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.