Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Here You Go, August!

 I have been so loathe to pick wildflowers this year. The older I get, the more I feel as if they should remain where they grow so that butterflies and bees can utilize them for their true purpose but today I couldn't stand it anymore and picked a tiny bouquet of them on my walk.

It is Halloween. I have stuck my pumpkin with a candle in it up on the fence post which is always taller than I remember and I have a bowl of miniature Reese's cups on the table by the front door and I will put the porch light on when it gets a little darker. The sun is just now setting and I can hear the tiny peeps of chicks and I'm a bit concerned because when I went out a little while ago to fill up their feeder and give them some grapes and spinach, five of them had somehow escaped the little coop and I don't think they have the slightest clue how to get back in which they desperately want to do but they also desperately do not want me to catch them and I'm going to need Mr. Moon's help to do so and he's not home yet. Poor Dearie, who, with no arms and no hands and unable to catch them in her beak to transport them safely back into the their shelter must be slightly frantic.
Oh, chickens.

So. August, who is three feet tall has a perfect viewpoint from which to see up into the range hood over my stove. I NEVER look up into that thing because I know what I'll see.
Nastiness to the greasiest degree.
And for some reason the child has been very worried about the degree of nastiness for quite awhile now and has been encouraging me to clean it.
Where did this child come from?
One day, when he and Jessie and Levon were coming over, he even got a cleaning rag and asked his mother to get it wet and put it into a bag so that they could help me clean it.
Oh, the shame.
I don't think my heart will ever recover from this story. The little bitty boy wanting to help his slovenly Mer clean her range hood.
He even asked me last week if perhaps I will clean it for his birthday.
No. I am not making this up.
I think this came about because whenever he asks for something that his mother doesn't think he needs at the moment, she'll say, "Mmmm...Maybe for your birthday."
"So, August, do you want Legos for your birthday? Perhaps some new books? Art supplies? A toy kitchen?"
"No, thank-you, Mer. Just clean that range hood for me. That is all I ask."

Well, he just had his birthday last month but I decided today to get in there or under there, as the case may be.
And so I did. I used some of Birdie's cleaning elixir which is one half cleaning vinegar and one half Dawn dish soap, a lot of KaBoom!, and two Brillo pads. I worked for about two hours and it's as good as it's going to get but the area underneath what I guess is the grease trap is still filthy as is the grease trap. I think you're supposed to be able to slide that thing out but I can't make it slide because it's glued in with...grease.
But hey, August! I have done my best! I'm sure we'll all sleep easier now, knowing how much cleaner my range hood is.

Mr. Moon is home and we managed to catch the babies and put them back and he hopefully sealed up the places where they'd been getting out. In the process I scratched my arm on a section of wire that wasn't nailed down flat and now I look as if I've taken up self-harm.

Look! If it scars, I'll have my first tattoo! 

Also, the man managed to get that grease filter thing out.
Oh, Jeez. Thanks. Now I can clean that part too. That's going to take an entire BOX of Brillo.

And because of and despite all, it's been a pretty good day and I've been in a decent mood.
These things are inexplicable.

Still no Trick-or-Treaters. And honestly, I seriously doubt we'll get any at all but I have done my part.

Who wouldn't want to come and knock on that porch door for Reese's cups? It's like the haunted house come to life, spider webs and all. 
Happy Halloween, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Baby Story Time

When I got to Lily's house this morning, Ms. Magnolia was in the process of getting her kitty cat attire on. Lily made that skirt and it even has a tail. That woman is so crafty.
We drove to the library where we met up with Jessie and her boys and August and Maggie posed for me.

August's costume is a stuffed ostrich which is held on with straps and is almost impossibly cute. The tail waggles as he walks. There are feet which go with it, as you can see. 
Baby story time was a hoot with lots and lots of babies and toddlers. The previous story time guy they had got a different gig somewhere and the one that was doing the honors today was...well...he was young and serious. But the kids and the mommies and grandmommies and the one father all had a good time and I love they way the participate or don't, dance or don't, sing or don't, clap their hands or don't, stay in their accompanying adult's lap or don't. They are each and every one their very own person with their very own personalities already very much present and of course there was that one kid, Kevin in this case, who kept escaping and running off and trying to move chairs and his poor mother did her best to keep him interested in the songs and stories but Kevin wasn't really having it. 
After it was all over, the last song sung, the stickers given out, Maggie and August went to the little "tree house" which is a platform up a short flight of stairs and they began stacking the seat cushions and having a very good time doing that. At one point Maggie decided to carry the cushions down the steps, one at a time, and August immediately got into that game and then they stacked the cushions on the floor. Kevin joined them and decided that the best way to get the cushions down from the platform was to throw them over the railing which was good thinking, in a way, but not very safe. 
"KEVIN!" his mama called. 
That woman does not have an easy life. Trust me. 
Then we moved on to the actual building blocks after all of the cushions were taken back up to their proper place and more towers were made. 

This one was taller than August and as you can see, he was quite proud of it. Then they worked together to put all of the building blocks back into their proper cubbies and I said, "Teamwork makes the dream work!" which is what the dance teacher/drag queen, Alyssa Edwards always tells his students on "Dancing Queen" which is a series you can find on Netflix and which is somehow quite enjoyable. 

And then we were off to lunch, of course, and we went to the place that has everything from the best hot and sour soup to curried tofu to empanadas to beautiful egg rolls to daikon salad to noodles which are three feet long. At least. August was most impressed with these. Maggie actually asked for more broccoli and green beans. And then they both had delicious ice cream. 
Hard to beat that place. 

I took Lily home and was going to jump start her car which Maggie had left the key on (Maggie's favorite thing is pretending to drive) and we soon discovered that a Prius will not jump start a car which has had its battery completely drained. So. I went and got Owen and Gibson from the bus stop and thrilled them to their toes by taking them to the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus thrift store and buying them each a toy. The sign on the door had said that all toys were 50% off but the girl behind the counter did not seem to be aware of this fact. However, she was such a scowly-faced girl (I don't think that she has been fully saved yet, the joy of Jesus has not fully descended upon her) that I was afraid to point out the discount and paid the full price which made my purchase $5.03 which I gladly paid. 

Owen playing with his new toy. Very Halloweeny, don't you agree?

It was good to see my big boys and I must tell you that I got a call from Gibson last night. 
"Mer!" he said. "I got all A's on my report card!" 
Of course, this being Gibson it was more like, "MER! I GOT ALL A'S ON MY REPORT CARD!"
We are all so proud of him. 

And that was my day. I got to see and do stuff with all of my grands and now Mr. Moon is home and I am making soup. 
And it's time to light the candle in the pumpkin.

I better get to it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 29, 2018


Now that's a damn Halloweeny jack-o-lantern, y'all.
And yes, your seven-year old could have done a better job carving it.
I know. I KNOW!
It's tradition and it makes me happy. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Farm To Fable

I took this picture of an immature Georgia Thumper grasshopper (also known as the Eastern Lubber) when I got home from my walk today. I should have held a finger up there for you to get some perspective but rest assured that the damn thing is huge. That's a giant split-leaf philodendron it's on. Those suckers can eat right through your plants, both ornamental and edible. I flipped it off the leaf after I'd taken its picture as the chickens were about and I thought maybe they'd catch and eat it but I didn't stick around long enough to see.

I had a really nice day today.

Jessie and Vergil were out and about and we met up for lunch at the local farm-to-table place which is actually only eight minutes from my house if I take the interstate. They grow some of the food they serve and they keep chickens and quail and it's always fun to walk around after you eat there to see the critters and the types of gardening they're doing.
I rarely get to eat lunch with Vergil so that was extra special and the boys were happy to have their daddy with them.

I didn't get a picture of August but he was a very happy boy eating curly fries and chicken fingers. I was a bit disappointed in the food. They use very good ingredients, fresh and locally sourced, as the cool kids say these days and the flavors are good but things were a bit, um, greasy? 
We ordered some eggplant fries and they do grow the eggplant there but they were so heavily battered and fried that that eggplant could have come from Taiwan and I wouldn't have known the difference. Not that I have a problem with battered and fried foods. But let's show some respect, people!
But we were all happy with what we'd ordered from Jessie's salad to Vergil's catfish po'boy to my barbecued pulled pork on cornmeal johnny cakes with wilted arugula although no one could possibly have been as thrilled as August was with those curly fries. Levon liked everything. 
After we ate and did the garden-and-critter tour I went on to Publix where I actually bought...

...this fine, fine pumpkin. 
And a small bag of miniature Reese's peanut butter cups. 
Look- if I'm going to end up sinning, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it, okay? 

And after I got home and put away my groceries I laid down newspapers on the back porch table and I carved that pumpkin and I was glad I'd bought it. There's just something about the smell of a pumpkin when you cut it and the visceral feel of the pumpkin guts and slippery seeds that is so very pleasing. When we were having lunch, we talked about carving pumpkins. I always, ALWAYS carve my pumpkins into the most traditional, plain jack-o-lanterns. Always have, always will. We discussed the different ways people carve their pumpkins now with all sorts of incredibly artistic and fancy designs and I agreed that that was cool unless they use one of those stencil kits which is nothing more than CHEATING! 
Sorry. This is the truth. 

Now just look at that. Is it cool? Yes. Yes it is. But does it have anything to do with Halloween? NO IT DOES NOT! It's vegetable art but it is not Halloweeny. It is NOT a jack-o-lantern. 
And yes, Halloweeny is a word. It is an adjective. Although I suppose it could be a verb. 
"Let's Halloweeny this place up!" 

Okay. That's enough of that. I couldn't diagram a sentence now if you held a gun to my head and I used to be SO good at that. 

I used to be so good at a lot of things I can barely fathom doing now. We needn't go into details. 

Tomorrow's plan? Going to story time at the library with Lily and Jessie. The kids will be wearing costumes! Be still my heart. 

One more picture. 

I haven't discussed dear Keith lately but let me just say that sometimes a little bit of Mr. Richards is exactly what I need to keep from falling into the deepest depths of despair. 

Whatever gets us through the night. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Services At The Church Of The Batshit Crazy Including Dinner On The Grounds

We turned the heater on this morning, not just because it was a chilly 62 degrees, but to see if it worked because it never does when we first turn it on.
It didn't this time either.
"I hate to say it," I told my husband as we waited for the sweet purr of the unit kicking in which did not occur, "But I think it's about time to replace this motherfucker."
"I hate to say it too," said Mr. Moon and he made no further remark about it except to say that he'd call the heating guy.
He was getting ready to go back up to Georgia and was in a very fine mood despite mechanical woes. Our refrigerator is displaying some problems too, and since these things always run in threes, I'm a bit wary. Perhaps we can count the stove which requires match-lighting for one of the burners and which has another burner which will not work no matter what.
The oven's really dirty, too. Can I get a new one?
Sometimes it just seems like everything is falling apart.
Perhaps that's because everything is falling apart.
The garden gate is disintegrating. Half my clothesline has broken. The railroad hasn't gotten back with us on the subject of the four tons of oak tree in my back yard, and I haven't even started in on the physical pains and problems that the two older people who live here are experiencing these days.
Not to mention my face and body which have definitely already fallen apart.
This is life.
However, I DID get the garden planted today, or at least mostly, and I am so proud of this and feel so happy about it. I planted carrots and beets and collards and kales and red mustards and green mustards and arugula and leeks and mesclun and cauliflower and cilantro. I think that's all.
Of course my rows are as wavy and curvy as a snake moving through the grass. Also, and this is HUGE! - I planted my rows from east to west rather than from north to south which is what we have always done.
I'm a rebel, baby! But the rows aren't as long going east to west and that's good because I don't need fifty collard plants. Thirty will do fine. I ain't a farmer.
Also, this means there will be more room in spring to plant potatoes and onions if I want to.
So I feel as if I accomplished something today and besides that, Hank and Rachel came out to see me and I pulled a smoked mullet and some blue crab claws out of the refrigerator that Mr. Moon brought home from the coast yesterday and we had a little north Florida feast on the back porch. When we were done we looked at the mullet skin and discarded bones, the de-meated crab claws, the bottle of hot sauce, the jar of mustard and the leavings of the claw sauce I'd whipped up and laughed.
That's what I like about the south.

So are y'all ready for Halloween? I am. I have decorated my entire house and all of the porches with spider webs.
Okay, okay. No. I did not do that. However, there ARE spider webs all over my house and porches.
I haven't bought any candy. We haven't had a trick-or-treater in years. And I haven't even bought a pumpkin to carve and set out on the front fence post. I really should do that. Maybe if I did, I'd get a trick-or-treater. Of course, that would require me to also buy candy. Which is never a good idea. Even if I get the kind I don't really like (Three Musketeers, anyone?) that only means that I'll be eating candy that I don't really like.
Jessie and Vergil took the boys to a pumpkin patch yesterday.

August took a tape measure to measure pumpkins. Don't ask me why. Levon tried to pick up and throw pumpkins. This seems to me to be more self-explanatory. 
Tonight they are going trunk-or-treating which is what people do these days and don't ask me why about that, either. 

Here's Skeleton August. He looks pretty good, doesn't he? 

Lily's family is sort of in quarantine at the moment. Gibson got a real, raging, old-fashioned case of strep and although he's on antibiotics and feeling better, it's probably prudent to keep everyone home in case that damn horrible bug is brewing in any of the other kids. They'll be okay by Halloween, I'm sure. But Gibson was miserable for awhile there. On Friday night Lily texted me about his symptoms which included, "can't swallow his spit because his throat hurts so bad," I texted her back with, "Oh god. Strep." And she said, "I know and I want to die."
They got him to the doctor the next day and so far none of the other kids are showing symptoms. 

Strep and head lice. These are two things that you never really consider when you're being all swoony and excited about the precious little baby you're about to give birth to. 
Unless you already have kids in which case you know what you're getting into and that's why you're not as swoony as you were with that first one. 

And that's it from Lloyd. It's Sunday and once again, I did not die.
In fact, kneeling in the dirt for hours and concentrating on placing those tiny seeds in the welcoming soil was just the thing I needed. And seeing Hank and Rachel and eating mullet and crab claws was just the thing I wanted.

And the rest of it can all go fuck itself. You know what I mean.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Pure And Clear, Muddled And Confused

All of the chickens did come home to roost last night with no apparent injuries so that was good news. We had an excellent dinner with our grandson who tore up a chicken leg and stabbed his macaroni and cheese and then asked for a spoon with which to eat it more efficiently.
"A big spoon," he said.
"Who do you want to give you your bath?" I asked him. "Mer or Bop?"
"Bop!" he said with great certainty.
And so Bop gave him his bath and put him in his pajamas and we brushed teeth and we got on my bed, he and I, and read our favorite books including The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza which I have read out loud so many, many times and still am not tired of it. August now lends his voice to the parts where the duck, the cat, and the dog all answer, "Not I," to the Little Red Hen when she asks for help in buying a pizza pan or mozzarella cheese or chopping and grating or making the dough. Owen and Gibson do this too and they have their own dramatic touches for each animal and I love how this is part of our ritual, every time one of them spends the night.
After our stories we went and told Boppy good-night and there was a hug and then I tucked him into his bed with many friends including Big Bear and Zippy and Little Monkey and Alligator and then finally, one more, a lamb which I think had belonged to his Aunt Lily and which, if you wind it up, plays "You Are My Sunshine" which is one of August's favorite songs. I kissed him and told him I loved him and before I was out of the room he was heavy-lidded and still, holding the lamb and that's how he fell asleep and that was how he was still sleeping when his grandfather and I went to bed.

Precious little boy. 
We hadn't told him but Boppy had a short trip planned out to Dog Island with our partner to see what condition our house was in and he was gone before August even woke up which he didn't do until almost nine. He popped up and said, "It's daytime!" and it was and then he said, "Where Boppy?" and I explained and told him that it was okay because he and I would play and that I would make him breakfast. He was okay with that. 

He was shivery in the early morning cool and so I made him some hot chocolate while I was cooking his bacon and waffles. 

"Boy!" I said, "What are you going to do when you go to North Carolina to visit and it's snowing?"
"Play outside with my cousins," he told me. And then he listed them along with his aunt and uncle and his grandparents there. 
And he will. And he will love it. 

He ate two huge waffles with butter and syrup so fast that I couldn't believe it and then he was done and we went out and opened the hen house and fed the chickens their corn and we gave the baby chickens fresh water and food and he asked to hold one of the chicks and I caught one and he did hold it and he was so proud to cup his hands around it, the tiny thing with its scratchy little feet and little beak, it's soft, soft down and coming-in feathers. 
Here's a picture I took of them this evening when I cleaned their coop and gave them some chopped spinach and apples and rice and ground venison. 

It's not a good shot but you can see the new wings on one of the brown chicks. They are starting to get identifying marks but they, too, will change before they're grown. Dearie is still being an excellent mother in all ways. If we ever do any chicken-housing improvements I want Mr. Moon to make a different baby nursery with smaller wire but roomier for the chicks that are being mother-raised. 

August and I decided to walk to the post office and so we did. He held my hand and when we got to the neighbor's beauty berry bush I asked him if he remembered the name. 
"Beauty berry!" he shouted. 

He knows how to push the little brass lever on the post office box to open it after I spin the dials to the right combination of letters. We pulled out our mail and then we said hello to the post mistress and I told August some of the things she does like putting the mail in the boxes and selling stamps. "She is very important!" I told him. 
She smiled and said, "You have a good day," and we walked back home. 

We read some books and in one of them there was a little Seminole Indian doll and I showed him the two old ones that I have and that led to us looking up Seminoles and Seminole Indian dolls on the internet and then on to chickees, the thatch huts that Seminoles lived in before they got fabulously wealthy by running Florida gambling operations. 
"Look up how you make Seminole Indian dolls," he said, and we did that too. He always wants to know how things are made and how things work and "why?" is what he utters the most. 

And then his mama and his brother came and we ate some lunch and then they left to go home. Mr. Moon is home now and he tilled the garden for me and now I have NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER not to get out there and plant. 

The dirt is fine and soft and ready and that is my plan for tomorrow. 

Oh! And Dog Island! Well, the laundry/tool room underneath the house was flooded and the pump house and pump are gone. Well, broken. Something. And the orange shag carpet? Water did come in from under the doors and so some of it is ruined. 
So sad. 
So very, very sad. 

And meanwhile, while all of this sweetness and love and goodness was going on, another horrible, unfathomable hate crime was being committed in a place of worship in a neighborhood described as "totally without crime" and all that the man who has engendered so much of this visible, murderous hate could offer was the idea that if there had been an armed guard in the Synagogue, things might not have been so bad. 


What can we do? 
Vote, of course. If that even matters now with what's happening at the polls. 
And love. Just love. Love. I can't say it enough. We have to love. In all of the ways we are capable, I guess. I ain't enlightened and I cannot say that I can love Donald Trump. But I can wonder if he or the guy who sent the bombs or the men who shot up the Synagogue had anything like love in their childhoods. If they had parents who made them feel loved, if they had grandparents who made them feel loved. 
Somehow I don't think so. 
Trump's father may have made him a millionaire by the age of eight but I seriously doubt he ever cuddled his son or made him feel as if he was important. He was too busy making money and being a racist asshole himself. 

Hell. I don't even know what I'm saying. 
But fuck it- just love. 
Whatever it is, whoever it is that you can love, do it with all of your heart. 

That's all I got. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 26, 2018


Well, look who's spending the night tonight. August Glinden who, as soon as his Boppy walked in the door said, "You want to watch TV?"
Oh gosh.
Before that though, we'd done a lot of things with his mother and brother including tractor riding, of course. I swear, Levon gets more excited about driving that tractor than anyone. He can already make motor noises and he steers and steers and finds levers like a pro.
A rather scary and very exciting thing happened. We were in the kitchen and heard some chicken-in-distress noises and I saw something on the kitchen porch and thought maybe it was a cat or a dog trying to get one of my hens. Jessie bolted out of the door with Levon on her hip and I followed and dang if we didn't see a hawk fly from the front porch, empty-clawed, thank god. But the chickens were most upset and huddled under the kitchen porch and Liberace made the warning crow over and over and over again and they all bawked and fussed and Jessie and I could not find an injured chicken anywhere and eventually, they all settled down and I think everyone's okay. I'll do a head count when they go to bed. I've had chickens so traumatized by attempted hawk abduction that they spent the entire night outside somewhere, hidden under a porch or a deck, most likely, terrified to cross the yard.
In the middle of the damn day! That must have been a hungry hawk. I don't blame the hawk- a predator has to do what a predator has to do but I hate having my chickens scared and possibly hurt. And possibly carried off although I'm not sure I've ever seen a hawk successfully carry  a full-grown chicken farther than a few feet.

Anyway, there you go. Excitement in Lloyd and of course the guy sending all of the bombs to Democrats is another insane Florida Man, this one driven to insanity (if he wasn't already there) by right-wing spewings and lies and his own idol, the Dumpster himself.
I don't know what to say.
I just don't.
Except thank all of the powers that be that no one was injured or killed.

I've felt off and wonky all day long and I still do. The shopping cart I was using at Publix was wonky, too, going off in one direction and then another and it took me quite awhile to reassure myself that it WAS the cart and not me as I wandered about buying sweet potatoes and acorn squash and light bulbs and lemons, bananas, juice, and yogurt. 

I overheard a white-haired woman who was shopping with her white-haired mother say, "Mama, I did not say that. Please don't do that. I am not Buster."
I pondered and pondered that as I shopped. I am endlessly curious about relationships between older women and their daughters. Sometimes they look so absolutely joyful and sometimes, they just don't. I know what my relationship was with my mother and it was not good, to say the least. Next up on the big wheel will be my relationship with my daughters and so far, so good. Unless I go completely demented which I fear daily will happen, and start calling them horrible names or saying things that make them hate me, I think we'll be okay. I hope so.

But here I am now, safe at home and August is sitting with his grandfather and they are watching Baby Boss for the one millionth time which is tradition now. I have a chicken in the oven (hypocrite!) with a little stuffing in it and I will make some mac cheese which August and his grandfather both love and broccoli to make it all healthy and then it will be bath time and then story time and then bed time and we'll make up August's bed beside our bed and hopefully he will sleep well. It's supposed to get cooler tonight, which I am glad for. It's been a little bit warm today. Our temperatures are being forecast to go up and down with as much as thirty degree differences in one day and how's this? The pecans are putting on new spring leaves.
In October.

Hard not to feel like the world is beyond fucked on so many levels right now but it is possible to concentrate on whatever sane goodness we have in our lives.

That's what I'm trying to do.
May you be able to do so as well.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 25, 2018

An Anniversary Day

Mr. Moon stayed home from work today and we got ourselves together (I even put on make-up!) and drove to Monticello where we each had a piece of quiche at Tupelo's Bakery. Quiche which was so light and so airy that the chickens of angels probably laid the eggs it's made of and whoever makes the pastry has the lightest, surest hand on this earth and a magical rolling pin besides.
Really, it is good quiche.

Then we strolled down the block to early-vote at the old jail, the place I always think of as THE PLACE I VOTED FOR BARACK OBAMA TWICE and I love voting there. Everyone is so kind and courteous and there are always people coming in and going out. The people of Jefferson County do not take their right to vote lightly.

We drove to Thomasville, Georgia after that. Thomasville is as southern as southern can be and it has a downtown which thrives. There are all sorts of shops and restaurants and we visited a few of them.

That's what one part of the downtown looks like. The store in that picture, Kevin's, is what Mr. Moon calls the place where the plantation owners buy their stuff. 
And it's true. 
Lord- if you need some fine china with hunting scenes on it, Kevin's has your back. They have fancy knives and fancy hunting clothes (for men and women) and beautiful leather bags and  beautiful cutlery and yes, jewelry (suitable for the deer stand?) and believe it or not, we bought not one durn thing. Our plantation is pretty-well stocked. 
Mr. Moon did stop in at the barber shop to get his hair cut. 

It's a real barber shop and has been in that location forever. While he was getting tended to I went back to another shop we'd visited, one of my own personal favorites and bought Maggie's Christmas present. I just could not leave Thomasville without some of this.

The cuteness was overwhelming. Do you see the little infant-mice bouncy seats? I got Magnolia that little mouse in the bed. And the bed. Which really rolls. And the mouse is wearing a ballerina costume. I may have been given a granddaughter for the sole purpose of giving me a reason to buy things like that. Do you see the little boy mice to the right with hats on their heads? They have rolled up sleeping bags strapped to their backs and they also sell little tents for the little camping mice and damn but I almost got August that combo because I think he would love them and I loved them but I did not. I could probably buy him a real sleeping bag and tent for the price which isn't the point but sometimes it's good to keep things in perspective. 
I also started reading the book that I bought at the bookstore because I can't go in a locally owned bookstore and not buy something. I got Tara Westover's Educated and I can't wait to really get into it. There are benches all up and down the sidewalk making book-reading-while-waiting so very comfortable. Finally Mr. Moon came out, all spiffed up and handsome and we walked down to a restaurant and ate some shrimp and grits which were delicious but quite frankly, not as good as the shrimp and grits I make. 
But they were good. 

After all of that we were ready for a nap but forced ourselves to go look at some antiques which were fine but again- our plantation is pretty well furnished as well as stocked. 

And then we drove home and we did indeed take a nap and when we got up and were fully awake we gave each other cards and I gave Mr. Moon his present from the Costco which is a set of wireless headphones (he can't find his old ones) and he gave me the most beautiful bottle of tequila I've ever seen. 

Also a can of my favorite espresso and some chocolate. 
It's like he knows me. 
And I have made him some flan which I have never made before but last night I dreamed of babies, one of whom I actually nursed, and making huge vats of custard with thirty-six eggs from my chickens (I remember exactly- three dozen eggs) and the obviousness of that sweet milky dream makes me laugh. I always say that my chicken's eggs make me feel rich and they do and if there is anything more symbolic of love and nurturing than breast milk, I don't know what it is and there you go. They weren't even my babies or even my babies' babies, but so loving and precious and I was simply helping out the mother and she was happy about that. And it was all so very dear. 
What a beautiful dream to have on the night of my thirty-fourth anniversary where we have celebrated a whole lot of sweetness and love. 
Here's a picture Jessie sent me today. 

I think that sort of says it all. 

And now it's raining gently and I feel very content here in our old house on our own little spit of land beside the railroad tracks with our own chickens tucked away in their roost.

I am grateful and I am glad to be here. I loved going out into the world but after a few hours, I need to come home to roost where I belong. 

Thirty-four years. 
We fell in love, we got married, we did some stuff. 
And here we are. 
It's pretty good, as our grandson August would say. 
Pretty damn good. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Brief Yet True

I just deleted a long post I wrote because it just seemed too personal even though that is something I don't usually shy away from.
Well, actually I struggle between what is too much and what is not enough more often than you'd think. Life is funny. We are every one of us human beings and as such, are fucked up in small ways and in big ways and we try so hard to protect ourselves from judgement, from revealing too much even as we have an innate desire to share and reveal.

I will just say this- on the eve of my thirty-fourth wedding anniversary I am giving a great deal of thought to how steadfastly my husband has stood beside me, a vastly imperfect woman who came to him with huge and sometimes seemingly insurmountable problems which arose from things which had happened that he had absolutely no responsibility for.
And yet, he took me on, he took them on with his whole huge heart and his whole huge desire to make things right.

And I love him so much that I can't begin to describe it.

Thirty-four years.

That's all for now.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

How We Hold On

That was Levon at Japanica eating food from a bowl by tipping it up and covering his face with it. I tried to get a picture of that but failed. He looks a bit devilish there, doesn't he?
I wasn't going to leave my house and yard today. I woke up back in the depths again but Jessie texted and wanted to go to Costco and even though I really did not need a damn thing there, not really, I agreed to go anyway because I knew that it would be good for me to see the boys and their mama and besides, it helps her get her shopping done to have me with her.
Plus- lunch.
So we met at the giant friendly place and I saw one of the employees whom I really do have a great affection for and I haven't seen her in forever so that was nice. And we looked at toys and August was happy about that and when it was time to go into the coldy room where they keep the produce, he said, "Will you cuddle me to keep me warm?" and I said that I certainly would and I picked him up and wrapped my arms around him and he giggled and we were fake-stunned at the cold and we fake-shivered and I held him tight as could be because that's about the only time that kid will let me hug him.
So that was good and I even found Mr. Moon a little present for our anniversary which is on Thursday and if he doesn't like it he can take it back, no problem, and that's why I love Costco. Well, that and the fact that I always see the same employees and they are cheerful and efficient and polite. And of course, there are the samples.
While we were there, we got a group text from May who had just seen JOE BIDEN!!!!

How cool is that? 
Sweet, handsome, funny, strong, man-bonded-to-Barack-Obama-Joe-Biden!

Tallahassee will surprise you sometimes. And I suppose, so will Joe Biden. 

So that was exciting and then Jessie and I went to Japanica and had miso soup and salad with ginger dressing and I had the green curry tofu Bento and Jessie had hibachi chicken with vegetables and Levon ate everything and August ate his soup and some of his salad and my spring roll and some of his mama's chicken and vegetables and some of my rice and a piece of my broccoli and when we left we all had sticky rice all over us and I even found some in my purse. 
It's always a good time at Japanica!
When I went to tell August good-bye he had just applied cherry-flavored lipstick and so he allowed me a kiss so it was pretty much a huge affection win for the day with that boy. Levon has begun kissing by opening his mouth as wide as a carp's and that was fun too because if you do it right, you can make one of those popping kisses. 
Did I tell you that he's starting to take a few steps at a time now? 

We didn't do the bookstore today because August has a cold and when he's a little sick he tends to become the teensiest bit manic and Jessie was not up for that. I frankly wasn't either, although I would have soldiered on if she'd wanted to. 
In fact, I may be getting the cold myself. I came home and thought about all of the things I could/should do and decided to take a nap. 
Which I did. 

And here in the Great State of Florida a white Neo-Nazi group from the Great State of Idaho is sending out robo-calls about MY candidate for governor, Andrew Gillium, which the Huffington Post describes as "disgustingly racist."
My heart breaks at least once every day for our country. 

That's all I got, people. 

A good friend of mine has a tag-line at the end of his e-mails which is this:

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?" 
Jean Jacque Rousseau

That will be my tiny flame of hope for the day which I will use to try and bind my broken heart once again. 

Let's be kind. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 22, 2018

If I Could Choose

Here's a picture of Maurice who spent half the day just like that, curled up on my bed. I finally had to move her in order to make it. Cats, like humans, get acclimated and I'm sure that to her it feels cold. A friend of mine moved from Tallahassee to South Dakota recently and her poor kitty has had a difficult time adjusting to the (truly) cooler temperatures there. She is not most pleased, I hear.

Here's what darling Dearie and her babies looked like this morning when I took them their chopped grapes and spinach after my walk. They seem fine and survived last night's lower temperatures under their mama's wings without a problem. 

I took a very pleasant walk this morning in the coolness. I woke up with a lot of anxiety and all of that blah, blah and hoped that the walk would magically fix it all but it did not. However, as always I was glad I got out there and did it. I have no idea why but the anxiety has been ramping lately and I need to do whatever I can to be able to live with it more comfortably. I would say to do whatever I can to fend it off but that doesn't seem to be how it works. 
Hell. I don't know. 

I don't know anything (have you figured that out yet?) and am pretty sure that I've given up trying. And so I go on doing what I have been given to do and trying with all of my heart not to take things so seriously. If there were one thing I wish I could change about myself, I do believe it would be that I could have a more cheerful and trusting heart. I think that if I had that, so many things would flow more easily and I would be able to put it all in perspective with more wisdom and certainty. And quite frankly, it seems to me that the people I know who are more like Pollyanna in their outlooks actually get more accomplished than we who fear that all comes to naught. 
How much easier is it to make a leap of faith when you believe that the very earth itself is waiting to catch you than it is if you believe that the result of such a leap will lead directly into the great abyss? And without those leaps of faith, nothing much can be achieved. 
I know that with all of my pessimistic heart and yet can no more seem to change myself than I can change the color of the sky. 

Ah well. Like Popeye, I yam who I yam and that's all that I am. 
I had some spinach for lunch. It was good and now my biceps are like the ones Brutus has. 
Trust me. 

And for those of you who do not know who Pollyanna, Popeye, and Brutus are, I can only say, "Well, that's all right. I am old. You are not."

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Good Seeds And Bad

Woke up this morning and I was COLD. I had a quilt and a down blanket on me and I was still chilly. Maurice was snuggled up so you know damn well it was coolish, at the very least. I was shocked as hell to find her there and I stroked and scratched her for a few moments and she seemed to like it well enough until without warning she did what she always does and grabbed my hand in her razor sharp claws and bit me with her razor sharp teeth.
Why do I never learn?
Oh well. The blood loss was minimal.

The crispness of the bluesky morning made me feel so good. It was, as Jessie texted me later, a "perfect" day. It never got above seventy-something all day long and after the unrelenting temperatures in the nineties we've been having, it seemed, if not arctic, at least heavenly. I went outside and opened the hen house door and the chickens raced out as if they, too, were excited to experience this good day. The baby chicks were all fine with their mama and it's so nice knowing that she will keep them at just the right temperature in their little safe place, no heat lamps required.

I decided to finally and at last go and buy the seeds for my fall garden and I did. I went to a nursery, not my favorite nursery but a decent one and finally found the seeds who's location changes every time I go in that store which at the moment is in deep preparation for the Christmas crap while already completely covered by the Halloween crap. I found all of the kinds of seeds I wanted and then decided to go out to the plant part of the nursery and I'm so glad I did. I could feel my blood pressure sliding right down as I wandered about a little. I watched two youngish guys shopping for succulents and they were so serious about it that they asked an employee to come and give them advice for a mixed pot of them. He told them about the different types and how they would grow and what sort of pot and soil they should use and they were as serious and attentive as a couple taking childbirth classes. I swear. I felt like going up to them and patting their arms gently and saying, "Don't worry. You will be great plant parents."
I almost decided to take back all of my seeds and just get some already started plants. I always have too many greens and work way too hard for what we actually need. But that just seems like lazy gardening and doing things the hard way is so morally pleasing to me that I just couldn't do it. I'm going to wish I had though when I'm down on my knees planting entire rows of seeds the size of an ant's ass.
But I need to get them in the ground as soon as possible. And oh hell. I just realized I didn't get beets.

I ran by Costco where I heard a woman say to her partner, "Look at that Christmas tree! Doesn't it look so real?"
And I actually said out loud (but not loud enough for her to hear), "No. No it does not."
And it didn't. I don't have a damn thing against artificial trees but I think they should look like this.

Don't you? 

On a much more serious note have you seen this?
Just read it. 

Those of you who know me well know that transgender issues are something I feel fiercely and strongly about on a very personal level. And now Trump, who is actually still shocking me with the depths to which he and his administration can sink, wants to not only take away protections for transgendered people but to deny their very existence. 
As my son Hank wrote on Facebook where he posted this article, "Y'all better be with us when this shit comes down."
And guess what? I'm pretty sure that transgendered people will be just the beginning. They're already chipping away at the rights and protections of your "regular" gay people like your hairdresser, your favorite aunt, your brother or sister or mother or father or doctor or nurse or son or daughter or teacher or landscaper or favorite blogger or you. 
I don't even know what the hell to do. 

Promise to be there when the shit comes down, I guess. Whatever that means. I'll fucking do it. 

Mr. Moon is home. I need to go make supper. It's going to get down to forty-something tonight and I'll be pulling The Duck out of the plastic bag where I rolled it up and stored it last spring, clean and ready for cozy duck down use. 
Mark it on the calendar. The Day the Duck Comes Out.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Religion Is Rain And Babies And Things Like That

Look how cute that baby is! We're all noticing how much calmer and less skittish these chicks are than the ones we get at the Tractor Supply. They haven't been traumatized with being transported with huge numbers of other chicks and set under heat lamps in a store but have been with their mama since they hatched with her comforting cluck and protecting feathers. Tiny little dinosaurs with great big eyes and feet. I just feel so gifted by them.

I didn't get a thing done today but it was a very good day despite that. Jessie and the boys came over this morning to see the new babies and they were suitably impressed. And then- back to the tractor. That tractor has gotten more play time in the past few weeks than the play set ever did. They should market those things for kids.

The boys and the girls, the babies and the big ones, they all love it. It might never move another inch and will still have been the most fun thing ever. They make tractor noises and steer, try to shift the gears and press on the pedal. "What's this?" August asks, over and over while pointing to one thing or another. "Don't know. Ask Boppy," we tell him. For a relatively simple machine, tractors have a lot of switches and handles and levers and...stuff. 
No one could ask Boppy today because he's back up in Georgia but I'm enjoying my alone time although I've only had about two hours of it so far due to visits from Jessie and Hank and Rachel. They wanted to come out to see the chicks too, and so they did. 

Hank holds babies! Again! He loves babies. My family might be the most baby-loving family on earth. But let me just say, if you've never kissed a baby chick head, you don't know what you're missing. 
Here's Rachel holding a baby. 

That's the one in the picture at the top. 
We talked about how in the world we're going to name all of these chickens. Hank suggested we give them all dinosaur names. 
Tyrannosaurus Rex. 
And so forth.
Or, you know- we could shorten those names up. Rex. Steggie. Pterry.
We'll see.
It's going to be so interesting to see what they look like when they get their feathers. Like human babies, chicks change so much in the first few months.
Meanwhile, they are a delight and Dearie is taking such good care of them. I chopped up some apple and grapes and spinach to supplement their starter feed. They loved it. And we watched one of the tinies scratch up a bug and eat it, all on her own.
I felt so proud!

After we'd done all the backyard stuff we wanted to do, we decided to head up to the Hill Top, the little country store with the restaurant attached. Restaurant? Cafe? I don't know.
Whatever you call it, it's good.
We got everything from a Reuben with fried pickles to a chicken salad salad (me, of course) to a fish and shrimp combo dinner with hushpuppies, fried okra and beans. I swear that one of these days I'm going to get some barbecue there. People were lined up waiting to order and they either took their food with them or else ate it in the air conditioned room out back that has four tables in it or under the big awning at a picnic table. We chose the outdoor picnic table option. It's the kind of place where there's a baby in a play pen standing right by the door while his mama cooks and his granddaddy runs the register. The kind of place where in the unisex (only) bathroom, there's deer corn on the floor which probably fell out of someone's boot or pocket. The kind of place where there's a long bench in front of the cake and salad display case to sit on and wait for your food. The kind of place where, when they make the red velvet cake, they use ALL the red food coloring. The kind of place where you run into your next door neighbors that you haven't talked to in three months. The kind of place where, well yeah- you can get fried pickles with your Reuben.
In other words, awesome.

So we ate our lunches and it was all delicious and then Jessie went on home with her boys and Hank and Rachel came back here with me and we visited for a few hours. While they were here, it suddenly began to pour rain and we were sitting on the back porch and it was absolutely wonderful. The air smelled so good and for awhile the sun was shining even as it rained and the drops of water on the magnolia leaves were like fairy lights with the sun shining through them. It's supposed to get down into the upper fifties tonight and I am waiting for that precious coolness to follow the rain. It has rained again since Hank and Rachel left and I have doors open as well as the window over my bed. I remember the night of the hurricane when we had no power and what it felt like to sleep under that open window. It was cool that night too, and every now and then a breeze would come through the window and I would feel it on my skin and think about how incredible that felt. Don't get me wrong- I love my air conditioning and my fan but to have that coolness come so unexpectedly was a sort of blessed bliss.
Perhaps there will be more of that tonight.

For a few minutes this afternoon, as Hank and Rachel and I watched the rain fall and the light shoot through the drops of water, as we took in the sound of it, the smell of it, we all fell silent. For those few minutes we were mindful. This happens so infrequently, or at least it does in my life. And I should know better than to let any of these moments pass unnoticed. These are the holy moments and they are far more abundant than we recognize, I think.

I'm going to ponder that. I'm going to try and do better to pay attention. To be more present in the moment, as they say.

Right now the rain is dripping from the overhanging tin roof. I can hear the wet swish of the tires of cars passing every now and then. An airplane drones to the south of me. The sun has set and it is dark outside. Life is within me and it is without me.

I take a breath, I let it out.

Time to go put up the chickens.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 19, 2018


When Maggie was here yesterday she noticed a net bag full of colored plastic balls in the pump house. The kind of balls they have in ball pits. A friend of ours picked them up at a Goodwill a few years ago and I don't think I've ever brought them out for the kids but as soon as my granddaughter got here this morning she was determined that she was going to play with those balls.
And let me say that when Magnolia June is determined, it is best for all concerned to let her follow the path of that particular determination.
I put her off for a little bit with some smoothie and cheese toast and she played with one of her dolls and rode the horse for awhile but then nothing would do but to get those balls.
I knew they were going to be dirty and I didn't quite know where to dump them to create a small ball pit so I ended up bringing them in the house where we put them in the bath tub. This was fun for a little while but as with so many cheap, colorful things, the pleasure fades quickly.

She did just about everything you can do with plastic balls in a dry bath tub including sorting them by color and by then she was as filthy as the balls were so I suggested that we put the balls back in their bag and that she could have a bath. She agreed that this was a good plan and she helped me to put all of the balls away, as determined and industrious as any two-year old I've ever seen, and then I ran her a bath and after that she had a short shower to wash off all of the bubbles. After all of that she was as clean as a bean and her hair was curly as it could be and then she wanted to play outside which we did. Of course the tractor was involved. 

So were the riding lawn mower and the four-wheeler and the old van. By the time she'd done all of that, she looked like this.

She's so funny. She wanted me to open the door to her Boppy's old truck so she could see inside it so I did. She looked around it and said, "WHAT??!! Oh my gosh!"
I have no idea what she was remarking on but it made me laugh. 

We did a lot of swinging on the porch swing and she had to frequently leave to go tend to a baby. "Be right back! Baby crying!" she'd say, and then she would go and come back. 

After she left, I walked into my old bedroom to find one of those babies safely tucked under the covers.

After awhile Lily came to pick her up with Gibson and he got to hold one of his grandbabies. 

As you can see, he is a very tender and careful grandfather. 

And all of that is mostly what I did today. I've checked on the chicks and Dearie many times and given them chopped apples and fresh water and more feed. They all seem as healthy as can be. 

And so it is Friday. They don't seem to be meeting at the church tonight. I have the air conditioning on for what I hope is the last time in 2018. I am going to cook a snapper. I think the lady who lives one house over across the street from me may have died. An ambulance left her place today which was not heading to the hospital and it did not have lights or siren. I know she's been very ill. I've never gotten to know this woman well. She stayed in her house most of the time although of course we would talk if we were both in our front yards at the same time. 

The presence of my beloveds who have passed seem to be close lately. I wonder if it's due to the proximity of Day of the Dead. I do not know but I think of them often and as tenderly as Gibson holds that chick. They come to me in dreams and they know and I know that they are dead but still, there they are. "Let's discuss that," I told Kathleen in a dream lately. But before we could, the dream was over. If she had wisdom to impart, I did not receive it and so I will be satisfied with what she and all of them gave me when they were here with voices to speak that I could understand. 
It is good to remember those things. 

Ay, it's time to cook. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. The balls went home with Maggie.