Thursday, April 30, 2020

Many Pictures of Cute Children

I woke up this morning knowing that I had OBLIGATIONS which sort of freaked me out. And sort of stressed me out, too. I mean- it's been weeks since I had any responsibilities beyond meals and laundry. Everything I've been doing has been whatever I wanted to do and basically, whenever I wanted to do it.
But I had offered to make Jessie a birthday cake. Tomorrow is her birthday and she'll be working so Vergil had suggested that I make one today because she would like that. And then he added, "Or maybe it's me and August who would like that."
And I had to take a walk because it was cool and I didn't walk yesterday and I have to keep this good habit up and, and, and...
You know.
And on top of all of that, Lily and the kids were coming over for an outside visit.
So much for one day!

I took my walk and was slightly amazed at easy four miles seems now. In order to make progress am I going to have to start walking for five miles? And then six? Where does it end? I don't have all day to walk.
Okay. I basically do have all day to walk.
I shall ponder this.

I got back and ate some lunch and made the bed and then Lily pulled up with my darlings. Maggie had to run immediately to the hen house to look for eggs and then she wanted to go see the little chickens so into the coop she went. Owen and Gibson went with her and they all wanted to hold one of the chickens of course, and it turns out that Precious is pretty sweet about letting that happen.

Owen went first because he has experience but Maggie was eager.
Gibson went next and then he helped his sister.

Precious just perched on Maggie's arm like a parrot, happy as could be. 

After egg gathering and chick-playing time we mostly just talked and walked around the garden and Gibson picked a carrot and did his Bugs Bunny imitation. 
"What's up, Doc?" When he had finished all but the last little bit of the carrot he tossed it on the ground and Pepper found it and gnawed on it. She is becoming just more and more beloved. 
Maggie watched Boppy using his new leaf-bagging technique and wanted to help and so she did. 

I swear, Mr. Moon is inventing and creating one new thing after another during this time of being home bound. It's pretty cool. 

And then it was time for them to go home for whatever their next activity was. As they left all of the kids were telling Lily what it was they wanted and needed NOW and I looked at my daughter and once again, was just bowled over by how competent and patient she is. This whole homeschooling thing is HARD if it's done right and she is doing her best to do it right. There are the Zoom classes and there is work to do and it would be so easy for her to just let them blow it off. But she's taking it seriously and I'm so proud of her. I mean- it's hard enough just to keep your sanity with three kids at home day after day, week after week, but she's managing it all. 

Here's Magnolia doing her Zoom dance class. 

I love how she gets dressed for class in her leotard and lets her mama put her hair up. Impressive!

And after that part of my day I made the cake. Lis told me that Lon had made her a Mississippi mud cake for her birthday which reminded me that I hadn't made one of those in a long time and since I had all the ingredients, that's what I made. I use the recipe in a Moosewood cookbook and it's a good one with plenty of chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. 
Hard to go wrong, right?
I have to admit that it came out looking like...well, mud. But it was what it was and when it was done I wrapped it up and drove into town and delivered it to the almost-birthday girl. 
I can't believe that thirty-one years ago she was still living in my belly. But she was. And we were living just a few blocks from where she lives now. That was where she was born, right there in a red brick house on a rainy day when the magnolias were blooming. 
So I handed over the cake and talked to the boys. 
I got to see ALL of my grands today!

When I wanted to take their picture I said, "Where should you stand?" Jessie's front yard is looking beautiful with little gardens everywhere with growing vegetables and flowers and herbs which would have made nice backdrops but no, August wanted to stand by my car. 
And so that's what happened. 

I sped home and cleaned up the kitchen and made a white lasagna with tuna and mushrooms and spinach, and picked greens for a salad. 
What a day! 
I am really looking forward to tomorrow when I have nothing planned at all except to take my walk and wash my sheets. It is supposed to get down into the low fifties tonight and I can't tell you how much we are enjoying this weather. Lily said today that it's a shame that they're having to waste all this great playground weather because by the time they can go play it's going to be too hot and she is NOT doing that. 
We talked about how we are SO hoping we can go swimming at the Wacissa this summer. I just can't imagine a summer without the Wacissa. 
We shall see. 
Safety first. 

Love to all...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Short. Lucky You

The teens made it all the way to the pump house today which is farther from the coop and hen house than they have gone before. They are getting braver. And bigger. When I went outside to collect the eggs in the hen house they all followed me as fast as their little legs could carry them (which is pretty fast) because they thought I had treats for them.
Sadly, I did not.

I didn't take a walk today. I slept so late and since I'd already gotten in almost nine miles this week I decided to try my hardest to do a little housewifely stuff. And I did. Two bathrooms are somewhat cleaner although I would not even try to tell you that what I did was deep cleaning. That would require a ladder and scrub brushes and other accoutrements that I have no interest in dealing with. But there is less mildew in the showers, and the rugs and sinks are clean and the floors are at least swept. I did reach up with the broom in my bathroom to get some spiderwebs and I saw that there was a spider-looking black blog in one of them but I figured that maybe it was dead only to realize a few minutes later that it was most certainly NOT dead but in fact, quite alive and crawling down my arm.
OOH BOY! It was a biggun, too. And very, very black.
I made a little scream and shook it off. I'm not afraid of spiders, per se, but I don't want them crawling on my own personal body, either.
So, the problem was that after I shook it off, I could not find it. I mean, it's like that lady spider disappeared immediately into a parallel universe.
Still haven't seen it.

I swept the porches and tidied up my mask-making area a little bit. I swept the hallway and kitchen and did four loads of laundry including the rugs. I cleaned a window sill.
A window sill.
This was all quite leisurely, I assure you.

When I was done I decided to go to work on my pile of overalls with buckle problems.
Some buckles lose parts of themselves rendering them unusable. I generally just pin the problem up with an old ducky diaper pin which should probably be in a museum but quite a long time ago I did buy some spare buckles at the fabric store and have never gotten around to fixing more than one or two pairs so I sat down at the sewing machine and let me just tell you- I couldn't figure out how to thread an overall strap buckle if my life depended on it.
I finally went to Youtube and found the most simple video ever (with catchy music behind it) and it still took me at least forty-five minutes.
I am the opposite of whatever an engineer is.
I can make a lovely white sauce with my eyes closed but don't ask me to thread an overall strap into a buckle. And if you're ever on Survivor with me and it's time to do one of those giant puzzles, please don't put me on the team. We'll be going before the tribal counsel that night.

Anyway, I could say a lot more about what I've been musing on today and so on and so forth but it's getting late and I need to make supper. I think my husband may be very hungry because he's been working hard all day long.
Nothing leisurely about the way he goes about things.

More tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Watching The Wheels Go By

I got up a little earlier this morning and got my chores done. I feel like Granny Clampett when I say that. I brought some black beans to a boil and shut them off and started a loaf of sourdough. I ate my breakfast and tended my chickens. Last night when I went out to shut them up I found four of the teens in the same nesting box as Liberace and Dottie. Dottie was not pleased that they were in there. As I shined my flashlight to do my count, she pecked the closest one but as soon as I took the light off them, she settled back into her doze. I thought it was funny to find the little ones already so willing to accept Liberace as their rooster. But this morning I fed them all and gave them water and then I got dressed in my walking clothes and took my walk. I waved and said, "Good morning" to all of the people who are getting quite used to me on my route, including three bike riders.

I wanted to get everything done earlyish because Jessie was going to come out with the boys for another picnic and she did. She stopped at Maddio's Pizza and got us a Greek salad and pizza for everyone to share.

I was so looking forward to food that I hadn't made and the salad tasted good but the pizza just tasted oily and very salty and I did eat a whole piece but it wasn't as fun as I thought it was going to be. Just sitting in the shade with those three was the whole point, though, and that part was delicious. 

The boys had to get on the tractor and on Bop's four-wheeler that he's been using to pull his new leaf sweeper with. I can't get over how much Levon is talking and how incredibly huge his vocabulary is. I was telling them about a giant bucket truck I saw on my walk with a man way, way up in the sky cutting branches off a pine tree and Levon said, "That's crazy!" 

There was a lot of chicken observation and Jessie is trying to figure out the ones she is going to take home with her. I am just beginning to be able to tell some of the older ones apart and I have no real preference over the ones I keep although I'm afraid that we cannot get rid of Precious. Did I already tell you this? 

And, well, then I read the boys some books and I have to admit that I did not keep a six foot distance. We didn't cuddle or anything but I sat a little closer to them than I probably should have. At one point today Jessie told August to step back a little way to be safe and I said, "Oh, honey. They do not have coronavirus," which is probably true and it's probably true that I don't have it either but it really isn't time to go breaking all of the rules yet. I seriously doubt that the damn thing has peaked in Florida no matter what the governor says. Levon only listened to two books but August wanted a third and I read it to him. He sat on the porch swing while I sat on a chair nearby but I did not fuss at him one bit when he came closer to look at pictures or discuss things. 
Discussing things with grandchildren is one of the main joys of my life and today I just broke down and did it from two feet away instead of six. 

Just as Jessie had determined that it was nap time for Levon, August ran and got a trowel and had to dig in the yard for just a minute to find treasure. In less than ten minutes he found a lot of little pieces of glass which he gave to me and a few pieces of old plates and cups. One of the crockery pieces had a sweet little pattern on it and when it was truly time to go he asked me to wash everything for him and so I did and wrapped the small shards in a paper towel and he took them home to put with his other treasures. 

It's so dear to me that even here in our quarantine time the grandchildren have created routines at Mer and Bop's house. We can't go inside to play and they can't sit on Boppy's lap to watch TV but they can sit on the porch swing and we can have a picnic and they can climb on all the cool equipment and we can all play a little bit of kick-the-ball together. 
August and I kissed through the window glass when he was buckled into his seat and to be quite honest, when Levon held his foot out and asked me to tickle his toes, I did. 
I'm pretty sure that neither of us will die from that. 

And besides that I haven't done a damn thing except to continue the supper preparations and try to redo that mask I messed up yesterday. I have GOT to start being a little more productive. The housecleaning situation is getting dire. Truly. But somehow the days all go so quickly. They slide like eels between my fingers, as if the daylight hours have been slicked with oil. Mr. Moon and I joke about this all the time but it's true! He's actually in town right now doing work on our rental duplex which Hank and Rachel are going to move into. They are eager to get out of the place they're in now where the latest problem has been constant leakage from the apartment upstairs which has required workers in their space who don't wear masks and who have left a big hole in their ceiling. 
Every night I swear that the next day I will clean the showers and do some dusting and maybe ORDER A ROOMBA and the next day comes and I do the little things I do and then it's time to make supper and then it's time to shower and get in bed and read and, well...

Perhaps. Perhaps not. 

Meanwhile, life goes on in this sliding, slippery way, filled with hummingbird watching and chicken observation and supper making and walk taking and watching the way the pecan trees are creating more and more shade every day while becoming greener and greener, as are the oak trees. 
It's as if the turning and spinning and swimming-through-space of the planet has become its own distraction and entertainment. 

I'm not complaining. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, April 27, 2020

It's The Little Things Which Have Become Of Great Importance

Lily sent this picture today with the text, "She says, 'Look! I am holding her hand!'"
Sweet little Pepper and beautiful Maggie. I teared up when I got the photo. How I yearn to hug that little sturdy body of hers, so much like her mother's was when she was a child. It's hard. That part is so hard.
I talked to Jessie on the phone today and August wanted to say hello. We chatted for a few moments about what he was doing (eating a lollypop) and Levon chimed in to say that he, too, was eating a lollypop. Then I told August what Boppie and I had eaten for dessert last night which was vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce and M&M's!
There was a slight pause and then August said, "When I come stay with you again will you make that for me?"
"Yes!" I told him. "I will!"
And then, again, I could hear Levon.
"When I come stay with you will you make that for me?"
"Yes, Levon! I will make it for you, too!"
And I will. I most certainly will. But I told them, "Don't tell your mother!" And then Jessie and I laughed because she could hear us.
"Just kidding," I said to the boys. "She already knows."

It's been another incredibly beautiful day. Not one cloud, quite cool, and as clear as a cat's conscience.
Speaking of which- after I gave in and fed Jack out of Maurice's bowl yesterday he deemed me to be fit to sleep with again.
"You have done my bidding and have pleased me, human. I shall grace you with my glorious presence."
And I appreciated it.

I took a good walk today, four and a half miles. I saw the kid that walks here a lot. In fact, I think that most of his life may be spent walking and listening to his phone. I think that he has, well, differences. And possibly troubles. I waved at him and said "Good morning" and he made a movement with his hand which may have been a wave. He is very, very guarded and he never verbally replies to me. I go across the road for our safety when we cross paths and let him have the sidewalk. Once, when Jessie was here he came up to my door and knocked on it and gave me a very weak story about how his church youth group was trying to raise money to travel somewhere.
I don't remember if I gave him any money or not. But I am quite sure that his church youth group wasn't going anywhere.
I feel so sorry for him. He looks so alone.

No Man Lord has replaced his "Blood and Water" sign with one that gets right to the point.
"Christ," it says in red spray-painted letters. I see the old signs propped up behind the camper he lives in.

I tried reengineering my mask pattern this afternoon. I wanted to put pleats in the mask with the more shaped face.
I just didn't get it right. Perhaps I'll rip out the pleating part and try it again tomorrow. I got frustrated. But still, I did enjoy sitting at my sewing machine, listening to an audio book. Not "Guns, Germs, and Steel" but a different book. "An Almond For a Parrot" by Wray Delaney.
I've never read a book quite like this one. It seems to combine magical realism with erotica and quite frankly, it is holding my attention far better than the more scholarly one did.
Go figure.

One of the small but important joys of my life these days is tending to all of the plants I am trying to root. It's probably a green substitute for being able to love on my grandchildren but there is something so very, very satisfying about helping nature make more of itself.
I have a little table in the laundry room where I have three babies going.

The one at the top left is a knot of a species of philodendron that I want to perpetuate. The one to the right of that is one of my giant begonias and the one in front is a leaf from a plant that Kathleen gave me that I do not know the name of and which I cannot seem to identify. The mother plant has grown crazy big in one smallish pot and if it roots I can give this to one of the kids. I actually have no clue as to how it propagates and have another leaf stuck in water which is living in a window off the kitchen with a few other things. 

A little Swedish Ivy that Jessie gave me, the mystery leaf, another giant begonia, my miniature sweet potato plant, a jade and some of a different philodendron that I have growing everywhere. That stuff will grow in water for years. 
Can you see the little horse that I found in the yard and keep up there too? 

This is a time of the little things for sure. Little plants, little chickens, the little miracle joy of finding eggs every day, little hugs and little kisses with the person I am quarantined with. Little chats with a grandchild on the phone. The tiny hummingbirds that sip from their nectar feeder all day long. It's also a time of appreciation of the truly big things. The planet that we live on and how much more than ever I am noticing the beauty of it although I thought I already did. I see more of it, I smell more of it, I think more about it which is odd in that I am spending almost all of my time on this one little part of it. 
I wonder if the great sea turtles will lay more eggs this year with the dearth of humans and their confusing lights and sounds on the beach. I think of the ancient giant mothers crawling across stretches of peaceful sand under more starlit nights without us humans being in their way. I wonder if more of the babies who hatch will be able to find their way back to their mother ocean without our interference. 
I hope so. 

Well. We shall see. 

Funny. All day I was as lighthearted as I could be but as the day has progressed I have become more and more introspective, and yet, at the same time, more and more aware of the reality of what is around me. On my walk I looked up and saw a branch right above my head and I can't really explain this but the very absolute fact of its greenness, its closeness, its aliveness almost felt like a bolt of psychedelic experience. 
No. Not a flashback (I've been waiting over forty years for one of those) but a wholly novel experience, albeit one that lasted for only a second or two. 

What are you experiencing? Anything deeper or more profound than usual? I'm curious to know. 

Time to make supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, April 26, 2020

If The Kids Could Have Come For Pancakes This Would Have Been The Perfect Day

Today has been absolutely gorgeous. Not humid and relatively cool. Perfect. I haven't even broken a sweat all day although I will admit that this is mostly because I haven't done anything that might cause me to break a sweat all day.
Mostly what I did was to sit here on my back porch and bask in the sweet coolness and look out at the blue sky and green world. I did a crossword and listened to the birds and watched my chickens do things that were far more industrious than what I was doing.

This morning I let the baby chicks (let's call them pre-teens now) out of their little coop or should I say I opened up the little coop and scooped them out and put them on the ground in the big coop and one flew back into the little coop immediately but soon they had found some food I'd put out for them and the next thing I knew they were basking in the sunlight and scratching and doing the things chickens do.

Here's the fanciest chicken in the yard. Little Feather Feet. Or as Mr. Moon has named him- Precious. I feel almost certain that Precious is a rooster. He's one of the banties. See that comb?

His sister (I guess- who knows?) is the yellow one right beside him. I am calling her Tweety. Like Tweety Bird. She does resemble a canary at this point. 

Moving back to cats again- I caved this morning and fed Jack in Maurice's bowl. I faced the facts which are 
1. Who cares where Jack eats his Friskees? 
2. How stupid is it to try and argue with a cat?

And that's about been my day. When I got up this morning I pulled a dress out of my closet that I haven't worn in about ten years. It's an old hippie dress, the softest rayon imaginable and I am not sure how long I've had it but I know that twenty-five years ago I already thought of it as old. So that's been a part of my contentment and ease. I walked around the garden for a few moments with Mr. Moon, checking out the baby squashes and tomatoes and marking the progress of the beans climbing the trellis. I repotted a few eggplants and cheered on my basil. I've thought a lot about how rich life can be when it gets peeled down to its barest essences and we are not distracted by the static and constant hum of everyday life. 

And yes, I do know how lucky I am. Unimaginably lucky. That lucky and more. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Let's Try Not To Stress

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today and I've been thinking about it a lot. Although some people may be actually doing new things and accomplishing things they've never had time for but have always wanted to do, that is certainly not the case for all of us. And to realize that no, this may not be the time to become the self-actualized person you've always wanted to be, achieving one's full potential including creative activities but that's all right.
Don't get me wrong. I'm definitely doing fine here. In some ways, I am feeling far less stress than I do in my "normal" life. I've talked about this a lot. For someone who has anxiety when faced with doing things outside the home from shopping to going to medical appointments, to meeting up with friends, being told NOT to do these things is just a huge relief. And I even rise up to that third level there with my relationships with my husband, my family, a few good friends, even if I can't hold and hug most of them and I sorely miss that.
But when it comes to accomplishing anything or doing creative activities, well- the thought of trying to do something that's more complex than getting supper on the table or making the bed or taking a walk is overwhelming. Even making the few masks I've made has required a lot of effort on my part. My brain isn't working like that.
Hell, I've been working on the same potholder for six weeks. Which is to say- I do a few stitches and then set it down. If pressed I could probably crochet a potholder in two hours. And yet- my balls of cotton wool, my scissors and my crochet hook sit on the couch waiting for me to come take them up and use them and I just don't have it in me.
Even reading can be difficult.
I started listening to a different audio book today which is not fiction or breezy memoir but basically history. "Guns, Germs, and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies" by Jared Diamond. It's heavily researched and filled with dates and facts and theories and all the things that require attention and some actual thinking. In other words- if I don't pay attention there's no use in even listening to it. It's not like listening to a crime novel about a nanny in a far-from-anywhere mansion in the wilds of Scotland and not ever really getting the names of the kids in her charge.
I'm not sure I'm up to this although I keep telling myself that this is exactly what I need to do right now to keep my brain from atrophying entirely.
But I tell you what- if I simply can't stick with it, I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm just going to let it go and move on to something that simply entertains and that will be all right.

And in other news, here's Jack sitting by an empty food bowl. He sits there by that empty food bowl for sometimes hours at a time when about ten feet away there's another bowl, a bigger bowl, filled to the brim with cat food. 
Why does he do this? 
Because awhile back I started feeding Maurice from a different bowl in a different location in order to try and cut down on the amount of squabbling and possessiveness and bloody fights about the food. That bowl. That location. 
Which worked out for a few weeks and then Jack decided that he will no longer eat his own food but instead will stand by that bowl, beaming me with his mighty, silent cat powers to try and force me to give him his friskees in what he knows to be Maurice's bowl. 
And I refuse and so does Mr. Moon and I have even possibly called Jack a jerk a few times and now he won't sleep with me. 
I guarantee you that if I filled up that bowl for him he'd cuddle me all night long. 
Oh well. I'm just going to let him be a jerk. He can damn well walk that ten feet across the floor and eat out of the blue bowl if he's so hungry. And if he doesn't want to sleep with me- his loss. 

Okay. This is where the pandemic social isolation has led me. To a place where I am having trouble listening to books that actually contain INFORMATION and to having fierce imagined psychic quarrels with my pet cat. 

It's been a day. The only thing I even halfway did of any use was to try and free my hydrangea from four different invasive plants. This is the mostly before picture. 

Underneath the croscomia, Virginia creeper, and the chenille plant is a nice covering of liriope which, instead of roots seems to have a nylon net that could restrain the Hulk holding it into the dirt. The only way I've figured out to pull it is to start at an edge, dig with a trowel to try and loosen the net and then use your hands to get in there and your arms to pull like hell and if you're lucky, you might get a clump about the size of a teacup's diameter free. So I did that for awhile. It'll all grow back by next year so I don't even know why I'm doing this except that on weekends I don't walk which means I need to find another form of suffering. 

So that's it, I guess. 
I'm going to go make a supper and get through the rest of this day. It hasn't been a bad day but it certainly hasn't been a self-actualized one either. 
Food, water, warmth, and rest sound very good to me. And enough. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, April 24, 2020

Lagniappe: Martini Walk Around The Property With Mr. Moon

Sky and trees and light.

Strange and interesting wasp nest on the old stable doorway.

The only three teenagers who didn't figure out how to go to roost in the hen house. We gently and lovingly carried them in.

The garden.

A tiny baby squash.

A tiny baby tomato. 

What a sweet Friday night date with my love.

And Another Week Flies By

That is not a "perfect" magnolia blossom nor is it open all the way but it was the only one on a tree low enough for me to get a picture of. I inhaled its scent with my eyes closed and felt a little swoony and then I walked on in the cloudy, humid day to get my miles in.
I did not push it today when it came to speed. I plodded. I am going to have to start getting up earlier to walk as it gets hotter and more humid. There's just no way around it. The older I get the less tolerance I have for the heat although I know that at least one of my medications has something to do with that. When I get to the little bridge over Black Creek which is my halfway mark, I always take a moment to look down at the water which today was quite high and had spread from the banks to flood the surrounding swampy land where ferns and palms grow. It always looks so cool and inviting although the water was a bit muddy today and running swiftly because of the rain we had last night and early this morning.

One of these days I may scramble down the bank, take off my shoes and wade in the water in the shade of the trees. If it gets hot enough, if I get hot enough, that could very well happen. 

No tornados touched down in Lloyd that I know about but it did get pretty crazy out there for awhile. My brother's wife posted pictures on Facebook of trees down in their neighborhood which is north of Tallahassee. Another friend of mine who lives in the same neighborhood posted his own pictures of some of the damage. He said that tornados really DO sound like a train and he grabbed his dog and they huddled in safety for the two minutes that it took for it to pass and it felt like two hours. 
The only thing that happened in our yard was lots of rain and some wind. One of Mr. Moon's garden benches fell over, dumping five pots which had just been planted with some peppers and basil and a few lettuce seeds. He cleaned it all up and set it all right this morning. 

It always seems to me that I get nothing done after my walk. Or before it, either, for that matter. But I know it's not true. It's just that what I do is so ordinary. So prosaic. I didn't do laundry yesterday and today, somehow I had four loads to do. I did a little chicken-tending. I made banana bread which my husband has been loving either for breakfast or for a late-afternoon snack. I made a loaf of sourdough and I have got to figure out why and how my bread just isn't RIGHT these days. 
It's in the oven now and no matter the rise/not rise of it, it will taste good with our supper. 
It's not the starter which is still lovely and bubbly. I suppose I need to try new recipes. 
And I think my timing has something to do with it. To get a loaf fresh and hot out of the oven for suppertime I really should get up at the crack of down to make the dough. 

Oh well. This is hardly of world-wide importance. 

So it's Friday. People are still piling into the church next door. Maybe their god DOES keep them safe. Who knows? Not me. 
We are living in a very strange world. A world where the president of the United States tosses out the suggestion that we can shine light and heat up our butts or, well, somehow get that light and heat into our bodies to kill the virus or maybe we could just somehow do a cleaning of the lungs with disinfectant cleaner. 
You know what bothered me most about that clip? The part in his hair. 
All you have to do to know everything you need to know about Donald Trump can be learned from doing a close examination of his hair. Not only is he so stupid that he thinks it looks good, he's also such a narcissist that he thinks he looks good. 
There is a difference there. 
And yet, both of those things are as true as the tides, as the rising of the sun in the morning.  

Ah me. I raise my martini (getting alcohol inside my body- it'll kill the germs in ONE MINUTE!) to all of us who are in this thing together. The virus, the shut-down, the lock-down, the frustrations, the fears, the peace, the simplicity, the worries, the absolute disbelief of the fact that we're here at all, the sadness, the joy when we can forget for a moment why we have this time to step back and appreciate all that we truly have without worrying about all that we think we might need. 

Happy Friday, y'all. I hope. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Good, The Bad, And The Really, Really Strange

So. I went to town this morning and I wore one of my own masks for the first time and it definitely needs some adjustment but at least I could breathe in it and at least I could wear it which was a good thing. I was not nearly as paranoid as the last time I shopped and I wonder if that's because it all seems so normal now to think of the virus being everywhere or whether it's because six weeks or whatever it's been of living in a peaceful and relatively stress-free environment, has calmed down my panic response to a reasonable level.
Who knows?
Not me.
People at Publix still don't seem to have a clue as to what six-feet means. Also, they have arrows and signs at the beginning of each aisle to tell you which way to traverse it but a lot of people either didn't notice that or else decided to ignore it. I think that most of them just didn't realize that the aisles are now one-way although they do make announcements frequently.

I got all of my shopping done in a fairly efficient manner. I have learned to take the list that I keep over the course of weeks and use it to make another one which is grouped into a more rational way. That helps. I know the aisles at Publix pretty well so I know which one has the olives and worcestershire sauce and which one has the raisins. Etc. All of the employees are masked now and a lot of shoppers were too. And I was glad of that.
Here's a picture of my own Publix girl wearing a mask I made her but obviously not while she was at work.

After Publix I went and picked up my compounded hormones and that was fast and easy. Then as a favor to my husband and to save him a trip to town, I went to a licensing office and traded a check for his dealer's license. That, too, was fast and easy. The woman must have seen me coming because she met me outside with the envelope and I handed over the check. 

And then on to Costco where those folks are truly trying their best to keep things safe. I won't say that all of the shoppers had any more idea what six feet is than the ones at Publix but everyone seemed fairly aware, at least, and there was a lot of cleaning going on. When it was time to check out, I only had a few items and an employee scanned my card, then my items, and directed me to a register where my card was scanned again, I paid and got a receipt. Done. I went into the liquor store where I got to see my Costco friend Kevin and we got to have a little chat, catching up with each other. That was mighty nice. I did not get to see Brenda with the beautiful eyeshadow (and perhaps we should all be wearing eyeshadow with our masks these days- wouldn't that be nice or at least interesting?) but I did lay eyes on the beautiful lady who loves August so much. 

And then I drove home, stopping off at Lily's to drop off her masks and I didn't even try to wipe down my groceries but just put them all away and washed my hands really well and changed clothes and that was that. I had bought one of  Costco's street taco kits which comes with corn tortillas and cabbage and meat and cheese and salsa and avocado crema for our lunch as a treat because we've eaten nothing but my cooking for weeks now. Which ain't bad but something different can be good. 

We've just gotten a tornado warning here. It's been raining in sheets although now it's only drizzling. The temperature has dropped ten degrees since this afternoon. My neighbor always calls me to make sure we know about tornado warnings and I appreciate that. For right this second I don't feel much of a threat but I suppose that's the way it always is. 

So. Ms. Moon- what's the deal with the Rolling Stones' "Living in a Ghost Town" gif up there? 
Well. Funny you should ask. I was perusing Facebook earlier and of COURSE I am friends with Keith Richards (I'm sure he considers it an honor to be my friend) and there was a little video of him and a French bulldog on some steps in front of a beautiful doorway. He was wearing what appeared to be leopard print pajamas with a poncho over them (that man has always had a sense of style) and in the video he said that a year ago the Stones had recorded a song called "Living in a Ghost Town" for an album that they've been messing about with for quite awhile and then the shit hit the fan and he and Mick decided that this song really needed to go out. 
Which one of y'all said the other day that there is something mystical about the Stones? 
This song is unbelievably precognitive. I saw a short video of Mick talking about it too and he said that the original lyrics had all sorts of plague-type references which didn't make it into the final song but what did make it into the song is strange enough. 
Here are the lyrics. 

I'm a ghost Living in a ghost town I'm a ghost Living in a ghost town You can look for me But I can't be found You can search for me I had to go underground Life was so beautiful Then we all got locked down Feel a like ghost Living in a ghost town Once this place was humming And the air was full of drumming The sound of cymbals crashing Glasses were all smashing Trumpets were all screaming Saxophones were blaring Nobody was caring if it's day or night I'm a ghost Living in a ghost town I'm going nowhere Shut up all alone So much time to lose Just staring at my phone Every night I am dreaming That you'll come and creep in my bed Please let this be over Not stuck in a world without end Preachers were all preaching Charities beseeching Politicians dealing Thieves were happy stealing Widows were all weeping There's no beds for us to sleep in Always had the feeling It will all come tumbling down I'm a ghost Living in a ghost town You can look for me But I can't be found We're all living in a ghost town Living in a ghost town We were so beautiful I was your man about town Living in this ghost town Ain't having any fun If I want a party It's a party of one

It was recorded in L.A., London, and "in isolation."

For some damn reason Youtube isn't letting me share any videos these days. I've tried and tried to figure out why and there are lots of other people who are having the same problem. When I click on "share," I only get a blank screen with an eternally whirling circle. So I can't embed the video but if you go HERE, you should be able to watch it. 
If you want to. I'll still love you if you don't. 

Well, suddenly the wind has picked up considerably and the rain has returned with Biblical force. And it's lightening and thundering. I imagine the power will go out any moment but hopefully I'll still be able to cook the bream that Mr. Moon caught yesterday evening in a pond on a friend's property. He brought home five little fishes and two ticks but that's life. 

All right. That's certainly enough for one day. 
May you all be well. May you all stay safe. May you all have plenty to eat and someone to hold on to whether that be man, woman, child, cat, or dog. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Not Feelin' Groovy

Mr. Moon and I are trying to figure out how to get the teens to sleep in the big hen house so that we can let the youngest chicks out into the coop. I know- this requires more explanation but it's probably not very interesting to anyone besides us but instead of putting them in the little shelter in the coop where they have been sleeping while they were sequestered there, we moved them last night to a nest box in the hen house. They were sleeping on the edge of the shelter box and we were able to pick them up, two or three at a time, to move them. They complained and fluttered a little bit but we held them to us and shushed them gently and they didn't fight the process. I wonder what they thought when they woke up this morning?
This may take awhile.We've never had two different age groups of babies to transition as far as I can remember so we're just trying to figure it all out on the fly.

It's been another day in a long, long stretch of days in Lloyd. I walked again. I have already walked thirteen miles this week but I do not plan to walk tomorrow. I am going into town for supplies and want to get it done early-ish.
We did have a rather major event today in that we had a Zoom meeting with Mr. Moon's doctor from Mayo and that went fine. It was just as we expected- none of the routes they explored towards a diagnosis showed anything. So. As Mr. Moon said, "I have stumped Mayo!"
He is not proud of that. We had hoped with all of our hearts that a diagnosis which could lead to treatment might be found.
The charming Dr. Oskarsson did emphasize that my husband is otherwise very strong and healthy which will help him greatly in the long run.
Mr. Moon, being the realist that he is, took in this news and decided to go fishing.

I am so fucking proud of that man. Dr. Oskarsson has no idea how strong he is. But I do.

Let's have some pictures, shall we?

Here's something that was on the sidewalk this morning.

I assume that a nearby church may have been doing some clearing out and that this escaped the trash. Or maybe not. Who knows? In other times I might have at least picked up the figures that were left and brought them home. These days, we don't dare touch a darn thing that we don't have to. 

Here's a pretty Cherokee Bean blooming outside the fence of the ranch I pass. 

The purple salvias are starting to bloom in my yard. I wonder who planted them? I only know that I did not. 

Here's what the mustard green blooms looks like. 

And finally, the confederate jasmine which is, as we speak, filling my nose and soul. 

There are thousands of the small blossoms on the southernmost fence in the yard and there is a stretch of fence at least twice as long to the east which is just starting to bloom. Soon the scent will be overpowering. It will be so strong that I will curse myself for ever planting it to begin with. 
Okay. Honestly- I already do. 

I'd say something about Earth Day but I don't have it in me tonight. I guess I can say that I'm glad I live here. On earth. Even though we humans have just about trashed it like we'd trash a bar on a Saturday night thinking that hell, someone's going to be paid to clean it up on Sunday morning. 

Wish me luck tomorrow as I go out into the world to mingle with the many. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

As Dear Keith Says, It's Not The Rock, It's The Roll

I am absolutely fascinated by the way this Sago palm (and all Sago's for that matter) is making its new fronds. They are so soft and absolutely curled at the edges like little pig tails and they will open up, straighten up, and grow horribly prickly and sharp as they mature. I know I have said this before but Sago's are not palms at all, really. They belong to the cycad family and have been around since the dinosaurs. Anything that has been around since the dinosaurs is obviously a most hardy and well-evolved thing.
I read an article the other day about how scientists have managed to mess around (purposefully) with the expression of genes in a chicken embryo to create one that has a dinosaur-like snout instead of a beak. It was not a matter of introducing any new genes but rather of canceling out the expression of the genes which are still there which produce the beak.
Here's the article if you want to read it. 
I just find this fascinating.
Jessie and the boys came over for a little while today and brought their lunch with them and I made Mr. Moon and me sandwiches and we sat outside and had a socially distant picnic in the shade which was absolutely delightful.

We were discussing the story about the chicken with the dinosaur snout (and scientists did not allow the egg to hatch although they feel as if it could have survived just fine) and Mr. Moon said that he did not think that trying to repopulate the earth with dinosaurs was a good idea. 
Jessie and I disagreed but of course we were only basing our thoughts about that on sheer fantasy and what the awe and amazement of seeing a full-grown giant dinosaur come to life would be like. 
"Bring back the wooly mammoths, too!" I said. 
Again, Mr. Moon disagreed.
"So, we could be sitting here eating our lunch and a wooly mammoth would come crashing through the trees and destroy everything around us," he said. 
I suggested that if they start bringing back extinct animals, it would probably be one of the giant armadillos the size of Volkswagens that would be most apt to come wandering through out yard, seeing as how the regular modern-day version of them already live under our house. 
The boys did not seem interested at all in this discussion. They were too busy eating hummus and soybutter sandwiches and apples and carrots and so forth. 

It was SO good to see them. They got to ride on the lawn mower with their mama driving it. Levon was especially thrilled about this. He told the whole story to us and said that "Mama got faster and faster!" 
He is speaking so well and his grammar and word-usage are quite impressive! He has a slightly gravely voice like Gibson's and it's so hysterical to hear that old-man voice coming out of that little boy. He and I took a walk around the front yard and he got up in the swing and I took his picture. 

You can tell that he has a lot inside of him that he is ready to say. 

August was happy to be here. He played on the tractor with his brother of course and challenged his Boppy to a race. 
August won. 
He's got those beautiful long legs, brown and sturdy. He curled up in his mother's lap for a little while and he melted my heart. 

We all played a casual game with a big ball, kicking it from one to another and that was fun. We could stand far apart and yet still do something together in real life. Levon would get so excited when the ball was coming to him that he did a little tap dance. He's a good kicker with accurate aim.

We adults also talked about the virus, of course. Mostly about how ignorant people seem to be about social distancing. Jessie had just been to Costco the day before and said that they were obviously really trying to do their best with employees constantly wiping down freezer handles and making sure that people were staying six feet apart at registers. She said that most people there were wearing masks. Mr. Moon talked about how horrible it was at Lowe's where no one seemed the least bit concerned, employees included. Jessie pointed out that if a business shows concern, people seem to pick up on that and are more careful. 
I think she's probably right. 

After they left, Mr. Moon went out and worked on putting together the new garden cart he bought yesterday and I did absolutely nothing. And I didn't worry about it! I took a long walk this morning and let the rest of the day fall where it may. I even laid down on the bed and read for awhile and then put my book down and closed my eyes and just as I was falling asleep, I heard Liberace crowing, obviously in the house because it echoed like he was being amplified. He practically shook the walls. I got up and chased him out of the kitchen and after that I couldn't settle back down so I finally got up and made a blueberry cobbler with frozen berries that were in the freezer. It's in the oven now. 

I think I'm going to have to go into town later this week. I have to pick up a prescription and I am running out of all of the vegetables that we don't have in the garden. Jessie brought me a zucchini, a yellow squash, a half of a small head of purple cabbage, and a cucumber so we're not in dire straits but I have a list that fills up one side of a large index card and to be honest, after two weeks I am almost looking forward to a little jaunt outside of Lloyd although I am mostly completely happy here. 
Mr. Moon's bike helmet that he had ordered came in the mail today and that was big excitement. Tomorrow we have a Zoom meeting set up with the doctor from Mayo. We've both downloaded the app and hope that we can figure it out for real and true when the time comes. 
I hate sounding like an old person but let's admit it- I am an old person. 

And so it goes. Each day the same and yet, each day different. 
Some days the weather is hot and humid and some days (today) it is cooler and the sky is so clear and blue that it's like an imagined dream. Some days I do laundry. Some days I do not. Some days I bake bread and some days we eat that bread. Some days something comes in the mail and some days we don't even bother to check. Some days we get to see family and some days we only see each other. Every day we eat well. 
Every day we continue to love each other and try to remember to use good manners and to not take out frustrations on each other. 
Some nights the dreams are good and other nights, the dreams are strange and disturbing. 
We learn to roll with what each of these days bring. 

And always we are grateful. 

Love...Ms. Moon