Sunday, October 18, 2020

Y'all Can Have Your Green Juice. I Want To Eat My Greens


 Mark it on the calendar. Tonight's supper will include a salad made not just with store-bought lettuce but also the first tiny thinnings of the garden greens. In there are newborn kale, lettuces, arugula, and collards. Also two types of basil. And a few leaves of mature bonsai arugula which I planted in a pot where they have not, to say the least, thrived. But each piece of each leaf will add its own peppery goodness to the bowl. I love that when I pinch the almost microscopic roots from the arugula babies I can already smell their essence. It's almost like human babies who have their very own self-ness from birth, just in infant form. Anyway, aren't they beautiful, those clean, wet wisps of living green life? Sometimes it occurs to me that those people who believe that they can live on sunlight are correct, in a way. Plants take sunlight and turn it into food that we can eat and thrive on but the sun-eaters do forget that there are other elements (quite literally) involved and that trying to forego those elements and the steps that the plants go through to produce the calories and nutrients we need is a bit ridiculous. I don't care what certain yogis have claimed to do, the human body just doesn't work like that. 
I just looked it up. People who believe that are called "breatharians." Good luck with that! 

Why must humans always want to go right on past the true miracles of life on this earth like the Krebs cycle and evolution and sunrise and sunset and gravity and tides and physics and love and oak trees and octopuses and Keith Richards and eggs and butterfly migration to believe in bullshit like living on prana and psychic healing and walking on water and there being a god who only managed to have one son despite the fact that he's a god, who sends that son to earth to be tortured and killed for the tenuous purpose of saving the very people that the god supposedly created from the original sin that he supposedly allowed those people to become infected with so that those people can go to a supposed eternal life which will be perfect when they die their earthly death? 

If I live to be one hundred and sixty-six, I'll never understand that. Show me a newborn baby and I'll show you eternity in genetics. Show me the stars and I'll show you infinity and beyond. Show me death and I'll show you how death does indeed lead to life as it breaks down and gives up its essence to the dirt, nurturing the plants that grow above it. Show me a laboring woman and I will show you the miraculous ability of a human body to create and deliver life. Show me the Rolling Stones and I'll show you the miracle and ecstasy of dance. 

Well. This is not what I set out to write about today. Not that I ever set out to write anything in particular. 

Here's another picture. 


This is Mr. Fancy Pants taking a dust bath. He was flinging his head into the dirt to work it down into his feathers and wallowing like boar hog. He's the funniest little guy. Today I watched as Liberace chased him away from one of the hens and then, as soon as Liberace ran to see to another situation, Fancy Pants jumped up on the hen and had his way with her. It's not a graceful act, y'all. He's so small that he has to sort of perch on the ladies instead of covering them with authority but he manages. I'm not sure why Liberace hasn't just slayed him with his sharp spurs and lethal beak yet. I don't think he really takes the banty rooster seriously but I'm here to tell you that if another hen sits on a clutch of eggs around here, old Lib ain't gonna be the daddy of all of 'em. 

I have to go make supper now. 
Shrimp and grits. 
And...a beautiful green salad made of fresh pulled miracles. 
Amen.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 17, 2020

I'm Lazy Even If My Hens Are Not


This morning Mr. Moon made himself egg-in-a-hole which he loves but because I had given away all but two of our eggs, we had none when Vergil came by after sitting in the woods and hoping for a deer this morning. Jessie and the boys were going to come and meet him here and I wanted to make him a little breakfast and just as I was bemoaning the fact that we had no eggs, I heard a hen singing her "Come get me, Liberace! I have laid an egg!" song and sure enough, there was an egg in the pump house nest and I made Vergil the freshest egg sandwich on the planet. 
The egg bowl now looks like this, though, as nine hens gave me eggs throughout the day and I can't say for sure there aren't any more. I sure do wish I could figure out where Tweety is laying her tiny eggs. Sometimes you just need a tiny egg for a recipe, you know? Like if you're cutting a recipe in half and it calls for an egg. One Tweety egg would be the perfect size for your needs. 

I've been lazy today. Lazy as can be. I've mostly sat on my ass and done some crosswords and that is about all. I did a little more weeding and then flattered my husband into making two rows for me to plant some carrots and celery in, which he did. The flattery was sincere- as I have said many times, his rows are as straight and true as Elvis Costello's aim. It hasn't been too horribly hot today. Maybe up to eighty. But it was cool last night and we opened up the house and turned off the noisy, planet-destroying AC. Heaven. And I still have the house open and am glad for it. 

I finished listening to a book today that I thoroughly enjoyed. 


Anne Glenconner (that's LADY Anne to you and me) has indeed led a most extraordinary life. Now eighty-eight years old she has written a book about that life and narrated the audio version herself which is just absolutely a treat. Those regal tones describing some of the raucous and raunchy events from her life is worth the price of admission. Not only was she Princess Margaret's Lady in Waiting, she was also married to a man who was, to put it mildly, extremely eccentric and hard to live with as well as being fabulously wealthy, charming when he wanted to be, and a visionary in his own way. They had five children, two of whom died tragically at young ages and she's traveled all over the world. The name-dropping in the book is bountiful and as natural to the narrative as it could possibly be. The woman has known everyone from Mick Jagger to the Queen. Of course. And this isn't a tell-all book by any means. As one might suppose, she is never vulgar or without grace. But she does have some stories. 
I highly recommend this if you listen to audio books. I got it from my library. 

I don't suppose that Trump has died today, has he? Not hoping he has or anything, of course. Just, well...wondering. 
As I have been since November 9, 2016. 
Did you see where he said that if he lost the election he just might have to move out of the country? I do believe that's the truest thing he's ever said. And one of the most heart-lifting, too. Let's make it happen! 

Have a sweet Saturday night. 

Love...Ms. Moon




Friday, October 16, 2020

Nothing Is Quite Right, Even If It Is Sweet


No. They are not freaky doughnuts. They are funky cupcakes. Don't ask me why this happened. Probably because I did not really follow the recipe which, thirty or forty years ago wouldn't have been a problem, even when I was cooking in an oven that didn't have a thermostat. I just can't bake cakes very well anymore. I have no idea why. Still okay with cookies and fine with breads and my pastry dough is better than ever but cakes?
Forget it.
Still, when I put a peanut butter M&M inside each hole and frosted them all generously they looked okay and they tasted good. 
The occasion was the Big Family Birthday gathering that finally happened this afternoon here at the house. Lily and her kids and Miss Pepper came, Hank and Rachel were here, Jessie and the boys attended, and May and Michael were here! 
Hurray, hurray! 

It was, as these things are in the time of the pandemic, odd in some ways. On the table with the food there was a bottle of hand sanitizer. May, Michael, Hank, and Rachel wore masks the whole time, even outside. Well, it was all outside except for bathroom visits. Mostly. And Lily had to keep making her kids' plates of food because she didn't want them to get any possible virus on the chips or salsa or vegetables or crackers and pimento cheese. 
Or cupcakes.
Rachel brought cookies. Jessie brought a pomelo which she cut up and a lot of us shared and it was delicious. 
But not your typical Moon Family Party. By any means. 
We discussed the holidays and it looks like we'll all probably be doing our own Thanksgivings and for Christmas maybe we can all go cut Christmas trees together. Which is outside. 

Still. It was a sweet time. 


I got almost no pictures. And the ones I did get weren't very good but here's a nice one of Magnolia and her mama. May and Michael brought presents for all the kids. Levon's was a collection of toy construction trucks and he played for about an hour by himself in the dirt under the magnolia tree, digging and moving earth. August's was a gemology kit or something like that. Small pretty rocks were embedded in a relatively soft gray brick and with the wooden mallet that came with it, he pounded the brick until the rocks were revealed. There were safety googles too. 


I wish I could squat like that. 

Maggie played with the Fisher Price farm and a dolly. As usual. Gibson and Owen sat in chairs like grown-ups and chatted with us all. 

We got to reminisce and we laughed at old memories and talked about things going on now. But I just have to say that it's so much harder when we're talking across half the back yard and some of us are wearing masks. And we should probably all be wearing masks. 
August and I went to check for eggs later in the evening and we found a tiny snake in the hen house. I called out for Michael to come because he's the critter guy and he came into the hen house to check it out and I, forgetting completely about distancing, was right there too, until Hank reminded me that I was crowding him. 
Michael has asthma and he and May are being so very, very careful and there I was, totally forgetting every precaution in my excitement about a little bitty snake which might have been a coral snake but was probably a scarlet kingsnake. 
I felt like an idiot. 

Well. It is what it is. As May and Michael were getting ready to leave we realized that it's almost impossible to say good-bye without hugs. How do you even do that? Take your leave of loved ones without a hug? We're famous here in the south for the southern good-bye which is the opposite of the Irish good-bye which is where someone leaves a party or event without a word, just disappears into the gloaming. Southern good-byes take so long that sometimes you have to pull down the tailgate of the truck to sit on to finish them up. 
And they always end with hugs. 

Listen- it's not the not being able to gather for the Big Holidays that break my heart. It's the simple acts of not being able to hug and kiss that crush my soul. I can feel a visceral pull towards my beloveds and my arms ache to enfold and my body aches to be enfolded. My lips can almost feel the skin and hair of each of my darlings. I want to inhale them. 
And I cannot.
We encircle our arms in front of us to symbolize air hugs. It's something, I guess but it's not nearly enough. 

May and I agreed as we stood in the yard, not hugging, that we are all on the verge. She's already arranged to have the day after the election off of work although she knows that it is quite doubtful that we'll know the results by then. She just doesn't want to have to talk to anyone about it and she wants to be able to access the news. I understand completely. I think she is wise. 

Friday night. Martinis. Church next door. Supposed to get down into the fifties in the wee hours and perhaps we should open the windows and turn off the air conditioning. My dreams keep going back and back and back. This morning in one of my dreams, people who never knew each other, people whose lives are only connected in my memories are meeting each other, interacting, living out strange snips of plot as if my brain is craving the connections of times long past, weaving them together into braids of possibilities that never were nor ever will be. 

I'll go heat some soup. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Best line of the day: Levon was in the kitchen looking at his Boppy's Honey Nut Cheerios and said, "I want some cereal." I said, "I don't know if you can have any." He looked at me and stretched his arms open and said, "Are you KIDDING me?" and looked at me with that Levon grin that said, I know I'm funny. 
And he was. 


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Just A Thursday


I refreshed my wildflower bouquet from my walk this morning and that's what it looks like with the evening sun shining on it. As the pecan leaves fall, the light on the porch becomes brighter to the point where sometimes I have to use the bamboo matchstick blind that stays firmly rolled up all summer. Pecans are the first to lose their leaves in the fall and the last to come out in spring making them a great source of shade when we need it and allowing the sunlight when we don't. 

I pushed myself to be more active today. I took that walk and I worked some in the garden but I got so damn hot out there that I could only weed two rows and had to call it quits. For whatever reason I just cannot tolerate heat the way I used to. Could be a medication I'm on, could be age. Who knows? Not me. But it's real. I actually started feeling a little woozy by the end of row two but I feel fine now so I don't suppose I did myself any damage.

Mr. Moon has had a very big day. After sixteen years he finally got his garage doors! Whoo-hoo! 


He is pretty darn happy. 

Our venison pie was very nice last night but it was rather meaty and so tonight I'm making the delicious creamy cashew squash/sweet potato, coconut milk soup that I love so much. I don't think it's Mr. Moon's favorite but he does like it and I'm making naan to go with it so all will be well.
Would this be a good time to talk (again) about the ridiculous stupid habit of online recipe posters, talking about everything and anything under the sun even remotely related to the food you're trying to make before giving the recipe? 
FUCK THAT SHIT! 
I don't want to read about your sister who makes Indian food all the time. Okay? Or about her visit where she showed you how to make this. Or about the first time you ate this particular food. Or how you feel when you make yummy, nummy delicious fresh food for your family! 
No. 
Just no. 
Give me the damn recipe. Thank you. That's why I love the online New York Times cooking app. It does give a little paragraph describing the food and a picture and that is perfect! Thank you, NYT's cooking app! 
And let me admit right here that when I had it in mind to write a cookbook, it turned into more of a memoir than a book with recipes so there you go. I completely understand the urge to wax poetic about food. 
Obviously.
Just call me an annoyed hypocrite. 

Well, I better get to naan rolling and grilling and soup-finishing-up. 

But first, in a completely unrelated matter- have any of y'all watched the Dolly Parton doc on Netflix? It's titled Dolly Parton, Here I Am. 
We've been watching a little of it every evening and yeah, it's made me cry. When I called her a saint last week, I should added that she's a genius. Because she is.

That's what I think anyway. Despite the wigs. Or maybe because of the wigs. Who am I to say? 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Measuring Out Life With Coffee Spoons And Suppers On The Table


 I took this picture this morning when I went out to check for eggs. If you look carefully you can see the story here. There's a hen in both of those nests and the two gray girls are waiting on the roost for the nest they want to become available. Doesn't it look like they're discussing this? They remind me of two ladies in a public restroom waiting in line for a stall to open up. 
"Do you mind if I go first? I'm about to die. I just drank a forty-two ounce Big Gulp."
"Oh, sure, honey. I can wait."

And let me remind you that there are FOUR other nesting areas within three feet of them. They want what they want. 

I've been feeling treacherously low lately. Nothing specific and I even had to reassure my husband this morning that no, I am not upset with him. "I'm upset with the world," I said. I think all of us are probably completely on edge right now. At least I didn't have horrible dreams last night. The one I remembered this morning when I woke up had a lot of sweetness in it. I was back in my old elementary school where frankly, I experienced a great deal of unhappiness and bullying but that wasn't part of this dream. There was a reunion of my old classmates but the best part was that a woman I knew as Aunt Dot was there although she was combined with my favorite teacher- a sort of dream woman and when I looked into her face and realized who she was I was so very happy and hugged her hard and she hugged me back. 
At the time in my life when I was in elementary school, these two women gave me more than they ever knew, I'm sure. If I have any self-confidence at all or know how to show love, it's mostly because of them. 

So that was okay but I felt nostalgic when I woke up for Roseland and for people I'll never see again in this lifetime and sadness settled over me. But Jessie and the boys came out to play and that cheered me up considerably. It is so wonderful being able to hug and kiss them again. Jessie had brought their bikes and they helmeted up and we went to the post office. Levon has a little pedal-less bike that used to be August's. I'm not sure what you call it. But he propels it by pushing against the ground and it works spectacularly. I sort of want one. And August, when he got a real bike, hopped on and rode it like (as he says) a pro. But it's true. They're so dang cute. 


And look- my signs are still up! My firespike continues to bloom like crazy. It's so cheerful. 
When we got to the post office, I told the boys I had to take their pictures. 
"Why?" asked August. Of course.
"Because that's what I do," I said. 
So they let me. 



Besides bike-riding, there were also hot-wheels car racing in the hallway, puzzles, sandwiches and books. Both boys sat beside me on the love couch as we read and at one point, Levon even reached over and kissed me. I was thrilled. They do not mind cuddling while we read. 

So all of that was good and after they left I cut up the venison roast leftovers and the carrots and potatoes, added green beans and peas and made a gravy with the cooking juices and put all of that in a baking pan and made a pastry to go on the top. I feel like this is a dish that Robin Hood and his Merry Men would recognize. A pie of poached venison and root vegetables, perhaps made by Friar Tuck. Although, to be clear, our venison is not poached from the Sheriff of Nottingham or anyone else for that matter. 
I saved the bones and some of the meat to freeze and use for a future soup. Things like this make me feel like the most prudent of housewives. 
With the leftover pastry I made a tiny apple and raisin tart that will bake alongside the venison pie. Oh, if I only enjoyed housecleaning one bazillionth as much as I do cooking! 
But I do not. 

The forecast we had last week for cooler temperatures at the end of this week seems to have changed and it's still going to be up in the eighties every day except for possibly Saturday where the high is supposed to be 78. And no rain in sight. But no matter- I have got to get the rest of the garden in and this is going to require some weeding and mulching. I went out yesterday afternoon to check the coming-up greens and although they look happy and healthy, there are so many tiny weeds coming up alongside of them who also look happy and healthy that I was horrified. Just horrified. 
Thank god I like to weed, right? Although this is the most difficult sort of weeding. The kind that almost requires tweezers. Sure, we could hoe them but hoeing, in my experience, basically just rearranges the weeds and causes them to gather more of their powerful life force to re-establish themselves as they send their vital roots back down in the now-loosened soil. And beside the garden work I need to do, there is so much in the yard that needs to be done. The pulling of invasives, pruning, trimming, the picking up and hauling of branches and all of the things I need to trim and pull. 
Oh well. What else do I have to do?
Not much and yet, I always seem to be fairly busy and as always during these strange times, the hours and days pass with unprecedented and unexplainable swiftness as if the universe has suddenly taken on different laws of physics and time's meaning is oddly the same and yet not at all. 

Enough philosophizing. Time to get the Robin Hood pie into the oven. 

Oh, y'all. 
Let's hang in. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Those Of The Male Persuasion Might Want To Skip This One


There's my little canary-hen, Miss Tweety. Every morning when I go to let the chickens out and throw them their scratch, she's the last one out of the coop. She hangs out on that little shelter roof until everyone else has pushed through the run to wait expectantly for their scratch to be thrown. She's a very skittish little lady as is Miss Violet, another banty, but I will point out that Miss V. is the longest-living chicken I think I've ever had. I haven't gotten an egg from Tweety in quite a few days so I think she must be laying somewhere else. Not only is she skittish, she's sneaky. Some hens are like that. She's not a fancy hen at all but I do love the designs that her feather-colorings make. A pretty little thing. 

So of course I had to get all worked up about the procedure I got today. Which was ridiculous. It was what they call a transvaginal ultrasound to determine the thickness of my uterus. Not, as I had said, because I was having any problems but just as a way for my hormone-prescribing doctor to cover his ass. It was nothing, really. The hardest part was that they did an external ultrasound first which meant that I had to have a full bladder. My instructions had been to drink a quart of water an hour before the appointment and to "hold it." I was a bit worried about this. I mean- I'm a sixty-six year old woman who has given birth to four babies but it turned out to be okay. The tech lady was great. She didn't even make me change into a gown because I was wearing a dress with easy access to the important parts. She said she'd step out of the room while I took off my panties and handed me a sheet. I said, "Don't bother. You're about to see it all."
She laughed and said, "I see it all all day long."
Even the sheet was entirely unnecessary but I clutched it to me like it was serving some purpose. The whole thing was over in a few minutes and she said that it didn't look like I had anything to worry about which was what I expected and before you knew it, I was out the door and on my way. 

And any men who have made it this far should just remember that this is only one of many, many things that women have to go through in their lives involving putting their feet in stirrups. For some bizarre reason, these sorts of exams don't bother me so much or cause too much anxiety in me. That's probably because my lady parts have been nothing but faithful and true my entire life and if anything, far too apt to work too well than to malfunction. I dreamed two nights ago that I was pregnant, and I was not best pleased about that, thinking that when the child graduated high school I'd be 84 (dream math!) but still, I put my hands on my belly in my dream and thought, "Well, here we go again."
Can't say I wasn't relieved when I woke up though, to realize that I was not pregnant and that I would not be attending a high school graduation on a walker. If I was lucky. 

After all of that I went to Costco. Even though I had bought everything in the stores only a week before, I still had a very long list. Two lists, actually. One for Costco and one for Publix. I got through Costco quickly and didn't impulse-buy a darn thing which is no fun at all. Then I went to Publix and once again, overbought. I am still in a bit of a hoarding mindset. I realize that but I can't seem to stop it. It's not to the red-line level of crazy but it tilts in that direction. 
Please remind me that I do not need ANY MORE CHICKEN to go into the freezer. Not for quite awhile. I even bought a package of frozen filo dough and when the check-out lady asked me what I was going to do with it I did not have a definitive
 answer. 

"Maybe make a spinach casserole?" 
We shall see. Meanwhile, it's in the freezer, taking up space. 

And tonight we're having leftover chili and a salad along with leftover cornbread. So. Leftovers, basically. And I'm glad. For whatever reason, by the time I'd carried everything into the house and and put it all away, I was truly exhausted. I absolutely had to go lay down and sleep for awhile and I can't even remember the last time I took a nap. 

I listened to more of the Amy Coney Barrett hearings and Ted Cruz made me want to vomit. He went on and on about how Democrats are attacking Barrett for her Catholic faith and how this country is built on religious freedom and rambled on about the ten commandments on courthouse lawns and Hobby Lobby (really- he did) and then completely changed direction to ask Barrett about whether or not she played the piano and oh! did her children "do" the piano too? 

JeeSUS. 

Well, here we are. 

Oh! Here's a picture that Lily took of her daddy working on her garden today. 


She wrote, "Y'all, Boppy just left and as usual I'm wiped and he seemed fit as a fiddle! Always amazing me!" But Mr. Moon did tell me that Lily did a lot of hard work too and that he was really proud of her. 
Strong woman! Strong man. Made me feel even worse about having to take a nap after the huge effort of going grocery shopping. 

Well, it is what it is. 

Onward!

Love...Ms. Moon



Monday, October 12, 2020

Signs Of The Time


 

My confederate rose is finally blooming but way, way up in the sky where it's trying to get light. I have such a shady yard which is great but it also makes it quite hard to grow a lot of things I'd love to grow like fruit trees and flowering bushes. 

I had a pretty good day. I decided to take my walk on Whitehouse Road which I haven't done in a long time and it was okay but I was completely horrified by the number of Trump signs. My road, as I have said, is quite mixed as to race but Whitehouse Road is not. There are some truly huge houses on it, mini-plantations, I would almost say, and most of them have Trump signs, Trump banners, huge American flags, those black and white flags with a blue line in them showing support for law enforcement, AND "stop socialism" signs. I am not shitting you. Assholes don't even know what socialism is. And the irony of all of this being on Whitehouse Road is not lost on me. 
Remember the house that goes crazy decorating for holidays? Especially Christmas and Halloween? Well, they've got the skeletons and ghosts and dragons and witches and tombstones all set up as well as a plentiful bounty of all the signs and flags I just mentioned. 


Oh yeah. I forgot the "Don't Tread On Me" flags. It's a veritable spooky festival and I am not talking about the giant spiders. 

So when I got home I made a real effort to figure out where I could get some Biden/Harris signs and it turned out that in my county the place to get them was the house of a couple who live right off Whitehouse Road and in fact, I had walked within about half a mile of their house. I emailed them and they wrote right back and asked me how many I wanted and I said, "Two," and next thing you know, I'd driven over there and they were such nice people who have gone to a great deal of trouble and effort to get these signs to give out. They'll even deliver them to you! So I got my signs after a little chat and I stuck them in the ground in front of the house when I got home. I surely hope they don't get stolen but wouldn't be surprised if they are. It really annoys the crap out of me that Biden signs around here are getting snatched left and right while my neighbor's Trump sign (one of the few in this immediate area) has been up since 2016 without being disturbed. I can only assume that Democrats are more respectful of others and their property than Republicans. 
Which...duh. 

Here's an interesting thing- the company that we get our Medicare supplemental insurance from gave us a robocall today and I couldn't believe what it said which was that they did not think that Donald Trump has done an adequate job protecting Americans from the Coronavirus and they were asking their customers to vote for Joe Biden. I shouldn't have deleted the message because I'd really like to listen to it again to see if I could suss out whether it's truly legit. This is a HUGE company. AARP endorsed, etc. If it is legitimate, I am incredibly impressed and somewhat heartened. 

I spent part of the day listening to the hearings of Amy Coney Barrett being held in Washington. I love how all the Republicans are like, "How DARE you attack this incredibly qualified WOMAN for her religion?!" when of course if she were Muslim they'd be shitting themselves and screaming about Sharia Law. Of course, no practicing Muslim is in any danger of facing the House or the Senate anytime soon and certainly not under this administration. What a travesty this whole appointment is! But y'all already know that. 

So. As usual, things were up and down, not only here but everywhere, I feel sure. 

Tomorrow I go for my very invasive procedure appointment where my uterine lining will be observed, not for any problems I'm having but to satisfy the doctor who prescribes my bio-identical hormones. Not looking forward to that at all. I just wrote a paragraph with WAY too much information in it and lucky for you, I deleted it. Come back tomorrow and see if I go into details about how it went. 

Here's a picture that came up in my memories on FB this morning. 


I think I've probably posted it before. That was taken at least thirty-two years ago. Wasn't Mr. Moon the handsomest thing you've ever seen? And look at little Lily! Check out my Reebok high-tops. Man, I loved those shoes. They were so damn comfortable. I felt invincible in them. 

That's all I have for today. Time to go finish up supper prep. I've got a huge venison roast from the freezer in the big Dutch oven after I pressure-cooked it and now I need to add the potatoes and carrots. I hope it's fit to eat. I have to say that venison is mighty darn lean. Which is good. 

Y'all take care. Let's all hold on to each other during the next few weeks and hope for the best. 

Love...Ms. Moon






Sunday, October 11, 2020

Trigger Warning- Another Lasting Aspect Of Sexual Abuse


 I am so very glad I bought those dutch ovens. I honestly didn't think I would be using the large one. That is a big ass pot. But I've used it twice now and both times have appreciated the width of it. Circumference? Diameter?
Whatever.
When I made jam in it, it provided a larger area exposed to the heat which helped the jam thicken faster as it boiled. And I used it Friday night to make chicken and dumplings and again, I had far more area in which to cook my dumplings and the more dumplings in the pot, the better. I've used the smaller one so many times already. Tonight, chili is simmering in it. It's such a good size for many of the meals I cook. And here's something else I've realized- the knobs on the lids are better and sturdier than the ones on the Le Crueset. I wish I hadn't had to discover this because the way I did was to accidentally (of course) drop the lid of one of those pans and damn if the metal knob wasn't made in two pieces and split almost in two leaving a very sharp edge on which I promptly cut my finger. The knobs on the "cheap" stuff, however, are all once piece. I checked after I broke the other one. 
Harumph. 
Luckily I can order a new knob from Le Creuset but of course it's going to probably cost at least $25 with shipping. 
Again- harumph. 

God I've been useless today. 
No. Really. 
The most exciting thing I did was to pot up a few rootlings. 


The inspiration for this came with a new old pot. New to me. It was in the car that Mr. Moon bought and was detailing the other day. The lady had taken everything she wanted out of the car so I felt like it was okay to use. I mean, it's just a regular, used planter pot. 


But it's pretty cool in a "modern" sort of way and was a good size for a starter home for the polka dot begonia stems I'd rooted. I'll give it to one of the kids. Repotting and potting plants always seems like a game of musical chairs to me. Or one of those shell exchange fests that hermit crabs have. If you've never heard of this or seen footage of it happening, I suggest you give over four minutes of your life to check it out HERE which comes courtesy of BBC Earth. But anyway, plants, like hermit crabs, do outgrow their homes and must be put into bigger pots while their outgrown pots can be used for smaller plants that need bigger homes right down to the ones that suit the babies. 
Before you know it, you've changed the entire plant arrangement of your life and new plants, which need the most careful tending, have to be someplace where you will remember to water them regularly while rooting is established and so forth. That little table in my mud/laundry room is where I keep my most fragile rootlings and the kitchen porch is sort of the step-up nursery and by the time I was done today, everything had been rearranged. To add to the fun, any of the plants on the little porch that the chickens might enjoy pecking at must be elevated, otherwise, they'll be pruned down to the nubs. The birds seem to especially like begonias. 

AND WHO CARES?

Well, I do. Sort of. 

But that's the level of activity I did today. 

Speaking of birds nibbling plants, yesterday while the boys were here, we saw Miss Tweety in the garden. Since Mr. Moon did his chicken-proofing, we had not seen one hen or rooster in there but suddenly- there was the tiniest chicken of all having her way with the dirt and plants. Turns out there was a hole in the fence that Mr. Moon and the boys fixed. Here's Levon, cutting the wire to get the job done. 


I love that picture. 

So. Chili's cooking, my man is out doing yet another manly activity and I'm just...here. Sunday. A thing happened yesterday that I've been thinking about and trying to process. August and I were reading The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins which is a very good story and in which we were both totally invested when there was a part about someone getting a spanking. August laughed and laughed. 
"Have you ever gotten a spanking?" I asked him. 
He looked at me like I was insane. 
"No," he said. 
"I did," I said. And we went on but suddenly I remembered the last spanking I got. I had to have been at least fifteen, maybe sixteen, and my family had been on a camping trip attended by a lot of the teachers at the community college where my stepfather worked. There had been a boy there, one I knew well from school, and that weekend we sort of had our eyes on each other. It was completely innocent. Not so much as a hand-holding but my stepfather noticed. I realize now that he thought I was his and his alone and he couldn't say anything because that would have been too weird. But when we got home, I had to go to the bathroom, and I did, and I took the comics out of the Sunday paper with me and when I got out he yelled at me for avoiding the work of unpacking and not "helping your mother." This was something he lambasted me for frequently. I can remember him getting angry with me for not helping my mother bathe my little brothers and thinking, "Why don't you do it? They're your kids?" As far as I know, he never so much as changed one of their shirts, must less a diaper. And he certainly never bathed them. If Mother couldn't do these things, I did them.
But on this occasion, he was so angry that he actually hit my butt a couple of times. I was so shamed and humiliated. And I had no idea why he had gotten so worked up about me going to the bathroom when of course, he was just looking for an excuse to punish me for something that was as sweet and as natural as anything in this world could be. 
When this memory hit me, I stumbled over my words as I was reading the Dr. Seuss book and had to pull myself together to continue. For some reason, it had never really crossed my mind how completely fucked up and weird and truly perverted that had been. I cannot remember if my mother witnessed this but I have the sense that she did. Did she say anything? Again- I don't remember. I don't know.
But I don't think he ever hit me again although that was certainly not the last time he shamed me, humiliated me, made me feel dirty and guilty. 

Oh. The layers of the stinking, rotten onion we know as sexual abuse. 

I will tell you that that boy ended up being the first boy I ever held hands with and that memory is as sweet as he was. Nothing can spoil that. I still dream of him sometimes. I hope he is still with us, as bright-souled as he was then. 

Back to the present.

Love...Ms. Moon







Saturday, October 10, 2020

And All Was Well


Very fuzzy picture of a very strong boy demonstrating his muscular strength. This was last night at supper and yes, the "dining room" here at Casa Luna has closets in it and I should probably be more faithful about closing them. Oh well. This is a very old house and we use it to suit our purposes. It is not a museum, it is a home where we live and store things and eat supper with little boys with great aspirations as pertains to strength. 


As you can see, August also has huge, strong muscles. Or, at least the face he needs to convince us that he does. The only way we could get them to eat last night was to fork food into their mouths saying, "Eat another bite of strong food!" And they would take it and try their muscles again. 
Turns out that chicken and dumplings are very good for muscles. 

After supper comes bath time. Of course. This is always a great deal of fun. Levon was getting tired but was still in a playful mood and August, who was also tired, got kinda crazy as children do. But he wasn't too crazy. Just a little bit crazy. 


They let me wash their hair and give them crazy hairdos. August wanted me to scratch his back with the loofah and so I did. What luxury! 

Of course I was a little worried about bedtime because Levon has never spent the night away from home without a parent but he never once asked for Mama or Daddy and he let me get him in his pajamas after a little naked running about which children seem to want to do after baths and I don't blame them. If I had those perfect little bodies I'd never want to wear clothes. Teeth brushing was a naked activity too. 


Would you look at the eyelashes on that kid? 
August wasn't quite as easy to get pajamas on. He was still in the wired state. But we managed. And then the three of us laid down on my bed and I read the books I'd picked out which were "Five Little Monkeys", "The Owl and the Pussycat", and of course- "The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza." I bet I've read that particular book more times than any other book and I still love it. 

After the last page, August got in his bed beside Boppy's side of the bed and I put Levon in his Pac'n'Play on my side of the bed and there were kisses and pats, and covers and stuffed animals and within ten minutes, they were out. Not one fuss. 


I consider this to be a sort of miracle. Zippy was happy to keep watch over the sleeping Levon. 

I don't think that Mr. Moon or I slept too well. Not that the boys woke up in the night although Levon did have a little shouted word in his sleep that woke us both wide awake. I believe we were on high alert, all night though, listening for every cough, every rustle. Mr. Moon finally got up and went to his chair so he could relax and by the time I really got to sleep, Levon was up and awake. It was a little after seven and still dark. 
"Come cuddle with me for a little while in my cozy bed," I begged the child.
"No," he said. "It's wake-up time for me. And Auga."
And indeed, Brother Auga was wide awake too and they scampered into the Glen Den to wake up their grandfather. I got up for a minute and got Levon a half a banana and asked August if he wanted the other half which he politely declined. I went back to bed and Mr. Moon snoozed in his chair with both boys while they watched TV. At one point, August came and got back in his bed and then stood up and said, "Mer!" and got in bed with me and we snuggled for a moment and had a nice chat about the colors of birds. Then he got up and ran back to his Boppy and I fell back asleep and am so ashamed to report that I slept until around 9:30. I was horrified! And I'd been having terrible dreams about all of my babies and grandbabies being in peril so it was not fun sleep at all. 

I jumped out of bed and ran to check on everyone and of course they were fine and wanted pancakes and so, pretty soon, there were pancakes. After breakfast there was outside time with the boys helping Boppy do tractor and car things and then it was time to read more books and we did. 

When Mama and Daddy came to get them, they were happy to see their parents but they still hadn't fussed any. Jessie brought us subs from Publix and we all ate lunch and Levon was so tired and August ran around like a rabbit and at one point he sat down and said, "I am so ridiculous," which cracked us all up. 

After they left, I took my time and tidied up the house and swept. Actually, Vergil stayed for awhile and he and Mr. Moon did some bow and arrow target practice and probably some other things which I am not aware of because it was all out at the garage and I just can't keep track of that nor should I. 

I can guarantee you that we will sleep very well tonight and I hope those boys do too. 

I am proud of Levon for being such a brave, big boy and I am proud of Jessie and Vergil for raising such sweet and polite and funny boys. I hear that they are not always that way at home but as long as they are for me and their grandfather, I'm happy. I guess grandchildren and their grandparents have a deal- we spoil them with cookies and TV and they use pretty good manners. 
Or something like that. Mostly, it was just so sweet and gratifying to know that they feel comfortable and happy here. I do understand that treats and TV have a lot to do with it but I know it goes much farther and deeper than that. When August came and snuggled with me of his own accord, I felt as if I had been given the keys to the kingdom, the crown and the glory. 

I have gone back and answered comments from two days ago and will strive to catch up entirely. 
Meanwhile, just know that I am grateful for each and every one of you who come here to read whether you comment or not but it does please my soul to see what you have to say. 

Time to make the supper! And then...bed. 

Mmmmmmm....

Sweet dreams for us all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 9, 2020

Lagniappe

I can't believe I almost forgot. Today would have been John Lennon's eightieth birthday if...

Well. I still can't really talk about that. But a friend of mine posted this video on Facebook and it brought tears to my eyes and I wanted to share it here. 

St. Dolly Parton, whom I have taken to calling "the universal solvent," singing St. John's and St. Yoko's Imagine. 

Now more than ever. 



They're not the only ones. Happy Birthday, dear John. 

Love...Ms. Moon



 These are oatmeal, raisin, chocolate chip, pecan cookies that I made before the boys came. That is what grandmothers do- they make cookies. 

I've done some other things today too, like scrub out the tub which hasn't been used in yonks so that it would be nice and clean for the little boy butts. The rubber ducks and octopi are waiting on the window sill be played with and I am sure they will be overjoyed to have a soapy swim with the fellas. 

So. I cannot believe how many of you do come back and read my replies to comments. Thank you! And ironically, today I am probably not going to be able to answer them because of our company. Right now they are doing this. 


I made them all popcorn and they are watching something on the TV with their Boppy. Actually, they've now finished the popcorn and are out collecting eggs together. They seem to be so happy to be here. Jessie told them last night that we'd asked them to stay tonight and August immediately ran to his room shouting, "I have to pack!" This morning Jessie wrote me that she is never going to tell them again that they're coming over here until ten minutes before it's time to leave because they were just so excited that they were driving her crazy. August got up early and Levon kept asking if it was time yet. 
When they got here I asked Levon if he was going to sleep with us tonight. He pointed his finger at me and said, "Just you!" 
Hmmm... We shall see. He may well end up sleeping beside me in our bed and that will be okay if he doesn't kick and crowd too much. As I told Jessie before she left, after all these years I still sometimes wake up and check to see where the baby is. I slept with my own young'uns for so long that I'll probably always do that. Sometimes I feel Jack by my hip at night and my first thought is to wonder why the baby is that far down in the bed. A tiny panic before I realize it's the cat, not a child. I give him a little pat and fall back to sleep. 


I have carrots and onions and celery and green beans simmering in chicken broth, the cooked chicken cooling on a plate and in just a little while, I'll make dumplings to go in the pot. They do like good food, those boys, and are not very picky. I'm grateful for that although it is always fun to use the grandchildren as an excuse to eat things like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. And hotdogs. Maybe next time. 

It is absolutely a dream to be able to hug and kiss these kids again. THAT, at least, feels right and normal in these times of such tremulous uncertainty. 

I see the men are coming back in with the eggs. I better end this now and go see how many they found. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Another Day, No Dollar


 Y'all. Somehow we must have missed a few eggs yesterday. These are the ones we gathered today. There are twenty in that bowl and none of them from little Violet or little Tweety which leaves thirteen hens. Twenty eggs from thirteen hens in one day? This is not possible. And let me add that Mr. Moon said there's another hen on the nest as we speak. How could we have missed that many eggs yesterday?


Earlier this afternoon when there were only sixteen in the bowl, I laid them out to see which ones appeared to be from the same hens. Only those three pairs at the top are, in my opinion, laid by the same lady. Some of the others may appear very similar but do not match any others exactly and trust me- each hen's eggs are completely unique to her whether of shape, color, size, "finish" (some are glossy, some matte, some almost rough), or markings like little freckles. 
It is quite obvious that either I am one of those people who have learned to be amused and fascinated by the smallest things or that I really just need to get a life. 
But in all honesty, I am amused and fascinated by eggs and they still thrill me after all these years, these perfectly shaped ovals of pure protein. The way they feel in the hand, the way they look in the nest and in the bowl and the way they look on the plate when they are cooked. 
They are magic to me. One of the best pragmatic miracles of all. 

So. What did I do today besides play with eggs? Well, I cleaned out the hen house because...shit happens. I got to talk to a friend on the phone whom I hardly ever talk to and it was intensely sweet. I washed all the bedding in the pack'n'play because I think that August and Levon are going to spend the night tomorrow! Hurray! We can move the little bed into our room and with August on "his" bed on the floor, all four of us can sleep close together. Levon has never slept away from both parents so this will be a new experience. I think he'll do fine. And of course August will be thrilled to be adopted by Mer and Bop. For a little while, at least. 

I made a new mask using a different technique for the ear loops. They are now adjustable which is a very good thing because the hardest part of masks for me has been getting the length of that elastic right. Too long and the mask is ineffective, too tight and it pulls on the ears and slips off. Mr. Moon just tried it on and gave me a thumbs up. So hurray for that! 

Now. This is for Steve Reed.  The other day when I mentioned losing my bobbin case into thin air, he commented that he had no idea what a bobbin case is. This is what it is:


And this is the actual bobbin:


For many of you, maybe most, this is not new information. But for those of you who do not sew, the bobbin is filled with thread via a clever mechanism of the machine, which in my case is a sixty-six year old Singer (same age as me) and then it fits into the case and the thread is pulled through a specific place and the tidy little package fits onto a spindle beneath the needle and...well, again- pragmatic magic occurs. Like the eggs, this sewing machine still manages to delight me every time I use it. Yesterday I used it to stitch up a seam in Mr. Moon's overalls and the old girl dealt with the canvas-like fabric with ease. "Old girl" being the Singer, not me, but I did okay too.

So that's life in Lloyd today. Basically. Pretty much. I did watch part of the debate last night but after awhile I again put down my crocheting and said, "I already know who I am voting for. This is bullshit," and walked away. Unfortunately I missed the fly. I thought Kamala did fine. I thought that the only thing Pence did which was even slightly impressive was that he framed his lies in complete sentences. I see that Trump refuses to debate Biden again in a virtual format. I guess he's trying to infect Joe Biden in hopes that he, because he doesn't have Trump's superior superman genes, will die of it. 

Who the hell knows what that man thinks? It is comforting to realize that I can't begin to comprehend how his mind works. I may be crazy but I ain't Donald Trump level crazy. 

One more picture from Cozumel because this is my blog and I love that island with all my heart. 


That was yesterday morning before the storm had entirely passed. The boats are called "pangas" and are fishing boats. The owners carried them up to the sidewalk beside the sea wall and tied them to the white balls you see that are part of the wall's design. Cozumelians are born with the sea in their veins and navigate it like mer people. Those boats represent what are probably two families' entire economic investments and are the source of their sustenance and livings. 

Thanks for indulging me. 

Oh! One more thing- how many of you actually come back to read my replies to your comments? I've quite curious about this. And don't feel guilty if you don't. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

And The AC Is Back On

Cozumel survived Delta with some damage but not complete catastrophe. The storm downgraded to a Cat 2, I think before it hit and it did not linger like the horribly destructive Hurricane Wilma did years ago, sitting atop the island for three full days and nights. This storm took out some trees, ripped off a few roofs, and left some areas without power and some streets flooded but overall, people are vastly grateful for what little damage there was. And by the time it was fully light this morning, city workers were already out cleaning up and I'm sure that everyone else was too. 


This is a picture I snagged off a video of folks cleaning up a neighborhood park. There was still thunder rumbling. Those people know how to deal with a hurricane and they are not afraid of work. 

I was so relieved to see the pictures and videos this morning. The internet can be a beautiful thing. 

Our weather here in Lloyd has turned hot and humid again. My walk was miserable and I employed the "the more this sucks, the faster you walk" tactic for getting through it. I rested up for awhile and did things in the house and then went out to plant a little bit. I was so happy to see that the arugula and collards and lettuces that Mr. Moon planted just a few days ago are already coming up. 


That's the arugula and the sight of it makes me so happy. 

Look how straight his rows are:


If you look very closely, you can see him back there by the garage where he is detailing a car he bought. He's been working on it ALL DAY LONG. That man. All I did was plant half a row of beets and a row of mustard greens and I was drenched in sweat and had had enough, came in and tended to things in the house. I just can't deal with the heat. 

I really don't have much else to say today. I'm going to make us pizza and I need to get busy doing that. It's been a fine day, a regular day, a day I put my head down and did what needed to be done. Let's just say that I did indeed get in my 10,000 steps. 
And as usual, I did not die. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Remembering


That is what Maurice looked like yesterday. She was napping in the Pac 'n' Play that I still have up in the guest bedroom for Levon, although he's never yet spent the night and will soon be too big for it. But I suppose that Maurice felt safe it it. Jack rarely goes into that part of the house and she's somewhat hidden from view. Poor baby. Her face still looks rough. And I heard her and Jack have another spat yesterday. This is an eternal feud. Hate without end, amen. Amen.

Did you ever have a friend to whom you were so close that you were practically inseparable? That you loved so much that it was just this side of inappropriate? Who carried you on her back during the hardest times and you did the same for her? Whom you talked to endlessly on the phone and whose voice never failed to make you happy? Whom you told EVERYTHING to? Who knew you better than any other human on earth and vice versa? 
And then, over the years- something happened. Could have been anything. A disagreement or more likely a slow change in one or both of you and resentments and bitterness began to creep in and add up. Whether you or she changed or both of you changed or whether you started to realize that certain things about her drove you crazy, things that had always been there but that you had been blinded to or chose not to notice, it all started to tip the scales to the point where the friendship was unstable and then untenable. 
This has happened to me several times. And it's always heartbreaking, although always a little different. For me, the relationship I was in with a friend whom I never thought I would not love and want to talk to every day slipped cog after cog until eventually the mechanism simply did not work anymore. The chemistry was gone, disappeared. Because there is chemistry in these friendships whether same sex or not. There simply has to be to form this sort of bond in which there is a closeness that for a time, at least, is unbreakable. In this case, it suddenly seemed to me that my friend was going crazy. She had huge problems with other people and would complain endlessly about them but I could never get her to tell me exactly what she was so angry about, just that she was. So, so angry. Her habit of going on and on and on about how much she loved a family member drove me crazy. She was often unkind, although I don't think she meant to be, it's just that she was not very sensitive to others' feelings. 
Over the years it occurred to me that she is probably a narcissist. Everything, in the end, was about her. And whatever slights she perceived from others were not forgiven. Ever. 
We tried, a couple of times over the years to meet up, to catch up, and there was always a deep element of anticipation to that for me. I missed her terribly. Or at least I missed the part of her that I loved for so long. Because parts of her were beautiful in every way. 
But after an hour or so, I would realize that no, nothing had really changed. It was still all about her, mostly. And the things that had annoyed me to the point of not wanting to see her, talk to her, were still very much a part of her. 

I dreamed about this woman last night. I do dream of her occasionally but this dream was quite vivid and we were reconnecting in some ways. I suppose I miss and need companionship now more than ever and in my deepest heart I miss that connection I had with her which was so special and so pure for so long. All day I've been thinking of her and when I went to town to do my shopping, I decided to actually go by Joann's Fabrics. The route there took me through my old neighborhood. The one I'd mostly lived in when this woman and I were such close friends. She lived less than a mile away in a house I am almost certain she still lives in. I drove by my old house and was hit hard with memories of the times when I lived there. I was in nursing school, a single mama, struggling with all my might to keep my life together, going through a depression and a divorce. I don't know how I did it and I will tell you right now that I never could have without this friend's help. It was also the place I was living when I met Mr. Moon. The place I was living when my darling Sue and I were such good friends. The place where my nursing school friends would all gather to study together, drink coffee together, get ready to go out to dance together. Where Hank and May lived as little ones, where I felt that I was failing them in every way, almost every day. The place where Lily was born. 
I stopped in front of the house for a moment to take in the changes. It's still a small but very handsome house. Glen and his daddy turned a screened side-porch into a huge master bedroom and bathroom before we were even married. That's the room Lily was born in. My friend was there when Lily was born but I can remember even then feeling uncomfortable with her. 
I could have closed my eyes and driven to her house by muscle memory alone. But I didn't want to drive past her house, much less stop and visit. There is too much water under that bridge. 

I went on to Joann's where I spent a relatively fruitless (but expensive) forty-five minutes. I did not find the quilt flannel I wanted but did buy a few yards of unprinted solid-colored flannel and a few yards of cotton to make more masks with if I want although I don't know why I would. Masks are a dime a dozen these days, almost literally. It was so odd being out. That might have been my first shopping excursion besides Publix and Costco since last March. I kept feeling like I would run into my old friend. I think she works in that neighborhood. 
I didn't. 
I went on to Publix and Costco and not only pandemic shopped but hurricane-shopped too. There is a category 4 storm named Delta about to slam into the Yucatan tonight and then it will head north, of course. 


It's "supposed" to hit west of here but of course one never knows and it is definitely going to hit Cozumel which is right off the coast where that red part of the map is. I've been thinking about that all day too. As if those people haven't been through enough recently with the pandemic and very, very limited tourism and no cruise ships. I know it's crazy but my heart will always be there in those jungles, in that water of seven colors, with those people who smile so beautifully and love their children so dearly. 

Emotional day. But I got out of the house! I did that. I have enough supplies to last through a hurricane should Delta change her mind, her track, her course. Enough for maybe one one hundredth of a pandemic. 

I don't have an ending. I guess if I did, it would just be to say that I honor the love and friendship that I had for my friend and also honor the grief that I will always hold for what was and what can never be again. 

This is life. We are humans. We fall in love, we fall out of love, we hold on tight to that which is real and learn to let go of that which is not. 
Or something like that. 

Love...Ms. Moon