Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Back In Baby's Arms (Soon, Anyway)

It's been a rainy day here in Lloyd. This is the dregs of Ida, I think, and how very lucky we've been that this is all we've had. Just slow and intermittent rain. Maurice and I decided to stay in and shell peas which is what we did. It would go a great deal faster if Maurice used one of her lethal claws on the peas to split them open so that I could shell them more easily but she isn't interested in helping. 

I finished the documentary series on John of God. It did not have a happy ending. Well, except for John. After being arrested and put in prison and sentenced to over sixty years, he was released last year due to his age, which is 78, and covid. He is on house arrest with electronic monitoring. Supposedly the government had taken all of his millions (and his illegal guns and jewels and houses with hidden basements and safes) but it looked to me that he was still living far from the poverty line. 
The women who brought charges against him were not well pleased. 
As you can imagine. 
And he still has faithful followers. 

After that I decided to watch something a bit lighter and so I chose a Paul Rudd movie, "My Idiot Brother."
I highly recommend it for light entertainment. It's sort of silly but the cast is good and the acting didn't make me want to retch and the writing wasn't bad. Actually, for what it is, it's one of the best movies I've seen in a while. I can't tell you how many movies I start watching and after thirty or forty minutes I'm like, "Why did they make this movie?" and more importantly, "Why am I watching it?"
This is especially disappointing when the movie has what I would consider to be a very fine cast. 
But, who am I to judge? 
Not that that's ever stopped me before.

So that was my exciting day. I also took the trash and did some laundry so there you go. I talked to Mr. Moon this morning and again he asked if he could come home now. 
I said, "I told you yesterday that you can!"
He said, "I just wanted to make sure you hadn't changed your mind."
I had not and have not changed my mind. 

So he'll be getting in sometime around midnight, I think. I told him I could not promise to be awake but that I would be HERE. I wonder if the cats have missed him. Probably. Maurice generally sits on his lap every morning while he reads the news online. She's slept with me a few times. 

Okay. Now I can delete that photo from my phone. 
I took it to send to my husband and I told him, "The Hellbitch is taking the first shift tonight."
She really is a mean thing. One night I went to sleep with Jack and I woke up in the middle of the night and reached down to stroke his head but realized that it was not him when I heard a very pissed off MRRWOWW!
Jack does not really speak at all but Maurice is not shy about speaking her truth and her truth generally is that if I touch her or move she'll try to kill me. 
I really do not know why I tolerate that cat. And yet, I love her. 

I thought I was going to get so much done while Mr. Moon was away. Not quite sure what I thought that was going to be but far more than what I did. What DID I do? One thing I did for sure was listen to a lot of hours of Mormon Stories podcast. They've had several interviews lately with people who either are gay or who have gay children who have left the church over the way it deals with LGBTQ issues. 
Which is to say- hatefully. 
Another reason to shun religion in my book. Thank god that when my kids came out to me I didn't have to worry that they wouldn't be with the rest of the family in the Celestial Kingdom when they died. 

All right. That's enough blabbing. 

By this time tomorrow I'll have my husband back. 
I sure will be glad. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, August 30, 2021

Trigger Warning- Religious and Sexual Abuse

Well, here's the most interesting picture I took today. 
I know- right?
It's a potato volunteer that has obviously sprouted from a spud that got left behind when Mr. Moon dug up the crop last spring. I think it was spring. I don't know. Things seem to happen so fast these days that I can't possibly keep up with them. I was looking at the confederate rose the other day thinking, "Well, that'll be blooming again soon," and then I thought, "But wait. Didn't it just bloom?"
Both things are true. 

So yes, I did get back in the garden and do some more clearing out. Such a tiny bit at a time I'm doing. I texted my husband that the thing that drives me crazy is that I know when he gets home he'll go to work out there and have the whole thing done in a few hours. He will, too. But I pulled some more beans and the morning glory vines and tried not to pull the sweet potato vines, also volunteers. They all get so tangled together. I have uprooted more zinnias than I care to admit while pulling the vines around them. 

I picked another couple of pounds of beans that need shelling and after I took my shower I sat on the couch and got to work on that. I've been watching a documentary series on Netflix called "John of God: The Crimes of a Spiritual Healer." It's about a Brazilian medium who was supposedly able to call forth an "entity" who could heal people of everything from brain tumors to breast cancer to epilepsy to mental illness. The entity changed at times. There were more than one. He did "spiritual surgery" on people using unsterilized medical instruments and laid hands upon them. 
You know, the usual. 
At one time the number of visitors to his facility was counted in the hundreds a day and the business they brought to the little town he was in was phenomenal. All of those people seeking his help had to sleep somewhere, eat somewhere, get taxis, etc. Goodness gracious! Even Oprah went to see him twice! The spirit was so strong there, she claimed, that she had to sit down or would have passed out. 
You can only imagine how THAT affected his business. 
Well, of course it was all a scam and not only did he make millions off the faux medications he was selling, the kickbacks he was getting from local businesses, and who knows what else, he was also (I know you'll be so shocked to hear this) molesting women. 
Hundreds have come forward to report him. 
He'd take the ones he fancied into his "meditation room" and according to what I'm seeing he used a similar line on almost all of them. He'd tell them that they, the women, were very powerful mediums too and that he desperately needed their healing. 
Why is that these guys all need healing via their penises? 
In Brazil it is not uncommon to find these spiritual healers who seemingly yank bloody tumors out of people without the benefit of anesthesia, who scrape people's eyeballs, who can do heart surgery on them in a matter of minutes. It's sort of a traditional thing. Actual medical care is scarce and people are poor. But this John of God attracted believers from all over the world. (Thanks, Oprah!) 
He told women that the lives of their mothers, their children, depended on them going along with his own need for healing. And so many believed him. And why wouldn't they? If they were there in the first place, they must have had at least some belief in the fact that he was a very special human invested with holy powers. 
This is probably one of the oldest cons in the world. The use of belief/religion/call-it-whatever-you-want, to attain money and to have sex with people they normally would never be able to. 
Gurus, priests, preachers, bishops, famous yoga teachers. 
It never ends. 
It's one more thing about religion that I abhor. And when I say "religion" I mean everything from Catholicism to Buddhism to Mormonism to Scientology. You get some man (it's not always a man but absolutely mostly) who rises high in the organization or is even the founding person of the religion who is charismatic and finds himself in a place of spiritual power over people and you'll find some man who's using that power to sexually molest people. 
But far more often than it should. 

In the episode I was watching today, John of God's daughter was brought on. She didn't even know who her father was until she was nine at which point he showed up in her life and wanted to take her away from her mother and stepmother, which they allowed, and I was thinking, "This ain't gonna be good," and yeah. He molested her too. 
Not only was he a famous healer, he was her father. And if there is an original powerful person in a child's life, it's her father. 

You think it's a coincidence that so many religion's gods are referred to as Father? Or that the priests or heads of the religion are called Father?
Our father, who are in heaven. 
Hey, Steve, Father Francis wants to see you in his office. 
Patriarchy, patriarchy, patriarchy. 

People may wonder why I, as a survivor of sexual abuse, even watch these kinds of documentaries. Well I'll tell you one of the main reasons- it's because every child who was abused, and many adults who were abused always have a secret fear and carry shame that they were the ones at fault. That they did something wrong to cause the molestation, the rape, the abuse. And watching or reading about abuse helps to strengthen our knowledge (speaking for myself here) that no. It was not our fault. 
It was not my fault. 
I did nothing but offer love. The love of a child for a father figure. 
Which I so desperately wanted. 
Those women whom this Brazilian almost-saint molested were only seeking healing for themselves or a loved one. And yes- perhaps a special moment with the holy one. They were desperate. They believed him. Lives depended on that belief. 

So I guess that's all I have to say about that right now. Actually, I have a lot more I could say but I have other things to do and so do you, I feel quite certain. 

Meanwhile, here in Lloyd, I am truly and really fine but I sure am happy that my good man will be home tomorrow night. He called me today and said, "Can I come home now?"
"Yes, please," I said. 
There are good men. I promise you. That's taken me a lifetime to learn but I do believe it now. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Not A Bad Sunday

When I got up this morning the guys working on laying the electric lines to the generator had already been at it for quite awhile. I felt a little guilty but not much. This is obviously the job that never got finished. And they're working as hard as they can. In fact, they're still working as I write this, many, many hours later. 

When I let the chickens out they were delighted to discover dirt and grubs and worms and were all over that trench where the lines are going to go. 

They've been hanging around there all day long, keeping the guys company. 

I found a tiny egg today in a nest and whether little Miss Violet laid her first egg since last spring or whether one of the new chicks is actually a hen and laid it, I do not know. It's sort of lumpy and bumpy as well as being small. Time will probably tell me which it is. 

It would be nice if one of that little flock was a girl. Or perhaps it was even the egg of Darla, coming back to laying again after her long journey of setting, hatching, and raising of chicks. It takes a while for them to regain enough strength to produce eggs again. 

One of the first things I did this morning was to check on what Ida was doing and where it was. 
And then I had a small panic attack. Not kidding. I really did. Just thinking of the people in Louisiana, the ones I know, the ones I do not, made my heart race. 

Jessie and the boys came out for a visit and that helped. When they were on their way I texted Jessie and asked if I should make pancakes. She replied that they had just had pancakes but that August told her to tell me yes. He wanted some SOOOO bad. I offered to make biscuits instead and that was a suitable substitution. So I did. We sat around the table and Levon and I had eggs with our biscuits and bacon but August and Jessie just cannot tolerate eggs which is so sad. Biscuits were eaten with mayonnaise and tomatoes and salt, pimento cheese and tomatoes, butter and peach preserves. It was a biscuit feast. 

After second breakfast they wanted to make jewelry with the plastic beads I keep in a bowl for them to do just that with. Levon made a bracelet, August a necklace. For some reason, I forgot to take pictures but trust me- they were works of art. We read a few books, one a new one that I'd gotten in North Carolina which we'd never read yet. Levon was so entranced by it that he wanted me to read it twice. "What do you like about it so much?" I asked him. 
"Everything!" he said. It was a very sweet book. And we did read it twice. 

And that was about it. It was too hot to go outside and play and Levon started showing signs of wanting a nap so off they went after splitting the last biscuit between them. I have no idea how two such small boys can eat so much food. 

After they left I decided to DO SOMETHING about the mess on top of the dresser where I keep the sewing things. And I did. I mean, it's not like a model of order and neatness now but it's better. 
Slowly, slowly, as I keep saying. 
And Jessie went through the purse bag and took two home with her. Hurray! 
I dusted a few things and swept a few rooms and then I went through the photos on my iPhone (which are also stored on my MacBook) and deleted about 150. It would take me a month to go through the whole thing but I should do it. So much space being taken up with one picture after another of random chickens and baskets of garden vegetables and jars of canned produce and almost exact replica shots of the kids and sleepy time pictures of Jack and of Maurice which I am often compelled to take because they look so cozy and sweet. 
When it comes down to it, all of my favorite pictures generally make it here, to the blog, so unless that disappears (and it could!) at least they're somewhere. 

Mr. Moon called this morning. He said he's ready to come home. I bet he is. And I'm ready to have him home. He'll be flying in Tuesday night, getting an Uber to where his car is parked at the credit union where he has an office, and then driving home. I'll probably be fast asleep when he gets here but I'll wake up to kiss him good. I've been perfectly fine by myself and don't imagine that'll change before he gets home but just knowing he's here somewhere in the yard or the house is a comfort. I told him that I'd made a big curry last night with tofu and he said, "Well hurry up and finish it!" which is our joke because he claims not to like curry but I have never noticed him not eating it, especially if I make naan to go with it. Here's what it looked like. 

It had cauliflower, peppers, okra, carrots, mushrooms, delicata squash, scallions, eggplant, tofu, cashews and coconut milk. Jessie made a cauliflower and potato curry herself last night so when I offered her some of mine to take home she said, "Nah, I have a lot of what I made left over," but then she tasted it and said, "Okay. I'll take some of your curry."
That made me feel good. 
I'll probably finish up the rest tonight. 

So for the first Sunday in three, it's been a pretty fine day. Just seeing those grandkids and Jessie cheered me considerably. Those boys are so funny and so fine. August was interested in the pile of things I'd found in purses and so I showed him my pesos and other stuff including the Elixir of Love perfume. I opened it up and let him smell it. 
"Isn't that nice?" I asked him. 
"It's lovely!" he said. 
He put a little bit on his own neck. 
He is lovely. 

Sometimes I wished I believed in the power of prayer. I have so many I would pray. They would all be the asking-for kind, I'm afraid. Asking for safety for those in Ida's way. Asking for the health and continued well-being of my family. Asking for at least a decent amount of good years more with my beloved. Asking for the safety of my grandchildren and that they always know they are loved and cherished, each and every one for who they are. 
Today Levon tried to make me decide which was my favorite cat- Jack or Maurice. 
I told him that I could not. That I love them in such different ways. That I love Jack because he is sweet and cuddly and that I love Maurice because she is exactly who she is. 
He didn't really understand. I mean- how could Jack not be my favorite? He doesn't bite or scratch and Maurice certainly does. 
Someday he'll probably get it. Maybe when he has kids or cats of his own. 

I think I'll go make some naan. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Things We Carry Our Things In

I have been a complete waste of the planet's resources today. I just have not been motivated to do a damn thing. I really thought I'd get out and work in the garden at least a bit but every time I went outside to do anything the heat and humidity were just so horribly oppressive that it felt as if the very air were pushing down on me and I couldn't begin to entertain the thought of putting on overalls and socks and shoes and going out there to pull weeds. Neither did I feel like taking on any projects inside although I sort of slid sideways into dealing with my purses. 

My purses. 

I have spoken about my purse addiction before. No need to go into my theory of why I love  bags and baskets and bowls so much (womb association) but take my word for it when I tell you that I have way, way too many purses. I'm not talking about hundreds or anything like that. I'm not the Imelda Marcos of purses. But I have too many and I am emotionally attached to some of them and the idea of getting rid of those is a bit wrenching but I find myself at a place where getting rid of the ones I do not feel such an attachment to seems not only doable but necessary. My children and some of my friends know that they can purse shop here anytime and I have given away some nice bags. I've also lent some, especially to Lis, but she always brings them back! What's up with THAT? Today in a purse that I'd lent her I found her driver's license snapped safely into a pocket and a guitar pick. I felt as if I had her essence in that little bag. 
Anyway, I started cleaning up some of the purses, which they were all sorely in need of. Dusty and mildewed they were practically crying out for attention. And some of them are quite old. When eBay really got started, I soon realized that I could find some very, very fine bags there for a fraction of the cost of buying new. And so I did. I loved one Coach backpack so much that I ended up buying it in three different colors- black, brown, and red. I guess I've lent or given away the red one because I didn't see it today but I have the black and brown one and I cleaned them up, rubbing leather cleaner into them with a soft cloth. And then I moved on to the others, making decisions as I went as to which ones I was ready to donate, which ones I really wanted to give to people I love, which ones I can't bear to part with. 

I always have had the idea that if I could just find the one perfect bag, I would not ever have to buy another. It would have to be the right shape, size, be comfortable to wear, and have a few pockets to keep things readily at hand. I do love a good backpack purse because it frees up my hands and I can wear it while I'm doing my shopping and not have to worry about it being purloined if I turn my back on it in the shopping cart. 
Which has never happened to me but which is a sort of small neurotic fear of mine. 
I guess the bag that has come closest to being perfect for me is the one up top there. I got that purse at Goodwill and I remember buying it. Vividly. It called to me and I joyfully answered the call. I've always called it the cargo shorts of purses because it is sturdy, utilitarian, and comfortable. It has no brand name in it, only a very small tag saying, "Made in Mexico". 
Obviously a match made in heaven. 
I have taken the bag with me to Mexico more than once. It has gone many, many places with me and despite all the use and milage on it, it is still absolutely perfect in that not one bit of the lining has torn or ripped or come unsewn, all of the hardware works like the day it was made, and despite the scratches and wear, the leather is still whole and intact. I retired it some years ago and I'm not even sure why. I probably bought another bag and in my new love blindness, I left that one to hang on a closet door where it's been for a very long time. 
I picked it up today and cleaned out the inside, wiping down the nylon lining with Dr. Bronners (dilute! dilute!) and then I carefully and lovingly rubbed it with leather cleaner and behold! It lost its stiffness, it's mildew-green tint, and looks like it's supposed to look. 
I am thinking I'm going to start using it again. 

So that was a part of my day. I felt like a treasure hunter, going through the old bags, finding hair pins and lipsticks, mints, handkerchiefs, some solid perfume that I used to love to wear. Casswell-Massey's Elixer of Love, No. 1. 

I found free drink cards handed out by guys in Cozumel, drumming up business for beach bars, all of them with someone's name written in ballpoint on them. I suppose they got a peso or something for every card used with their name on it. And I found so many peso coins. I swear- I have more pesos in the change part of my wallet than I have American money. I do not know why. Probably all of it does not add up to be enough to buy a beer if I suddenly found myself in Mexico, tele-transported I suppose, but I cannot bear to take them out, set them aside. I am a little superstitious about this, feeling that if I didn't have them at hand, I might never go back to Cozumel. 

It's raining again and I am hoping that we do not lose our power tonight. I probably should not even talk about it, jinxing myself as I did last night. One night was an adventure. Two would be a drag. And I want to make that curry. I just looked at the radar and satellite images for our area and when I enlarged the map, I saw what Ida looks like now. 

This is not good at all. That's a huge storm. I am not worried for us, we'll get a few rain and wind bands but nothing, NOTHING compared to what Louisiana is about to get. 
Unless one has been in a hurricane of powerful strength, say a category three or four, the experience is unimaginable. And until it passes, there is no way out. All of the things we think of as modern life are suddenly taken away and we huddle in the darkness and hope with all we have in us that our roofs and windows and walls will not be taken away too, with the winds, the fury, the scream of the storm as it dumps unbelievable amounts of rain on top of us, so much that we cannot see what might be going on in our own back yards if we have the foolish bravery to go to a window and look out. Everything that has seemed so important to us is suddenly shown to be nothing compared to the ability to continue breathing, to continue to live, to protect ourselves and our loved ones. 

This is what the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center says: 

They are not kidding. They are not exaggerating.  

Meanwhile, I am going to make that curry tonight. Unless, you know, I can't. 

May everyone be safe. May everyone be well. 

A foolish hope, but a hope. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, August 27, 2021


Well, no curry here tonight. The power went out right after I hit "publish" and we were having a toad-strangling downpour, even though the lightening and thunder had passed. I called Duke Energy and got a sweet lady on the line and we chatted for a few. She said, "Just take it easy and you'll have your power back on in awhile." I said, "No problem. I'm going to play solitaire and listen to a podcast," and she said, "That sounds lovely."

So I did that for quite some time and I ate some second-rate supper and finally I called Duke again to hopefully just get a recording of an update but no, I got the same lady and we chatted some more. She was so nice and told me that her AC had gone out last night and that tomorrow she was going to go kayaking with her dog. We ended it with her telling me that I should have my power back on soon and wouldn't you know- a truck pulled up right by the house and I had to go out and take a picture because by then I was fully invested in the whole situation. 

I talked to the ZZ-Top bearded guy who was on the ground while his partner was up in the bucket and he was so southern that I could barely understand a word he said but I'm certain they were very polite words and I did understand him when he said, "You should be back on in a minute," and when I offered him and his partner water or coffee, he politely refused saying that they were fine (I think that's what he said) and I said, "Well, y'all are my heroes" and he thanked me and I came back inside and the power came back on almost immediately and then he knocked on my front door to make sure that everything was back on. I thanked him again and he said, "Call us if you need us," and I said, "Oh, I will. Be safe, y'all," and he said they would, and off they went into the night. 

It's been an adventure and all has turned out well and I feel a little bit better about humanity than I did before, strange as that sounds. 


Surviving Summer

 I swear to god, it took me all day long to do very little.

This morning I was determined to clean the hen house and get in the garden and do some more clearing. 
BUT FIRST (of course) I took the trash and I stopped at the post office where I got a huge box of delightfulness from a friend, a book I am excited to read from another friend, some assorted mail, and a box containing my Cologuard test. 
Well, it was all fine up to that last item. Lovely, in fact! 
One of the pieces of mail I got was a notice about a Lloyd area Town Hall meeting to be held next month to discuss the "Potential Economic Development Near 1-10 and State Rd. 59." There was also a sign out front of the PO with this same information. 
What the hell? I texted my across the street neighbor who generally keeps abreast of all such developments. She called me back and said she had no idea. So I texted our county commissioner who called me back and explained what was going on and it's long and convoluted but mainly it's concerning an economic site study being conducted at that location which is about a quarter of a mile from where I live. My commissioner is hoping to get people to give their input concerning exactly what types of economic development we want and do not want before they start this whole process. 
I just love my commissioner. She doesn't mince words and she's smart and she always seems to have the best interests and concerns of us Lloydians in mind. As I told her today, "We are small and we are not mighty," but she makes sure we have as much might as possible. 

So all of that took awhile and then I had to go through the treasure box I was sent and ooh and ah and be stunned and amazed and take pictures to send to the kids, etc. And then I was hungry for lunch and by the time I got to the hen house cleaning it was after one and then a neighbor stopped by for some eggs and we talked and I cooled off for a bit before going back out to work in the garden and by then it was almost three o'clock and I worked for about an hour and then I was done. 
Done, done, done. 
I cannot deal with this heat. It's miserable being out in it unless you're sitting under the cypress tree at the Wacissa being completely still. But, it does satisfy my need to suffer in a short amount of time so it's an efficient form of mental therapy. 

Picking peas against a rain cloud sky. 

A closed-up okra blossom and some coming-on baby okras. Still getting some of those. 

I came in, took a shower, cooled off again and shelled some more peas. I love shelling peas and watching TV. It's so relaxing and yet, somewhat productive at the same time. 

So I feel like a halfway decent human being this evening. The hen house is very temporarily poop-free but that won't last long. I have got to get rid of some chickens. Twenty-one is too many for me. Ideally I'd like a little flock of around seven or eight. They go through feed like nobody's business and that stuff ain't cheap. The poop would be beneficial if I'd turn the hay now and then instead of just piling it up. I need to do that and transfer it to the garden to till in and break down in the places we aren't going to plant this fall but that sounds like a hell of a lot of work. I did get a little more of the garden cleared of morning glory vines and spent pea vines as well as some random weeds but it is slow and sweaty going. 

Mr. Moon appears to be surviving Nevada. He texted me earlier today and asked if I was worried about Hurricane Ida and said that he would come home if I was. For those of you who do not have the National Hurricane Center as a bookmark in your browser, there is a hurricane heading towards the Gulf that looks to become either a category three or four and that is not nothing. That is scary as shit. But all of the predictions and models are saying that it's going to land way west of here and although I worry horribly about Louisiana I am not too concerned about it heading here. So I told my husband that no, I was not worried and I'm not. But I am very glad that the generator may actually get hooked up tomorrow. 
Although...my neighbor who came for eggs commented today that I should realize that if we get a storm and power's out for awhile, all the neighbors will be staying here. 
I had a flash image of this house filled with neighbors, children, their spouses, partners, and the grandchildren and I wondered if we were making the best decision here.
Just kidding! 

So in good news it would seem that a Leon County circuit judge has ruled that our murderous governor, Ron De Santis overstepped his authority in creating the mask mandate ban. Read about it here if you really want to. 

And speaking of weather, we've got a nice downpour going on with shake-and-quake-producing lightening and thunder. As in- so close and so loud that my house is shaking with some of them. 
Oh, Florida! We are all summer's bitch here this time of year. 
I got an alert advising me to seek shelter and yet here I am, on the back porch sipping a martini, watching and loving the gray percussive curtain of rain falling. 
Well, I know where the flashlights are but I sure as hell don't want a power outage tonight. It seems to be passing. 

I think I might make that curry tonight. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Just Be?

 Can you see the little boy behind those animals? 
That's Levon. I asked him if I could take his picture and he said that I could but to wait while he got ready. Getting ready involved picking up and holding a coyote puppet and an eagle puppet. We were in the antique store where the chaise lounge is that I thought I wanted a few weeks ago. The coyote and the eagle are not actually antiques and I'm not sure why they were there. Collectibles? They still had their original tags. One does not question certain things and the items in the upstairs part of an antique store is one of them. 

A few days ago I asked Lily and Jessie if they would like to take a trip to Monticello sometime this week for Wag the Dog and antique shopping and lunch. They both said that would be wonderful and we arranged it for today. Thursday is not a day that Levon's in school so Jessie didn't have to pick him up at noon and he was such a fine boy that having him along was only a pleasure. We asked him at lunch if he liked being the only kid or if he missed August and Maggie who, before they started kindergarten, always came with us on these Monticello trips. He pondered for about half a second and then said, "August and Maggie. And Gibson. And all my family."
"You miss them?" we asked. 
"Yes," he said. But he didn't make a fuss about it. I can't believe he's the only baby left and of course he's not a baby at all except he's our baby. He's a smart kid with ideas of his own and I don't think he appreciates my sudden kiss-and-hug attacks although I do always apologize and say, "I'm sorry. I just couldn't help it." 
He gives me a look but he also slips his hand in mine when we're walking down the sidewalk. 

So. Back to the chaise. I completely changed my mind about it today. Somehow it just didn't seem as lovely and when I tried to lounge on it, I noted that it really wasn't very comfortable and what's the point if it's not comfortable? 
I feel as if I have closure now which is a relief. 
I did buy Levon a hat that he wanted very much and I bought a little present for someone because I fell in love with it and thought that maybe the person I bought it for might fall in love with it too. 
I hope so. 

We went to lunch at the Rev, of course, and there were no car wrecks today so it wasn't nearly as exciting as the day Lis and I went there. But there were trucks for Levon to see, circling around the County Courthouse and he seemed to like his fried fish and french fries and again, he was a very sweet boy while his mama, his grandmama, and his aunt ate lunch and chatted. 

"Give me a bite of salad," he said to me. And I did. 

We went to Wag the Dog too, but not until after lunch because they didn't open until one. I donated two bags of things I had culled from the house. A small but potent relief. We didn't have much luck at Wag today. I went through the yarn again but I talked myself out of buying any. Lily bought a few saucers to put under plants. Jessie bought a building set for her boys. Levon was very happy about that although he was quite tired and a bit over it by the time I took this picture. 

We stopped at the farmer's market on the way home and Lily got some fruit and vegetables. While we were there, Lon's sister and her husband showed up and we got to chat with them. 
Monticello is a very small town. 

And then it was time to leave so that the mothers could pick up the young'uns at school. Lily and Jessie had met at my house and I had driven so back to Lloyd we came and Jessie transferred Levon's car seat back to her car with him asleep in it although he woke up before they left and said, "Who moved me to our car?" He didn't seem overly concerned, just curious. 

So I got my socializing time in today and that was lovely. I love watching my daughters together, laughing and talking about things from the serious to the ridiculous. I asked May if she wanted to come along as she's off on Thursdays but she is super concerned about the amount of exposure to the Delta variant she's getting at work and didn't want to unknowingly expose us. We talked last night on the phone for a long time and she said that it's not uncommon for unmasked people to come in and ask for suggestions for supplements to help "cure" their kids who have covid. 
She's double-masking. She's being as careful as she can be. But dear god, people are so stupid. She says that she's had a couple of people come in and ask for that livestock dewormer people think will cure them of covid and she has to tell them that no, the Co-op does NOT carry it and besides that, they need a prescription for it. From a VETERINARIAN! 

The human race, as far as I can tell, is just fucked. And sometimes I think, well- okay. We've had a short but decent run. If it's time for us to go, it's time. 
And then I do something like watch a documentary like the one I watched on Netflix while I was shelling peas this afternoon, about drummers (this came out before Charlie Watts died) called "Count Me In" and I think about the sheer beauty of human beings playing the drums for no other reason than because they simply must and I think, Well, you know. Some things people do are pretty damn awesome. We might have a little bit of god stuff in us, twisted into that double helix. 
And then I think about people refusing to get a vaccine but feeling absolutely fine about taking livestock dewormer and I think that we don't have that much god stuff in us. Not nearly enough, anyway. Or not most of us. 

Mr. Moon called me while I was in Monticello and he says he's fine. Zion National park was amazing, of course. He claims he misses me. I miss him too. Funny how used to being together all the time we've become. But we'll both survive. 
Or at least I think we will. 
He sent me a picture via text. Here's the screen shot. 

My replies are in blue, of course. 

That's just...well. It's horrible. 

Hell, it feels horrible here and our temperatures are only in the upper 80's and low 90's but of course our humidity is far higher than it is in Utah or Nevada. Still, a hundred and twenty-two degrees can kill your ass no matter what the humidity is. 

And on that cheerful note, I think I'll end here. I really do not care to comment on the news. More evidence of the probable end of humanity and the fucked-upedness of people in general. 

Be kind, y'all. Be kind and be safe and be masked. Be vaccinated. Be steadfast and steady, be loving when you can and try to be tolerant when you can't. Beware and be aware that most of us are doing the best we can. That's not always very good but be cognizant of the fact that we all live in glass houses and should search our own hearts and minds before we pick up that first stone. Speaking to and for myself, at least. 

Be well. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Deep Greens And Blues

I slept last night like a sleep-beast. I guess I was worn out from emotion and also the garden work that I did earlier yesterday. I started in on the clearing in preparation for fall planting, mostly pulling the morning glory vines that grow wild and in great abundance, climbing and claiming everything they can get their tendrils on and hardly ever blooming. When they do, it's just the smallest little insignificant flower. I kept thinking, didn't I just weed this whole garden?
I'm pretty sure I did although you'd never know it now. 
I picked some more peas and then came in for lunch and that was when I heard about Charlie Watts and then it rained and I lost the heart to go back out anyway so I watched the rain and felt sad.

I hadn't cried at all today until just a few minutes ago when I started going through pictures of Cozumel. I want to change my desktop picture which is a very old picture I took in Cozumel of a statue of Ixchel in front of the beautiful water but I'm ready for a different one. Scrolling through all of the pictures I took on our last trip there, I wept a little. The memories are so sweet, the island is so beautiful. My heart is so open when I am there. I wonder if we'll ever get back? 


I went to town today. I needed to pick up a prescription and I had a few things on my list to get at the stores. While I was in town I decided to go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to look for white hand towels to go in the bathroom by the kitchen (I like to bleach them and around here, they need it) and didn't want to buy the forty-eight pack at Costco or whatever it is they have there. Also, for some reason, we seem to be low on martini glasses of a suitable size. The reason is not really that hard to figure out- one does tend to drop martini glasses at times. I've looked and looked at thrift stores which is where I generally buy my "barware" but I haven't seen any in ages. Perhaps dropping martini glasses is a common occurrence. I don't know. But I was willing to go to an actual store and buy an actual set and was shocked to find that B, B, and B had many, many empty shelves, including the ones in the glasswares department. I asked an employee why that is and she said it was because the college students had wiped them out, coming into town for the fall semester and stocking up on everything to outfit their rooms and apartments. 
Since when do college students buy martini glasses?

So I just wandered a bit and on my way from glasswares to towels, I stopped for a moment in the bed linens department and guess what I did? 

I bought another set of sheets. 
This is a pure luxury. We don't really need them. I've bought two new sets of sheets in the past two years but the latest set I bought got washed with SOMEONE'S pen and that pen had the sort of ink that will not come out, no matter how much you pretreat it. 
Perhaps Oprah could do it, but I can't. Remember when I talked about listening to her on a podcast and how she got most excited talking about stain removal? She was animated, baby. 
Okay. So blah, blah, blah. 
The pen stains won't come out and that does not affect the quality of the sheets themselves in any way. Turn the lights out and they feel exactly as they are supposed to which is pretty darn nice. But there I was in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond and their sheet inventory was pretty low but they did have some Egyptian cotton sateen sheets in a lovely shade of blush pink and I just thought, "Well, why not?" 
And I bought them.
Along with some new hand towels. 

I'm sure that my husband's winnings in Las Vegas will cover those. 
Right? Right? 

I went to Publix and bought my food including two tiny cans of LeSueur green peas and a head of cauliflower. Mr. Moon hates LeSueur green peas and as I have said recently, he is so over my favorite cauliflower recipe that he asked me to put it on the list of things I make myself when he is gone. 
I thought I was going to buy all sorts of crazy delicious foods but I ended up with nothing very exciting except for two tiny lobster tails. Another luxury. Don't tell my husband. 
Oh, I'll probably tell him. 
I looked for tapioca, having a sudden craving for tapioca pudding but didn't find any. I could have asked an employee or even called Lily and asked where Publix keeps the stuff but I guess I didn't care quite enough about tapioca pudding to go to the effort. I got ingredients to make a curry but I just don't feel hungry or inspired enough to go to that effort either. Hell, I may just eat leftover tuna casserole tonight. It was a good tuna casserole and even has spinach in it. 
The last two nights I've made lovely Greek-ish salads and that still sounds good. Might make one of those again tonight. 

Mr. Moon did get safely to Las Vegas but then they all drove to St. George, Utah. He and his cousin Larry were going to drive around Zion National Park today in Larry's convertible. Larry lives in St. George. I haven't heard that report but I'm sure they've had an amazing day. I remember going there with Glen's beloved Aunt Elizabeth years ago. I can see why the Mormons thought they'd reached some sort of promised land when they got to that magnificent place. 
Hard to grow vegetables there though, I would imagine. 
Say what you will about Mormons, they are hardy, hard-working people. 

Blogger Sabine, who writes beautifully of serious, very important things, posted a video that I watched this morning that I absolutely love. It's of the Rolling Stones listening to a playback of "Wild Horses" that obviously they had just recorded. The clip came from the documentary "Gimme Shelter" that came out in 1970. If my math is correct, the boys are all in their mid to late twenties. 

I love Charlie's eyes. He may never have said a whole lot but his eyes did. 

A nice bit of film. 

And while I'm being nostalgic, here's another picture of Cozumel.

And what the hell? Here's one more. Not magnificent. 
Then again, it's not magnificence that always pulls my heartstrings. Sometimes it's just a one dollar candle sitting beside a snake plant in a coconut shell with a small green heart. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

I guess I love this picture so much because Charlie Watts looks so happy in it. The arms of his mate wrapped around him. I'd never seen the picture before today and it's usually Keith who has his arm around Charlie. You can find pictures of Keith hugging him all the way back to the sixties. But you know- Keith is a hugger. 


The first I remember hearing the Rolling Stones- I mean, specifically heard them to the point where I remember vividly. I was in my room in a house that we lived in in Winter Haven. Bad time for Mary Miller. That was me. My stepfather was still visiting me in my room at bedtime. Don't quite know how he got away with that. His and my mother's room was about seven feet away down a hall, bathroom in-between. The ruse, the story was that he was "telling me goodnight."
I was probably eleven, twelve. My mother was sick a lot. Headaches. Then pregnant. She stayed in bed days at a time. Considered her husband to be such a good father- look! He tells our little girl goodnight every night! He spends time with her. 
I remember how the rattan rug felt on my knees when I got down on it to pray sometimes that things would get better. I was going through a Billy-Graham-on-TV inspired phase. 
Jesus would help if I just asked. 
No relief in that. 
Dang, Jesus. 


Then, one day She's a Rainbow came out of my wooden radio. Yes. Wood cabinet radio. Dial like a clock hand that rotated from the bottom center, controlled by a Bakelite knob. Two knobs. One to turn it on and control volume, one to inch the dial in infinitely tiny degrees to find the stations hidden within the static. 


That song. The tinkle of the piano. The words. The words. 
The words. 
She comes in colors everywhere. She combs her hair. She's like a rainbow. Have you seen her dressed in gold? Like a queen in days of old. She shoots her colors all around. Like a sunset going down. Have you seen a lady fairer?

They were talking about a girl and it was just so purely sweet and so pretty and it wasn't like anything I'd ever heard before and it was a different world that I slipped into and felt like a different girl myself. 
For a few minutes. While it played. A girl who was so shining that she could shoot colors everywhere. She combed her hair. Like a rainbow.


I've been crying off and on since I heard that Charlie Watts died this morning. Hell. He was eighty years old. Had cancer seventeen years ago. What did I think? He was immortal? 

Yeah. Maybe. Probably.

Aren't all those Stones? Immortal? They've been here forever. Why should that change?

They never did one damn fucking thing they were supposed to do. Not one. They didn't even look the way they were supposed to. Those matching suits didn't last long with them. And you ever hear the term "ugly beautiful"? Yeah. Like that. Except for Brian Jones and he was crazy and they had to kick him out of his own band and then he died. 
The Beatles? Even though their hair was shockingly long (for the time) you knew you could bring one of them home to meet your mother. She would have loved Paul McCartney. Ringo would have made her laugh. John would have charmed her with his intellect, his wit. 

The Rolling Stones? 

And wasn't that their charm? Wasn't that why we loved them? Even your mother would have known what they had on their minds. They teethed on blues music from America. They ingested it and digested it and copied it and jumped onstage and played it and then wrote their own songs with the juice they'd swallowed and it was rock and roll. 
Little Red Rooster indeed.
Dirty. Filthy. Raw. Gender-bending. Sexually fluid to the point that who DIDN'T want to fuck them?  


My stepfather quit coming to my room. I think I got too old for his interest. Wasn't long after that that boys my own age started showing interest. This, however, felt very, very different. I realized that I had control over...something. I may not have known that I too was like a rainbow but I knew that boys might look at me as if I were. The Rolling Stones told me that boys liked girls that liked what they were singing about. My mama may not have known I could bite like that, but Mick Jagger did. He gave it his seal of approval. And I could bite or kiss whoever I wanted. Because it was my choice. It was my body. 
When I was finally allowed to date at the age of sixteen and I remember my stepfather crying when I went on my first real date with a guy a year older than me, big and hulky, a football player. 
Too bad. Weep away, DAD. You don't own me.


But Charlie Watts. He died today. He was already playing with a successful band when the Stones hired him. They had to pay him because you know- he was already making money. Keith Richards says they shoplifted food to eat to be able to afford to pay Charlie five pounds a week. 
Priorities, baby. 

He married his wife Shirley in 1964. 

They were married when he died. Today. 

They had a daughter named Seraphina. They raised horses. Charlie loved jazz. He loved jazz so much and yet somehow, he became the drummer, the heartbeat, the make-you-dance-like-no-other-drummer-in-the-world for the greatest rock and roll band of all times. 
He was quiet. He rarely gave interviews. As he said, "I'm usually just mumbling in the background." He thought that all of the screaming women in the audiences they played to were "just silly." He dressed like a duke, a dandy, a model, the most elegant rock and roll drummer in the world. 
He was always the coolest guy in the room. 
That's saying a lot in that he was in a band with Keith Richards. 


Here's a quote from Keith's book, Life. 

There was a rare moment in late 1984, of Charlie throwing his drummer's punch- a punch I've seen a couple of times and it's lethal; it carries a lot of balance and timing. He has to be badly provoked. He threw this one at Mick. We were in Amsterdam for a meeting. Mick and I weren't on great terms at the time but I said, c'mon, let's go out. And I lent him the jacket I got married in. We got back to the hotel about five in the morning and Mick called up Charlie. I said, don't call him, not at this hour. But he did, and said, "Where's my drummer?" No answer. He puts the phone down. Mick and I were still sitting there, pretty pissed- give Mick a couple of glasses, he's gone- when about twenty minutes later, there was a knock at the door. There was Charlie Watts, Savile Row suit, perfectly dressed, tie, shaved, the whole fucking bit. I could smell the cologne! I opened the door and he didn't even look at me, he walked straight past me, got hold of Mick and said, "Never call me your drummer again." Then he hauled him up by the lapels of my jacket and gave him a right hook. Mick fell back onto a silver platter of smoked salmon on the table and began to slide towards the open window and the canal below it. And I was thinking, this is a good one, and then I realized it was my wedding jacket. And I grabbed hold of it and caught Mick just before he slid into the Amsterdam canal. 

I absolutely love the idea of Charlie shaving and getting fully and carefully and tastefully dressed before he threw a punch at Mick Jagger. I feel certain that Mick got the point. I feel certain that he never, ever called Charlie Watts his drummer again. 


Charlie Watts never seemed to really enjoy the glamor, the glory. One gets the feeling that if it was up to him, he would have simply retired to his farm with his wife, happy to live that British horsey life. 
And yet. 
Every time he was called up (and I hear that he only communicated via the postal service) to come back to the studio, to tour, he went. Of course he had to join them.
He was a Rolling Stone. There were really only four of them left. Three, if you count the true originals. 
Mick. Keith. Charlie. 

And now he's gone. I don't think it would have been so hard to imagine him dying if he had just retired to the farm with Shirley but because he did continue to play, to be the very heart beat of the greatest rock and roll band of all times, even at the age where most people are content to lay back and rest on their laurels, it doesn't seem real. 

Here's what Keith Richards just posted on Facebook. 

Look- here's what I have to say. 
The Beatles gave me a new way to dream. 
Bob Dylan gave me a new way to think.
The Rolling Stones gave me the knowledge that I could use my body as I wanted. That it was mine. 

There's more to it than that. Of course. 
But that's what I'm thinking tonight which is different from any other night since the day I heard She's a Rainbow on my radio. For me. 

This version doesn't really have much of Charlie in it but I think it's a beautiful video of a song that changed my life and he is there. 
He is there.  

Always the one in the back. Always the one keeping the rhythm which is the heartbeat, the waves, the breath, the soul, the pulse, the orbit, the very beginning of music and poetry and dance. 

Gold rings on ya', Charlie. 
Gold goddamn rings on ya'. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

 This is one view of what the garden looks like now. It's a weedy, scraggly mess. The banana peppers are still going strong and in some cases have pulled the plant over with their weight. I am not really interested in pickling more of them than I already have. I mean- how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper need? 
Still getting a few eggplant, a few okra. The vegetables that thrive in the late summer Florida heat. 
Or can at least tolerate it. 
And...the field peas are still coming on strong. And today, right before it rained, I picked a big basketful and then I sat on the couch and shelled a bunch. 

Sorry about the thumbnail. You use your thumbs to unseam the peas so you can shuck them into the bowl and that's just the fact of the matter. As you can see there, we have several varieties of peas but we're just mixing them all together. They're all delicious although I can't really swear that about the black ones as I have never grown those before and we didn't grow them on purpose. But they are so lovely!

I should save some for seed. The most traditionally bean-shaped, light-colored ones are white acre peas. The rounder ones are crowder peas. And then- those shiny black ones. 
If you've never had a bowl of fresh field peas (not to be confused with green or English peas), you have no idea how delicious they taste. They cook into an almost creamy sauce and need nothing but some rice to go with, salt, pepper, perhaps a little oil, and the hot sauce of your choice. 
Or not.
The hardiness, heat and bug resistance of these peas is probably one of the reasons that people survived living in the south. If game was scarce, you could always depend on these peas, fresh, or dried, for protein and calories. And if you had some fish to go with them and maybe even a little piece of pork to cook with them, you were living high on the hog. 
As we still say around here. At least some of us do.

So Mr. Moon did not catch an alligator last night. I asked him when he got in if he did and he laughed and said, "No," as if he hadn't expected to anyway. He came home before eleven so he wasn't out that long. I had started watching the David Geffen doc on Netflix while I was eating my supper ("American Masters: Inventing David Geffen") and it had captured me. I had to make myself turn it off and get to bed before it was over. I really loved it. I had no idea that he'd been so instrumental in the music that I grew up loving. 
That wasn't a pun. Trust me. I've never made a deliberate pun in my life. 
There were so many clips with Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro and Crosby, Stills, and Nash AND Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Yoko Ono, Bob Dylan, The Band...on and on and on. He truly came from nothing and he created, if not everything, a whole hell of a lot. And that's not even counting his career in making movies. 
David Geffen was one third of that operation. 

I finished watching that today while I was shelling peas and then I started watching the Netflix series, "The Chair" and it is going to entertain me while my husband is gone, I am sure. Who doesn't love Sandra Oh? 

Speaking of Mr. Moon, he spent all day in town getting things done before he leaves in the wee, small hours of tomorrow morning. As in- about 3:00 a.m. His flight leaves at six and he has to get to the airport two hours before the planes leaves. I have a bit of FOMO about this trip, as much as I really do not want to go to Las Vegas at this point. I remember all of the flights he and I have taken in the early, early morning hours to go on adventures together. Yes, we used to go to Las Vegas occasionally and yes, I do love to play Black Jack, and we've flown to California and of course, my favorite, dearest destination of all- Cozumel. 
I remember those six o'clock check-ins, filled with anxieties, eyes gritted with not enough sleep. I remember the kind airline employees who walked me through my worries, who said things like, "Cozumel? Oh, lucky you!" I remember getting to the Miami airport and feeling as if I was already in a foreign and exotic land, drinking a Bloody Mary at an entirely inappropriate hour of the morning.  
Just us. Just us. 
And now he's going without me but I was invited and I do not regret turning down the kind offer. I don't think I could handle the masking, the trying to pretend that everything was normal when it is so not, even the constant bells and whistles in the casinos which I sort of used to get off on back in my younger years before I became a socially ignorant and anxious agoraphobe. 

Ah lah. 

I'll be fine here at home. I'll be lovely. I'm going to try and get some of the garden cleared, weeded, and ready for fall planting. I can watch TV and crochet or shell peas. I can meet up with my kids. I can do, well, whatever I want to do which is actually what I can do any time but will be more apt to do if I'm not worrying about or fussing over my husband. 
Or so I tell myself. 
Meanwhile, I'm going to go make his supper. The last one I'll be making for him for awhile. 
I hope his sister reminds him to eat. I'm sure she will. And drink water! It's going to be so hot in Las Vegas and the humidity is so much lower than we're used to. 

All right. He's a grown man. He'll be fine. 

And so will I.

Love...Ms. Moon