Thursday, June 30, 2022

Ain't That Some Shit?

 I was in Costco today, in the produce section to be exact, when suddenly, I had such a longing to see August and Levon and their mama that I began to cry right by the peppers. I pulled out my phone to text Jess and tell her how much I missed them and found a message from her which of course happens frequently with all of us, I'm sure. I don't think this is woo-woo at all but an actual human sense ability that we have evolved with and that one day science will figure it out. 
But I just couldn't seem to stop crying. It wasn't a big huge thing, just a continual weeping that I dabbed at as I moved around the store. I saw Brenda right after I'd checked out and we had a terrific, huge hug and that made me cry even more. I had to explain why I was crying and that really, everything was okay. 
"I love you," she said. "I love you too," I answered. 
And you know what? In some way I do love that woman. She is just so pure of heart and so giving of sweetness. 
I went on to the liquor store and got to see Kevin whom I also very much enjoy talking to and when HE asked me how I was, I teared up again. I told him that I'd had a breakdown in produce and I laughed at myself and told him why and then I said, "Well, it's probably everything, you know. Like being told by the supreme court that I'm not really a whole person who can make decisions for herself."
"Aint that some shit?" he asked. "Why do they think they need to get into that business?"
"I don't know," I said, "but they sure do seem to think they really do." He rang me up and shook his head and told me to be good which is what he always says which is pretty funny considering I'm a 67-year old woman, just a kiss away from 68. 

And then I went to Publix and they had orchids buy-one-get-one and so I got two even though I am the Orchid Killer. I think my daughters have inspired me to refall in love with plants the way I used to and somehow, I just wanted those orchids. So I bought them. And I got my groceries and some grocery store sushi which I ate in my car, feeling guilty because I had completely fine leftovers at home to eat but fuck it. Let us take comfort where we can, I guess.

I think we've all probably been going through too much lately. I feel whacked upside the head by what the supreme court is coming out with and even though many of us are so very glad that Trump may finally face some sort of consequences for his actions as president, watching and hearing the congressional committee testimony has been shocking to most of us who did not know the extremes to which that man went to to try and overthrow the election results. It's also been shocking to hear how many people who have now come forward to testify against him supported him right up to the last second, even knowing what they knew. 
And I don't know about everyone else but somehow this knowledge has given me even less hope for our country and even more reason to have lost my faith in it and its citizens and its political system than I had before which wasn't much. 
Another stick on the fire of treason has come out, this time about Melania Trump whose then chief-of-staff, Stephanie Grisham tweeted the text she supposedly sent Melania while the riots were going on along with Melania's answer. 

Well. Okay then. 

One tiny bit of light came today though when Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as the first Black woman to be sworn in as a justice to the supreme court. In normal times (were there really ever any normal times?) this event would have had me soaring with joy but right now, I mostly just feel flat. Will her presence make a difference in the decisions that the current court is making? 
I hope so. I wish her all of the best and a very long life. What an amazing woman she must be. 

It's starting to rain and we need it. Doesn't look like it's going to be much of a rain but it's better than nothing, I suppose. I think I'm going to go make a risotto because I bought fresh spinach today and the thought of stirring and stirring and stirring is comforting. 
Like I said- we should take whatever comfort we can find right now. 

And by the way. I really do miss the Weatherfords. The little boys, the mama and the daddy. I am so glad we're going to see them soon. 

Hang in there, y'all. We're going through a lot. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Lucky Me

It's been a rather low-key birthday for Mr. Moon. By the time I got up he'd already gone to the gym and didn't get home until hours later as he had errands to run in town. That gave me time to make the frosting for the cake. 

By the time he got home Lily and Lauren and the kids had already left their house for the Hilltop where we had decided to meet and get lunch so we hurried into our bathing costumes (I love to use that phrase) and and gather towels and the cake and got in the car to drive down the road for lunch. They weren't too far ahead of us in ordering so we were all able to eat together and thankfully, the flies weren't swarming the picnic tables outside but it was blue-blazes hot and if there's a garment that's hotter and more uncomfortable to wear in the heat than a lycra swimsuit, I don't know what it is. I had a cotton gauze dress over it but I was still dying. Or at least I felt as if I was. 

After lunch we all headed to the river and when we got there, the sky was already growing dark and ominous the way it so often is on summer afternoons. Mr. Moon and I arrived first and knowing that our time might be cut short we both dove in immediately and as I said when I surfaced, "Every time we do this it's a life-changer." 
And it is. 
The relief is just so incredibly instantaneous. 
Then the Hartmanns showed up (Lauren had to go to work) and it wasn't fifteen minutes before lightening started flashing and thunder started rumbling to the southwest. We debated whether to just leave or wait awhile to see what was going to happen, the radar was consulted and still no consensus was formed although Magnolia June was convinced that not only should we stay but that she should be allowed to play in the water (we had called them out when the lightening started) and that other kids were still playing in the water and it wasn't fair! 
I wonder how children all seem to be born with this innate sense that life should be fair. I mean- even by the age of two, it should be apparent to a child that life is frequently NOT fair at all and by the age of six one would think that we would all accept that fact as plainly as we accept the fact that french fries with ketchup are delicious. 
But no. We do not. And Maggie REALLY does not. 
(Her mother didn't either at her age but I think she's aware of the fact now.) 
We decided to go ahead and eat cake, however, and we all sang happy birthday to Boppy, and Owen and Maggie didn't want cake because of the coconut in it but Gibson, Lily, Glen, and I surely did enjoy it. German chocolate cake is just a damn fine cake. 
About this time a little girl, perhaps three or four, ran smack dab into a wooden sign post while playing and she hit that thing so hard with her sweet little noggin that the metal sign attached to it shivered and rang, and everyone at the river stopped what they were doing and we all waited in silence to see what would happen. She let out a huge wail- the sort of wail every parent knows means "this is serious" and her daddy grabbed her up and set her down on the floor of the back of the van to see what she'd done to herself and she was crying, "Is it bleeding?" so at least she hadn't knocked herself out. They put ice on her head and her father picked her back up and continued to hold her and try to comfort her and I know that everyone at the river wanted to do something to help but what could we do? There was another family with them, and everything was being taken care of but it felt so unfortunate. When I walked back to the car with our stuff a few minutes later I saw she already had a bruised-looking lump on her head that was as big as half an egg. I am still thinking about her, obviously, wondering if they took her to a doctor. I know that kids' heads are hard but I guess having been a nurse I still think of terms like skull fracture and subdural hematoma. 
I think for me, one of the hardest parts of being a parent to young children was not being sure of when it was the right thing to do to take a child in for medical help and when not to. All of us who have children remember this conundrum. You do not want to be the mom (or dad) who takes their precious child in every time they get a snotty nose nor do you want to be the the one who ignores the signs of a possibly threatening bacterial infection. 
Does this wound need stitches? 
Does this bump need to be checked? 
Is this rash newborn normal? 
Is this a virus which will pass or an infection that needs antibiotics?
Does inhaling Mexican baby powder constitute a possible medical emergency? (Asking for a friend.)
Back in the olden days, we had no internet to check things out before making that decision but we did have Dr. Spock and I don't know what I would have done without him. I remember diagnosing one of my children with an inguinal hernia and taking her to the doctor. I told him what I suspected (based on what dear Dr. Spock had told me) and he was impressed with my diagnostic skills.

Anyway, what in hell was I talking about? 
Oh yeah. My husband and his birthday. 
I wonder how many words I've written here over the years talking about what a good man my husband is and how grateful and fortunate I am that I caught his eye that night back in 1983. 
In a bar. 
Wearing my friend Sue's sweater.

When I got up this morning I found a note from him in front of the coffee pot. It thanked me for loving and nurturing him the way I do and gave me the credit for him living to the age of 68. 
It's funny how we love and how we express love changes as we age. And it may be even funnier how those things don't change in some ways. 
In the river today we hugged and kissed each other and I thought about how some of the younger people there probably thought either, "Ugh. Really?" or "Oh, isn't that cute?"
You know what? 
I love his hugs and his kisses as much or even more than I did when we were both twenty-nine. Each one of them is precious. 
He is precious. 

Here's a picture of him and Ms. "It-Isn't-Fair" Magnolia June three years ago. 

Happy birthday, my love.

Ms. Moon

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Birthday Eve Day For Mr. Moon

So after bragging about the glory of the crepe myrtles this year, I took that picture this morning and it looks like it was hand-tinted by someone not very enthusiastic about color but trust me- in real life it looks much more vibrant.

Humidity back up to the upper 60 percent today and temperature back up into the nineties so of course I decided to take another walk after yesterday's pleasant experience and I chose to walk down to Lloyd Creek Road which is lovely and shady once you get there but hell on this earth when you're on the road to it. When I started out, it was a bit overcast and I thought that would help but the clouds saw me coming and said, "Hey! Let's get out of the way! This woman needs heat stroke!" 
Or something. 
But I did it and discovered when a friend texted me that there was a special Jan. 6 hearing today starting at one so that gave me a great reason to go sit down for a few hours which was heavenly. I started patching a very, very old favorite blue linen shirt but it's a wonder I got anything done on it. The witness today was a woman named Cassidy Hutchinson who somehow had an entire political life in the White House before the age of 26 which is how old she is now. She was top aide to Mark Meadows who was Trump's chief of staff for a few years and my take-away from her testimony is that as crazy as we all knew that 45 is, we now know that he is a true and genuine madman.
Look. I can't even begin to go into it all but if that man isn't hung for treason there is no justice in this world. As I keep telling my husband- I do not believe in capital punishment but in this case I will make an exception. 
Okay. Not really. I truly do not believe in society's right to kill a human being but if anyone deserves it, it would be the man who brought this country to the brink of an overthrow and whose presidency will be a curse to this nation for decades after he lost the election in 2020. 
You know what I'm talking about. 

So. That was an interesting afternoon. I can't believe I still have the capacity to be shocked by these reports of his actions and behaviors but I will admit that I am. 
The thing that scares me is that Trump's supporters are going to take this testimony which includes him trying to grab the wheel of the presidential limousine (The Beast) to force the driver to take him to the Capitol to meet the rioters and urge them on, as proof that he was willing to do anything to keep his promise to be there with them as they stormed the Capitol. With weapons. That he knew they had. That he obviously encouraged them having. And to possibly murder Mike Pence. 

It's all just so unbelievable. 
People ask me why I'm watching these hearings and all I can answer is, "History." This all makes Watergate look like bird poop at a picnic. And that was bad. 


Tomorrow is Mr. Moon's birthday. He claims he does not want to acknowledge it. "It's just like any other day," he says. But- hey. I want to celebrate the birth-day of the man I love. I've made three layers of a German chocolate cake today and will make the sinfully, beautifully decadent filling tomorrow. I had forgotten how many steps there are to German chocolate cake. Chocolate must be melted, of course (and I always use twice the amount the recipe calls for), the eggs separated and the whites whipped, the flour and baking soda and salt sifted before adding to the creamed butter and sugar and egg yolks, and then the egg whites folded in. I made him the same cake the first year we were together. We were staying at the beach with his parents, his sister, her husband, their children and Hank and May, and I was overwhelmed, truthfully. But his parents were so very kind to me and I will never forget how, while I was making this complicated cake in a rental kitchen, his daddy put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Thank you for giving our son back to us and making him so happy." 
I think that Mr. Moon's first marriage had been a bit difficult for their family. And it was on that trip that I saw how Glen's daddy treated all of the children as if they were blood-kin, mine and Mr. Moon's sister's step-daughter. No difference. And I knew that he had told Glen when we first got together that it wasn't enough for him to fall in love with me. He had to fall in love with my children, too. 
And that is what I think of when I make German chocolate cake. 
Food is not only love, it is also a conjurer of memory. 

I think we're going to meet up with Lily and her kids at the river and he's talking about taking the kayak. That'll be sweet. We can all eat cake and swim and paddle about and take a day off to honor the man who is husband, father, grandfather. 

I am looking forward to it. I hope my husband is too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, June 27, 2022

Busy As A Little Bee. Not Really

I took a walk this morning and wisely forced myself to walk a bit slower than usual and by doing so, I not only did not die but I was also able to cover more ground. It was hot but again, the humidity has not been as bad and I was glad to be outside and moving. 

That picture is a bit of a miracle because:

A. It's so bright out that I can't even really see what I'm aiming at, and
B. Bee. 

I knew there was a bee because I waited for it to enter that velvet tunnel but the odds of getting that fine of a shot as it exited were next to nothing. I was shocked when I got home and looked at it. Those are a neighbor's morning glories. I love them so. 

Some of the morning glories were climbing into some crepe myrtle which appears to love hot dry weather. It seems to be stunningly vibrant this year. 

I walked up to the GDFDG and got a few shots. 

Obviously none of my attempts at halting the project have done one bit of good. The lights are on, baby. Nobody's home yet but they will be.

Nice fill dirt, right? And that is how they will prevent the place from washing away. I still harbor evil thoughts about what could happen during a tropical storm. 

I walked on over to Main Street and passed what used to be a sort-of trailer park which is right across the road from the post office. It was there when I first lived in Lloyd in the late seventies and I'm sure it had already been there for quite awhile. One of the trailers, now abandoned, had some gorgeous hydrangea blooming in front of it near the road and I helped myself to some. I brought them home and have them in a pitcher-vase, hoping that they will root. 

You can see that there are two types there. The purple ones are French hydrangea, I think, and the others are oak-leaf hydrangea which are a less domesticated version. They are, to my eye, so elegant. Both of them. 

And so it's been a slow, easy day for me. I've hung laundry, I've done some ironing which we all know is just a good excuse for me to watch TV. 

And now I'm going to make another shrimp salad. This one with shrimp that Mr. Moon bought on his way home from the coast yesterday. When they came in, Chip hugged me hard and said, "I am so, so sorry," and I knew he was talking about the supreme court decision and I cried. It is good to know that there are men who understand, at least as much as they can, what this decision means to and for women. 
And yes, I saw that today they busted out the first bricks of the edifice of the division of church and state by saying that some shithead Christian high school coach can pray on the football field after a game and invite others to join him. While he's on coach time. While he's being paid. 
Anyone who believes that their god gives a flying fuck about whether or not their football team wins or loses is, in my opinion, an ignorant, superstitious ass (to say the least) but that has no bearing on this supreme court who should have thrown the case out to begin with. And let's not even mention the fact that Jesus himself told people not to pray in public. But these people haven't actually read a Bible, have they? 

Well, there you are. Today's report from the enchanted land of Lloyd, Florida. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Repeating History, To Our Great Detriment And Astonishment

Yesterday evening May sent a around a text saying that she'd just gotten off work and was sitting outside her apartment and that it was so beautiful and any of us who could, should go outside for a little while too. 
Of course I'd spent a great deal of time outside already but it's never a bad idea, if the weather's nice, to sit on the front porch. I am so damn lucky to live here where I live, surrounded by these oak trees. 

So much green. The little lady Golden Orb weaver spider in the photo at the top is the first one I've seen on the porch so far. She will grow to be much bigger. There's a dead one behind her and whether that was a male or another female who just didn't make it, I do not know. There will be more webs with more spiders as the summer progresses. They will mate and will lay their eggs and build and rebuild webs and when it gets cold in the fall, they will have lived out their span and their children will be back next summer to take over the duties of spiders. 

It has been back up into the nineties today but the humidity is down in the lower thirty percent so it has not seemed so hellish. I didn't do any actual work in the garden but I picked beans and tomatoes. Even my seemingly indestructible rattlesnake beans have taken a hit from the heat, yielding half as much as they usually do this time of year but between the ones I picked today and the ones I've picked recently, I had enough to make getting the canning kettle out worthwhile. So I did. 

Back to trimming and jar sterilizing and brine making. I only made six pints though, saving enough back to make supper for me and Glen and Chip who will be getting back from the island soon. 

I hope they're good. 

I also picked my first handful of field peas today. I will wait until I get a decent amount and then either I or Mr. Moon will shuck them. Those and the green beans are truly the only things that show any signs of bounty this year. My tomato plants are turning yellow, drying up. Same for peppers and cucumbers. Been a hard year for the garden. 

I don't have much to say this evening. I am still low in my spirits. Last night I watched about half an hour of "The Janes", a documentary on HBO about a group of women who helped other women from 1969 to 1973 to get safe abortions in Chicago when they were still illegal and women were dying from back-alley abortions and self-induced abortions. 
I am not an easily triggered woman. It has happened before, but not as frequently as it happens to other people who have been in traumatic situations. However, this doc triggered me. I was not quite as old as those women- I graduated high school in 1972, but I definitely remember those times and when I was going to college in Denver, I volunteered at a place called the Open Clinic where we helped people with everything from possible drug overdoses to legal problems to getting mental health treatment to women needing abortions. Those women had to go to either California or New York, generally, because that's where it was legal. I suppose that's when I became radicalized. And watching these incredibly brave women in Chicago talk about how women were dying because of the lack of safe and legal abortion and how they started helping took me right back to those times when women were shamed and shunned if they got pregnant "out of wedlock" and birth control pills had just recently become available and only more recently available to unmarried women and how incredibly hard it was for a woman to have control over her own reproductive system short of not having penetrative sex (unless she was raped, of course) and I just kept thinking of all of the courageous and determined women who worked so hard for women to achieve the legal right to get abortions  and...well...I was overcome. 
I had to turn it off. 

So that's where I guess I am on this post-supreme court ruling journey right now. Every memory unlocks another memory and a resulting realization and with my age and experience, another perspective on all of it. Right now I am thinking of how, when I was raised, there were "good girls" and "bad girls" and only the bad girls had sex and the good girls waited until marriage and I realized fairly early on that I was not going to be a virgin on my wedding day and so I assumed I was a bad girl and accepted that as truth. Men, of course, had no such constraints but were expected to have as much sex as they possibly could and let the devil take his due. 
The problem with that of course, is that only the women got pregnant and only the women were marked as bad, as wicked, as sluts, as whores, as loose, as easy, as defiled, as impure, as "in trouble."
In trouble. 
Where we all are now again. 

See you tomorrow.

Love... Ms. Moon


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Trying To Stay Afloat In A Dark Stormy Sea

There is a picture of my cat. She was sitting at the other end of the sofa from me as I stitched two pieces of knitting together to make a strong, heat-proof potholder which I cannot deny looks like the handiwork of a twelve-year old. 
Maurice, as crazy as she is, knows me and I think she is aware right now that I cannot deal with much interaction with other beings, even feline ones, but that I do probably need some sort of companionship. 
Yesterday in my grief and disbelief fog, I decided to tidy and sort my "work area" which is the end of the couch and a table beside it where I keep my embroidery and knitting and crocheting and mending things. Yarns and floss, scissors, pins, needles to sew with, to knit with, to crochet with. Things were all a-tangle and a confusion of random bits and pieces and skeins and balls and I tried to make some sense of it all. While I was at it, I decided that it was time to get rid of the big green laundry basket in that corner I've had since Owen was a tiny boy which has served as a toy basket so I went through things in it and threw out a few things and could not bear to let go of a few things, which I then put in a large shopping tote and put in front of the fireplace with the Lincoln Logs and the Fisher Price farm.  
I wiped out the basket and it is now in the laundry room where I suppose it belongs. I remember Owen playing animal in that basket, he was a jaguar in a cage and would escape and scare me to death. That was his joy, pretending to be a wild and scary jaguar, running the length of the hallway on four legs. 
So that tiny piece of my life was dealt with as I was not capable of doing much else and I will admit that it is a comfort to see order in a place where there was none before. 

Today has been much like that except that my tidying was done outside. We did get rain yesterday evening. Great buckets of it and today has been so much cooler. Tomorrow it's supposed to be back in the high nineties again so I knew that if I wanted to get anything done in the yard, today was the day and so I cleaned the hen house and then I spent a few hours kneeling in the wet dirt, weeding okra and beans, pulling plants by the root, digging up the ones that didn't come easily, and for the first hour or so I sweated like it was a hundred but the humidity was very high and then it began a light misting rain and I worked on through that and was more comfortable. 
At least you can see where the okra is now, although it surely isn't doing much. 

I came in, shucked my overalls and threw them over the new deck railing in hopes that the rain would wash some of the dirt off them before I put them in the washing machine. And then I took a shower which got perhaps out the outer coating of grime off me and then I sat down to watch mindless TV and stitch. 

I've read the same memes on Facebook over and over and I've read so many positive posts suggesting that we can overcome this, we can change things again and all they do is exhaust me. I do not have a naturally cheerful or optimistic outlook and yesterday's supreme court ruling seems to have crushed my very soul to the point where I can barely raise any anger. I am indeed in despair and even wrote a friend that I feel as if all I can do is to keep my head down and live out the rest of my years which I know sounds horribly dramatic but that too, is who I am. I know that there are things I can do besides vote, like donate money to good organizations who are fighting the good fight, who have been fighting the good fight, who will continue to fight the good fight. 

I think the thing that has affected me most deeply is the knowledge that the supposedly supreme court of the United States of America has said quite plainly and without apology, that women are not equal to men, that we do not have the same rights, namely and especially, the right to have autonomy over our own bodies. 
We are, once again, reminded that we are naught but chattel, our very lives dictated by rules created by the white, Christian patriarchy who believes (theoretically) in a white, Christian god who is most definitely male. 

A woman I know from absolute years of blogging and whom I respect, posted on FB that we need to let this ruling radicalize us rather than lead us into despair. I replied that I was radicalized fifty years ago and now I am just tired. 

I'm sorry. I'll try to do better. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 24, 2022

We All Weep

Why did I not really believe this would happen? 
I feel exactly like I felt the day after the 2016 presidential election. Sick. Complete disbelief, horror, burning rage, grief and fear. No. Not fear. Terror.  
And I knew, I knew, that the unthinkable and ungodly election result would lead straight to what has happened in this country today. 
And it's not over by any means. And when I say "it" I mean the horror that will surely follow in the areas of birth control, civil rights, marriage equality, LGBTQIA rights. 
Clarance Thomas, the man whose wife was huge in the "stop the steal" movement, has already let us know that all of these things are on the agenda to reconsider. 

I could sit here and write fifty pages, easy, of why today's supreme court decision is so remarkably insane and cruel and dangerous but what good would that do? There's nothing I can say that hasn't been said before. There's no argument I could make that would change anyone's mind because at this point, anyone who supports the court's decision is not a rational person, just as anyone who still supports Trump is not a rational person, and logic and reason are useless in the face of ignorant, elevated emotion. 

Yeah. I just can't. There's so much going on in my head right now, so much going on in my heart and my gut that I can't put a proper paragraph together. I realize that I am not being rational because all I want to do is scream and weep and gasp in sheer disbelief that once again, the patriarchy, the big Christian, White, Straight Man patriarchy has put it's foot down right upon the neck of anyone they don't want to have power. Or even a shadow of equality. 

I had Owen and Gibson and Maggie over today. I read the news about the decision while we were playing Go Fish. I am sure they wonder why their grandmother suddenly got so quiet. All I could think about was how this was going to affect them and their lives. Not just Magnolia's because she has a uterus, but the boys too, because the day may come when they inadvertently get someone pregnant and know that it's not the right time to bring a child into the world and yet, be forced by law not to allow that clump of cells into becoming a baby. 

I did not discuss the issue with the children. I feel that I could discuss it with Owen because he is old enough now to consider these things. I will let their mother determine how and when to explain. Their mother who is in a loving, caring, domestic relationship with another woman and that is yet another way today's decision is probably going to affect them. 

It has been hotter today than yesterday. At least it's felt that way as the humidity has been higher. Right now it is thundering to the southwest of us and the sky is dark and the air smells sharply of ozone and it has cooled some and with all of my heart I am hoping for rain but let me tell you something- hoping does nothing to affect what is or what will be. Prayers are NOT answered. God is not watching us. His eye is neither on the sparrow or the child who was impregnated by her uncle, her brother, her step-father, her father. 
We are in charge. We are in charge of helping each other, of protecting our young, of tending our planet, of caring and being tender, of trying to understand those with whom we do not share tribe or experience. Of extending grace to those in need of all kinds. 

I remember a few days after Trump had been elected and I will not lie to you- I was having thoughts that were not healthy. I remember quite clearly telling my husband that I was so glad that my friends Kathleen, and Sue and Lynn were not here to have to suffer through this sort of despair. 
"Are you wishing that you weren't here?" he asked me, quietly, seriously, concerned. 
"No, no," I hurried to reassure him. But I had to make a conscious decision then and there to make that not be a lie. 
There is no doubt that we are all vulnerable right now. Many of us in this blog community have been fighting this fight and these fights for over half a century. We are weary. We are in despair. And I am not going to tell anyone to shrug that off and immediately rise up and begin fighting again. We have to take care of ourselves and do whatever we can to lend our voices to what must now happen. 

I love you all. I hold all of your hands, gathering and giving comfort and strength. 


Thursday, June 23, 2022

There Is Cursing Here

That is what it says on my kitchen porch right now. Granted, that porch does get the full brunt of the late afternoon sun as it faces west but Jesus God Fuck Almighty, that's hot. I think a spider plant that I had on that porch may have gotten fried. I realized how bad it looked when I came back from bringing in the clothes and gathering eggs, went to pick it up to move it, forgetting that I had four eggs in my pocket, and...well...damn. 
Only two broke. 
Hanging and bringing in laundry, letting the chickens out this morning, and picking the garden are the only things I've done outside. Even before noon it was getting breath-snatchy hot. 
Here's a picture of Darla and her 3/4 size kids. 

And their daddy.

Mr. Moon's off to the island with a casserole and soup and a shit-ton of tools and equipment. I sure hope they remembered water. I'm sure they did. So I'm on my own but no worries- tomorrow the OMG's will be back to entertain me and prevent me from dying of loneliness. Yesterday I bought a jigsaw puzzle at the Goodwill book store that perhaps they would like to put together. 

Looks like fun to me. 

The new martini glasses I ordered last week arrived today. 

Truth may reign eternal but martini glasses have a half-life of approximately two months. At least around here. And since I can hardly ever find any in thrift stores, I'm think this may be true for most everyone. Those lovely, elegant stemmed glasses that hold the powerful and mood-altering elixir are delicate and also vulnerable to droppage from the powerfully mood-altered people who drink the contents they hold.  
Such is my experience, anyway. 
So I ordered these, which appear, at least, to be more sturdy and aren't they lovely? As Jessie said, "So gay and fun!" 
Which color will I choose for tomorrow evening's adult beverage? I'll have to think about that. 

I did a quick run into town to pick up a few things and got back in time for today's edition of the Jan. 6 hearings. It was quite interesting, mostly focused on the Department of Justice and how 45 tried to bend it to his will in order to steal the election. What I want to know is what these men who were being bombarded by POTUS's internet-searched theories on how exactly the election was stolen, were saying in the privacy of their own conversations with each other? When exactly did they begin calling him insane? Far before the theory where an Italian satellite had changed Trump votes to Biden votes, I would imagine. I would give a lot of money to have been a fly on the wall in some of those rooms. I'm willing to bet that there were cusses that even I could not have imagined. And now did they prevent themselves from laughing out loud at some of the conspiracy theories he truly, honestly wanted them to investigate? 
I have no idea. 

Anyway, on to making myself a little supper. I'm just hoping that the wet-bulb temperature for chickens is not reached tonight in the hen house. Although that sounds like a joke, it's really not. Bless those birds' hearts. 

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Is It Truly Wednesday Already?

Another odd day in that my routine, my sacred routine, was not followed and I am beginning to wonder, or no, not really wonder, if I am becoming a bit OCD about following this daily schedule in order to provide comfort, to allay and control the feelings of angst and anxiety I wake up with daily. 
Most likely.

But this was a good day. Lily and Lauren and I met up with Mr. Moon who was already in town (gym day) and we had lunch and then Lily and I went to the Goodwill bookstore and then to a different Asian market from the one I went to last week, and then to a large Goodwill. She wanted to get the kids some clothes and I wanted to find some smaller casserole dishes to suit the smaller meals I am cooking these days for just the two of us who live here. 

We did these things and then Mr. Moon called- would I pick up some mower blades? He wanted to mow and the old blades were shot beyond sharpening. We did that. 
And now I'm home, and have made a casserole (size large) which is in the oven and will then be frozen for the men to take tomorrow and I'm in the process of making a soup for our supper out of part of a turkey breast I cooked last week and my kitchen is chaos with pots and pans and bowls everywhere and vegetables laid out to slice and chop to put into the soup and it's so hot and why am I making soup? 
Because it is easy. 

I've been thinking about a dream I had last week that was so powerful. I've even tried to write about it. I may. It was like cracking a door open into my mind which, if I let it be free to go there, sent an emotion to my gut that was so powerful that there was no doubt that this was something I had experienced in real life. Not as portrayed in the dream because that was played out by actors and I knew they were only stand-ins. 

Okay. That's enough of that. I will say that it was not a dream of abuse. I have not uncovered any repressed memories. It was a dream of betrayal. And every time I think I may, possibly, have figured out an actual experience I've had which created the so very real emotion in my gut, I realize there may be another one. And then another. 

So interesting. 

Anyway, the casserole is out of the oven, cooling in preparation to be frozen. The soup is essentially made. And now it's time to go clean up the kitchen. I have survived breaking out of my routine and all is well. 

I think that bed will feel very good tonight. I praise all of the scientists, inventors and gods for air conditioning. 
It is 102 degrees in Lloyd, Florida. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

No Title

There's Dearie and I am thinking he's a he. He and his siblings and mother and Aunt Violet and Cousin Dr. Pansaloony were outside in the desperately-needing-cutting stuff we call a lawn around here. It's green so who cares? It's a little surprising that it's still green because it is wicked hot and we are now dry. But weeds are hardier than actual grass, I guess, and the chickens seem to like picking through it. I am sure they find lots of bugs to munch on. 

I did not go to town today. When I woke up I realized that I truly didn't need to. I have stuff in the freezer that I can make a casserole with to send to the island and that's really what the men need. Something they can nuke because the stove hasn't been installed yet. They do have a grill and plan on cooking some chicken maybe, some fish for sure. So after the realization that I didn't have to leave Lloyd, I felt like I had discovered a day off which was lovely. I hung laundry and then went and picked the garden. 

That's over six pounds of beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. I know because I weighed them on my granddaddy's old scale which is still surprisingly accurate, despite looking like it should be in a vintage shop. 

It does come in handy because a lot of recipes for canned goods call for specific weights and I would have no idea how to estimate that. I am good at estimating teaspoons and cups but not weights. 
Thanks, Granddaddy!

I did sit and knit and watch today's Jan. 6 hearing. Man. Fucking Forty-Five just looks worse and worse, doesn't he? They way his voice gets all wheedley and hey-it's-just-us-Republicans-here is so slimy and gross. And then the threatening starts when whatever official he's talking to refuses to bend to his requests for criminal favors. I'd say that Rudy Giuliana is even worse but he wasn't the president. Just his mouthpiece, his glob of talking mucous. 
This would all be so entertaining if it wasn't so fucking scary. People's lives have been turned upside down and absolutely ruined because of the accusations FFF made about them. His minions believed him and two women who gave their testimony today, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea Moss, broke me with their stories of how the death threats and racial epithets and hateful messages they've received have made them afraid for their very lives. 

And all because Trump and Giuliana came up with one more false bit of evidence in the big lie that Trump actually won Georgia- a video of vote counting that Moss and Freeman were in, counting votes as directed by law. Doing their jobs. Jobs that they have loved doing, but which they have stepped down from now because they cannot tolerate the hatred directed at them. 


I can't believe how close this country came to people warring in the streets to overthrow the results of an election which was held fairly and legally and constitutionally and if wasn't for people who did their jobs, who resisted the coercion and pressure of the president of the United States, that's what would have happened. 
You know what else I can't believe?
That Trump is not in prison, and in fact, could conceivably run for president again. And that his followers are as rabid and insane and determined as they ever were, if not more so. 

That's enough of that. I would much rather think about sliced tomatoes still warm from the garden with salt on them. I would rather think about my husband who has not had time to mow the yard because he's working on this deck non-stop. 
"How can you stand working in this heat?" I ask him. 
"Aw, it's in the shade," he says. It's also about 96 degrees in the shade. 
It's going to be a beautiful deck. 
And right on time I hear Liberace, calling to the flock. 

It is the summer solstice. 

And oh yes- it would appear that Mick Jagger has survived his bout with covid. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, June 20, 2022

And Every Jar Has Sealed

 I have had very little energy today and have not spent a great deal of time outside. I did sit on the porch with a ceiling fan and a floor fan on me and rebraided the garlic and hung it up. When I did the first braiding, it was too green and too heavy so I dried it on newspapers on the porch for a few weeks and now it's hanging on the wall as you can see. 

I took the trash and went to the post office where our new voter registration cards were waiting for us in our box. And of course, a new New Yorker magazine to add to the guilt pile. I just poked around the house until about 2:30 at which point I realized that I had planned to make dilly beans today so I began that process. 

For those of you who have never canned anything, I will briefly describe how it goes. 
I get the canning kettle out of the pantry and fill it partway with water, put my jars in it which have been washed in warm soapy water and rinsed. I put it on the stove and fill up to about two inches above the jars and turn that on. I put the lids and bands I will use in another pot and theoretically bring that to almost, but not quite, a boil. However, I always forget until they are steaming away and then I curse myself and turn them off. And sigh. 
Oh well.
While the jars are in the process of being sterilized, I begin to cut and trim my beans to size. I wash them first, of course, and I have a mark on my cutting board which indicates a jar height and I save the pieces I trim off which aren't big enough to go into the regular jars and those I can by themselves to use in salads. Why waste good bean-material? 
This takes a long damn time. Each bean has to have its stem-end removed and then trimmed and that's a lot of beans on a good day. I can only do seven pints in my canner so that's what I prepared today. I had beans left over and I will cook some of those for our dinner tonight. 
This is also when I make the brine for the beans. For dilly beans I use vinegar (both white and apple cider), salt, and water. I like mine to be a little sweet so some sugar goes in there too. That must be brought to a boil. By this time the jars have been sterilized and I set them out on a towel using a jar lifter. I then fill them with the beans and this, too, takes a while, trying to pack them in an orderly fashion so that I can fill the jars as much as possible. When that chore is over with, I peel garlic and add two cloves to each jar and then measure out dill seeds that also go into each jar and I add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper to each of my jars as well. Then each jar is filled almost, but not quite, to the brim with the hot brine. 
Then the over-boiled lids and bands get put on and they are set back into the canner, the water brought to a boil again, and are processed for ten minutes after that. 
Then they are lifted out and set on the counter and I wait to see if all of them will seal. 

Generally, most of them, at least, do. If a jar doesn't seal (and sealing is indicated by a sucking-in of the lid with an audible pop), I will stick it in the refrigerator to use first. After the beans have all cooled down, into the pantry they go. 
A bit labor intensive, yes? 
But so delicious and there is no way I would let such good produce go to waste so the only other alternative is to not plant beans or not plant as many but hell- where's the fun in that? The rattlesnake beans are by far the most reliable and dependable thing we plant and it would be a shame not to take advantage of that. 

It looks to me like Darla and Violet's children are getting to the size and age where they will soon be cut loose by their mothers. Dr. Pansaloony is absolutely three-quarters of the size of his/her mother now. I wonder if she/he will continue to sleep up on the rafter with Violet when he/she gains independence. I know that some of these birds are roosters but I'm not betting the ranch on any of them at this point. I have my thoughts on the matter. I see some of Darla's kids play-fighting in the way of roosters. They face each other with feathers fluffed, and bounce off each other's chests. Breasts? I have not paid enough attention to this phenomenon to know if it's only males who do this or if hens, too, join in. I know that adult hens definitely bow up with other chickens when the necessity arises. It is a rather comical sight to see the young'uns practicing these martial arts. They only do it for a minute or so and then they become great friends again. There seems to be no real malice involved. 

I texted with Jessie today. We miss each other. I told her that in pictures, it looks to me like Levon is growing so much. She said that they both are and eat all day long. I asked if she ever thought about just giving each of them a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter every morning and she said, "Hah! That's not a bad idea. Levon would require a bunch of bananas and a jar of peanut butter. That's literally mostly what he grows from."

Here's a picture she sent of the little family. 

They ARE both getting so big. I can't wait to see them. They are glorious to me. 

And that is the daily report from here. I will probably go to town tomorrow as Mr. Moon is going to be going back to the island, leaving on Wednesday, and I need to make some food for him and Chip to sustain them in their labors. 

Liberace is calling to the hens to gather them all and let them know that soon it will be time to meander towards the roost. I think they know that already but it is his job and he does it well. I have noticed that in this heat, he does not crow nearly as much. He is as enervated as the rest of us. 

Tomorrow is the longest day of the year and there will also be another hearing on the insurrection. I think I will try to get my shopping done early so that I can sit, knit, and be shocked and enraged. 
Oh, what fun. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, June 19, 2022

That picture was taken a few years ago but it's a darn sweet picture and I love it and there you go. The kids are still sweet, albeit larger now and the man is about the same size and also still sweet. We all know that marrying Glen Moon is the best thing I ever did, not to mention the smartest and we all also know that my love for him just gets stronger with age. 

It's funny. I scroll through Facebook on Father's Day and see everyone's pictures of their fathers, their daddies with words describing their love for the men who have loved them from birth and I suppose I could feel sad because I certainly never had a father or a daddy who'd I want to post a picture of. And I don't have much to say about my bio-dad. I do have a lot I could say about my stepfather, but it's nothing Hallmark would want to put in a card. 

Unless they started a line of "Thanks For Fucking Me Up Forever" cards which may be something they should consider. I imagine there's a large market there.

But no, I just look at all the loving posts and think, "Wow. People have fathers they love! Amazing! Wonder what that's like?" 

Of course Mr. Moon's kids love him and so do his grandkids. They adore him, in fact. As well they should. He's steadfast and truthful, he's loyal and loving, he's dependable and always there for them. And the older he gets, the worse his dad jokes become which is pretty charming, actually. 

When I met the man, he courted me with great enthusiasm. I realized within a week of knowing him that he was going to ask me to marry him and although I know he was obviously bewitched by my then-charms, I think the main reason I fell into the marriable category was because I already had two kids and he was ready to be a dad. 
I knew a good thing when I saw it but was understandably hesitant after my experiences with men, including my so-called fathers and also, I was not long past a divorce. 
But he put the full court press on me and before I knew it, he had invited his parents and sister and brother-in-law and their two kids to come and stay with us (no pressure there, right?) and for us to go to the beach together for a few days and after meeting his mom and dad and sister, too, I knew that his qualifications as a family man were stellar and sterling and I let my heart grow softer for him and next thing I knew we were standing under an oak tree in a downtown Tallahassee park and Bill Wharton was singing "Cadillac of a Woman" and I was saying, "I do."
And I did and I have and I will for as long as I am allowed. 
Eleven months after we were married, we had Lily Rose Moon and he had started a business to support us all and, well, it was crazy times. But throughout all of it, we both had the overall goal of being a good family, I think. We had our moments when it became almost overwhelming. I look back now and have no idea how we did it and at the same time, managed to carry on a romance that lasts to this day. 
I sure am glad we did, though. 


So today has been very laid back. I made us a big breakfast and then he got all his fish packed up to freeze except for a nice piece of grouper I'll cook tonight. I made his dessert and actually managed to get a little bit of weeding done and picked enough green beans to pickle at least eight quarts tomorrow. I think. I gave him the silly gift I got him in Monticello a few months ago. 

On the tag it said, "Duck Light with Extra Long Cord." 
It was that extra long cord that convinced me to buy it. 

Now I'm going to make some pecan-encrusted grouper and cheese grits and a damn good salad. Hopefully, at least, a damn good salad. 
Martinis will be involved. 

I may not have won the lottery when it came to fathers of my own but I surely won the big one (hey! no pun intended) when it came to finding one for my kids who has managed to put up with my crazies for all these years and given me the life I never imagined I could possibly have. 
I have to say that I've given him some pretty great kids, though. And grandkids, too, obviously. 

It works out. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Temperature Indicators Say Bitchy And Mean

From the moment I woke up I felt as if it were a Sunday. No idea why but I did. 
I had planned to make (finally!) Hank's birthday shrimp salad and take it to him and that is what I did. I kept waiting to see if we were going to have a family gathering for the event but it would appear that we will not be having one of those any time soon and I had promised a shrimp salad and a shrimp salad I would make! 
This is the shrimp salad that I have spoken of many times. It is Hank's usual request for his Mama-Made birthday meal. I did not take a picture of the one I made today but here's a picture from a post I wrote last year. 

The one I made today was that one's almost-identical twin. It is a lovely meal and one of Mr. Moon's favorites too. 

Speaking of Mr. Moon (and seafood) here's a picture he sent me yesterday. 

So I would say that yes, fishing has been going well. I haven't heard from him today but I think he's coming home tonight. I know he'll be just as exhausted from fishing as he was last weekend after working at Dog Island. That man works hard and he plays hard, too. 

Anyway, I took the salad into town and delivered it to the post-birthday man and then went to Publix because I had a few things to pick up like whipping cream and chocolate to make the Father's Day dessert that Mr. Moon loves so much. This, too, I have written about. The original recipe calls for all sorts of horrendous ingredients including instant chocolate pudding and Cool Whip. Now you know that nothing like that will ever come from my kitchen while there is breath in my body so I have re-invented the dessert, making my own chocolate custard and whipped cream, etc. As I have said before, I have told my children that if I should die and their father remarries, they are to show the recipe to the new wife and tell her how much their father loves it. HOWEVER, if they do not like her, they are not to tell her how I made it but just let her blunder along with the Cool Whip. 
That's mean, isn't it? 
Oh well. 

I ran into my next-door neighbor at Publix today. This is the neighbor with Trump signs still in the yard. I wanted desperately to ask her if she'd been watching the hearings but for the sake of peace I did not. I doubt she is and even if she were, she wouldn't believe them. So we spoke of chickens and goats and the heat. Everyone is talking about the heat right now. I think it got up to 100 today and I've hardly stepped outside except to get in the car. I do not know how the chickens are tolerating it but they are. They are so hardy, surviving temperatures like these and also the freezing temperatures we do sometimes get in winter. They have my respect in so many ways. Of course, they really don't have much of a choice when it comes to surviving weather. I suppose they could just die but that's not how life generally works, is it? 

The man has just called and is finishing up cleaning a huge snapper and will be home in awhile. I think that his Father's Day may mostly be spent in his chair with a fan on him. If I have anything to say about it, it will. He is stubborn, though, that man. 

Obviously, I don't really have a damn thing to talk about so I will close here and go risk heat stroke by picking basil for tonight's supper. I will also go see if my poor hens have laid any eggs today. They may well be hard-boiled by now if they did. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. I feel I must be honest with you- I love instant chocolate pudding. As I recall, anyway. I haven't eaten it in years but have fond memories of it. Not unlike Kraft Macaroni and Cheese it is a food (theoretically) that is best never eaten but if it is, I'll enjoy it. As Lily would say, "Not gonna lie." What the hell's the point? 

Friday, June 17, 2022

In Which Slime Is Made, Goldfish Is Played

Here we have a picture of Owen mixing up slime and Maggie wearing her "it's not fair" face. She wanted to be the one mixing it. Or she wanted to add more color to it. Or something. She attitude-adjusted soon enough. 

Remember last week when the kids wanted to make slime but I had no borax? Well, I bought an entire box of it this week at the grocery store which is pretty funny because you only need like one teaspoon but since I can also use it as a laundry additive, I don't mind. The recipe we used didn't quite work out the way the kids thought it would. Would you believe that online recipes for kids' activity stuff are just like the online recipes for food? They start out with the history of how and when they became acquainted with this particular substance, whether it be a chocolate cake or a batch of slime and go on for eons about the subject and it infuriates me. JUST TELL ME HOW TO MAKE IT! I DON'T NEED TO HEAR ABOUT SNOW DAYS OR YOUR GRANDFATHER! OKAY? 
Anyway, we ended up putting everything in that slime that was mentioned in any of the myriad of instructions we found including hand lotion, shaving gel, corn starch and of course borax. And Elmer's glue. And after much mixing and kneading and adding a bit of this and a bit of that, it turned into what feels and acts very much like Silly Putty, so- excellent! 
Then the boys wanted to make oobleck which is corn starch mixed with water and which has extremely odd physical properties as anyone who has used cornstarch to thicken a sauce knows. 
So all of that was fun and we had a good day together. I made them all smoothies when they got here and they voted on cheesy noodles for lunch which I served with cucumbers and raw carrots. They loved that. We played one game of Yahtzee, or at least Owen and I did. 

That was super fun. And again, Maggie and Gibson drew pictures.

They both rather amaze me. 
Here's Gibson with his creepy hand. 

And Magnolia with some butterflies and a cat. 

She proceeded to draw an entire family of cats. She drew a lady cat to go with that one (who is a boy cat) and she said they fell in love and got married. I suggested she draw their kitten. So she did. And then she wanted to add a grandmother and grandfather but she was a bit stymied. She didn't know how to draw the wrinkles on their faces. She illustrated "wrinkle" by tracing some of the ones on my face with her finger. 

"Oh, cats don't get wrinkles," I said. "They just sort of look like they did when they were young."
"I know!" she said. "I'll give them glasses."
Genius or what? 

I assure you that any artistic talent she or any of my grandchildren have did not come from me. I couldn't draw that convincing picture of a cat if my life depended on it. 

Maggie desperately wanted to play Goldfish which  is what she insists on calling Go Fish, no matter how many times we correct her. Gibson was not interested but Owen was and we played two games and it was hysterical. Maggie's innocence in letting us see her cards is adorable and she is so very happy just to be playing. "Goldfish!" she says, when she doesn't have the card we ask her for. 
And we do. 

Speaking of going fishing, here's a picture Mr. Moon sent me this morning. 

I showed it to the kids and Owen said, "He's always happy on a boat." And this is as true as can be. My Viking. 

So that's been my day. Because I did not walk this morning my core temperature was not elevated into the billions of degrees and so the things I have done outside (hanging laundry, bringing in laundry, picking some things in the garden) have not caused me great distress even though it's as hot today as it was yesterday. 

A note to Steve Reed- yes, Owen is wearing one of the Rolling Stones T-shirts that you sent me from London. I gave it to him today. It was not easy. I wore that shirt in Cuba. But. I asked Owen if he would like it and he said quite enthusiastically that he really would. And so- I told him he could have it. I swear to you- I've given away jewelry that was easier than giving away that shirt but he will wear it, he has met Steve Reed and remembers him, and he knows how much his crazy old Mer loves the Rolling Stones. 
Ay-yi. I do love that boy, my first grandchild, the one who gave me my grandmother name. 

Clean line-dried sheets are on the bed. A nicely shaken martini is at hand.  
You know what day it is. 

Happy Friday.

Love...Ms. Moon