Friday, August 31, 2018

This Fine Day

The two rooster bros. And Big Mama. Note the difference in size between Liberace and Ringo. They are still best friends and I am so curious to see if they will remain that way or will become mortal enemies. 

By the time I got up this morning Lily and Jessie had already started the texting. Should we do something? What should we do? Etc.
I suggested we have a Monticello day. Eat lunch at the Rev and go shop at Wag the Dog. We all agreed that this was a fine idea and then Lily backed out because she had about fifty things she really needed to do and get done and galavanting about Jefferson County wasn't one of them which made Jessie and I so very sad but we understood. So Jess and August and Levon came out and I was still getting dressed when they got here and I heard the sound of August pattering through the house to find me and when he did he said, "What you doing?" and I said, "Getting dressed to go to Monticello with you!" and he said, "Why?"
Because that's what he says.

Jessie suggested that we first go to the library in Monticello which I readily agreed to.
Of course.
I hadn't been to the library there in years and years and although I remembered it as being a very nice library it has become even nicer. Just a perfectly sweet place. The children's fiction room was terrific with a little stage or reading nook and a puppet theater and toys and lots and lots and lots of books, mostly new ones.
And this sign.

Which you know charmed me and made me very happy. Before our visit was over, Levon who now nurses in a most gymnastic manner demonstrated the truth of it. 

Here's August in the little stage. 

And Levon, crawling about, exploring. 

Such a merry little man. 

The puppet theater had lots of puppets to play with and August loved that. 

He began making up a story and pretending and Jessie told me that last night when Vergil was trying to get him to bed he started telling a story about someone named Starknocker who knocks stars out of the sky. This sort of blows my mind. Do we have a tiny Neil Gaiman in our midst? 

We read some books, of course, and we probably hung out there for forty-five minutes. We will go back. It was a lovely place to take children and I can't wait for Magnolia to come with us. 

We did go to the Rev for our lunch and they did have Wiki Stix and we did play with them. I made glasses, of course, and also a mustache that attached up the nose and that was sort of a failure but the glasses were good. I'm getting to be an excellent Wiki Stix glasses maker. 

Levon thought they were highly amusing. 
Our lunch was absolutely delicious and it's so cool that there's a really good restaurant in Monticello. It's a happening little berg. 
And then of course we went to Wag the Dog where Jessie and I both got some new (old) plates which are beautiful and were so cheap it was unbelievable. The pricing is pretty random. I think she got about six plates and a few bread plates of a very beautiful pattern which have 22 karat gold rims for $2.50 and I got three plates and four bread plates for $3.00. Also old and with gold rims but not as old and not as gold as Jessie's. We also got a panda lamp for August's room and a book for August and a puzzle that looked like it came from 1958 and a little train engine and a solar bobble head Spiderman that August really wanted and I think that's all and we didn't pay twenty bucks for the whole lot of it. 
Plus the boys played happily with the toys for half an hour which was worth at least five dollars in and of itself. 

We agreed on the way home that it had been a very, very good day and I am still quite cheerful from it. I also found out today that JK Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, has another one of her Comoran Strike books coming out on September 18th. It's been something like three years since the third one in the series was published and I have been looking forward to this announcement for most of those three years. I love these books. Very, very dark detective series and her characters are, as always, just wonderful. Deep and fascinating and multi-layered and imperfect, just as characters in crime fiction should be and I never guess who-done-it. 

Then again, I probably couldn't guess who-done-it in a Nancy Drew novel but Rowling makes the raveling and unraveling deliciously drawn out and mysterious. 

We got another good rain this afternoon and the air feels cool and clean. I am grateful for that and for all of the rain we've gotten this summer. I am grateful for my children and my grandchildren who are each one different and unique and beautiful and wonderful. I am grateful for my children's beloveds who are all people vastly deserving of love. I am grateful for plenty to eat and for libraries and books and I am grateful for dirt to grow things in and for the critters I share my life with from the tiny lizards to the toads to the birds to the butterflies to the chickens and to the cats, even when they grab my hand with their razor claws and bite it in the middle of the night. (Looking at you, Maurice.) 
I am grateful for my man in all regards. 
I am grateful for so much more. 
I am grateful for you. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, August 30, 2018

It's The Small Things

At least a year ago I needed to wash the mattress cover on my bed due to some incident involving a grandchild which I can't begin to remember at this point and I discovered that the cover had a zipper which allowed you to remove the top part while the bottom part remained under the mattress.
I did not explain that very well.
But basically, the entire mattress is encased in this cover and it must be unzipped to be removed and zipped to put back on.
For some reason I thought that I had broken the zipper when I unzipped it. Of course I don't remember what that reason was either. I remember nothing these days.
So for at least the last year (and hell- it could be five years) I've not zipped the mattress cover but have merely tucked it as tightly as I could beneath the bottom, fitted sheet and that's worked semi-okay although every time I make the bed I've had to pull and re-tuck it because it would get loose and wrinkled.
I've thought about buying a new cover, of course, but because this cover is a Tempur-Pedic mattress cover made specifically for our Tempur-Pedic mattress, a new one costs approximately forty-four billion dollars.
Which is more than I wanted to pay.
Finally, today I thought- hell- maybe the zipper ISN'T broken. I should check!
But because it's been so long since the bottom part of the mattress cover came into play, it had gotten all scrunched under the mattress and a Tempur-Pedic mattress weighs approximately four-four billion pounds so I needed Mr. Moon's help in retrieving it so that I could check out the situation.
Luckily, Mr. Moon was here and he agreed to help me. We managed, working together, to get things situated properly and we placed the upper part of the mattress cover in its proper place and- you know what I'm going to say here, right?
Yeah. The zipper is fine.
Which means that our bed is going to be so much less wrinkly.
"This is going to make so much difference!" I said to my husband in exaltation.
"How much better can I sleep?" he asked.
And I laughed because if I slept any more than I do they'd be checking me for coma.
We love this bed so much and we didn't even buy it. Mr. Moon's sister gave it to us when she moved from Florida to Texas and it's probably the nicest gift anyone's ever given us.
So. That was a thing I did today.

Here's what's going on in Lloyd right now.

To all of you who are pleading and begging and praying for rain- I'm so sorry that we're getting it all this year. Every bit of it, I think.

Just thought I'd share that with you. This post has no pretensions of cohesiveness. Okay?

What else did I do today?
Oh, I washed rugs. Now if I'd taken the rugs to a river and lathered them up with homemade lye soap and then beat them on a rock and hung them out to dry on the branches of a cottonwood tree while keeping a wary eye out for marauding Apachees, that would be impressive. Since I only put them in the washer and dryer, it's not impressive at all.

I did clean my back porch fan because I noticed yesterday when Levon was trying to stick his fingers in it that it was filthy.
Let me just say that cleaning out a fan can make it work about 100% better. I got a dustpan full of nasty, black, greasy Lloyd dirt and dust out of it as well as one dried up, dead frog.
I am not making this up.

I found four eggs, one of which I can not ID so perhaps another hen is laying.

I, uh...what else DID I do? Swept a lot. Dusted a little. Oh! I took some trash and recycle which made me realize that if you have to change clothes to go take the trash, it may mean that you need to up your home wardrobe game.

Why does my husband ever come home? I swear, if I met him at the door wearing Saran Wrap, he'd mostly be thrilled because I was wearing something other than one of my raggedy ass dresses or a pair of overalls.

So yeah, to take the trash I changed out of a raggedy ass dress into a pair of overalls. I felt so presentable that I stopped in at the post office on my way home. No one was there but if there had been, I was ready.

Well, the rain has settled down and it's falling nice and steady. Trump hasn't been arrested or impeached but he sure is talking about impeachment and how the four horsemen of the Apocalypse would be released if that were to happen.


Worried much, oh ye Orange Fraud?

That's all I have to say for now. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

I hope you all sleep as well as I'm going to tonight on my wrinkle-free dreamy McDream bed.
But dear Lord, don't let me have the dreams I had last night. Bad enough I have to deal with my crazy in my waking hours. I sure don't need to deal with it in my sleep.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Election Result And Bless His Heart!

I am sure that because of all the glorious rain we've had all summer long the beauty berries are bigger and more abundant and more gorgeously colored and glossier than I think I've ever seen them. I do believe that is my favorite color, right there. Fuchsia. It's just so rich and so splendid.

So yes, Andrew Gillum did win the primary and it would appear that the whole country is alerted to what could be one of the most interesting contests for governor in a long time in any state. I was actually surprised that Gillum won because he is not a millionaire, has not served in Congress, is fairly young, attended FAMU, which is an HBU, sounds almost like a socialist (Medicare for all!) and is African American. But hell, Florida is a state of constant surprises and this one was extremely exciting. The reason I say this is going to be very interesting is that his Republican opponent could not be more different. White, of course, Ivy Leaguer (Harvard and Yale), served in Congress, has some money, and is an avid (some would say rabid) Trump supporter.
And...the shit is already happening. Trump started out this morning by tweeting

Not only did Congressman Ron DeSantis easily win the Republican Primary, but his opponent in November is his biggest dream....a failed Socialist Mayor named Andrew Gillum who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city. This is not what Florida wants or needs!

and then DeSantis went on Fox News and said that the last thing we need to do is "monkey this up" by trying to embrace a "socialist agenda."

One can only imagine how low the Republicans will go to prevent someone who reminds them of Barack Obama to become the governor of Florida. I sure hope Gillum is tougher than nails and garners plenty of support because he's going to need it. And so is his wife. I wonder how many private detectives DeSantis has already hired to dig up whatever they can about Gillum.

Well. I ain't no political expert and even those who were did not exactly see this coming but I have hope that Gillum can win the general election. I really do. And wouldn't that just be the finest thing?
I'm so glad I voted for him.

And so I was cheered this morning and I took a good walk where I saw that beauty berry and a lot more in various stages of ripening and also this beautiful beast.

I love his freckles. He gave me a look as I stood and took his picture through the fence but as I was obviously neither threatening or of interest, he returned to his look of meditation into the middle distance, dismissing my presence entirely. 

When I got home, Jessie and boys came out. I had invited them and Lily and Maggie to come out and play and eat leftover pizza but Lily was at work. It was great fun though to have my little guys over although I think that Levon ate more pizza than August did. 

August had too much to do to mess around with eating. 
Jessie went upstairs to follow August and ended up getting a cleaning bug. 
Listen- I am ASHAMED of how much mildew I've allowed to collect around here. My beautiful staircase is covered in it, especially the spindles which support the bannisters. There's about a million of them. Also, she reported that there was a lot of dirt and some cat vomit upstairs and honestly- I just don't go up there. So she cleaned up the dirt and dust and cat vomit and then started on the spindles with a rag and bleach and Fabuloso water. She got about halfway up while August and I read some books and played with Levon and then August and I wanted her to play the matching game and so she stopped and we had a rousing contest which August won again. He's very, very good at the matching game. He also put the entire alphabet puzzle together which takes up half the hallway and played with the marbles I've found in this yard. 

Those are marbles in that glass, not ice. 
He also played with the few remaining plastic cocktail mermaids and monkeys I have left which Gibson also loves to play with and by golly, I'm going to order some more of them off of Amazon. 
I've never in my life put one on a cocktail glass but my grandkids love them and I think they're swell. 

Right before Jessie left, the rain began to pour down and we all got wet getting those boys in the car even though umbrellas were involved. 
I came inside and sighed a huge sigh and took up the bowl that Jessie had been using to put the cleaning elixir in and rinsed out the rag and started on cleaning the spindles above where she had stopped. When I got to this point

I stopped myself. There are probably about another dozen or more that lead up and then around and I was just OVER IT! Plus, as you can see, Maurice was worried about me.

The other day Mr. Moon came in muttering something about a repair on the house that needed doing and how the lawnmower was broken and the yard needed cutting and I said, "Well, why don't we just go on and move to Westminster Oaks now?" which is the assisted living place my mother moved into after she was no longer able to take care of herself safely.
"They'll take care of all that shit," I said. 
He sort of laughed. And sort of didn't. 
I was sort of kidding and sort of wasn't. 
Frankly, we could never afford Westminster Oaks and that's the truth. 

It's still raining. I am trying an actual recipe because I am sick and tired of all of the things I cook and if it doesn't come out well, I can blame the cookbook. It seems like such a grown-up recipe and has chicken thighs and olives and tomatoes and wine and shallots in it. Mr. Moon has requested the crispy okra again and since I just picked another nice bunch of it, I'll make it. 
Dearie laid her egg IN THE NEST THIS EVENING! I know this is true because she was on the nest when I went to check for eggs and hopped off when I came in and there was one of the small and beautiful eggs she lays sitting right there, as warm as could be.
I held it to my cheek, the way I do with warm, freshly-laid eggs and I thanked her profusely which is the proper thing to do.

I try. I know you do too.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Bits And Pieces And Pizza Too

Went and voted this morning. Lightening did not strike the church. I was given an "I voted" sticker which I immediately lost. It's either in my car or in one of the many parallel universes which exist inside my purse. I am pretty sure that purses are proof of parallel universes. What else could explain how you can search and search through one for a specific item, not find it, give up in frustration and then a day or two later, reach in for something else and what you had been fruitlessly searching for comes right to hand? I once lost an entire bag of pot in a purse but it reappeared about a week later.
Ah me.
The days gone by when I would carry a bag of pot in my purse.
I am so lucky I never went to jail.
My Chinese fortune cookie which I broke open after today's lunch was only speaking the truth.

So yes. I lunched with Lily and Loren and Maggie at China First, the big Chinese buffet.

She just keeps getting cuter and cuter. And she is really starting to talk on a different level. She discusses things that happened days ago and has a great need to communicate. Lily says that she often points her little finger when Lily asks her to do something and says, "Just a minute!" 
Wonder where she learned that. 
She is also incredibly stubborn about doing things herself to the point of ridiculousness. For instance- if she is sitting in the high chair and you take her out and she wanted to climb out herself, she will climb BACK in and then back out. Herself. 
Oh, she is a wonder!

After lunch I went and did a little shopping at Costco and Publix. Costco really is like Disney World for adults. I only needed a few things and I did not impulse buy anything and so that was a small miracle. No barrels of coconut oil or vats of dark-chocolate-covered dried mangoes or flats of cupcakes or skin care products promising eternal youth. 
Then on to Publix where I checked off everything on my list and did buy some impulse items but not vats or crates of anything. 
Oh, how productive and efficient I felt! 

Miss Violet has completely joined the flock again showing no apparent angst whatsoever about the four weeks of time wasted sitting on eggs. In fact, I think she laid me an egg this morning. It's hard to tell right now who is laying what. I can't wait to start getting some colored eggs from the Americaunas, Miss Pansy and Miss Eggy Tina (I had to recycle that name). There's not a day goes by that I do not send a silent thanks to Kathleen for bringing me my first chicks. How did I live without a flock of chickens? Can less than a dozen chickens be a flock? I think so. 
Here's a question that I pondered today- Does Ringo know that he is about a third of the size of Liberace? 
I hope so. That could help prevent a lot of problems but he probably doesn't. 
They don't call small, hyper-aggressive men "banty roosters" for no reason although Ringo is not a banty. He's a jungle fowl. 
I love saying that. 
Ringo is a jungle fowl. 
You know what? Ten years ago I could never have conceived that I would ever be uttering a sentence like that but then again, I didn't even know what a jungle fowl was until this spring and quite frankly, I'm still not quite sure. I do know that on an episode of "Parts Unknown" when Anthony was in Madagascar, there was a shot of a rooster who looked just like Ringo. Which thrilled me far more than was rational. 

And that's pretty much it for the day in Lloyd. I hope I voted for the right people. The man I voted for for governor is a bit of a long shot but I went with my heart. I mean, any Democrat who might win the election would be such a vast improvement that I can't begin to describe what my joy would be (Florida hasn't had a Democratic governor in twenty years) but this man is the mayor of Tallahassee and when the Supreme Court decreed same-sex marriage legal and many backward ass counties were balking at the actual performing and registering of gay marriages, Andrew Gillum made an announcement that Tallahassee welcomed all to come and get married. That love was love. And he's extremely anti-Trump, very pro-gun control, and environmentally friendly. But it was the welcoming gay couples to Tallahassee that stole my heart and he has worked his ass off, campaigning. 
We shall see. 
And if you haven't seen the video HERE, please watch it. 
Especially is you have given up on hope. This is a man who speaks the truth and shames the devil and bless his heart and I would vote for him for president in a heartbeat. 

All right. That's enough. 
Time to go make the pizza. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, August 27, 2018

And OH! It Rained And That Was Beautiful

This is a horsemint flower that I stopped and took a picture of this morning on my walk. It's one of those flowers that unless you're paying attention, you're going to walk right by and if you were in a car or on a bike, chances are good that you'd never notice them and yet in some places they are blooming abundantly, tucked into what this year is the verdant and thriving greenery beside the roads under the oak trees. I transplanted some a few years ago from a spot I found in the woods but they didn't take. I am tempted to try again this year, perhaps in a different spot. And I have also just learned that some nurseries sell it in pots and some companies sell packets of the seeds and those might be options too.

I removed Violet's egg bucket from the garage this morning and put it in the coop and strangely, there were only six eggs where once there were eight. There were no eggshells in evidence, though, so I assume that some critter got two eggs when she was on a break to eat and drink. I see absolutely no signs that any of her little eggs hatched and there would be eggshells, at least, to show that they had. She did not seem distressed that I took her eggs at all but has been running about and eating and drinking and I've noticed that she's spent a lot of time in the garden, probably eating green things to catch up on her nutritional needs. Tonight, when they go to bed (and I hope she roosts in the hen house) we will get rid of the eggs in the woods behind the coop. Perhaps some animal will not mind eating month-old eggs. Who knows?
Not me.
In other chicken news, I found yet another Dearie egg right in front of the hen house. That's three she's laid now that I've found. They are small and I wonder if they will get any bigger or if my jungle fowl are just going to lay small eggs. I do not mind small eggs. Sometimes they come in useful, such as when you're increasing a recipe by half and it calls for one egg in the original. Two eggs would be too much but one regular egg and one banty or jungle fowl egg (I suppose) would be perfect.

I've had a bit of the blues today but I am glad I walked because that did help. It did not seem like torture today and went fairly easily but I did not go too far. Far enough in this heat. I was thinking I'd go to town because I have things I could buy and will eventually need but decided against that and stayed here and mostly ironed and watched more episodes of Parts Unknown and with every one of them, I fall a little more in love with Bourdain. I absolutely hate this whole mishegoss going on with Asia Argento, the woman he was in love with before he died. For those of you who do not know, she was one of Harvey Weinstein's accusers and Bourdain backed her up big time and became a very vocal supporter of the Me Too movement but then last week the media reported that Argento herself was being sued for sexual harassment by a man who claims that she initiated sex with him when he was seventeen and there are allegations that Bourdain paid the guy off. I could see that happening. I think he was obsessed with her and I think she may well have been obsessed with him. Or perhaps they just loved each other. "Obsession" sounds like a crime drama emotion but I think that most of us who have been in love have felt obsessed by our beloved at one time or another. And they both seemed like people who had walked more than a few miles on the razor's edge and had the scars to show for it.
Ah well.
It ain't my business but it's impossible not to speculate on why and how when watching his show. He was so very charismatic and could be impossibly charming and sometimes heartrendingly sad and well, he was just a fascinating and talented human animal and I mourn him still. Not to mention that his show was pure, beautiful genius.

Speaking of mourning- the whole US seems to be in an uproar over John McCain's death and how Trump is reacting to it and blah, blah, blah. I've sort of stayed out of the conversation because McCain was never a favorite of mine and after he brought Sarah Palin into the fray I lost a whole lot of respect for him as a politician. I mean, I appreciate the bravery and courage he showed during his years in captivity and I also respected his firm ideas on torture and that it should not be used by our country and of course his eleventh hour saving of the Affordable Care Act (or at least some of it) but still- Sarah Palin. I think that his nominating her as his VP candidate is what started a lot of this fucking mess we're in today. Perhaps if so many Americans hadn't consigned themselves to and even celebrated the idea of a completely unqualified right-wing asshole rising to one of the highest offices of the land, there never would have been a Trump in office but again- what do I know?
Not much.
But of course Trump has acted like a sulky child about his death but did we expect anything different from the man who said that McCain was not a hero in his eyes because he liked heroes who hadn't been captured?
As if he had a clue about any sliver of the reality of what goes on in war.

Stop. Stop, Mary.
This is not helping anyone.

Forget about it.
It's like the land that time forgot here. No social media presence whatsoever for some of them.
But for the rest, I know exactly how I'm voting and gun control and environmental issues are at the top of my list of criteria.
And so I'll take my marked-up sample ballot down to the Baptist Church across from the trash depot and enter the halls of the holy and if the LORD does not strike me dead, I'll cast my vote.

I'm going to go make soup. The kind of soup that maybe Anthony would have loved. It will have some shrimp in it, ginger, peppers, soy sauce, garlic, scallions, sweet potato greens, some of my wild ass volunteer arugula greens, spinach, rice noodles, and dumplings that come in a bag from the Costco. Also, Thai basil.

And if that doesn't perk me up some, I think I better get my ass to the beach this week. It's been too long and I need some healing. Or maybe to Wakulla Springs. We shall see.

At least Mr. Moon has a full closet of nicely ironed shirts and Violet has returned to the land of the living.

Oh, y'all. Be well, okay?

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Traditions And Ruts

I love that picture. The little boy, so excited to be sitting with his grandfather, reeling in the stuffed fish that a friend made for one of the kids a long time ago. Like I said last night this game has been a constant source of fun for all of the grandchildren. Owen and Gibson still love to play hallway fishing although they make a challenge of taking the fish as far out of the Glen Den as they can and it often gets caught on a piece of furniture and requires someone to go get it unstuck and there is always great raucous laughing when this goes on.
There is no one as tied to tradition as a child. Each and every one of my grandchildren, young and older, have their own personal traditions which must be kept when they spend the night and it is often with great difficulty that they give them up. Last night when it was time for supper, I asked August if he wanted to sit in the high chair or on a big chair.
"I eat on the Teddy Bear chair," he told me. This is the high chair with its sixties decal of a teddy bear on it. I love this high chair. It's wooden and solid as can be and the tray mechanism still works perfectly and it has held all of my grandbabies so far. I bought it for not much at a thrift store and it will be here long after all of those expensive, plastic, high-tech pieces of crap they sell now will be.

And August still loves it and that is where he eats his meals when he eats with us unless his brother Levon is eating too at which point the smallest brudder gets the teddy bear chair. 
I swear. I think Gibson would still sit in it if he could fit. 

It was a good overnight. There was a purple cow prepared in one of the traditional purple cow fancy glasses, speaking of tradition. 


And just in case you didn't really notice those eyelashes. Dude could be a model for Maybelline. 

When he got in the bathtub August said, "Mer, I would love you to get in the tub with me."
"Hmmm..." I said. "How about if Boppy gets in the tub with you?"
"Yes!" he said, and Boppy did and just as I always pretend to be the beauty parlor lady when I wash the kids' hair, Boppy pretended to be the barber shop man. I was waiting with a clean towel when all of the washing and shampooing was done and I wrapped him up and dried him off and put on his pajamas and we went to read books on my bed. We read The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza, of course and Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb which he knows by heart now. And then we read It's Time To Sleep My Love which is one of the most beautiful children's books I've ever had the pleasure to read. (Thank you, Lulumarie!)

Reading this book to a grandchild before bed is a high holy ceremony according to the Church of the Batshit Crazy.

And after that, the boy was ready to get into the bed which Boppy had made up for him on our floor. There were blankets and bears and Zippy the monkey and another book and assurances that I would be coming to bed very soon. 
And then he fell asleep. 
That easy. 
He slept all night through and we had pancakes this morning and he ate three and a half, as quick as could be. And bacon. And then we played the matching game that Owen and Gibson have always loved. He was very good at it and got the idea right away. I was impressed. 
Before his mama got here, I made an interview video. 
Yet another tradition. My tradition. 

He was happily chewing a piece of gum which you may have noticed.

When Jessie and Levon showed up we spent some time in the big kiddy pool which made August vibrate with excitement and chilliness. The child has about one tenth of an ounce of fat on him. While we were out there, we saw Miss Dearie who had been sitting on the nest, walk out of the henhouse and plop! lay an egg right on the ground. So yesterday's pretty little egg was hers.
She'll figure it out.
We saw Liberace try to have his way with Dearie later on and she turned and pecked him good and went on about her business of scratching in the dirt so I suppose we're about to start seeing how this particular combination of hens and roosters is going to work out and hopefully, we'll be getting more eggs. I got four today, as a matter of fact, which is absolutely lovely.

Another Sunday, this one sweeter than many because of August and then his mother and his brother. Pancakes and bacon, books and hall fishing. Playing in the little pool, eating pimento cheese sandwiches. All of this was goodness.

And then of course the news about Jacksonville.
I don't have the heart to even discuss that. What can one say? One migrant kills a white woman and American needs to close its borders IMMEDIATELY and untold numbers of massacres by white men with guns and well, thoughts and prayers.
Thoughts and prayers.
Fuck that.

I swear to you- if I did not have these children and grandchildren, I would be moving to the country which Trump insists is filled with drug dealers, criminals, and rapists. If they would have me.

I'm sorry. I am starting to feel as if each of my posts is worse than the last. As if my writing is as weary as my soul.
Well. One writes what one knows and as always, I don't know shit. I know there is goodness and I know I am lucky to be surrounded by so much of it in my own tiny little bubble of family love.

Let us soldier on.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, August 25, 2018


That's today's pickings of okra and rattlesnake beans and one new maiden egg which some inexperienced hen laid right by the back steps. Do you suppose the urge to lay took her completely by surprise? I have no idea. But I am pretty sure that I will never again plant any beans other than rattlesnake beans because they just don't quit producing. I've got about five sad looking little vines left climbing the fence but they're still giving me beans. Tonight I'll cook those with some of the okra and tomatoes and onions and they will be delicious. Last night I cut a bunch of okra in half longways, dipped it in milk with salt and garlic powder and then in flour with more salt and baked it in a hot oven on a cookie sheet until it was nice and brown and toasty and we ate it with a sort of aioli sauce I made with mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, and chili sauce.
It was just about the best thing we ever ate.

I've been thinking about Zig all day long. I still do want to write my stories about him. There must be tens of thousands of stories about Ziggy. He was that kind of guy. I asked him recently if he'd ever thought of writing a book because if there are tens of thousands of stories about him, he must have had tens of thousands of stories of his own to tell. He replied that he'd thought about it but he didn't want his wife to leave him. God, I wish he had. His wife wouldn't have left him. She loved him good for over thirty years and he loved her back.
Zig was a big guy. He was big in spirit and big in heart and big in presence and one of the funniest people I ever met but he had a very understated sense of humor that you had to wait for and listen carefully to catch. He sounded sort of like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky but he probably had an IQ that was off the charts.
Here's a little piece in a Montgomery paper that I found online. 

So yeah. He's been in my heart all day as I've worked in the garden and done my piddly chores and now this is happening.

August drove his little convertible out to Lloyd with his suitcase in the trunk. 
Okay, that's not true. His mama brought him out in her car with him in the carseat but I still love the image of that boy driving to see us. Now, though, I think of him stopping off to get Maggie and her sitting beside him in the car with her purse clutched tightly to her side. 
"Put your seatbelt on, Maggie," he would say. "Safety first."
And of course he would only drive the speed limit. 
He fell asleep on the way out here and his mother brought him in and laid him down on my bed and eventually, I joined him and Jack who was sitting guard and laid down to read for awhile. When he woke up he looked around for a bit and I said, "Hey! You're at Mer's house!" and he saw Jack and said, "His eyes are very dark."
Then he ran to find his Boppy. 
"I was wondering where you were," he said. 
And then he said, "I was wondering if you could watch TV with me."
And so they have been watching TV, eating popcorn and drinking juice. Life is mighty good at Mer and Bop's house. I think that the grandfather has mostly been sleeping but that's okay too.

I just went and checked on them and they're now playing fishing which involves a real rod and a real reel and a stuffed toy fish that they toss out into the hallway and reel in. All of the grandchildren love this game. It's a tradition, just like purple cows when you spend the night and yes, there will be purple cows after tonight's supper. 
And then of course tomorrow there will be pancakes. I've already been informed of that. 
And after bath tonight there will be lots and lots of books. 

It's still summer here. It is very hot and very humid and fall is nothing but a tiny breath of cooler, dryer air in the early mornings. We yearn for relief knowing that it will come, just as the hurricane lilies will be breaking the ground any day now. I noticed today that the camellias are starting to form their tight, small buds which will open in glory this winter, and the squirrels are up in the pecan trees, taking one bite out of each green nut and throwing them down with great glee onto the tin roofs of the pump house and the shed. 
This is how it is today in Lloyd, Florida, as the summer fights hard not to give up its grip, as the okra is over six feet tall and still blooming and producing, as the pecans on the tin roofs sounds like small bombs going off and as a small, very blonde boy laughs with his grandpa and is happy to be here. 
My heart swells.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, August 24, 2018

This Is Life

Today was all over the damn place. Woke up this morning and felt like the world was crashing around me. A morning of existential angst and despair and fuck it, fuck it, fuck it.

These days do happen.

The best thing was that we'd agreed to have a family meet-up at El Pat, our Mexican restaurant where they know us and we know them and they put up with us and we appreciate that. Hank and Rachel, Lily and Maggie, Jessie and August and Levon, Mr. Moon and I were all there. August saw his Boppy and that was that for him. He crawled on his lap and barely budged.

I got no notice at all from the boy until his grandfather left and then he deigned to sit on my lap and ask me to draw him pictures. But that was okay because Maggie came and sat on my lap and she shared my lunch and August shared Boppy's lunch and it was all good. Levon even let Boppy hold him and Maggie had to crawl up into that lap too because she loves babies with all of her passionate little Maggie heart.

She loves her Boppy too. 

But it was after lunch that the magic happened. For some reason, August and Maggie seemed to really notice each other and want to communicate in depth for the first time. They sat first on the steps outside the restaurant and had a conversation about their shoes and August's socks and Maggie's lack of socks. 

It was the most beautiful thing. Honestly, all of us adults simply stood and watched them as if we were watching a play. It was not just entertaining, it was amazing. All of a sudden, they've both achieved a level of vocabulary which allows them to have a real, true conversation. 
After awhile, for some reason they moved to the little wall beside the landscaping and continued the conversation. 

They even tickled each other which led to this. 

I swear, we stood there and watched these cousins talking and interacting for at least fifteen minutes and then there were places to be and things to do. 
But oh, how sweet it all was to my heart, to see this interaction, these two cousins finally, after so many tries, finally figuring out how to be together as friends. 

So I was feeling somewhat cheered when I got home but then I opened up Facebook to discover that a man who has been a friend of mine for longer than I've known my husband died today. 
Hit me hard in the gut, even though he's been sick for awhile and I knew it was coming. He'd been diagnosed with a cancer that the doctors admitted they could not cure but because he loved his wife and his kids and his grandson, he agreed to get surgery and do chemo to stave off what he knew was inevitable. And he was doing okay. Doing okay. 
His wife had retired and they'd moved from Montgomery, Alabama to Tampa, Florida where they were both from. And Zig was getting gigs and playing some. He was a guitar player and a serious one and he never felt as if he was truly living unless he could play and so it was a good thing for him but then he got a MRSA infection that took him down bad. He spent a lot of time in the hospital and felt worse than he'd felt throughout the whole cancer but once they got that under control, he got a pulmonary embolism which went undiagnosed and led to a heart attack which miraculously did not kill him but he never recovered from that and well, now he's gone. 

I have a million things I could say about him, a million things I'd like to say about him. But right now, my heart hurts. I've talked about him before and Glen and I went and saw him play in Mobile in 2012 to catch up a little, drink some tequila, talk about old days and new.

I wish I'd gone to see him play again, especially after I knew he was sick. We did talk back and forth some via FB messenger. I'm glad of that. I think he appreciated the fact that I never told him I was praying for him. Sometimes we discussed Cuban food and how to make it.

I'm thinking of his wife. I'm thinking of his sons.
I'm thinking of him.

Ziggy Luis. There are a million youtubes.

Maybe tomorrow I'll try to write something more in depth about him but for right now I'll just say- Fly free, Zig. God. You were beloved.
And your version of Bell Bottom Blues was always my favorite.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, August 23, 2018

File This One Under "Things I Want To Remember"

Mr. Moon got in this morning and I don't even know what time it was. I'd woken up at 2:30 and between then and whenever he got home I dozed and dreamed and woke over and over. I kept dreaming that he was here so by the time he was actually in the bed beside me, it felt a bit redundant.
But it was good to have him back beside me and when he slipped into sleep, I followed, and all was well.

Jessie wanted to early vote at the library branch nearest me and so I met her there so that I could watch the boys while she did that. Levon had a great time pulling all of the baby books he could reach out of the wooden racks on the floor. He would crawl back to me every now and then where I was sitting a few feet away, reading August a book. It remains to be a deep sense of satisfaction that he knows me and trusts me. He is very much a mama's boy but he comes to me willingly and I can make him chortle and grin and if there is anything more rewarding than making a baby laugh I don't know what it is. Later on in our time together this afternoon, I held him for awhile and he was sleepy and I put him on my knees and gently rocked them back and forth and he relaxed enough that I think he would have gone to sleep in a few minutes more. When I gave him back to his mother I said, "What if this is my last grand baby?" and I teared up, the way I do at almost anything which is even slightly emotional for me. The weight of him, his chunky sturdy body in my arms or on my hip just feels so completely right. I have held so many babies I love that my body is now shaped (some would say warped) by them. And as fast as my own children's growing up occurred this growing of my grandchildren is going even faster. Like "super speed" as Gibson used to say.
"Go super speed, Mer!" he'd instruct me as we drove down the extremely densely populated street where his family used to live.
I could choose then to absolutely NOT go super speed but with the growing of these babies, I have no control. They just keep doing it.
August seems to be very aware that now he is young but that someday he will be older. When we were reading our book at the library today he learned that baby goats are called "kids" which made him laugh and laugh.
"Yep," I said. "Little goats are called kids just like little humans."
"I little," he said.
"Yes, but you are growing every day. What are you going to do when you're big?"
"Help Mama clean the kitchen."
Jessie and I both laughed. Oh, if only! But maybe he will.

Of course after we left the library we had to go to Costco and as always, we had an excellent time there.

Levon is so happy to sit in the seat now with his brother. The better to see all of the samples, of course.  And to eat them too. And there were a lot of samples today. When you give Levon a bite with one of those little plastic forks he insists on grabbing the fork. At one point today, he had four of them clutched in his fists. He also said, more than once, "Nom, nom!" as he chewed his delicious food. This made us all laugh so much. 
"The origins of language," I said. And so it is. 
At the coffee sampling station I asked August if he would like a cup of coffee.
"No," he said, looking at me as if I were insane.
He did ask for one of the tiny servings of half-and-half but we told him that you can't have that unless you get coffee and he resigned himself to that fact. 

After all of the sampling, you'd think we would have been full but no, and so we went to lunch. We are such hedonists. August shared his fish with me and I shared my hushpuppies with him. He really likes hushpuppies. He is a generous sharer. At one point, I told him that thank-you, I'd had enough fish and that he should eat it and he said, "But I want share with you!" 
He is so thoughtful that he dipped the fish in cocktail sauce before he offered me each bite. 
And so that was my day with them and I stopped by Publix on my way home because sometimes you only want three peaches, not a crate of them. I got to see Lily who was working and that was sweet. 

Mr. Moon and I visited the garage when he got home from work to check on Violet and she is still sitting valiantly. Such little Buddhists, hens on the nest are. The rest of the chickens are doing well, all present and accounted for although Dearie and either Viv or Vera insist on roosting outside every night. It's such a relief when I go to open the hen house door and little Dearie comes running up to greet me. Liberace is getting huge and I can see the beginnings of spurs on his legs. He and Ringo are still close friends and indeed, roost together almost every night in the same nesting box. 
How idyllic it would be if this continued. 

It's good to have my husband home and he didn't bring home too much dirty laundry so that's good. He also did not bring home any alligators and that's even better. 
I shouldn't say that. It would have made him so happy to have caught a monster. 
I am just glad that he's safe and well and back home where I have the illusion that I can take care of him. As with the holding of babies, this seems absolutely right. 
And now I will go make his supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Man Is Coming Home

Look very carefully at that picture. Do you know what it is? It looks a bit like a snake, a bit like a lizard but it is neither. It is a skink.
I never would have seen it but Jessie did. It was hanging out in the sun right by her parked car at the Wacissa. These things make me feel weird in my stomach in a way that even snakes don't. There are many varieties and they come in lots of colors including my favorite which is the blue-tailed skink and the one which is my least favorite which has bright scarlet markings around its mouth, making it look for all the world as if it had just dined on something very, very bloody.
But they are part of our landscape and although they mostly stay hidden, sometimes I'll see one on a fence of even on the railing of the back deck. And of course, we let them be.

I finally asked Mr. Moon when he was going to be coming home when I talked to him last night and it turns out that he'll be getting in around four this morning. Long story but it involves taking his friend to the airport to fly home to Canada.

So I suppose that I woke up this morning feeling as if I should get something done around here besides sewing projects and whatever else the hell I've been doing which I have no idea what that's been. I took a short walk and had a list half a mile long of things I wanted to get accomplished today but Jessie called and said maybe they'd come out after the little hike they'd been on if that was okay and I said, "Yes! Let's go to the river!" I texted Lily and she had things she had to do and couldn't make it but Jessie and her boys came and we made sandwiches and put on our bathing costumes and then drove the few miles to the beautiful Wacissa. There was hardly anyone there and we had a sweet time. August and I let the tiny fishes nibble our toes and we paddled about and cooled off and Levon splashed and played with sand and grinned his big ol' goofy Levon grin. That child just seems so happy.

And he has no reason not to be. His needs and wants are attended to every minute of the day and night and he has a brudder to watch and look up to and baby-play with. 
We ate our absolutely delicious sandwiches of cheese and avocado and tomato and pickles on dark seedy bread with Duke's mayonnaise. Sometimes a certain food is exactly perfect and today was one of those days. 
August and I kept up a running conversation and I answered a lot of "why" questions including, "Why you share your chips with me?" 
"Because I love you," I told him. 
He's going through a thing where he wants to take things home with him. I remember Owen and Gibson doing this. 
Oh wait. They're still going through it. 
"Can I take this book to my home?"
"Yes. Yes you may."
"Can I take these chips to my home?"
"Yes. Yes you may."
The kid cracks me up. When he got to my house before we went to the river he said, "You need clean up this porch. It has chicken poop."
He is right. 

Anyway, after our river adventure I decided to just go for it and get everything done I'd planned to do today. 
And I did! 
Amazing how fast dreaded tasks can be accomplished when one just puts their mind to it. 
I took trash and I tidied up. I did some laundry and washed some rugs. I de-pooped the hen house and put fresh straw in the nesting boxes. I swept and mopped the kitchen and adjoining laundry "area" and bathroom. 
Then I picked the few remaining field peas and some more okra and after I got everything arranged back in the kitchen on the clean, dry floor I sat and shelled a bag full of the peas I've picked over the past week and watched some more "Destination Unknown" episodes. 
So. Practically perfect day. 

And sometime in the deepest darkest part of the night, a very large and beloved man will be getting into bed beside me. 

Ah. I'm a lucky woman. With a clean kitchen floor. 

Life is good. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Usual

When I stopped to pee this morning on my walk, what did I find woven into the wild grape and similax? A tiny little ribbon snake. His body wasn't as big around as my finger, a mere baby, and he was not disturbed in the least at my presence and very generously allowed me to take his picture. I so often wonder what I am missing as I take these walks, as I trudge and sweat and wish to hell I was done. I often keep my eyes on the road in front of me and I do look up to see the trees and the sky but things like miniature snakes obviously slip past my radar. And it is a fact that we humans have brains which like to see the broad picture and sketch in the rest in order to free us up from constantly having to analyze and register and explain everything our eyes light on. This is of course good in some ways and sad in others. We lose our child-vision as we grow older but sometimes, if we take the time, we can use it again to truly see.

So I survived yet another walk and came home and did a few chores and this afternoon I went and picked up Owen and Gibson at the bus stop because their mama and sister had gone to the beach with some friends.
When the bus pulled up, I got out of my car as I do because I love to see those boys tumble off the bus and come racing towards me for hugs. Owen is a bit cooler with it than Gibson but he still shows me that he's glad I'm there. Gibson, of course, has to immediately share with me everything in his backpack and describe what I'm looking at in his always-outdoor-voice AND THERE IS GOING TO BE AN ICE CREAM PARTY ON THURSDAY and HIS TEACHER WAS BORN IN THE 19'S and HE HAD TWO THINGS HE HAD TO READ TO ME and OWEN HAS CANDY AND IT'S NOT FAIR and so on and so forth.
They buckled into the car and candy sharing was worked out and I told them that I thought we should go visit the Children's which is what we call the thrift store run by the people who save bad girls with the power of Jesus. The boys were ecstatic! We hadn't been to the Children's in forever so it was very exciting although honestly, there wasn't much to be found today. They both ended up with two stuffed toys apiece. A snake and a dolphin for Owen and a Buzz Lightyear and an extremely blue bear for Gibson. We always have a good time there though, sitting on chairs and couches to check their comfy quotient, discussing the toy offerings and deciding what to buy.

When we got home they did their homework and ate various foods for snacks and we went out and found two eggs and Dearie followed us around because that is what she does. We also checked on Violet who is still sitting and then they got to watch some TV.
I'm a terrible grandmother.

Before they left we went over to feed the goats and Dearie followed us around over there, too.

She has such a sweet and optimistic soul. Not unlike Gibson. 

So it was a good afternoon and I don't have any pictures of Owen because he was pretending to be a Werewolf and as we all know, it's damn hard to get a picture of a Werewolf. But here are two pictures of Magnolia June that Lily sent me. 

I bet that beautiful little girl slept all the way home. 

So that was my day and I have no real actual idea when my husband is coming home. For some reason, I just haven't asked him. He originally said nine days so either tomorrow or the next day, I suppose. I will be glad to have him back but I've gotten quite used to my own company and it makes me so happy to know that he's doing stuff outside that he loves that I'll be a little sad when he has to come back and go to work and deal with all the regular life stuff that he's been able to get away from for these few days. God knows that any man who has to deal with me needs some time off. 

In national news, the man who once claimed that he's "the guy who would take a bullet for the president" has now said under oath that he "worked at the direction of a candidate for federal office" for the purpose of illegally interfering in the 2016 election and we can be fairly certain he is not speaking about either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. 
And of course it hasn't been a real good day for Paul Manafort either. 
I wonder if Trump is feeling the scratchy fiber of the noose pulling ever tighter around his neck. 
So. Resignation? Impeachment? Arrest?

Yes, please!

And that's all I have to say about that right now. 
Okay, that's not true but it's enough for now. 

Peace...Ms. Moon

Monday, August 20, 2018

Reunited And It Feels So Good

Believe it or not, this is the only picture I took today despite the fact that I spent hours with August and Levon. I think I was just having too much fun being with them and too busy, as well, to really think about pictures. When I got to their house, Levon was asleep but August was playing with homemade play dough and he looked up and talked to me as if we'd seen each other ten minutes ago.
"Hey Mer. I playing with play dough."
I did ask for a hug and I told him I had missed him and he gave me a hug and then we made play dough mustaches.
Golly but it was good to see him.
Of course he wanted to read books. His current favorite seems to be this one.

We read it twice and I think he would have been quite happy if I had read it ten times. It's about a fairy who buys a little mouse, a fish, a bird, and then frees them after she hangs out with them for awhile. She also buys a beautiful coat which she wears to dance in the snow in but then she gives it to a frog to keep him warm as he sleeps. It's really quite lovely and it serves August's need to ask why continuously. 

"Why she pick that bird?"
"Why she let him go?"

And this stage in a child's development is of course as important as his or her learning to walk. 
Which August informed me that his brother is doing. 
"What are you going to do with him when he learns to walk?" I asked. 
"Play with him," he said. 
And he will. 

When Levon woke up and I was talking to him, August began to imitate me. 
"What are you doing?" I asked him. 
"I kitty-catting you."
Jessie and I looked at each other, baffled as to what that meant. 
And then it struck me. 
"Oh! You're copy-catting me?" I asked. 
"Yes!" he said. 
He is a brilliant child. 

We went and bought chicken feed and dropped off library books and went to Moe's for our lunch. It was a most squirmy boy lunch. August wanted to scoot back and forth on the window sill by our table and Levon just wanted down. That boy wants to go. And eat. Jessie says he yells every time he sees food. He's still loving nursing but he's at that stage which every mother who nursed her child past the age of six months remembers well wherein he'd be just pleased as punch if he could carry the breast off with him as he goes about his adventures. He changes position. He twists, he tries to stand up, he looks around. Nursing a nine month old child is so completely different than nursing a newborn that it's ridiculous. And hysterical. 
And yet still intensely satisfying for both mother and child. 

After lunch we went to Publix where I was a terrible grandmother. When August asked why he couldn't have all of the cookies on the cookie aisle I said, "Well, if it was up to me, you could but your mother won't let you."
But then I said, "Besides, your mama makes your cookies. And they are better than the ones in the store. Store cookies are only for people who don't know how to make their own cookies."
I'm not really very, very bad. Just a little bit. 
Besides, I made Jessie laugh and that made me happy. 

While all of this was going on, I'd been getting texts from Mr. Moon. I think the gator hunters are about done with gator hunting and are now ready to move on to fishing. So they were going to go to Lloyd and trade the flats boat for the boat which can go in the ocean. 
This felt so odd to me. 
I mean, I know he's only been two hours down the road but he might as well have been in Africa as far as I was concerned. He is on a hunting trip and as such, I do not expect to see him until it's over. And I did almost miss him but when he and his friend pulled out of the yard with the big boat trailered behind them, something went wrong in the trailer situation and they had to fix it so at least I got a sweaty kiss from my man. 
And then he was gone and I'd doubt that he'd even been here if he hadn't left a pair of britches and a shirt in the wash and a leftover container of barbecued chicken in the refrigerator. And of course a different boat in the yard but to be honest, I'd probably never notice that. 

Violet is still sitting on those eggs and the more I think about it, the less hope I have that any of them will actually hatch. Unless Mick got to her before he died or unless Liberace or Ringo are getting it on the down low, they were not fertilized. 
We shall see. But for right now, she is sitting as still and as faithfully as the Sphinx at Giza. 
Bless her strong and tiny little Banty mother heart. 

Love...Ms. Moon