Saturday, June 30, 2018


I pretty much took today off. Just...fuck it. I did a few things and I went to Publix and to Costco but I zoomed through those places like lard on a hot skillet.

I did get a little taste of hell (although not much else) when I went to Costco. For some reason it had not occurred to me that everyone and their patriotic uncle would be there, getting ready for the 4th and there were many, many sample stations set up and they were GOOD samples like chicken salad and spinach and artichoke dip and chipotle black bean burgers but there were so many shoppers that only the people who had no qualms about pushing in front of others or a lot more patience to wait for a space to open up than I did got any food. 
And if THAT isn't a first-world problem, I don't know what is. 

The pink phlox are just blooming everywhere in the yard. They are so cheerful and the butterflies love them. Speaking of which...

Here's another enormous Swallowtail on a banana leaf. I love the green and the yellow and the tiny dot of blue and of red, the black borders and the tiger stripes, too. What a fancy creature! 

Does anyone know what this is? Ellen? It's about three and a half feet tall, including the stalk of blossoms and someone probably told me last year and I've forgotten. I dug some up from next door when no one was living there years ago and this year it is finally making a showy appearance.

The grave of Elvis, our beloved and still-mourned most beautiful rooster ever. I buried him in the front yard so that he can keep watch over us all as he kept watch over his flock so faithfully. 

The coming-along beauty berry. In this picture you can see the blossom and the developing berries. Soon they will be the most gorgeous of fuschia colors. Their early colors are but pale indicators of what is to come. 

This is what the Japanese Maple looks like from below with the sun making glory of it. Is that not beautiful? The man who sold us this house brought it to the signing to give to me which I thought was quite lovely. It was not much more than a sprig then and now, it is a tree. 

A young golden orb weaver who is tangling her web in the phlox. Oh! They will get so much bigger! They are so territorial that I feel as if I should name each one as they will all be in the same place until it gets cold and they die. 

A tiny vase of the blooming June roses. I chose these at the nursery because they smell exactly as a rose should smell. And they are so perfect in their heirloom honesty of color and form. 

And since I began writing this, my sweet husband has come home, tired as can be but with grouper and vermillion snapper which I have never even heard of and is sipping a martini in his chair. Well, he's probably snoozing. The rain, which was hardly even a rumor of a cloud an hour ago, is falling, falling, soaking the sweet dirt from whence all of these beautiful things come. The thunder is grumbling all around and it smells of heaven. The incredible gift of summer rain as it breaks the back of the almost intolerable heat.

Did you march today? 
I did not but my son did. Here's a text I got from him. 

God, I love my children. 
Just as every mother does. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Handsome Devil Has A Birthday

So this man had his birthday today and it has been a very, very lovely day. At least for me. I think he's enjoyed it too.
He went into town to get a few things done at work and then he came home and we decided just to hit the Subway where the truck stop used to be for sandwiches to take to the river for a picnic. And so we did. We checked out the newish Lloyd liquor store too which is right between the Subway and the convenience store and we were both shocked at how nicely stocked it was. How tidy and well-arranged. It's super small and of course the prices are higher than they are in town but if we ever need some emergency Kahlua, I know where we can go!
Now the Subway- different matter. In the fourteen years I've lived in Lloyd, I've probably gotten food there maybe ten times. Maybe. I burnt out on Subway a long, long time ago but once in awhile, it's okay.
Well. Sort of.
So we got our sandwiches and iced tea and headed to the Wacissa. It wasn't too crowded and it was quite odd to be there without any grandchildren to keep track of. We sat under the cypress tree in our folding chairs and ate our lunch leisurely as could be, watching kids jump off the rope swing which was far more entertaining than you'd think.
"Teenaged boys are just so..." I said to my husband.
"Yes. Yes they are," he agreed.
"They're a mess," I said.
He sighed and said, "You have no idea."
"I'm not blaming them," I said. "It's not a bad thing and they can't help it. They're just designed that way."
We watched the boys push and shove each other, their skinny bodies showing every rib and every stringy muscle while the girls watched and waited patiently in a line for their turns at grabbing the rope and swinging way out over the water and dropping.
"They're puppies," my husband said.
"The girls seem so much more composed," I said. "So much more mature."
And Mr. Moon told me that of course they were because girls figure out life at least two years before the boys even began to get a clue.
I wasn't sure about that. I didn't have much of a clue at the age of the kids we were looking at who were in their early teens. I wondered if perhaps it only looked that way because girls are still given much stricter instructions on how to act, how to behave, while boys are allowed to just be wild, to be, yes, puppies. I don't know.
But it was fascinating to watch.
One young girl was so beautiful. She may have only been ten or eleven and when it was her turn, she grabbed that rope and swung back and hit the tree with one sure flat-footed kick and soared out over the water where she dropped like a knife blade, all grace and purpose, the water accepting her like a blessing.
I could have watched her all day long.

After we ate our lunch, we joked about not being able to go into the water for thirty minutes in case of cramps which is one of the strangest myths that we, as children, were universally told.
Cramps? Where? Our stomachs? Our legs? How could that lead to drowning?
The fact that we had never, ever heard of an actual kid dying of cramps after eating and then going into the water before the sacred thirty minutes was up was one of the first reasons we began to doubt the supreme knowledge and wisdom of our moms and dads. Throw in the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and Santa Claus and next thing you know, we didn't believe a word they said.
Bring on the LSD!
Well. Sort of like that. 
And so we ambled down to the water and dove in, the water like a Florida version of a snow-melting mountain stream and when we came up, we smiled and hugged each other, delighting in the sudden coolness of our skin. We stood waist-deep in the water and watched the tiny bream as they approached and then nibbled our feet. It was luxurious to be there, simply standing in the cold river with the hot sun above us, talking and laughing and having fish tasting our toes on a week day. It was like vacation. It was like a birthday.

When we finally pulled ourselves away from the water we felt cool and languid, calmed, our nerves smoother pathways for our feelings to travel along. We came home and there was a tiny nap and I watched this man sleep, his face so absolutely beautiful to me. I guess he and I have spent 35 birthdays together now and I think that I had a mere sliver of an inkling of what his love for me could mean when we married. I remember when we first met and I just did not know what to make of this unreasonably tall man who was courting me in such open and uncomplicated ways. He was falling in love with me, he made no bones about it, but not in a creepy way. In a very real and peaceful way. I'd never experienced anything like this before. Ever.
I'll never forget going to a Winn Dixie with him soon after we met and I already knew that he was going to ask me to marry him sooner rather than later. He was buying a bag of food for his dog, Honey Bun, and as I watched him walk down the aisle of the store, clutching this huge bag of food as if it was a loaf of bread, his head held so high and his face so lit with a smile, I thought, "What is wrong with this guy? No one is this happy."
Glen Moon was that happy.
And why not?
He was a twenty-nine year old man in his prime, his body strong and capable of anything that he asked of it. And he was in the Winn Dixie buying a fifty-pound bag of dog food accompanied by a woman whom he was already certain would be his wife and the mother of his children.

And it wasn't that hard to fall in love with him.
Trust me.

I hugged him this afternoon and said, "I love you so much," and I began to cry and he wrapped those crazy-long but well-proportioned arms around me and said, "Aren't we lucky?"

And then he packed up his pillow and his fishing poles and his fishing clothes and his cookies and kissed me good-bye and he's off to catch the grouper, the snapper, the mahi-mahi.

"Be safe," I say.
"Live forever," I mean.
"Don't ever stop loving me," I think.
"Let me always be precious to you," I plead in my head.

Happy birthday, my love. Happy birthday.

Here's to a million more and then some. I'll keep making you cookies as long as you want them. And I'll keep loving you and your long arms and longer legs and beautiful face and strong back and magnificent heart for as long as I live.
I promise.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Who Could Ask For More

What will Maggie do without her Owen for five days? 

Well, I just did something I have never foreseen doing in my life. I wrote my grandson a letter for him to get at camp. It brought back so many memories of writing camp letters to my kids. I always made sure they had one tucked away in the stuff they took to camp with them so that they would have one from the get-go. And I believe I always mailed one before they left, too, so that they'd get one on the first or second day. And they wrote me. Lord, I wonder where those letters are. I'd love to read them again. In Owen's letter I mostly just told him that I'm so proud of him and that I hope he has the best time ever and that he makes some new friends. I tucked a little feather which came from Babette when she was a little chicken into the envelope along with the letter. I hope he likes it. 

Ay! My boy is growing up. I asked Lily if he was sad when they left him but she said that no, he was too excited. It looks like just an amazing place. St. Paul Newman had a lot to do with the founding of this camp and others like it for children with medical issues and it is free of charge. 
My god, but there are some beautiful and wonderful things and people in this world, despite...well. You know. 
And let us not forget that, okay? I mean it! 

Enough of that. I cry enough these days. 

So. Here's something I'd like to discuss- bathing suits. 
I would pay $200 dollars for a bathing suit which was comfortable and not too hideous and wasn't constructed like body-squeezing armor. And... I DON'T WANT A BATHING SUIT WITH BOOBS BIGGER THAN MINE! WTF? Why do bathing suits now all come with freaking cups? Why are we so afraid of nipples? I'm not afraid of nipples. I'm a sixty-three year old woman and I have nipples. So do you. So does everyone, men included! What the hell is going on that our bathing suits have to be made of such thickness of foam and polyester that it could stop a shark? I ain't going through the agony of that mess. 
I went to the mall today for the first time in probably years because Mr. Moon's birthday is tomorrow and there's a store there that carries Big and Tall clothes and I wanted to get him some new shorts and shirts. And I did! Nice ones. All on major sale. So I felt pretty cocky and happy and decided to go look at bathing suits. I recently ordered a bathing suit from Garnet Hill and the top came today (bottoms in a separate package-puleeze!) and it's made of that poly-armor. No. No, no, no. I am sending it back. I think that the theory is that thick, tight bathing suits with built-in bras will squish in our fat and make our bosoms look bigger. 
Fuck that. After a certain age you can't camouflage the reality of what's there. You just can't. And I'm cool with that. As I mentioned, I'm old and I have very little pride left. I just want to swim in comfort and in this country, nudity in public places is frowned upon. 
So obviously, I didn't get a bathing suit. 
I did get anxiety so I came home. 

I've made my husband some chocolate chip cookies for his birthday fishing trip. He's leaving tomorrow evening to drive over to Apalach to go out early on Saturday and fish for grouper and snapper and whatever it is that's legal right now. We'll have a family birthday lunch when everyone gets back to town next week. He's thinking about taking tomorrow off work so that he and I can go down to the river for a swim and maybe out to lunch. That suits me fine. And speaking of suits- the bathing suit I've been wearing for years is pretty comfortable but I'm afraid that at some point the elasticity is just going to absolutely disappear. And when I say "at some point" I mean "maybe tomorrow."

Thus the search for a new bathing costume. 

Anyway, la-di-dah and so it goes and I am brewing a post about the government and Trump and so forth and it's going to make me sound like a conspiracy theorist but so be it. 
I'm deadly serious about this. 

Tomorrow my husband will be sixty-four years old and for one month that will make him a year older than I am. Not really but you know what I mean. Our birthdays are one month and one day apart. 
Just as with writing my grandson a camp letter, I never really considered the fact that one day I would be turning sixty-four years old and so would my husband and that yes, I will still need him and I will still feed him. 
I'll be older too. 
Although, if he stays out 'til quarter to three, I probably will lock the door. 

Sometimes I think that the Beatles, like Shakespeare, said everything that needed to be said. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

From The Sublime To The Gloriously And Grossly Ridiculous

Magnolia and Bella, waiting for the rain. 
Photo taken by Lily.

Nothing today. Just nothing. Watching my country crumble, watching our worst nightmares unroll even unto the highest court in the land.

I took a walk. It was hot. Of course it was hot. It's fucking summer in Florida.

I came home and finished Maggie's dress. I am not happy with it but it's done.
It's cheerful.

The young chickens have found their way into the garden and good for them! They love to scratch in the hay I've cleaned from their nests, finding nice bugs and spreading out the poop and the mulch for me. I picked two embryonic Italian eggplants, a bell pepper, a green tomato which had a big bug spot at the top, some basil, and some volunteer arugula. Everything but the arugula has already been sauteed along with onions and garlic and mushrooms to make a garden medley pasta sauce with chicken.
Garden medley. 
It's that time of year.

I feel frantic tonight. I don't know why. I had the most horrible dreams last night and every time I went back to sleep, they returned like a remake of some terrible horror movie, the characters the same, the storyline always a bit different but monster people who looked just like suburban neighbors killed my baby by drowning and I would not let her go, but held her tight to me. When I woke up, I was clutching my hands hard together under my chin where I'd been holding that dream baby. I am not kidding when I say all night. I woke up from the first one and reached to find my husband, just to make sure he was there, and checked the time and it was 2:18 and when I woke up with my hands clasped so tightly, it was a little after 7:00 a.m.
Perhaps all of that was the seed of my emotion.

How long can Ruth Bader Ginsburg live? Does it even matter any more?
Where is Robert Mueller? Does he even matter any more?

I am wracking my brain to come up with something else to write about to no avail.


My sock monkey socks which I ordered online came in the mail today.
There was a horrible fire which arose from a controlled burn in the tiny town of Eastpoint which lies west of here and which we pass through on our way to the beach or Apalachicola. Thirty homes, at least, were completely burned. The people who live in Eastpoint are mostly fishing people, oyster people, people who were barely making it as it is. There's nothing to rent in Eastpoint. I could think about them and try to assure myself that hey! I have it good! which I do but this immense loss only makes me feel worse.
No one died. It's a miracle.
The Beauty Berries are blooming and will be making their gorgeous fuchsia colored fruit soon.
The Clitoria vines are blooming.
The Rolling Stones played in Marseille last night and one of the headlines from a local paper read, "Infatigables Le Rolling Stones enflamment la stade Velodrome."
I don't know much French but I think I can understand what that says.
My husband and I have been watching a Canadian mockumentary series called Trailer Park Boys which goes on for about ten thousand seasons and it's stupid and ridiculous and it makes us laugh every night as we eat our supper and I wish I'd kept a pen and a pad of paper handy for the whole time we've been watching it to capture some of the dialogue because it is genius.

I'll leave you with these immortal words from one of the main characters.

Wish I didn't believe that was true. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Recipes And More

I am making a supper tonight which is the sort of meal I love to cook and to eat. It is as simple as can be and part of it comes directly from the garden.
We'll be having focaccia with herbs and sun-dried tomatoes and cream of squash soup. The focaccia recipe comes from a Weight Watcher cookbook as many of my favorite recipes actually do. I make up the dough in the food processor and it's so quick and has a fast rise time and it's very, very easy. I double the recipe and use half whole wheat flour and half bread flour in it which does no disservice to it at all. And I throw sun-dried tomatoes in there too, the julienned ones, at the very end of the processing. I've also used slices of fresh tomatoes on top of it which have been pressed between paper towels to remove the juice. This can be the base of a sort of sturdy peasant pizza too, if you like.

The squash soup recipe came from the wife of a friend of my husband's and I do change it up a bit. It calls for half and half, for instance, which I would probably never use although I am sure it would be delicious. I substitute some canned low fat milk in it along with a bit of grated parmesan and instead of the chopped parsley it calls for I use some fresh thyme and oregano and I also use a little grated nutmeg in it because grated nutmeg is magic.

Here- riff on these and make them yours.

And by the way- I won't be using that much butter but will use a small amount along with some olive oil. 
And we'll eat the warm bread with some goat cheese and olive tapenade. 
And it will be lovely. 

Speaking of lovely. 

Lily and the kids and I drove to Monticello today to have lunch and shop at Wag the Dog, the thrift store which supports the humane society. They have a pretty full aisle of toys, many of which are missing entire working parts or pieces but Magnolia and Gibson both scored. The first thing Maggie did was to find a real baby stroller and then collect every doll she could find and strap and buckle them all into the stroller together. She's what I call a "project" baby. Jessie was one too. And Maggie's project today was to play with all the babies. She ended up with one doll and a little wagon thing that had to be missing some functional parts but which still worked as a wagon and she laid her baby in it and walked it carefully to the Mexican restaurant where we had lunch. If the baby started to slide out, she would stop and rearrange it, making sure that her doll did not hurt herself. She was very serious about this. 
Owen didn't find anything he liked which caused some unhappiness. He did not want a puzzle or a game and of course the baby toys held no interest for him. He could not believe that Monticello has no Walmart, no Goodwill, no Target which we could visit for more toy hunting. 
Ah. But it's true. 
Gibson got a pirate costume which pleased him immensely. Here he is, wearing it in the restaurant. 

The sword fell apart soon after this picture was taken but Lily promised to glue it all back together. 

I found some things I liked too. I got yet another copy of Keith Richards' autobiography, an old fashioned plug-in-the-wall landline telephone for when the power goes out, a beautiful tablecloth and matching napkins, and a pair of nice new-looking shorts for Mr. Moon. Oh! And a baby rattle for Levon. I gave the tablecloth and napkins to Lily and I'll give the Keith Richards' book to someone who needs it (yet to be determined) and Mr. Moon approves of the shorts. 
All of this for less than twenty dollars, Gibson and Maggie's toys included. 
How we love Wag the Dog! 

And then yes, we walked to the Mexican restaurant which bills itself as having the best Mexican food in Monticello and it certainly does as it is the only Mexican restaurant in Monticello but honestly, it's pretty darn good. 

And so that was what I did today. It was exhausting and when I got home I managed to take my clothes off the line before the rain came and de-pooped the hen house before I laid down and took a nap. 

Here's a picture that Jessie sent me of Levon grinning his big old boy-child grin up on Black Mountain, North Carolina. 

She colored out her nipple for decency's sake. 
So yes. This picture has been censored. 
She told me that Vergil had taken August swimming and she and Levon went to a coffee shop where a random stranger pointed out that Levon is Novel, spelled backwards. 
How did we not know that? How perfect would it be if he grew up to write books of fiction? 

And here's August after swimming. 

I love those little feet in those aqua flip-flops more than words can say. 

I refuse to talk about the Supreme Court because I don't want to vomit. 

Other than that, I'm just grateful for this good day and for the rain which came and cooled things off, for happy and healthy grandchildren, for squash from the garden, for a cool and soft place to nap in the heat of the day and the opportunity to lay down and rest, and for the mama cardinal chip, chip, chipping away at the feeder as she dips her beak to seeds and eats, blessing me with her song and her presence. 

Time to go make soup.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, June 25, 2018

I Survived And Am Probably Not Dying

The golden orb weavers are showing up everywhere these days, creating their strong and sturdy works of art. I've already bounced off a few webs. I caught this one in a shaft of light when I was coming back from getting the newspaper this morning. Can you see the artist, the hunter?

This morning was hard. I began to disassociate about an hour and a half before I had to leave the house. I'm going to quit apologizing for my neurosis about going to the doctor. It simply is what it is and if anyone knows how insane it is, it would be me. I seriously and with all of my heart wish it were not so but it is. It is, in fact, a sort of terror. Anxiety doesn't begin to describe what I feel when I have to present myself in a waiting room, even though Dr. Zorn's waiting room is as innocuous as it can be with its small flatscreen TV on the HGTV channel and the one aquarium and the no art on the walls and the sweet receptionists. 
Still. I was absolutely nerve-wracked and not really there at all and not really anywhere although I'd taken an Ativan a half an hour before I left the house and was trying like hell to read my New Yorker magazine which apparently was the annual Most Boring Issue. 
The nurse called my name and I went back and got weighed and blood pressured. For once, that wasn't too bad. The blood pressure. Not the weight part. That was pretty bad. I got asked the usual questions and was given a mental health checklist thing to fill out. I was mostly honest on it. 
And then the sweet doctor himself came in, looking a bit weary. I'd heard that he and his wife had recently had a new baby and he did have that look about him of a father who is not getting quite enough sleep. I congratulated him and he said that he usually had a great picture he showed everyone but that he'd been running with the jogging stroller and the phone had fallen off and gone splat and was dead for the moment. 
He is a human being. 
He asked me when I was going to get my blood work done and I said, "I did!" 
"Last Tuesday!"
"Oh, you sure did! I'm so proud of you!" he said. 
Everything looked pretty good and my death level of cholesterol was much better and so forth. I'm a little hazy here due to the fact that my consciousness was probably somewhere up near the rings of Saturn and the Ativan had kicked in. 
He did a brief exam before I'd even realized it or been asked to take my clothes off. Lungs and heart, sounded good. I think he did some abdominal palpitation, etc. and asked me some questions. And then it was all done and he wants to see me in another six months to check the blood work again. He wants me to go get my mammogram and he's letting me use the Cologuard thing rather than forcing me to go get a colonoscopy which sounds good to me. Being able to do something at home rather than having to drink gallons of laxative-laced liquid and being anesthetized suits me fine. 
As we were both exiting the exam room I said, "I hear that (name of friend who is his patient and who is moving) tried to talk you into moving to South Dakota."
"Yeah!" he said. "I'm going to miss (name of friend.)"
"Well, I wish you'd let my son take her place as your patient since your office isn't accepting new patients."
"Aw,"he said, waving his hand and he went to the receptionist desk and grabbed a pile of new patient forms and said, "Here. You're not the general public Have him fill these out."

See why I love him? 

So. Then I did my usual complete-relief/stoned on Ativan thing and babbled to the receptionists about when I want my next appointment and why, knowing the whole time that they were probably thinking, "Why should we care that this woman is going to Mexico for Christmas?" but remaining very, very calm and kind. 

I took Hank his papers, I went and bought myself a falafel gyro after going to the Dollar Store and buying myself a book to read while I ate. Then I went to Marshall's to look for something for Mr. Moon's birthday which is on Friday because they used to carry tall man sizes but they don't appear to now. I realized that I could go to the mall where there is a store that does carry tall man sizes but that would have just pushed me off the cliff of insanity and so I went to Publix and drifted through there on automatic pilot and came home and took a nap. 

I'm still somewhere out there in the unknown galaxy. It takes awhile to come down from one of these experiences. I do know that Mr. Moon and I went out to find sweet Dottie's egg where she reliably lays and pick some squash and now I need to make supper. I started pinto beans when I got home from town so that's okay. 
I also know that all of the chickens, all fifteen of them were out by the garden and it made me happy to see them as one flock of beautiful birds. I can't wait to see what sorts of eggs they are going to lay for me. 

Ay. What a day. The hard part is done and now to get on with my life. 

Sometimes I wish I had a mother. 
Don't we all? 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, June 24, 2018

I'm Too Tired To Come Up With A Title

It's just been a very low-level day. A hot, sweltering, sticky low-level day. I went outside to do anything exactly twice. Once was to let the chickens out this morning. Mr. Moon went with me and we so cruelly gave those birds the crickets which were not used for bait on yesterday's fishing trip. Poor things. Just when they thought they'd escaped death via large-mouth bass, they got gobbled up by spry and hungry chickens. 
The other time I went out was to water the porch plants where I found this. 

Dang Darla and Violet! I haven't been finding any of their eggs lately at all and god knows where else they've been stashing them. 

The rest of the day has been spent in fruitless sewing. I almost finished Magnolia's dress and realized it was way too long and since the bottom part was a ruffle that I'd already hemmed and trimmed with rick rack (why isn't it called zig zag?) I had to unsew the ruffle from the dress part, cut off about five inches of that and sew the ruffle back on. Now this doesn't sound like much BUT in doing this I had to rip stitches and re-gather and reattach. Then I trimmed the seam on the newly attached ruffle-to-dress and did my favorite fucked up magic trick of cutting part of the dress as I trimmed. 
So. Now I can either figure out a way to sew cute little hearts all around the bottom or do what I should do which is to rip out the ruffle-to-dress stitches AGAIN and regather AGAIN and resew AGAIN. 
You know, this dress really should have taken about two hours from start to finish. I remember making a Vogue bridal pattern dress with a lining for a prom dress in one day. 
And this pattern is as uncomplicated as it gets. "EASY! FACILE!" it says on the front of the envelope holding the pattern pieces and instructions. 
Yeah. For a seventeen year old. 

Anyway, la-di-dah. I could buy my granddaughter a dress twice as cute at Target that cost half as much as I paid for the pattern and fabric and none of that is the point. I enjoy sitting at the machine and listening to an audio book and just messing about with it all. I will admit that when I saw what I'd done with my errant scissor work I gave forth with a loud and vehement, "PISS!" which caused Jack to bolt from the room and I was rather shocked because this is not a curse I generally use. I'm more apt to say "FUCK ME!" but maybe I'm changing it up. 

Here's another thing that made me feel inept- trying to install Roku and Sling TV to our TV. I mean, I stepped in after Mr. Moon gave up on pairing the remote with the whatever-that-is and figured that out and managed to set up an account and blah, blah, blah but don't ask me how it's going to work or what channels we have or anything like that. And it makes me feel so old and technologically challenged because even though I can follow instructions on how to do the shit, I have no idea how it works and I always hit a point where I just decide to not worry about it and if I can stumble upon something I might possibly want to watch it's been a real good day. 
I remember when technology was going to save us so much time and it was going to make our lives better and easier and that was all bullshit. 
Okay. I do love the internet. 
But it's like going to the store now- why is there an entire aisle of cereal, most of it made from the same three grains which would be far better for us if we just bought the grain and cooked and ate it with some honey than it is all processed and boxed up and which causes us to lose our minds trying to decide what to get? 
And Wheat Thins? I love Wheat Thins. Why are there now fifty different flavors of Wheat Thins? Wheat Thins are not lifesavers. They are Wheat. Thins.

What the hell IS Roku? What the fuck is Hulu? And Sling TV? That just makes me think of a boomerang. Are they slinging channels to us? Slinging through the internet? And Hulu is like Voodoo and Roku is like some variety of sushi. 
Ah well.


Well, Mr. Moon is happily grouting away in his shower and I have bread rising and martinis are being consumed. I hear that Owen and Gibson had a fabulous time with Uncle Hank and that Owen drank a a two-liter of Mexican grapefruit soda. 
Now see- how many uncles would have Mexican grapefruit soda for you to drink? 
I love that stuff. But I only drink it in Mexico. 

And Lily went to the beach with her boo Edie and daughter Magnolia and I got this picture. 

Doesn't she look busy and happy? My little beach baby. 
And her pretty mama. 

Tomorrow I have my appointment with my beloved Dr. Zorn and even though he is beloved to me, you know how difficult this is for me. In all seriousness, I've been dreading this for months. It's just a check-up. But of course I feel quite certain that my blood work will show some horrible disease process peculating in by body and/or he'll find suspicious lumps like in Terms of Endearment and the next thing you know I'lll be in the hospital trying to wait for it to be time for my next morphine injection only I don't have a mother to yell at the nurses to give me my shot. 

Actually, that's not what I'm really afraid of but I don't know what I'm really afraid of and the fact of the matter is, I am afraid and that's all there is to it. As afraid as a little child. Sixty-three years old and that's how it is.
You'd think I'd be a bit more sanguine about it all now, wouldn't you?
Well, this time tomorrow it will be all over.

See you then.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Nothing New And That's Okay

This is the note I found this morning when I got up at the shameful hour of nine o'clock.
Oh my! How I love my fishermen!
When Mr. Moon got home I asked him how the adventure had gone.
"The best," he said. "Just the best."
I think Owen must have enjoyed it too.

He caught that bass all by himself from cast to bringing it in. 

He was such a joy to have here last night. He ate his whole salad and a hamburger and when it was time for bed I asked him if he wanted me to read to him and...he did. 
My heart was happy. 
We read an old favorite. 

I personally find the book a little disturbing and have never been quite sure of the message, if indeed there is one, but I've been reading this book to Owen his entire life. All the rest of the kids like it too and August always asks for it. If I had a nickel for every time I've read it I'd have enough money to buy a new Johnny Was dress, not even on Ebay or from Goodwill. 
And that's a lot of money. 

Anyway, I hear that Owen had two sips of the cup of coffee his Bop fixed him and that was enough of that. But they had breakfast at the Waffle House and lunch at a Denny's inside a truck stop so I'm sure it was a near-perfect day. And now Owen and Gibson are at Uncle Hank's to spend the night and the amount of fun that they'll be having there is going to be absolutely without comparison. 

Hank just posted this picture on Facebook with the comment, "He said he was worried it was going to be boring here but instead it is fun!" 

Oh Lord. Things could get wild. 

How could anything involving Uncle Hank be boring? I mean, seriously. 

So what have I done today? 
Well. Practically nothing. 
Lazy, lazy, lazy. 
And sweet. 
I spent some time just watching my chickens after I let them out this morning and gave them some scratch. I love my chickens. Bet you weren't aware of that. I had to laugh at tiny Violet who was pecking at the new chickens to establish her rights over the corn because she's about half their size but they obeyed her and backed off to scratch somewhere else. The rest of the big chickens don't seem to mind the new ones one bit but Violet's a banty and as such, a bit wild. 
I'd say crazy but that's unfair. She's just who she is. 

I worked on Maggie's dress a tiny bit. I picked a few vegetables from the garden including one rather alarmingly-sized cucumber. 
Ants and mosquitoes and a yellow fly bit me while I was at it. 
Mr. Moon hung the new chicken feeder and drinker up for me and he got approximately forty mosquito bites (no hyperbole) even though he'd sprayed with repellent. It's maddening. 

When I was in the garden I looked up into the sky and saw a beautiful swallow-tail kite drifting high, high above. I've seen so many of those majestic birds this year, usually in pairs. I love the way they float on air exactly like a kite, turning this way and that to catch currents and thermals.
Here's a good link about them from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology where it says, " times they soar very high in the sky, almost at the limits of vision." 
Isn't that just a poem? 

And so it goes today. Slow and easy, not getting fussed about much unless it actually pierces my skin in search of my blood. We have to take days like this, I think, where we slough off whatever it is that we don't need like a pretty little green anole shedding its old skin so that we will be more suitably fitted for whatever lies ahead. 

Well, it's a theory. 

And I have a million of 'em. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 22, 2018

Holding Tightly

I don't want to talk about the fear today. Or the terror. Or the evil. Or the ghastly realities of it all.
No. I really don't want to.
I'd rather say that I took that picture last night of my beautiful rooster-in-training with his wings over two hens, Apricot and either Vera or Viv. I can't tell them apart.
Look at the colors on that bird! He is otherworldly, he is of another time. He is gorgeous.

I just woke up from a tiny nap and when I went out to the kitchen I found a note informing me that Mr. Moon and Owen had gone to go get crickets. They are going to get up early, early tomorrow morning to go fishing on a lake and need the crickets for bait. Boppy is going to make Owen a cup of coffee (don't tell Lily) which will no doubt be 90% milk and sugar, but still- coffee. So grown up. Mr. Moon's daddy did the same for him when he was eight years old but instead of going fishing, they were going to go move a mule or something involving a mule and my husband has never forgotten that and he wants to give that memory to Owen. They went shopping together yesterday for a new reel for Owen and I would not want to have to lay a bet on which of them is more excited, although I think the money might be on the grandfather.

I went shopping today with Lily and Owen and Magnolia for camp stuff. Shorts and shirts and underwear and socks and pajamas and bug spray and so forth. Gibson was at his aunt and uncle's house, playing with the Darling Lenore. While we were in Target, it began to pour rain. It thundered down on the roof of Target and all of us raised our eyes upward. It was so loud that we would not have been surprised to see the ceiling simply collapsing, allowing that sky flood to have its way with the mannequins, the clothing, the pharmacy, the check out lines, the Starbucks, the toys and books and electronics and housewares and all of it, washing it all useless, us too.

Then we went to Midtown Pizza where May works, to say good-bye to Jessie and August and Levon although they are only leaving for a week. Still. My heart aches at the thought although honestly, Vergil needs more time than that with his family on the cool and shady mountain where he grew up, to be part of all of that again and those boys need love and kisses from their mountain kin.
Levon is suddenly running a temperature but not very fussy. Jessie debated about taking him to the doctor but decided against it. Odds are that he's got a virus and there's nothing to do except nurse him and watch him and hold him. He was happy, despite the fever, grabbing at whatever food he could grab, happily gnawing away at a piece of pizza crust. Maggie and August sat together companionably and shared conversation and stickers and pizza and when we were leaving, they hugged and kissed so sweetly that all of us melted and said, "Awwww..."
The little blonde curly-headed cousins. They could (and are now) being mistaken for twins, simply on the basis of their hair.
Did I get one picture?
No. Because I forgot to bring my phone in.

While Jessie was trying to eat a salad and hold both babies on her lap, I said, "Give them to me" and she did and because his brother was sitting on my lap, August happily did too, and I sat there, sharing pizza crust with Levon, able to bend and kiss one head and then another and thinking, "This is. We are. I am. I love," and it was a silent poem prayer of gratefulness for all of my children and my grandchildren and for Rachel who was with us too and for Gibson, who was with Lenore, and for my husband, who was working, and for all of our sweethearts and for all of us and how lucky we are, how fucking blessed to have what we have which is not great wealth or riches but simply the opportunity to live without fear of being torn from each other and to be able to reach out and hold and touch and kiss each other, to want to do these things because we are family and we can pass on memories of a cup of real coffee at the age of eight and fishing and checking for eggs and eating MerMer's pickles and loving and being loved, being loved, being loved.

That's all any of us want if we have the sense to know it and it's not too much to ask and it's a sin to deny it to anyone because of race or creed or color or belief or gender or gender identity or geography of birth or ability or anything at all. We are humans. We are mammals. We are animals. We are created of stardust, we are part of this earth and its life and as such, we have the right to struggle along with all of the apes and the birds and the trees and the lizards and the fishes and the insects and all of the sentient beings to make our way as best we can on this tiny water rock as it flows through the cosmos carrying us with it.

All right.
That's all.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Another Day

First things first, here's a picture of the Body Glide which I use to prevent chafing while walking. 

It works quite well if you remember to use it. 

Secondly, is anyone getting email notifications of comments from your Blogger blog? Because I'm sure not and it's annoying. 

Third- this is me:

I almost feel as if I should make that my permanent header. 

So. Another day, another opportunity for Donald Trump and/or his minions to do something which none of us can believe. And when I say "us," I mean people who think as opposed to people who gave that shit up a long time ago.

Today was his wife's day to do something that absolutely no one either understands or can believe. 
I almost Snoped it when I first saw it. 
I'm sure y'all have all seen this but here you go.

That's Melania on the left wearing the jacket you see on the right. She was on her way to visit a detention center in Texas. 
Fuck me, Jesus. I really don't even know the questions to ask about that. 

We haven't discussed the Space Force Trump wants to build. Create? Whatever. We can't afford to deal with Flint's water or Puerto Rico or provide universal health care or decent public education but goddammit! We gon' be the most powerful Space Force in the whole world! 

Beam me up, Scotty. I can't deal with this shit.

The bottom line here is that obviously, Trump has lost his fucking mind if he ever had one. I'm pretty sure he never had soul but he may have had a defective sliver of a mind at one point. 
That's gone. 
 I feel like I've asked this question a billion times but WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET HIM OUT OF OFFICE? 

Hey. I think it might be raining. Yes. Yes it is. Not much. But it's something. 

I've spent the entire day in Lloyd. Didn't even go for a walk. I've been working on a dress for Magnolia June and you know I love doing that. 

I got a very short but sweet visit from Jason and the kids today. Maggie was wearing a dress I made her last summer and it was so cute although she's about to grow out of it. Gibson walked into the kitchen and said, "Mer, can I have some pickled okra?" and I made the mistake of leaving the jar out on the counter and he ate all but one. I believe Owen helped him.
It wasn't a big jar but it was the last jar. 
Owen wanted to go see what was growing in the garden and so we did and as usual, the first thing Maggie did when she got here was to go and wake up one of her dollies. 
Owen's going to camp in a week or so and tomorrow we're going to go camp shopping. It's a camp for kids with epilepsy and I'm thrilled he'll get to go. They do all the usual camp stuff but he'll finally get an opportunity to talk to kids his own age who have seizures too. Not that he's had any in a long time but we know that if he stops taking his medicine, he will, and he's aware that he's had them and could have them again and they must seem so mysterious and weird to him. 
I love that boy so much. 
He's going to be as tall as I am before next year. I swear he is. 

That's been my day. Fretting and sewing and feeding chickens and also I made a chess pie. I had some pastry dough leftover from when I made the coconut cream pie and it was use-it-or-lose-it day. That's such a stupid excuse for making a pie. 
Do you know what a chess pie is? It's a pie made with eggs, butter, sugar, a tiny bit of cornmeal, vinegar, and vanilla. 
Period. The end. 
And it's just a little bit of heaven. 

Koko died today. I'm sad about that. She was forty-six and I take it that that's a ripe old age for a gorilla. She was definitely a celebrity and she stole all of our hearts at one time or another and taught us a lot we did not know about gorilla intelligence and ability and emotions. She also met a lot of celebrities but still, her life made me sad because she never got to live in the wild and no matter how much she was loved and well-tended, she did not live the life she was truly born to lead. And she was never able to have babies although she appeared to have an abundance of maternal instinct. 
Bless her heart. As a human being I feel so incredibly honored to be related to the great apes. I'm pretty sure that they don't feel that great about being related to us as we do everything we can to completely wipe out their natural habitats and indeed, their complete various species with our human greed and unconcern for anyone and any thing not of our tribe. 

One last thing- I got to talk to one of my oldest friends today on the phone. Actually, I guess she IS my oldest friend. We met in the sixth grade so, yeah. 
We spent most of the time talking about how much we hate Trump and how we cannot believe that anyone could be so purely evil and how anyone could possibly support him. 

It smells of rain and wet dirt, and thunder is rolling across the sky and shaking the very earth. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Baby Step For Precious Babies

So, well, Donald Trump signed "something" which somehow stops the policy of separating families at the border and you know as well as I do that he had no idea what he was signing but he seemed to finally grasp that even tyrants can't get away with concentration camps for children.
For very long, anyway.
And let me say- I say his name. I speak it. I am not afraid to name this monster. Fuck that shit. I'm not superstitious. Okay, maybe I am but not about this. He ain't Voldemort and the utterance of his name has no magical powers.
Donald Goddam Trump.
And that's how I feel about that.

But now the questions remain of course on how we get these families reunited which have already been so cruelly separated and in what sort of facilities are the intact families going to be held?

This all remains to be seen but I have been heartened today by hearing an interview with a border guard who quit his job when he was told to tell some siblings that they were not allowed to hug each other.
"No," he said. "You can tell them that but I will not."
It is also heartening that Steve Schmidt, a prominent Republican strategist, has quit the party calling it "corrupt, indecent and immoral."
Article here.

Perhaps people are finding their souls and their balls. Of course some people have neither.
What in hell is Sarah Huckabee? She certainly doesn't appear to be human. Where do they find these soulless white bitches in the Trump administration?

So. Yeah. Things appear to be happening. Here in Lloyd what's happening is the heat. Sorry to repeat myself. I'm still just not used to it.

Anyone wearing jeans in this heat deserves to die. 

Every summer it comes as a shock. We're not getting our afternoon rains to cool things off and I came to the absolute realization that walking five miles on asphalt, even on a mostly-shaded canopy road is tantamount to a death wish.
I can't do it.
Not the seven miles, not the six miles, not the five miles. Today I think was the worst. Honestly, if there had been any way to get out of that last mile I would have done it. However, there was not and so I walked it and then I got in my car, turned the AC up to freezing, drank my ice water and drove to the Wacissa where I got out of my car, unloaded the pockets of my cargo shorts, walked to the water and dove in, full mermaid.
It was arguably the most heavenly experience I've ever had which did not involve a newborn. I could feel every molecule in my body screaming in profound relief and joy.
That may have saved my life.
I hung out a little while and sat in the cold water and watched kids jumping off the rope swing, listening to their bragging banter. One of the things I love about the Wacissa is that absolutely no one batted an eye when an old scarlet woman got out of a scarlet car and jumped into the water wearing all her clothes. And I wouldn't have cared in the least if anyone had.
What I was wearing was the least of my concerns. The fear of death by heatstroke (which is not funny) rated a lot higher.

And after all of that and coming home and eating my lunch and cleaning up a bit, I went to town to pick up a prescription and go to Joanne's fabrics which always triggers the hell out of my anxiety and I do not know why. I was determined to get a pattern and fabric to make Maggie a dress and after about four thousand hours, I finally managed to achieve that goal.
Also, while I was there studying the juvenile prints, my thighs suddenly appeared to burst into flames and I realized that I had forgotten to wear my Body Glide this morning on top of everything else. Why it took a couple of hours for my tender thighs to suddenly start to burn and hurt is a mystery to me but it did.

Here's what I picked in the garden tonight.

Not a very impressive harvest, eh? 
Well, that's okay. I'm going to figure out a menu for tonight which involves some of those vegetables. 

And here's Mick's butt. 

Look at those tail-feathers! Let's hear it for golden seal, the miracle and magical herb which all good witches should have in the medicine bags they keep tied around their waists made from the testicles of their enemies. 
Mix it with a little Neosporin which they allow anyone to buy at the CVS and you won't even need to chant an incantation. 
I promise. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I Said "Give Him To Me" And They Did

My day started early as I got up and drove to town to get my blood drawn for a doctor's appointment I have next week. I've been freaking about this, as those of you who know me would imagine, and have been since the appointment was made six months ago but today I was as calm and cool as can be and I have no idea why. I don't mind getting my blood drawn at all. It's not needles or anything like that which causes so much medical anxiety. It's more the fact that the blood which is drawn is going to tell people things that I don't even know.
I have just about given up trying to figure out why going to a doctor (or dentist for that matter) is the hardest thing in the world for me. It's just the way it is and I have no doubt that something happened in my childhood which would explain it but I don't know what that was and have no memory of anything that was too horribly traumatic. But the fact remains that I cannot bear the thought of anyone (even my beloved new GP) examining me. It's hard. My body's secrets are mine and mine alone, or at least that's how it feels to me.
First world neurosis problem.

But this morning went fine and I even cracked a few jokes in the tiny packed waiting area that caused some people to look up from their phones and laugh. There was a mother and her darling daughter and they were doing educational things on Mom's phone and I couldn't help but eavesdrop and watch as the smart little child could attribute letters to sounds and I'm sure I was smiling in that gushy I'm-A-Grandmother way when I looked across to the woman sitting there who was about my age and she had the same look on her face and our eyes met and we both knew what we both were feeling.
It was a sweet moment in time.
My phlebotomist was no nonsense and she had that blood drawn before I knew the needle had entered my vein. She was amazing. And I told her so.
"Thanks," she said crisply, as she undid the rubber tourniquet, put a bandage and a pressure wrap thing on me and threw away the stuff that needed throwing away. She didn't have time for niceties. I'm sure I was simply one more faceless vein in her day and that was fine with me because no one goes to get their blood drawn hoping to form a deep and personal bond with a clumsy phlebotomist.

After that I joined Lily and Jessie and their kiddos at the main library for Baby Time. It was a hoot. I knew it would be. So many beautiful babies and their mothers. Babies everywhere! All the babies! And some grandmothers, too.
Owen and Gibson were not feeling it. Owen was okay and didn't complain but sat in the back and read some books.

But Gibson? 
Not so much. 

Poor child. 
Of course, Baby Time is not really for the babies at all. It's to get the mothers out of the house and into an environment where baby behavior is not only socially acceptable but appreciated. Here's what August and Maggie were doing during at least 80% of the song-singing and story reading.

August had kicked back in Levon's seat and Maggie was trying to buckle him in. That child has never met a buckle she did not want to fasten. And she does fasten them. And unfastens them. It's one of her many talents. 

At one point I took Levon and followed Gibson out to where the books are and we all went into the play room. 

I do believe that Levon is truly beginning to know me and when he sees me and he grins one of his great big baby grins, my heart is so happy. 

There were more adventures today, mostly with Levon and August and Jessie. August was having a Mer day which is rare and lovely. When we went into the coldy room at Costco he said, "Hug me up!" as he shivered his little body. And of course I did. 

It was a good day although the heat has suddenly hit us full force like a hammer from the gods. I took a screen shot of yesterday's weather and found it most interesting that Monticello, which is the closest town to Lloyd, had the highest heat index of the whole area. 

And I am not tolerating it well. My walk yesterday was only five miles and I felt as if I could not have gone one step further than I did. 

But what can one do? I am as unable to control the weather as I am to control what's going on with these children who are being taken from their parents. And I have thought of them every moment of this entire day. And my anger at the monster who is in the White House and at those who support him and at those who do his bidding grows exponentially every one of those moments.

When Hank was very young, about six months old, I had a miscarriage. At the age of twenty-two I had somehow managed to get pregnant not long after he was born but I lost that baby. And to be honest- I was still so vastly and romantically and practically in love with my first-born that I couldn't even imagine having another baby so soon. And so when I began to bleed and had to go to the hospital because the bleeding was intense, I was mostly upset about having to be separated from my already-here baby, Hank. He was entirely breastfed up to that point and we had not been separated (by my own choice) for more than an hour in those six months. 
The whole story of the miscarriage and how the hospital handled it is long and complicated but the short version is that I had to stay in the hospital overnight before I could get a D and C the next morning. And at that time, the policy of the hospital was that children could not spend the night with a parent, breastfeeding or not. 
And I cried in complete agony and despair that entire night. Not because I'd lost a baby that I'd never really wanted to begin with (and go ahead and judge me if you want) but because I knew that my precious child was crying because he did not have his mama. 

I'll never forget that. And I'll never forget the complete joy I felt when I woke up from the anesthesia and the first thing I said was, "Where's my baby?" and they said, "He's here with your husband," and I said, "Give him to me," and they gave him to me and I put him to the breast and we both dissolved into bliss. 

That's all I can say tonight without breaking down entirely. 

Donald Trump is a monster and we have let him take control of the lives of the innocent. 

May this end soon, one way or another. 

Love...Ms. Moon