Wednesday, February 24, 2021

She Shopped

I can and do assure you that this will not become a blog which is entirely centered on pictures of things cooking on my new stove. But I took that picture this morning when I set my pinto beans on the burner because, well- I could. I made Mr. Moon's favorite breakfast of egg burritos while the beans came to a low boil and then I shut them off for a little while and went about the business of laundry and hanging it out on the line and getting ready to go to town. Partway through all of that I put the beans back on, thinking I would let them simmer on the extra-low simmer burner while I was in town but by the time I checked them before I left, they were already soft. So I just turned them off. I could not believe it because I've never cooked pinto beans in less than five or six hours except in a pressure cooker and it was just a regular old package of Publix pinto beans but there you go. This whole star burner thing is not just something that looks cool. It cooks much more efficiently, the flame going to all parts of the bottom of the pan and so I am finding that I can cook at a lower temperature and yet still cook things faster. 

I am learning.

I stopped by Hank's and Rachel's when I went to town to give them some eggs. To be truthful, I forced eggs on them. They already had eggs. I give eggs to everyone. After a short chat there, I drove to...Goodwill.

Please don't give me grief about going to Goodwill. I know they are crooks and thieves and take advantage of their workers. I am not a saint. I just wanted to go shopping and it was right down the street and so I did. 
Goodwill has not changed in a year. Smells the same, looks the same. There were hardly any people in the store. More workers than customers. I looked through the kitchen wares, the house stuff, saw one small chest that I liked but it was already sold. Then I proceeded to the dress racks and it was abysmal. Polyester, polyester, polyester, polyester.
And more polyester.
I did find one linen dress with pockets that will do for a house dress if it fits on my burgeoning body. I also found a pair of overalls that I would not wear if they were the last overalls on earth.
Well. If they were the last overalls on earth, I might wear them. They had huge red and white stripes and some sort of patch of blue with stars on it. 
Beyond hideous. And possibly even illegal or at least unconstitutional. 
I found no cashmere and nothing even close. Well, there was one sweater that claimed to have a "cashmere feel" but they lied and it was 100% acrylic. 
Still, it was something to be out in public like that, doing something so familiar. The faint drone of people talking from a distance was soothing and the man who checked me out would suddenly laugh for no apparent reason but that was not unpleasant. It was a jovial chuckle, not a horrible frightening clown laugh. I told myself that he is probably in on the cosmic joke of it all and I think that is possible. 

Then I was on to Publix and then Costco and by the time I got home it was past 4:30 which really put a crimp in my regular rut/routine. I flew about, bringing groceries in, putting things away, starting the dishwasher, bringing the beans back to a simmer, rushing out to the garden to cut greens to cook, to the line to get the clothes in, to the henhouse to get the eggs. I put the laundry away and washed and cut the greens and got them to cooking with bacon and tomatoes and onions and various vinegars and a little bit of soy sauce. 
I can get a lot done in a little time if I really want to. The joy, however, of this past year is that I have had little need to rush like that. I don't like rushing. I like taking time to check the progress of the budding mulberries, the spirea, the Japanese magnolia. It has been so warm here today that I am certain even the most reluctant of bloomers are having to reconsider their sloth. Sap is flowing and the birds are calling everything to come out and play from dawn to dark. There is no stopping it. 
And quite frankly, all of this is far more fascinating to me than thrift-store shopping. It is good to be reminded. 

So that was my big exciting day. 

I did want to report that yesterday I got a phone call from my Trumper neighbor with whom I'd had a very vocal disagreement a few weeks ago. She was calling to ask if I'd seen her cat which disappeared the other night and I had not. We spoke pleasantly. I asked her how she and her husband were feeling, if they were recovering from covid. She said that it's slow, but every day is a little better. We discussed Jack a bit, as he used to go over to her house now and then for some canned cat food and a good fur brushing. She really does love animals. And all of that was fine and I was feeling good about the conversation- we are neighbors. We very much need to be on decent terms, especially out here in Lloyd where a neighbor's help can mean so much when it's needed. 
But then she brought up Texas and blamed all of the power problems on "green energy" and turbines that had to be winterized and weren't, never acknowledging that Republican deregulation had caused these problems. It's so obvious that if there is not a Democrat to blame, then it surely must be some liberal plot like "green energy" which is the demon in the scenario to these Fox people. Their powers of rationalization are truly magnificent. I tried to talk to her a little bit about it but I didn't have the energy nor the desire. I finally gently ended it with wishing her and her husband the best and hopes that they are truly well and healthy soon. 
And I do wish that. 
And I'm glad she called. I hope her cat comes home. His name is Baby and he means a lot to her. I understand that too. 

I have my greens on the extra-low simmer in which the burner goes off and on intermittently to keep the temperature low, low, low and it is a wonder to me to see them still simmering even when the flame is off. The beans are cooking down gently to a nice gravy and I'll cook a little pot of rice and bake a cornbread in a little while. 
I'm tired. It's been a long day. I think my goals for tomorrow are simply to clean out the hen house and try to figure out what my eye doctor's name is. I desperately need a new prescription and new glasses. That doesn't sound like a big deal but for those of us with these weird medical neuroses, it is. I have promised myself that all I have to do tomorrow is to figure out who the doctor is and maybe on Friday or maybe even next week I will actually call and make an appointment. 
Baby steps. 

I'll try to catch up on some comment answering. The last two days have been a bit frenetic for me. Please be well and know that I am grateful for each one of you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Good News In Pictures

Picture of the blue sky and tufts of Spanish Moss, hanging from its branches this morning.

What a beautiful day. This is going to be mostly pictures because it's getting late and I have to cook supper...on the Thermomonster!

The guys did come today and Mr. Robert spent hours and hours getting everything just right. He and Mr. Morris (of Morris Propane, LLC, Monticello, Florida) were the most polite and fine gentlemen you can imagine. While they were working, I was walking around taking pictures of bees, mostly. So many bees!

Bee on camellia.

Bee on bok choy bloom.

Bee on faded azalea. 

And then, if all of this wasn't joy enough, Lily brought the kids over and there were hugs and kisses and books and wandering through the house remembering and reclaiming and finding a good place to put Cloud Rainbow and his heat light and crickets because the little lizard guy is staying with us for a few days. Lily and Lauren are taking the kids to North Carolina to stay in a cabin in the mountains for a few days. It was joyful. 
And loud. 

Ratty got some love too. 

Gibson is the most enthusiastic of huggers. 

Magnolia June was not in the mood to be photographed and so I respected her wishes. Luckily, she was in the mood to snuggle while we read books. 

So it was a very fine day and I'm so excited to go cook on that stove. 

Both Mr. Robert and Mr. Morris (of Morris Propane, LLC, Monticello, Florida) said that Thermadors are "top quality" and Mr. Morris (you know who) said that he's had a Thermador cooktop for twenty years with no problems. 

Happy sigh. 

I don't have time for the pintos tonight so we'll be having a nice meatloaf and maybe some potatoes and of course a salad because I picked a huge basketful of gorgeous greens. 

Am I just the luckiest lady in the world or what? 

Yeah. I am. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 22, 2021

Le Sigh

So it's been one of those days. I woke up from crazy dreams of getting lost on a campus in the most bizarre sort of ways and then it was Asheville I was lost in and then it was a campus in Asheville and the leather purses at the leather kiosk on campus were way too expensive. 


Mr. Moon had to go into town for work and I stayed home all day which I probably would have anyway, and watched the rain and felt the gray-dreariness and waited for the gas guy and he never showed up and with each hour that passed I grew a little more disappointed until I've finally settled on some emotion directly between Oh, who gives a fuck? and I WANT MY NEW STOVE!
For some reason we've gotten the scheduling all confused and out of whack due to misunderstandings or something or maybe the gas people are just not listening or maybe they're not communicating properly or maybe we're not communicating properly who knows not me. 

And so tonight's meal will be brought to you once again by the old black beast with holes in the bottom of it, warped oven racks that sometimes come crashing down and burners that often require the help of a match flame to come alive. 

Oh well. This really is a first world problem if I ever heard one and a silly one, even for that category as it's not really a problem at all, just a minor disappointment. A grown lady wants to play with her new toy. Oh, boo-hoo. Light a candle. 

I actually did some ironing today and chose to watch a movie while I smoothed the shirts with the hissing iron and the movie I watched was delicious. 

A woman named Radha Blank wrote the screenplay, directed it, starred in it and co-produced it. She is a mighty force and I want her to be my best friend. I also want the character of her agent to be my best friend, a man played by actor Peter Kim, and for the sake of decency I shall not mention the love interest (Oswin Benjamin) except to say...oh dear. 

And that movie alone made the day worth getting up for. I do highly recommend it. It's on Netflix. I suppose I should mention the fact that if profanity offends you, this might not be the movie for you but since you are reading this of your own free will, I'm guessing that profanity does not offend you. I am of the opinion that profanity is the very salt that makes life savory, the crunch that makes it satisfying. 

I see that the number of deaths from Covid has reached the horrific number of half a million. I did not foresee this happening a year ago. Not at all. I suppose that the pandemic experts did but the rest of us were so, so innocent and ignorant. 
Funny how those two things go together like a horse and a cart. Like a pea in a pod, a taco on a Tuesday, a dog and a bone, Keith Richards and a guitar, a virus and a bloodstream. 

Lily texted today that her battery died while she was waiting for a grocery pick-up and Maggie asked, "Are you out of petrol?"
Has the child been watching Brit Flics? (Sorry Jo. It had to be said.) 
Children. I love them so. 

Off to cook on a good-enough stove.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Some Sundays Are Pretty All Right

We certainly did have a very fine time with the two Weatherford boys last night and today. They were truly good boys. After supper last night, they had baths, got on their pajamas, and had their purple cows.

Then there was tooth-brushing and book-reading. Levon kept telling me that he was tired and I kept telling him that he could just get in his bed but no, he wanted to hear the stories although with each one he would say, "I hope this isn't too long. I am very sleepy." 
And as soon as we finished the last book, he slid off my bed and got on his bed, pulled up the comforter and was asleep before the little wind-up lamb who plays "You Are My Sunshine" had wound down. August was asleep almost as quickly. I do not think either boy was awake when I kissed them good-night.
And get this- they had to flip a coin to see which one of them would get to sleep on Boppy's side of the bed. Poor August lost and his little fold-out mat had to be placed on my side. 
You know, I really am chopped liver when it comes to their love. I know they love me but it's Boppy they adore. And somehow, that just makes me smile. 
Not a peep was heard out of them until around 7:30 when Levon appeared, awake and happy, standing beside his grandfather. We invited him into the bed and he and I did some cuddling and giggling and he even gave me some kisses which was a beautiful way to wake up. Boppy went back to sleep for a few minutes and then woke up for real and said, "Come on, boy. Let's let Mer sleep some more," and they got up and indeed I did sleep some more. I have no idea when August woke up. I was hoping to get a few snuggles with him, too, but I'm sure he took one look at the bed, realized his grandfather and Levon were already up and raced to the Glen Den to watch some TV. 
When I got up I made pancakes wondering if this would be the last time I'd make pancakes on the old stove. I made what I thought would be a plentiful amount and every one got eaten. I ate two and August ate six and a half. Levon ate four. They are pancake-eating machines. 

The rest of the morning and early afternoon was all about books and some bike riding and Levon and Boppy in the garden planting the peas and the rest of the potatoes. Also tidying up and putting all of the My Little Ponies back into the suitcase in which they'd arrived. August likes to set them around the perimeter of the head of his bed like little guardian pony angels. I sewed a button on a little stuffed dog that he brought for me to do that to and then Levon wanted me to sew some buttons on a little cuddle dog that he'd brought, which I did, and I also stitched up a place where he was coming apart. It's so satisfying to do these little things for the boys. I am not sure why, but it is. 
Another thing that happened was that Levon wanted me to draw a picture of a front end loader. Of course. I can't draw a stick figure dog so I looked up "front end loader" on Google to get something I could try and copy and got this image:

Oh my dear Lord. He did not quit talking about getting one of these for the entire remainder of his visit. It's only three hundred dollars. I tried to explain to Levon that it cost too much money and that no, he was not going to get one, and he said, "But that boy has one!"
Try to explain advertising and child models to a three-year old. Just try. 
He told his mama and daddy about it when they got here to pick them up and his mama told him that it was too expensive but she'd keep her eye out for a used one. I told him that I'd look at the dump. All this served to do was to inspire him to remind us every forty-five seconds that Mama was going to keep her eye out and I was going to look at the dump. 
Bless his beautiful, front-end loader heart. 

While Jessie and Vergil were here, a major/minor project was completed. The Camaro is now off the trailer and safely in the garage! This required a lot of figuring and planning and a little doing. It was quite exciting. I love watching Vergil and Mr. Moon work together. Their brains think alike in many ways and I can see the mind-meld as they communicate in unfinished three word phrases. Not only were the boys vastly interested, the chickens were too. The boys had to stay in the back of the truck for safety but the chickens got to roam about as they pleased. 

No cables snapped, the car did not fall off the trailer, and no chickens were harmed in the unloading of the car. 

And so today has been a good day of accomplishment and merriment, pancakes and stuffed animal ornamentation and surgery. Oh! And both Mr. Moon and I received patented rain storm massages. 

Mr. Moon also discovered that having August walk on his back is amazing. I shall try to convince the child to take a stroll on my back at some point. 

When they left, the boys got M&M's and August even wanted a kiss. This is huge. 
A good Sunday. And tomorrow, hopefully, we shall welcome the gas guy into our house and all will go well and I will cook our supper on the Thermonster as one of you thought the brand name said. 
I HOPE it's a monster. That I can tame and sooth into doing my will with my wiles and talents. Haha! 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Party Time At Mer and Bop's

 Last night we had an excellent martini-time chat with Lon and Lis, catching up on stuff, discussing world events, solving world problems, philosophizing and so forth. At one point, Lon said, "Can I ask y'all a question?" 
"Of course," we said. 
"Have your expectations about what you can accomplish each day changed since the pandemic?"
Oh. God. Yes. 
We agreed that if we get one thing accomplished we feel as if it's been a successful day.

See that sock up there? That was my accomplishment today. I darned a hole in it. I've had a darning egg for many years but never actually used it and had to watch a YouTube video on how to darn and I didn't have actual darning thread (I used cotton embroidery thread) and that sock is so thick and wooly that it was like trying to mend a hole in a sheep, but I enjoyed it. 

Mr. Moon got some potatoes planted and I did a little weeding. He also did some car business. Right now he's doing this.

The boyos are spending the night and just got dropped off. They are thrilled. Jessie got Levon a folding mat bed just like August's and he's excited. They'll both be sleeping in Mer and Bop's room and it will be a cozy night. I hope Levon sleeps past five. Jessie has called a moratorium on the no-gluten/no-dairy thing so we can have pancakes in the morning. Hurray! 

And now I better get in there and make spaghetti. On my old stove. No gas guy today. I suppose this is good because I've now had time to go through the owner's manual. The model we got is so simple that there's really not that much to know. Here are the only two display lights on the whole thing. 

Also note the toggle switch to turn the oven light on. 
I do still need to figure out the difference between "roast" and "bake." 

I suppose that eventually I will. 

Y'all be cozy tonight too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 19, 2021

Well, the stove is still sitting in the hallway, taped and packaged and sealed. By the time Mr. Moon called the gas guy to tell him that we were ready, it was too late to schedule us for today. I do not know if he works on Saturdays so it may still be a few more days at least. 


It's okay. It's all fine. It's better than fine. We finally got that damn range hood figured out and installed. That took eons. And the sucker is heavy. Mr. Moon had to cut a little piece of metal to go in it, carve out some of the cabinet it butted up against, tape down wires, and a lot of other stuff. We finally figured out how to fit it in but then it had to be held there so that he could attach it with screws. I suggested calling our neighbor to see if he'd lend us his arms but my husband figured out a way to prop the back of it up with a board and I could hold up the front so that he could get the screws in. 
Success! Finally! And then he hooked up all the electric stuff- the lights and the fan, and we are good to go. The only hitch now is that there is a little dent in the front where one of us (not me, thank god) must have banged it but it is easily covered up with a Frida magnet which I probably would have put up there anyway. 
Unlike my old range hood, this one's fan actually has sucking power. There are three speeds, all of which could probably pull my hair out of its barrette. One can use either one light or two and with both of them, I could perform surgery underneath if I knew how to perform surgery.
Which I do not. 
Anyway, the kitchen is back in order, the old stove is in its nook so that I don't have to cook supper tonight in the middle of the kitchen like I did last night and I am grateful for it all. I'm even grateful for the experience of helping my husband install that range hood. It was frustrating and difficult but we did it together and I tried to be a good helper. We never lost patience with each other, we laughed a lot. 
And we did it. And of course, mostly he did it and once again I am amazed at his knowledge and skills when it comes to things like carpentry and electrical stuff. 
He's a gem. 

Steve Reed asked me to post a picture of the little religious icon I found under the stove when we pulled it out and here it is.

I don't even have the words to express how sad I find it that Catholics refer to their goddess as she who was "conceived without sin." As if love-making is sin. 
Ah well. I'm not here to discuss religion tonight but here's a post where I wrote about the subject eleven years ago. 

It's martinis and clean sheets night, y'all. At least here in Lloyd. 

Happy Friday.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Is That A Beautiful Stove Or What?

The stove is in the house! 
Okay. So it's in the hallway. It is only feet away from the kitchen! Feet, I tell you! The range hood has been delivered and Mr. Moon is working on that and the backsplash now. He ordered a piece of stainless steel to go behind the stove and despite careful instructions as to the dimensions, it was cut wrong and he had to get another done and go to town to pick that up. Nothing goes perfectly in these situations and everything takes longer than it should. And that is just the way it is. My house feels topsy turvy with boxes and packing material spilling out all the way to the dining room and my kitchen certainly is but I'm almost certain that eventually, it will all be back to normal or rather, a new normal with that beautiful new stove. 

Mr. Moon had to pull the old stove out of its nook to work on the backsplash and hood. I wasn't completely horrified to see what was there. 

I sort of love that old linoleum. Anyway, I cleaned it all up and in my efforts found a few pieces of cat food, two vitamins, a bead, an M&M, two seashells, a piece of bacon, and one dead roach. Also a religious icon that I do not remember getting. No mice shit. No rat shit. So, not bad. Not bad at all. I cleaned the wall with Kaboom! which is probably incredibly toxic but it works like magic. The wall looks brand new at this point with hardly any effort. I cleaned the floor with Fabuloso and vinegar, of course, and all will be ready for the new cooking beast. As Mr. Moon pulled out the old stove he said, "I just can't figure out how that Thermador can weight six hundred pounds while this one only weighs fifty."
It may be made of lead and bricks. I don't know. 
Tomorrow looks to be ignition day. A guy from the gas company is coming by to convert the stove from propane to natural gas and he'll hook it all up and make sure everything's running. 
Should I soak my pintos tonight? 

Last night when I took my shower I vowed to try and do something about the mildew on the floor in there and so I tackled that today. Speaking of magic potents, I have found nothing that works on mildew quite like toilet bowl gel cleaner with bleach. I've mentioned this before. So I applied that stuff to the mildew and let it sit for about an hour and then scrubbed. It's not exactly perfectly white nor will ever be but it sure does look better. If you try this at home, you may want to wear gloves, which I did not, because now my hands reek of bleach. They sure are clean though!

Raining, raining, raining. This morning, before it started up again, the air was so wet that every window of my house was made opaque due to condensation from the house being cooler than it was outside. And actually, even the walls of the house are still damp. Just the way it is. 

I'm sure that we've all seen Ted Cruz on his way to and from Cancun. Haha! What a shithead. How to make friends and influence people. Leave everyone in your state behind with no power or water or food on the grocery shelves and quite literally freezing to death to just take a teeny-tiny little jaunt down to the Mexican Caribbean. Why not? I love how he's saying now that he just went down to be a "good dad" to make sure his family got there safely and now he's on his way home. 
As if the fact that since your daughter can't attend school due to the historically horrific weather, you and your wife decided to take her and some friends down to where it's warm and sunny while you're telling people to stay off the roads and stay home and "hug your children" isn't going to make people hate you even more than you already do. 

I do not think he's making good choices. 

Mr. Moon says he should be finished with his project around midnight. 
Every few minutes he calls me to come in and hold something. He's got a bad shoulder and I've got a bad wrist but by golly, we're going to get this done! 

Check in tomorrow to see how we're coming along with it all. 
If you want to. Only if you want to. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Adventures In Grand Childrening

The young men arrived this morning ready for adventure and excitement and possible TV watching and their grandmother made them pose with a chicken on their heads. I know someone gave me that funny, flat little hen but I can't remember who. She always sat on the range hood and when Mr. Moon took it out last Sunday, I removed her and threw her in the wash for a good cleaning. 
She needed it as would anything that sits that close to a stove top for a long time. 
And let me assure you that although Levon looks a bit sad in that picture, he was just holding very...very... still so that the chicken would stay perched. 

I made oatmeal for everyone with raisins and apples. The boys had already had a breakfast or two but they happily ate a bowl of the gluey goop. 
I can't stand oatmeal. I used to love it and I think I ate way too much of it over the years and now I would just rather not. Thank you, though. I do manage to get a bowl down every now and then but today was not one of those days. And please don't tell me to try the Scotch long-cooking oats or to add this or that to the oatmeal to make it more, uh, edible, because I've tried everything. 
Trust me. 

There was a lot of fun to be had this morning. Mostly with Boppy. Some TV watching. Then out to the yard where the sky was blue and the air was crispy, to pick up sticks. August operated the grabber and Levon pulled the cart. They make an excellent team. Mr. Moon and I helped without the aid of a grabber and we got a nice cartful to put on the burn pile. Then it was time to get out the metal detector. Or, as Levon called it, the metal protector. 
Either way it had to be put together. 

How I love all their hands, their grandfather's so big and theirs still so small but so capable. Levon's hands are pudgy little boy hands and August's hands are, and have been since he was born, slender and rather elegant. One of the things I respect most about these guys is how they listen and follow directions. When it came time to put the batteries in, Mr. Moon showed them how to do it and instead of yelling, "Let me, let me! I know how!" August watched quietly and carefully and when Boppy said, "Okay, you do this one," he was able to do it perfectly. And Levon is so patient with the process. He knows that his time will come. 
They didn't find anything today while detecting but that was okay. They had a good time. They came in and I gave the boys some bowls of soy yogurt with strawberries cut up in it which they loved, and I cooked their dairy-free, gluten-free pizza and they got to watch more TV while they ate it. While the pizza was cooking, we read a few books. 
And then it was time to go. Mr. Moon had traded cars with Jessie so that she could run her errands in my car and he could take the boys into town in her car so that there was no moving of the car seats which is a real challenge and chore. 

It was so quiet after they left and I finally made myself go back out and pull up the rest of that probably-turmeric. It was even harder this time because it was all around the bananas, choking them. And this was a bigger clump of it but I finished it up. 

Doesn't look very impressive, does it? But the cart is filled with prunings of the plants and that black yard bag is filled with roots. So I got that part done and it won't be long before the bananas come back and I'll be planting whatever it is that I plant in that little space. I'm not sure yet what that will be. My next yard chore is definitely to get the potatoes and peas into the ground. It is time. I just need to consult with Farmer Moon to get his thoughts on where and how to plant. He has his theories and I have mine...
It's all a learning process, even after all these years. 

The misery and deaths caused by the winter storms and power outages have not abated and I cannot possibly imagine what it's like to be quite literally powerless in that situation. When I lived in Denver I constantly wondered what people would do in the frigid cold if all the power went out. I looked around at the lack of trees and thought, "There isn't even any wood to burn."
It's horrifying and more storms to come. 
Meanwhile here in North Florida, the temperatures are mild. We are probably going to start getting more rain tonight through tomorrow but that's nothing. More water in the aquifer. 

I have been informed by my husband that no, tomorrow is NOT the day the stove will be hooked up. It's merely the day the stove is going to be moved into the house. I am not sure where it's going to be stashed but we'll figure it out. The actual installation requires a backsplash made of stainless steel, the range hood, and the conversion of the system from one sort of gas to another. This must all be coordinated like a rocket launch and it ain't happening tomorrow. 
Oh well. Life will certainly go on. Pinto beans and cornbread will be eaten eventually. 

Today August declared that his grandfather should be called "Humongous." This amused me to no end. I am just grateful that he did not say the same to me. 
I sure do love those boys. And their grandfather, Mr. Humongous. 

Stay warm, people. Stay warm, stay safe, stay sane. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Poked, Prodded, And Another P Word That I Won't Say In Order To Preserve Proper Sensibilities

Today turned from all-gray to all-blue and what a joy that is. The temperature has been dropping all day though, and it's going to get down in the low thirties tonight. Still- far from what so much of the country is experiencing. 

I drove into town this morning after ingesting my 32 ounces of water and the whole experience was fine and went quickly which did not mean that I didn't have a bit of a panic attack but I survived. The tech was the same lady and she was just as nice this time as she was the last. At this point in my life I do not have a great deal of modesty left but it's better to feel comfortable with the person one is getting such an exam from than not. The anxiety I had was far more about the simple fact of being out in the world than it was about the procedure itself. 
Does that make sense?

After it was over I even thought about driving to a thrift store. I mean- I'm pretty safe at this point, I think, and of course I'd wear a mask but I just couldn't handle it. I wanted to get done what I had to get done and get home. Will I ever be able to go out in public again and have it be a pleasant experience? I am starting to wonder. Am I broken? I always used to joke that I'm not agoraphobic, I just love my house and yard. It wasn't really that funny then and it's even less so now.
But I did do a quick Costco run and then Publix which of course took forever. I bought everything from tortillas to socks to strawberries to a meat thermometer. I bought blue-cheese stuffed olives and I bought a gluten-free, dairy-free pizza for the boys who are coming over tomorrow. Jessie's trying to figure out why August has continual stuffed up sinuses and so she's trying a dietary change. I bought asparagus and I bought chicken bosoms (as my Sue used to say). Hell, I bought hot dogs!
There's a story behind that. A very short one. I asked Mr. Moon this morning on my way out the door what he wanted for supper. 
"Hot dogs?" he said/asked. We NEVER eat hotdogs but what the hell? I got some of the expensive ones with no nitrates, etc., and I hope they're good. I bought hot dog buns. I bought some of that nasty canned hot dog chili. And on top of all of that, I cut one of my cabbages to make cole slaw.

It hurt my heart to do it but I have waited too long to cut cabbages too many times, only to find them bug-laced and slug-infested. I do believe that this one is a perfect cabbage and I will try to make the best coleslaw ever made to honor it. 

So yes, August and Levon are coming over tomorrow. Jessie needs to do shopping and I'm sure she needs some time to herself and I need to see those boys. I also need to see Lily and her kids and I think it'll be okay to have them over soon to visit INSIDE the house. I am yearning for that. The weather has been so bad that we haven't been able to have our outdoor visits. It'll be so sweet to let them run around in my house and find their favorite toys and books and sit in the kitchen and eat Mermer snacks. And I am going to hug them and hug them and hug them. Sounds like heaven to me. 

And on Thursday, the guy is coming to install my stove. I honestly can't believe that's going to happen. But I think it is. I hope it is. I hope that hauling a six hundred pound stove from the garage to the house is even possible. I hope that no one is injured. I hope that when they pull the old stove away from the wall I don't die of shame when we see what's behind there. 
I hope that I cook many beautiful meals on that stove. My traditional first meal in a new place or on a new stove is a pot of pinto beans and rice with cornbread. I have a bag of pintos in the cabinet at the ready and a jug of buttermilk in the refrigerator to make cornbread. 

What a day. So much excitement. So much to look forward to. 
Life in Lloyd. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 15, 2021

When We Are Faced With The Primeval

That is the Buddha who sits in front of the house that burned. When I walked past it today I decided to take its picture. There was no one there to watch me do it, no one's privacy I was invading. Just ashes. And Buddha. 

It's wild here in Lloyd this evening. It's just started raining again and we are having gusts of wind and flashes of lightening. Branches are  occasionally falling with a thud, sending a reflexive shock through my body, a straightening of the spine for sure. And to add to the the excitement, the frogs are singing frantically, as if to whip themselves into a frenzy. I would love to share a tiny video but for whatever reason, I can't seem to transfer video to YouTube anymore which is how I always got them here before. I just need to research that a bit. 

I got a text this morning from the place where I go to get all of my diagnostic testing that I have an appointment tomorrow for an ultra-sound of my uterus. Good thing they texted me because although I had a vague memory of being told that I needed to get one in February, I was clueless about exactly when in February. It's just a follow-up since they changed my hormones. I am certainly not looking forward to this appointment but I'm not worried about it. And although of course I will be masked, I won't feel nearly as much anxiety about catching the virus in the waiting area, having had both of my vaccines with a good eleven or so days since the second one. I wonder how that will feel. I hope I get the same tech I got last time. She was so professional and thoughtful, too. You have to drink 32 ounces (i.e., a quart) of water an hour before the appointment time and HOLD IT and as soon as I'd gotten the part of the exam where my bladder had to be full, the tech told me I could go pee which was a relief. 
Oh, the joys of being a woman! 
So I'll be heading to town tomorrow morning and might as well stop off at Publix while I'm there and get the things on my list. 
That'll be a fun day, right?

Today has been a domestic day. I walked and did laundry, took the trash and went to the post office. I've been working on supper on and off most of the afternoon. I've got a venison pot roast in the oven with carrots and onions, potatoes and green beans. And garlic. Lots of garlic. Venison is so lean that a roast has to be cooked for hours and hours to render it into tenderness. It's strange to think that in a few days I might be cooking on (and in) a new stove. I wonder if I will fall in love with it. I hope so. For what we're paying for it, it should be extremely love-worthy. One just never knows, though. The one experience I've had with a high-end stove was certainly a disappointment, as I've said before. 
We shall see. And of course, this is all so embarrassingly a first-world situation. 
I picked a beautiful basketful of greens for salads before the rain started and washed them four times. They are now wrapped in a dishtowel in the refrigerator and I'll put what I don't use tonight in a plastic bag for the next salads. Mr. Moon and I swoon a bit every night when we eat those salads and we always talk about how this is our favorite time of the year as pertains to the garden. Sometimes I make all vegetable salads and sometimes I make greens-and-fruit salads and they are all perfectly perfect. Sometimes I toast pine nuts or sesame seeds or pecans to throw in but however I make them I give them my full respect and attention because the greens deserve that. 

Within the next day or two we will be planting the potatoes and sugar snap peas. I hope that this year we can figure out how to save some of the peas from the marauding chickens who love those sweet pods as much as we do. Actually, they love the vines as well. Chickens know what's good. 

Suddenly, the wind has died down, the rain is letting up, and the sky has gone from dark gray to a sort of greenish-yellow, silver gray. Although it's almost seventy degrees now, it is supposed to drop down to 39 tonight which is quite tropical compared to what most of the country is experiencing. This storm we've just had came from the south while all of the cold is coming, quite obviously, from the north. This post, from our Ellen, is putting a whole lot of things in perspective for me. We usually get the weather that they get two days later but in this case, it doesn't look like we will. I don't know what I'd do if we were faced with temperatures in the low teens. I truly do not. 

It's hard to keep up with life these days on every level. Or at least I find that to be true. I guess we just hold on and try to ride the waves. 
And pray for no tsunamis, casting our spells and creating our charms as best we can.  

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Heart Day

I slept until ten o'clock this morning which is unheard of but I did and I don't feel guilty. I was dreaming that I was waiting tables in a restaurant with three stories, stairways everywhere. The owner/chef was so very nice and she gave me cocaine, even though I did not want it. Just a little bit. She also fed me before service started which was when the real problems began.
I had no idea of where anything was or how anything worked. May was working there and other sweet people but everyone seemed to assume that I could figure everything out on my own. I couldn't! May had to show me where to get ice water. I had a table of five older ladies who finally lost patience with me when I took forever to get back to the table with their receipts and change. I had no idea how to run a credit card! I promised a table of people who were obviously sick and tired of reading their menus that I would be back to check on them in a minute. 
Check on them? They didn't even have their beverages!

Thank goodness I don't have to support myself by being a server. I've done it before and it's one of the hardest jobs on earth. A good, professional server is a skilled worker and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Throw in the miles you have to walk in a shift, the heavy trays, the way people treat you, the fact that you get blamed for everything the kitchen doesn't get right, and it's a wonder that anyone does it. And if you don't have a mind and memory like a steel trap you are fucked. 
Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE should have to wait tables at some point in their lives. I think about all of the servers working today for Valentine's and I feel as if I should go light a candle for them. First of all, the people they're waiting on are, by definition, quite possibly assholes because...covid.
Secondly, everyone wants and feels they deserve a romantic and magical experience on Valentine's and if they don't get it, guess who they're going to blame?

This is really not what I came here to talk about today. 

I have no idea what I came here to talk about today.

So yes, it's Valentine's Day. A day that we somehow always seem to spend with Lon and Lis which is always wonderful. We share Sweetheart's Day so happily with them. So many sweet memories. Lis and I talked on the phone this morning and giggled at some of them. It's so hard to believe that it's been a year since we've seen those beloved people. That was our last outing before the pandemic. 


Today was different, of course. 
It's been raining and chilly and still eternally grey. I found a little heart with a hand-written note on it beside my coffee cup when I did finally get up. Mr. Moon told me that he'd been checking on me to see if I was still breathing. I made us a fine breakfast and then spent hours on the crossword and he took out the old exhaust fan above the stove because believe it or not, my new stove may possibly get installed this coming week. When I could take my kitchen back, I made him a chocolate cake in heart-shaped pans. I don't really bake sweets very much anymore but I wanted to do that, at least, for my love. He said he wanted "fluffy" chocolate icing on it and I did my best. He sliced the layers in half so that there are four layers and I made enough of the hopefully fluffy-enough frosting to make me laugh as I piled it on the cake. As always, my cake looks like a child made it. I first started making cakes when I was a child and I really haven't progressed much.

"If you want presentation," I told my man, "Hire Lis Williamson."
And it's true. 

I'm rather amazed that the layers haven't all slid apart. 

Funny how when you've been married as long as we have, you can still do things that let your love know you love them. You just do things like take out range hoods instead of buying jewelry. Probably if you'd told me that even ten years ago I might have rolled my eyes so hard they threatened to fall out of my head but now it makes perfect sense. 
There are all sorts of lovers' gifts and we have given some nice ones to each other today. The beginning of stove replacement, a very chocolatey cake, and other things. 

I do not need more jewelry but I can never get too much love. 

Sweetness to all of you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Weather Report

A friend sent me a picture of what appeared to be a snowy enchanted forest this morning. She lives just about as far from where I live as anyone can and still be in the continental United States. So I sent her a picture of what my yard looked like at that moment. 
Not very enchanted, is it? Well, the cardinal has scarlet magic. And the chickens have their own pragmatic voodoo but overall, it's just a gray, wet, rainy day in North Florida. 

I haven't been able to figure out my mood today. I do not feel especially depressed. Maybe a little. And maybe a tiny bit anxious. Some sadness but not about anything in particular. Perhaps it was the dream I woke up from this morning. Lately when I've dreamed of my mother, she has become a more glamorous character than she ever was in real life. Beautiful hair and lovely figure and very fine clothes. Somehow there is a storyline wherein she is married to a man who is and who is not my stepfather. I could probably sort this all out if I really thought about it. But they travel a lot, my mother and this man, and they are spending vats of money I didn't know she had. Always her money, not his. And I get so angry at her, whether for all of this expensive galavanting or because she appears to be so young and carefree or because her house has become filled with trash and items hoarded by the man, I do not know. 
Perhaps all of that. 
I know I cannot stand the man. I abhor him. And I tell her that. 
In this morning's dream we were at a family reunion of sorts. My cousins and my uncles (her brothers) were there and in the presence of all of them she told me, "I knew." 
"You knew what?" I asked her.
"I knew he was abusing you."

I was stunned. Not because she had known, but because she had admitted it. 

Well. Once again- no need to call Freud. 

So yes, that could be the reason I have been in such a strange mood and then I spent the entire day listening to the tying up of the impeachment trial and then the vote and although it was exactly what I had expected, I was still flattened. Perhaps because there is a part of me which does still believe in magic, in fairness, in justice. 
In my country. 
Silly me. Grow up, little girl. Grow up. 
And there is another part of me which thinks I probably wasted an entire day listening to it all, hoping for a different outcome despite knowing there would not be one. I did work on August's blanket but that too, is rather depressing. My embroidery looks like a five year old child did it. And as I hold the blanket and push the needle in and out, my left wrist hurts and I am reminded of my age and of all the injuries that have befallen me. There are lumps and knobs in my joints and knuckles now that amuse and astound me, both.  
My ribs ached this morning when I woke up. I am learning that rainy days will do that. 

And this is where I turn and say, "But. However. And yet."
And list all of the ways that I am so very, very lucky and so very, very blessed. 
And I am and I know it and I am grateful. 
But some days you just have to sit with the feelings and fullness of it all. To let it pierce the armor of blessings and goodness and gifts and feel it. To gently rock your own heart in your own arms and then tenderly replace it in your chest when it is quieted. 

The rain is falling gently, gently. It is not cold, it is not warm. It is not day, it is not yet night. I am not especially happy nor am I deeply unhappy. I am certainly not feeling joyful but I am not overly sad. I am at once content and itchy with discontent. I am blessed but I am in no way special. 

I am a human being. I am a woman in her sixties watching and noting with sometimes dispassionate observance of how she is slowly becoming old. I am aware that the same soul which inhabited me when I was a child inhabits me still. I am a woman whose granddaughter's soul is the same one which will live within her when she is my age. 

As I write this there is another (the same?) male cardinal on the feeder, taking his evening meal in the drizzle. 

This is life in Lloyd tonight. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 12, 2021

My Sweetheart Is Home

Well, it's Friday again. The sheets are clean, the bed is made, martini glasses are in the freezer and the man is home. 
He made it! Camero in tow, he is well, I am glad. 

The picture above is one I took on my walk today. I love the symmetry of the doors and flowers and hearts and wreaths and then that absolutely random Smirnoff box. It is color coordinated. Somebody dropped off something, I assume. 
I did not want to take a walk AT ALL. I wasn't in the mood. It was humid and almost misting rain, it was warm again. But, I knew if I didn't I'd regret it all day and also, I wanted to drop off some eggs at No Man Lord's house. I have so many eggs right now and I think he probably appreciates them. I mean, he did ask me for some hens. 
So I walked down there and left the eggs on a cinder block in his yard because there was no sign of him which was fine because he isn't a big talker. To me, at least. Then I walked down to the county line and on my way back, the eggs had moved, someone was unloading some things from a truck and another guy pulled up right as I was passing. There's a lot going on at No Man Lord's house some days. People bring him things and he sells them. Or uses them. Or whatever. 

I talked over an hour to one of my oldest friends on the phone today. Oh, how we laughed! We've known each other since 6th grade and we've kept in touch all that time. It's a joy. She's a joy. She's been married to the same man even longer than I've been married and she has two grown children, three grandchildren. We have a lot to talk about. I love that woman. 

For the rest of the day I just did little piddly stuff around here. I watered the plants inside. 

This is in the mudroom where I have a group of baby plants and plants too special for me to trust outside in the winter. That little nook cheers me every time I walk by it which is approximately forty-seven times a day. It's not only the mudroom but also now the laundry room so I spend time there. 

The tea olive is blooming again and I am intoxicated every time I walk outside. 

I've long since run out of words to describe their fragrance. Like apricots and heaven. That's as close as I can come to any sort of description and it does not do them justice. 

I had a feeling that my trillium was probably up and look!

Those are plants that I am ever so glad that someone planted here. 
Unlike most of the rest of them. 
I wonder if I should try and separate those five at the top and spread the love around a little? I should research that. I'd hate to kill them. 

My camellias are still going strong although the Pink Perfections are slowing way down. I remain completely enamored with picking them and putting them in vases. 

I have a memory of being at Posey's once which involves camellias. Such a tender memory. Posey's was a joint on the St. Mark's river which served oysters, boiled shrimp, smoked mullet, and beer. There was hot sauce, cocktail sauce, and saltine crackers. That was the menu. And it was hugely popular. The building it was in tilted and swayed and threatened to fall into the river but it drew crowds, especially on the weekends and you might find yourself sitting near FSU professors and students, local fisher folks, bikers, Tallahassee la-di-dahs, and well, people like me. Hippies. My ex-husband I used to go down there frequently when Hank and May were little and Mrs. Posey even crocheted them little shawls. The camellia memory comes from a time when Mr. Posey had cancer and the word had gotten out and it was known that he was going to die. So we had gone down there one weekday and there was hardly anyone there but us, and Mr. Posey came in with a huge armful of camellias. He so lovingly laid them out to show his wife, naming each one, his face illuminated with their beauty. 
I will never forget that. 
He did die soon thereafter. And Posey's got flooded and half washed away in a hurricane many years later and it's naught but a memory now. 

I suppose I'll end here. Except for this. I just can't stop. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Follow Me For More Household Tips

That, my friends, is how I get seeds into the bird feeder. Although those tongs are ludicrously long, I can still barely reach the platform where the seeds need to go with them. I bought those tongs because I wanted new tongs and they were marked down at Publix and I never would have chosen to buy such long tongs (Long Tongs would be a good band name, don't you think?) but I have used them to reach things on high shelves far more than I have used them for actual tonging purposes. My children and grandchildren laugh at me when I do this but I am used to being a source of amusement for them. I do have a step ladder but why bother with that when I can just reach for my handy long tongs and grab that oatmeal right off the shelf with them? 

Needs must, as our beloved Brit friends say. Or at least Brit Lit would have me believe they do. Do y'all really say that? I hope so. It sounds so cheerful and self-reliant. 

Yesterday I had so much energy and got so much done. I was amazed at the end of the day how good I felt after all the physical activity I'd done. The little health widget on my phone said that I had taken well over 10,000 steps and I believed it. I hardly stopped moving all day. I was about to google, "Does the covid vaccine make people feel great?" I felt years younger than I have been feeling lately. 
It was wonderful!
So. You know what happened today.
I haven't felt bad or particularly tired but I sure haven't matched yesterday's activity level. The only walk I took was to the post office. I cleaned the hen house and put the poopy hay on some roses that never really bloom anyway. I noticed that the mulberry tree is getting the tiniest green tips on its branches. It will be busting out leaves before I know it. I finally attacked part of the little garden bed beside the kitchen where the bananas grow and where we got the cherry laurel cut down. In theory, I am going to make an herb and flower garden there, now that it will get more light. Of course there are things growing in the bed that are...invasive. Didn't see that coming, did you? I have two big patches of what may be turmeric growing and they just looked horrendous. I have no memory whatsoever of planting these things, whatever they are, and most of the leaves got frozen and turned brown and dry and I've been meaning to do something about them for quite awhile so today I got out my pruners and shovel and attacked one of the clots of them, listening to the impeachment trial via my phone and ear pods the whole time. 
Now a lot of the things I do aren't really that strenuous. Trimming things, pulling weeds in the garden, cleaning out the hen house, planting vegetables. They're just basically leisurely acts that don't require a lot of physical strength or activity. But digging up thickly rooted plants is not in that category. I would dig for awhile and then get down on my knees and pull and yank and then get up and dig some more. The roots on this plant don't go down too far but they are dense and don't want to give up their dirt home. 

I had to take several breaks and here's Miss Alice scratching about to see what I've uncovered while I was taking one of them. I finally got that clump done, dumped the dead trimmings over beside the garage where we leave such things, and put the roots in bags to do something else with because if I put them anywhere near the ground, they'll just take root and take off and I'd have the same problem, just in a different place. 
Don't ask me how I know this. 
There's a whole other bunch of them over where the bananas are growing but I just couldn't face that today. I came in and took a shower and settled on the couch and tried to find something on Netflix to watch and after about half an hour of that (I wish that was hyperbole but it's not) I gave up. 
I have changed clothes four times today. Again- no exaggeration. It was coolish when I got up and so I dressed for that. When I went to the post office I received a pair of overalls that I'd ordered from the Gap and I brought them home and tried them on and I have no idea whose body they were made for. Perhaps an orangutan's. However, because they make it almost impossible to send anything back and because they were on major sale, I just kept them on and changed to a tank top to work outside in. After my shower I changed into a different pair of overalls and a different tank top and now it is getting cooler and so I am wearing the original pair of overalls I put on this morning and a shirt with sleeves. 
Do you do this? I know I do it because of the way the temperature here can vary from morning to afternoon to evening, especially this time of year, and because my activities vary as well. God knows I don't want to wear my GOOD overalls to do yard work in. 

I just talked to Mr. Moon. He's on his way home but still in Louisiana and will stop for the night soon. It was good to talk to him and it will be even better to see him tomorrow. He has his Camaro and he's a happy man. 

The frogs are screaming. I think I'm going to go make some risotto, just because I can. I believe I still have enough energy to do some intense stirring. Who knows? I may sleep until noon tomorrow.
I doubt it. 

Love...Ms. Moon