Thursday, February 28, 2019

Life On Earth In A Small Way

Jessie and Lily and I have been wanting to take the little kids to the Jefferson County Library preschool story hour and today we planned on doing that. Lily woke up with painful sinuses (will this season of sickness never end?) and so Jessie and I went. I love that little library. It's just the sweetest place and I had a feeling that it would be a fun story hour and it was. We got there just as they were putting away a big multicolored parachute cloth thing that the kids had been creating waves with and it was time for the story.
Lily's best friend Kelly was there with her darling boy Wiley. I went over and gave Kelly a hug and Wiley came to say hello.
"Do you remember me?" I asked him.
"Yes," he said solemnly. He wears glasses and if there is anything cuter than a small boy with round glasses I don't know what it is.
"Do you remember my name?"
"My grandma," he said.
I only asked him if he knew my name because I wanted to hear him say that. I have no idea why he calls me grandma. Even my grandkids don't call me that but that's what Wiley calls me and I love it.
The lady who read the story was fun and personable and it was a simple book about a fox and the kids paid attention.

Next up was painting with frozen paint. YES! Frozen paint on a stick. How cool is that?

"Pass the purple, please."

And then. AND THEN! It was time for the bubble machine.
Oh my god. So much fun. Bubbles. And beats!

Could there be more fun? 
I've spoken about the librarian and how much I like him before. I think his name is Terez or something like that. I should know. Anyway, that's him in the top picture making the magic happen. The kids loved it and so did I. 

After the bubble party August did a few things on a kid computer and then we read some books, one of which was Horton Hears A Who which made me tear up. And of course it was far from the first time I'd ever read that book. 
A person's a person no matter how small. 
Sometimes Dr. Seuss just nailed it. 
A little girl came and hung over the arm of the chair while I was reading and I loved that. I was looking at all of the kids in the community room during story hour and for some reason it just struck me how beautiful all of their eyes were. Of course kids have beautiful eyes! But it was so apparent and I kept looking down at the little girl as I was reading, her head practically under my arm and her eyes were gorgeous too. 
It truly is amazing how humans have evolved to project our very souls through those windows of our eyes. And without doubt animals do too

and I am quite sure that dogs and cats, who have eons of experience with humans, can read us through our eyes as easily as we can read each other. We tend to think of animals who do not have the same sort of emotional-sharing abilities with their eyes to be less-than. To be creepier. In fact, we sometimes refer to creepy people as having eyes like lizards. Or snakes. Or vultures. 
But all of these children had amazing eyes. Open wide and curious to it all. The story, the painting, the bubbles, each other, their mamas, the books. 

Of course after the library we were hungry and had to go get lunch where we ate outside and Levon was absolutely fascinated by the trucks. He had to point at each one that passed by and when a huge earth-moving machine went past us I thought he was going to jump out of his britches. Then we went to Wag The Dog where we found a few treasures. They had two tiny perfect rocking chairs for dolls and some sweet little bears and I bought a chair and some bears for August and for Maggie. 

Oh, the imagining Magnolia will do with that little bear family! 
I didn't find any beautiful lamps today but I did find a copy of The Yearling and one of The Secret Garden for Owen. August was most interested in all of the plastic Easter Eggs they had and I bought him a purple one. 
I found a vintage silk scarf. I've washed it and it's as weightless and soft as a prayer. It's hard to pass up a beautiful old scarf. 

I'm sure it will come to rest over a curtain rod in a window or maybe as a wrapping for a birthday present for someone I love. 
Yeah. I like that idea. 

Frozen paint. Bubble machines. An entire town on a speck of dust balanced on an elephant's trunk. Trucks hauling logs and trucks carrying beer and giant bulldozers. A grandson who says, "Mer, can I tell you a story?" and another child who calls me grandma.
The eyes of children. 

These are a few of the things that have made me happy today or given me pause.


Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Well. That Was Something

I spent seven hours today listening to the Michael Cohen testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee. I did everything today with my earphones in, listening via my local NPR station on my phone.
I'm not going to recap anything because there are at least a million news outlets that are doing it better than I could but it's so telling to me that not one Republican asked him a damn thing about Trump but instead just kept trying to attack Cohen's credibility by reminding him that he lied when testifying before the Congress previously which he did not deny for a second.
Basically he just kept saying, "Yes, I lied and I'm going to prison for three years because of it."
What I want to know is, if he's the pathological liar they claim he is (and he may well be) then why do they believe what he said when he was defending Trump?
But I digress.
I thought that Representative Elijah Cummings who is head of the Oversight Committee did a fantastic job of keeping things going smoothly and making sure that the whole thing was conducted properly and his summation at the end almost brought me to tears.
Of course everything Cohen said about his former boss was exactly what we've always known about Trump. That he's a liar, a conman, a cheat, a racist, etc. Also that he has a huge ego, it's all about winning at any cost, and his kids (with the exception of Tiffany and Barron) are also guilty of criminal behavior.
And so much more.
Well, it's a start. And I have to tell you that I was absolutely intent on hearing it all. This is history happening. And of course Trump's supporters are going to completely disregard anything that Cohen said today and even if they don't, it won't matter to them. As Cohen said today, Trump was absolutely correct when he claimed that he could shoot someone in the middle of fifth avenue and get away with it.

Those are the pretty little flowers I picked on my walk today. The flowers at the top all came from my yard. It's always crazy-good when the camellias and azaleas are blooming at the same time. The wisteria will be coming along soon. I've already seen some blooming in other places nearby. And the wild azalea is blooming in the woods and I always feel blessed when I see those pink blossoms peeking out from behind the forest trees. 

These are the good things. Also, this. 

Magnolia in her mother's work-out pants. 

And August newly relieved of his cast. 

Yay, arm! 
Jessie wrote last night that she'd asked August what his favorite part of the day had been. 
"Seeing Maggie," he said. She asked him what he liked about seeing Maggie and he smiled and giggled and said, "She's sweet." 
He also said that when he's older he's going to marry me and Boppy. 
Oh, how I love three-year olds. They are just starting to figure it all out and their hearts are so precious. 

What a day. I better go shut up the chickens. Only about half of them are sleeping in the hen house these days. The rest are sleeping on the roof of it or in trees. Miss Viv has now disappeared too. I keep thinking that both she and Vera are sitting on eggs somewhere but if they are I have seen no sign of them and even brooding hens get off the nest for a few minutes every day to eat and drink some water and maybe take a little dirt bath. I feel like my little chicken world is all upset right now due to having all of these roosters. We have GOT to do something about that and I still don't really know what or how. Have you ever tried to catch a chicken? Plus, we can't even corral them in the coop because they don't go in there. 
Oh, Lord. 

Let's all hang in there, people. Justice may be served eventually. Meanwhile, our so-called president is finally in Viet Nam, bone spurs and all, meeting with one of his bromances and god only knows how he'll fuck that shit up. 
I can only say that I hope justice comes before the fucker manages to start WW III and that when it does come (justice, not the war), there will be some nice tight handcuffs served on the side. 
A girl can dream, right?

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

That's the coconut cream pie. Mr. Moon almost swooned when he ate a piece last night after the basketball game. And then he called me today from work and asked me to please bring him his pie. He said that without doubt it is the best coconut cream pie he ever ate. 
It should be good. I made it with coconut milk and the half-and-half which was left over from when Lon and Lis were here. My kids love it when Lis has been here because they know that the half-and-half I bought for Lis to put in her coffee will be in the refrigerator. 
I tried a bite of the pie and I have to say it IS damn good. I also put almond extract in it because almond extract makes everything better. 
And now I have a blackberry and strawberry pie right out of the oven because I made way too much pastry yesterday and god knows you don't want to waste pastry. 
Can you freeze a pie? 
I probably should have frozen it before I baked it. 

So that's the domestic and culinary news.

I met up with some cuties today at the Costco. Maggie brought us all azaleas. I could NOT get a decent picture of her though. She refused to smile. 
Then we went to lunch. I embarrassed myself by demonstrating my flicking technique to August by launching a straw that had been tied into a knot into the seat behind him. There were two ladies sitting there. 
"This is why we can't take our mother out," said Jessie. 
I was laughing so hard that I could hardly apologize. 
Sometimes being a grandmother is just the best. 

Here's the picture I took before we all went our separate ways. Another curb shot. 

I told them, "Say POOP!" and as you can see, Levon actually did. 

So that was all good but when I got home I took some things to the dump including the giant bag of VCR tapes and DVD's. I left them on the side of the trash bin along with a T-ball stand. This is where we, the citizens of Lloyd, place the things we think others might want. 
"No scavenging," says the sign on the gate. 
So that was fine but when I was about to get in my car after putting my recycle stuff into their proper bins, the guy who works there started up a conversation about how STUPID people are. They put their trash in the wrong places and their recycles too. He's right. No one follows the instructions. So anyway, I stood there and commiserated with him and everything was fine but then he started going OFF and I knew I did not need to stand there and listen to his shit but he just wouldn't stop talking. He had to tell me what's wrong with kids today which is that their parents are afraid of them.
"I lived in FEAR of my father," he said, "But I respected him. Everyone feared my father but he was respected. And I threw my own sons up against the wall when they needed it. I wasn't afraid of them. They were afraid of me."
I should have just agreed and gotten back in my car but no, no, no. That is not who I am. 
"Well, " I said, "I don't believe that children need to fear their parents in order to respect them."
And he proceeded to tell me how important fear is. Blah, blah, blah. He's probably extremely god-fearing too.
This led somehow to him telling me how great things had been in Jefferson county before integration. How everyone had respected everyone else and everyone got along just fine. 
By now I knew I had to get away or I was going to explode but he just kept talking. 
"I've lived in Jefferson County all my life and I was raised a conservative and I will be until I die!" 
I could feel the anger building in me. 
"I was raised in the south too," I told him, "But I was not raised to be a conservative."
Then he started up about Trump. How he's done more for this country than any other president in the history of the United States. And how Nancy Pelosi needs to get another shot of Botox. And how Obama was the one who fomented the divisiveness and hatred in this country. 
That did it. 
You know, it's weird. I knew that this man was ignorant and that honestly any man of his age who works at the dump is not going to be the happiest person in the world. And that his father probably fucked him up good but even as I was thinking of all of this he somehow came to represent everything I abhor and am horrified by in this country right now and I sort of wanted to smash him with something. Something heavy. 
Fuck standing around and listening to this shit. I got in my car and said to him, "You, sir, are a racist, I think," I said. 
"No ma'am!" he yelled. "I am NOT!"
I couldn't believe how shaken I was. I am a sixty-four year old woman who likes to think of herself as a compassionate and understanding woman who is far too old to get that angry. I wanted nothing more than to go back and scream at him about how ignorant he was, how wrong-headed, how maybe he should try watching something besides Fox News. 
And you know why I didn't? Because I knew it wouldn't do one damn bit of good. One of us could have ended up with a stroke and it might have been me. 

But shit. This guy works at the dump and, as he informed me, his family used to own four thousand acres of land here in Jefferson County so we can safely assume that he's come down in the world and he needs someone to blame that on. 
I have to tell you though that I am not a very Zen person.

I got over it pretty quickly. And frankly, it's best if I take my trash to the dump when it's closed. There's a gate that stays open all the time and you just have to schlep it a little farther than you would have to if you can pull right up to the bins.
As you may recall, this is not the first altercation I've had with guys who work at the dump. Best for me just to avoid the whole situation. 

I will end this whole confession of my un-Zen-ness with a poem that I read today. 
Of course it was written by Billy Collins. 

The Chairs That No One Sits In

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You see them on porches and on lawns 
down by the lakeside, 
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple 

who might sit there and look out 
at the water or the big shade trees. 
The trouble is you never see anyone 

sitting in these forlorn chairs 
though at one time it must have seemed   
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while. 

Sometimes there is a little table 
between the chairs where no one   
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown. 

It might be none of my business, 
but it might be a good idea one day 
for everyone who placed those vacant chairs 

on a veranda or a dock to sit down in them 
for the sake of remembering 
whatever it was they thought deserved 

to be viewed from two chairs   
side by side with a table in between. 
The clouds are high and massive that day. 

The woman looks up from her book. 
The man takes a sip of his drink. 
Then there is nothing but the sound of their looking, 

the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird 
then another, cries of joy or warning— 
it passes the time to wonder which.
I needed to read that today. It is way past time for me to go sit on one of those chairs on my own front porch and just pass the time viewing the trees and the sky and the earth waking up again into spring and the people who pass by either in cars or on foot, most of them good and all of them as real and as deserving as I am of life.
That I do believe in theory, even if it's really hard to always act on in reality.
I do my best as do we all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 25, 2019

If You Feel Love, Show Love. That's All

It got a little cooler last night and I enjoyed every second of it. Every time I woke up I snuggled down deeper into the duck and sighed and fell back asleep. And today has been nothing short of glorious. It did get up into the seventies but the humidity was low and the sky was that blue you see in the picture and things are blooming and birds are singing and butterflies are darting about and bees are buzzing from one flower to the next and it's been pretty perfect.

I took a walk down White House road this morning and as always, I never, ever regret getting out and walking. Well, except for that time I got caught in a storm and oh, yeah, that other time that my thighs got so chapped that the last three miles felt like I had razor blades implanted in them but, mostly.

I dropped by Jessie's house when I went into town to go to Publix. August was his usual cool self. "Hey. Can you read me this book? Can I have some gum?"
I was kissing him on the ear a little later, just tiny little peck-kisses and he said, "That's enough of that for now."
Three years old.
Levon was happy to see me though.
"Hi!" he said and he let me pick him up and give him a cuddle and a squeeze and a few kisses before he wanted to get down to play. He did listen some to the book we were reading though and pointed out the horse in each picture. He's smart, that child.

And oh, how he loves to dig in the dirt.

I didn't stay long at all but left and went to the grocery store, came home and started supper early because Mr. Moon has a basketball game in town at seven. I also made pie pastry because I've been promising him a coconut cream pie for forever and the crust is baking now and I'm going to make the custard in a little while. 
It will make him so happy. 
I learned a long time ago that, like with taking walks, I never regret doing anything that makes my husband happy. When I show love to him, he shows it right back to me and the more love there is, the more love there is. 

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. 

Those Beatles. They knew.

Of course, I'm lucky enough to have a partner who returns love with love. Not everyone is that fortunate and I know it. 

I just took the pie crust out of the oven. It is so imperfect. 
As am I. But hopefully the custard and whipped cream and toasted coconut will compensate. Sweetness generally does. 

All right. As August might say, "That's enough of that for now."

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 24, 2019

What's Happenin', Man?

So for Valentine's Day my sweetheart brought me some red roses, long-stemmed as any Hollywood Pin-Up girl and although they are definitely on their way out, they're not done yet. So today I cut the stems dramatically and put them in that old teapot of my grandmother's and if you want to know the truth (don't tell Mr. Moon) I think they are more beautiful like this- slightly blown and blowsy, past their prime but soft and sweet and red as the blood in an old woman's heart.

Okay. Speaking of Hollywood. I probably won't watch the Oscars but I did see a picture from the red carpet that knocked me out.

I do not know who this man is. I see that his name is Billy Porter and he's an actor and so forth but DAMN! He wins. Everyone else can go home because he wins. If that ain't the best red carpet look for a man I've ever seen my name isn't Mary Moon. The designer was Christian Siriano whom I remember from Project Runway which I used to love. And I definitely remember Christian because he was awesome and he almost never freaked out but was calm and collected and just came up with one beautiful design after another and then made them and he always knocked it out of the park. 
He made it work. 
And boy, did he make it work with that one. I'll have to show that picture to August. 
I love it!

So. I wish I could remember exactly what book by Bailey White it was in, but there's a quote that I really want to share and I can't, for the life of me find it. But I feel certain that Bailey White is the author. If you've never read any of her books, especially the her essay books, you're missing out. She's an American treasure. Anyway, the quote I'm trying to remember goes something like, "Move around the doilies on an end table and next thing you know you're putting up crown molding."
That's not it, I'm sure, but you get the gist. 
And it was like that around here today with the putting in of new furniture. 
The table in the library didn't much change anything except to give me a place to put books but for some reason, I ended up cleaning the stuff on the mantel in there and dammit, I should have just thrown most of the stuff out and gotten on with my life but no, I kept most of it and cleaned all the tchotchkes and wiped down the pictures and put everything back. Now frankly, no one in the entire world would ever notice the difference and this is what I hate about housework. I could spend a week on my knees (theoretically) cleaning the baseboards in this house and it would make less difference in the universe than a gnat getting slapped to death by a fisherman. It just doesn't matter! 
But now and then you gotta pretend you care. 
Am I right? 
Well, probably not. 
But I did that and then I cleaned and polished my new little table, which, by the way, is almost exactly what I had envisioned finding for that room. I mean, down to the color of the wood. And then I cleaned a wooden rocking chair in that room that hasn't been cleaned in oh, probably four thousand years. 
And had to sweep, of course. 
But when Mr. Moon replaced what his TV had been on with the new thing, that really caused an upset because we had to find a place to put the old piece of furniture. Which, by the way, had a huge drawer full of old VHS tapes and another small drawer full of DVD's. 
We have neither sort of player. 
So I put all of the VHS tapes except for the ones that are labeled as home movies and some of the DVD's as well into a big plastic bag. And that felt good. 
And then we moved that to our bedroom underneath my purse rack and I would show you a picture but I'm too fucking embarrassed for you to see how many purses I have. Of course, some of these purses are thirty years old but it's still embarrassing. I'm not talking about hundreds here, but still way too many. 
But before we could put that old oak dresser in its new place we had to put the cheap-ass Target faux wood cabinet which I think Lily put together when she was about twelve years old although it could have been Jessie, that was sitting in that space somewhere else. I think eventually it's going away but for now, it's holding sheets and is in a place where a chair used to be but the chair is in another place where two children's chairs used to be and no one ever sat in those chairs and they're falling apart so they're on the back porch now. 
Get it? 
And tomorrow we'll start putting up crown molding and changing the doilies. 
The good news is that in the process we have decided to take several things to the dump including the huge bag of the VHS tapes and DVD's. 
Slowly, slowly we make progress. 
And I also cleaned and polished some other wood furniture (not all of it, oh god, not all of it) and did a lot of sweeping. 

This sounds like a lot but honestly, it wasn't. While I was drifting about cleaning random things Mr. Moon was out cutting bamboo so that the guy who is coming to take out the giant oak that fell back last fall can get his truck into position to also remove a dead cherry laurel which is only standing because it has so many wisteria vines holding it up. Cutting the bamboo and then loading it onto his truck and taking it to the burn pile. I have no idea how many trips he made but every one of them made me feel guilty because I was essentially doing nothing. 
That's life. 

I've done a little research on my lamp and I can't really figure out much about it except that I'm pretty sure it is indeed an Italian Campodimonte lamp. I doubt seriously anyone would go to that much trouble to fake it because it ain't worth THAT much. I won't be selling it and buying the Porsche I've always wanted. But it does make me appreciate it even more than I did and believe it or not, I've actually now realized that the little feet on it are dolphins which I never noticed before. 

Here's a picture of some of the chickens that I took when I went out to pick our salad greens. 

Most of them are in the garden, grazing in the grass. 
It's a gas. 
Can you dig it? 

Love you...Old Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Even More Adventures. Plus, Recipes

Mr. Moon and I drove up to south Georgia today to go and look for a few pieces of furniture that we sort of need and never get around to buying and just to get out of the house and take a little trip. We went to Moultrie, Georgia first which is one of the small towns that we knew had antique stores. To get there we drove through farm lands and little wide spots in the road and past pecan groves and planted pines and old, old houses and newer houses and mobile homes and barns. Sometimes I just have to wonder out loud, "Where do these people buy their groceries?" They seem so far from any sort of civilization.
But Moultrie is a real town with shops and motels and restaurants and businesses and a downtown area and we found a nice enough antique store but it did nothing for us. The county courthouse there did impress me, though.

A typical southern county courthouse. It's like someone said, "Let's make it fancy and like ancient Greece! Or Rome!" 
And then they just went crazy with eras and styles and design. Gotta love it. 

We drove on to Tifton, a little farther up the road where I took that picture of the old movie theater downtown. I really love the space-age ornament thing at the top. I guess it's now a performance space. Which is good.

We found a nice antique store there with beautiful old things, most of which I'd gladly have in a house of mine and also, I found this lamp and it's mate.

I learned from the tag on another lamp like it in the store that it's an Italian Capodimonte lamp and I don't know if you remember but a while back I bought a lamp very, very much like it at the Wag The Dog thrift store in Monticello. Here's mine. 

I'd seen it there and somehow felt it was something special and besides, it appealed to my sense of ridiculous style, which is to say, no real style at all. I asked Jessie if I should buy it and she laughed and said, "No." 
But again, as with the purse, I couldn't stop thinking about it and I drove back the next day and bought it for maybe, what? Twelve dollars? Seventeen dollars? I don't know. But it would appear that it's worth a bit more than that. Not Antiques Roadshow worthy but nice to know. I'm going to do a little research on it because I'm interested and I'd like to know what I have there. 
Mr. Moon bought a little coffee table thing there to put his TV on because what it's been on is taller than he wants it to be and then we went to lunch at a casual little place where we were the last customers before they closed up for the day and because of that, the owner asked us if we'd like to take home some fried chicken because they have to throw that out and he can't stand to waste food and we said, "Sure!" 
That, too, is what the south is like. 

We went to one more antique store and the smell of potpourri was so strong I almost just turned around and walked out but we were there so we looked around and actually found a small, square, solid coffee table for the library that I do sorely need for favorite books and puzzles. It's quite close to the ground so the children will like that. It needs cleaning up and it sorely needs a rug under it but one step at a time. 

And we also bought two very light old chairs that are small enough not to take up much room but will come in quite handy when the whole family is here. There are never enough chairs. 

So that was a good day and by then we were exhausted and drove on back to Lloyd. 

The sky looked like this. 

And now we're home and I'm going to make us a little supper of a salad and some clam spaghetti, my favorite go-to quick, cheat meal. Here's my recipes. 

Clam Spaghetti

Get two cans of minced clams. Open them. 
Saute a good-sized onion in a skillet with some olive oil and maybe some butter if you feel celebratory or wild. Maybe a little smushed garlic, too. While you're doing this, start a pot of water for your pasta. When the onions are soft, throw the clams and their juice into the skillet with the onions. Add a little oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Put a lid on it and set it on low, low simmer. Cook your pasta. I like angel hair. Drain, serve the clam sauce over it. 

Salad With Mandarin Oranges 

Start with very good salad greens. Any will do but if you have arugula to use either alone or with other greens, that's the best. Wash and put them in your salad bowls. Open a can of mandarin orange sections in light syrup. It's better if they've been chilled. Drain the juice into a bowl and divide the oranges onto the greens as generously as you feel you want to be. Sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds. Make a dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and some of the reserved juice from the oranges. Mix it up good. If you want it sweeter, add a little sugar. I won't judge you. 

There you go. Enjoy. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday Adventures

This morning when I went to let the chickens out I decided to really and finally make a determination of which of the "babies" are hens and which are roosters.
Here are the hens.

The one in front. Not the one in back. That's a rooster.

And...the other six are roosters. 
I think I will name them Clara and Connie although whether or not I'll be able to tell them apart is not at this point a question I can answer. It does appear that one of the Viv/Veras is indeed gone and I am sorry for that but I think I'll name the remaining one Vivian because I like that name. 
Therefore, we know that Vera is dead. 
Sorry to be the one to deliver bad news. 
Dearie has not been laying in the shallot bag and I don't know where she's laying now nor do I know where most of the other hens are laying either. I think I might as well admit that for me, keeping chickens is a "for entertainment purposes only" proposition. 

I went for a walk today. I did not find an endorphin. I did find some pretty wildflowers. 

Don't ask me their names. I do not know them. But aren't they sweet? 

I had some errands to run in town and so I pulled myself together, sort of, and drove there. One thing I didn't really need to do was to go to TJ Maxx to look at purses but that was the first thing I did. 
Y'all. I no more need a new purse than I need more roosters. As some of you may know, I am a bit of a purse hoarder although I have not indulged my passion in quite some time. A few years ago I bought a purse that I loved so much that I carried it without ceasing for two years. Or more. Then part of the hardware broke and that was that. 
I have tried since then to make one of the many purses I already own work for me. 
This has not happened. Some are too big. Some are too damn small. Some are beautiful but the straps make carrying them awkward. Some are simply not beautiful. Some are an okay size but they have no pockets so that all of my purse stuff just swims about in the depths with no organization whatsoever. Trust me. I have tried them all. I have cleaned them up and treated them with leather conditioner. I have transferred all my stuff to them and given them trial runs.
None of them have pleased me. 
So. I have been casually looking for a new one lately. One cannot just go buy a purse. It's like looking for the right partner. You can no more just go to a store and find the perfect bag any more than you can go to a bar and find the perfect mate. 
On demand, at least. 
I did sort of find Mr. Moon in a bar but I'd actually met him before and I believe I have told that story and it's a good one. 
Back to the purses.
So a few weeks ago I was at TJ Maxx and I looked at the purses just for the hell of it. I like to fondle leather. What can I say? It's not an obsession or a fetish, it's just a small pleasure. 
I found one. It was lovely. Made by the Frye company which has been making leather goods for a very, very long time. It was soft as a baby's butt. It was large but not enormous. It had two nice size pockets on the outside and a few perfectly placed pockets on the inside. No gold chains. No faux hippie fringe. No myriad of zippers. Just a simple, fairly unstructured bag. 
"You will come home with me," I whispered when I saw it. 
I examined it as best I could. I liked it. I checked the price. Not too bad because it was on clearance. Plus, it was senior citizens day so 10% off of the sale price. 
But shit. So many purses. What right did I have to buy another? 
I left it there. 
But I've been thinking about it the way you think about something that you loved but left behind. You know what I mean. I tried to make three other purses I already had work. They just didn't. And so I went back today. It's been weeks so what were the odds it was still there? 
And yet it was. MARKED DOWN EVEN MORE! Cheaper than what a Frye wristlet (yeah, that's a word) would cost retail. 
"Here I am!" I cried to it. "I have come to save you!"
And I did. 

I bought that bag and I transferred my stuff from my old (and I do mean old) purse to the new one in the parking lot. That's how you know you've fallen in love. 
Okay. It's a little large but when I went to the nursery to buy seeds and they asked if I wanted a bag I said, "Oh, no thank you. They'll fit in my purse." Same when I went to pick up my bioidentical hormones. I'll be able to carry my fan, my Mentos gum AND a small notebook in it with no problem. 
I could fit a newborn in there too but only a human newborn. Not a cow newborn or a horse newborn or a rhino newborn. Just a regular baby person newborn. And it would have to curl up. 

So that was nice and I'm happy. I used to use retail therapy a lot but I don't anymore. I just don't get the pleasure from it that I once did. I am well aware that every new thing I buy is something that one day my children are going to have to deal with and that sort of ruins the joy of it all. 
Plus- dusting. 
But I will admit that I like my new purse and although I know it won't really change my life, it will make it a little sweeter. 

Friday night. You know what that means. The church on one side of me is wailing. Luckily, the guys who live next door on the other side of me do NOT have band practice. When those two things happen at the same time it can get weird. Also, martinis. Tonight I am having mine with a Wickles Wicked Okra. 

I highly recommend. They are sweet and they are spicy which is an excellent combination. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Facing The Facts

Well, ready or not, here it comes. Spring is here for us. The azaleas are starting to bloom.

The Japanese magnolias are becoming a cloud of lavender pink. 

The bridal wreath spirea has one tiny bouquet opened and so many more to follow.

And my buckeye is coloring up it's blooms. 

I love that plant because it's a native species and I bought it and I planted it and it makes me happy. 

My wild azalea is always the last thing to bloom and its buds are still tight and almost nonexistent. But they're there and they will bloom and it will be a tiny glory. 

I've spent all day here at the house and it's been a pleasure for me. I got two packages in the mail that I've been meaning to send off. That's a big relief. I don't know why but mailing packages is incredibly difficult for me. No physically, of course. I have no idea why but it's stressful. And when I do get them ready to send, they always look like a second grader had free run with the packing tape. At least we don't have to wrap everything in brown paper and string anymore although those packages were beautiful when they were done right. 
I did little housewifey things like scrubbing the kitchen sink and sweeping and doing laundry and then I got down on my knees in the garden and pulled weeds between the cilantro and kale and lettuces. Why I did that I do not know because they're all going to bolt in about ten minutes. 
But it looks prettier and sometimes that's reason enough to do something. 

I've been thinking a lot today about stuff. Aging stuff, mostly. It occurred to me when I woke up that I am going to be sixty-five soon and for some reason I feel like maybe I'll live to be seventy-two and that's only seven years away. What do I want to do for the rest of my life? It's definitely time to figure that out and get busy with it. 
Unfortunately, buying a beach house is probably not on the to-do list for my husband. He does love me but would he buy me a beach house? I'll discuss this with him. Maybe tomorrow night over martinis. 
It's way too late to do some things. I'm never going to run a marathon. I'm never going to be the published author of a best seller. I'm never going to tramp across Great Britain, much less the United States. I always sort of wanted to do that. 
I'm never going to dance naked in a fountain in Paris. 
I'm never going to kiss Bruce Springsteen. 
Or have a drink with Keith Richards. 
I will certainly never get to meet the Beatles. Or have B.B. King over for supper. 
Oh, I could go on. 
But I've done SO many things that I am thrilled to have done. I have been to Europe. I drove from Denver to Tallahassee by myself in a car with two parakeets and a rocking chair. I have had four beautiful, healthy children and have seen them grow up to be amazing human beings. I have witnessed the births of my five grandchildren. 
I've done an awful lot of dancing. 
I have loved and been loved by an amazing man. 
And kissed a few toads on the way. 
And so much more. SO MUCH MORE.
And the point is, I'd not feel like I've missed out on too much if I died tonight but all of the things I've been putting off for "someday" really need to be done now. 
So that's what I've been thinking about. 
It's time. 

Meanwhile, I read the most inspiring thing today. It was on Facebook and a good friend of mine from the way, WAY back posted it with his own comment of love and support for a fellow bluesman, Watermelon Slim. Here's the post. 

16 hrs
This post will shock a few people. However, I think the vast majority will read, and knowing the man I am and the life I lived, the work I've done and the music I've sang about it all, they will understand, and will say, good for you, Slim, for standing by your convictions.
I have wavered, and have self-qualified my response heretofore, to a question I have had
to ask myself more and more as my years get fewer: Will I be the first bluesman to come
out? Not counting Jason Ricci I mean; will I be the first lifelong practitioner of the blues art and disciple of the masters to actually say, "I am gay?"
It's not that I never was gay before. I grew up in the Jim Crow South where one other thing
besides black skin raised such irrational and sometimes deadly hatred: "them filthy quares."
You could talk about being black to your parents, to your ministers, to your teachers, to your friends. You
could NOT mention a word about being gay to any of them.
Now, I was as curious about girls as any male adolescent. My various parents were really
pretty lax about how I should behave with girls: "don't get 'em pregnant, " with the veiled
inference of, "good luck and good hunting," rendered with a wink and nod. So I do not
minimize the fact that I had a legitimate heterosexual drive and life agenda. I have acted
upon it all my adult life, and not always successfully, no matter for my best intentions.
But I have always known I was gay, whether or not I liked girls. Had I grown up anywhere
in the last 25 years or so, the multiplicity and ubiquity of support and resources for gay
people, and the general societal acceptance, if not total assimilation, would have made it a
no-brainer. I would have just been happily gay, and as the City Councillor from Kansas City
said to the audience of gay youth, "it does get better." It did. I can marry a man of my choice in America in 2019. Yayy.
Now I must find such a man, or he must find me. My profession is specifically heterosexual
in tradition and nature. Son House said the blues "ain't nothin but a good woman lookin for
a man." I paraphrase, lol. And the man must provide. "You got to pay the cost to be the boss." Well, besides the work, I've been true to that part of the profession. I have busted my ass working for wife and daughter, literally permanently injured myself just to keep family fed and housed.
I'd like to be saying this in a position of power, which is to say, like Neil Patrick Harris for example, with a loving man now already standing by my side. I have lived so isolated from the gay community that even the one lover I ever had and I could not possibly have been out gays in the communities where we migrated to and from with greater political and social fish to fry than our own gay liberation.
Now, if there's any good gay man-- any good gay fan-- who has ever been touched by my
music, who has always been reluctant to approach because I have appeared unquestionably
straight, I hope he'll make himself known to me.
A few Lesbians have, over the years. Two of them were even blues club owners! But I am
unaware that any gay man has ever attended a Watermelon Slim show. I hope that
changes. And I have had rhythms running through me lately, and snatches of lyrics, that are
going to end up as the song or songs of a gay bluesman. One will probably be called
"Better Late Than Never," and it'll have a cool hook.
I have come out in a number of important places. There is an exhibit on me in the Alan
Lomax Archive at the Smithsonian Institution, in which I come out as part of 4 hours of
video interview. I have released a DVD, produced by Charles Konowal of Winnipeg, in which
I describe my coming out for the very first time in Vietnam, and being discharged, though
honorably, rare for a gay man in those days, in 1970.
But this will be the first time that I have made this wholesale announcement through
media that will be carried as far as my fan base stretches around the world. I turn 70 in 63
days. I would be sorry if anybody thinks the announcement makes me any a different
Watermelon Slim than they have known for years or decades.
I hope, rather, that you will cheer me on no less now, and know that the old revolutionary
bluesman is merely carrying a banner he's never felt was as important for him to carry as
that against war, against the pipeliners and the nuke-builders, the raping and pillaging of Mother Earth for the shortest of short-
term profit, and most of all FOR the empowerment of all those who, as I say in my song
"Winners of Us All," "...don't draw that bottom line."
I must say, I dare hope you'll all buy up this new CD; uh, it's a great record (blush).
Y'all, I need to touch and be touched with love by another man. Please, wherever you are, dude, don't be scared, I
won't bite, I'm a great cook and intelligent conversationalist. I have most all of the boy scout
virtues except tidiness.
With all respect and gratitude to all the fans and others who have helped me walk this path
so long, here's to your health! I am
William P. Homans the 3rd,
aka Watermelon Slim
My heart just burst for this man, this musician, who finally feels safe enough to tell the world exactly who he is and who still has hopes for the love he deserves. That we all deserve.
Maybe that's all any of us really need to do. Figure out who we are, finally, and not be afraid to live it out loud and the rest will follow. 
I don't know. You know me- I don't know shit. 
Spring is here and soon it will be in its fullness once again and I have no idea how many more Springs I will be able to witness. So I need to make the best of it, along with all of the rest of it that comes my way. 
Much love...Ms. Moon