Saturday, November 30, 2019

Links And Links And Bread Baking And Mushy Peas And Climate Change And, And, And...

I'm pretty sure that Miss Magnolia June lined the tub toys up like this the other day. I hadn't noticed it but when I went into the bathroom this morning the little ducks and whale and octopi were shining in the sliver of sun from beneath the curtain and caught my eye and pleased me.

I slept so long this morning that I'm embarrassed. I think the holiday has really taken it out of me. When I woke up, I was having a terrible dream about driving in an old VW in the dark and it had no lights and I was lost and I had kids with me and when I saw police officers I pulled over and said, "Thank god you're here."
Which is something I've never said in a dream before to police. Trust me.
I was just figuring out that it must be a dream because I was trying to use my phone and when I'm dreaming and trying to use my phone I never can. Oh, how I wish this was a dream, I thought. There was also an issue with how I was going to support my children.
I dream that a lot- that I have no idea how I'm going to feed and house my babies.
It's stressful, that dream. To say the least.

So it took me quite awhile to truly wake up this morning. Mr. Moon had gotten up a long time before me to go hunting and I had two texts already. One from him with a picture of the woods in the early morning and one from Jessie telling me that they were going to go to St. Augustine for two nights. A little mini-vacation. St. Augustine is a beautiful place to go. There are plenty of touristy things to do and see and it's a charming town on it's own. There's a fort and the oldest house and Ripley's Believe or Not museum and also, the beach. There are excellent restaurants and giant old trees and the Alligator Farm and the Lightner Museum. Something for everyone in the family. And tomorrow night, Jessie's fairy godparents will be playing at the Creekside Dinery there which is child-friendly and an outdoor venue and I'm sure they're going to have a wonderful time.
I've spent a lot of time in St. Augustine because Lon and Lis used to live there before they moved to Gatorbone. Some of my favorite and best memories are from those times. There is a sort of magic to the old town and I've always been extremely susceptible to its charms.
It never hurt that being friends with Lon and Lis was like holding an enchanted golden key to the city and I doubt I've ever felt more welcomed into a community than to the beautiful one there. For years I'd take Jessie and Lily over for the annual Gamble Rogers music festival when they were just little girls and I'd volunteer in the hospitality tent (which of course Lis ran, even as she performed in many various bands) and do what I do best which is to cook and serve and stay out of the way but I made a lot of friends doing that and the last year that I think we went, Lily was already grown up and Jessie was in high school and I took her and some friends of hers and they had the best time ever, listening and jamming with musicians because by then they were all playing music themselves.
So yes. I have the most fabulous associations with St. Augustine.

I finished the greens-thinning today and now have enough of those and some still-growing, late-crop arugula to make a beautiful salad which I will do tomorrow night. Last night's soup and sourdough will be our supper tonight. Karen and David did eat with us and although I think they liked the soup, it was the bread (right out of the oven) that everyone loved.
I've been using the simplest recipe to make my bread and it always seems to come out very nicely. I usually mix up the dough the night before I want to bake it but yesterday I actually made it up in the morning and coddled it a bit on the warm setting of a heating pad with a towel over it to hasten the whole process and it worked fine. This afternoon I decided to search for other recipes to expand my repertoire, as it were, and I've about decided that the recipe I've been using is good enough for me. Especially after reading through all of THIS recipe with instructions. For god's sake! If I want bread on Wednesday I have to start preparing it on Sunday! There is information there about "scalding" flour and all kinds of different steps to follow for what I would hope is the very best bread in the world, sourdough or not.
One commenter said: "THIS is one of the longest most ridiculous most complicated recipes I've ever heard."
I could no more follow all of those steps than I could walk into a room, take the New York Bar Exam and pass it tomorrow.
Nope. Not for me. Thank you very much. I want to love baking bread, not turn it into a science experiment requiring various thermometers, exotic equipment, and three damn days.

Besides working in the garden I went to Publix today. For some reason I decided it was something I really needed to do. That was relatively painless and while I was there, looking for a bottle of HP sauce (thank-you, Mr. P- I have developed a fondness for it) in the international foods section, I happened upon these:

I've heard of "mushy peas" many times before but have never, ever had the desire to eat any. They may be the most delicious things in the world but with that name, they're never going to be big in the States. I was quite pleased, though, to see that Publix carries them now. I mean, you never  know- I may want to try some and if I do, well, they're as close as my nearest Publix. 

And finally this.

Because we are not really having winter here anymore, my roses just bloom and bloom.
One may think this is a good thing but it's not. The natural order of things has been disrupted in the most obvious ways. The Japanese Magnolias are already blooming and they should wait until at least February or March. The camellias are starting to open up and that is as should be but to have those and roses blooming at the same time in winter is simply not right.
Still, I could not pass up the opportunity to stop on my way out of the garden to pick a few of the roses, pinching their stems between my fingernails, and bringing them in to put into a vase.
I suppose I'll get around to pruning them before spring at some point.
Meanwhile, I am hoping for a good freeze to knock things back to where they should be, despite the fact that I'll have to do something about my porch plants. It's just all too weird.


Well, may we all have sweet dreams tonight, none of which involve the police or worries about how we are going to feed our children.

Much love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 29, 2019

Back To Real Life

I was back to regular domesticity today and happy to be.
I was a bad wife and did not get up to drive to Jacksonville with my husband for him to get his blood drawn. Instead I stayed in bed until almost nine.
Lazy, lazy me.
But I got on to the chores pretty quickly. I put the turkey bones in a big pot of water and simmered that for most of the day and started a loaf of sourdough. The oven is preheating now for the bread and the turkey broth has been made into a soup and those will be our supper.
I got laundry done and hung on the line which always makes me feel as if I am painting my personal landscape. I know it's silly but I swear- when I'm dead I'm going to miss hanging clothes on the line on a beautiful cool, clear day. And making bread and soup, too.
Okay, sure, I'll be dead and won't be missing anything but if I could miss anything when I'm dead it would surely include doing those things.

Mr. Moon made his trip there and back in good time. He said it was a lot easier, knowing where he was going and where to park. I'm sure it was.
When he got home he found me on my knees in the garden, weeding and thinning greens again. Such a picky, tiny process. The weeds are smaller than the greens but more abundant, I have to say. I need to mulch. And I probably need to water more. We aren't getting much rain. Still, the little lettuces are coming up so nicely, the kale looks sturdy, the arugula is happy to bask in the sun and even the carrots have put on their second fancy leaves between the two green hair-like sprouts that come up first. Perhaps we will be eating more than just micro-greens at some point this winter.
Sure would be nice.

Wednesday night, we talked about getting together with sweet friends tonight and I just got a call and they are coming over. David and Karen, the violinist and his wife. I'm really glad they're coming. I told David that by the time they get here perhaps the soup and bread will be ready. He said they've been eating all day and they DON'T NEED FOOD. And then he said, "I'll probably eat some food."
"Okay," I said. "Either way."
I think that Karen will probably have a martini with us. I love that in a gal.

So I better go and check on things in the kitchen.

Be well, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Tired But Content

I am exhausted and I really did not do that much today and I honestly didn't eat that much either but the fact remains that I'm ready for bed and it's not even 8:30.
It was an extremely beautiful day. Perfect weather.
I got the dressing made and got the turkey in the oven this morning, grateful that we weren't eating at some insanely early hour. We stayed out until almost midnight last night. It was a completely fantastic evening. The music was beyond amazing. The people there were people I did very much want to see and I ended up being absolutely glad I went. I don't even have words for the emotions that I experienced.

Left to right there you have Jerry Thigpen, Dave Davidson, Pete Winter, Bill Wharton. 
At one point, I reached over to Hank and he bent his ear to me and I said, "This is the music you heard when you were in utero. 
"I know," he said, and nodded his head. I think he felt right where he was supposed to be at that very moment. 
Jerry even talked about Bill's old house on Park Avenue where the musicians would gather and play into the night. I'm not the only one who has deep and profound memories of that time. 

But yes, it was quite late when we got home. We left Lloyd around 3:30 this afternoon to drive over to Lily's with a truck full of food. It was a more laid-back affair this year with fewer people and still way too much food. 

I only got a few random pictures. Here are two. 
I truly do not have the energy to go into details. There were all of the usual foods and I brought home a lot of leftovers. And now I have to go clean up my kitchen. After that I'm going to take a shower and get in the bed and I doubt I've ever looked forward to anything quite so much. 

I hope you've had a beautiful day. I am grateful for each and every one of you who come here. I am grateful for my family from Levon on up to my husband. I am grateful that my life has taken the paths it has because this is a pretty cool place to find myself at this stage of my life. I am grateful for burning-bush colored Japanese maple trees and I am grateful that I can laugh about this. 

Liberace is determined that his flock should take over my house. Do you know how difficult it is to get eleven chickens out of a kitchen and a bathroom? 
It's not easy. I'll tell you that. 

Anyway, another Thanksgiving and all is well. 

Sleep well, tonight. And may your dreams be sweet. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Skinny Legs And All

Getting ready to put on a bra-like garment and actual clothes and go to town to hear some music.

Ooh boy.

This is a big week.

Can you believe how long August's legs are getting?

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Day In The Kitchen. Mostly

Well, I've definitely had a constructive day.
I decided to do as much cooking today as I could and that's what I did. Although the first thing that happened was that I called my compounding pharmacy to see if my hormones were ready and was informed that the doctor had never gotten back to them as to a refill. This has never been a problem before and I said, "Oh hell."
The woman at the pharmacy told me she'd call and fax again and that I should probably call too, which I did. I left a message begging them to please send over the refill order because "when I run out of my hormones it is NOT pretty."
Within an hour I got a call informing me that my prescription was ready for pick-up.
What a relief.
In other medical news Mr. Moon finally got ahold of Mayo and they did send off his blood to one of the two places in the world that does testing for this one syndrome that they think may be the problem with him but for reasons involving insurance (of course!) they had not tested the blood and hadn't bothered to tell anyone and so now Mr. Moon is going to go back to Mayo just to get his blood drawn and try again. AND the test takes four to six weeks to run.
My man was not happy. I'm not either, to be honest.

But. Back to cooking. First thing I did was drive to Monticello to buy my greens because grocery store greens ain't fittin'. And my own greens would make about enough for a tiny mouse and her little family. I bought my greens, brought them home, cut out the stems and cut up the beautiful leaves and washed them twice.

I made two pots of the collards. One my regular vegetarian way and one an Auto Immune Protocol batch so that Jessie can eat them. And then I basically simmered them all afternoon long. 

On to the cranberries! 
I also made two versions of those. One my standard cranberry/orange/apple/pecan relish and one an AIP cranberry sauce.

It too had apples and orange in it but no nuts and it is honey-sweetened. It's delicious. 

Then on to the pies! I made up three of the most beautiful pie shells I think I've ever made. I made the pastry in the food processor with the recipe that came with the machine. And for once, I think it worked. 

I realized when I started making the fillings that I have no corn syrup which is just about the main ingredient in pecan pies. However, instead of getting back in the car and driving to a store I decided to substitute honey and maple syrup for the traditional and frowned-upon Karo syrup. I have no idea how that's going to turn out but they look okay except for the chocolate pecan and that's because when I moved the pie in the oven some of the filling spilled over and because my racks aren't even, it sort of baked in a most imperfect way. Oh well. 
For the third pie, I decide to do a lemon chess pie. I have a whole bunch of lemons and Jessie has a lemon tree filled with the fruit so why not? Have you ever had chess pie? I think it's a southern thing. The basic chess pie has eggs, butter, sugar, a little bit of cornmeal and some vinegar in it. The lemon version that I made also had lemon juice and corn starch which seems like a cheat to me but I did it anyway. It was a King Arthur recipe and I do trust their kitchens. 
So we'll see. 
In the middle of making the fillings for the pies, my power went out. Of course. But with a song in my heart and optimism in my brain, I went ahead and filled those shells and soon enough, the lights came back on and my oven looked like this. 

Here's what the finished chess pie looks like. 

I hope it's good. 

So. That is all done. The only thing I have left to do is to make the cornbread for the stuffing and then the actual stuffing and turkey. And gravy. I'm not making the bread this year which is an absolute first. We bought Hawaiian rolls and some Sister Schubert rolls at Costco. I feel like I'm probably going to hell for that but Lily's oven is just not very big and there are so many things that need heating up at the last minute that baking angel biscuits right before the feast is always difficult. 
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 
And I just did some calculations and realized that this will be the first time in forty-three years that I haven't made rolls of one sort of another which also reminds me of the year that I was in full hippie mode and made the rolls for a Thanksgiving dinner at my mother's house with whole wheat flour and they came out like the proverbial hockey pucks. My dear, old, sweet grandmother whom we'd sprung from the nursing home for the feast gnawed and gnawed at one and finally said, "What IS this?"
When my mother said, "It's a roll, Mother," my grandma replied, "Must I eat it?"
I've told this story before. Whatever. It's a good story and a true one. 

Food and stories and family to eat the food and tell the stories. That, ideally, is what Thanksgiving is all about. Well, those two things and the traditional giving thanks when it's all over but the leftovers. 
Or maybe that's just me. 

I may or may not post tomorrow. The annual Jerry and David music reunion will be happening and if I can get my agoraphobic ass out of the house we will attend. Wharton will probably show up as well. I remember when I used to host a party every Thanksgiving Eve when all of this happened at my house. I am sort of incredibly happy that I'm no longer responsible for the gathering and sort of eternally grieving that I'm not. 

All will be revealed. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Modern Day Saga Of Hunting And Gathering

Mother and Son.

Last night Lily and I agreed via text that we'd go to Costco together today. Appetizers had to be bought as well as a veggie tray. And so we met there this morning. The boys are out of school for the week for fall vacation which is a new one on me. Gibson decided to stay home with his dad who didn't have to be at work until later but Maggie and Owen came with Lily. 
It was so fun to hang out with my Owen. And Maggie was a sweet girl so despite the fact that THERE WERE NO SAMPLES AT COSTCO, NOT EVEN ANY GAGGY YOGURT DRINK, we had a good time. Of course every other person in the Tri-County area was there too but Costco is a pretty big place. 
After we did all the damage there we could do, Owen and I drove to Hank's house to pick him up for lunch while Lily went home, unloaded groceries, and picked up Gibson. We all met at Tan's and ate amazing buffet and Rachel joined us and our friend Lindsey and then Juancho (husband of our precious Melissa and coworker of Rachel's and longtime friend) showed up and it was a party.
Of sorts. 
Maggie instantly took over Juancho. "I'm Magnolia June Hartmann," she told him. 
"I know who you are," Juancho said. 
Maggie is way into introductions. By the time it was over she was handing Juancho her ice cream to unwrap and if that doesn't say trust, I don't know what does. 
After lunch, all of us but Rachel and Juancho who had a meeting they had to go to, went over to the nursery and hardware store next door. I wanted to buy some beet seeds which I figured would take me two minutes. 
First of all I had to find the seeds. They had so many fucking Christmas decorations and general Christmas crap that I couldn't find them. I finally asked a harried looking employee and he pointed me in the right direction. I got a packet and then joined the rest of the folks outside where they were strolling through the plants and trees for sale. It was a beautiful day. Finally we went back inside and I got in line to pay for my seeds but things were crazy stupid at the cash registers and after standing there for about fifteen minutes to pay for my beet seeds, I finally said, "Nope. Done," walked back to where the seeds were, returned them to the rack and left. 
I wasn't angry at anyone. It wasn't the fault of either cashier that they had to deal with situations involving more than just ringing someone up. I simply could not stand there for one more minute. I do think that I should get some bonus karma points for taking the seeds all the way back across the store rather than just setting them on the counter but I don't believe in that sort of thing. 
By the time we all said goodbye it was after two and I still had to go to Publix and I was so not in the mood. But I had to get that turkey and so I went. 
I wanted to get one of the Greenwise turkeys. "Greenwise" is the Publix version of their organic and healthier foods. Their own store brand. I try to support them in their Greenwise efforts because I know that it's hard for farmers and animal raisers to do things in a greener way without pesticides or antibiotics or any of that shit we all consume without thinking about it. We just do. Let's face it. Well, not all of us, I'm sure. But I do.
Also? The taste difference is quite apparent, especially in the poultry.
So I went through every Greenwise turkey they had only to discover that there were two weights of turkeys- twenty pounds and eleven pounds. I'm not making this up. 
So I grudgingly started looking at the other, less greenly-raised birds and dammit if it wasn't the same thing there, too. I guess all of the fourteen-pound turkeys had already been sold. And twelve and thirteen and fifteen pounders and so on. 
First world problem if I've ever experienced one. 
I finally picked the heaviest eleven-pound bird I could find which was almost twelve pounds and that is going to have to do. I am NOT going to be manipulating a twenty pound turkey filled with stuffing. I'm still fairly strong but if you add in the weight of the pan and the stuffing that's got to weigh at least thirty pounds and I'm just not up for that. And the thought of not putting the dressing in the turkey is a complete anathema to me. I consider the turkey to basically be a stuffing-holder and baster. 
With benefits including drippings to make gravy with that you can put on...stuffing. 
Anyway, the turkey is in the refrigerator. It will no doubt still be frozen on Thursday morning. Oh well. As I told a guy in Publix today who was contemplating buying one of the monster turkeys, they say not to thaw them in running water in the sink but I've never killed anyone yet by doing that. 
And I do it every damn year. 

This is probably one of the most boring posts I've ever written. I feel as flat as half a bottle of champagne left on the counter overnight. Mr. Moon's gone to a basketball game and I'd give five dollars if I had a can of Campbell's tomato soup in the cabinet but I do not. Sometimes you just really need a bowl of Campbell's tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. 
I'll figure out something. 

You want to hear the saddest thing ever? 
Oh sure. Why not.
I have a hen who doesn't want to get into the hen house at night to roost and where she's choosing to spend the night these days is in a potted fern on the kitchen porch right next to two chicken-shaped planters with succulents in them. Do you think she feels as if she's sleeping with other hens? 
We have to do something with the two extra roosters and that's all there is to it. I know that's why she isn't roosting in the hen house. And it's probably why I'm not getting any eggs. 
It's not always sweet and easy being a chicken mama. 
Maybe I should raise a few turkeys. 

And perhaps I'll be more sparky and amusing tomorrow. We can only hope. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 24, 2019

It Was Sweet

I grabbed that shot last night while Lis and Jim were doing the sound check and I'm glad I did because I didn't take another picture all evening.
Phew, y'all!
I was in a bar for five hours!
Where there were people. Lots of people. Some of whom I knew.
And besides that, Lis and I went to see a luthier who is making her an octave mandolin and went to supper with her before the show.
How much socializing can one woman take?
If it's me, just about that much and not one second more.
Here's a funny thing- I recognized the luthier. She was the partner of a midwife I worked with back about thirty years ago. She has a very distinctive face and presence and I knew I knew her as soon as she opened the door to her shop. We figured it out quite quickly.
She and Lis got down to business right away, talking about the new instrument and how it's coming along. It is going to be beautiful and if you've never heard an octave mandolin, which I had not, it's a very interesting instrument. I kept thinking of the sound as "gutsy" and "voicey". It's going to be a joy for Lis to play.
And dinner was a treat. I got Tom Kha Gai soup and a salad with the most delicious peanut dressing. I wanted to eat it with a spoon. I did eat the soup with a spoon, of course, and as I tasted the perfect coconut chicken broth and ate the pillowy cubes of tofu, I felt as if I had died and gone to heaven.
I was fairly comfortable at supper and tried hard to ask the luthier open-ended questions as I believe one is supposed to do, about her career and how she came to building instruments. She has also been in fire management and was Tallahassee's first female fire chief. AND she's now raising two grandchildren. So she's an interesting person, without a doubt.

Then. On to the Blue Tavern where there were already people waiting even though it was two hours until showtime. Lis and Jim set up their instruments and mics and worked out the logistics and the sound was figured out and balanced and all that stuff that has to happen to make listening the joy it is. I sat at a table and waited for Mr. Moon to join me and the place filled up fast. That was the hard part for me because it was the conventional time for "How-ya-doin's?" and "What's new with you?" and "Haven't seen you in forever," and stuff like that.
And I realize that because I never go anywhere or do anything like this unless Lis (and usually Lon) are playing, I am so out of practice. I can't deal with casual conversation. I don't know why but it drives me insane. I am sure that one woman in particular thought I was very rude. And I probably was.
I'm an asshole. I truly am.
Of course there were some people whom I do love to see and it was nice to catch up with them. It was good to see Jim Quine who went to Cuba with the group Lis and I went with. He and Lis have been playing together for thirty years, on and off and it shows. Their voices blend like sugar into butter and so do their guitars. Mr. Quine's brother, Jack, joined them for some songs. He played guitar and mandolin and sang but my favorite was when he played a sort of rollicking honky tonk piano.
Everyone loved that. It was a treat.
My husband got there right before the music started and I was so glad to see him.
And so the evening went and I enjoyed it tremendously but when eleven o'clock came around and they played their last song (Lis's "Paint The Town") and people reluctantly left, sad it was over, and the instruments and mics and cords and stands were packed up and stowed in the car, I think my favorite part of the evening happened. Mr. Quine had said his good-byes and gotten into his car but then got back out, came walking up to me and said, "I think I want a big hug," and put his arms around me and it was so lovely for me.
And off he went and I drove home with Lis and by the time we got here we were exhausted, even Lis, and all made our ways to bed. This was in stark contrast to the night before when the martinis were drunk and Lis and I did our best Betty and Wilma impressions, giggling and talking and being completely silly and happy and serious and cooking and sharing hearts while Mr. Moon shook up the icy confections and waited patiently for his supper which, I have to say, was delicious.
Fettuccine with seared scallops and cherry tomatoes and kale and a loaf of sourdough, hot out of the oven.
But last night, we all just went to bed and when I woke up it was almost ten o'clock and Glen and Lis had been up a long time. Long enough that Maurice had sat in Lis's lap for half an hour and DID NOT BITE OR SCRATCH HER ONCE!
She told me she was afraid to move. I told her that she had been smart to think that way.

And then I made pancakes and Jessie and the boys came out. Lis is Jessie's fairy godmother and she would not miss a chance to see her. The boys ate pancakes like beasts, especially August. I think he had five. And some sausage.
And then Lis had to go.
And then I had to cry.

It is so hard to see her go. We don't get to spend nearly enough time together. But I appreciated and cherished every moment of that visit.
She brought me a blue cashmere cardigan which I am wearing right now. I feel like I'm wearing a piece of the sky. It is warm and it is soft and I imagine that sweet woman hugging me.
I missed Lon being here too. We all did. When all four of us are together it's like a joyful design made up of all our different elements.
A sort of perfection.
But Lis being here was also perfection and that's all there is to it.

Luckily, I had the boys here to cheer me up after she left. Levon finally got to wear his dress. Jessie had texted, asking if I'd brought it to her house the other day because she couldn't find it and he wanted to wear it. I had not brought it over so he put it on when he got here. It's a little big but that's fine.

Boys in dresses doing manly things. 

A puzzle in the hallway with Boppy.

Levon wanted to sit in his grandfather's lap. Which pleased his grandfather more than I can say. 
We made more necklaces and we read books and there was hot chocolate. 

And so it's been a glorious weekend. 
I think I better buy a damn turkey tomorrow. And still- it won't be thawed by Thursday. 
I'm just not ready for any of this holiday season stuff. At all. And yet, it's going to happen whether I'm ready or not. 

I'm feeling like the luckiest woman in the world, once again, and that is a very fine way to feel, even with Thanksgiving and Christmas bearing down on me like a ton of bricks. Honestly, that's how it feels. And yet, all will be well. 

Off to make our supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, November 23, 2019

All Is Well

Good morning! A morning post because I didn't do an evening one last night. 
Lis and I were just too busy chatting and drinking martinis and making a little feast for me to write one. 

And this won't be much of one. 

We're all alive and well in Lloyd and it's a beautiful day. 

Here's a picture of August from yesterday.

He says Howdy. 
So do I.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Fun With Maggie As Well As Beauty Secrets And Political Theories

Ms. Maggie and I had a very fine morning and early afternoon.
She loves dance so much now which makes me happy. While she was in class I got to chat to one of the mothers whom I have really come to like. She's so down-to-earth and easy to talk to. She's one of those people who looks like she has it all together and I'm sure on many levels she does but she freely admits to the things she finds so difficult about being a mother and I love that. Being a mother is just damn hard on most days.
Well, all days. Some days are just harder than others.
Another couple was there with their son who's in the class. The mom called her mother and I could not help but overhear her talking although, unlike David Holmes who could hear Trump on a phone call to Sondland due to the loud blustering blah-blah of the man, I could not hear the mother's part of the conversation. They were discussing Thanksgiving and the young mother told her mother that she'd pulled a conversation she swore they'd had "out of her ass." Which made me laugh inside. But the best line was this: "I get no joy from baking a turkey."
By the time the call ended, I was pretty sure that Grandma will be bringing the turkey.
I wonder if she gets any joy out of baking a turkey.
Luckily, I DO. I know, I know- it sounds weird but I just love that part of Thanksgiving. Making the cornbread for the stuffing the night before, making the stuffing the next morning and filling up that artificially huge bird with it, putting it all in the oven and just waiting for the kitchen to start smelling like Pilgrim Heaven.

Anyway, after dance Maggie and I went to Publix where I was told by a woman who works in the Deli what Maggie always gets (popcorn chicken) and I let her get a juice drink in a Minnie Mouse bottle which is going to be the straw that broke the camel's back of environmental plastic, and some gummy bears from the bulk bins.
Then we got in the car and headed to Monticello where we returned a library book and got to see and talk to Terez briefly. I miss Terez.
And THEN we went to the Winn Dixie. I was on a mission.
To get some of this:

In the winter I keep a jar of that in the shower and after I've turned off the water and before I've dried myself off, I rub that stuff all over my arms and hands and face. BEAUTY SECRET OF THE STARS! 
It's a wonderful product. It is light and absorbs like a dream and makes my skin feel as soft as my skin is going to feel and it smells delicious but not heavy. 
And it's so cheap. 
I've found it in two places- the Monticello Winn Dixie and Amazon. But when I went to look it up on Amazon a few weeks ago because my last year's vat is almost completely empty, I discovered that they're not making that exact kind any more. They're making a vanilla scented one and in the reviews, it doesn't seem as if people like it as much. 
So. I've been meaning to get to Monticello for awhile now and today was the day. I searched and searched the shelves and finally found it. They had two jars of the new vanilla scented one and one of the original. Who knows how old it is? 
I do not care. I bought that jar and one of the vanilla ones which, when I got home I discovered didn't smell that bad. Lily said she'd take it if I didn't want it so I gave it to her. 
Meanwhile, I am so happy although also, sad. What if I bought the last jar in the North Florida/South Georgia area? What if I bought the LAST JAR ON EARTH? 
Well, what if I did? 
Lucky me. 

And then Maggie and I came back to Mermer's house which is where Maggie had been wanting to be since we left dance. She immediately wanted food, to see if there were any eggs, juice, to play with toys, and to take a bath. As you can see from the picture above, a bath was taken. She was so happy. I do have an excellent huge tub. Isn't she a beautiful child? I sent the picture to Mr. Moon and he texted back, "Little Lily eyes."
It's so true. 
We also checked for eggs and she played with some toys and she rode the rocking horse. In fact, I have a terrific and joyful picture of her doing that but she was stark naked and not at all modest and so for prudence sake, I won't post it. This was after the bath and I kept trying to get her to put her clothes on. "You're cold, you're cold!" I told her, realizing all the while how silly that was. 
Eventually I did get her dressed and I was just about to scramble her an egg when Lily and Owen got here. They'd had a good time at the field trip although Lily had a bit of a fall on the skating rink. She said she was doing surprisingly well until the last circuit around the rink when she got over-confident and decided to do a little dance. 
I'm just incredibly impressed that she can still skate. 
Well, rollerblade, actually. 
She seemed okay but I have a feeling that she's going to be in big pain tomorrow. 

I made Owen a cheese toast and scrambled Maggie's egg. She ate it all up in about two seconds although Owen only ate half his sandwich. His mama ate the other half. 

And then they left and despite all I needed to do, I decided instead to take a nap which I haven't done in forever. I slept so hard. 

I didn't get to listen to all of today's testimony but what I did hear was absolutely more corroboration of the original whistle-blower's statement with even more details. Seems to me that this all leads directly back to Putin and I swear to you- I do believe that he has damning evidence against Trump whether that be pee-pee tapes or some sort of proof of illegal financial dealings. 
Meanwhile, Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan are twisting and turning and biting their own asses like insane snakes and refusing to back off their ridiculous conspiracy theories and accusations towards the Democrats that this is ALL nothing but a carefully crafted story made up to further the witch-hunt of an impeachment. 
You know they can't really believe that. And yet, like a dog defending a junk yard of worthless trash, they refuse to back down at all. 

I really can't believe what I'm hearing from them and's come to the place where I can. 

Well, Lis will be here tomorrow. I am so happy about that. They're singing next door at the church. 
Time to cook supper. I've already made a sort of cranberry and apple chutney to go with the venison back strap I plan to cook. 

Happy week before Thanksgiving.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

And Sondland Sang Like The Birdies Sing. Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet!

Mr. Moon got home a little early tonight. A friend was coming over and they are going to an FSU basketball game together. As he changed into his garnet shirt (gotta show your support!) we chatted about our days. I told him, "I got so much done today!"
"What'd you do?" he asked.
I started out enthusiastically. "I finished Levon's dress and I cleaned my bathroom and our old bedroom to get ready for Lis coming..."
And then that was all I had.
It sure didn't sound like much, did it?
And I can't even say I did anything like a DEEP clean, whatever the hell that is.
Okay, so I also took some trash and went to the post office and cleaned the hen house and washed sheets and blankets and rugs and ironed some.
But 75% of the house is still in its usual umm, let's say comfortable state. I mean, I do try to keep the chicken shit swept off the porch. Last week sometime I read an article online about a little child whose parents had called the police because they hadn't seen her since the night before. This was sometime around noon. They did find the girl not too far from home but she was barefoot and under-dressed for the chilly weather and it was not a good sign that her parents hadn't realized she was missing for over twelve hours so they went to the house to investigate and what they found was pretty horrifying. Nastiness everywhere which I won't go into detail about but one thing that stood out to me, personally, was the report that there were "chicken feces" on the porch.
Uh. Yeah. And I have chicken feces on my porch too. I mean, I do clean it off but I'm not obsessive about it. For some reason chicken shit just doesn't offend me that much. I don't want it in the house and I don't really want it on the porch either but until Mr. Moon does something about the screen on the back porch, it's just going to happen. And the kitchen porch, tiny as it is, has no screen of course and there's almost always chicken poop on it as well as potting soil that the same chickens who poop scratch out of the pots of plants looking for worms.
Worms? Hell. It just keeps getting worse.
Anyway, yeah, I live in Dogpatch. Or as we call it, Lloyd. 
In my defense I do not have a washing machine on a porch nor do I have the back seat from a van on the porch and my bathrooms are usually pretty clean and you don't stick to the floor when you walk across it and I never leave dirty dishes in the kitchen overnight and, well, I guess that's about all I have in my defense.

Lis won't judge me and even if she does, she'll keep it to herself and sigh.
I'm so glad she's coming. She's playing at the Blue Tavern Saturday night so I suppose we'll be going out to hear her. The last time I went out at night to hear music was when she and Lon played there so long ago that it was also cold. Lon isn't coming because he's got recording to do but their good friend Jim Quine is going to be there. He's one of the musicians that went to Cuba with us and I'm looking forward to seeing him. He's a very interesting guy and a fantastic photographer. 
Besides playing on Saturday night, Lis is also going to be taking her cards to a local Florida museum to see if they're interested in putting them in their gift shop.
I'm betting they will.
Did I mention she's an award-winning songwriter too?
What's up with the way talent is so unequally distributed amongst the populace?
Huh? It's not fair.
Like, oh, let's say people who can play violin and write poetry and also are artists?
While others of us are like, "Well, I'm a pretty good cook."
Which Lis is also and so is the aforementioned violinist/poet/artist.

Hoo boy! You should see the way I can clean the chicken shit out of a hen house! Uh-huh!

Enough of that.

I've been pretty content today and quite happy in my little role as a haphazard housewife. That would make a good book title, wouldn't it? "The Haphazard Housewife."
Feel free to write it.

And tomorrow I'll be venturing out into the world a tiny bit. Lily went crazy last week and volunteered to chaperone two field trips for the boys on the same day. I offered to help with one of them but Jason's going to be able to take time off work but then Lily realized that Maggie has dance tomorrow too so I'm going to be dance grandma and then take care of the little curly-headed Boss Of Us All while Lily goes to the skating rink with Owen's class to learn about the science of...something. Speed?
Motion! That's it!

Well, I guess that's about it. I did listen to Gordon Sondland's testimony all day long as I went about my housewifely chores. Here's what I have to say about that- I bet he's really regretting that million dollars he donated to Trump. Or bought tickets to the inauguration with or whatever.
Just about my favorite part of the whole thing was when someone asked him what his response was to Trump saying that "he hardly knew him."
"Easy come, easy go," Sondland said.

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Oh, How I Love My Owen

Last night Lily texted to tell us that Owen was to be in a choral production at his school tonight and that we were invited. Of course, Owen never actually participates in these things. Oh, I mean he'll walk in with the rest of the kids and he'll stand there but he doesn't even pretend to sing for the most part and as to the hand motions- nah.
Tonight there seemed to be a tiny increment of activity beyond the last two year's but you had to watch closely to catch them. He's ALWAYS been embarrassed to be around people singing. He just has. Even when he was practically still a baby. If we burst out into song around him he'd say, "No! No!" The most miserable I've ever seen him was when he was in preschool and they put on a princess ball or something to that effect and he had to dance with a little girl and then participate in the singing and I could tell that he seriously wanted to die.
Now Gibson? He's a born and joyful performer. He has no inhibitions about giving such things his all with such zest and happiness. We shall see what Maggie's like. They are all so different.
The concert tonight was a patriotic one, I think in celebration of Veteran's Day. I especially enjoyed the state-naming rap. In alphabetical order.
After the concert was over, Owen morphed back into his regular self and he hugged me and I hugged him so hard and told him that I was almost proud of his complete refusal to participate. And then I hugged him again and told him how handsome he was. And THEN I congratulated him on coming in second in a speech contest in his class. He's a complex kid, my Owen and I sure do love him.
Gibson was full of hugs and Maggie moved from lap to lap.

When we all said goodbye she made her mother kiss me. 
"Kiss your mommy," she commanded. And of course, Lily did. 

So that was a fun little thing on a Tuesday night. As we all know, I'm not a real big fan of patriotic displays but just being in a room full of parents and grandparents who have come together from very divergent communities and cultures to support their kids and grandkids makes me feel better about life in general so there was that. 

When I took my walk this morning I noticed that someone is actually doing some work on this old house which is right down the street from us. 

He's taken off the front and side porch so something's going on. I've wondered about that house so many times. It would be a beautiful thing to see it brought back to become a home. 

When I got down to the county line part of my walk I saw No Man Lord Guy hauling a washing machine on a handcart. A dolly. 
"Are you going to haul that thing all the way to your house?" I asked him.
"Yeah. I was supposed to get some help but I didn't so I'm just going to do it myself. I'll get it there," he said with resigned conviction. 
"I know you will," I said. And we both laughed. 
And he did. When I drove by later it was sitting in his front yard. I guess he sells these things he hauls home. Lately he's seemed to be focusing on lawn mowers but I suppose someone had a washing machine they wanted to get rid of and he took it off their hands. 

So that's what's been going on today in Lloyd. 
Oh! There was a small miracle. After Liberace instructed one of the hens to lay in that basket on the porch, she did actually get in there and eventually laid an egg. 

First egg I've gotten in a week. Those wily hens. I don't know what I'm going to do with them. 
The two days I kept them shut up in the coop didn't result in one egg in the nesting boxes. 

I listened to a lot of the impeachment testimony and I swear, Jesus H. Christ himself could appear before the Senate and point the finger of blame upon the Orange Pretender and those motherfucking Republicans would accuse Their Lord of being a Never-Trumper which would probably be true but far from the point. 

Let's keep surviving. Let's keep being outraged. Let's keep paying attention. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 18, 2019

Home Again

This morning right after Mr. Moon had called to let me know he'd arrived safely and would be home soon, I got a text from Jessie saying that she was going to take the boys out to the Jr. Museum. And then she said, "I was thinking about being cruel and surprising Dad with two sick boys. Hehe."
I replied, "I was thinking the same thing. Bring 'em out."
She was hesitant. She knew he was going to be exhausted but I told her that Dad would settle into his chair a lot quicker if August was sitting beside him watching TV.
And so she did. In fact, she got here before he did and so Mr. Moon got his first welcome home hug not from me but from his grandson August who sprinted on his long-and- getting-longer-everyday legs to be picked up Boppy.

And Boppy was exhausted but after he dragged everything into the house and went through the mail and ate a bowl of soup and some of the cheese toast I made for him and the boys, we all went outside. August wanted to see the garden. I told him that he'd have to look very carefully and close to see the carrots but when I showed him the row he said that no, he could see them fine. I said, "That's because you have great, young eyes."
"Yes," he said. "I do."
And he does.

We hung out in the gorgeous sunshine for awhile and let the boys get some ya-ya's out although really, they wanted to go watch TV mostly. But they did a few fun things.

Jessie drew a rocket ship in the dirt and they blasted off and then they space walked. August put on his space suit and his helmet and went off to get closer to the sun and also to see some aliens. They also climbed on the tractor and on the trailer and then they climbed the mulberry tree.

I can't believe that tree is big enough to for kids to climb. Seems like I only planted it a year or so ago. Or maybe last week. 

Finally we went back in the house and August and Boppy snuggled up in the big chair and turned on the TV and Jessie made popcorn and every kernel was eaten. Boppy dozed and woke up to answer questions and Levon grew tired of watching and went and found the tricycle to ride in the hallway and before you know it, it was time for them to go. Levon had been awake almost the entire night and Jessie desperately wanted him to nap. Before they left I read a few books to August. He's in love with the Jolly Christmas Postman right now. I also gave an extremely dramatic reading of Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now? and Levon found a book that I had no idea I owned called Construction Zone which pushed all of his happy buttons. It's a board book and there were all sorts of exotic earth-moving and road-building equipment in it and at the very end, there are thumbnail pictures of each of the machines with a small description of them. I was about to close the book but he saw those and said, "Keep reading!" 
And so I did. 
Then it was truly time to go and the boys wanted their going-away treats which they do not get until they're buckled into their car seats. Lately I've been giving them one or two of these delicious chocolate and coconut covered almonds I got from Costco and they like them. August asked me today if I would spoil him more and give him three. 
I told him not today and he was happy with two. 
They kissed their Boppy good-bye and off they went, treaties consumed before they left the driveway, I'm sure. 

And so everything is back to normal. I have a very large man in his den drinking a cup of Peach Passion tea, doing something on his computer with sports on the TV. I'm doing a little laundry which is mostly made up of camo and cold-weather clothing. His lunch bag is on the counter waiting for me to pack it. August asked him today if he was happy to be home. 
"You know what, August?" he said. "It's so much fun to go away and do things but it's always wonderful when you get back home."
It's true. Unless, of course, where you went away to is Cozumel but that's an entirely different story and it's my story, not his. 
August also told me today that he wished they lived next door to us. He pointed out where they could build a house, about a hundred yards from our house. He even pointed out that they'd have to cut down a tree first. He's a very sensible young man. 
And Levon said, as we were walking up the steps to the kitchen that this was Boppy's house and Mer's house and Levon's house. 
"This is your house?" I asked him.
"Yes," he said in his beautiful Levon voice. 
"You're right," I told him. Whenever you want it, it is yours."
He already knew that though. 
Mer and Bop's house is a home. The home you would want to come back to. 
At least that's how I feel. And the man has come home. 

I better go feed him. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Saint Dolly And Other Things To Ponder

Today is my last day of aloneness. Mr. Moon will be home tomorrow. He sent me a shot of a beautiful Bloody Mary he'd ordered at an airport bistro and said that it was hard to travel without his Bloody Mary partner. I told him to have one for me and he answered, "I did! I got a double!"

The sun was back out today, glorious and warm. It dried up the humidity and dispelled the gloom. It made me want to go outside and I did. I decided to thin my greens and so I got down on my knees with a little glass bowl and it was easier to pull the tiny sproutlings, thinking of them as a sort of harvest, rather than just a slaughter. Maurice came out and helped me by laying directly on my rows as I worked. She put her snout in the bowl several times to take snorts of the tiny plants and even tasted them but after that, she lost interest in them and was content to just lay in the sun and drowse. It seems to me that she's been seeking more closeness lately. Here she was last night.

And this afternoon as I was leaning on my car and texting a friend she surprised me by rubbing her head on my shoulder. I didn't even know she'd jumped up on the car. 

You can see, though, that she is very wary. And you can also see her poor, scared face from her encounters with Big Mean Jack. 
She'll be mighty glad to have her man human back. She loves to sit on his lap when he's in his chair although she does get quite pissy if he tries to do something crazy like change positions. 
Blood is often drawn but he's patient with her. He knows she had a hard childhood. He is good with crazy.
Thank god. 

Besides the row-thinnings I also trimmed up the damn horrible Canary Island Date Palms but did not get one puncture wound. That was a first. I also did a little Sago palm trimming and cut back a few of the Sabal palms too which made it possible to gain access to the front porch. Very, very light easy work. While I was going about this I was listening to a podcast called "Dolly Parton's America." I tell you what- Dolly is an incredibly intelligent woman, an amazing and prolific song-writer, a fine musician and one complex human being. 
She may also be a saint. Did you know that she started and sponsors a book club program that mails free books as gifts to children from birth to age five in under-served communities? Not just in America but all over the world. This site says that the program has mailed almost 128, 000,000 books to over a million registered kids. I don't know about you but anyone who mails books to kids who probably would never have access to them is a saint. In my book. 
But it's more than that. I have a friend who owns a recording studio in Nashville and he's worked with Dolly some. One time when she was at the studio she asked him how he was doing and asked about his family. At that time, one of his daughters had been diagnosed with a usually terminal illness and he ended up telling Dolly about that. When he saw her years later, Dolly asked specifically about that daughter who, tragically, had died since they'd last talked. My friend told me that she was as sincerely empathetic and caring as anyone in the world could have been. 
At one point in the podcast when the interviewer asked her about forgiving someone she said, "Forgiveness is everything!" And I have come away with the conviction that she truly believes that and truly lives her life in that light. 
But she's no pushover. According to some websites, she's worth $500,000,000 but I don't begrudge her a penny of it. She's worked for every dollar she has and I'm sure that anyone who underestimated her business sense or her talent is sorry they did. Porter Wagoner was probably the first man to learn that lesson. And yet, when he was dying, she was there, holding his hand. 
The thing that I took away from the podcast though, is how through her music and her theme park, Dollywood, she has expressed so much love and respect for her family and her home place. She's recreated the cabin she was born in and that she was raised in way up in the Smokey Mountains for Dollywood and she owns the real, actual cabin which has been restored and made livable where her family members gather to stay and celebrate events. 
And yet...and yet- she's also spent her entire life getting away from that place, even as she's somehow never left. Even as the part of her life she spent there has informed everything she's ever done. She hasn't just physically gotten away from it, she's also gotten far, far away from the simplicity and poverty of it. I can't imagine a life busier and more productive and complex than her's. When asked where she lives now she said something like, "Oh, I live everywhere. I'm like Santa Claus. I can be in so many places at the same time."
And although she literally wrote the theme song for an entire movement and union of women workers (Nine to Five) she refuses utterly to get involved with politics or even give her opinion about anything having to do with them.  
"Why should I?" she said. "I'm an entertainer."

Anyway, wow. 
I'm glad I listened to the podcast. There aren't that many episodes and if you're looking for something that'll entertain you, perhaps make you cry, and will absolutely make you think, this one is a good choice. 

So beyond that, I cut out Levon's dress and got the sewing started. It's odd to think of having my husband back at home. Nine days is a long time to be on my own and I fear that I've gotten lazy and selfish, rolling with my days doing whatever came to my mind and that I felt the urge to do, considering no one's needs but my own. But I do miss that man and it'll be very fine to have him back where he belongs which is next to me. 
Maurice isn't the only one who'll be glad he's back. 

And that's it. I'm going to go cook some chicken and greens and tomatoes, heat up some rice and peas. And I'll make a salad out of these delicate "microgreens." 

Another week is about to begin and we shall see how it goes. 

I hope it goes well for all of you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Another Memory Post

My African basil (I think that's the variety) is still going strong in the garden and its blooms have made an entire summer's worth of bees and wasps happy. They love the tiny orchid-looking flowers of the blossom. I picked some a few weeks ago and gave it to Jessie and I told her, "If you stick this in water, it'll probably root."
And it did.
So I decided to do the same and it makes such a pretty vase full of leaves and flowers, doesn't it?
And yeah, I should probably wash that doily.

It's been another flat, chilly, gray day and although I did force myself to go to town to the library and to Publix (the only green vegetable I had in the house was about five stalks of limp asparagus), that's really not much to brag about or discuss.
Mr. Moon will be getting on a plane tomorrow around noon and after what I'm sure will be a delightful 22 hours or so, he'll be arriving in Tallahassee at ten-something Monday morning.
I think I'd rather walk to Tallahassee but that's not an option for him or for, well, anyone who doesn't have a year or so in which to do it. So I guess compared to that, twenty-two hours of flights and airports isn't THAT bad.

I suppose I could write about my ex and I moving into the Jim Walters house. I'm not sure how we discovered it. Probably word-of-mouth which is how knowledge used to be transmitted before we all kept up on social media. There was a trend at that time for moving "back to the country" and we were all for it. Lots of our friends were trying to figure that out. I had one friend who, with her husband, had actually bought a few acres in the woods and they were living there in a sort of temporary house while they built their "real" house around that. I was enchanted by that house and by the fact that they were building it themselves with a lot of found materials that were being thrown away. I think they had electricity and running water but definitely not a bathroom at that point. And they had a baby with more to follow. They were sort of everyone's mentors in the hippie-land movement.
And side note- they still live there.
I haven't visited in years so I don't know what the house eventually morphed into but I'm sure it's pretty amazing. And I feel certain that they've had a bathroom for a long time now.

But I knew that my ex and I would never be able to accomplish anything like that. And even if we could, it sure wasn't going to happen any time soon. He was a guitar player, not a carpenter. And I didn't know one end of the hammer from another.
But we found this little house way out of town on the same road that Smitty's Club was on. I've written about Smitty's before. If you'd like to read one of those posts, you can find it HERE.
And I've written about this house before. It was green and white on the outside and the ex painted the inside before we moved in because our landlady, in a pique having something to do with either her ex or dead husband, had painted around the furniture and that really was just a bit too funky for me. She lived next door in a double-wide trailer which was a step up from the Jim Walter's house and her son lived across the street in a real brick house. It was an African American community and was considered to be way out in the boonies at that time. Honestly, there weren't many people living out there and hardly any of them were white people. Two doors over was Mabel's Club. Mabel was Smitty's sister and had her own little jook where there was a juke box and a kitchen where she cooked fried chicken sandwiches which she sold along with sodas and beer.
The house was very small. Two tiny bedrooms, a basic bathroom, a simple kitchen, a living room. I doubt the whole thing was six hundred square feet.
It was not an easy time for me. My boyfriend and Bill were getting some gigs and when they weren't playing they were rehearsing and I was working at a different restaurant by this time. I was only serving, not cooking or cashiering and it was a local place and even had a liquor license.
And a salad bar!
Jump back, Jack. High cotton.
Anyway, it was a very unsettled time.
The house had no heat or air conditioning and we lived there mostly during the summer. It was almost unbearable. Jim Walters hadn't discovered insulation when that house was built. But I tell you what there WAS- miles and miles of cow pasture behind the house.
And you know what you can find in cow pastures?
Psilocybin mushrooms.
Now psilocybin was the first drug I'd ever done. This was in the last days of me living in Winter Haven and somehow, some way, my friends had discovered these trippy fungi and it was a big deal. I had resisted doing them and had not so much as smoked a joint, either. I'd only gotten buzzed a few times on Boone's Farm apple wine and was pretty darn pure when a friend of mine dosed my chili one day when I got off work from McDonald's (yes, I worked at McDonald's) and although I don't believe in doing that to someone, I am eternally grateful that he put those mushrooms in my chili.
I had the best afternoon of my life.
So mushrooms were something I was quite familiar with and we did so many mushrooms that summer that if they really were dangerous, I'd be dead.
I ain't dead.
It was truly one of the most instructive summers of my life. I learned so much about the Black community and came to respect my neighbors intensely. I learned so much. And for some reason we were accepted in that community. The closest store was at the far end of the road and it was run by a white family and they never would take my checks. Hippies were NOT acceptable people. But at the end of the road where we lived, it was live-and-let-live and I was offered nothing but kindness. Our landlady's son would often invite the ex and I over after he got off work for a drink. I didn't drink anything in those days but he kept his vodka in the freezer and I would accept his offer of a shot of that. He told me that he loved coming home and smelling what I was cooking.
"You cook like a black woman!" he told me. And I guess I mostly did. Beans and rice and greens and cornbread were our staples. We really didn't have much money. Sometimes we had none.
And sometimes we had roommates. The boy I moved to Tallahassee because of moved in for awhile with his girlfriend (now wife) and for a short time an old friend of the ex's lived with us and that's fodder for an entire novel. He planted a pot patch out a way behind the house in the cow pasture and everyone in the neighborhood knew about it but of course no one called the police. One morning though, we woke up and the owner of the field had bushhogged the whole pasture and there went the budding-up weed. Not to be completely defeated, our roommate went out and picked through the leavings for every scrap of his resinous crop he could find and put it all in paper bags as the whole neighborhood knew what was happening, shaking their heads and laughing.

I guess that what I mostly learned from living there was that while we, as hippies, were treated as second-class citizens out of the choices we'd made, our neighbors had been born into and were living in a system where they were second-class citizens because of their skin color. I understood this theoretically before I moved into that neighborhood but living there made it all very obviously real. I will be eternally grateful for that experience. And to be honest, all of the tripping I did was more beneficial to me than years of bad therapy would have been.

So. That's the story of my life on Bannerman Road which is now a totally upscale place with planned communities and lots of commerce and churches and restaurants and blah, blah, blah.

How we left it and where we moved to next is another story.
Perhaps I'll tell that one someday too.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking now about Ms. Mabel who I'm certain must be dead. I'm thinking about fried chicken sandwiches and finding mushrooms in cow shit and eating them right there, fresh out of the poop. I'm thinking of the bulldog we had whose name was Beck who would sit on a chair like a human to look out of the window at the goings-on of the neighborhood and I'm thinking of the pot-growing roommate who's been in jail for decades for crimes having nothing to do with growing reefer. I'm thinking of how I've lived so many different lives in so many different places. And how here I am now. Still alive, still grateful to live in a diverse community, even if it is a different one. Still cooking beans and greens (which I now grow myself) and cornbread.

Thinking that maybe I've distilled the best of what I've come to love in my life and am living that here in Lloyd.

Yeah. Well.

Love...Ms. Moon