Wednesday, March 27, 2019

No Title

Yesterday I was in the middle part of the house doing something when I heard what I thought was Mr. Moon coming in the door and setting things down. I gave the family whistle which is what we do around here to let someone know where we are. He didn't answer and when I went into the kitchen I saw that he wasn't here so I shrugged and figured the cats did something and went on about my business.
When Mr. Moon did get home and made his way to the den to sit in his chair and watch a little TV and have a little well-deserved time to relax before supper he noticed that the hallway table right outside the den was messed up. Pictures on the floor, a candle on the floor, and something that he did not closely investigate but thought might be cat puke. He called out to me, "What happened here?"
I went and looked and damn if chickens hadn't gotten up there and knocked stuff off and pooped all over too.
Really, birds?
I'd noticed Liberace and some of the hens on the porch earlier in the day, standing at the threshold of the hallway and I guess his curiosity overcame him.
I cleaned it up all up and today I shut the hall door on them when he acted like he wanted to go back in for Round Two.
I suppose that since the rooster threat has passed he has more leisure time to explore. Connie and Clara, the two hens left from Dearie's fall hatching follow him around all day long and no, we won't be discussing the fact that obviously they are his daughters. We'll just pretend that we don't know that.
I just saw the man rooster and Dottie up on the bird feeder where they perch many times a day and Dottie was snatching gnats off of Liberace's face and comb and wattle. When she does this it looks for all the world as if she is giving him little pecking kisses and it's adorable in a small dinosaur/chicken way.

The weather continues to be amazing. It's supposed to get into the forties tonight and it rained last night and the air has been clear and cool and beautiful. I took a walk this morning on White House Road where I saw wild flowers and wisteria that climbed way, way up into the trees as if knowing that the new-green leaves and blue sky make a perfect background for it.

I kicked bamboo when I got home and worked in the garden a little. I've got a weird thing going on with my left knee. Not the joint but the skin itself and if I put my weight on it in a certain way, it feels as if a fire was flashing across it. You can't see anything odd on my skin but I swear, it hurts like holy hell and this sort of detracts from the pleasure of my dirt-prayers. No matter how hard I try I can't entirely avoid doing whatever it is that I'm doing to cause the pain and I yelp and curse every time. So I moved slow and weeded and then I pulled half of the old arugula because it has well and truly bolted. Then I sat and stripped off the usable leaves. I got about half a garbage bag full and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them. The supper I'm making will use up two cups but that's nothing. 

That's just half of them. You can make pesto with arugula and I did that last year but to be honest, I still haven't used it all up. I froze it so neatly in ice cube trays and then bagged up the frozen cubes in freezer bags but I just forget it's in the freezer. Still, I may make more with some of these leaves because I hate to waste them. 

I also got a few hills of squash planted. My squash NEVER does well. Don't know why I bother planting it. Eternal optimism? The beans I planted are coming along nicely but the cucumbers haven't broken ground yet. I hope that birds didn't eat all the seeds. Seems unlikely. 
What I really need to do is mulch but as I've said, every time I think about raking and hauling that many leaves it makes me want to lay down and cry. I have access to plenty of leaves- my yard is filled with downed oak leaves. They don't drop until winter's end when the new baby leaves push them out of the way and that has indeed happened. 
Maybe tomorrow...

And so it's been a day like that. A simple day. 
Mr. Moon is not home yet but is visiting with our friend. I am proud of how he is stepping up to do these very hard things. I married such a good man. Watching him take such good care of his buddy makes me love him even more. Amazing how that can happen even after being with someone for thirty-six years. 

Do you get the the Poem of the Day from the Poetry Foundation? I do and there are plenty of days that I read the daily offering and am not really moved but some days the poem knocks me out. Today was one of those days. Here's what I got in my e-mail. 

Unlegendary Heroes

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'Life passes through places.'
–P.J. Duffy, Landscapes of South Ulster
Patrick Farrell, of Lackagh, who was able to mow one acre and one rood Irish in a day. Tom Gallagher, Cornamucklagh, could walk 50 Irish miles in one day. Patrick Mulligan, Cremartin, was a great oarsman. Tommy Atkinson, Lismagunshin, was very good at highjumping—he could jump six feet high. John Duffy, Corley, was able to dig half an Irish acre in one day. Edward Monaghan, Annagh, who could stand on his head on a pint tumbler or on the rigging of a house.
          –1938 folklore survey to record the local people who occupied the South Ulster parish landscape.
                                                                                                                      * * *

           Kathleen McKenna, Annagola,
who was able to wash a week’s sheets, shirts
      and swaddling, bake bread and clean the house
                   all of a Monday.

            Birdy McMahon, of Faulkland,
walked to Monaghan for a sack of flour two days before
  her eighth child was born.

  Cepta Duffy, Glennan,
very good at sewing—embroidered a set of vestments
   in five days.

  Mary McCabe, of Derrynashallog,
who cared for her husband’s mother in dotage,
   fed ten children,
the youngest still at the breast during hay-making.

   Mary Conlon, Tullyree,
   who wrote poems at night.

   Assumpta Meehan, Tonygarvey,
saw many visions and was committed to the asylum.

   Martha McGinn, of Emy,
who swam Cornamunden Lough in one hour and a quarter.

   Marita McHugh, Foxhole,
whose sponge cakes won First Prize at Cloncaw Show.

   Miss Harper, Corley,
female problems rarely ceased, pleasant in ill-health.

   Patricia Curley, Corlatt,
whose joints ached and swelled though she was young,
   who bore three children.

   Dora Heuston, Strananny,
died in childbirth, aged 14 years,
  last words ‘Mammy, O Mammy!’

   Rosie McCrudden, Aghabog
noted for clean boots, winter or summer,
   often beaten by her father.

   Maggie Traynor, Donagh,
got no breakfasts, fed by the nuns, batch loaf with jam,
   the best speller in the school.

   Phyllis McCrudden, Knockaphubble,
who buried two husbands, reared five children,
   and farmed her own land.

   Ann Moffett, of Enagh,
who taught people to read and did not charge.
Mary O’Donnell, "Unlegendary Heroes" from Unlegendary Heroes.  Copyright © 1998 by Mary O’Donnell.  Reprinted by permission of Mary O’Donnell.
How could anyone read this and not be moved to tears? Or at least...moved? 
Everyday and unlegendary heroes. I am certain that all of us know many who fit this description. 
Perhaps even you. 
Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I had no idea who or what your unlegendary heroes would be. I smiled as I read of their Irish roods and miles, and thought of their wives and of my grandmother saying "Pull up your corset strings ladies, we have work to do. Then I moved on to the deeds of the wives, mothers, daughters, and tears streamed down my face before the poor child who died in childbirth. It's been one of those weeks; I'll wait for tomorrow to be better. I need some bamboo to kick, or boil.

  2. moved to tears, yes indeed, Mammy oh Mammy!

  3. Oh poor Dora Heuston.
    I am the descendant of a pair of Irish immigrants who escaped the potato famine and died shortly after reaching liverpool. My great grandmother a d her sister were housed and fed by the Catholic nuns. It stopped them dying but that's all.

    We are very lucky to be able to go to a shop and buy what we need and never know hunger. I am acutely aware that people do starve, even today.

  4. I spent another day in the yard because the weather is just too damn fine not to. I finally picked up the gas trimmer and used it for the first time and cut down all the weeds and trash around the raised beds and blueberries til I ran out of gas the second time.

    sounds like you're pinching a nerve in your knee.

    1. I second Ellen's diagnosis. That burning skin and no surface evidence means nerve pain to me. It might be coming out of your back as I found mine was when I went to the PT. Try googling "nerve glide exercise." Or since you've been kicking stuff it could actually just be in the knee. Poor knee. Hope you get some relief!

  5. Yes. I like Mary O'Donnell's poem. It fits in with my own outlook. Ordinary people are special even though they may not be famous. These days the world is far too obsessed with celebrity lives when we should be cherishing the ordinary people around us.

  6. That IS a beautiful poem. I am certainly not an unlegendary hero but I've known a few. It's interesting how the heroes are often the most modest among us, not the ones who crow about their own victories. (Mr. President!)

  7. That poem made me cry. Yes, we all know those people.


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