that may have been the case. I do know that every time I see the name David Avocado Wolfe I sort of want to either laugh or cry. And I never really did know shit about astrology. 

The frogs who sound like amplified birds are singing away in the little faux pond right by the back porch although they grow silent if I stand up or walk by on the porch and sometimes when a car goes by as well. I suppose they are shy although if these trills and chirps are love calls, they aren't that shy. 

This old hippie is going to make some stuffed bell peppers for our supper. I remember when I was a vegetarian hippie I used to miss the stuffing I made for turkey so much that I would make a vegetarian version of it and use that as a filling for my stuffed peppers. It wasn't bad, either. 
But tonight I'm going to use ground venison and rice and tomatoes and garlic and onions and cheese and stuff like that. 
And if I want stuffing, I'll stuff some damn poultry. 

Oh. I'm not dizzy any more. Hopefully not ditzy either. But it's hard, if not impossible, to judge oneself so I totally could be and not even know it. I know for damn sure though that I am not cute. 
Trust me. 

Love...Ms. Moon (And I did not make that name up. I swear.)

Uh, Hello? Treats?

Friday, January 26, 2018

In Which We Visit The Junior Again

Last night I rolled over in bed and suddenly felt as if the bed were tipping me out. "Whoa!" I said, and it happened again every time I rolled over. When I got up, I did it slowly, but felt fine until I leaned over for something at which point, the dizziness returned.
I figure it's that Benign Paroxysmal Postural Vertigo which has something to do with the inner ear and little crystals and there are exercises for it which I will check out if it doesn't go away soon. It's still with me now but it's not bad. A bit of a trip but not bad.
It didn't stop me from going to the Junior Museum with Lily and Maggie and Jessie and August and Levon. It was the perfect day for visiting the Jr. Clear blue skies, cool temperature, sweet air. Except for near the skunk and vulture enclosures where the air was a bit more aromatic. But that's to be expected.
The real reason, of course, to visit this place, is to be outside with plenty to keep us occupied, to see, to explore. And Maggie and August have already been there so many times that they practically know each animal personally. And for me, the best part is watching them.

Maggie, as always, wanted to hug the hell out of August. She gets pretty determined about it and when I say "determined" I mean chokey. August understandably pushed her away and Lily told her that August didn't feel like being hugged just then but the boy charmed us all when a few minutes later he put his arm around his little cousin and gave her a side-hug. 
And when he asked me to carry him, which I did, I said, "August, you like MerMer to carry you, don't you?"
"Yes," he said in his solemn August way. 
"Why do you like Mer to carry you?" I asked. 
Instead of saying anything he leaned his head over and presented his cheek to me to kiss. 
He's figuring out this love-stuff. 
Later he made me laugh like hell when he demonstrated how his brother cries, how he cries, how his mama cries, how his daddy cries, how his Mer cries, how his Bop cries, etc., etc. Turns out we all cry differently. Some of us sound more like we're coughing than crying. 
You just can't be bored or sad or very anxious when you're around such beautiful, funny children. 

Levon was a good boy today, as he always is. Here's a precious picture of him being held by his Aunt Lily.

He gave her some of the biggest, goofiest toothless grins today. He's getting very attentive and loves to watch the other children. And his eyes are still quite blue. I sing him the lines from Dylan's A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall that go, "Where have you been, my blue-eyed son? Oh where have you been, my darlin' young one?" 
He likes it. 

Are y'all bonding with him yet? I hope so.

Here's some non-human nature.

The cougar, napping in her hammock. 

And here is the part of place that I believe I love the most. 

The cypress trees, reflected in the still water. I swear, something about this scene absolutely does something to my brain. I can feel the endorphins flooding and I am immediately happier and more at peace. It's just so magnificent and makes me so damn grateful to live on a planet where cypress trees grow up out of lakes and are mirrored in their waters. 
Holy, holy, holy. 

We got to chat for a long time with the guy who's been the animal caretaker for a lifetime. He sat in the otter enclosure and told us stories about where the otters had come from and how long they'd been there. All of the animals at the museum are unable, due to one circumstance or another to be released into the wild. Some have injuries which would prevent them from hunting and mating. Others were rescued at such a young age that they imprinted on humans and would not be able to make it on their own. 
It's truly a beautiful place in all ways and we got to see those otters loving on their caretaker and trying to see what he was hiding in his boots and rolling about together in happy play and swimming in their pond with the grace and elegance of swans. 

We didn't have time to visit the farm or see the domestic animals because Lily had to pick up the boys from the bus. It was dress-as-your-favorite-book-character today at their school and this is what they looked like this morning. 

Owen's Harry Potter cape that I made him last year from a black satin sheet is still hanging in and Lily made his tie at 11:00 last night and his daddy made his wand.

Gibson was the mouse from the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" series. Lily made those ears last night, too and when Gibson saw them this morning he said, "Wow, Mom! You really outdid yourself!"

And here's the funniest story of the day, as far as I'm concerned:
When the boys got off the bus and got in the car, Lily asked Gibson how it had gone. He said, "Great! McKenna made me her pet! Can I dress as a mouse every day?" McKenna is his true love. The one whom every time he sees her, he has to run away because he loves her so much. 
Oh, my Gibson. 

And oh, my Owen and my Maggie and my August and my Levon. 

Lily asked me an interesting question today. She said, "What would you be doing if you didn't have all of these grandchildren?"

I had no real answer. 

Moot point. 
I do. 

And it seems to me that as I love and laugh with them, they are loving and laughing with me. Equally. 
And whatever it is that they learn from me is more than equaled by what I learn from them. I always said that my kids were my greatest teachers, and they were. And part of what they taught me, although I did not know it until I had grandchildren, was how to be a grandmother. 

It all works out. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Barely Making It Is Still Making It

Still anxiety teasing me with its fangs, its claws.
I did what I could to best the beast. I walked three miles. I finally downloaded an app that tells me exactly how far I've walked and in what amount of time and that's all I want. I don't care how many steps I've taken, not really, I just need that motivation of "another mile".
Silly but- whatever works is what works.
It was so beautiful today, as it has been the past few days. Sky so blue you have to blink to believe it, the air so clear and cool. I really wanted to just curl up on the sofa but I went out and began to trim the dead passion flower vine off the fence, a job that has to be done every winter and which is not difficult or unpleasant, it just takes getting started which is so true for much of life.

Mr. Moon, who has been trying to figure out the best way for us to get our TV, internet, and phone, finally decided to go with a company and they sent their guy out while I was pruning.
"Are you the, uh, worker?" he asked me.
I laughed.
"Yes. Yes I am. Also the wife."
"Oh, okay."
Next thing I knew he was telling me that without us cutting down at least three trees, we were not going to get satellite for the TV. He was a funny guy and a gregarious one. We ended up discussing everything from child rearing to how much Key West has changed in the past twenty years, to the degeneration of coral reefs and the ecosystem of the oceans in general, to DT (we both loathe him), to Republicans in general (neither of us understand how anyone can be a Republican), to Obama (we both love him and I actually teared up when I got on my soapbox about how intelligent and educated and cultured he and Michelle are), to racism to sexual harassment to child abuse to...
We covered a lot of ground.
When he left, we shook hands and he said, "I sure enjoyed meeting you."
"And I enjoyed meeting you, too," I told him.
And then I finished pruning the passion flower vine and then I ironed some shirts.

So. That was it for me today. Plus, you know- the little stuff that must constantly be done to keep a house running.

Mr. Moon talked to his Lyme doctor today and she wants him to continue on the medications for another three months which is a rather dreadful prospect. She also wants me to give him a daily B-12 shot for the neuropathy he has in his feet. This is not news he wanted to hear but by god, he is walking much better and his balance, although not perfect, is also better. I can see it, he can see and feel it. He even thinks that the neuropathy is better as well and if it can get a lot better, he is willing to do what must be done. I haven't given an injection in about twenty-five years but I'm sure that Youtube will help me with that. Mostly all it takes is the courage to do it- again a truth for much of life.
Despite the fact that the drugs he is on cause stomach problems (and yes, he's taking lots of probiotics and eating yogurt daily) it is a stone-cold miracle to see the improvement in his walking and the hope that not only whatever this horrible debilitating process is will not get any worse but in fact, can be reversed, is motivation enough to keep on with it.
It's rather unbelievable after all of the testing he went through with absolutely no answers found, no remedy or hope offered, to have this country doctor from Georgia say, "Yes. This is what I think you have, and this is what I think you need to do," and see such improvement.

And here- in the spirit of There Can Be Joy- is a picture of August who got his first mani/pedi from his mama. He chose the blue nail color.

I think he loves it. 

And I love him. 

Hey! We made it through another day. Or at least, I almost have. Which means that in not too many hours I will be allowed by custom and conscience to lay down on my bed which is the most comfortable bed in the world, and pull my pillows around me and take up my book and read until I am too sleepy to read any more and then I will turn out my light and rest again. 

Talk about your motivation. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

What's It All Mean, Mr. Natural, Part 87

I woke up with dreadful anxiety this morning. I have no idea why. I knew I was going to go eat lunch with Gibson and then read his class a book but that shouldn't have caused it. I was just at the school last night and have been there plenty of times and it's a kindergarten class and I always enjoy hanging out with the little kids before they become purveyors of what's cool and what's not.
But I was.
As hell.
As if that damn beast had just been hiding under the bed and shown up, suddenly and inexplicably to bare his yellow teeth and his raking claws to remind me he was still around. Sort of the opposite of Maurice showing up just as suddenly and inexplicably to snuggle and cuddle and purr.
But I got myself together and went to the school and signed in and Gibson was SO glad to see me. He kept telling me, "Mer, I'm so glad you came!" We went to the cafeteria and it was interesting to see what the kids picked for their lunches. Most did pick the "cheese plate" which was indeed a kid yogurt, a string cheese, and a little package of granola. They also got to pick two other items of the fruit and vegetable variety. Gibson got an ear of corn and a tangerine with his cheese plate. I helped a little girl open her granola package and damn if I didn't have to pull out my pocket knife to do it which probably broke about fifty rules. It's not a huge knife but it's a real knife. Gibson spilled his granola all over the floor but whatever.
After lunch we all lined up and went back to the classroom and Gibson's teacher asked him to introduce me to all of the children sitting on the floor in front of me. And so he did. He announced the name of each and every child in his class and I loved that the teacher let him do that. Then she asked him to tell them my name, which he did- MerMer. I loved that too. Then I read The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza which I may have mentioned I have read at least a hundred times to Owen and to Gibson and I used all of the voices and got the children to chime in for the parts where the Dog, the Cat, and the Duck say, "Not I," in response to the Little Red Hen's requests for help.

The kids were so good and they had lots of questions and were extremely attentive and laughed at the funny parts and were amazed at what all the Little Red Hen bought every time she went to a different store to buy the things she needed to make her pizza which is a huge part of the fun of the book. She goes out to buy a pizza pan for example, and comes home with not only the pan and a pizza cutter but also bagels, doughnuts, rubber gloves (that would fit a chicken), a measuring stick, a plant, and a kitchen sink. 
It truly is a lovely book and although I have read it so many times, it never ceases to delight me. 

After I'd finished the book the teacher had an activity planned to go with it. She had cut-out circles of brown paper for each of the children to make their own pizzas with scraps of colored paper and scissors and glue sticks. I'd let her know what I was reading but I had no idea she'd incorporate the story into an activity so nicely. This same woman was Owen's teacher in kindergarten and she's one of the very special ones. When she told the children about making their own pizzas, I told her, "You're magic!" and she laughed. 

So that was all good although the anxiety hung on like a summer cold but Jessie invited me to go to Costco with her and the babes and so I did and then yes, we ate lunch, and that was nice. 
When I got home I made an effort to chase the demons out by doing the things which make me feel virtuous like cleaning out the hen house and putting the poopy straw on the garden and filling up the chicken waterers and taking the trash and watering my inside plants and sweeping. And then I tried doing something that makes me feel grateful and which pleases my soul which was picking camellias and bringing them in and putting them in vases and when I'd done all of that I started a new monkey man for Gibson, sitting in front of the TV watching some of the newest episodes of Grace and Frankie on Netflix. I'm sewing the monkey by hand this time, having more than a day to do it although in the grand scheme of the universe, it will never matter in the least how I stitch those socks up. 

And I think I've been going through a bit of wondering if anything I do makes a difference. 
But when I look up into the night sky at the stars and the silent silver witness of the moon, I wonder if anything that anyone does really makes a huge difference in this universe and I comfort myself with the thought that I, like billions of women who have lived on this planet, am a tend-er. I tend to that which is before me and if that's all that I can manage, well, then that's all that I can manage. 

There's my latest crop of camellias. They are coming back like crazy after the freezes. 
I planted those beauties. I tended them. And I cherish them. 

And today I made my grandson happy by nothing more than having lunch with him and reading a story in his classroom. 

Doing my best. And the anxiety will pass as it always does. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Various Activities

My day zipped by in a blur. I swear.
It started out slow and easy. I stayed in bed longer than I usually do because Maurice came and got into it with me, which she never, ever does any more. She cuddled up and wanted petting and scratching and I sleepily followed her instructions and then she settled down in the crook of my arm and laid a paw, most tenderly, upon it. No biting, no scratching. Just sweetness.
I basked in the experience. I love this insane cat who has an interesting, to say the least, approach to love.

As I started my walk I noticed two ladies and a man walking across the street and somehow I knew they were people who were interested in the history of Lloyd. We get these folks sometimes. And sure enough, they were, and asked me a few questions which I answered to the best of my ability and I ended up walking them around my property and pointed out where the little Episcopal chapel used to be in what is now my driveway which thrilled them to pieces. The ladies were retired school teachers and chatty, the man not so much. One of the ladies has been researching Walter Lloyd Bond, the man who built this house in 1859 and she said that his father was an Irish revolutionary who was imprisoned but his mother was allowed to come here, which she did, and I am not sure how she and her children ended up in Lloyd but they did.

So there was that and then I went on my walk and two little Boston bull terriers who have been running out of their trailer and barking at me as if they wanted to kill me for threatening the junk pile behind their domicile did that again today and it pissed me off. It's the most beautiful, peaceful little dirt road and I've been walking there for years and why they've suddenly decided that I am the enemy, I do not know.

I went to Publix, I got everything on my list but damn if I didn't forget the sweet and sour sauce I need for tomorrow's egg rolls. This is how it goes these days- I'm in the produce section and by the time I pass the International section which is about three aisles over, I've completely forgotten that I was going to get something there. My short term memory is about shot. This morning I got a glass of water out to take my pills and supplements, noticed that I needed to put something back into the refrigerator, and by the time I'd done that, I'd completely forgotten to take the pills. This all happened in about two square feet of space.

Oh well.

Anyway, Owen had a chorus performance this evening. There was a book fair first and we went to that and then the kids wanted to play on the play ground until it was time for the singing to begin.

Magnolia June is fearless. She climbed and slid and did it all again. And again. 
And Owen was happy too. Is it just me or is that kid getting really handsome? 
You may note he's wearing his bear claw necklace that his Boppy made him. 

Some of you may remember that Owen hates being in front of an audience. He hates it and abhors it and suffers it with great and horrible pain. Here's what he looked like when he was supposedly singing. 

Before the concert started, Gibson said, "Owen's not going to sing. You can trust me on that."
And he did not. He barely moved his lips and when there were hand and arm movements to go with the singing, he didn't even pretend. 
Let's just say that this sort of thing is not a positive experience for our boy. 
He managed to get through it without puking and Lily said, "Owen, if you don't start singing at these things, we're going to quit coming," and he said, "GOOD!"
I hugged him up and said, "Well, you may not sing but you were the best-looking kid up there."
I love that boy. 
Also, I would like to note that Owen's girlfriend wore a jingly belt which I can only imagine was once part of a belly dancer costume and long, shiny earrings. We mentioned that to Owen and he said, "Yeah, she likes to be fancy."
"You better tell her she looked good," his grandfather said. "You have to compliment your girlfriend."
"That's right," Jason said. "You better."
I admired her style and verve. 

Tomorrow I am going back to the school to eat lunch with Gibson and then I will be reading a book to his class. I believe I will read The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza which is one of our favorites around here. I think I'll take my own lunch as the choices in the cafeteria are going to be corn dog nuggets or the yogurt and cheese plate which sounds pretty interesting although Lily says she thinks it's like a kid yogurt and a string cheese. 
Ummm. No thanks. 

Life as a grandmother. It's interesting. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, January 22, 2018

It's Been A Dongle Day

Do you know what that is?
It is a DONGLE. This particular dongle is an adapter which plugs into the power port of an iPhone so that headphones may be used with it because Apple's newest phones do not come with a headphone jack.
As you can only imagine, a headphone jack is of utmost importance to me because I have about forty-eight more Outlander books to listen to. And I don't have wireless headphones because, well, I don't. Which is probably why Apple cut the cord, so to speak, on wired headphones- so we'll all go out and buy the wireless kind.
I guess so.
Anyway, yesterday, just as I was finishing up listening to Voyager, the third book in the Outlander series, my DONGLE gave up the ghost. Now. Whether or not this had to do with overuse and excessive cord-pulling via cabinet knobs, mostly, by me or Owen deciding to unplug my headphones from it in order to plug them into another device, I do not know but the bottom line was- no doing on the DONGLE.
The DONGLE came with the iPhone in order to prevent all of us old dodders who listen to audio books all day from having meltdowns, I assume. There must be a few of us, at least, who have made the leap from books on tape to books on CD to books on the phone. It all reminds me when Steve Jobs suddenly decided that the floppy disc was over, done, kaput, antiquated and quit putting them in all of the Apple computers which DID cause meltdowns all over the place because floppies were the technology of the day and we all thought we'd DIE but we didn't. We bought clunky disc drives until we figured out how to use CD's and flash drives to transfer and store information.
Okay. History lesson from the aged is over.
Meanwhile, I needed a new DONGLE.
I won't go into the whole story because it's only slightly more boring than what I've already written but you can buy a new DONGLE for $9.97 at Best Buy and probably the gas station, too.
I should have called Apple and had them replace the one that came with the phone and broke but as I have far better things to do with my time, I just bought the fucking thing.

It was just a weird day. How can a day where you have to buy a DONGLE be anything but weird?
I even went to Japanica by myself. It was sort of great. I got salmon instead of tofu which is another huge break in routine. And it WAS great.
And then I messed it all up by going to Walmart and please, god, remind me never to go back there. I was looking for sewing patterns which I never found but I did see a local woman I have met who has about a dozen children and that's no lie. At least eleven. And at least six or seven of them were with her at the Walmart.
I have to say they were well-behaved.
I bought some junk I did not need but when you're at Walmart, you just feel compelled to buy some junk, which I did.
They probably have DONGLES but I'd already bought one.
And then I made the mistake of doing self-checkout which made me feel one million years old AND inept and meanwhile, there were two Walmart employees whom I assume were on the clock to assist us old, inept people because they were just standing in that area, doing their nails and talking to each other, but of course they did not assist me at all. They were probably secretly filming me to show at the next Walmart employee party to share the hilarity of it all. Lord GOD I hope they don't put it on Youtube.
If they do, I'll sue the fucking DONGLES off them.

Besides all of that, everything is okay. I've felt off kilter and slightly bitter and angry and depressed all day long but it's that's not normal for these days and times, I don't know what is.

I've made yet another huge vat of soup with about a cup of venison, cut up, and leftovers and the broth I made last week. It is delicious but I'm not even sure there's room in my refrigerator for what will be left over.

Oh- let me say that Mr. Moon did an amazing job with the wood duck last night. I guess he did some research on the internet because he came into the kitchen and cut that meat up into little bite-sized pieces and wrapped each one in bacon with a slice of jalapeno and a little bit of cream cheese and then cooked them on a wood fire until the bacon was done and they were amazing because I would eat a DONGLE with jalapeno and cream cheese, wrapped in bacon.
Hell, I might even eat a Brussels sprout prepared that way.
Eh. Maybe not.

Peace and love, y'all.

Ms. Moon

Sunday, January 21, 2018

I Ain't No Pioneer But I'm Not Afraid To Borrow From Their Ways

I did spend time in the garden this afternoon and I had company while I was out there. First, Maurice showed up and it always makes me smile when I see her in the garden because she does her best to avoid ever appearing to want to have anything to do with me. She walked around and let the greens tickle her and stretched out in the sun, first on the dirt, and then on some hay, blinking at me with her sleepy golden eyes. She hung out for awhile before she disappeared and then the chickens showed up.

They are companionable creatures in the garden, and love to scratch through the hay mulch that comes from their nests to see what is underneath and also to nip at the greens I've planted. They sing their little hen-songs as they search for bugs and especially tasty bites of collards which they seem to like the best. As I weeded the carrots and then the beets, I kept an eye on their activities and it got interesting when Mick wallowed out a place in the hay and made his tid-bitting noise which is his call to the ladies to come and see what he has. If food isn't involved, he may be telling them that he has made them a new nesting place and that may have been what he was doing today. I've seen him do this same thing in a pot of ferns and sure enough, the hens began to lay there for awhile. 
But it seemed as if he was actually just making a napping place for himself because after he'd gotten the hay just the way he wanted it, he stretched out in the dirt beneath the hay and lay there making sounds which I could only describe as being vocalizations expressing supreme ecstasy and pleasure. I desperately wanted to take his picture but was reluctant to disturb his happy time. 
Finally, when Miss Lucy came into the garden and went over to him to see exactly what he was doing, I did stand up and get this shot, which is not very good, but it's the best I could do. 

Chickens need dirt, not only to help grind up their food but also to bathe in. They spread their feathers out to get the stuff all down to the quills and fluff and stretch and shake their tail feathers to get every bit of themselves cleaned by the dirt and they love to lie there, relaxing. I would compare it to a human taking a lovely, warm bath. I've never seen Mick participate in this ritual so fully or for such a long time as he is usually keeping watch while the ladies enjoy themselves in a sunny piece of ground. But I guess he was overwhelmed with the feeling of it today and it was funny to see, but also, somehow familiar- the giving over of oneself to pleasure, the rest of the world be damned. 

When I'd finished all of the weeding I felt like doing, I had to turn on the sprinklers to get them out of the garden. Have you ever tried to herd chickens? It's about as effective as herding cats or toddlers but they really don't like have water come pouring over them and so, will line up and reluctantly take their leave of the garden as I hold the gate open for them and close it behind them. 

And these companionable moments in the garden today with cat and with chickens, were the highlights of my day. Mr. Moon however brought home and cleaned two ducks which I have marinating, sold a car, and finished an oil leak repair, a brake job, and some transmission maintenance on his car. Now he's going to build a fire on which he will cook the wood ducks and some sea trout. 
Yes. I married Tarzan. 

And in the interest of sharing what I learned last night about cooking mullet, I shall relate my experience. I always fry my mullet because frying it and smoking it are the only two ways I know to cook a mullet. For some reason, you just never hear of anyone baking or broiling mullet although I'm sure you could. So, because Jessie was here last night and she is being dairy-free right now to see if that will ease Levon's tummy through a little period of gassyness he seems to be experiencing, I didn't want to dip my mullet pieces (filets and backbones, both of which you cook) in my usual egg and milk wash before I dredged it in the seasoned corn meal/flour mixture. So, I just squeezed a few lemons over the fish and made sure that every piece was given its share of the juice by mixing the fish in the bowl with my hands and then dipped those pieces in the corn meal and flour mixture. 
Then I pan fried them in a little bit of oil and I swear- I have never made better fried mullet in my life and I may never use the milk and egg mixture for fish again. Not for mullet, anyway. It was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and we ate that fish up like we were being paid. 
The mullet is a noble creature and its presence here in the waters of the coast and in the rivers is one of the main reasons that humans were able to inhabit this often inhospitable Land of Flowers. When there was nothing else to eat at all, a good mess of mullet could always be netted and fried and if you eat it the day it's caught, it is the sweetest fish in the world. It's filled with all of those good fish oils that we need but it doesn't keep fresh for long although smoking it is a delicious way of preserving it. 
If you ever get the chance to eat fresh fried mullet or smoked mullet or smoked mullet dip, consider yourself blessed, say "thank you very much," and take up a fork and dig in. 
I do. And now I really know how to cook it. 

I have absolutely no experience cooking duck but as I said, Mr. Moon is going to grill it at the same time he grills the sea trout that the same friend gave us who gave us the mullet yesterday. As Mr. Moon said, it will not be a surf-and-turf but a surf-and-air. 

I'm willing to give it a go. 

There's nothing in the world that makes me happier than eating so locally that I literally know the name of the hen who laid the egg I might be eating or knowing that the greens I'm about to cook or chop up into a salad were picked and washed by me less than an hour before, or that the meat I eat comes from local waters or woods, taken by respectful hunters and fishermen who take no more than what can be used. 

Just feels right. 
Now if we only made our own vodka, life would be practically perfect. 

Love...Ms. Moon


I will tell you something- I know that August loves me but I also know that he IS Little Boppy and that he adores Big Boppy with a fierceness beyond compare. August isn't a cuddler with anyone but his mama and daddy for the most part. He will grudgingly allow hugs and kisses but he's not like Gibson who still asks for them or Owen, whom I find suddenly standing beside me, his arm around me, his head up to my chin. Or Maggie, either, who loves to squish her body against yours, obviously delighted beyond belief to be in your arms.
Nope. That's not August although when I ask him, "Are you my darling love?" he says, "Yes. I your darling love."
However, when Boppy enters the picture, August not only accepts being held, he leaps into his grandfather's lap.

This is how they looked when they were waiting for the mullet to finish being fried last night, both of them exhausted from a long day of work and play. Cuddled up and happy, watching TV, August holding the Wii steering wheel that he loves to play with. "Gibson use this," he says of it. And that makes it cool and desirable. Plus, it's a steering wheel. 

I just love watching this relationship between the small boy and the large grandfather. I can only imagine how safe and comfortable it must feel to the grandchildren to sit in their Boppy's lap. I loved and respected my grandfather deeply but I can't imagine snuggling in with him. He just wasn't that sort of man. And of course, I have absolutely no memory of ever sitting on my father's lap and the less said about any sort of physical contact between me and my stepfather, the better, so all of this is just a miracle to me, watching how loving my grandchildren's fathers are with them, how naturally they interact with their children, and how the children respond to that and to their grandfather and to me. It's like I always say- a dream come true that I never even imagined. 

It's a lovely Sunday here, warm and sunny and quiet in Lloyd and I am being lazy and enjoying the peace. Camellia is eyeing me patiently, wanting more cat food treats and Jack is watching her from half-closed eyes. The man is napping in his chair, having gotten up at 4:30 this morning to go duck hunting and I think I'll go hang out some laundry and maybe do some leisurely weeding, feeling the warm sun on my body and smelling the rich dirt of the garden, being worshipful. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

I Hope He Never Stops Saying That

It has been a grand-boy weekend so far.
By nine o'clock this morning the boys had eaten bacon and waffles and gotten dressed and packed up and were ready for their daddy to pick them up because Owen had some sort of baseball thing going on. I tidied up the house and then Jessie and Vergil and my other two grandsons arrived as Mr. Moon and Vergil planned to do car repairs together. Which they have now been doing for about seven hours. On three different vehicles.

I've had a great time with Jessie and Levon and August.

We even got a terrific nap! So, it's pretty much been perfect or as August might say, pretty good. 

Now I'm going to cook us some mullet a friend brought over today and I've got greens from the garden simmering away.

Yep. Pretty damn good.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, January 19, 2018

Need An Apron?

I should be embarrassed to show you that. It's the cabinet in my center island where I keep aprons, napkins, place mats, dish towels and dish cloths.
Bit of a mess, eh?
So today as a way to keep myself occupied without having to actually do something like mop all of the floors which desperately needed it due to all of the demolition dust, I decided to tidy the cabinet.
I must have twenty aprons. I swear. Fancy aprons, restaurant aprons, homemade aprons, vintage aprons- you name the type of apron and I have it. And quite frankly, I do not know what I plan on doing with all of them. I do wear a few and I hang a few in my kitchen but come on! 
And dish towels. Dish towels which I get in Mexico and they last forever and so I have about forty of those, big ones and small ones. Also, jokey ones ("Hey Skinny! Eat a biscuit!") and again, vintage ones.
Dish cloths? I use dish cloths for the most part instead of sponges. People always talk about how germ-ridden their kitchen sponges are. Well, I use a dish cloth for a day or two and then throw it in the bleach load pile. I bleach my sponges too, truthfully. I have a goodly plenty of dish cloths.
And napkins? I buy them at Goodwill and thrift stores. Very few people seem to use cloth napkins but a lot of people either buy them or get them as presents and then, eventually, they donate them and I buy them because I do use them. I must have dozens and dozens of those.
So. I pulled everything out of that cabinet and folded up the aprons and went through the napkins and threw away the polyester ones and put the worn out cotton ones in the rag pile and folded all of them and put them in stacks according to size.
I went through the dish towels and threw the ones not worth keeping into the rag pile too. Same with the dish cloths. The place mats were not very out-of-hand but I did actually throw a few of those away too. And then I put everything back and now it looks like this.

It ain't perfect, but it's better. 

And then I did sweep and mop the floors and ignored the white dust which covers everything else. Why bother trying to do something about that before this project is completed? I just could not deal with the floors the way they were though, so that's why they got my attention.

So now I have Superheroes at my house.
"What's your name?" I asked the smaller Superhero on the right as I velcroed the back of his costume. 
"Black Panther," he said. 
"Oh. Of course," I said, thinking that Black Panthers have certainly changed since I was young. 

And then I played some Parcheesi with the Superheroes. 

Spider Man and Black Panther found it hilarious that I couldn't get my pawns out of the circle for anything and when I did, I got sent right back AND I kept rolling sixes. Over and over and over again. Meanwhile, they were speeding around the board like little demons. I had forgotten that it takes approximately one human lifetime to finish a game of Parcheesi and luckily Boppy arrived in time to save me from the Eternal Game. 

So that's what's going on around here. I'm about to bake some tasty frozen pizzas and call that supper. I don't know if we'll get pancakes in the morning because the boys have to be ready to be picked up a little after nine as Owen has some sort of baseball event. 
I'll cook a sweet potato, just in case. 

Oh. And Lucy laid another beautiful blue-green egg today of gigantic proportions. 
All of the hens are laying except for Miss Camellia who is so old as to be vintage herself. 
And I do not mind that at all. She's my sweet old lady and she comes up onto the porch every day for a little handful of cat food and I gladly give it to her. 
She was Kathleen's hen and I will tend to her as long as she lives. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Current Events Plus Nostalgia

We had a large group of us at the Costco today. Rachel wanted to come and Lily and Jason both came with Ms. Magnolia whom you can see here wearing what I like to think of as her Brit Mod coat and hat ensemble which my mother made for Jessie when she was a little munchkin. Maggie looks adorable in it.

Jessie brought Levon and August too and so it was a cousin, auntie, sort-of-auntie, uncle, mama, daddy, MerMer event. I wish I'd gotten a picture of Rachel. She's just had her hair colored the loveliest shade of purple and it suits her so well. We love Rachel to pieces. All of us do.

Here are Jessie and her boys.

August was in super high spirits and entertained himself for a good long while by pretending to sneeze as loudly as he could. There was hardly anybody else there today and I suppose that Costco is able to run the data involving temperature, day of the week, day of the month, other weather conditions, flu levels in the population as reported by the hospitals, etc., etc. in order to decide when sampling would be most effective and today wasn't it. 
Maggie and August were extremely disappointed in that there were no treats at all until we got to the end of the store where they sell crackers and cookies and energy bars. A woman was sampling brownie brittle and another woman was sampling Annie's gummy bears. 
Finally- TREATS!

So that was our big outing and then Lily and her crew and Rachel decided to go get Indian buffet and first I said, no, I wasn't going to go and then I said, oh hell, why not?
While we were there, we got a text from Jessie with this picture. 

Boppy had taken his Mer-maid lunch over to Jessie's to eat there and see the boys. I had finally handed over the overalls although I could have spent months embroidering more and more and more...but August wanted them and so there he is, wearing them. 
I am bereft. I have nothing else to embroider on now which means that I have no excuse to sit on the couch and watch TV. 

Rachel and I went into the Goodwill bookstore and shopped around a bit. I got an Armistead Maupin book which I think I've already read and an Anthony Boudain which I know I haven't read and also, a very old copy of The Five Little Peppers Abroad for Rachel to give Hank. When I was a little girl I loved The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew and my two oldest children loved it too. I don't believe I ever read about their adventures abroad but I am sure it's charming as hell. As I said to Rachel when we were looking at the vintage books, I have no idea why it was such a pervasive theme in children's literature back in the olden days to have one or both parents die, leaving children to fend for themselves in the cruel, cruel world. 
But it was. Perhaps the reality of the time?
And honey, kids didn't go to therapy in those days, neither the ones who had lost their parents or those of us who read the books and sobbed our eyes out. 
Heidi, anyone? The Little Princess?
And then of course there were the books about animals which were propaganda for the anti-cruelty for animals movement like Beautiful Joe and Black Beauty. 
God. It's a fucking wonder any of us survived intact, especially considering that no one had gotten around to decruelalizing Grimm's fairytales or cleaning up the blatant racism of Little Black Sambo and Rudyard Kipling's books and Uncle Remus and my favorite, Doctor Doolittle. 
And yet, we did and some of us have fairly healthy outlooks on life and are not racists but I'm not sure why. 

We're going to get more temps in the twenties tonight but then it's going to start warming up a little bit. 

I've got a venison roast in a slow, slow oven, cooking it the old fashioned way and it's nestled in between potatoes and carrots and onions and green beans. All of my current chickens are in the nest although I had to look around a bit to find little Miss Violet. She was almost hidden, cuddled in a nest of straw where they sometimes lay, on the floor next to the door. I have to take them warm water in the mornings because the water in their waterers is frozen but they seem to be handling it all quite well. 

Owen and Gibson are spending the night tomorrow and I am glad of that. I have not seen them nearly enough lately. There is only so much MerMer to go around and quite frankly, MerMer needs at least a bit of time to herself which has been in short supply but we'll have fun with those boys. I have pizzas and sherbet and perhaps they will want to take a warm, cozy bath in Mer's big tub before they go to sleep tomorrow night. I have bacon, and I have sweet potatoes to cook to make pancakes with. 
Soon, August must come and spend the night. It's way past time and I think he'll do fine. He knows and loves his Bop and Mer and will probably feel quite at home here. 
And Maggie. Oh, my Maggie. Remember when she spent the night and I was trying to get her to sleep and she said in the most piteous and precious tones, "But where's my passie?" meaning her pacifier and I felt as if I had failed at the most basic task of all but I found it for her and all was well?
Sometimes don't you wish you, too, had a passie?
I do. 

Good night, Sweetlings. 
See you tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon