Monday, August 31, 2020

Here We Are

 I braved the heat and the mugginess this morning and went out for a shortish walk up to the county line and back which is two miles which is nothing but in this heat and after over a month of relative inactivity, was plenty. I saw that No Man Lord had put up yet another new sign and I love it so much that I had to stop and take its picture. Can you read what it says? 

"Gods word is Quick. Ain't No Man That Fast."

Tell me he is not a poet. 

The sycamore trees are beginning to turn rusty. Here's a quite large one I pass by. 

Even here in North Florida we get some color as the season changes. I took a picture of what the hurricane lily looks like today. 

I swear it's grown at least eight inches since yesterday. Here's the head of it, the blossom end. 

I'll take another shot tomorrow. 

I rewatched the video of how to make the mask I wanted to try and I have now made two. I am quite pleased with the pattern. It is very easy and very quick to make up. Here I am, wearing one. 

It's not perfect by any means but it'll do. It's got so much room to breathe and talk. I've made Mr. Moon one out of a little bit of black silk that I have had forever, leftover from when I made him a pair of comfy pants. I put a piece of interfacing in that one to make it sturdier and more effective. I hope he likes it. He had to go to town today with a list as long as his arm and is not home yet. 

So I feel as if I have accomplished something at least today. 

Jessie sent a picture this morning of the boys first day-not-back to school. It made me laugh. 

Lily had an anxiety-filled morning wherein the internet connections to the kids' schooling wasn't working and Maggie was being Maggie and no one was answering her emails asking for advice and of course the phones were all busy. 
She said it got better but I know she was so stressed out. This is sort of ridiculous. But somehow, it will work. She will manage. Her children will learn. After school was over, they all went to see Melissa who fixed up Magnolia's hair, gave Gibson a haircut, and trimmed Lily's. Lily said it was the biggest social event of the season and that of course it was so good to see our darling Melissa. 

I'm so proud of how all of my children are dealing with the virus, even now, months later than when we ever imagined we'd still have to be taking such deep precautions. Mr. Moon and I were talking this morning about how we're just about ready to loosen things up a bit. Owen told his Boppy the other day how much he wants to go fishing with him and I told him that if they both wear masks, especially in the car, they should go. I keep thinking about what my doctor said- quality of life has to be considered. My husband has been living to take his grandchildren fishing since he ever considered the idea of having a grandchild at all. 
Well, we shall see how things go. 
Here's a picture of Maggie, all trimmed up. 

It's also a picture of her tongue. That girl. Gibson looks quite handsome, I think. 

Like Linda Sue has been saying, I'm thinking a lot about how how different things were when this whole pandemic started. How we all watched Tiger King and couldn't find toilet paper in the stores. How after about a week people were posting pictures showing how wildlife was making a comeback all over the world. How everyone decided to make their own bread and yeast was as precious as gold. How we all felt like we had a mission- to do the right thing to prevent the spread of this disease. How people applauded and whistled and beat on pots and pans at seven in the evening to thank our front-line workers. How Italians sang opera from their balconies. 
How we all thought we'd be back to "normal" life by July. 

Oh, how silly and sweetly innocent that all looks now. There is plenty of toilet paper; yeast and bread flour can be bought anywhere. Wildlife is still endangered. Medical workers are still completely overwhelmed and there are even more people risking their lives in other occupations because things are opening up way before they should. There is still no vaccination. There is still no real consensus on the best treatments for the disease. There is no contact tracing, there is even less worry about testing. 
And some of us still haven't hugged our loved ones since March.
And at the RNC chairs were placed right slam up next to each other and hardly anyone wore a mask and worst of all- our country is suffering in ways that we could not even have imagined four years ago while our citizens have not been this divided since the Civil War. 
Our president incites violence daily and his fans, his base, his minions, his deluded deplorables cheer him on, strap on their automatic weapons and pretend to be patriots.

But hey! I gathered seven more eggs today! 

We go on, we go on, we go on. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Not Much But Here It Is

 This is two days' egg haul. As Mr. Moon said, "We're back in the egg business!" Eight yesterday, seven today. And there is the potential for plenty more if all the hens start laying and laying where we can find their eggs. But as they say, "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched," and as they should say, "Don't count your eggs before they are laid."

So. It has been a Sunday but not a bad one. I slept another nine hours in the bed last night, waking up from a back-in-the-dorm dream wherein I couldn't figure out what to wear. There was a boy I'd set my eye on and another girl was trying her darndest to drag him into bed but I just bided my time, waiting for the fella to get tired of her tacky and obvious behavior and come to pursue me. 
I have no idea who this boy was. To tell you the truth, I remember more about the different outfits I was trying on than I do about what he looked like. 

It started raining this morning and so Mr. Moon decided to re-vacuum the house and re-spray for fleas. Therefore I could not go either inside or outside and so I sat on the porch and did a Sunday crossword and was simply lazy. After it quit raining I went out and pulled a few plants that were in the wrong place and repotted an avocado tree that had grown way too big for its pot and in fact was falling over. I put it into another pot- a huge one- where it's not going to get enough sun but the pot was too big to move and so it's root hog or die for the avocado. I looked at a pattern for a mask that resembles one that Jessie had the other day which both Mr. Moon and I admired. It looked something like this.

The extra part there allows you to speak and breathe more easily. Of course all I did was look at the video of how to make it because I couldn't go into the house to get out fabric and set up the sewing machine. Who knew that there would be a time in our lives when the idea of a more breathable, talkable mask would be a thrill? 
Not me, baby. Not me. 

Jessie sent a picture of Levon lining up pictures they'd printed out of large machines for coloring. The boy was getting them all in some sort of order. 

That is so Levon. August is doing better and he wanted pictures of hearts to color. As Jessie says, "He loves love."

I went out just a little while ago to take some pictures. And here we go. 

I don't think I've posted a picture of a banana spider all summer long. 
This is the front of one. 

And here's the underside. You can get a small idea of what her web looks like. They are tremendously huge and they glow in the sun. The spider's real name is a golden orb weaver and yes, they are. 

Speaking of glowing in the sun. 

I do love the way a chicken's comb looks with the late afternoon sun shining through it. Little Fancy Pants. Can you see his feathery feet? It's wonder he doesn't step on those feathers like a man wearing a pair of too-long pants. 

I noticed the other day that I could smell the tea olive and sure enough, it's starting to bloom. 

Each of those blossoms is smaller than the fingernail of a newborn babe. And yet, as I point out all the time, they are the most fragrant of blossoms. I always smell them before I see them. They smell of apricots and peaches and honey. They smell of the sweetness of the sweetest memories. They smell like what I think heaven would smell like if I believed in heaven. 

I saw the first upwardly thrust stem of a hurricane lily but I did not take its picture. I will when it blooms. The rain has cooled things off and I can tell that the days are growing shorter. 

I feel peaceful tonight and I hope that you do too. Tomorrow a new week will begin although in this time of Covid, there is very little to delineate one day from the next. Still, somehow Sunday has its own feel, one which I do not often enjoy but as I said, today has not been so bad. 
I am grateful.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Who Knew That Sleeping In A Bed Could Be So Sweet?


I do believe I am back in the bed for good now. Or at least until I break another rib which is hopefully NEVER. Last night I just made up my mind that it was time and I slept very well for nine hours. I discovered something that helped, though. I had been thinking for some reason that raising my head and shoulders would be better for my ribs but last night I thought about how in the chair I didn't use any pillows under my head and although the recliner does elevate the head a little bit in its furthest-back position, it's not much. So I took out all but one pillow and that did the trick. 
And there you go. 

Every day I feel better and better and today I cleaned out the hen house (and found seven lovely eggs), pruned the other spirea, and did a little weed-pulling in the garden, getting things ready for the fall plantings. None of this was very physically challenging but when I think back to the first week after I fell and remember how weak and lousy I felt, not even up to shelling beans as I sat in that chair and watched "The Office" I am rather amazed. 
Oh! And I picked...BEANS! And peppers. 

After the last picking of the green beans, I had thought that they were done but after I dumped the chicken hay in with the compost I saw that there were still some hanging from the almost dead-looking vines and so I picked all I could hold in my hands and later went back with my basket and picked more. Some of them are way over ripe but I just shell those and we eat the nice beans inside. I cooked the last ones I had in the refrigerator last night and mixed them with the lovely vinaigrette I've been making and added all of that to a nice salad with spinach and tomatoes and pine nuts. And now I have more! We are still not tired of them. 

Jessie and the boys were going to come over this evening for a slumber party and to let Vergil get some work done in the attic at their house that he needs to do but we got a text from Jessie today that August had been throwing up. 
I mean, seriously. How can any of us catch anything with all of this isolation going on? 

Such a bummer. Isn't he getting long? I'm sure he'll be fine. He was already bored when she took this picture. She said at one point this morning he swore he was SO hungry and she reluctantly let him have some cereal which resulted in her having to do a lot more laundry. Kids are so good at getting their puke everywhere, aren't they? Every mother in the world knows all about this. And some dads, too, I'm sure. 

Mr. Moon has been pretty busy today. In fact, before I even got up he'd been to town and come back. He needed to do a little business with a tire store and while I was still drinking coffee he met with a guy who'd come over to check out the spaces for the doors that we're finally getting on the Garage Mahal.
This is pretty huge. For the past sixteen years my husband has been saying, "Well, I think I'm about ready to get some doors for the garage." 
I would just nod and mumble something like, "Okay, dear," and get on with what I was doing but it's really going to happen. 

We're about to have our ten millionth quiet evening at home. I have absolutely no problem with that at all. Supper, some TV, and then sleeping in a bed. 
Sounds really good to me. 
I better get on with the supper part of the evening. Might do a little crocheting. Who knows? 

Y'all take care. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, August 28, 2020

 I am exhausted. 

Whether it's because I have been relatively busy all day long or because of reading about last night's RNC at the White House with 1500 desecraters not wearing masks combined with all of the rest of the horrors, I do not know. 
All I know is that I am tired. 

I went to Publix today and got that out of the way. Nothing outrageous or exciting happened. When I got to within a block of my house, I saw Pinot trying to wave me down. At first I just went on by. I have no idea why except that I was really focused on getting home. I got to my house, turned around, and went back. 
"You need something?" I asked. "Just a ride," he said. It was raining a little bit. 
I cleared the passenger seat and he got in and I realized that he was wearing a mask and that I should be too. I put mine on and said, "Here. I'll be a good person too." 
I swear, I would have completely forgotten about any Covid threat if he hadn't been wearing his mask. 
He wanted a ride down to No Man Lord's place. That's how he identified it too. "The yard with the cross and No Man Lord." 
In the short amount of time it took to get there he re-established the fact that we were both born in 1954 and that my name is Mary and his is Pinot. I told him about breaking my ribs and explained that that was why I haven't been walking lately. I am not sure why I thought he had even noticed. I doubt he has. I asked him if he'd ever broken any ribs. 
"No," he said. "But I've been busted up pretty bad." 
I can only imagine that he has. Pinot has not had an easy life. 
We got to No Man Lord's place and there are new signs. One said, "I AM My Brother's Keeper. Amen." Another said, "All Lives Matter." Despite the fact that NML is Black, I can see exactly why he'd put up that sign. To him, I am certain that all are important to his god, regardless of any outside or inside differences. All of us are his god's children. 
Before Pinot got out of the car he said, "When's your birthday?" I told him "July 28th." 
"When's yours?" I asked. He named a date in March that I've already forgotten and I laughed and said, "Ha! You're older than me!"
He laughed too and said, "That makes you feel good, doesn't it?"
"Yes it does!" I said and laughed some more. Then I said, "Not really." 

We said our take-cares and I drove home and I was glad I'd gone back to see what he needed. 

The rest of the day I just did house stuff. Laundry and bed-making and I made a blueberry pie. 

Mr. Moon had bought a bag of frozen blueberries when he was doing the shopping because he likes to put them on his cereal but he's used to the small, wild ones I get at Costco and the ones he got were the plump ones from Publix so I used them all up in that pie. I hope it's good. The pastry looks to have turned out well. 

We got a text from Lily. Owen has gotten his new pet rats. Have I discussed this before? He's been getting ready for a few weeks now, collecting the things he needed either through people giving him things or buying things with his own money. He was going to get two but the pet store had three left and they did not want to leave one all alone so they came home with Bailey, Queenie, and Poppy. 

For some reason I had forgotten that rats can be white and had envisioned something more like nightmare-gray sewer rats so their nice, tidy appearance makes me feel a little better about Owen owning rodents. I texted back to say, "My new great-grand rats!" 
I know O's excited. He's always been such a nurturer. 

I really don't have anything else to say this evening. Too tired to even think properly, if indeed I ever do these days. 

Let's all get good sleep tonight, y'all. And take your vitamins and eat your vegetables and just take care of yourself in general. This is not the time for any of us to fall out. We've got work to do and votes to cast and hearts to bless. 
Every dang one of us. 

Happy Friday. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Happy Boy. 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

The Other Daily Show


The number of feathers on Fancy Pants must range into the tens of thousands. I swear. That is the fluffiest chicken I've ever seen. So far he's holding his own in the flock. I have not seen Liberace do anything but ignore him although I have seen the little man accomplishing The Sex with a few hens. Turns out he does not require a stepladder. Anyway, I took that picture this morning before Jessie brought the boys out and I just thought y'all would be thrilled to see a picture of this sturdy little feather-duster of a rooster. 

Speaking of thrilled, I do believe August and Levon were quite happy to be here today. We gave them the puzzle and Levon was beyond excited. August...not so much. 
"Is there another present?" he asked. 
But soon both boys and their grandfather were on the floor in the hallway putting it all together. 

The boys are quite good at puzzles and I love it when they fit a piece where it should go and then hit it with the end of their fist and say, "Boom!" It's a cool puzzle. 

Levon was hoping that there would be a track hoe hidden in there somewhere but sadly, there was not. After that puzzle they were fired up and did another puzzle from my collection. From the one dollar price tag on it, I must have gotten it at the Bad Girl's Get Saved By Jesus Thrift Store and to my chagrin, turned out to be the exact same puzzle that I ordered for Ms. Magnolia June, paying full price on Amazon. 
I'm an idiot. Of all the puzzles I could have bought her, I picked out one I already had. And of course I have no recollection at all of buying it and yet I must have because here it is. It was not magicked here, I can assure you. 

After doing puzzles, we let them watch some TV because that's mainly why they love coming over. August sat on the chair with his Boppy and Levon sat on the couch and The Mighty Baby Bheem was selected as we all love it. Little short episodes that are silly and sweet and absurd and all set in some part of rural India. It's a delight. 

I sat on the end of the couch to the left of Levon and did some embroidery and at one point I said, "Levon, do you want to sit next to me and cuddle?"
He looked at me in true wonderment and asked, "Why?"

Ha! Good question. He does allow me to kiss him quite graciously. August is not so accepting of my love and that's okay. I give him his space. Obviously though, he does love sitting in that chair with Boppy. When his mama came back he told her, "When I was sitting with Boppy in his chair, I got hot as a toaster oven!" 
He was proud of that. 

After a few episodes of Baby Bheem I got up and went and made lunch. When I was incapacitated from my ribs, I asked Mr. Moon to get some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I think I may have mentioned this. He bought two boxes but not the regular kind. The Deluxe kind! The kind where you boil the macaroni and then squeeze the "four cheese" blend of orange cheezy paste into the cooked noodles, doing away with the need to add milk and butter. August watched me do that and he was so excited. "Yum!" he said. He was right, too. It is yum. And salty as shit. 
I gave everyone some of the gourmet deluxe macaroni and a little bit of salad and a few nice green beans and cut-up cucumbers. 

The boys plowed through the mac and cheese, ate a few green beans reluctantly, and that was lunch. Hey! I did my job. 

Then it was time to play with toys. Out came the Lincoln logs and the little houses where the rabbits and, either mice or bears, we're not sure, live. Somehow we started on a search for more Lincoln logs which led to going through the entire toy basket which was a lot of fun. We organized things and found surprises, the favorite being a duck flashlight that goes on a keychain that not only lights up but also quacks. We also found an old Barbie whose arms had been amputated. 
Don't ask me. 
Mr. Moon referred to her as "your baby" to Levon and he was quick to correct his grandfather. "She's a lady," he said. 
He's right. 
Jessie came back while we were sorting and organizing toys and we were all like, "What are you doing here?"
She'd had a good few hours of shopping, even managing to go to TJ Maxx and getting herself a little bit of new clothing including a very cute bathing suit. So Mama was happy. 
Soon it was time for them to leave which went smoothly enough as I promised them treaties when they got buckled in. This is our ritual. August had even pulled the stepladder out, put it by the kitchen hutch and opened up the cabinet where the treats are stored to pick what he wanted which of course was M&M's. When he got in his seat and was all secured I asked him how many he thought he should have. 
"Five," he said. 
"I'll give you ten," I said. I counted them out and he accepted them and said, "Levon gets ten too." 
"I know," I told him. "He will." And he did. 
I also ate a few toes. 

And so that was our visit. After they left I went out to water the porch plants and I happened to glance over by the little swing porch and guess what? 

Mr. Moon finally caught a possum. It was a young'un and I'm thinking there's probably an entire extended family under the house. He was taken down to Lloyd Creek Road and let go. I hope he survives. It's not ideal to try and relocate wildlife but I suppose it's better than shooting them. 

I decided to trim the palms out front but Mr. Moon said, "Let me do it with my little power saw." I bitched a little saying that I could do it myself with the loppers but he insisted that it would be so much easier. And damn if he wasn't right. In about ten minutes he'd trimmed the cabbage palms which were blocking access to the porch and the Canary Island date palms which we refer to as the goddam fucking killer palms and why did I plant them? palms

Every one of those spines can pierce your skin like a surgical instrument. I always swear I'm going to get rid of them and today Mr. Moon put their removal on his to-do list. 

I loaded up all the trimmings and also trimmed back one of the spireas that I stupidly planted there. There's another one on the other side of the gate that I'll get to tomorrow if possible. I hauled everything to the burn pile and I am pleased to report that I did not spike myself once although my husband did. Which is why he is now totally onboard for pulling them out. 

Yesterday was five weeks since I broke my ribs and unless I put pressure on them, they do not bother me at all. Still, lying on the bed puts pressure on them and I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever sleep in the bed again. Every night I give it a try either before or after my shower. I lay down and read for awhile to see if I'm comfortable, if it feels okay. And every night, no matter what position I'm in, I soon develop what feels like a stitch in my side and end up sleeping in the chair. 
Overall, though, it seems rather miraculous to me that in five weeks I've gone from what I really felt as agonizing pain to being...pretty darn okay. Occasionally I can still feel what appears to be a bit of a cracking sensation. Not like a cracking-in-half sensation, just a not-quite-all-there-yet cracking feeling. But sometimes I throw caution to the wind and grab Levon and hoist him up to kiss him and that doesn't seem to bother me at all. 

And that's more than you wanted or needed to know about Lloyd tonight. I've been thinking about Jacob Blake all day long. I've also been thinking about that little piece of shit who killed two protesters and wounded a third and how he managed to just walk on out of the situation, a seventeen year old kid with an automatic rifle in his arms, even after he announced, "I just killed two people!" I try not to be a violent person in thought or deed but I swear- sometimes it's hard not to control my reactions. His parents have a lot to answer for. 

Is the RNC over yet? I have no idea. I just want the whole damn nightmare of the past four years to be over. I often have intensely disturbing dreams but my mind could never in a million years have come up with the one we're living in. 

Hang in and hope. That's all we can do. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Mixed Emotions, Part 412

 This little girl and her brothers and their mama came over today for a back-yard visit. As you can see from Magnolia June's face, it was hot but at least the bugs weren't too bad. When I took that picture she was trying to talk me into helping her find the pig and the pig's house which of course I did. She was wearing a dress I got her in Cozumel when we were there last. It finally fits her. I have absolutely no sense of how big or small anyone is. Either I get things that are ginormous on the intended recipient or just skin-tight. I remember buying that dress. The store owner and I ended up having a long conversation about Trump and politics in general and he was no fan of Trump's. I doubt there are many fans of Trump in Mexico. Well, maybe some of the American ex-pats are. Plenty of them seem to be right-wingers but not all. Not all. 
I miss Cozumel bad. 

It was mighty good to see the Hartmann's. Maggie brought several dolls and stuffed animals and a book and wanted me to get the little wicker stroller for her to play with and I did. One of the first things she said to me was, "Do you like my hair? I cut it myself."
I assured her I did. 

Lily and Owen and Gibson and I sat around the old table in the backyard. I passed out ice water and fans. 

We discussed fan flirtations as well as other ways to get someone's attention. Gibson pointed out that you could leave your fan and walk away so that the person you were interested in would pick it up and return it to you. 
Gibson is a smart boy. 

Before they came here they had gone to the kids' school to get the desktop computers that they are distributing to all of the distance learning kids. They're going to get laptops but they aren't ready. Lily is stressing out over all of this so much and I don't blame her one bit. Three kids on three different computers in three different situations. They obviously can't all be in the same room and Maggie's class will probably be doing a lot of hands-on stuff and how can anyone expect to help three kids at the same time? I keep telling her that she can only do the best she can do and that will be fine but it's a stressful situation no matter how you look at it. 

Aside from their visit, the day has been a sad one. I found out that a woman who at one time was a very close friend of mine died two days ago. All day I've been thinking about her and wondering if I should have tried harder to maintain our friendship. These things can be so heartbreaking. Let me just say right here that I am a vastly imperfect person. 
Also, I can't stop thinking about Jacob Blake and the seventeen-year old self-proclaimed militia kid who somehow managed to shoot two protesters before fleeing. The police had seen him- this KID, with a gun, and thanked him for being there, helping them, and got him some water. This is so wrong on so many levels that I can't even begin to take it all in. 
To add to my list of sorrows, Hurricane Laura is going to cause mass destruction when it lands. "Unsurvivable storm surge" they are saying. It's already a category four storm. Everyone is not going to be all right. 

But a few minutes ago, another old friend of mine, a dear, dear man, stopped by and surprised me and it was just lovely to see him and his wife and their friend. I got to meet their two dogs whom I'd only ever seen on Facebook. So that was a beautiful break in this day of sadness and horror and grief. 

It's raining and I'm making my favorite hippie meal of soybeans and brown rice with the sauce that I call "goop" which is made of mayonnaise, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic powder. Don't turn up your nose until you've tried it. It's delicious. 

Another day in Lloyd. Maggie and I found four eggs in the hen house and she got to take them home along with eight others to make up a nice dozen. Tomorrow August and Levon are coming over for a little while so that Jessie can do some shopping. Mr. Moon and I are looking forward to that. 

Here we are. Life goes on until it doesn't. Meanwhile, we love and we mourn and we do what we can do. 
Sometimes that is not very much and not nearly enough. 

Love...Ms. Moon 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

I May Be Crazy But Not That Crazy


Well, I've felt more "normal" today than any day since I fell. I even took a nice little walk down to No-Man-Lord's house and back and to the post office which is about one and a half miles and although it was like ninety degrees and who knows what the humidity was, it wasn't bad. I've been thinking about those pretty red flowers that grow on my neighbor's fence and there they were today. I'm glad I didn't miss them. Every year I look them up and every year I forget their name. I looked them up again today and that is the cypress vine. Cypress trees have needles like those of the vine and so there you go. Will I remember this next year? 
Oh hell no. I won't remember it next week. I would learn so much if I went back and reread all my blogs. I would be amazed. 
And then I would forget it all again. 

When I got to the post office, the mail lady had already shut her window because it was after twelve. Here in Lloyd we only have clerk hours until noon but we're lucky to have that. As I opened my box, I heard her call from the office behind, "Hello!" and I answered back. I saw I had a slip for a package in the box and she said, "I'll get that for you."
This is how things go around here and I love it. Rules are rules but hey! She had to slide her window open again to hand the package over and I toted it home along with my mail. It was the puzzle that I ordered for August and Levon. 

I know at least one little boy who's going to like it. 

I spent the rest of the day doing things in the house. I thought about doing a closet clearing and I reached for a linen shirt that I haven't worn for a very long time and I thought, "Yes, this can go," but immediately I thought about the night I'd worn it in Cozumel with a pair of white linen pants and we'd had such a good supper and the beers were two-for-one and we couldn't finish all that beer and so we left some for the waiter who hid it for later and we were co-conspirators and then we went and played mini-golf which was right across the street from Pepita, the hotel we stayed in on our first trip to Cozumel in 1987 and how it was so magical. We were the only people at the mini-golf and the attendant played the music we asked for and there were iguanas hanging out and pretty birds in cages and we laughed and we laughed. Of course they sold drinks at the mini-golf. They sell drinks everywhere in Cozumel. The National Park has waiters wearing white who trudge through the sand barefoot taking your orders for pina coladas and nachos. 
So. Did that shirt spark joy? Yes. Yes it did even though I may never wear it again. Marie Kondo's definition of sparking joy may be different than mine. 
That whole entire memory and train of thought went through my head as my fingers were on the shirt and I let it stay and sighed and walked away from the closet. 

I did, however, bake a loaf of bread and did some laundry which is all dried and put away now. I've got some chicken thighs cooking in a red sauce with chopped eggplant and peppers and onions and mushrooms and garlic in the crockpot and I also sat on the couch and did a little more mending on my old, old dress.

That's one of the shoulder straps. The fabric had completely worn away there. I've started on the other side where there is not yet a visible hole but the you can see right through the fabric. This is all so ridiculous. Not only is the dress threadbare, it's also so faded from its original perfect sky-blue that at this point, it's more memory of a dress than actual dress. 
Ah. Back to memories again. 
Perhaps I can just spend the rest of my life patching and decorating this dress and when I die, they can put me in it for my cremation. 
In a related topic, I am now watching the next-to-the-last season of "The Office." Dear god, what am I going to do when I've finished watching it? Those characters have become my people, my family, my friends, my escape, my entertainment, my soothers and comforters. 
I'd say I was crazy but I doubt this is the craziest thing going on right now in this strange and sometimes horrifying world. 

Which brings us to Jacob Blake. 
I can't even talk about it. How does this keep happening? Not only have cops paralyzed him, they've fucked up his kids for the rest of their lives. 
I can't. I can't. 

And then there's the RNC which I have not watched one second of because what's the point? Do I need to hate these people even more than I do now? 
Give me  "The Office". Give me embroidery thread. Give me a garden that needs clearing and dirt to plant seeds in and give me vegetables to chop. Give me books and give me crosswords. Give me vinegars and oils and sourdough starter and flour and give me children to read to and a husband to cherish and give me chickens. 

Thank you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, August 24, 2020

Play With Me, Mer!


That is my pathetic attempt at a panoramic photo of my chickens as they are eating their scratch in the morning. If you count, I think you'll find eighteen even though I only have seventeen chickens and that's because one of them moved faster than I moved the camera and so was caught twice. Probably the one there that looks like part of a chicken, third from the left in the back. 
Oh what fun we have here in Lloyd!
Mr. Moon and I were just talking yesterday about how Fancy Pants hardly ever crows and we wondered how in the world he was going to have his own flock and lo and behold, the little man began crowing a lot. His crow is short and rather pathetic (don't tell him I said that) but it's his own personal crow and maybe it will develop as time goes on. I saw the bold bird try to jump on one of the gray hens yesterday and really, he needs a step-ladder. She just shrugged him off and went about her business. 
Poor guy. 
And poor little Miss Tweety if she's the only hen he can mount and please dear GOD don't let Liberace try to fuck her. He'd kill her. 

So yesterday when I got up I realized that a branch from the pecan tree was hanging down over the roof of the porch in an unnatural way. At that time it was still attached to that branch you see above but it had cracked and was broken and all of the rain we've gotten had soddened and weighted the limb and as it dipped it pulled another branch down and it was sort of a mess. After much examining of the situation, Mr. Moon decided to ask Vergil if he'd come out and help him get the limbs down. In a bit of synchronistic fortune, Vergil's test results came back this morning and they were negative. So Jessie and the boys came with Vergil to play while the men worked. 
Before they got here, Mr. Moon got things ready. He put up a ladder and got out all the tools he thought he'd need and pulled the truck right up to the back porch. He was in the shed getting something else and I was sitting on the porch and all of a sudden I heard the crack and rip of the branch and down it fell, completely missing the new AC unit AND the porch, landing right where my husband had hoped to set it himself. 

We think that the ladder helped place the branch where it should go as it slid down it, almost like it was a guide.
It did not, however, pull down the other branch which was now laying precariously on the porch roof, still connected to the tree. So the men had a project to do even though part of it had been done for them. 
While they did what they did (and I'm not sure what that was), the boys and I did some stuff. Mostly we read books and also, Levon wanted me to do the Mr. Ratty puppet which I did. I love being Mr. Ratty. He is the most darling puppet and can move his mouth and scratch his head and groom his whiskers and give hugs too. Levon couldn't even talk to Ratty. I think the power of his authenticity overwhelms small children. I'm not even kidding. But that was sweet fun and Levon also wanted...wait for it!...the tractor book and the dump truck book. So of course I read those. And then there was Duck In A Truck, which Jo from Ireland sent me when Owen was very young and which is definitely in the top five books that my grandchildren have loved. August listened to that one. He's over the dump truck book and the tractor book. 
The boys and I talked about stuff and then Jessie and I made some lunch. We had an array of sandwiches from tuna to peanut butter to ham, along with cherries and chips. It was so nice to get to eat with Vergil. 

August kept pretending to call his grandfather and his dad on the old plug-in phone and Vergil made me laugh so hard when he said, "Hold on, let me put you on speaker phone," because August was about four feet away. 

While they were here, Lily called for real and we had a FaceTime visit with all the grands which rapidly got way out of hand. Maggie had put together a puzzle that I'd ordered for her and wanted to show me but then she started being a wiggling worm and so August and Levon did too and Owen and Gibson could barely get a word in, but it was fun. 
The level of chaotic hysteria continued on here. I asked the boys to pose for pictures and this is what I got. 

Earlier August had informed me that he'd been riding the horse in the library so fast that his hat had fallen off so I guess this was his solution to the hat-falling-off problem. 
The Weatherfords had to leave soon after that as Levon was in need of a nap and wilting. Mr. Moon finished up the limb project, cutting and hauling all the pieces of branches and I was a lazy old lady and did very little. 

I am making the best supper in the world tonight which is tacos made with venison and Old El Paso taco seasoning, Ortega crispy taco shells and all that other stuff that make tacos so great. I think I bought those taco shells when I was doing a panic buy and my brain had gone into survival mode. But hell- why not? 

I've got a flan in the oven but I'm not sure how that's going to turn out because instead of grabbing sweetened condensed milk at Publix, I accidentally bought dulce de leche (probably during the same shopping trip I bought the taco shells) and I'd already made the sugar coating so that may or may not work. I'll let you know. Lord knows it'll be sweet enough. 

I can hear thunder booming to the south. We've had rain on and off all day and in fact, both Vergil and Mr. Moon got soaked this afternoon. I do believe this is related to Tropical Storm Marco and I haven't even checked to see what Laura is doing. I hope it hasn't taken a quick hook to the east. 

So it goes, so it goes. I obviously am more cheerful today than I was yesterday and I am grateful for that. And for so much more. 
May all be well with you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, August 23, 2020

And Have You Heard About The Asteroid Which Will Hit The Day Before The Elections?


Here are five of the six eggs I found today. There was one more in another nest which I believe was Miss Susie's. I'm going to have to start selling those things. Or giving more away, most likely. 

So the big news is that I slept in the bed last night and I was comfortable, on the whole, but my ribs have ached all day which is not comforting at all. I guess lying down in the chair, even though it's relatively flat when it's reclined all the way, puts my center of gravity nearer my butt instead of my ribs. Or at least there's less pressure on them. It was nice to wake up in my own room again, though. 

Lily sent a series of pictures this morning which were alarming. 

Maggie decided to cut her hair which is something that all children do at one point or another unless one of their siblings does it for them. Lily was beside herself with grief. Maggie's hair has never been truly cut, just trimmed a little bit for fun and those curls she had were her first curls and no matter what, she'll never get those back. 
I can't even bear to show you the picture where Maggie herself is crying. It's too heartbreaking. And of course she's still the cutest girl in the world. Here she is after Lily washed her hair and dried it. She still has curls. 

She's still our sassy Miss Thang. 
But I understand Lily's grief. Those curls are Magnolia June's glory and what a glory they are. Still. But the rich abundance of them has been somewhat diminished. And they were part of her babyhood and with every step that our children take away from that stage of life our hearts ache a little. That's just the way it is. 

And my heart has ached today too. Not so much for Maggie's curls. I know this happens and I know she's still beautiful and I know that hair grows. I don't even know why I've been so down. Is it because yesterday was my dear Lynn's birthday? I don't even know how old she would have been. Sixty-nine? Seventy? She was always so timeless. I just looked up her obituary. She would have been seventy-one. That is unbelievable to me. Almost as unbelievable as the fact that she's been gone for twelve years. 
I probably would have said seven years, eight at the most. 
Time. There is no stopping it, that wily, slippery concept. 

But I don't think that's entirely the reason I've been so filled with the black-dog funk. It may have something to do with the weather which has been gloomy and swampy all day. Even when it's not raining everything is just wet. Of course it could be so much worse. We could be on fire here like they are in California. Wet would be most welcome there. Somehow knowing this doesn't help and in fact, makes it even worse because thinking of how the planet is giving us obvious and undeniable evidence that we've fucked it up is not a pleasant thing to ponder. 
Maybe part of my mood is missing the children and grandchildren. Some days that missing becomes overwhelming. I wish I could hold Maggie and tell her how beautiful she is and that she is a smart, strong, amazing little girl. I want to have conversations with Owen and with Gibson, one-on-one, sitting close together. I want to be able to hug and hold my son and my daughters and their beloveds. 
I was thinking this morning about the days when I'd tell Owen the Mr. Peep story that always made him fall asleep at nap time. How I knew those days were precious even then and how now, looking back, that story about the old turkey who played and played all day until he grew weary and needed a nap of his own, is something that I hope the mind-erasing years of old age never touch. 
Perhaps I'm just thinking about getting old and dying. One may think that one is accepting of death but when the years get shorter and the math starts being done, that acceptance is a little harder to maintain, becomes a little less of a cosmic concept and more of a personal issue. 

Oh, sigh. 

Who knows? Maybe I just have the saddies, as Sue used to say. No real reason, just a gloomy Sunday. 

But hey! I ironed some shirts! Mr. Moon does need a few nicer shirts to wear into town when he goes to run errands. So I set up the board and plugged in the iron and turned the TV on to "The Office" and now he has six crisp, smooth shirts to wear. 
I wish I could say that thought brings me pleasure but that would not be much of the truth. Maybe a little. 
I scrubbed a window sill and a doorway. All that did was to reinforce the knowledge that this whole house needs every sort of tending from deep, deep cleaning to pressure washing to painting. Not pressure washing on the inside, although that would be helpful. If mold and mildew are deadly, we should have gone to glory a long time ago. 

Elizabeth sent me a poem yesterday. I keep going back to it. It reminds me that well, yes, this is who I wanted to be. Every time I read it I love it more. 


Here I am in the garden laughing

an old woman with heavy breasts

and a nicely mapped face

how did this happen

well that’s who I wanted to be

at last    a woman

in the old style     sitting

stout thighs apart under

a big skirt    grandchild sliding

on     off my lap    a pleasant

summer perspiration

that’s my old man across the yard

he’s talking to the meter reader

he’s telling him the world’s sad story

how electricity is oil or uranium

and so forth tell my grandson

run over to your grandpa    ask him

to sit beside me for a minute    I

am suddenly exhausted by my desire

to kiss his sweet explaining lips

Grace Paley (2000)

I'm not sure I'd call my face "nicely mapped" but besides that...yes. 

Thank you, Elizabeth. 

Yours Truly and Much Love...Ms. Moon