Thursday, April 29, 2021

I Got The Beet(s)

What in god's name is that? a reasonable person might ask. 
Here's a hint- you would not study those in anatomy class. 
One thing that The Asshole, aka the stepfather, used to make was pickled eggs with pickled beets. And I always loved them. I loved them so much that their memory is not tainted by the person who made them. He was raised dirt poor. And I mean DIRT poor. He grew up in a citrus grove and if my mother's family was barely affected by the depression, his was hit hard. Growing fruit in Florida didn't make anyone rich except for a few huge grove owners. His family did anything they could to stretch food and one of the things they did was to buy the cheapest past-the-dates white bread they could find and to eat it with everything. To this day, I can just see that man sitting at the head of the table, putting whatever my mother had made between slices of white bread. It was nauseating. Soda crackers were another cheap stretcher. He forced us to crumble up handfuls of the things to put in our canned chili or soup. FORCED US. 
And this was the worst- in our pantry there was always at least one can of pig brains. What? You didn't know they sell canned pig brains? Well, they may not anymore. I don't know. But I will tell you that coming home at night stoned as hell and looking for something for the munchies and finding cans of pig brains in the cabinet is something else I will never forget. 
He'd scramble them into eggs and eat them with gusto. Thank heavens he did not force us to eat them. There was no fucking way. He did make me finish my cooked cabbage once and at that time in my life, I hated the stuff. I was massively pleased to vomit it up at the table. 
I did love those pickled beet eggs. 
We've got so many eggs right now and I have a few jars of beets that I pickled, uh, years ago. Not THAT many. They're still safe to eat although the texture of the beets is not great but I decided to do an experiment today and see if I could recreate this delicacy. 
The hard part was peeling that many eggs. Y'all, I am sixty-six years old and I think I have finally figured out how to best get the shell and membrane off a boiled egg. I put my eggs in water, bring it to a boil, turn it off and let them sit for at least ten minutes. And then I tap a gentle crack into each egg and THEN I put two at a time, although you could just do one or even three if you wanted, into a jar like a mason jar, cover with water, put a lid on the jar, and shake it all up for about 10-20 seconds. Or something like that. 
And then the peel comes off so easily. 

So I did all that and put my peeled eggs in quart jars, heated up my jar of pickled beets and added some more vinegar and sugar and when it boiled and the sugar was dissolved, I poured it over the eggs in the jar. They are now in the refrigerator, hopefully becoming pickled and a beautiful shade of purply pink. 

I will now interrupt our regular programming to tell you that just a few moments ago I got a call from Lily who had heard from her best friend Kelly, that there was a murderer on the loose in Lloyd and that she needed to tell us. 
We are hearing a lot of sirens and had figured there was a big wreck on the interstate which is only a mile away. This happens far too frequently. "Murderer on the loose" is not something we encounter around here too often. Here's a news blip I found:

Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 5:32 PM, Apr 29, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Florida Highway Patrol is pursuing a possible homicide suspect on I-10 eastbound off of mile marker 221 south.

Troopers say the suspect jumped out of their car and into the woods, with troopers then pursuing them.

FHP confirmed to ABC 27 that it is unknown where the pursuit began, but that it crossed from Leon County into Jefferson County.

K9 units are now on scene to assist troopers in searching for the suspect.

This is a developing story. Stay with ABC 27 for updates.


Well, if someone comes to the door and asks to be hidden, I will tell them no, and send them away. 

I did my weekly Publix/Costco run today and now have everything we could possibly want or need for the next month. 
Except of course, that won't be true and I will no doubt have to start another list as soon as this evening. 

I am exhausted. I knew I would be and bought a street tacos kit at the Costco which will be delightful and I will not be cooking although I think I will make a mango salsa to go with. 

And now a neighbor just called to tell me about the escaped homicide suspect. 

I'll let you know tomorrow if they catch him. I keep referring to the person as "him" although the article uses the pronoun "they" so I could be assuming that it's a man when it's not. 
I'll let you know about that too. 


Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Kelly has reported to Lily who reported to me that the suspect has been apprehended. I trust Kelly who obviously has some kind of insider information of which I know nothing about. We can sleep peacefully tonight. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Chitter Chat

I picked those on my walk yesterday. Helmet flower, a type of scullcap. They look like tiny orchids to me. Such a gorgeous color. I guess it is the season of purples and lavenders. 

Speaking of purple, Jessie and the boys came over today and the first thing we did was pick more mulberries. For an experiment we tried putting a sheet on the ground and shaking the branches. 

This was fun enough but we realized that a lot of the unripe berries fell as well as the ripe ones and also, that it's probably easier to pick the berries from the branches rather than getting down on our knees to pick them off the sheet. We ended up with almost two gallons that I sent home with Jessie. I'm about mulberried out for the moment. 

Boppy wasn't here so the boys were disappointed but they made do with their mom and Mer. It was a happy, casual visit and I got to read the boys some books, one a new one that I'd gotten out of the little give-one, take-one library box a few houses down. I hadn't even read it when I read it to the boys and we ended up enjoying it quite a bit. 

I realize that I reread the same books over and over to the children and they like that and I do too but it's nice to have a new story now and then. 
"That was really good!" I said when we finished it. 
"Read it again!" August said. 
I told him that we would, but not right then. He was okay with that. As I read I sometimes ask the boys if they know what a certain word means and we discuss that. Today the word "scold" was used but I knew that August already knew what that one meant. Last week when they were here and we were all sitting on the back porch steps we were discussing something- I don't remember what- but the subject of spanking came up. 
"Oh, August," Jessie said. "You've had so many spanks in your life."
"No," he said, "I haven't but I have had a lot of scolds."

After they left today, I found this on the back porch.

I have no idea what that was about. 

We're getting company this weekend! To protect privacy, I shall not name the beloveds who are coming although I am sure most of you could guess. So of course I want to get a few things in order. Mostly that means washing sheets and quilts and so forth which isn't really work. So I did a lot of that and I also...wait for it...double-swept and double-mopped the kitchen, pantry, and bathroom! Whoo hoo! All throughout Mr. Moon's carpentry work I kept ignoring the floors in that area as he was tracking in everything and who cared anyway? But today I really did take a good look at the situation and got out the broom, the dustpan (actually, I do sweep the kitchen about three times, at least, every day), the mop and bucket, the white vinegar and Fabuloso. 
Oh, you know my house smells good! 
By the time our company gets here you won't be able to tell that I've done it but I will know and feel a little bit better. 

And last night I kept fretting and fretting about the pantry situation and wanting a place for the home-canned goods. I kept walking in there and looking and thinking and I finally figured it out. I took one basketful of stuff off a bottom shelf, moved two bins from a middle shelf, and TA DA!

Room for what is hopefully to come. 

Let's see. What else? 
Oh! Yes! Where was Mr. Moon today? 
Well I'll tell you where he was. 
He was at the sawmill picking up the boards that he'd had milled out of the black walnut and the cherry laurel that we had cut down a few months ago. And oh, my GOD! Such beautiful, beautiful wood. 

I foresee some very nice tables in my future. 
This so sweetly reminds me of my grandfather who was a wood-buyer for a cabinet making company and he loved wood and was an excellent carpenter and wood-worker. In his small garage in Roseland he had built a rack in the side of it where he stored some precious boards he'd bought in his days of traveling across the country to find the wood his company needed. Also within that garage he he had set up a woodworking bench and his tools and still had room to park his Rambler. He had hung a fishing bobber from the ceiling of the garage that marked the place to which he pulled up his car. When the bobber gently tapped the windshield, that was that. 
I think that my grandfather would have approved of Glen Moon. And I'm pretty sure that Mr. Moon would have loved my grandfather. 

That's Lloyd today. The Confederate jasmine (can we please rename this stuff?) is blooming so profusely that its scent is almost overwhelming and I know that it has really hardly begun. It will be completely overwhelming before its time is over. 

And I found this when I went into the hen house to collect eggs. 

Did someone tell the hens to rack 'em up? 
Three obviously rebellious ladies laid in other nests and so today's count was fourteen which means that every hen laid an egg today. 
Phew. So many eggs. 
There are worse problems to have. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Kitchen Work With A Good Book In My Ears: Heaven

So I decided to try out my foot today and take a little walk. It's been forever since I crippled myself and although I can't say the foot feels 100% okay, it's a whole lot better. So I put on my shorts and walking shirt and bra-like garment, grabbed my walking stick and struck out for the wild beyond.
Not really. Only down the sidewalk. 
Not a whole lot has changed in Lloyd if you want to know the truth. Different things are blooming and there is more green than the last time I walked and oh yeah- the burnt remains of the house that burned down looks to have been cleared away. I wonder if the owner is going to try to put something else up there. I don't see how that would be possible. It looked hardly habitable when it was standing and no one would have insured the place. But you never know, I guess. Meanwhile, an RV is in the yard and I suppose that's where the owner is living now. Buddha's still sitting out front, keeping watch, looking placid. 

When I got back I decided to make my jam. I dragged out the canning kettle and filled it and put jars in and set it to boil. I went over my mulberries, one by one, looking for stems I may have missed. I measured them out into my biggest pot that isn't a stockpot and estimated by reading recipes how much sugar I'd need. I had about twelve cups of berries, or maybe thirteen, and used six cups of sugar. 
Y'all- jam is not good for us. That's all there is to it. Except for the fiber you might as well just pour pure high-fructose corn syrup over your biscuits. 
I'd read that mulberries are almost devoid of pectin which is the substance in fruit that causes jams and jellies to thicken and I'd bought one box of Certo which is powdered pectin. After I boiled and mashed my berries with the sugar for a good while, I added the Certo, and then ladled the resulting sweet, deep purple concoction into my sterile jars, capped them, put them back in the canner and boiled them for ten minutes, took them out and they looked like this. 

Not a very good picture. That could be four jars of diesel oil for all you can tell. I actually got almost another whole pint but just put it in the refrigerator and didn't can it. It tastes delicious and I guess all of that picking and plucking of stems and the sugar that went into it was worth it. I'm waiting to see if it's going to thicken up or not. I think I could have boiled it from now until the Rapture and it wouldn't have gotten jammy and I really have no idea if I used nearly enough pectin. 
Anyway, that took me most of the day which is a little sad. And here's something that's even sadder- I realize that I left no space in my pantry for jars of my canned goods. And I do have room in the cabinets for some jars but dammit- I want to see my lovely jars of summer bounty in my lovely green pantry! I'm going to have to rearrange, change, and figure this out. The garden is looking so fine right now that there is the prospect of plenty of pickles to come. Cucumbers, green beans, okra- I'll want to pickle them all!
First world problem.
While I was in the kitchen I mixed up the dough for a loaf of sourdough and put it in the refrigerator. I'll take it out tonight before I go to bed to start its rise. I also started a pot of the heavenly creamy cashew butternut squash and sweet potato soup that I love so much. It's simmering on low right now. AND, because why not? I made up the dough for a few naan breads to go with the soup. 

I finished listening to This Is How It Always Is while I walked and worked in the kitchen. I love it even more now than I did yesterday. It is a truly precious book. In many ways, it is an idealistic view of a family helping and supporting a child figure out who they really are, doing whatever they can to ensure their child's health and happiness. There were counselors who were so amazingly helpful and wise. There was the fact that the mother was a doctor, the father a writer who loved and accepted each other in their slightly non-traditional roles as bread-winners, as parents, as householders. There was a grandmother who was as loving and supportive and salty as a grandmother could and should be. And there was a trip to Thailand where differing gender roles are accepted as a part of life, where Buddhism gently offers the perspective that we live many lives in many different bodies and that trying to define a person binarily is useless and probably absurd. 
But is there anything wrong with a story that presents an almost ideal situation for us all to aspire to? Nothing is presented as easy. In fact, "easy" is often referred to as something which is off the table. 
I loved it. It's given me a lot to ponder. It's given me new perspectives which is saying a lot for a woman who has a transgendered child, another child in a same-sex relationship, and who knows and loves quite a few people who are definitely not cis-gendered in any way. And as I said yesterday, it is beautifully written.

Levon is back to normal, I think. He still had a little fever last night but woke up without one today. He never did complain of ear pain and so Jessie never gave him the antibiotics which the Urgent Care doctor had prescribed. Who knows what was really going on? Children are so mysterious when it comes to fevers. And as pathetic and sad as they seem when one overtakes them, they are so obviously sturdy and resilient when it comes to getting over them. 

Thank the gods. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, April 26, 2021


I really do have two feet. 

Today was a day of receiving things. I went to the post office and retrieved a package holding a new nightgown and a dress. I sort of love this dress. The pockets are big enough to hold at least six very large eggs. Apiece. A girl can't ask for much more. 
I sent this picture to my kids and said, "Well, here's my dress from Vermont Country Store. I am now officially old." My mother used to get clothes from catalogs like the Vermont Country Store. They were infinitely practical and what one could kindly call uniquely stylish. Which is to say- just as stylish now as they were forty years ago and they weren't that stylish then. You could probably say the same for this dress. I was hoping for more of a hippie Indian print type fabric than what this one is made of. It is 100% cotton but as we have discussed before, there are all types of cotton when it comes to weave. I think when this dress has been washed a dozen times it will be much softer than it is now. But it's soft enough and, yes, practical, and is probably a nice change for my husband because all he ever sees me in is overalls and I feel like I should apologize every morning when I get dressed. 
Change is good. 

I still haven't even started on sewing the dress I cut out bias strips for yet. Every day I think, "Today is the day!" and then the day inevitably gets away from me. The sewing machine is out, up, and threaded but all I've used it for was to repair overalls, as I said. Yesterday I did chores around here and then Jessie came out with the boys. That was fun until we figured out that Levon, who had arrived asleep and continued to sleep on the couch for most of the visit, was running a fever. Both pairs of mama-lip-thermometers confirmed this. He told us his head hurt and his little cheeks got those pink fever roses on them and he tried to participate in Bop activities but you could just tell he was miserable. Is there anything sadder than a sick child? 
After they left I called my neighbor who had invited us for supper and told her that I'd been exposed to a child with a fever of, at that point, unknown origin- did they still want us to come over? She consulted the CDC website and called back saying, yes, all should be well. We ate on their porch, which had been the plan anyway. We've all been vaccinated. 
Jessie took him to Urgent Care and they tested him for flu and covid, both negative. Possible ear infection. He's feeling better today, still a little fever but he's perked up and his sturdy little body has been doing a good job of fighting off whatever it is he has. 

After I hung some laundry this morning and went to the post office, I picked more mulberries. I cannot possibly keep up with these things. Look at this!

I didn't pick half of what was ripe but I did snip each stem with my thumbnail as I went and I picked so many that I have tiny stinging cuts on the finger I use as a cutting platform. The ground is covered in ripe berries. I mean- carpeted, y'all. Anyway, I picked another gallon and will start making jam tomorrow. Hopefully. 

And then Hank and Rachel came out. Today was the day that they were fully immunized after their last shot and so, for the first time in over a year, I got to see their beautiful faces, hold them close in long, tight hugs, and kiss them. 
And that was the best thing I received today. 
Hank was ready for some Mama-Cooking and I heated up the rest of the soup and Mr. Moon came in and we all ate lunch together on the back porch. I had given Jessie enough soup yesterday to feed her family last night and so today's lunch finished it all up.
Hurray! It was good soup. 
Hank and Rachel and I chatted and chatted, laughed and laughed. It was so good to be able to do that without masks, without the worry that has haunted us for such a long time. I know that the vaccines aren't 100% safe but we are all responsible mask-wearers in public, still, and besides that, none of us really goes out much. So we felt okay about it all. 
Before they left there was another round of hugs and of kisses. 
Thank you, Science! 
Things may change with variations and needing to get boosters but for right this second, we are good. And right this second is all we have, really, isn't it? 

After they left I gathered the laundry from the line, folded it, put it away. I tidied the kitchen, started the dishwasher and it was suddenly five o'clock. How in the world does this happen? 

In chicken news, I have noticed that Miss Dotty's tail feathers are fanned out dramatically. 

As I recall, both she and her sister Darla displayed this fan before they began to brood last year. I also recall that between the two of them, there was not one baby hatched. But, who knows? It was so hot when they brooded last year that I thought perhaps that was why no peeps appeared. We shall see if tail-fanning does indicate an imminent egg-sitting. Funny, isn't it, how although I've been keeping chickens for quite awhile now, there's still so much I do not know? 
And what I do know, I so frequently forget. 

One more thing- for awhile I've been on a streak of not being able to find audio books from the library's collection that keep my attention. I was listening to one so vile that my phone actually made the decision to quit listening for me and suddenly and abruptly cut it off and switched to a podcast. 
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
But I found one that has absolutely captured my heart and mind. I sort of want every parent in the world to read it. 

You can read about the novel HERE. 
It's the story of a family whose youngest child, at the age of three, tells her parents that she wants to be a girl when she grows up. Because she was born with male genitalia and they had thought she was a boy, this complicates things. 
But it's not just the way her parents deal with this particular issue that makes me want every parent to read it. It's also the way they love, deal, and support all of their children. I've not finished reading it but it's beautiful and heart-rending and well-written and I am loving it. 

That's it for April 26, 2021 in the tiny, tiny world in which I live. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Yes. I Am Fine

Just a few words to assure you all that I am still alive. 

Our across-the-street neighbors invited us to come over for supper this evening, which we did. It was a lovely time with martinis, chats, and a delicious Lebanese meal on their porch. 

And now I am so full that I can barely move, much less write anything.

So this is just a place-holder, a hello-I-must-be-going. 

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon


Saturday, April 24, 2021

I'm Not The Only One

What a strange, strange day. I woke up in the worst mood. I'd had dreams that were both pleasant and horrible, one in which Keith Richards was writing a song in my house and his wife Patti was there too and I offered them coffee but somehow the coffee-making process kept getting fucked up AND my mother and the stepfather were also there so that wasn't as great as it could have been. Talk about your mixed emotions. 

We'd been foretold that we would have possibly dangerous storms here today and it was scary looking outside for quite awhile. Meanwhile, we were getting weather alerts telling us about hail the size of baseballs and high winds and thunderstorms and that we needed to get our asses into an interior place in our homes! Be afraid! Be very afraid! 
Instead the wind blew on and off and rain came down sporadically and I heard no thunder and there certainly was no hail although the sky was a sickly shade of grayish green that was less than comforting. Mr. Moon got more stuff planted in the garden and then turned on the sprinklers because the skies just weren't getting the job done. 
I cleaned the hen house. That was my big accomplishment for the day. And repaired a pair of overalls. And made a soup. 
I think the soup will be good. It has a lot of goodness within it, at least. About four types of beans, tomatoes, collard, kale, and chard greens, celery, carrots, green beans, corn, squash, a little bit of leftover potatoes and broccoli, onion, garlic, homemade venison/wild pig sausage, red peppers and parmesan rinds. 
Meanwhile, the wind is still gusting and the sky is still gray. But my spirits have risen. Texting with a friend has helped, and so has my husband who has been loving despite my bitchy, snippy attitude. And of course, making soup is always therapeutic when it's made from the bean on up. 

And this. 

A blossom from my ashe magnolia which I easily could have missed which would have been a tragedy as the plant is still small and offers me only one or two blossoms a year, each of them lasting only a day or two. They are delicate and fragile, their fragrance is ethereal, lemony and sweet. 

Mr. Moon and I just took a little stroll in the garden. I swear- it's a thing of such satisfying beauty this year. He planted two types of cucumbers and okra, and a row of zipper peas today. I have a feeling that my canning jars and freezer bags are going to be put to use this summer. 

All of this has eased me into a better place, even though the ghosts of my childhood never cease to surprise me with their sudden appearance, their ability to darken my soul, my heart, my mood. 

For those of you who may not have gotten the last sentence in my first paragraph, I give you this.

Full eighties' hair, Mick in aerobics-wear showing off his famous fanny and still-luscious lips, Keith being Keith, his face already being engraved with the life he's led, his eyes that have seen sure death and come back to tell about it. 
We all have our ghosts. They are part of us. And always will be. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, April 23, 2021

Outside Endeavors

The prayer flag washing got hung on the line today in the sweet, cool air and although there is nothing at all special about this photo, the sight of it makes me smile. 

I was determined today to get something done. And I did. I've been wanting to get to the little piece of yard behind the old kitchen. It looks wild and that's fine when the wildness is a great abundance of the phlox that grows so well there that I transplanted from the last house we lived in. But there was also bamboo and the Gee Dee glory bowers as well as dewberry vines coming up everywhere. The whole place used to be filled with betony, or rattlesnake plant but I've mostly gotten that under control over the years. Still, I've been meaning to get in there and pull and weed and chop out what I don't want and today was the day. 

That's part of what I was looking at. The thing that was hardest and most time-consuming was getting rid of bamboo. The stuff has a sneaky intelligence, coming up and being invisible until it reaches a height of about ten feet and I tried to find each and every stalk, mature or not, and get it out of there. At first, I did not have the tool I really needed which was a pair of loppers, and struggled with a shovel (Oh, Levon! Where were you?) my pruners, and a limb saw. After Mr. Moon found the loppers for me, things went much easier but that wasn't until I'd probably chopped, sawed, dug, and cut well over half of it. I pulled all the glory bower I could find, a small amount of betony, the dewberry. I tidied up the area where our beloved old dog Pearl is buried, along with Hank and Rachel's sweet old cat, Johnny Karate. 
I also picked up fallen limbs and made many trips to the burn pile with all the detritus. 
And that about wore me out. 
I'd show you an after picture but you would be able to tell much of a difference. I can, though. 
As I worked, Maurice would suddenly appear from underneath the low-lying branches of the Japanese magnolia or under a clump of phlox. Here she is, taking the sun, looking at me toil through slitted eyelids. 

That cat has been sleeping with us almost every night and it has been days, DAYS, I TELL YOU! since she has drawn blood. 

And then I picked mulberries. I tried to snip the stems as I picked with my thumbnail which is why my hands look like this. 

Actually a rather nice color, I think. 
Mr. Moon helped me for a little while. We picked this many.

Jam soon. 

He has spent most of the day in the garden which is truly a thing of beauty. A few more pictures. 

A man and his garden. 

Rattlesnake beans. 

The celery in question. 

Rainbow chard. 

Tomatoes coming along. 

And finally this, which has nothing to do with our garden.

What chickens will do with watermelon. 

I think I may be a little sore tomorrow. That's okay. It's supposed to rain and I'll have a good excuse to stay inside. But I'm mighty glad I got outside today and used my body and created a small bit of order in a large area of chaos. 
I think I will sleep well on those line-dried sheets tonight. 
The church folks are gathering next door. 

Time for a martini. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Good Life

 Although Levon's shoveling stance may be a bit unusual, he gets the job done. In this picture he is digging up fireweed. He'd seen me doing it and then his mama, and he took over the job. Not only can he dig it up, roots and all, but he can identify it which I find pretty impressive. I've always heard that children love to help until they actually can, at which point they stop wanting to help at all. With Levon, this is definitely not true. He can use a shovel like nobody's business. 

Here he is shoveling mushroom compost along with his Boppy to top dress a row where okra is about to be planted. He did it perfectly. He is three years old. Sometimes I think about how quickly children learn from birth and it stuns me. In three years' time a child has learned a language and can have conversations, sometimes knows their colors and their alphabet, knows how to eat at a table, knows the basic rules of civility, knows how to use a bathroom, knows how to ask for what they want, knows how to express affection, anger, curiosity, helpfulness, and is beginning to get a real understanding of humor and also human behavior in general. It's truly remarkable what all they know by such an early age. They've also figured out how to manipulate others, mostly their parents. 
In fact, by the age of three most children know their parents and what makes them tick better than their parents do themselves. 
Every parent on earth can attest to this fact. 

Today was another beautiful day. Cool in the shade and lovely warm in the sun. The new green of the oaks and pecans against the cloudless blue sky was almost too pretty to bear. Jessie had brought the boys out to collect the things they left behind on Monday morning when they were in such a hurry to get home for Vergil to make his work call. Bicycles, helmets, toothbrushes, and other little things. We sat out on the back porch steps and lazed in the light like cats. The boys stretched themselves over our knees and asked to have their backs scratched. We discussed different back-scratching techniques and Maurice showed up whereupon August said, "Speaking of scratching..."
We chatted and laughed. We talked about many things while the sun warmed our heads and the little boys bared their smooth golden backs to our fingers. Soon Mr. Moon came home from the woods and we ate leftovers for lunch. I always feel like Jessie is doing me a favor when they come over and eat leftovers. Eating leftovers for lunch for a few days is okay but one does reach a point. 
And then, for a special treat, there was pie and ice cream for dessert. 
When it came time for them to leave Jessie packed up all the things they'd left and I offered her some rainbow chard which she took and I gave her a few limes and lemons and "oh- here- take some apples- we won't eat all of these."
I remember a friend of mine telling me about how her mother-in-law would show up with all these things she got on sale like toilet paper or spaghetti noodles or whatever and my friend laughed about it and I did too but I understand now. When my children leave here I want to send them away with something. Anything. 
"Here- need a sweet potato? A cup of sugar? How about a plant? Here, I'll dig one up."
It's just a natural desire, I think, to never stop wanting to give to your babies. To provide. 

And so that was our day. Mr. Moon has been back in the garden and back raking leaves to mulch with. Now he's mowing. 
I don't even have a new pie to give him tonight. 
I did cook some collards and kale and rainbow chard to go with even more leftovers that we have in the refrigerator. The bugs are starting to go for the chard and the collards and the kale is getting huge and tough and it's just about time to pull them but damn! The chard especially is so beautiful with its almost preternaturally colored stems of red and orange and yellow. And don't get me started about the celery I planted last fall that Mr. Moon keeps asking me to pull which is just starting to fatten up in the stalk area.
"There's plenty of green but they're no bigger around than pins!" he says. 
"That's not true!" I tell him. "Look! They're still growing! Just give them time!"
"How much time? Years?"
"Oh hush. Just leave my celery alone."
He sighs and leaves my celery alone. He's a good man. 

Life in Lloyd. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Mostly Food

That's a picture of the curtain that can be pulled in front of the pantry. It's been there since we moved in. It belonged to my darling Susan and I inherited it when she died. It's barkcloth, a vintage fabric, and it was already sewn as a curtain and the pole it's hanging on was already up and ready to receive it when we bought the house. 
I feel like it's a bit of clear and lovely perfection, and when I picked the color for the shelves, I didn't even think of that curtain. We've kept it pulled back forever and probably still will mostly, but sometimes I think I will pull it simply because it is beautiful and I love it. 

My house smells like heaven right now. I picked even more mulberries today and looked up recipes for pies. They all called for only three cups of fruit and I had at least ten cups. Here's one of my biggest bowls with the berries, sugar, flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice. 

I had to run to Publix today to pick up a prescription and I got to see Lily which was wonderful. She took my groceries out to the car and we chatted for awhile. One of the things I got was vanilla ice cream because I knew I was going to be making pies when I got home. Before I mixed the berries with the flour and sugar I made up the pastry and put it in the refrigerator. 
Remember when I was a shit pie dough maker? 
Well, not any more. I've taken to using my food processor and it's been one successful attempt after another. It's a little scary how easy it is for me now. I ended up making one very large pie and one very small one. Here they are before they went into the oven. 

I have taken the small one out and it is cooling on the marble counter under the china cabinet which is only possible because I cleared so much of the stuff on it off yesterday. What a luxury to have a designated counter to cool a pie on! 

And here's another picture. 

Our first potatoes! Mr. Moon dug them up yesterday and I am going to cook them tonight. A few weeks ago I made a sort of scalloped potatoes with broccoli and onions and my husband loved it. Since I have some leftover broccoli I think I will recreate the dish again, only with "our" potatoes. That man has spent all day in the garden. I took at least fifteen minutes out of my very important day and pulled all of the spent Bibb lettuce and the cilantro to make room for him to plant cucumbers, field peas, squash, and zinnias. He has weeded and also mulched with leaves that he's raking up in the front yard. 
In other words, he is working hard while I have dilly-dallied around making pies and going to Publix. 
I'm not sure why but this makes me feel so guilty. Perhaps serving him a piece of mulberry pie with ice cream on it will assuage some of my guilt. 

It has been ridiculously beautiful here today, cool and dry and it's supposed to get down to 45 degrees tonight. I think I will use the duck one last time and then pack it up for the summer. 

Both pies are out of the oven now. 

And there are so many more mulberries on the tree. I think that jam-making may be in my near future. 

A good day. A very good day. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

No Title


When I woke up this morning, I was expecting to find a house full of Weatherfords but shockingly, they had already left. I stared at the place in the yard where the camper had been last night and it was empty. There was no sound of children, no Jessie giggles, no Vergil voice. I went to the Glen Den and said to my husband, "They're already gone?" 
"Vergil had a 9:00 work call he had to make," he said. 
I pondered for a moment. 
"We will now resume our regularly scheduled program," I said. 

And so we have. 
I knew exactly what I wanted to do today and I did it. First though, I did some laundry and made up the bed and folded and put away the boys' sheets and blankets and the little beds themselves. I wanted my decks cleared for the task I'd been looking forward to for so long. 

And I began. 
First I went through the bins that we'd put everything in from the old cabinets. I put all of the flashlights in one small bin, all of the light bulbs in another. The batteries got their own designated box as did the insect repellants and ant traps and flea spray and all things unpleasant for bugs. Almost everything is fairly well organized in a logical fashion, or at least to my mind. 
And then I began putting all of the canning stuff on a top shelf. Not the kettle because that went on the bottom with other pots I don't really have room for in my kitchen cabinets. But jars and lids and bands and pickling salt. 

See them way up there? 
On to my cast iron which is now at a much easier level to get to. That stuff is heavy and it's wonderful not to have to get down on my knees to lift it out. The large bags and boxes and bottles of food and juices were transferred, making the cabinets where they'd been kept so much easier to find things in. I put the potatoes and onions in baskets. They had been stored in the bottom cabinet of my kitchen hutch along with a bunch of other stuff- a constant inconvenience. I moved baking pans from an entirely different cabinet to make them more accessible. I transferred vases and liquor stuff from the counter under my glass-front china cabinet. Also, big platters that have been stored in that china cabinet, always threatening to crash down if whatever was in front of it was moved. 

What a joy. And as time goes on, I may shift things around, move some things back to where they were, put other things in their place. We shall see. But for right now, I am so happy. 
I have so much more room in my junk drawer because I moved all the batteries out of it. So much more room in my food cabinets. So much more room in the cabinet where I keep my glassware because I had too many mason jars in there and I do use them as drinking glasses, but I sure didn't need as many of them as there were. I remember the first time Mr. Moon's parents visited us and I think they must have been shocked at my use of canning jars as drinking glasses because they bought me a set of nice ones. It was hard for them to fathom anyone who could afford real glasses drinking out of what they put their beans up in. But they're sturdy and easy to hold on to and I have never found any other glasses to drink out of that I like as well. 

I took two bags of trash to the trash place and hope to get rid of a lot more stuff. It's ridiculous to hold on to as many things as I have. Even my leftover container cabinet is so much easier to deal with now because I could move some of the things I had in there to the new shelves. 
I think I will now be inspired to more fully organize, to give things away, to trash the stuff that no one could possibly want. 

But of course, none of this is important in the grand scheme of things. What is earthshaking is the verdict that came down just a little while ago in the George Floyd case. 
And I'm sure you know by now, Derek Chauvin was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter. 
Guilty, guilty, guilty. 
Led out of the courtroom in cuffs. 
Finally, justice in this nation has been served. 
When I heard the judge read the verdicts and then listened as each juror confirmed their votes, their belief in those votes, I cried. 
After watching that video, after listening to the testimony of the witnesses, I couldn't imagine them voting any differently but as we all know, the truth doesn't always mean a damn thing when it comes to police violence and the death of Black men. And Black boys. 
I do not really believe in "closure" but I do hope that this verdict will at least give George Floyd's family the satisfaction of knowing that a jury found their loved one's murderer guilty. I can't imagine what this conviction means to those who have the radical audacity to be Black in America. 

So that is that and we shall see what the sentencing looks like. 

Meanwhile, there is still much to fight for, must to hope for, much to dream for, much to work for because the murders never seem to end. 
And they probably won't in my lifetime. 
But this is a tiny step in the right direction. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, April 19, 2021

We're All Good

This has to be quick because I have to make supper for those two wild boys again as the buying of the camper has taken much longer than expected although to be honest, I sort of expected it. They had to do a complete inspection, fix what needed to be fixed, replace the tires, etc., etc. 

I think the boys have now spent enough time with us to be comfortable with showing us their little hineys. As in, being just the teeniest bit sassy when they feel the occasion calls for it. 
Me: "Levon, you listen to me."
Levon: "You listen to ME."
Boppy: "Levon, I am not kidding."
Levon: "I am not kidding."

Ooh boy. But we've survived and all is well and everyone is still relatively cheerful. 

There were pancakes this morning, of course. 

And mulberry picking and mulberry tree climbing. 

The mulberry tree is multifunctional. It is good for fun and nourishment both. 

Boppy took the boys on a drive out to the woods where he hunts to put some corn in his feeder and pick up a battery that I think was operating a camera. 
You know me well enough to know that I actually don't have a clue about that but the boys said they had fun and I think they enjoyed the peanut butter crackers I made for them to take. 

There was TV. Oh yes there was. 
And there was bike riding, and boat and tractor pretending. 

Sometimes these activities become blurred. 

There was also hamburger bun shaping and floor drawing. 

So it's been a good day and I've thought about Chloe all day as I've done things with my grandchildren. She worked for years at a local school, teaching art and dance. In fact, she only retired in December. She had a way with children based on a deep respect for them and where they were in the world with their minds and hearts and she met them there. I love thinking about all the kids whose lives she touched. 
I've had this picture on my sideboard in the dining room ever since we moved here and it has always, since it was taken, been in some place of prominence wherever we have lived. 

Mona Rose (Chloe's first daughter), Michael, Hank, and May. Little hippie babies. If I am remembering properly, May had just experimented with cutting her own hair.
I wouldn't have missed those days for anything. 

For some reason I am now unable to readjust the text to align on the left. 

Better go make a supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon