Sunday, March 19, 2023

Mixed Emotions

Any idea what you're looking at there? 
It's a red ant nest and I discovered it (and another bigger one) when I was weeding the area around the north side of the garden fence where I want to plant cucumbers. Those little rice-grain looking things are actually eggs and although I'm not sure you can see them, there are many, many ants scurrying about, trying to repair the damage I've done with my trowel, trying to protect the eggs. I was wearing gloves in the garden today to protect a sore thumb and I am glad I was. I'm also glad I saw the ants immediately and in time to back away. The little fuckers bite fiercely and their bites lead to a tiny pus-filled blister. 
More fun in Florida!

I have done almost nothing today. Again. I made us a huge Sunday morning breakfast. That I did. Here is one of the lovely sourdough biscuits I made for us. 

When I make sourdough biscuits, which is rarely, I think of Gus McCrae in "Lonesome Dove" who rose early every morning to watch the sunrise and make the day's sourdough biscuits. Gus is one of my favorite characters in literature, and when they cast the TV miniseries based on the book, I do believe the perfect person was chosen to play him. Robert Duvall. I fell in love with Duvall when I saw him in "Tender Mercies" which is as fine a film as I'd ever want to see. 
At least in my opinion which is meaningless but there you have it. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking in the past few days about a time in my very young life that was so fraught with terror and sorrow and fear and confusion that I'm not sure how a ten-year old girl managed to handle it. And I just wrote some paragraphs about that time but as happens sometimes, one just knows that it is best to delete. 
I wonder if I should write all of this out in book form. Not with an eye to publishing but just to get it all out in one place. To try and do at least a small bit of the untangling of it all. There is no end to it, and that I am sure of. Anyone who claims to have completely healed from any sort of childhood trauma is either lying or in complete denial. The very paths we choose to get to where we are are, are based on what happened to us. This of course is true of everyone. But some paths are steeper and more lined with snakes than others. 

Eh, Sunday. What are you going to do? Sometimes they are fine and sparkly, sometimes they are dank and dark. You get through them. 

Tomorrow August and Levon are coming here while Mama and Daddy are at work. We will play and they will beg me to watch TV and there will be peanut butter, raisin, and honey sandwiches. I will give them their new books. Perhaps we will have a game or two of Monopoly. And then I will take them to gymnastics. It will be a full day and I will not have time or brain space to wallow in or even ponder the past so much.  
But it will still be here with me. It always is. Not unlike an ant bed, barely covered with garden soil. 

Sorry not to be more joyful today, or even a little bit cheerful. I really do not feel that bad. Just...thinking. 
I know how fucking lucky I am. 

And here's a picture of one of the beginning blooms of my wild azalea which is so precious to me. 

There is always something to look forward to. 

Be well. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 18, 2023

So Much Rain

About seven o'clock last night the sky finally birthed that rain baby it was so heavy with yesterday. It poured rain all night long and it was so lulling that both Mr. Moon and I slept far later than we usually do. I'd been having one of my truly funky dreams with a house so familiar I know it almost as well as my own but it is not a house I'd ever want to live in. I'm always taking care of many children in this house and there are rooms galore, most of them taken up with old appliances that do not really work, dirty laundry that would fill up all the machines in ten laundromats, a kitchen with no lighting, no real food in the refrigerators (there are many), and a choice of stoves that range from horrible to worse than that. And somehow in these dreams I must create order, protect and feed the children, and do something about the general filth of the place. 

Obviously I am always grateful to wake up from these dreams and today was no exception. I was muzzy-headed for an hour after getting out of bed, trying to break the membrane of dream world, I guess. 
And it was still raining. 
I decided that I was going to take it easy today. Stay in, relax, enjoy myself. Which I did. I worked on the jigsaw puzzle for well over an hour. I lost track of time in searching for the right pieces. It's a mesmerizing activity, and an addictive one too, I think. At least for me. I am not good at it. I am neither a visual person or gifted in spatial abilities which are both important in doing puzzles. How long have I been working on this one? And this is as far as I've gotten. 

I am almost certain that there are pieces missing. It was in an open box in the library for years on a shelf that the children frequently go through like little raccoons looking for goodies. I actually found one piece on the floor in there. But I'm not going to quit until I've used up every piece I have. 

I also worked on replacing a buckle on a pair of overalls. Why they make the kind with an end piece is beyond me. 

The little metal clamp that goes on the end inevitably breaks, rendering the buckle useless. I ordered some of the type that are just a simple loop at the end and have used most of them up, fixing overalls. As with purses, the hardware involved is of utmost importance. 
As I used my seam ripper to undo the stitching on the strap to take off the old buckle and thread the new one through, and then started stitching it all back together, I watched a few episodes of the old series, "Parenthood." I've never seen it and have always heard it was very good and it has some excellent actors in it so why not? I think I'm going to like it. 

It's raining again. I can just imagine my beans swelling up, ready to burst with tiny green bean shoots. It's supposed to get down into the forties tonight, and thirty-three tomorrow night! WHAT? I sure hope our tomatoes don't freeze. They won't if it doesn't get colder than that. 

Here's what my dripping roses looked like this morning. 

Dripping roses, dripping noses. 
We are still wondering how in the world two people can create so much snot. My sneezes are legendary. Or should be. Every time I sneeze and almost blow the top of my head off, I think of Lis and how her sneezes sound like something a kitten would produce. She is SUCH a lady. 
And yet, at the same time, a far badder bad ass than I will ever be. 

Only time will tell. 

Big love...Ms. Moon

Friday, March 17, 2023

The Ever Present Everyday Miracles

The mulberries are coming along, some of them starting to purple up. It truly does look like a good year for them. I hope there's as many as there were two years ago when we had to lay a sheet down and shake the branches to get them. That tree has grown so tall so fast. I remember when I bought it and the person I bought it from told me that I needed to get two for cross pollination. 
I am no botanist but I remembered the mulberry tree in Roseland that I've spoken of so many times and as far as I know, it was the only tree in the area so I only planted one and so far, it seems to have had no problem with the lack of another pollinator. There isn't room for two! 

Mr. Moon and I seem to be in Part Two of this virus thing. He's still mostly coughing and I've moved on to sinus congestion, sneezing, and rivers of snot. I'm walking around with Kleenex in my pocket like the old lady I am. Of course it may not even be connected to the virus. It could be pollen or black mold or any number of the billions of things that people are allergic to and/or irritated by that surround us here in the funk of Florida's humidity and fecundity. It's definitely not like a hay-fever reaction. I had hay-fever terribly, well into my thirties but then it just seemed to disappear. I had no idea you can grow out of hay-fever but I am so glad that it's possible. I told Mr. Moon today that if it's black mold, we're just going to have to move because we have mildew everywhere. 
Is black mold the same as mildew? I have no idea. You'd think I'd know by now. I could look it up but I'd forget again by tomorrow. 

It's been gray here all day long and warmer, too. Definitely not hot but the humidity is back up and the air feels nine months' pregnant with the rain that's supposed to be coming for almost all of tonight and half of tomorrow. In anticipation of that I got my rattlesnake pole beans planted and I am pretty happy and excited about that. I did some more weeding in the garden today too, and later, when I was picking salad greens for our supper, I saw something on a purple lettuce that took me a moment to figure out. It looked like the lettuce was wearing gold jewelry and when I finally focused in on it, I realized that what I was seeing was a moth on the plant that matched the color exactly. 

As far as I can recall, I've never seen another moth like that. Google tells me that it is a Nessus Sphinx moth. They range throughout almost the entire continent of North America and one of the foods they like is nectar from phlox which I will soon have plenty of. Caterpillars pupate in "shallow underground chambers," according to 
What wonders and curiosities there are all around us! While humans have searched for mermaids and sea monsters, Yetis, Big Foots, and fire-breathing dragons, the real true amazements are right in front of us. Not that I have any problem with searching for mythical creatures. Who am I to say that there are no mermaids? 
And what do you suppose the first European to see a gorilla thought he was looking at? Surely some sort of man-beast monster, never suspecting that the creature was a very own cousin, once removed. 
I truly doubt that I will ever discover a previously unknown creature on land or sea but by golly, I have definitely discovered many that were unknown to me and I am sure that I will discover more. This of course will be made all the easier because forgetting things is what I do best these days. Every day a new adventure! 

The power in Lloyd has been out for over three hours now but because of our generator, we are not affected. Earlier today it was blowing pretty lustily and according to the power outage page, a tree or limb fell and damaged the power company equipment. 
Yes. I hardly needed to be told that. It must have been quite a large limb or tree because it hardly ever takes them this long to restore power. 

Jessie and the boys are home from the beach. She sent me some truly beautiful pictures. 

And here's a picture that came up in Rachel's Facebook memories today that I do not remember (are we surprised?) that makes me want to weep with the sweetness. 

That was Magnolia, reaching out to be held by her Uncle Hank. That was six years ago. 

Time is slipping through my fingers like the water in a rushing creek. 
I think the very best thing to do is to pay as close attention to every moment as I possibly can. To Be Here Now. 
Thank you, Ram Dass. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Fun With Family

That's one of our canopy roads around here, Miccosukee Road, to be exact. I was driving on it to get from Chow Time to Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus Thrift Store this afternoon. 
It is a very beautiful road and it was a gorgeous day and I took great pleasure in driving it. I lived on Miccosukee Road when Hank was born but that was the part of the road that's in town. It goes from Tallahassee way out into the boonies, in fact- to the Land Co-op where surprisingly, I never lived. Hank himself lived in the same little apartment in Tallahassee with his then-girlfriend, Taylor, on Miccosukee Road many years later. Jessie lives a few blocks from there now and the house that we lived in before we moved here was on a road that dead-ended on Miccosukee Road. 
Come to think of it, back when Mr. Moon and I were raising the kids, we lived on a road called Short Street for twelve years and that, too, was only a few blocks from Miccosukee. The elementary school that all my kids attended is on that road too. 
So I have a history with it but my favorite part is the part that meanders and curves through the rural part of east Leon County. It won't look like that forever. There is a lot of traffic on it now and many are calling for it to be widened which will mean death to the giant oaks that make it the beautiful and unique thing it is. 

Yes. I went to Chow Time. I met Lily and Owen and Gibson and Maggie there for lunch and we had such a good time. I probably embarrassed Owen to death as I wore a dress and Crocs with socks. Oh well. He knows me. He is inches taller than I am now. I am truly curious to see how tall he gets. 
Maggie was in especially fine form, happy as a little lilting lark, and Gibson, who will turn eleven on Monday, was happy too. We ate our delicious foods and then we went to the thrift store to look for treasures. 
The best thing I saw was this sign. 

This led me to wonder which section of the store one should abandon their child? The knick-knacks? Purses and hats? Possibly. 

And then off we all drove, me down more back roads because it was way too glorious to get on the interstate, and when I got home I found Mr. Moon in a tizzy, trying to figure out technology things and writing a legal-sort of letter and I've spent some time now trying to help him. Of course he's a Hewlett Packard guy and I'm a Mac woman and the printer is the demon from hell so now he's on the phone with Vergil. He did a great job, however, of writing the letter. I keep telling him- it's not too late to go to law school. 
I swear- the man can tear a contract apart and he can write a lease. These are just a few of his secret super powers. He's never believed in himself when it comes to anything involving writing or reading because I am sure he had dyslexia as a child and was told that he was NOT SMART because of it and yet, here he is, having been the owner of several business, and able to represent himself beautifully. He is not just smart, he's a fucking genius. 

There's what the corner of the porch looked like earlier this afternoon. 

And now I must run because we're having our St. Patrick's Day dinner tonight because the man may be at the coast tomorrow. My entire reason for celebrating St. Patrick's is to be able to make and eat corned beef and cabbage, and Irish soda bread. The corned beef has been simmering for quite awhile and the soda bread is in the oven. Carrots and potatoes and cabbage need to go in with the meat. 
I am excited. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

A Day At Home

 Here's one of the rose bushes in the little garden area off the kitchen where the bananas grow. You can see them sending out their canoe-paddle leaves. Everything is just so beautiful now with blooms and new green growth. I had to spend most of the day outside because staying in the house on a day like this would have been a sin. 
I walked to the post office and was happy to find that the three books I ordered a few days ago had arrived. 

Lily and Jessie both had one of these and Lily still has hers and Jessie's is here. August and Levon love to look at their mama's book from when she was a kid and when the boys were here to spend the night, August asked me if I could get him one. I told him I most definitely would and then I thought, oh, why not? And I got one for Levon and Magnolia, too. The book, for those of you who are not familiar with it, asks the child to write in facts about themselves in humorous ways and there are places for autographs of people they might know like a man over six feet, three inches tall and a fireman. It is a little outdated in some ways. The first page asks them which they are- a boy or a girl. Don't tell the damn religious right or the defiantly unwoke, but it's not always that easy. But I am excited to give them to the little's, as I call the three youngest grandchildren. 

Levon and August are in Panama City Beach with their mom and two of her mom friends and their children, totaling six kids. They are staying in a condo and of course it's chilly but it does look beautiful. I got these pictures today. 

She bought them the wetsuits when she realized how cold it was going to be. I'm sure they're having a very fine time and the chilliness will help to prepare them for the trip they'll be taking in a few weeks to go to Montana or somewhere like that to go cross-country skiing with friends. Those boys lead exciting lives, don't they?

Like I said, I spent most of the day outside. I set Ralph to vacuuming and he's been busily cleaning my floors since late this morning. I did a load of laundry and hung it on the line and when I reached into my clothespin bag I kept finding little sticks and then leaves and oak tassels. At first I thought that they'd fallen in there the last time I'd hung clothes because I keep the bag on a nail in the old pump house but then I figured out that a bird, probably a house wren, had started a nest in it. It's that time of year. 

I kicked bamboo and I trimmed a few plants and I cut down some vines that hang from the live oak in our front yard. While I was going that, I found a little volunteer native Buckeye that had come up. I remember one coming up last year, too, but it died (or so I had thought) and I had forgotten it. This one looks quite happy and sturdy though. 

I was so thrilled to find it. Can you see my Croc'ed foot?

I hauled the vines and some more downed branches and limbs to the burn pile and then I got to work on the garden. Mr. Moon tilled the perimeter of the garden to help with weeds and I spent several hours pulling dollar weed and betony from first the inside of the west part of the fence and then the outside. This is where I will plant the rattlesnake beans. I did not get it all finished but soon I will and then we will plant. We are trying to figure out how to fit the things we need to plant for the summer garden into what's already there from the winter garden. We always manage but it's like a puzzle with space and timing as the pieces. The kale is still looking too beautiful to pull and hasn't bolted yet and the rows of arugula and lettuces I planted are coming along nicely so I can't pull them. The mustard and collard greens are still coming along and we are still enjoying them so, no, I can't bring myself to get rid of them yet. The little garlic patch isn't taking up much room and it is growing with great vigor! Same with the onions. The potatoes are looking great but they do take up a lot of room and it will be months before they're ready to harvest. I am happy to report that the sugar snap peas are growingly politely on both the east and south fences. Mr. Moon has planted tomatoes and peppers of various kinds and we should get the cucumbers in soon. They're going to have to go on the north fence. And of course we HAVE to plant our beloved field peas and speaking of field peas, I still have some in the freezer and need to finish them up before the new ones come in. They freeze so beautifully. 
So that is the garden report. 

As always, it is the yearly possibility of it all that is the most exciting and soul-satisfying. Soon enough the bugs and heat will dash our dreams. Something's already going after the peas and has eaten one or two of the collard plants to lace. 

Meanwhile, the croscomia, beauty bower, and bamboo are living their best lives, taunting me with their unwanted yet unhindered presence and the rice paper plant is trying its best to make a comeback. 

Enough of all of that. 
A few months ago I took a picture of the old structure on our property which may or may not have been a barn. Here are pictures from today. 

Someone had asked me to please take a picture of inside the building and I promised I would and today I did. 

That's the view of it from the door you can see in the pictures. And yes, that is a pool table and to explain its presence would require another long story and I am tired and so are you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

I Should Go Buy A Lottery Ticket

Another pure blue sky day and the new leaves on the oak trees are going from a shy and dainty green to a far more bold and take-charge color and it all looks so pretty together. As you may be able to see to the right there, the Bradford pears are already starting to bloom. 
I guess this will not be the year we'll be taking them out. 

So. Guess what? I had another dental appointment today. This one was for a cleaning that was scheduled a mere three months from my last one because Dr. Twelve Year Old thought that my gums were possibly receding and somehow a three-month re-check with cleaning was the compromise to going to see a periodontist. My gums may be receding but not alarmingly so and let's face it- how many years does he think I am going to need these teeth? Of course the answer is, for as many years as I'm alive and would like to eat food, but I don't think going to see a periodontist is a top priority for me and oh my god, could I ramble on any more?
I am sure I could but I'll try not to. I'm making no promises though.

So I went for my appointment and I'm sitting there in the waiting room and my sweet (although quite politically different than me) dental hygienist came out to get me and I coughed a little bit because Mr. Moon and I are both still coughing some from our recent illness and I told her that I had been sick but wasn't running a fever and in fact had not run a fever at all but then I coughed some more and said, "I really don't want to get you sick." 
"I don't want you to get me sick either," she said, but not in a mean way. In a caring, gentle way. 
So we decided that I should reschedule for a few months from now and I apologized about fifty times for not having called beforehand and then I left and silently screamed, "WOOO-HOOOO!" 

It was awesome. 
But I really should have called and cancelled. 

And then I went to Walmart because I wanted to buy another bottle of this:

I love this shit. Being an adult now, it is not Mr. Bubbles that makes bath time so much fun, it is eucalyptus steam shower spray. And I had gotten the original bottle at Walmart and I've been meaning to go back and get some more and I had to go to Costco, and Walmart is right next to it so- why not?
I entered the Evil Empire and y'all- it is just so nasty in there. The things that people leave in carts!? That the employees don't bother to take out? For god's sake. But you know what? If they paid a better wage, the employees might find it worth their while to do things like taking breathing tubes out of carts before they put them back.
Anyway, I girded my loins and spent at least twenty minutes looking for the desired product and of course there was no one to ask as the employees are fewer and farther between than even the ones at Target. Okay, I did see one woman who appeared to be from the pharmacy on an aisle looking for something but she had the saddest, tiredest expression on her face I have seen in a very long time and I just could not bring myself to add to her woes. 
So I couldn't find any. I did find some strange, faux hippie brand of essential oils and I bought a bottle of eucalyptus oil to use by tapping out a few drops on the shower floor and that will work fine but I may actually have to order some of the spray because it works best. 

Wasn't that exciting? I also bought some seeds in the garden section and two bags of potting soil. I have things rooted all over this house that need to go into dirt. The lady at the cash register was so nice. She had that island lilt to her voice and I was so entranced I almost forgot that I had to pay. 
I am as easily distracted as a three year old. 

Then I went to Costco for Sugar Bomb cherry tomatoes- have you tried these? If not, get your tushie to the store and buy some. You know what they taste like? 
They taste like tomatoes. Like real, true, sun- and vine-ripened summer tomatoes grown with love. 
They're probably some horrible GMO Frankenstein invention combining the DNA of tomatoes and strawberries and tangerines and goldfish or something but my lord, they are good. 

And then I came home and worked in the garden some, doing a bit of weeding. Mr. Moon is back over at Tom's, making boards. He could barely wait to get started this morning. This is making him so happy and as long as he comes home every night with all of his fingers, I am happy too. 
Know what else makes me happy? The duck is on the bed and I am wearing cashmere. Pinto beans are simmering in one pot, collards, mustards, and kale in another. 

Life is good today. I hope it is for you too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 13, 2023

Retail Therapy In Action

Rattlesnake beans, ready to plant.

Quite a day. I knew I wanted to go back to town today because- okay, well. It's a long story. I'll try to keep it short. 
I have a purse obsession. Not as bad as it used to be by any means. In fact, I have not bought a new purse since before Covid. So, you know- it's under control. And in fact, I've been quite happy with that purse. After all these years of usage, there are no rips or tears and the zippers still work. It's a backpack bag which I do love because I always know where my purse is which is on my back.
But at Christmas, Jessie picked out a new purse for herself and asked me if I'd get it for her, which I gladly did, and it was so much like mine that I have accidentally picked it up by mistake. But then yesterday I told her that I was thinking of buying a new purse and she just happened to go to TJ Maxx yesterday afternoon and started sending me pictures of the purses there and there were quite lovely. So fuck it- I decided to go there today and I did. My Target experience had sucked but I decided to give recreational shopping another try. 

I immediately found two purses that set my heart beating a little faster. One was a backpack bag, the other was not, but it was SO my sort of bag. I thought about it and thought about it and could not make a choice so...I BOUGHT BOTH OF THEM! 
Plus, it was Senior Discount Day and you know that 10% off made a big difference. Right? 

So now I have all the purses I need for the rest of my life. This is comforting. 

Here's the not-a-backpack one. Very soft leather, very pouchy with limited structure. Hardware not obnoxious. These are all part of my criteria. I suppose you could describe my taste as "hippie." 

So that felt crazy and also fun and I walked around the whole store feeling like Alice in Wonderland. TJ Maxx has some very cool shit. I didn't buy anything else though besides a hat which I didn't even try on in front of a mirror. Will the madness never end?
It's straw-ish, lightweight, and who cares what it looks like? It fits. 

And THEN I went to Trader Joe's which was right next door and that felt like another sort of Wonderland because I only ever go to Publix and Costco. I bought two giant artichokes, some Roquefort cheese and a can of dolmades. Something else too, but I can't remember what. 

I took myself out to lunch at a place that specializes in chicken salad. Here was the fun I'd been looking for! I love chicken salad almost as much as I love purses.

Of course I also had to go to Publix but that wasn't so bad. And somehow this took me all day long. I have got to get serious about the garden now and also about working in the yard. And taking walks! Jesus. It's going to be lovely, lovely cool for the next week or so and I have no excuses. I am feeling better every day. 

When I took the trash this morning the old man who was tending the place wanted to discuss weather and I was fine with that. He said, "Turnin' out to be a real pretty day!" I agreed that it was. 
"But it's gonna get cold again this week!" he said. 
"I know! In the thirties!" I answered. 
"It's always got to get cold once in March," he told me with all of the wisdom of his years. "And then, it'll be done."
"That's right," I said, with all of the wisdom of my years. 

One last chance to put the duck on the bed, to wear cashmere. At least for this year. I am going to enjoy every moment of that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, March 12, 2023

A Day Marked On The Calendar

Well, the Vergil-Jessie family got a new electric car. An EV? I think that's what they're called. They love it! And the boys love it because it is so full of groovy computer displays and almost magic things to operate. As Jessie was showing it to us I told her that I felt like an old granny who'd always driven a horse and buggy saying to a friend, "My daughter and her husband bought one of them new-fangled AuTo MoBiles!" 
And the friend would say, "Those things scare me to death. What is the world a'comin' to?"
So I invited them out to show us the new car and have lunch/brunch. I made fancy pancakes with sweet potatoes, bananas, blueberries, pecans, and oat bran. I used buttermilk, of course. They were fine indeed! 
Mr. Moon said they were the best pancakes he'd ever eaten but he says that every time I make pancakes so although it pleases me to hear him say that, I don't get all worked up about it. 

We broke out the new Monopoly game and it is swell! Finally- a game I can understand the instructions of! There are two sides to the game board and two different levels of play. We did the younger side today and when we go to learn the more difficult version, I'll probably need help with the rules. Luckily, I have August.

We did a lot of laughing and we had a lot of fun. It's a very clever re-do of Monopoly and I love the fact that if you don't have the money to pay your way out of jail, you can sing your favorite song and that'll let you out. Or if you land on someone's property and don't have the money to pay, you can just say something that you really like about them. I gave them an example- like say, if August landed on Levon's property and didn't have any money, August could say, "Your farts don't smell TOO bad, Levon." 
Oh my god. I am the funniest woman in the world. The boys almost fell out of their chairs laughing. 
Boppy said, "GRANDMOTHER!" 

Before they left, August found a glass pen and ink set that Kathleen had given me and wanted to try it out. For some bizarre reason, I had never done that myself. I got out one color of the ink and the pen and some paper and of course ink was spilled on the counter immediately which did not bother me in the least. Boppy cleaned it up and I got out some parchment paper to put under everything. 

I am going to play with this myself. So cool. And it's just been sitting in a box on a shelf in the library for many years. 

August helped me with the puzzle. He found a few pieces for me. I knew he would. Later on today Maurice helped me. 

That cat is not becoming one bit less crazy. She's been sleeping with me the last few nights which almost worries me because she only seems to want to do that when I'm sick or injured and although yes, I have been sick, not that sick. I can always tell when she's planning an overnight stay on our bed because when I'm getting ready to go take my shower she follows me around looking worried and anxious. And then she does indeed jump up to join me. She always starts out perched on my hip as I lie on my side to read and last night I was amazed because when I finally had to change position, she did not growl at me. 
All was well until sometime late in the night Jack jumped on the bed and a terrible melee ensued. I just curled up into a ball and tried to protect myself with the duckette and pillows. Mr. Moon yelled at Jack to get off the bed and he did. 
We were not injured, amazingly although later this morning, Maurice was on the back porch snarling at one of the stray cats in the yard and I had the audacity to walk past her on my way inside, which triggered her claws-out reaction and she snagged my ankle with one sharp weaponized talon. I yelled at her so loud she'll probably never sleep with me again. 

But above and beyond all of this, today is the sixth anniversary of May and Michael. Who remembers this? 

If you would like to see many pictures and read a report of that amazing day, you can find it HERE. 
It was such a beautiful wedding. And the grandchildren were so young. August and Maggie were still bebes and Levon was just a gleam and a dream. 
The darling couple has spent a loving weekend at home, going to parks and museums. 

Are they not beautiful? 

And Michael got his bride a present that thrilled her to the marrow. 
A real, true cuckoo clock from the Black Forest of Germany. She has always wanted one, remembering the one my mother had which seemed magical to her as a child. 

She said in a text that when they set it up, "...the dancers will dance, the bird will emerge and sing, the waterwheel will spin and the children will kiss. I opened the box and burst into tears."

Y'all- this is love. When someone listens and knows your heart's desire and makes it happen. 
Well done, dear Michael! Well done!

And so it's been another grand day here in the world of Casa Luna. It has rained and been gray outside but the birds have still been rushing the feeder. The male cardinals are being especially ill-mannered and aggressive, even chasing female cardinals away from the seeds. I guess they are the current Kings of the Universe, pumped up on testosterone like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. 

The little boys kicked some bamboo for me. They are such helpful lads. And Mr. Moon has been my sweetie all day, making me laugh, kissing me, and loving me. 

I am going to make him some air-fried chicken wings for his supper and that, too, is a sort of love. 

Okay! I now have the words to "Stinkle, Stinkle, Little Fart," (see I had even gotten the first line wrong!) but I think I'll wait to give it to you as it is perhaps not appropriate for a wedding anniversary post although I think that May and Michael would find it pretty hysterical. 
Is this what they call a teaser? 
So be it. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 11, 2023

A Day Rare In Form and Beauty

Today has been so beautiful that I did not need to remind myself to look up. That bright sky drew my gaze over and over again. It's like yesterday's weather both washed and swept everything clean. We have a little break from the pollen and on top of everything else, it has been cooler and dryer as if the storm took all of the humidity with it to feed and nurture itself. 

Good riddance. Although my weather app says there's a 70% chance of rain tomorrow. That is fine. It can rain all it wants. I always think of the water filtering down to the aquifer below us and it makes me happy. But it is also a pure blue miracle to have a day like today. The birds have been so busy calling and singing today that I can't help but feel that they are celebrating the day as well although they are probably defining their territories as it is that time of year. I saw two bright scarlet male cardinals on the ground, darting towards each other and they had menace in their eyes. The finches have been crowding the feeder, the cardinals and doves too. 
Everything has felt so alive. 

I read about yesterday's storm in the paper and realized that we were really lucky. I don't think the tornado actually touched down anywhere but there was a tornado and I'm sure that caused the wind that was so strong for a few minutes. A tree fell onto a car a few miles from here and killed the passenger and injured the driver. Roads and even part of the interstate (the part nearest Lloyd, in fact) were blocked by fallen trees. We had surprisingly little tree damage in our yard. I picked up a garden cart full of limbs and branches that fell and hauled them to the burn pile but honestly, I would not have been surprised to see entire trees down. 

I kicked bamboo and this is what the wisteria growing on the bamboo jungle looks like. 

I would apologize for the constant wisteria photos but I will not. I do apologize that they are not as good as I wish they were. Right now I am looking at one of those male cardinals perched on a wisteria vine between two bunches of blossoms and that is just a party for the eyes. 
I am not fast enough to get a photo of that but I give you this.

The mulberries are still green and hard but are starting to turn color. I think it will be a good year and hopefully, I'll be making preserves with them and a pie or two. They are so good, so purple and luscious, and each one I eat is a trip back in time for me to the mulberry tree in Roseland where all the kids in the community gorged ourselves on the sweet fruit every spring, coming home with stained lips, tongues, and fingers. 

It has been a quiet day for me. Mr. Moon went over to Tom's house to finally and actually plane some boards. He figured out how to get the planer working properly with the help of real-life people on the phone. He highly recommends the Grizzly Woodworking Equipment Company. In case you're in the market for such products. 

That's a black walnut board from a tree that got cut down in our yard over a year ago and which has been aged all that time in the old barn. There will also be cherry boards from the tree that was by the kitchen that needed to be cut. And then he will start using them to make things. He has been looking forward to doing this for most of his life. 
This all reminds me of my grandfather who earned a good living working for the Cavalier Cabinet Corporation, going all over the United States and sometimes Europe, buying wood. He wanted to be a cabinet maker himself but cut off all the fingers on his left hand in a saw that did not have the guard attached. That never seemed to slow him down much when it came to making things in his shop. He loved woodwork so very much and I can see him in that shop in his garage, whistling tunelessly as he did, sanding and planing, creating tables and chairs and lazy-susans to put a Scrabble board on. 

I've babbled long enough. I just slid a dutch oven full of leftover mashed potato/sourdough bread into the oven. 

The mighty yeast of Lloyd is still powerfully lifting its burden of flour and water and salt and whatever else the hell I put into my bread. 

Just one more example of everyday miracles. 

Don't forget to set your clocks up. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, March 10, 2023

Dorothy Gale! Dorothy Gale!


The sky was slate gray all morning but the rain didn't even seem to want to flirt with us. I felt better and better as the day went on and did my Friday laundry and even got some weeding done in the little bed beside the kitchen where the bananas grow. The nuisance plants growing in there are, once again, threatening to take over the entire area and they are particularly hard to dig up, especially the lariope, or as we call it around here, monkey grass. As I have said before, the roots are like nylon netting, and a pain to pull. There is also the horrible chenille plant spreading like Covid at a Republican fund-raiser in 2021. These manage to squeeze their tenacious roots into the same space as the monkey grass making it all double the flavor, double the fun. To my chagrin, I also discovered that the fireweed has dipped its toe into the mix and I finally had to put on gloves. But, there are also roses which are blooming and the wild phlox coming up. Mint is starting to take off and there are some very nice volunteer tomato plants from when I used to throw my kitchen scraps out there for the chickens. Of course the pine cone lilies will soon be shooting up and also the turmeric, both equally determined to crowd out everything else. It's a miracle the bananas manage to grow there. 

Gardening in Florida is so much fun! At least the mosquitoes weren't out today. 

It finally started drizzling and so I finished up what I was doing there and grabbed some of the firespike that I started rooting early last winter when it looked like we were going to get a freeze and I planted that behind the generator by the fence. And then I came in and tidied up and ate my lunch (leftover soup and it is better today than it was yesterday and that was pretty damn good) and then the rain picked up and pretty soon it started thundering. 

It thundered and thundered, great cracks of it and then long rolling rumbles. A true thunderstorm and the next thing I knew, the wind was blowing like we were in a hurricane and the thunder and lightening got closer and closer and the rain just poured down. I actually got a small video of what it looked like for a few seconds and in it, you will hear me scream like a little child. 

Soon we were getting tornado warnings and I realized that we must have gotten a small band off of one which caused that intense wind. The warning that Hank sent me that he'd gotten was a little late for us but I read it and I cracked up at the paragraph that said, "Mobile homes will be DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. DAMAGE TO ROOFS, WINDOWS, VEHICLES WILL OCCUR. TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY.

Okay. So mobile homes WILL be destroyed but tree damage is only likely? Do these people live in Florida? 

Our power cut out but our generator cranked up and before you know it, I was watching the rest of "This Is Where I Leave You" and Mr. Moon was on his computer. I have to tell you that the generator is amazing. We're just all la-di-dah over here with our lights and internet while our neighbors are in the dark. 
So yes, of course I feel guilty but that does not prevent me from also feeling very, very grateful and happy. 

Supposed to get cooler tonight and I am grateful for that too. 

Guess I'll go see if Mr. Moon is ready to make our martinis. We have survived an illness and a possible tornado this week. Life does just keep chugging along, doesn't it? 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Soup. It's What's For Dinner

Well, well, well. 
I knew in the night that I was getting sicker or had another sickness or something because I was having some deep and productive coughs. Not so many but the kind that mean business. Woke up feeling shitty, reached over and knocked my Yeti cup of water over which of course tumbled to the floor, lid off. 
Knew it was gonna be a day. 

I felt terrible- not so much with sickness although I felt yucky for sure but because it was my day to get the boys and no way I was going to manage that one. So between that and feeling massive guilt at exposing everyone in Tallahassee yesterday to whatever this is, I called Vergil and cried on the phone. I get so emotional when I'm sick. He told me not to worry, he could cover the situation but I still felt horrible. I have not had to miss very many grandmother-duty days in all the years I've been doing this and it sucked. I told him I wondered if maybe the first thing I got at the beginning of the week was actually the first thing August got which was pretty light (I had been exposed to him last Thursday when he was coughing) and then when the boys came over on Friday, both Mr. Moon and I were exposed to the Flu B that made him run a fever and necessitated a visit to the doctor. 
"It's quite possible," said Vergil. 
Whatever, Mr. Moon was hacking up stuff too and I cried talking to him and then apologized for being so emotional and said, "Let's just take a nice relaxing day." 
"Nah, I feel fine!" he said. Hack hack. And then he listed several things he needed to do and he ended up over at Tom's, trying to figure out why Tom's planer was not working and he spent all day long doing that. 
That man. 
I took a covid test. Negative. 

So I did crosswords and washed about ten items and hung them on the line and watered the front porch plants and worked on my jigsaw puzzle and sat on the couch and watched part of a movie (This is Where I Leave You) that didn't suck but was quite predictable and formulaic. So yeah, I haven't finished it but I'm pretty sure there will be no huge surprises. It has some good actors in it. Here's the trailer in case you would like to be amused for two minutes. 

I got to see Dax Shephard's ass, albeit very briefly, and that alone was worth the price of admission. Dax is the host of the podcast "Armchair Expert" which Jessie turned me on to a few years ago (I recently discussed this, didn't I?) and now we both have little crushes on him. 

And I made soup because of course I made soup. Making soup is what I do. This one is a garbanzo bean, sausage, sweet potato, tomato, and cabbage soup. 

It's got lots of onion and garlic and cumin, too. Perhaps it will make us all better. I also got out one of my old, old favorite cookbooks. 

I was thinking how good this bread would be with the soup. 

It's the closest bread I've ever been able to bake that resembles the bread they served at Hanuman's Conscious Cookery in Denver where my tastebuds and consciousness were both awakened in the early seventies. If you would like to read an old post of mine that talks about this sacred restaurant you can go HERE.

You know what? Reading my old posts is like looking at old pictures of me. I was a better writer by far back in the older days, just as I was far better looking then than I realized. 
I was probably a better cook back then too but at least no one's complaining about that. And right now my kitchen smells heavenly with the cumin and sausage and beans simmering away and I just put the loaf of bread in the oven so soon the scent of cloves and molasses will join the others in the dance of dinner. The sausage in the soup is venison, the sweet potatoes are from last summer's crop of volunteers that will obviously never not come up year after year. They are skinny and sometimes gnarly but they taste lovely and store nicely for a very long time. 

And there you are. Here we are. 

I wonder if August wondered and worried why I wasn't picking him up early the way I usually do. I so hate to disappoint my grandchildren. 
We will play Monopoly next week, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise. 

Love...Ms. Moon