Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bits And Pieces And More Grandchildren

Maurice has been so conflicted since we got home. She shows us that she wants love, love, all-you-need-is-love but then she grabs and bites us or simply scratches us as we walk by her, reaching out with her claws to bring us closer so that we'll either pet her or she can take our hands off to bloody stumps.
She's so confused.
She was born under a bad sign, I do believe.
Possibly the sign that says, "Only Household Garbage" down at the dump.
But you know I love her. She knows it too but she just can't feel it all the way to her heart. We all know how that goes.

Anyway, my Lily's kids came over today so that Lily could go get that crown and then have a grown-up peaceful lunch with her brother. The children and I had a pretty exciting and wild time of it. I made them another treasure hunt with clues that led them through the house to the record player where a pack of snack crackers was stashed. We also read some books in order to cross a few more squares off their summer reading list. One of the books was "a joke or riddle book" and so we read Bennet Cerf's Book Of Laughs which is very outdated and only mildly funny but the pictures are great.

In this particular joke, the little girl is telling the little boy that her grandmother is getting her hair cut so that she won't look like an old lady anymore. The next picture shows her with short hair and the little boy says, "You're right! Now she looks like an old man!" 
Which she does. 
Deep belly laughs. 
Owen, however, finally got the way it works. 
"Marvin is so literal," he said. He was right. We agreed that it was like the little boy was Amelia Bedelia's child. 

When lunch time rolled around, I made them a menu. 

Tortilla chips and a choice of juice came with each entree. 
I got two orders for hot dogs and one order for cheese toast. 

Maggie also ate some strawberries. 

I swear, this child just keeps getting prettier and prettier. And sassy? Oh yeah. Sweet? Sweeter than any ripe summer berry you ever tasted. 
Her brothers wanted to play Wii. I let them. It was raining outside so why not? 

Look at that hair! They were tandem bike racing and roaring with laughter. 

So that went very well and then I had to go to Publix and somehow in the midst of all of this I've managed to do three loads of laundry including one load of sheets and pillowcases and have made up the bed (Maggie helped) and also fooled around with my new hobby which is trying to clean out the ten dollar Krups espresso maker I bought at the Methodist thrift store in Roseland. 

It was exactly what I've been looking for and I could not believe my good fortune but I neglected to inspect it very carefully before I bought it and when I unscrewed the top where you put the water in I realized that someone who had no clue had poured milk through it, misunderstanding the purpose of the machine, I guess. The instruction manual came with the thing which just goes to show that we don't read instruction manuals and sometimes we should. 
So I've been running vinegar and water through it for three days now, pretty much constantly, and I think we're about there with it. At least everything seems unclogged and working and I'm getting very little residue now. 

What an exciting life I lead!

One more thing. I just finished listening to an audio version of this book. 

Joshilyn Jackson is honestly a fine writer even though I am sure that her books are described as Southern Chick Lit. This book dealt with a whole lot of issues with a great deal of insight and thought and sensitivity and it avoided stereotypes even as it explored many of the behaviors which do engender those stereotypes. It ain't Great Literature but it's not bad at all and it's very easy to read and it's not exactly what you'd expect and I really enjoyed it. The audio version was splendid. Ms. Jackson narrated it herself and she has wonderful reading voice and when you hear it read by the author, you damn well know you're getting all of the correct inflections of meaning. 
Which is cool. 

That's it, I guess. Let's see what happens tomorrow. 
Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be here. 
You too, I hope. 

Love...Ms. Moon 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Home Again And It's Okay

I got some sweet visitors today. That little merry monkey right there and this little serious monkey right here.

He's studying a Valentine's Day card that Mr. Moon got me one year that all of the children love for some reason. It's really corny and features a cartoon caveman chiseling things into rocks like "You soft," "You pretty," "You hot like fire," "You talk good." 
Gibson especially loves this card and wants me to read it to him almost every time he comes over. August asked today if he could take it home. 
You may also notice that he is wearing a silver teething bell on a ribbon around his neck as well as a pretty little pocket-bag that Yolie sent me. That boy loves to wear my jewelry and whatever he can find. He just loves my stuff. 
And I love him. And his brother. Who rode the horse for the first time today.

He was thrilled! 
That boy. He giggles and he coos and he's starting to say da-da-da and ma-ma-ma. He's such a little Jolly Mon. And I think he likes his Mer just fine. 

We ate a little lunch and we read a lot of books, first in the library and then on Mer's bed. Everyone loves Mer's bed. August ran to it and got under the covers. "Cozy bed!" he said. And it is. Jack the cat got on the bed too and Levon climbed all over him and pulled his tail and Jack was very patient. Unlike Maurice who would claw his eyes out given the chance. 
I will say that Maurice was very, very happy to see us when we got in yesterday and even came out to the car to greet us. This is MOST unusual behavior on her part. She loves us. She just doesn't know how to go about showing us. 

Still no sign of Mick and I feel certain he's gone. He's such a faithful flock-tender that I know he'd be with his ladies if there was any way to do it. I wish I at least had his body so that I could bury him next to Elvis in the front yard by the fence so that he could watch over us even unto death as Elvis does. 
Ringo is trying to fill Mick's big shoes. He came up to the back porch today and crowed and crowed, alerting me to the fact that I really did need to throw the chickens some treats. His crow is still crackly and high-pitched but he'll develop his own unique call as they all do. Did you know that each rooster has his own individual crow? He uses the same notes and the same timing each time he crows. It's pretty cool. I haven't heard Liberace crow yet but I have a feeling that it's coming any day. That bird is huge. 
I could probably spend my life studying chickens. 
Chicken anthropology. Is that a thing? It should be. 

I've been very cheerful today, despite the re-entry after vacation and the loss of Mick and Nicey. Having Jessie and her boys over helped for sure. I picked black-eyed peas and got ant-bit, I picked eggplant and two okra. I have four now. Four okra. 
It's a start. 

And tomorrow Owen and Gibson and Magnolia June are coming over so that Lily can go get a crown. She deserves a crown of rubies and diamonds and emeralds but unfortunately, she's just getting a crown on her tooth. It'll be good to see those little critters too. 
Or in Owen's case- big critters. I'm sure the child grew another inch while I was gone. 

Summertime in Florida. Heat and bugs and thank-god-for-air-conditioning. Grandchildren and chickens and husband and garden. Lazy cats resting all day in preparation for all-night sleeping. Laundry and cooking and kitchen floor sweeping. Cuddling and kissing and pretend biting of toes. Answering the question "why?" fifty times in two hours. Cutting up mangoes and watching a little boy gobble them up. 

I am sixty-four years old now and this is part of what's it like. For me, at least. 
It ain't bad. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 29, 2018

An Apology To Rich White People, Plus Chicken News

I should not have written what I wrote last night about the clientele of the Ocean Grill. I should not have said, "rich white people." That's stereotyping. I should have just said something like "the hoi-polloi" or maybe "wealthy people from up north who have second homes in Vero Beach" or "drunk, rude-ass people who appear to have more money than manners."
Take your pick.


So that picture up there- you know what it is and I can't tell you how hard it was to leave it this morning. We got everything packed and ready to go by ten this morning but before we left I took one more sweet little blessing dive in that most beautiful of pools beside the bamboo and palms, the hibiscus and bougainvillea.
"Good-bye," I said to the white sand road as we left.

It was hard. It's always hard. 

We drove home after stopping for some breakfast and I was in a rather foul mood which is understandable but I tried to keep the fuckiness to a minimum because there was no one to take it out on except for my husband and he's been the sweetest man in the world to take me on this journey to a past he doesn't share, to love me and show me that love so profoundly. 

We'd heard from our neighbor who'd been tending the chickens that things were not well with them. He'd found one dead and only about half a dozen were coming to roost so we didn't know what we'd find when we got home. 
What we found was thirteen chickens and Mick and Nicey are missing. 
It definitely could be worse but it still makes me so sad. 
Mick has been such a valiant rooster and I would not doubt that he got taken defending his flock. 
Only eight are in the hen house right now so five are roosting elsewhere. Mr. Moon has gone out to look but I doubt he'll find them. Chickens can be sneaky as hell when they decide to be. 

And so it is. I am home. Mostly unpacked except for my clothes. 

It was a perfect birthday and I am absolutely grateful for it. For every moment of yet another honeymoon with my husband, for every moment of being in the place that gave me so much despite the fact that so many horrible things happened there too. 
It gave me that river and my love of water. 
It gave me that jungle and my love of plants. 
It gave me the ability to understand poverty and how it can affect people. 
It gave me years with my grandfather and grandmother. 
It gave me my first books and my ability to read. 
It gave me a few women who helped form me in the most graceful and selfless ways. 
It gave me my imagination as I was able to visualize pirates and treasures and Tarzan and mastodons and worlds beyond the one in which I was living, one of which involved a huge, empty swimming pool with lions at each corner. 
And it's not Roseland's fault that my mother married that man and I think I know that viscerally as well as logically. 

Anyway, I'm home. 

Oh! Here's the picture I bought. 

Isn't it awful? God, I love it. Yeah, it says $5 but it was on sale for half price. 

Lucky me. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Best Birthday

It has been one of the most perfect birthdays imaginable from my waking-up swim in the pool to all of the beautiful messages I've gotten, to talking to dear Rebecca on the phone, to kayaking a tiny bit with my husband, to buying a terrible/wonderful picture at a thrift store for $2.50 (it was half off!), to just driving around and seeing what's what, to laughing an awful lot with my husband, to another swim, to pure sweetness and then supper at the Ocean Grill in Vero Beach.

Well. That part was mostly just okay. We ate at a table by the ocean which was perfect but I am DONE with going to any place where mostly rich white people hang out because they are loud and they are rude and they don't seem to understand that they are not the only people in the world but hey! What're you going to do?
Next time I go back there it will be for lunch when there aren't nearly as many people and I'll be able to appreciate it all a lot more.

We're back now in Roseland at the perfect cabana and I went out to the dock in the dark and looked at the flat still river and said good-bye. The lions are quiet, having ceased their spitting for the night.
I can't believe we're going home tomorrow but we are.

All good things and so forth.

It has been wonderful. And I have absolute certainty that no matter what, this river will always hold at least a wisp of my soul in it and that comforts me no end.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, July 27, 2018

From Mangoes To Memories

Friday, July 27, 2018

Mangrove blossoms by the dock at the Roseland Community Center

I woke up with the saddies today, as Sue would have said, for a completely illogical reason which was that I was already mourning leaving. And there was so much I wanted to do which I hadn't done and only two days to do it all in and oh, well, maybe a little bit of regular old birthday grieving as this is the last day of the sixty-third year of my life.

Roseland figures so hugely in my dream world. There are certain spots which are like like the sets in a play where the action occurs.
The river, of course.
The community center but dressed up as a library, which it once was in a way. A very, very limited and tiny way.
The lot by my grandfather's old house.
The little store where we bought Popsicles and bologna.
The railroad tracks.

And somehow, being here, in the real here, is disconcerting and wonderful and a little scary and most of all, amazing. 

We took a walk after breakfast this morning, just a small one, down the white sand road on the river up to the community center which I only found out this year that my grandfather donated the land for. Actually, there's quite a long stretch of land beside it which is also park and I'm not sure if he donated that too or not. I had no idea that he and my granny had done that. As I told Mr. Moon today, I had always vaguely wondered why he spent so much time clearing and tending that bit of jungle where the community center was. 

At the very west end of the park, there is a huge mango tree. 

We stopped and picked up two of the fruit on the ground and peeled them by hand where we stood and ate them.

I bet that tree was growing when I was a kid but I don't remember that specific one. 

We walked back down the paved road which had been the only paved road when I lived here, a skinny little slip of a road and I remembered each house, each yard, a memory or a million, attached to them all. Each one of them a portal to another time but the same exact place.

"Thank you," I told my husband as we sweated and finished up back here at the tiny paradise where we're staying, "For being so patient and listening to all of my stupid stories for the millionth time."
"You'd do it for me," he said. 
"I doubt it," I told him. "I'm not as nice as you." 

And this is true. 

We drove to Vero down A-1A which is the highway that hugs the Atlantic on one side and kisses the Indian river on the other. It used to be nothing but jungle for miles and miles and now there are rich-people houses in gated communities almost the entire way, the jungle tamed and trimmed and made safe for the elderly, the young, and probably mostly the Republicans. 
I could be wrong. 

We had lunch at a place by the beach and a storm came up and we waited for awhile in order to get to our car without getting drenched. Finally, we just dashed for it and we did get wet but I didn't care and I stopped right in the middle of it and took this picture.

A Banyan tree. Which is a magical sort of tree. 

And then back to this place which I am so loathe to leave. It has everything. 
It IS everything. 
The river, the pool, a bit of jungle, the giant bamboo which clacks deeply when the wind blows, the mangoes, the little tiny house which is all anyone would need. Air conditioning. Running water. The birds, the fish, the dock, the little hidden nook, the sky, the sky, the sky.
Lizards everywhere. 
Even the shower where I found this one, tiny as any lizard I've ever seen. 

Although you CAN go home again, there is no guarantee that you'll be allowed to stay forever. 
Lord God, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Coyote, Neptune, Apollo and Mary, it's blessing enough that your memory dreams have been preserved for real life. 

I have so much more to say but it's late. 

Here's what the sky looked like tonight off the dock. 

That water just flows and flows and it soothes my soul and it takes me with it in my dreams as well as in this life I've lived for sixty-four years now. 

I love it. I love it. I love it. 

And that's all I need to say.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Small Bump In The Road

Have you ever seen a more seductive flamingo? All day she floats around the pool, simply begging us with her big black eyes and innocently tucked beak to come and join her in the blue water she calls home.
We did, but it took a while to get there.

So let me ask you- when you're packing for a trip what's the absolute one thing that you really should not forget?
Not sunscreen.
Not your clothes.
Not your hairbrush or make-up or deodorant or shoes or books or magazines or martini glasses or toothbrush or shampoo.
You can get all of that stuff almost anywhere you are.

Nope. What you really should not forget are your medications.
Which of course is what I forgot.
I packed them. And all of the supplements we take. And my hormones. I packed them in a bag. I was so proud of myself for putting them all in one place. So organized.
And then, somehow, the bag did not make into the car.
I realized this last night as we were swimming in the lion pool under the almost-full moonlight and even though I was in the best of situations in every cosmic and practical sense of it all, I was still a bit disturbed.

Ay yi.

But, thanks to the magic of the Publix Pharmacy network, I was able to get what I needed today even though it took some communication with my doctor's office and it was a bit of a hassle and a time-waster but you know- vacation. Let it roll. Let it go. Be all Zen and go with the flow.
It worked out.

We went to breakfast this morning after getting up, um, later than usual.
"No one's going to serve us breakfast this late in the day," said my husband as we drove up Highway 1.
"Honey!" I said. "The name of the place is the Ham and Egg!"
"Oh. Okay," he said, and sure enough if that place is open, you can get breakfast.
And it was good.
The servers there are all older women, some older than me, and they know what they're doing and they are professionals and the folks in the kitchen know what they're doing too.
You can't beat that.

Mr. Moon got his hair cut while we were waiting on my prescriptions. The name of the place was "The Hair Cuttery."
I am not kidding.
The girl cutting his hair did a good job and she was proud of herself.
"Look!" she said to me when I came in. "This cut has just taken years off of him!"
Which was sweet but also fucking ageist.
"He always looks young to me," I told her. I went over and kissed him in the chair. "He's my sweetheart."

And he is. I love getting away with this man. He IS my sweetheart and my friend and we make each other laugh so much.

Flo's a happy flamingo. And a coy flamingo. 

Besides eating breakfast and getting medications and swimming in the pool, we also visited a Goodwill and a thrift shop. 
Look what I got at the Goodwill. 

Ten of the absolutely softest and most gorgeous yellow and white damask napkins you've ever touched or seen in your life. I've already washed them and we'll be using them tomorrow. 
Not impressed?
Oh well. 
I love them tremendously. I love them so much I'd sew them all together and make a gown out of them and wear it to meet the queen. 

I also found the espresso maker I've been looking for at the Methodist thrift store for ten bucks. I hope it works.

So we did all of that and of course I wallowed in nostalgia everywhere we went. 

The courtyard of this place that I first saw as a child when it was in ruins over fifty years ago.

And for supper we drove down to Ozzie's crab shack where things like this happen upstairs. 

And where downstairs it becomes plainly obvious that karaoke is the Japanese revenge for WW II. 
Not to be glib but come on. 

And back to Roseland just in time for this. 

And this.

Time for some mango shortcake which is the best cake I think I've ever eaten in my life. 
And then bed. 

More adventures tomorrow. 
I hope some involve Flo Mingo. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Picture Story

Gotta stop at Publix for supplies before we head down Roseland Road. I'm already in weeping-mode. 

What I found in the refrigerator. One of the fellas who own this place used to own a restaurant in Atlanta. Uh...You think this might be good? How sweet is that? 
Mangoes abound! But mango shortcake? 
Well. That's precious. 

I could live here. In fact, it may take a court order to get me out. 

One of my lions.

They pool he guards. 

 The dock. Sunset over my childhood river which gave me solace, sustenance, and an idea of the vastness of the universe when I needed those things most.

I have potatoes cooking in this sweet little oven right now.

Almost full moon over the cabana house with oak trees.

I am home.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tomorrow Will Be And I Am Glad

Oh gosh. The crazy was strong today, y'all. I'm not going to go into it but trust me when I say that the list of things which bring out the panic and anxiety is longer than I know and today I discovered a new item on the list and I had to force myself to go through a situation which millions of people probably go through every day and it's nothing, it's so silly and yet...
For me it was fraught with every sort of fucked-upedness in my booly-booly head.
After I had completed my ridiculously simple yet almost-impossible-for-me task, I drove to Jessie's because I needed to see her and the small boys before leaving to go to Roseland tomorrow. Hank's been wanting to take me to a new Cuban restaurant in town and so Boppy met up with us at Jessie's house too so that he could go with us which was lovely except that of course as soon as he walked in I was chopped liver but Levon loves me so that was okay.

We loaded up into the car and I actually squeezed my squishy body between August's and Levon's seats and off we went. 
"Are you sure you're comfortable?" asked Jessie.
"It's not like we're driving to Minnesota," I said and I was comfortable enough for the approximately four minute drive.  

We met Hank and Rachel there as well as our dear friend Liz and what a sweet little place it is! It's called Chi-Chi's for any of you reading this who live in Tallahassee and might need a Cuban food fix. Counter service, tight but comfortable seating, bright red walls, clean as a bean, a pastry case with flan and guava pastries, and a limited but luscious menu. 
Who would ask for anything more? 
I got to try a sip of Rachel's Cortadito which I would pay someone a hundred dollars a day to deliver to my house in Lloyd at five o'clock every afternoon. I'm not sure I ever had a coffee with the perfect proportion of milk and espresso and sugar until today. I drink my coffee black and unsweetened- exactly as it comes out of the pot- but it's more like an efficient, fat-free/carb-free caffeine delivery system than it is an enjoyable drink and this Cotadito tasted like what I'll be drinking in heaven where calories are of no concern to anyone. 

I got a Cuban sandwich and some black beans and rice and shared with August and couldn't begin to finish it all but I tell you what- I want to go back soon and get something out of that pastry case and a Cortadito of my own. I hear that the breakfast is amazing too. 

And it was all great except that I was starting to feel the absolute reality of panic/anxiety hang-over which is what happens when your body floods with adrenaline and all that other good stuff and you don't have to slay a saber toothed tiger and you crash. When we got back to Jessie's I read August a book and then said good-bye to him and his beautiful brother who graces me so much by letting me hold him and to their mama, too, and you'd think I was going to be away for a month instead of five days the way I feel like I'm going to miss them and their cousins, and aunties and uncle too.  

I had to go by Publix and that was hard but luckily I didn't have to get much. There's a Publix about a mile away from the place we stay in Roseland and we'll be shopping there tomorrow to get the necessary supplies for life in the pretty little cabana house by the lion pool. We'll probably eat out a lot but I do love to play house and cook there on the vintage pink stove and serve our breakfasts on the vintage Melmac plates. I haven't packed a durn thing but that's okay. I've filled up the chicken waterers and watered the porch plants and I'll pack tomorrow morning. Doesn't matter one bit if I forget things- there's a Goodwill right next to the Publix and a dreaded Walmart too. 

This time tomorrow I'll be sitting on that dock watching the fishing birds as the sun sets with the original Flagler-built railroad trestle right down the river. My grandfather counted the engines and cars crossing that bridge and I bet you anything some other retired older fella still does the same. 
In other words, this time tomorrow I'll be drowning in nostalgia and probably weeping into my martini and I hope that my husband is on that dock with me, throwing his fishing line into the river that I dream of, the river that flows straight to the Atlantic ocean, the river of my heart. 
And I will look at the little islands and perhaps this time, this time, I will see Tarzan or maybe a mastodon, peeking out of the jungle. And perhaps a manatee will come up to the dock, snuffling it's whiskery snuffle and maybe we'll swim naked in the pool tomorrow night and maybe the white sand roads will glow in this waxing moon beside this Florida river of my dreams.

We shall see.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, July 23, 2018

Too Much Nature, Part 497 (Swearing Is Involved)

Jesus GOD! Nature is out to get me. I swear.
First, I took a walk. It wasn't too bad but it was bad enough and I have a feeling that anyone who wasn't used to this heat and steamy humidity would have passed out.
Then I came home and went out to freshen up the straw in the hen house and haul the poopy straw to the garden wherein two damn fucking yellow flies bit me, one on the ankle and one of the space right between two of my fingers. By the time I got in the house both bites were swelling and itching and the one on my hand was looking really bad. The one on my ankle itched more but that part of my hand looked sort of like a baseball glove and it itched bad enough. I put Benadryl cream on both of the bites but it soon became quite obvious that that was not nearly remedy enough and I took a Benadryl and eventually the itching stopped but I was miserable for quite some time. And my hand is still all swollen and mushy.
I stayed inside for hours after that, working on my needle project and watching Parts Unknown and thinking about how much I miss Anthony Bourdain being on the earth.

Then I had to go back outside to fill up some chicken feeders I'd washed out and let dry and to pick some peas and stuff in the garden and I didn't get bit by yellow flies but some ants had their way with me.

I had an interesting experience in that a guy who I saw walking down the road when I was taking the trash stopped when I pulled into my driveway and wanted to talk to me over the fence and since this is Lloyd and happens with some regularity, I went over to talk to him.
Bless his heart.
He had a whole long story but the gist of it was all about needing money, of course, and he even offered to come and work in my yard right then or maybe this weekend but I told him that's okay and gave him a little cash and a cold ginger ale. The most amusing part to me was when he called me "you sweet young thing" even though he was undoubtably not even half my age. He was sort of flamboyant and he made me laugh so...hell. He earned that cash.

One more day and then we're leaving for Roseland. If you are relatively new here at blessourhearts and are curious about Roseland, just do a blog search for it and you'll find plenty. Besides the unfathomable goodness of being able to really and truly go home again, I am looking forward tremendously for five days of very limited responsibility. I am ready for that.

It's time to go make our supper.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 22, 2018


At one point today I had eight people in my kitchen not including me and that is the only picture I took. This was the most social day I've had in forever and we barely got out of that kitchen and as god is my witness, it's a sin and a huge mistake that I don't have a couch and a full table and chairs in my kitchen because no matter what's happening, that's where we all hang out.
Which is not a unique situation. The kitchen is where everyone hangs out in every house in the world, probably.
I'm sure it all started when people gathered around the fire at the front of the cave where the wooly mammoth ribs were cooking over the flames and no matter what design changes in human habitation have occurred, it's still the same story and that is that.

We didn't have any wooly mammoth ribs but Rachel did bring over some smoked mullet dip she made which Mr. Moon and I just now agreed was as good as any mullet dip we've ever eaten in our lives and we've eaten our share of mullet dip. I've even made my share of smoked mullet dip and Rachel's is better than mine and I'm not ashamed to admit it. She and Hank came out for a little Mama visit and not only did they bring the smoked fish but also crackers, cheese, and guava paste.
The perfect lunch.
Then my dear friend Liz and her son Leland showed up and the loaves and the fishes (crackers and mullet dip) somehow expanded to feed them too and Liz brought in some blueberries she had and then Lily came over with Owen and Gibson and Magnolia, and Owen ate his share of all of it and Gibson did too, I think, and Maggie played with toys and had a popsickle.

It was quite the Sunday afternoon.

All the time this was happening, Mr. Moon was painting his bathroom. This is the color he chose and I absolutely love it. It is called "Painted Turtle."

This is going to be about the coolest bathroom in the entire world and still somehow it's going to fit in with this sweet old house and be functional and beautiful, all at the same time. I just can't get over the skill and design-sense he's showed every step of the way in the creation of this bathroom. 
I'm just in awe. 

And all of that is what was going on here this afternoon. Eventually everyone headed on back to their own homes except for Lily who, with her daddy, was going to shuttle her van to the repair place in Tallahassee and so Owen and Gibson stayed with me and I was being mean Mer and wouldn't let them play Wii. I wouldn't let them play Wii because I am working on a needle project and wanted to do that and watch something that we could all enjoy which was difficult. I sort of forced them to watch an episode of the old, old Twilight Zone and Gibson had no use for it and Owen said he sort of hated it and sort of loved it. But one episode was enough. I mean...black and white? I told him though, that he will think about it later tonight and I'm willing to bet he will. 
I hope I haven't damaged him. 

So then we watched some of The Blue Planet and Owen was totally into that and when there were dolphins dancing through the seas I said, "Aren't they amazing?"  he said, "They are magnificent!" and I swooned a little because magnificent is one of my favorite words and he had used it so perfectly. 

Then it began to thunder and lightening and rain and they wanted to go out to the porch to watch it and I said, "Fine, but you have to clean up all the toys first," and they did, believe it or not, and then we went out to the side porch with the swing where I spent so many hours holding them when they were babies and singing to them and then, when they were older, reading to them and then, when they got older than that, playing pirate ship with Owen who was always the captain and Gibson and I were always mates. 

Today Gibson sat beside me and I cuddled him to my side and Owen danced like a crazed person in the rain run-off from the tin roof, his hair and clothes getting soaked and I did not care at all because that is exactly what kids are supposed to do. 

This all sounds pretty perfect and idyllic and it sort of was but I will say that THOSE BOYS SOMETIMES YELL SO LOUD THAT I THINK I'LL GO INSANE, just telling each other things like, "OWEN! YOUR MAN BUN IS GETTING SOAKING WET!" and "I DON'T CARE!" 

And so it was a most unusual Sunday but I got to visit with Rachel and Hank and with Liz and with Leland and with Lily, a little bit, and with the boys quite a bit. And Maggie was her most adorable self. When I told her who Liz was and who Leland was, she promptly went and hugged them as she knows that is what we do and also because she knows that whoever she may meet in the company of her family is family too, which they are. Lily reports that Maggie has been crying since she left my house after dropping off Boppy (she is borrowing his car) and picking up the boys because her mother is mean and did not let her go tell me hi. Of course it was pouring rain and still lightening and thundering and getting her out and back into the car seat would have been miserable. 

She's just a tired little girl but I should have gone out with an umbrella and opened the door and kissed her. I won't make that mistake again. 

Sunday in Lloyd. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Shelter From The Storm

The chooks and I spent some time in the garden today, me weeding and they searching and scratching for tasty delicious things. I love having them close by as I work on my knees. We are on a more equatable level and they are as busy and as focused as I am as we go about our various activities. Believe it or not, I have almost the entire garden weeded and I have not given up on it entirely.

I'm sure you don't remember (and why in the world should you?) but I planted a row of zipper cream peas from last year's stock of seed and they have come up nicely and are now blooming. Isn't that just a lovely little bloom? 

And look what else is blooming! The okra! Not only do the blooms look like hibiscus but so do the leaves and they should as they are related. My plants are standing strong and tall and actually look very good this summer. Perhaps even though I planted so late they will give me a lovely harvest. God knows that if I pickle nothing else, I really have to pickle some okra and I will do so even if I have to buy the pods. I just looked up the origins of okra and it would appear that it comes from Ethiopia and that the Egyptians cultivated it. As a child I had a child's opinion of the okra but as I got older and ate it properly prepared and learned to cook it myself, I have a much more enthusiastic feeling about it. It is a delicious vegetable and lends itself beautifully to stewing with tomatoes and onions and to cooking in soups and stews and of course, gumbo, which is actually another name for okra but honestly, I will just tell you that if you are ever in a restaurant which has fried okra on the menu, just order it. Don't even hesitate. 

So I was pondering okra and cream peas and chickens and weeds and realized that either I was going blind or it was getting dark. I mean dark-like-night. Which it was. And then suddenly a wind whipped up and frothed the tree branches and I heard an ominous crack from the walnut tree between the garage and the garden, and the thunder which had been booming distantly suddenly grew much closer and the chickens looked up and then scurried as fast as they could out of gate and ran towards the trailer they like to take cover under and I myself hastily stood up and took off my gloves and wheeled the cart full of weeds I'd pulled out to the yard, thinking I'd go dump it where I dump the weeds but that wind made me rethink my plan and I abandoned it right where it stood and walked to the house where I found my own shelter. 
The wind continued to blow with great force and then the rain began, slight at first and then it came down as if it were being slammed from the sky and it grew even darker and I thrilled with it all. 
A real true summer storm! It was gorgeous! 

Mr. Moon, who had been in town, got home when things had slacked off and said, "Did you get the tornado warning?" and I had not. The thought of a tornado had not crossed my mind and it didn't matter because we hadn't had one and then, after the worst of it was over, our power went out. Of course. 

It was sort of beautiful. I found a headlamp and got on my bed and read for awhile until I got drowsy and was just ready to put my book down and settle in for a nap when the power came back on so I turned on my fan and took that nap anyway. It was very, very short but luxurious and deep and when I woke up I found Mr. Moon asleep in his chair and we slowly came back to consciousness and to what we'd been doing before the weather did its sleepy magic. 

Mr. Moon cleaned his fish and is going to grill us two whole small snappers. I am going to stuff them with fresh oregano and thyme and lemons and salt and pepper. My husband has requested some "fluffy rice" (which means white rice) that he can put butter on and there will be a salad. Simple, simple, simple. 

And so I guess what I'm saying is that it's been a practically perfect day here in Lloyd. 
I hope you've had a good one too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, July 20, 2018

Don't Make Me Stop This Car

That's the picture Mr. Moon sent me this morning when he was going offshore to fish. Isn't it beautiful? I love having a husband whose favorite things to do involve him going out onto the ocean or a river or into the woods. There's something about knowing that he cherishes being outside and in the beauty of all of that which makes me love him even more. He is my Viking, my Daniel Boone. And sometimes, he's my Chip Gaines, too because he can fix almost anything and he sure can build things. From chicken coops to beautiful tiled bathrooms to the support system for a whole family- he is not afraid. 
And he leaves me love notes almost every morning. 
Yeah. I'm so damn lucky it's crazy. 

The headset saga continued today and I'm almost embarrassed to admit what happened but what the hell? Maybe someone will get a laugh out of it. 

I picked up Lily and her kids this morning and we went to Target where I was going to check out their headset situation. Lily wanted to stay in the car with the kids because they can get pretty rowdy in Target. So in I went, straight to the section where they sell stuff like that and I had to wait on the only guy around to help me as he was helping some other people decide on a tablet and he had the keys to get the headsets unscrewed from the wall and when he finally got to me, I told him the Reader's Digest Condensed version of my search for decent wireless headphones and he listened and he suggested I get a pair of extremely reasonable Sony's which were on sale and he said, "I'd bet money you'll be happy with these. I had a pair myself."
So. Okay. Bought them. 

Then I went to lunch with Lily and Owen and Gibson and Maggie where we met up with a friend of ours who has moved to Maryland but who was in town for a short visit and it was so wonderful. The boys love Mark and I do too. He's a family member in all of our eyes and he calls me "Mama" so you know I love him to pieces. He talks Legos with the boys and they eat up every word. He's sort of a Lego fanatic. 

In the boys' eyes, he is the Lego Master Supreme of the Universe. And they love him. Not only does he know everything about Legos but he listens to them. Actually pays attention and listens. They love him so much they posed with him. 
About twenty minutes after we'd said our good-byes to him, Owen said, "Is it weird that I already miss Mark?" 
"Nope," I said. "It isn't." 

But wait! I was talking about my headphones. So no, I did not open them in the parking lot of Target but I did open them in the restaurant and guess what?????
So yeah, dumb mistake on my part but honestly, they were in the wireless headphone display place and the Target dude knew without doubt that I was talking about wireless. So. Sort of his fault too. 

Therefore, after lunch, we went back to Target and dang if I didn't just get the same brand as the original pair I had which I loved until they fell apart. 
Those I did test even before I left the store. They appear to be fabulous. 
Or at least, functioning properly.
And I returned the JBL's to Best Buy and the Beats to Costco and please dear god, let this be the end of it all for a least a few months. 

God this is all so boring. I'm sorry. 

I'm having some anxiety today, the kind I haven't had in quite awhile but really, I'm okay, and I did have fun with my grands and my daughter although I had to give the kids the I really don't have much patience today speech again. They were just being kids and sometimes, even when they're really happy and making really loud happy noises in the back seat it can still make you crazy. But oh my goodness, my boys give me the best hugs, the sort of hugs that make you know you are loved to pieces. And Maggie. 
That girl. 

"What's that on her forehead?" I asked Lily when they got in the car.
"Permanent marker," she said. 
"Well, I guess we'll see how permanent it is," I told her. 
She can say all of her ABC's now. All of them. She's a little whiz and a wonder. 

And so it's Friday. That means clean sheets and a martini. I've got the bed all made up fresh but the martini hasn't happened yet. Mr. Moon just got in and he's not quite ready for it. 
He better get ready pretty fast is what I say. 

The butterfly lilies are starting to bloom. 

So are the crinum lilies which have never done much at all in their bed by the kitchen. I suppose this year's rain has been kind to them. Also, I throw a lot of kitchen scraps in that bed which means the chickens get in there and scratch around and clear out the weeds and leave their poop which is also a good thing for all of the plants. Whatever scraps they don't eat break down and that adds to the whole organic mess of the soil and I have beautiful worms out there. I swear. I do not know what I'd do if I had to live in an apartment somewhere and wasn't able to just throw my peelings and pits and other bits out the kitchen door. My coffee grounds go out there too. It's a beautiful thing.

There's so much going on in TrumpLandia today that I can't even keep up with it. 
Let's not talk about it, okay? 
As I said, I'm anxious enough.

All right. I'm sending you moonbeams and rainbows or at least rainbows and lilies. 

The fishermen caught their limit. More snapper in the freezer for me! 
And Mr. Moon has made me a martini.

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon