Sunday, June 30, 2019

Not A Bad Sunday

Now that's an eggplant. I may have let it go a day or two further on the vine than I should have but it's glorious, isn't it? Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. Eggplant Parmesan, most likely. I certainly have plenty of cherry tomatoes I can incorporate into the dish. We definitely planted way too many of those this year. Not sure what we were thinking.

I spent a lot of time in the garden today, weeding mostly. One minute I look at the garden and think, "Oh Jeez. Why did I even bother?" and the next minute I'm thinking, "This is so pretty."
The corn is swelling in its shucks and I'm about to get more field peas and the tomatoes are still coming along and the rattlesnake beans are starting to make pods and I'm still getting a few cucumbers although I am vastly disappointed in those. I really, really wanted to have a pickling summer and it just doesn't look like that's going to happen.
But honestly, I enjoyed myself, kneeling in the dirt and sweating so much that I'm surprised I have a drop of moisture left in my body, listening to an audiobook. The book I was listening to, I Am, I Am, I Am, by Maggie O'Ferrell was fascinating and the writing was beautiful. Phrase after phrase caused me to pause in my head and turn over the words I'd just heard like you would an unusual or especially striking rock picked up on a path or in a river.

Really gorgeous. I do recommend it. 
But back to the garden- I worked until I just couldn't do it anymore. You might say I came to a stopping place when I suddenly started getting ant bit AND stung by some noxious weed I must have been pulling. I was melting anyway and needed to come inside where I drank about a gallon of water and took a shower. I was so dirty that it may take another shower or two to truly be clean but at least the topsoil has been removed from my body. 

Another thing I did today was to finally pull the trigger on a place to stay in North Carolina. Phew! That's always so stressful. I've had almost nothing but very positive experiences with Airbnb but there's still always the worry that you'll make that commitment, pay that money, and then find yourself in a most unsuitable situation and IT'LL BE ALL YOUR FAULT! Or mine, as it were, in this case. I showed it to Mr. Moon before I hit "reserve" though and he agreed that it looks fine. No TV but there's a king-sized bed and it's a pretty little cabin and they warn about possible dangerous animals like bears and coyotes so you know we'll be happy. And feel right at home. I can't wait to see the Weatherfords again. I'm already at the point where I'm texting Jessie things like, "Is Levon still carrying his shovels around?" 
I mean- I need to KNOW! 
And every time I walk past the pile of August's favorite books on the dresser in my room I get sad. I want to read my little boys some books! Magnolia and Gibson will be spending the night here on Tuesday but they don't like listening to books as much as August and Levon. I imagine that I'll be able to read The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza to them. At least. It's a rare occurrence that any of my grands turn down that book. 

So guess what I'm going to do tomorrow? I am going to call Century Link once again and if they don't have any answers, I'm going to ask to speak to whoever is in charge. Yeah. Like of the whole company. 
Well, of course that's not going to happen but I'm going to get some answers or know the reason why. 
That makes no sense, does it?
We were talking to a friend who lives nearby who is a Luddite and has no cell phone, no computer, nothing but a landline. He's been having multiple problems with his phone service and he needs that phone as he has quite a few medical problems. He said he talked to them last week and told them that he's certain that they have a lot of really smart people who work for them, technical engineers and so forth, and that what they need to do is to remove them from their skyscraper and put them on a plane and send them to TALLAHASSEE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SHIT BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THE PEOPLE THEY HAVE WORKING HERE DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING!
I thought that was wise and appropriate advice. 
And I think that Mr. Moon has acquired the phone number of some upper level Century Link person and he's going to call that individual tomorrow too. 
I'm just certain that we'll get this all straightened out (oh sure) and all will be well again. Meanwhile, it took me over an hour to download a new audiobook and I'm not kidding. It really is like having dial-up again without the screeching noise. 

I guess that's about all I have to say this evening. Except that I would really like to make it a rule that anyone writing about the Rolling Stones being on tour is no longer allowed to speculate on whether or not this will be their last tour. Okay? They've been doing that since about 1968 and obviously, they're never going to stop touring until one of them dies at which point we'll be aware of the situation. 
I will also add that I sincerely doubt that any of them will die before I do and that is fine with me. As I said so many, many years ago here, back even before I had read Keith Richards' memoir Life, that one of the main miracles of the Church of the Batshit Crazy is that he was still alive and playing music. 
And it still is although I now realize that the miracle is in him being alive, not the music playing because as long as he draws breath and can hold a guitar he'll be playing music. And conversely, as long as he can play music he'll probably be alive. 

Okay. I'll shut up now. Mr. Moon worked outside all day too and we need to eat our supper and get to bed because we're old. Not like fine wine old or Rolling Stones old or pyramids old or any of those types of old but in the way of Lord, I feel old and can't wait to go lay down old. 
I am not ashamed of that in the least and why should I be? 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Happy Birthday, My Love. Happy Birthday

I guess this just about says all that needs saying. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Small Things Of Life In The Midst Of It All

Thank you for joining us for our regularly scheduled program and if you missed it, I posted earlier today wherein I gave a vague recipe for tomato pie.
In case you're interested.

As per usual these days, pictures are not making their way from my phone to my laptop and I have a great picture which would explain all if only I could post it. I am going to give it some time and see if it and the others I have sent arrive before midnight.

Picture arrived! Here it is.

I suppose we're lucky to have internet at all. 

I had a very laid-back day today. I have felt much better and am grateful. I did usual things like washing the bedding and hanging it on the line. I talked to Jessie and to August. The first thing he said to me was, "When are you coming to visit?"
Of course I teared up. I do so miss him and his brother.
But the upshot is that Mr. Moon and I have indeed planned our jaunt to North Carolina and we'll be heading up there at the end of July. We're going to stay in an AirBnB for a few days and then we'll move to Vergil's grandma's house where hopefully, other family members from Tallahassee will be joining us. The house is now owned by family as and is rented out usually, but there is a week where it's available and it's a beautiful house and I am looking forward to staying there. It feels good to get that plan made.
Jessie told me that the house where she and Vergil and the boys are staying has a tractor in the front yard and sent me this picture.

I think they're in heaven. 

I went to Publix and shopped for a few things I needed. I came home and got the sheets off the line and made up the bed. I took an old feather pillow of Mr. Moon's and sewed it into a pillowcase because there was a hole in the pillow and the fabric was so rotten that it could not be patched. I think I've got the situation under control now and Mr. Moon will have his pillow back, beloved dust mites and all. 

Lily reported that Owen was delivered safely to camp. She posted this picture on Facebook so it's available for me to post here.

He looks happy and at ease about it all. I wrote him a card and sent it today and hopefully he'll get it before he leaves next week. This being Lloyd, that may or may not happen. I'm so proud of my big boy. 

Mr. Moon's birthday is tomorrow and I have started making a dessert that he loves. The recipe came from a cookbook that his former mother-in-law wrote and self-published and I only base my version loosely on it, to say the least. 

The recipe calls for things like margarine, Cool Whip, and instant chocolate pudding. I of course whip my own cream, use butter, and make my own damn chocolate pudding. Although to be honest I will admit that I would not turn down a bowl of Jello chocolate pudding. Even instant. I sort of love that shit. 
As I recall. 
Here's what my pudding looks like though. 

So. I have the crust or first layer done and now the pudding and tomorrow I'll whip that cream and get it all put together. I've probably related this story before but I'll tell it again- I have told my children that if I die before their dad does and if he falls in love with another woman they have my permission to show her this recipe so that if she wants to, she can make it. However, they should not tell her how I make it unless they really like her. Otherwise- just let her use the Cool Whip.
If this ever does happen, I doubt my husband will even notice but that won't be any business of mine at that point because I'll be dead.
One must be pragmatic about these things.

Here's the last picture.

Darla and her five children underneath the passion flower vine. 

I can't even bring myself to discuss the heat wave in Europe and how the temperatures are soaring to record-breaking levels. I am so scared that we have completely fucked ourselves and I fear for my grandchildren with what can only be described as terror. And yet, here I am, running my air conditioning, planning a trip in a gas-powered vehicle (well, it's a Prius but it still uses gas), thinking that I can't possibly live without my made-in-China phone that probably sucked more resources in its making and transporting than a Chinese child ever will. Our president (okay, not yours or mine) is in Europe right now but I doubt he'll break a sweat as he won't be exposed to the heat for a minute. He's being all wink-wink-ha-ha with Putin. 
"Oh, sweet P! Please do not meddle with our elections. Okay? Thank you. Here's a big old kiss on your ass and let me know if you need me to, oh, you know- get on my knees in front of you for anything. Wouldn't that be a pretty sight?"

I do believe I'm going to fry some green tomatoes this evening. Sure, the planet's on fire but until it actually explodes I suppose I'll just do like most of the rest of us and continue on with my incredibly privileged, sheltered, entitled life, going where I want, using what I want, eating what I want (at least I grew the tomatoes) and bitching about any inconsequential thing that might annoy me. 

Anyway, happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon 

Extra Bonus Post!

Okay. Tomato pie. If you google "Tomato Pie, recipe" you'll get a lot of hits. And they can range from the fancy gourmet end of the spectrum to the simplest.
The pie I made this week was far more on the simple side. When you're dealing with the freshest and best tomatoes I don't think you need to fool around with them too much. In fact, the less fooling around with the better. Also? There's no way around it- this is not health food and although you could figure out some ways to make it less lethal, you'd just be making it less delicious so accept the fact that this is not something you need to make and/or eat on a regular basis. In fact, it should almost be ceremonial in my opinion, and only made when the very best tomatoes are right there, staring you in the face saying, "Eat me!"

So. Here's how I made it.
I made a pie shell and prebaked it to the point where it was done-ish but not browned. No. I do not have exact instructions for this. If you have a pie crust recipe you love, use it. If you don't want to make your pie crust by hand, buy one at the store. The better the crust the better the pie but store-bought is not always inferior to homemade.
As some of us who are not pie pros know.

I sliced my tomatoes about a quarter of an inch thick. Or so. They shouldn't be too thick or too thin.
That's helpful, right?
I set the slices on layers of paper towels and salted them and let them drain. I covered them with some more layers of paper towels (you could do this with clean dish towels, too) and pressed very gently. I didn't want to squeeze them, just relieve them of some of their excess juices.

I sliced a sweet onion into as thin a slices as I could and separated the rings. I was not obsessive about this. I did not cook them before I used them in the pie. I also sliced a few leeks from my garden but they are quite small and scallions would be just as good. And I chopped up some fresh basil. Like- a small handful. You could use more!

I layered the tomato slices, the onions, the leeks, and the basil and gave a little more salt to each layer and peppered generously. There were two layers, I think. Doesn't really matter.

Then I mixed about a cup of good mayonnaise with probably 3/4's of a cup of grated cheddar and 3/4's of a cup of grated parmesan. Spread that heavenly elixir on top of the tomatoes and bake at 375 degrees until it's all browned and the tomatoes appear to be cooked. You don't want them to be mush but you want them to be cooked. Half an hour? I don't know.

Don't drop the pie when taking it in or out of the oven. If you do, scape it up and eat it anyway.

Sorry for the vagueness here. This is how I cook. Feel free to play around with these general instructions if you want.

Questions? Ask away in comments.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Bit Of A Melancholy But Fine, Really

Well, yet another irony in that I woke up this morning with one side of my throat extremely sore and not feeling very well at all.
I did some chores around here and then went to Lily's and we drove to town to go to Target to get the rest of the things Owen needed for camp. Underwear and bug spray and other things of great importance were purchased and then we went to a Jason's Deli for lunch. I had to laugh at the children's choices. Owen wanted the salad bar, Gibson got a kid pizza, and Maggie wanted a bowl of cream of broccoli soup.
The girl loves her broccoli.
And then I came home and did a few more chores and took a little nap and now it's time to make supper and I still don't feel very well although my throat isn't sore anymore.

Tomorrow Lily and Jason will drive Owen to his camp which is a few hours south of here. I need to get the card I bought him in the mail tomorrow so that he gets it before camp is over. He was a little bit emotional today and I understand that. Not only is he leaving home for five days but also he's just at the age when hormones and life are starting to shift on him. He's getting so tall so quickly. He's sweet to his MerMer though and he wore his Rolling Stones T-shirt today because he knows I love it. He knows I love him. I'm pretty sure he knows it to his bones.
I hope they all do, these grandchildren of mine.
It has been such a gift to me to be able to keep records here of their births and their early lives. Of their developmental milestones, of the funny and profound things they've done and said, not to mention the pictures. If there is any reason at all that I would hope that this blog doesn't someday just disappear into the ether it's that I want them to know how much I have loved them since before they were born, how much their lives mean to me, how very, very much their grandfather and I have loved them.

The world may be going to hell but there is still love and there is still caring.
So much of both.

I'm going to go make our supper now. Not a good evening for me and writing.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be better and this sense of melancholy will have drifted away like the storm clouds did this afternoon as I hurried to get the clothes off the line.
It never did rain. But that's okay.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Good Doctor

And that, my friends, is what happened to my tomato pie last night. Well, actually, it obviously didn't just happen. I dropped it, sliding it back into the oven.
But. Because most of it landed on the oven door instead of the floor, I was able to salvage a of it and by god that slightly smushed tomato pie was the best tomato pie I ever ate. Mr. Moon said so last night and then again today when he ate some for lunch. The pastry may not have looked that pretty even before I dropped it but it tasted perfect.
So. There you go.

The doctor's appointment. 

Okay. I had just about the worst anxiety attack I've ever had, getting there, sitting in the office, and then going into the exam room. Feet and hands tingling. Inability to concentrate. Those were the two main symptoms. I tried to practice a little mindfulness to bring myself back to the present but my brain laughed at that. I told the girl who took my blood pressure that it was going to be bad and it was pretty bad. Not horrific as in "You need to go to the emergency room right now!" bad but, "Okay, yeah, well, that's not so good."
But they know me by now.
I didn't have to wait long before the darling doctor came in.
"How are you doing?"
And I told him that I was having an anxiety attack. Just flat-out said it. I also told him that I wasn't sure he grasped the full meaning of what I was experiencing and he didn't laugh at me. I had taken an Ativan but it hadn't kicked in yet or else what I was feeling was simply too strong for the drug to have much effect. But what that sweet man did next DID have an effect on me. He sat down and said, "You won't believe what I've done. You'll just die!"
"That would be fine," I told him. He did laugh then.
He got his phone out and started going through pictures and showed me a shot of some baby chicks and a duckling.
"You got chickens!" I said. "And ducklings?"
"And ducklings," he said.
And then he proceeded to tell me all about the chicks and how much his son loved them and how funny the ducks were and that he and his wife were going to have another baby soon and then I told him about how when I had two ducks, both females, they loved having sex with each other and he laughed about that too. I mean, he spent a good ten minutes at least talking with me about chickens and then he got me up on the table (he never makes me undress) and took my blood pressure again and it had come down a startling amount and he did a few doctor things which he does so gracefully and slyly that I barely realize he's doing it. He asked me if I had any idea why I have such a neurosis about the doctor's office and I told him that I did not but that I certainly wish I did so that I could do something about it. I told him that I can remember having to be held down in a doctor's office to get my flu shots and that also, I can remember going to the doctor with my mother for an appointment for HER and being so anxious (although I had no word for it) just being in the doctor's office that I would start to get all of these psychosomatic symptoms to the point where I thought I might die.
It's all tangled up and who knows? Who knows? Not me.
When he was finished with the official doctoring he said I could sit back down in the chair and then we discussed my cholesterol which is for some unknown reason better and we talked about politics and got into even more distantly related topics like nuclear war and climate change and how he worries about the world for his kids and I worry about the world for my grandkids and we talked about aging and a whole lot of other stuff and eventually he said, "Okay. If you promise me you'll call if you need anything, I'll see you next year."
And that was that.
Except that I hugged him, teary as I so often am, and said, "I just love you," and he hugged me back and said, "The feeling is mutual."

And that was how it went.

After I left the office I met up with Lily and her three babies and Hank and Rachel and our friend Lauren at Tan's which I have discussed before. It's a relatively small buffet place but the food is so good and they have all sorts of Asian-inspired dishes and now they have sushi too and of course, this is the place with the dessert freezer which is filled with things like Eskimo pies and little ice cream cones so we all love it. I don't care at all about the ice cream but I do so love the Mongolian tofu and soups and curries and it was fun. The children were good and I was so happy to be there with them.

My Owen and his beloved noodles. 

And then I came home and absolutely and literally crashed and slept for an hour. 
And it's over- that appointment is over and I don't have to think about any of it again for another year unless I get ill in some way and in the...what? Two years? Three years? I've been going to Dr. Zorn, I've never once had to call about an illness or a problem. 

I still feel a bit insane. 

This must sound so ridiculous to most of you. 
SNAP OUT OF IT! you might want to say. 

Honey, if I could, don't you think I would?
Ain't no one wants to feel like this. Not a soul on this earth. 

I'm going to go fry a little whole red snapper. 
I'll try not to drop it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Here, Not Here. Whatever

Our phone is out again but the internet is working. Sort of. I guess I need to call Century Link again but that's not going to happen tonight. We don't really need a landline anymore but I feel better having that back-up when the cell towers go out when we have a hurricane.
Notice I said "when" and not "if."

I'm trying to reduce my anxiety about tomorrow's appointment with my lovely doctor with cooking/baking. I've got field peas from the garden on the simmer and a pie pastry ready for tomato pie. My crust looks like a dog made it. I am not good at pastry and that's all there is to it.
Oh well.

I stayed busy today, running a bunch of errands in town and then shelling some of those peas. Mr. Moon had already shelled a good amount last week and I added mine to the mix. Shelling peas is even better than ironing when it comes to having an excuse to watch TV because you don't even have to stand up. You can sit there with your feet up on the coffee table, one big bowl for shelling in so that when the peas fly out of their shells, they don't escape, the other for the shucks. Peels? Pods? Whatever. It's meditative and I wish I'd had a bushel to shell.

I don't feel like I have a thing to talk about except anxiety and that's not fun for anyone. How ironic that the thing that sent me, finally, to a doctor was anxiety and now going to that doctor causes me the most anxiety in my life. It's not his fault. It's just that he's a doctor. I sure do wish I knew why I have this reaction. Maybe if I did I could figure out how to fix it.

My husband is home. Right now he's vacuum sealing fish fillets to freeze. His birthday is on Saturday and I actually went to Bass Pro Shop today to get him presents. Have you ever been to a Bass Pro Shop? It's...interesting. Besides all of the fishing and hunting and camping gear that you'd expect them to have they also have giant wall-sized aquariums with bass and other fish swimming around in them. You can bring your kids to watch them feed the fish. They also have all sorts of apparel, a lot of it outdoor-type stuff but some of it not. And shoes. And gifts. And hats. And other stuff. It's a sportsman's paradise. Or a sportswoman's paradise. I guess. I think my husband probably spends a great deal of time there but I don't know that for sure. I know that he certainly has a lot of sportsman-related objects. And clothing. Anyway, he doesn't have what I bought him today which probably means he does not need or perhaps even want these objects but I think he'll be happy with them. At least I got him something.

And that's about it. Everything will be better by this time tomorrow.
And then on Thursday Lily and I are going shopping to get Owen the rest of the stuff he needs for camp. He's going to the same camp he went to last summer which is a camp for kids with special needs. He's going to the Epilepsy week. He's looking forward to it so much. He had the best time last year and I sure am glad he gets to go again. It's actually only five days but it'll be a fun and action packed five days.

I have the pie in the oven now and the kitchen smells of basil and onions. I'm already dissociating like crazy but hey! Free trip, right? To where, I am not sure, but it's not exactly here. There is no thunder tonight, no sudden breezes of cooler air. Just heat and humidity, and I could not be more grateful for air conditioning.

Here's a picture of Magnolia that Lily sent last night.

Lord but that child is gorgeous.

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Strangest Of Times

I took a walk this morning and it was so damn hot that I truly doubted I would be able to do the last five hundred yards or so to my house. I even crossed the road to walk off of the sidewalk because that side was shadier but it did not help much, not to mention that was I walking in almost knee-high grass which means ticks and possible snakes. 
Oh, Florida! Why are you trying to kill me?
Or perhaps more to the point- oh, Mary! Why are you trying to kill yourself?

I got home and doused my face with water over and over and drank deeply of more water and then I took the trash and the recycle and then I met up with Lily and Owen and Gibson and Magnolia June at the Wacissa where I embarrassed my daughter and could easily have gotten into a fight.
When we go to the river we always try to set up under the shade of the big cypress at the edge of the water and so we did today. There was a group of kids right next to us- teenagers- and they seemed lovely and the girls, especially were at that age and place in their lives where they don't even have a clue as to how powerfully beautiful they are. Such perfect skin and hair and lean, strong bodies they had. The boys, as boys that age generally are, were gangly and not nearly caught up to the girls in development but they weren't loud and they sipped grape sodas and swam some and jumped off the rope swing some and I had no problem with them whatsoever. But right where they had laid their towels and where they were hanging out, was a red waterproof speaker wedged between two roots of the cypress tree and very, very loud country music was blasting forth from it.
There was nothing inherently wrong with the music. It's just that when I go to the river or the beach I really don't want to listen to music.  And if I did, I'd wear some damn headphones. They make them wireless and waterproof now, just like this red Jensen speaker was.
I bitched about it to Lily and then I asked one of the girls if it was theirs. She said, "No. It was here when we got here."
I walked around and asked everyone (I thought) there if it belonged to them. Everyone looked as mystified as I was about who the owner was so finally, I just walked over and figured out how to turn it off and did just that.
Heavenly silence ensued with nothing but birdsong and child-calls to break it.
But then...BUT THEN! A guy walked over to it and turned it back on and came over to me and said, "That's mine and I'm here with my wife and kids and we're enjoying ourselves swimming and hanging out and listening to the music."
He didn't look particularly threatening and he was wearing swim trunks and a ball cap with a Florida flag on it which was okay. I mean- it wasn't either a MAGA cap nor did it have a Confederate flag on it. So I said something like, "Well, yeah, but not all of us are here to listen to music. That's why they make headphones."
"Well I've been here all day long," he said, "And it's my right to listen to music."
I knew that I was not going to win any argument with this guy and so I backed right down and said, "Sure, okay," and he walked back to the little picnic pavilion which was not exactly close to where the speaker was and I sat back down in my chair.
"Oh well," I told Lily.
It's funny- even two years ago I doubt I would have done a damn thing about that music. Maybe I feel like no one would hit an old lady or maybe I just don't give a shit about propriety any more but I sincerely was NOT in the mood to listen to anyone else's choice of music.
Eventually, he grabbed the speaker and took it with him up to the pavilion but he made damn sure I realized that it was as loud, if not louder, than ever.
Whatever. What a little dick.
They kept the thing going at full blast until the very second they put in the car when they left and I guess he proved his point but I tell you what- I could feel my whole body relax when they finally took off. Not because they were gone but because I didn't have to listen to the crap that passes for country music anymore.

Besides that, it was a fine day at the river. Owen's goggles recently broke and his mama hasn't had a chance to buy him any new ones so he was pretty put out about that but Gibson did finally share his. Speaking of Gibson- that child will make friends with ANYONE! He literally does not know a stranger. Which is fine if you're right there to make sure that whoever he's talking to is an okay person for him to talk to but Lily's always afraid that he's going to say something inappropriate because the child just WILL say whatever he's thinking which I find charming but which everyone else might not. For example- once Hank brought a friend to the river whom I am sure preferred the "they" pronoun which is something we are quite comfortable and familiar with but Gibson was fascinated.
"Are you a boy or a girl?" he asked with no guile whatsoever. He truly wanted to know.
He not only doesn't pretend not to see differences, he wants to explore the subject of them. Which I think is pretty cool but is probably not always comfortable for the person he's interested in. He's no more afraid to ask a person about their skin color or body shape or age or gender than he is to ask where they're from, despite all of Lily's admonitions to him that differences are no big deal at all.
I love that kid.

I brought a jar of the dill pickles that I'd put in the refrigerator for taste-testing and they got eaten up.

Here's a cute little mermaid enjoying one. 
I can't believe I was able to put that picture in. My internet is still fucked up. While we were at the Wacissa a Century Link truck pulled into the parking lot and continued on around the loop of it and I thought, "Goddam it! Go fix my wifi!" There is absolutely NO reason to be in the parking lot of the Wacissa in Jefferson County, Florida unless you are about to make use of the river in one form or another. It's literally at the very end of a very country road. 

But. Hey. I do have internet. 

What I don't have is my husband back. He was planning on coming home tonight after fishing all day  but he called me and said that he was just too tired and that they needed to clean up the house he's been staying in. He'll get up very early in the morning and drive back here tomorrow and get dressed for work and go on in to the credit union where his office is. 
He sounded exhausted and I would much rather have him go to bed early than to drive home so very, very tired. 

We just got another minuscule rain shower, not nearly enough to dampen the dirt but it surely did drop the temperature some. I have a very nice photo of a fine pig that I took on my walk this morning, PLUS, another cute picture of Maggie, PLUS, a picture of Darla and some of her chicks but no matter how hard I try I can't post them. 
Use your imagination. 

So guess what? That latest rape accusation against Trump?
Completely ignored. 
How many women does this make now? 
As proof that he did not do what she accused him of he has this to say, "She's not my type."
Well, then. There you go. 
I hate that man with the smoldering heat of the surface of the sun. 
Which is even hotter than it was in Lloyd today. 
Having Donald Trump for a president is like having the man who abused you as your boss. The boss of the job you cannot quit. The boss who lives with you and from whom you cannot escape no matter where in the world you may go. 
In other words- a whole lot of us are in a perpetual state of anxiety, fear, revulsion, and disbelief. The very news of every day should require a trigger warning. 
And we are doing our best to try to maintain any sort of sanity at all. And it's not easy. 

I believe I will now go make some chicken and rice. 

Hang in there, babies. Nothing lasts forever. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Come On, Rain! Quit Toying With Me

I believe it may be just about time to make a tomato pie. Either that or a big ol' pile of bacon and tomato sandwiches. I leave out the lettuce because what purpose does it serve? Merely to dilute the sturdy, salty, perfect flavors of tomato and bacon and who needs that?
Not me.
Maybe a little arugula would be good though. Arugula adds rather than takes away as far as I'm concerned. Which reminds me- I need to plant another row of that peppery green. I just pulled up a gone-to-seed and bug-eaten row a few days ago.
I can't even remember the last bacon and tomato sandwich I had. I also can't remember the last time we grew such pretty tomatoes. This two things may well be related.

Another day in Lloyd. It's been in the mid to upper nineties all day long and you would think that I'd have had the sense to stay inside and make Maggie's dresses but no. Not me! I decided to clean up and trim back the camellia bed but it's in the shade so it wasn't so bad. I pulled or cut enough to fill up the garden cart three times. Mr. Moon is going to have to get to that burn pile soon. It's about a quarter of an acre across at this point. I did get the mermaid fabric cut out for one dress and the old Singer set up so I can start sewing tomorrow if I find the time.
That's sort of supposed to be funny and also sort of not funny because it does seem as if my days get filled up pretty quickly. I may not do a lot but I manage to keep busy.
One of the things I did today was try to figure out what was going on with my dishwasher. It was giving me error messages and not draining properly. This generally means that food debris has gotten in the drain part of the machine so I dug around in that (pleasant task) and discovered this just hanging out:

It took me a great and concerted effort to try and figure out where the mysterious object belonged but I finally did and was able to fit it back into place with a satisfying click and then ran a rinse cycle and it did drain so maybe I've fixed it. 
If so, Ripley's Believe It Or Not does need to be alerted. 

I have heard from Jessie and they made it all the way to Black Mountain, North Carolina. Hurray! She said the boys did great. I bet they're so happy to be there. 
I've also heard from Mr. Moon. They had another full day of fishing and everyone caught their limit of snapper for the third day in a row. 
We are going to be eating some fish with our tomatoes!

Darla is taking her children farther afield every day. This afternoon she brought them up almost all the way to the back steps. They seem to be growing at an accelerated rate. I am not sure if this is true or merely an illusion. But they are certainly healthy and robust small beings and it does tickle me to see them all in a nesting box at night with their mother. I do not think that this particular brood is all roosters but only time will tell. 

And that's my world today. I've been listening to some decent books in the past few days which I had about given up hope for. Seems like I've heard about every book on one of the apps my library uses for audio books but I found a different one that has a few new choices and one of the books I had on hold came through so I've felt rich in that regard. One of the books was Allison Pearson's "How Hard Can It Be?" She's the same author who wrote "I Don't Know How She Does It" which was hugely popular in the chick-lit world. I hate that term. 
How degrading! 
As if the problems and joys and experiences of women and mothers in the modern world are less important or "literary" than those experienced by men. 
Oh please. 
I'm sick and tired of reading books by male authors that are supposedly just absolute literary treasures but that leave me cold and unsatisfied. I'm certainly not saying that all books written by men are not worth my time. That would be ridiculous. But give me a book wherein a woman talks honestly about how incredibly difficult it is for a woman who is going through menopause to be raising children whose hormones are just beginning to rage within them while dealing at the same with parents and their health and also, oh yes, perhaps a job where due to her age she is considered to be elderly and of absolutely no consequence, and who is of course trying to keep a marriage on track and I will give you a resounding WELL DONE and THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Did that sentence make sense? 
Probably not. 
I shall blame my hormones or lack thereof. 
Anyway, I really enjoyed listening to that book even though the ending was a bit fairy-tale-ish. Although- what's wrong with believing that there can be light at the end of the tunnel and also life at the end of menopause?

I started today to listen to the book I'd had on hold which is James Lee Burke's "New Iberia Blues". Speaking of male authors. 
I have a long and complicated relationship with Mr. Burke. His books often delve into the deepest and meanest part of the human psyche and there are so many memories and flashbacks of war and of violence but his sense of place and the way he describes Louisiana never fail to give me pause. And many of his books, this one included, are narrated by Will Patton who seems to capture perfectly the heat and the humidity, the fecundity, evil, and  angelic weariness of Burke's landscapes. 
He addresses racism and misogyny, addiction, religion, friendship, love, loss, guilt, violence, evil, goodness and the cuisine of Louisiana. 
So yeah- definitely worth listening to in my opinion. Sometimes I get a little lost as to who is who and what their place in the story is as I concentrate on whatever task it is I am doing or if my thoughts fly elsewhere for a few moments but I can always go back and restart a chapter. 
Audio books are a huge part of my life and I like listening to podcasts as well. 
Another thing about my phone I cherish. 

Thunder is rumbling off towards the west and occasionally a surprising breath of cooler air makes itself felt. The radar would seem to indicate that a tiny storm system is approaching and I will be so happy if that turns into a bit of rain here. We're not dry by any means. Not suffering from drought at all but you know me- I consider water falling from the sky to be a blessing from the gods. Unless a hurricane is involved. 

Well. We shall see. All will be revealed. And so on and so forth. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 22, 2019

There Is So Much I Do Not Understand And Even Fewer Things I I Know For Certain But The Obligation Of Keeping Children Safe Is One Thing I'm Pretty Sure Of

I have had a satisfying day, never once even leaving my yard. It was the sort of day that I love. I got a few things done and enjoyed almost everything I did, even the weeding I managed to get done in the garden before the threat of heatstroke drove me back inside.
Lily kept sending pictures of the fun the kids were having at her house and that made me happy. Here are Owen and August and Maggie in the little pool.

I love the expressions on August's and Owen's faces. 

Movie and pretzel time. 

And finally this and my heart sort of burst. 

Levon fell asleep in his cousin Owen's arms. 

And of course I can't help but think of the children in that detention center in El Paso where older children are taking care of babies and of the conditions there and if I think about it too much I feel like I'll fly out of my body and I don't know what to do with the anger and the pain and the grieving. The grieving for the children and for their families and yes, even for our country which, because of this situation, has lost any moral higher ground it may have ever had. 
My god, my god, my god, my god. 
How have we forsaken the children? 
Even as laws are being passed protecting clumps of cells because life is sacred, we are allowing this to happen. 
And what are we, the people, supposed to do? I feel so very, very helpless. And worse- so very, very hopeless. 
But my babies- they are good and they are loved and they are protected and they are fed and bathed and have soft, cozy blankets and soft, cozy beds. They have soap and they have toothbrushes. They have their mommies and their daddies. And this is how it should be for everyone's babies. And goddammit- no one in our government should be doing one damn thing besides dealing with this horrible situation and making it right. 
I've been thinking about this all day long in a most immediate way. I realize that I can't even look at the pictures online because my mother soul, my human soul, can't bear it and yet- that's such a ridiculous thing to say. It's happening whether my heart can take it or not. 
And I feel guilty for going along, tra-la-la-la-la, having a beautiful day while this is happening in the city where I was born. 
And that's not the only place, I am sure. 

But here I am, tra-la-la-la-la indeed, somehow still able to go about a normal day and knowing at the same time that we are actually running concentration camps in this country and that people are dying in them. How can one person hold such diverse emotions? The dread and guilt and anger and grief and the enjoyment of a simple day, the gratitude for the health and the happiness of my grandchildren. 
I don't know. I really don't. 

But I have a feeling that this is the way it was in Germany when the Nazis started taking over. must tend what is before one to tend. I suppose. And I pulled out my canning kettle and filled it up and sterilized pint jars in it and cut up the cucumbers filling my refrigerator. 

I made my brine and boiled it with a head's worth of peeled garlic cloves. I got out my stashed-away dill seed and pickling spices and packed the hot jars with the cucumbers and added the spices and seeds and poured the brine carefully into the jars, sealed them and put them back in the canner to boil for fifteen minutes. 

All six pints have sucked their lids in which means they are safe to store now. There is something about the preserving of food which satisfies something very, very deep in me. It's sort of ridiculous- the stores are filled with amazing pickles and delicious vinegary things but growing the vegetables and then canning them myself goes way beyond the enjoyment of the pickles themselves. It is the alchemy of putting seeds into dirt and watching those seeds sprout and flower and produce food and then taking the food and making something good out of it that will last throughout the fall and the winter and into next year to be enjoyed by my family that pleases me so. 
It's the same sort of feeling I get when I make Maggie or August something to wear with my own two hands and a piece of cloth and some thread and my old sewing machine. It is probably something akin to the way an artist feels when he or she takes a canvas and some paints and creates a picture that was not there before in any way, shape, or form. Or the way a poet takes a blank piece of paper and fills it with words that create an image, a feeling an entire life story in verses. The way a musician takes the air and fills it with notes that can inspire people to dance, to feel, to remember, to laugh and to cry. The way an actor can take words and a space to create a reality that is more believable than real life. 

And speaking of musicians- every review of last night's Stones' concert in Chicago has been incredibly positive. They all speak of Mick's astounding ability to move and dance and run and skip and wiggle his hips and sing and play harmonica as if he was joyfully celebrating the fact that he is indeed alive and very, very well. One reporter said something like, "He moved like you've never moved on your best damn day." 

Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield said this:

"Could it be that for a moment—maybe just a fraction of a flicker of a moment—the Rolling Stones wondered if they needed to prove they could do this? Maybe. But not bloody likely. Every moment of “Miss You” was the Rolling Stones at the top of their game—as was the entire show. Make no mistake, these guys were shamelessly showing off all night. They earned that."

Well. Here we are. All doing what we do on this planet whether for survival or for joy or for necessity or from habit or fear or celebration or lust or guilt or love or for reasons mysterious even to ourselves. We are rarely wise, we are often foolish. We are rarely satisfied, we are often confused. 
And yet, none of us is going to get out of here alive. And when they say "you can't take it with you" that applies not only to earthly treasure but also to our love, our talents, our memories, our attempts to do the very best we can for ourselves and for each other. Gotta spend all that shit while we're here. Spread it around. 
Especially the love. 

I just don't even know what else to say. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 21, 2019

Martinis Also Make Things More Better

Jessie and her children and Lily and her children were going to come out today for a good-bye pizza party which is why I bought a bunch of frozen pizzas yesterday. It turned out, however, that a repairman was scheduled to be at Jessie's at noon so we all went to her house and I took the pizzas with me for Jessie to bake in her oven. The kids had so much fun. Lily's three love playing with August and Levon and their toys and as you can see, Doctor Gibson was giving August a shot after an exam. Maggie gave me a check-up as well and I have to tell you that even that made me a little anxious although the glasses she was wearing that came with the doctor kit (we all know that all doctors wear glasses because they are all brilliant and brilliant people wear glasses, right?) made her look so dang cute that I almost couldn't stand it. Gibson and Owen are both so good with the younger ones and Maggie is in love with Levon and he loves her. August thinks that Gibson and Owen are the coolest dudes on the planet and the big boys truly appreciate and enjoy his adoration so it all works out very well.
Boppy came by for a short visit and a few pieces of pizza before he left to go fishing. There was a dance party going on for a little while and Gibson was going to show us his Irish Riverdancing style but Owen made a snide remark about how the entire house would shake which led to Gibson hiding as best he could under August's bed.
Here he is being comforted a little later by his mother.

"Your brother's a butt," said Lily. That cheered Gibson up tremendously. 
And in the interest of fairness I will add that all brothers can be butts even if they are precious people whose MerMers adore them. 

Finally it became apparent that Jessie really needed for us to leave so that she could get things done in preparation for their journey to North Carolina. Lily offered to keep the boys tomorrow which caused huge celebratory cheers from all of the kids except for Levon who was clueless about what that means but he'll have a good time too. Plans were made concerning swimming in the little pool and perhaps nap-taking on Gibson's bed and the menu was discussed. Chicken nuggets will be served, I think. 
It was damn hard for me to tear myself away from my youngest daughter and her boys. Levon was happy to give me a kiss and August told me again that he will not forget my name. He also said that yes, he was going to have a wonderful time on the mountain with his other cousins and other grandmother and grandfather but that it would be "more better" if Boppy and I came to visit. 
I told him that we would. 
What lucky children these boys are to be able to experience the beautiful place where their daddy grew up and all of the love associated with that. 
And I know it. 
I finally finished saying my good-byes and got in my car and drove to Joanne's Fabrics where I bought a pattern and some fabric to make Maggie two new dresses. 

The mermaid material. I think Maggie will like this a lot.

A very soft and breathable sort-of-gingham which frankly, I would like a dress made of. Not as fun as the mermaids but I am sure it will be more comfortable. 

I need a project I can do inside because this heat is absolutely intolerable. 
I just went out a few moments ago to pick the garden and gather the eggs and even that short of a time out in the heat made me want to smack god in the head. Also, the ant bites I got while going through the cucumber vines didn't help. I feel so sorry for the chickens with all of their feathers. Summer is hard on them and I expect the number of eggs I get to decrease in this heat. 
Here's a picture of Darla and the babies who are growing up nicely. 

They've been doing fine outside of the coop. Darla hasn't let them get very far away from it in their scratching and exploring. Every day the boundaries get a little tiny bit further out but it's a process. She is such a good mother. Last night, instead of returning to their baby coop to sleep, she ushered them into the hen house to sleep with the rest of the flock. That girl knows what she's doing. 

And so. Well. It would appear that we almost went to war last night. If what Trump says is true- that he 86'ed the attack due to not feeling right about killing a possible 150 people for the downing of an unmanned drone, I have to say that it would be the very first thing I've heard which makes him sound like a human being. 
I seriously doubt that's the reason. If he had any respect for human life at all, children would not be sleeping under tinfoil in cages on the border. 
And then there's the news that E. Jean Carroll has accused the president of raping her back in the nineties which doesn't surprise anyone at all. How incredibly bizarre is it that this story has not been met with absolute stunned shock? Instead it's like, "Oh yeah. Sounds like something Trump would do."
How in the everloving fuck have we gotten here?
This man would not get through the hiring process to be the custodian at a school. And yet- almost half of the voters in this country jumped at the chance to vote for the vile dickwad. 

You want to know what is making me smile tonight?

The Stones are going to open their USA tour tonight in Chicago and that's Mick, doing the final walk-through before showtime. Three months ago he had heart surgery. He will be seventy-six years old next month. I bet you anything that Keith Richards cannot wipe the smile off his face as he gets ready to go onstage. 

Q: It’s often said that being in a band is like being married to a bunch of people at the same time. What’s the state of the Stones marriage after 50 years?
A: (Laughs). We’re still deciding who’s Mr. and Mrs.

He also said, "What else would I be doing?" when asked if he'd anticipated doing another tour
in 2019. 

Well, I see that copying and pasting has once again changed my whole set-up here so I'll just get on with my life and let you get on with yours. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Very, Very Full Day

I got up pretty early this morning because I had to go into town to get my blood drawn in advance of my routine-every-six-months check-up with the sweet and lovely Dr. Zorn next week and if you know me at all you know how much I hate this and even if you do know me I doubt you know how much I have been dreading this appointment. I was okay about it in February and March but in April I started thinking about it too much and then in May I began really worrying about it and now it's June and I will admit that it's been on my mind almost constantly and yes, I do have a neurosis about this and no, I don't understand it but it's as real and solid as my kitchen stove, as undeniable as the sunrise.
So. Yes. I had to go get my blood drawn and as I have said before, the lab where I go packs people in like anchovies are packed into a small tin and when I'd first signed in and found a spare chair to sit in, I looked around and almost got back up and fled.
But I did not.
I sat there for the forty-five minutes it took for my name to be flashed up on the screen and then it took approximately forty-five seconds for the phlebotomist to take my blood. She was excellent and I told her so. I barely felt the needle slip into that vein.

And then I went to Hardee's and bought myself an egg, bacon, and cheese biscuit because it had been a fasting blood situation and I ate it on my way to Jessie's house, thanking god and all the angels for there not being a Hardee's at the Lloyd exit off of I-10 because if there is one fast food outlet that I have a very hard time avoiding, it is Hardee's.
That chain has its shit together when it comes to evil deliciousness.
I went to Jessie's because she and Vergil and the boys are leaving for their North Carolina summer trip on Sunday and it was my plan to try and help Jessie with the boys a bit so that she could get a few things done in preparation.
I can't say I helped that much but stories were read and while I was reading a tiredness came over me that reminded me of my days working at the Birth Center and how I'd feel after being up all night and still had work to do after the new family went home- the scrubbing of the tub, the finishing up of the laundry, the remaking of the bed, the sterilizing of the instruments and so forth. I'm not sure why I felt so suddenly exhausted but the point came when I could not keep my eyes open and I apologized to Jessie and took a tiny nap on August's bed.
It was okay and I felt much better when I woke up. I think that between the dread of the upcoming appointment and the knowledge that Jessie is going to be gone for a few months is dragging me down to some place that only sleep can rescue me from. Temporarily, at least.
We went and got a nice lunch and then I stayed at Jessie's house with Levon while Jessie took August to the doctor because he is obviously not hearing very well out of one ear. There is no doubt that it's related to this sinus infection he's had but she was worried and wanted it checked before they left. I had a good time with Levon and he was his merry self. We went outside so that he could play and we read a bunch of baby books and we did puzzles and played with a dinosaur train and looked at pictures on my phone of all his favorite people. He asked for milk and I gave him some and when I got my comb out to deal with my hair, putting it back in the braid I'd made at seven thirty this morning, I combed his hair a little bit, so very gently, and he liked it and asked for more and so I combed that fine, blond angel hair of his and sang him songs about how much I love him.
I can't believe they're leaving. And oh! What an amazing time they're going to have and August still remembers the little creek on his other grandmother's mountain where they waded and he found crawfish and he talked about his cousins and how he'll play with them and it's so good that he and Levon have this whole other world to live in and explore and be loved in- their daddy's world- but it's going to be hard on me, not seeing them for such a long time. They grow and change so quickly right now that even if we go and visit them, which of course we will, they will be completely different little boys in some ways although August did tell me that he will remember my name.

Oh Lord.

So that was the better part of my day and then I had to go to Publix and Mr. Moon asked if I would buy chocolate chips so that he could make cookies to take fishing with him this weekend which was a blatant request for me to make cookies and so I came home and made oatmeal, raisin, pecan, chocolate chip cookies which are practically health food if you think about it. And unloaded the groceries and put a load of laundry in the dryer and hung up the shower curtain I washed yesterday and I am so tired.
I know it's not real fatigue though, simply the fatigue of neurotic dread and anticipatory grieving.
I am so dramatic.
Well, guess what? I just am.

When I opened my freezer to put away the frozen pizzas I had bought (and that will be explained tomorrow, most likely) I discovered a box that was marked "Wild Alligator Meat" and also, "5.25 pounds."
As I told my husband who explained that this was a gift from a fishing buddy of his, I have no idea what to do with alligator meat and very little desire to learn.
I think he may have been hurt.
Well, this woman may have absolutely reached her limit on dealing with wild game. I'll take all of the small feral pigs you bring me but alligator meat? 
Yeah, probably not.
But one never knows.

That's my daily report.
More tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Not Apologizing, Just Saying

The internet seems to be much snappier today and for that I am grateful. That is a picture of Ren, the dog who followed me on my walk yesterday whom I reunited with her human. I know and I realize that this is not a very interesting picture nor is the tale of finding a dog and calling her owner very interesting either.
Lord, but I have become more than boring. I have become...sadly irrelevant.
I do not say this in order to receive assurances that I am not. I know the truth of it. But here's the thing- this is just the way my life is right now. And quite frankly, I would so much rather be boring than have something like a dread diagnosis to discuss. And to be honest, I am not bored myself. At least, I don't think I am. I always seem to manage to find something to keep me satisfactorily entertained.
Why- take today for example! I cleaned the mud/laundry room! Last night my husband finally cleared his tools out of there. The tools he used to use when he was still redoing his bathroom. That project has come to a slow yet seemingly definite halt. I am not sure why. He got all the way to the point of putting the sink in when he just...lost...interest?
He claims that he doesn't really like the sink he bought but surely that can't be the whole story, can it? Thirty-five years with this man and I really can't say that I know him through and through.
Meanwhile, he has stashed tools and lumber and the offending sink in what used to be MY office but which is now a complete area of chaos and crap. Sometimes I get so mad about this. Or perhaps I am merely hurt. I don't know. And in his mind, I feel quite certain, he feels completely justified in doing this. I haven't used that space in a long time but what he doesn't understand is that for eons women have wanted nothing more than a room of our own. To call our own. To claim as our own. To deny entrance to to anyone else, no matter what we do or do not use it for.
I haven't mentioned the old toilet on the deck and yet, now I have.
I love that man with every fiber of my being and he will always be the miracle of my life but there are things he does that drive me insane just as anyone who is in a relationship of any length will admit to feeling about their partner if they are honest.
God knows that I do plenty of things that drive him crazy too, I'm sure.
But! I cleaned the mud/laundry room. I swept and scrubbed and mopped. I also cleaned the shower in my bathroom which I never notice the mold-growth in until suddenly, it is absolutely impossible to ignore. In my defense, I usually shower at night and at my age I keep the lights low in the bathroom in the fear that I might catch sight of myself in a mirror. The lower the lighting, the better. And how much light do I need to take a shower and brush my teeth? Hell, I could do those things in the dark if I had to.
That time may be coming.
But also- I obviously don't wear my glasses in the shower and that helps a great deal with the denial of mildew factor.
So anyway, I took my bucket and bleach and cleaning foams and potions and sprayed and scrubbed and now the shower looks better, even in the light. Even with my glasses on.

And THEN! AND THEN! I swept and mopped the kitchen and that bathroom and so at least the boards on that floor feel smooth and lovely against my feet for this red hot second. And the scent of vinegar and Fabuloso perfume the house and there are also  some clean rugs and I am happy about all of that.
It rained on and off all day but I did get out to the garden to do some weeding and picked some tomatoes and some beans, some squash and some leeks.

Here are the bananas growing beside my kitchen door.

Can you see them? Aren't they pretty? Do you think that the whole Garden of Eden myth would be more believable if the serpent offered Eve a banana? 
I do. 
A banana can give a girl ideas and it's such a delicious fruit. Or herb, I think it may be, technically. Did I just read that somewhere? 
I don't know. 

Anyway, Joanne from Cup On The Bus  asked me if I would give Granny Matthew's eggplant casserole recipe and I will gladly do that. I may have done so before but who can remember such things? Certainly not me. 
It's heaven-food for me, this recipe. Full of carby goodness and it tastes a bit like Thanksgiving stuffing if you use the Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix and bread crumbs as I do. I baked it last night along with a chicken and that was absolutely perfect. 

Granny Matthew's Eggplant Casserole

1 large or 2 small eggplants, peeled
4 tbs. melted butter (you can easily use half that if you want)
1/4 chopped onion (or, if you're like me- one entire onion, chopped)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of oregano
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbs. milk
1 cup crisp breadcrumbs 

Boil or steam eggplant until tender. Let cool a bit. Cook chopped onions in butter. Set aside to cool. Mash drained eggplant to a smooth pulp, add seasonings, eggs, milk, onions and butter, and breadcrumbs. Mix. Turn mixture into greased casserole dish. I like to top with a few more of the breadcrumbs, sliced tomatoes, and a little cheese before baking in a 350 degree oven for about twenty minutes or until set. 

Last night when I made this I carefully sliced a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes from the garden and layered them on top with the bread crumbs and cheese. I have also, in my vegetarian days, made this a main dish by draining, pressing, and mashing tofu to add to the eggplant. As with any recipe I may offer I will just say- make it yours. But this is the basic template and it is good. 

Now I am off to make tonight's supper which is going to involve the vegetables I picked in a stir fry. Mr. Moon is researching a soap and vinegar concoction to spray the field peas with to get rid of the black aphids which a million ladybugs could not deal with at this point.
You've not known grossness until you've picked beans that are covered in black aphids and let us not forget the ants which are also on the beans because ants actually herd and farm aphids and MILK THEM. 
I am not even kidding you. 
Thus, the bodies of the gazillions of aphids get smushed as you pick the beans resulting in a orangish brown stain on your hands and you also get ant bit. 

Gardening is one of the reasons that I never truly get bored but I'm not sure it's as interesting to anyone reading this as it is to me. Sort of like chickens. But, not quite as exciting. 

Ah well. 

Love...Ms. Moon