Friday, June 30, 2023

Owen's Here And All Is Very Well

Well, one nice thing you can say about this weather is that you can't beat it for getting your laundry dry on the line! By the time you get a load hung out, the first things up are just about ready to be brought in. So that's pretty great- right? 

Said Pollyanna. 

The mosquitoes are certainly enjoying the weather. All that rain for them to lay their eggs in and hatch and now all this heat to urge them on in their bloodsucking thirst is ideal for them. Not so much for us. At least I haven't been bitten by yellow flies yet. That will happen though. We know it will. 

So the other day Mr. Moon saw Maurice chase either a large mouse or a small rat across the kitchen and the critter made its way somehow under? beside? the dishwasher. 
We both said. 
Well at least Maurice was trying. And it now appears that she had damaged the rodent to the point of unlivable abilities because there is, without a doubt, something dead, dead, dead in that area. 
This is not good. That is my kitchen. It's supposed to smell delicious in my kitchen, not like a dead animal. Glen said that he'd take care of it but he's had other priorities today, one of which involved this. 

That, my friends, is what your flat screen TV looks like on the inside. I know this because it is our flatscreen TV, laid out on the new table with a good thick towel under it. Last night the dang thing just quit working and Mr. Moon googled the problem as one does, and then this morning, he did more googling but nothing that he tried worked. Then he found a Youtube about how to supposedly fix this specific problem and that involved taking the TV apart. 
Well, that didn't fix it either but I think he had a really good time trying. 
So when I got home from doing my shopping this afternoon, he was gone, and I assumed he was off buying a new TV. And picking up Owen who is spending the night because he is going fishing early, early tomorrow morning with his Boppy. 
And now- this is happening in the Glen Den. 

They are putting the old set back together so that they can replace it with this. 

Oh Lord. Well, at least Owen's here to help. I'm certainly useless when it comes to things like that. 
Meanwhile, because they will be fishing tomorrow, the dead thing will only get deader in the kitchen. 
Priorities, people. Priorities. 

Look what came in the mail today!

Those of you who know Joanne at Cup On The Bus will instantly recognize her handiwork. I recently ordered two of her newly woven scarlet towels and I have been so excited to get them. I immediately put that one to use to cover my rising pizza dough. It makes me so happy. Thank you, Joanne! And I recommend these incredibly well-made towels with all of my heart. I have two that I've been using for years and they are just as good as ever. Click on the link above to go to Joanne's site where you can get information about buying towels of your own. 

Another thing came in the mail today- the bathing costume! 
And guess what? I do not hate it. I do not hate it a lot more than my old bathing suit. It is fairly comfortable. Here's what the darling model looks like from the Land's End site. 

Of course I look like a little round cherry tomato in it but whatever. It has a shelf bra which is the least bra-like of bras you can wear and I've already taken the cup pads out so that will make it even more comfortable. 
I'll be styling at the Wacissa! "Look!" people will say. "It's the cherry tomato granny!" And I will beam and smile and say, "Howdy! Can you turn off your fucking music?"

So that's been another Friday and I suppose I should go into that stinky kitchen and make our pizza. Owen wanted white chicken pizza which sounds excellent to me. It's about time for Mr. Moon to make us our martinis. And those line-dried sheets are on the bed. 

Seems like I had something else to report but I sure can't think of what it was. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, June 29, 2023

His Birthday


That picture was taken three years ago today on Glen's birthday during the pandemic. We joined Jessie and Vergil and the boys down near Eastpoint at a little hidden beach that was perfect for the children because there was such shallow water. A fishing pole was brought because there is no ocean that man goes to without taking a fishing pole. August was four, Levon was still a little one, and we had a sweet day, eating a picnic and soaking in the tannin-stained water, doing a little fishing, just being happy that it was Boppy's birthday. 

I love that picture. The love that shines on the face of my husband as he looks at August learning to fish, his happiness at being at the beach with a daughter, her children, her husband. It was one of those days where nothing spectacular happened. We celebrated a birthday. A baby went naked. Fishing happened. 
Sweetness abounded. 

Today was like that too, I think. A different daughter, different grandchildren, a river instead of a bay, but there was a picnic, there was a cake, there was sweetness. 

It took us half the day to get organized and on our way to the Wacissa. We wanted to get our sandwiches from the Hilltop and Lily needed to get gas and so Glen and I drove to the Hilltop with Maggie to order our food and sit on the old pew that serves as a waiting area, until our name was called and we paid for our lunches and drove to the river. We had a good conversation with Magnolia. We talked about the first things we remembered from when we were children and when we asked Maggie what the first thing she remembered was she said, "I don't remember!" But then she told us a story about running, holding cucumbers, and eating those cucumbers and it was a good story and sounded like a good memory. 

The river wasn't so crowded today and mostly people seemed to be behaving themselves. A little bitty gator was swimming in the duck weed but no one was disturbed in the least by it. We arranged our chairs and our umbrella and the cooler and our food and we swam for awhile and then we ate and then we sat and talked and then we swam some more and then we had cake. I took a picture of Mr. Moon holding that cake while we sang but I bet he'd say that he hates it and doesn't want me to post it so I just won't. Trust me- both he and the cake were beautiful. 

I thought about taking pictures of the kids so many times but felt so lazy and content that I just didn't. Mr. Moon brought the MeeMaw and PawPaw folding rocking chairs for our rocking pleasure and they are just too comfortable to want to get out of for anything but jumping into the water. 

By the time we gathered ourselves together to come home, it was after four and I still had things to do here like punch down my sourdough and pick tomatoes and unload the dishwasher and write Glen's card. I've done all of that now and given him his (unwrapped) presents and he likes his towels all right and he'll try on his new clothes to check for fit and comfort and I'm about to make what he wants for his birthday dinner which is crab legs. We'll have those and bread and sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and avocados and that will be plenty. 

Oh! And prune cake. As always, it is delicious. Gibson and Owen liked it, as did their mama, but Maggie has decided that she does not like nuts and besides that, it smelled like carrot cake and she doesn't like carrot cake anymore either. 
So we got her a Kit-Kat bar at the Hilltop instead and she was happy with that. 

I told Glen that I had gotten so many beautiful compliments about his table from yesterday's post and so I read them to him on our way home from the Wacissa. He was so pleased. Thank all of you who commented. I could tell that they all meant a great deal to him. I have talked about so many of you to him that he, too, feels as if he knows some of you. I love that. 

I love him. As I said in the card today, I am very, very proud of myself. Yes- I am proud of myself for realizing what a good man he was when I met him even though I had not known very many of that rare breed in my life. 

I feel very emotional this evening. Birthdays will do that to you. They are a concrete reminder of the years slipping by and no matter how much we all want to say that age is nothing but a number, we all know that it is more than that. 

When I met Mr. Moon he was twenty-nine, just as I was. Today he turned sixty-nine, just as I will in a month minus one day. 
Forty years, gone in a spark's bright flash. 

And yet, at the same time, a full forty years of memories of love and joy and sorrow and laughter and grief and throughout all of it, holding on to each other, making each other laugh, making each other feel loved, making each other as happy as we know how to do. 

I guess what I'm saying here is, I love that man. I am so glad he was born and that we met and that we fell in love and I had the sense to marry him and that I'd really, really like about forty years more. 


I realize that we are luckier than most and I'll take what I can get. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

A Day Of Much Accomplishment

Well, I did it! I turned two and a half gallons of green beans into seven pints of canned beans for the winter. Boy! Do I feel thrifty. I'm thinking that if I accounted for the time I spent in canning those beans, plus the new pressure canner, plus the jars, they probably cost around fifteen dollars a pint. Of course that includes gardening and picking time too. 

But won't I be proud to open up those jars later on in the year? I sure hope they taste good. 

Pressure canning is different from boiling water bath canning. For things that have a highly acidic nature like pickles with vinegar or tomatoes which have their own acid, the water bath method will do fine. Same with jams and preserves. But for things like regular vegetables a pressure canner is needed. The temperature gets much hotter during that process, and thus, (theoretically at least), the bacteria and bad stuff is destroyed so that the food is safe to eat. The lids on canning jars, whether they are used in the water bath process or in pressure canning, seal completely, creating a vacuum that nasty things can't get in. But the thing to be sure of is that there are no nasty things in there to begin with. Thus- the pressure canner.

I know a lot of people are afraid of pressure cookers in general. I am not. I have been using them my whole life. There is nothing better to make a cheap cut of meat so tender that MeeMaw doesn't even have to put her teeth in to eat it. It cuts down the cooking time of dried beans dramatically. I think I used mine most when I was a vegetarian, depending on many meals of black beans, pinto beans, chick peas, and so forth for protein. Now I did have one very bad accident with a pressure cooker and it involved black soy beans. Soy beans create a froth when you cook them which does not go well with pressure cookers. I blew black soybeans all over my kitchen, from ceiling to behind the stove. 
It was a mess. 
I think the newer pressure cookers are designed not to do that though. If something interferes with the system, the food inside will just sort of ooze out instead of blowing itself through the steam vent. But I am not afraid of pressure cookers at all. The technology of them has been used for years and years and they are dependable and I would say, pretty darn safe if you just take a few precautions like using the correct amount of liquid and pay attention to the situation. 

So that was my little Home-Ec lesson for the day. Tomorrow perhaps we will be discussing the finer points of putting in a zipper. 
No. We will not. 

All right. Here's the coolest thing that happened today. 

See this? 

It is the lovely new coffee table that Mr. Moon just built that when you pull the top of it up and towards you it does this:

Mr. Moon is sticking his tongue out because he did not want me to take his picture. But the coffee table turns into a little dining table for us and now we can sit on the couch to eat instead of on pillows on the floor which has worked fine for almost twenty years but we are getting a little old for that. 
I am so proud of him. He figured out what he wanted to make and he designed it and built it- again from wood from our own tree. It even has little places, as you can see, where we can stash place mats and napkins and whatever. 
My grandfather would love this so much. He, too, was good at designing things that would be helpful and clever, and then building them. 

I think this was Mr. Moon's birthday present to himself. And to me. He always complained that when we ate at our old round coffee table, I wasn't sitting close enough to him. And now, we can sit right next to each other. 

And although there is no reason for me to explain this, I feel the need to tell you that all of that crumpled looking cloth over there on the shelf is part of my mending pile. That corner of the couch is where I sit and do needlework. 

And here's the prune cake.

Just out of the oven and I still haven't made the delicious frosting/glaze. That cake never fails. It is beautiful and it is so moist and so delicious, filled with all of the good spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. 

It's been a good and busy day. We even went to the river for a quick dip although I was irritated there today. So many people, so much going on. Someone saw a snake in the water and there was a mass exodus out of the river and then everyone gathered on the dock to look down and study the poor snake. 

As if no one had ever seen a damn snake before. I mean- I don't want to swim in the immediate vicinity of a snake but it's a river. Which means that there are lots of creatures swimming about in it. It is their place. We're just a bunch of big old humans bumbling about and freaking out when a tiny bit of nature raises its head in our presence. And then, one of the guys pushed another of the guys into the river right on top of the snake which probably scared the snake to death and the guy who got pushed screamed, "You fucking bitch!" and I looked at Mr. Moon and said, "I am done."

And we came home. 

But I am cooler now. So there is that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

No. In Fact, It Is Not Hot Enough For Me. Please Pour Some Boiling Oil Over My Head To Rectify That Situation

It is hot. It is stupid hot. Not to mention stupefyingly hot. 

Go outside. Walk to the compost pile beside the garden. Feel like you might vomit. 

Go outside. Water the porch plants. Feel like you might have a heart attack. 

And you know what? It's a hell of a lot hotter in some places than it is here. 

Someone in a parking lot asked me today if it was hot enough for me. Actually, truly asked that. 
God, yes, I said. I was too hot to come up with anything snappy. 

Okay. We can handle this. We are Floridians. We have been training for this our entire lives. 
That's a lie. I mean, yes, we are Floridians. But no, we probably are not going to be handling it well. People without air-conditioning or even fans are going to die. That's just a fact. 

But hey! Here I am, sitting on my back porch where it's only 92 degrees and oh, so shady! With my Vornado fan blowing at high speed directly on me from about three feet away. Still, sweat drips down my back. I just filled the bird bath and am waiting to see if any cardinals come to take advantage of that. I hope they do. Mr. Moon is at the river now. He mowed the grass today, not having had time to do it last evening. I didn't go because I'd just gotten back from town and had to catch up on some things. I'm wishing I'd gone though. I'm wishing we lived right on the river. I'm wishing that with all my heart. 

So yes. I went to town today. Mr. Moon's birthday is Thursday, as I have mentioned. What to get him? I never know. He can and does buy himself whatever he needs or wants. So I went to Bass Pro Shop. I've always called it Bass Pro World which Lily pointed out to me recently is not the name of it. "It's not Disney World," she said. In the most loving way possible. 
Point taken. I'll probably still call it Bass Pro World most of the time anyway. 

Getting Mr. Moon stuff at Bass Pro Shop is like buying him a gift certificate. I went in and found him some shorts and a shirt. Maybe one of the pairs of shorts can also be worn as a bathing costume. I don't know. It doesn't matter. And I got him a big bag of soft peppermints. Everyone loves soft peppermints, right? And whatever he doesn't like or want he can take back and exchange for something that he does want. Like a gift card. 

And then, I did something horrible. 

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

I went to Walmart. It was right there. I wanted to look at pressure canners because if I had one of those, I could can my green beans without pickling them. For low-acid foods one needs a pressure canner to preserve safely. So I found one and I bought it. I feel like a real grown-up now. Why have I waited so long to buy one? 
Eh, well. Who knows?

And then I thought, Dang. I could get hand towels here! 
The hand towels I put in the bathroom off the kitchen are used constantly and I'm down to about three and two of them have holes in them. I've been meaning to buy new ones for a long time but I never go to places that sell towels except for Costco and they only sell hand towels in bundles with washcloths which I do not need. But Walmart has them! So I went down the towel aisle and I got four new ones, all white so I can bleach them (this is probably why the ones I have all have holes in them) and I got Mr. Moon a new bathroom rug and also, new bath towels. I hate the bath towels he uses in his bathroom. I cannot remember buying them and I cannot remember a time when we didn't own them. They are a sort of dark orange which is not a color I would buy. Maybe a rust. Whatever. And I got Mr. Moon two new hand towels to match the towels. And rug. They are gray. 
They will do. And I swear- he's going to have to take those rusty orange towels out to the garage to use as work towels. I do not want to see them in my house any more. What they spark is not joy but irritability and annoyance. 
I also got a dress at Walmart. It is all cotton and it has pockets and since it cost $14.97 I won't mind wearing it when I can green beans. 
I kept finding things that I've been vowing to go shop for and just haven't because I don't like shopping at all. So hell. Why not? In for a penny, in for a pound. 

When I went to check out, I didn't see any checkout people except for a rather largish group of employees who appeared to be doing nothing except standing by the self-check-out places, mostly talking to each other. 
"Are there any humans?" I asked one of the standers. 
"No," he said. Well, he was a human but he knew what I meant.
I often use the self-checkout at Costco and the employee who stands in that area is all over the place, helping people, scanning items that are heavy, making sure that everyone is okay. One guy did come over to me when I was checking out today. One of my items had given me a message that it hadn't scanned. I was dealing with it. He wasn't sure that I was. Then he pointed to the canner in the cart and said, "Did you scan that?" 
"Yes," I told him. "I did." He didn't bother to check. 

I could have stolen half the shit in my cart and no one would have checked or cared. Walmart doesn't pay them enough to go to that much effort. And then, when I walked my cart to the door, I passed TWO human checkers. 

Oh well. 

And then I went to Publix to get Mr. Moon a birthday card and me a sandwich because it was almost three and I was hungry. I guess I totally forgot that Walmart must surely sell birthday cards. They sell everything else.

Before I left Walmart, a woman noticed the pressure canner box in my cart. 
"I have one just like that!" she said. "I bought it last week!" 
"Do you like it?" I asked. 
"I do!" she said. 
And then we stood there and talked about canning and stuff. She's from Madison which is a little town some miles to the east of here. "If we lived closer, I'd give you all my quart jars," she said. "I don't use them anymore."
She told me how many pints of okra she'd put up and I told her about rattlesnake beans. She learned to can from her grandmother. Her mother was afraid of poisoning people with canned goods so she never did it. A lot of people feel that way and I'm sure it could happen and I'm sure it does happen but frankly, I've never heard of anyone dying from improperly canned food. Not personally, at least. 

So that was my big adventurous day. I am hot and I am sticky and the cardinals haven't found the birdbath water yet. The crickets are singing chorus after chorus of the It's Hot song. 
Tomorrow I will make a prune cake which is what Mr. Moon wants for his birthday. "Like the one you made May," he said. 
I know which one that is. I can do that.
And hopefully, I will can some green beans. Or, as the lady from Madison called them- snap beans. 

If I had any doubt before, I do not now. 
I am an old southern granny. I put up snap beans. 
Or at least I will. 

Funny to think that this is where I've been heading my entire life. 

And that's okay. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, June 26, 2023

Bless The River

Years ago Kathleen gave me this lovely plant which lives in a pot on my front porch. I don't think it gets enough light there but it lives on. She called it a "tropical gardenia" but my plant app says it is called a pinwheel flower, Nero's crown, East India rosebay, milk flower, crape jasmine, paper gardenia or butterfly gardenia. 
I think I will continue to call it a tropical gardenia because Kathleen said so. East India rosebay is a pretty name too, though. 

Mr. Moon got home last night pretty late and I was right in my prediction that he would be exhausted. He even took a little nap this afternoon which he almost never does but like I said, offshore fishing can be very strenuous and he doesn't sleep that well when he's away. He did bring home fish! A few snapper and quite a bit of red grouper which for whatever reason is legal to take at this time of year. Grouper is always good, as is snapper, and we will be having some tonight. It is nice to have him home and last night when we went to bed, Jack allowed us both to kiss him on the head. It is his one "trick" and it's not really a trick although it does illustrate (to me at least) that cats understand human language perfectly well, they just go to great pains to hide that fact. If I say, "Give me a kiss, Jack," he'll come over and bow his head to me so that I can give him a little peck. And when I say, "Give Daddy a kiss now," he'll go do the same for Glen. 
I know. This is so ridiculous on so many levels. 

I worked in the garden some more today. Those knee pads have changed my life. I am so thrilled to have found a solution to my knee problem. This is going to add years to my gardening pleasure. I weeded some more and I planted another row of okra, although I'm really not sure why. I'd bought the seeds last week at the Dollar General for fifty cents so not much of an investment. 
But a lot of sweat. 
And then I started weeding the zinnias on the outside of the garden fence, got halfway down that row and said, "That's it. Done. No more today." I struggled to my feet, dumped my weed pan, and stumbled into the house. 
"RIVER!" I said to my husband. But he wasn't hot at all having just taken his little nap and he wanted to go over to Tom's to work on our table for awhile and his plan for after that was to mow the grass. 
Here's a meme that pretty much sums up our yard right now. 

So I went to the river by myself and it was pretty pleasant although there was a couple who were arguing and throwing cuss words around like crazy and although I really have no right to criticize anyone for throwing around cuss words, I don't do it in a public place where there are children. 
Some of the children were theirs. I felt bad for them. 
There were also some moms with children, and it bothered me that the moms weren't moving an inch but yelling at the older girls to watch the young ones. I guess that reminded me of when I was an older sister and taking care of my brothers. I didn't really mind but looking back I realize I was given way more responsibility than I should have been given when it came to child care and not nearly enough when it came to things boys. 
I could be trusted with the lives of small human beings but not with my virginity. 
Or something like that. 
But still, the Wacissa is the Wacissa and it is cold and it is clear and it is beautiful. 

I wonder if Ron DeSantis has ever even been to the Wacissa. 
That man needs to go down to the river, smoke a big fat spliff of legal flower, and go paddle out to where there's nothing but water and sky,  turtles and fish and ancient cypress trees, herons, ospreys, and egrets. 
Well, that's what I think. 

Mr. Moon is still at Tom's and it's time for me to make some supper. I am thinking he may be bringing our dining table home tonight. Wouldn't that be something? The grass isn't going anywhere and will still be here tomorrow. Just like the dust, the mildew, the bags of green beans in the refrigerator, the ones on the vine, and hopefully...the river.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, June 25, 2023

I Talk Too Much

Here we have a cloudless sulphur butterfly. It may actually be of the angled cloudless sulphur butterfly variety. I love how the underside of the wings look like a pretty yellow leaf. 

There you can see the intense yellow of it. 

So. yes, instead of being in an emergency room, I was at home today, doing at-home things including taking pictures of butterflies on flowers. I slept so hard last night, and the few times I did wake up, I'd do a quick mental check to see if my side was hurting and every time the answer was blessedly "no." 
I think I figured out what made that stone begin to move. I believe that it was picking up those heavy branches the other day. The twinges started coming on just a little while after I did that. And things have been pretty quiet with it today although when I was weeding in the garden, kneeling, I could feel it. I suppose I could just lay still for the rest of my life and it might not ever move again but we all know that's not going to happen. 

So yes, I did some weeding but not a whole lot. It's simply too hot to stay out for long. But I got some of the ones that have been bugging me so badly. The field peas are coming along nicely and the okra is definitely not. The cucumbers appear to have been stricken by something- possibly the squash vine borer. The tomatoes- eh. 
Not what I would wish for. The little cherry tomatoes that I started from the seeds of the Sugar Bombs are actually making fruit but I'll be surprised if they come out the same as their parents. The peppers are still looking good and my poor, single eggplant is growing and putting out a few blossoms so there is hope there. Mr. Moon doesn't really love eggplant so I never plant very much of it. Maybe if I started calling it "aubergine" he would like it better. It's a prettier word, I think. 
The best looking things, the healthiest and hardiest, are of course the volunteer sweet potatoes and the volunteer zinnias. Anything that wants to grow so badly that it springs up of its own sturdy accord tends to do well, I've found. 

Mr. Moon texted me a little while ago to tell me that they are back on shore and he will be heading home as soon as they clean the boat, clean the fish, and pack the house up. I know he's exhausted. They were on the water since sunup. I'm not expecting him any time soon. That man works hard and he plays hard. Offshore fishing is a strenuous activity but one that he gladly does because he just loves it so much. 
I can't imagine loving anything that requires that much effort. I realize I am not all women. I know some women who love nothing more than running marathons and riding their bikes up and down mountains. 
God bless 'em. I ain't one of them. 

So I tried using the Bar Tender's Friend on my shower door that has hard water deposits on it which have not yielded to anything that I've tried. I made up the paste that I used to clean my oven door window with so successfully and smeared it on and left it overnight. Then I scrubbed it with a non-scratch scrubber. 
Guess what? 
It didn't work. 
I truly and really give up. At this point any effort in removal attempts are just to be viewed as amusing home science projects. 
And really- who cares? If you could see the mildew on the walls of my bathroom, you would faint. FAINT. Dead away. I'm not climbing a ladder to scrub walls with bleach water. I would have ten years ago but there was no mildew on them then. Guess those walls lost their chance, huh? I have a fantasy that Mr. Moon will finally agree to hiring painters who will do that sort of thing but once again- he hates beyond reason paying someone to do something that he can do himself. 
And he can do almost anything himself. 
Can and will are two entirely different things though and after thirty-eight years of marriage, instead of learning how to nudge him into projects that he does not really want to do, I've merely learned to accept that which I cannot change. 
And somehow, I love him more than ever. He is who he is, just as I am who I am. We are vastly different, vastly imperfect, and I could not have found a better person to be my partner. 
But guess what I've done for him today? I used his shower last night because mine had Bar Tender's Friend smeared all over the shower door and I noticed that his shower head was in dire need of a good vinegar soak. It, too, had hard water deposits on it and in it. So I got out the step ladder and the vinegar and a plastic bag and a rubber band and it is now soaking and won't he be surprised when he goes to take his shower? 
This is the sort of thing that thrills me these days. My god but I am old.
His birthday is in four days and I am thinking that I could tell him that a cleaned-out shower head is his present. What do you think? 
Okay. Whatever. 

Here's a picture that Jessie sent today. 

The whole mountain family went on a river canoeing trip! I hear it was quite exciting in that there were capsizings and other small problems but everyone survived and it looks to me like those three really had a very good time. 
Golly, I miss them. 
Well, I'll be seeing them soon enough. 

Oh. Here's some zinnias. 

Aren't zinnias the happiest flowers? 
It's like the creator was being bothered by some naughty cherubs and as a distraction, gave them a box of crayons and some paper and said, "Here! Draw some flowers!" And they did and he looked at them and said, "Hmmmm...."
And he saw that they were good and he made them real. 

I guess that was the sermon from the Church of the Batshit Crazy for this Sunday.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Oh, Life. Oh Kidney Stone. Really?

The phlox attracts so many butterflies that it's worth planting for that alone. And such gorgeous butterflies! That is a Giant Swallowtail and I'm sorry I could only catch the underside of the wing but butterflies just do like to flit and flutter from one nectar-filled throat to another. 

Here's a Palamedes Swallowtail that was sipping at the same time as the giant. 

I have seen quite a few butterflies this year between the phlox and the zinnias. It is quite gratifying. 

I wish my entire day had been about beautiful butterflies but it has not been. Last night, just about the time I was getting ready for bed, I realized that my right side where the stone has been lodged in my kidney causing me no problems at all was...twinging. 
The feeling was all too familiar and I knew exactly what it was. It has been twinging all day now, not bad pain, just there and so easily identifiable after my last stone. And of course Mr. Moon is out of town because this is how these things go. 
I know that with the last stone, I suffered twinges and then real pain for at least a month, probably more. Because I am an ostrich and, as Kathleen used to say, I carry a bucket of sand around with me to stick my head in whenever I need it, I ignored it (mostly) until the pain became unbearable and that, along with the blood in my urine, let me know exactly what it was and forced me to finally deal with it. So what I'm hoping is that this stone is just making its first tentative little jolting steps towards my urethra and will not be sending me to the ER this weekend. There is no visible blood in my urine and I am taking that as a good sign. 
I have talked to Glen and reassured him that I do not need him to come home and that Lily and Lauren are not working tonight and the children will be at Jason's and they have promised that if I do need to go get help, they will take me. 

Needless to say though, this has been quite unsettling. I have been hoping that, as my urologist said, the stone might never move at all, and thus need no attention. I guess that may not be the case. And if it continues to bother me, even if I don't have to seek help for pain, I do believe I will make an appointment with the urologist and get the fucker blasted because FUCK THIS. 
And I did so want to avoid that because, as you may remember, after I got the last one lasered, it took a almost two weeks to pass the remaining grit and each of those episodes were, if not excruciating, then close enough to be real good friends. 

Am I catastrophizing? I may well be but honestly, I have some remnants of PTSD from the last stone because it was indeed quite traumatic. 

Anyway, that's what's been going on here today. I have tried to just have a normal day, going about my business the way I do. I did some laundry, I swept a floor, I made a nice breakfast, I scrubbed toilets, I picked the garden. 

I had not picked green beans in three days and due to the heat and the enormous number of beans on the vine, it took me two trips to the garden to pick them today. That was my harvest and I probably picked another basketful and a half of beans that were too big and thus, too tough to eat. Those I just tossed in the yard beside the garden, wishing that I still had chickens who would so gladly peck at them. I may start leaving the huge ones on the vine and try cooking just the inner beans or saving them for next year's planting. That would be the sensible thing to do. 

My supper last night was so good. I made salmon, cooking it in a skillet with a little olive oil, lemon juice, dill weed, salt and pepper, my favorite delicious roasted cauliflower recipe which Mr. Moon has asked me as gracefully as possible to cook when he is gone, rice, and some...LeSuer peas! For my lunch today I finished the cauliflower and the rice. It's bizarre how easy it is to eat an entire head of cauliflower when it's roasted. Not unlike spinach, as it cooks it becomes a mere shadow of itself, size-wise, at least. 

And here's a story that just amazes me and warms my heart. 
Last night, Lis called me to tell me about something that had happened at the gig they'd just done in St. Augustine. A woman was there who recognized them from my blog! She approached Lis and said, "Do you know Mary Moon?" (All too well, would have been the correct answer.) According to Lis, she's been reading here for many years, is from Ohio, I think, and never commented so I had no idea who she was but that was so gratifying. Lon and Lis are so sweet to want to let me know about this. I am so used to being asked, "OH! Do you know Lon and Lis?" that having the opposite happen is crazy. Lis even sent a picture of her and this lady which I would post but I don't have permission from B. in Ohio. But I would like to say- thank you, B. for letting Lis know that you knew her from me. I am thrilled and humbled. And aren't you glad you got to see them and meet them? Aren't they wonderful? 

I have retrieved the prescription for pain medication (not an opioid although who cares?) from the freezer that I had left over from April when I had my last kidney stone, and trust me- if any serious pain begins to happen, I will take it. Not fucking around with this. But I am hoping against hope that I will just sleep beautifully and wake up in the morning feeling fine and ready to try and take better pictures of butterflies among the flowers. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 23, 2023

Many Pictures Of, Uh, Nature

Tulip Tree Beauty Moth

Once again the man has headed to the coast for another weekend of fishing and hopefully, this time they'll actually get to spend some time out on the water. He's so funny. Although I do not mind in the least when he goes off for a few days to fish or hunt, he always sort of waits until the last moment to tell me of his plans as if I might get angry or be too sad or something. So the other night when he vaguely mentioned going fishing this weekend and I indicated that I did not know he was thinking about that he said, "Well, you know- snapper season! We have to go while we can! So, do you mind, I mean, is it okay if I go?"
I laughed. 
"You don't need to ask my permission. Just let me know."
I suppose he thought I knew when snapper season ends because knowledge like that is simply part of his reality, like knowing when it's time to pick the beans is my reality.  
We are a funny couple. And getting funnier by the day. I told him last night that I would gladly do his grocery shopping for him. Buy the stuff that he'll need to make sandwiches with and so forth. We made out a list and before I left to go shopping this morning and was sitting here doing a crossword on my MacBook he asked me when I thought I'd be back from town. 
"About an hour and a half after I leave," I told him. 
Trust me- I did the shopping and was back in plenty of time. 
That man just loves to fish. 

I did two things today that I have been meaning to do for a while now. All of this rain and all of these storms we've had in the last week or so have done a good job of pruning the trees around the yard. Branches  have been dropping like crazy, ranging in size from hardly-larger-than-twigs to ten feet long. That would be the Chinaberry tree which does indeed love to shed its limbs. So I emptied the rain water out of the garden cart and went to work, picking up the downed tree pieces and hauling them to the burn pile. After about ten minutes of that, I was sweating like a trouper as my grandmother used to say. And then it began to rain a little and so by the time I was finished, I was soaking wet. Just as I put the last branch on the pile, I heard the unmistakable sound of yet another branch letting go of life and falling. I turned around to see this.

Dang water oaks. 
"Really?" I asked the branch. "Really?" It gave me no response.
And then I hauled it to the burn pile too. 

This morning I had seen and heard something falling behind the chicken coop and so I went to see what that had been. 

Part of what I call a "woodpecker tree" had fallen, taking some vines with it, crashing through the extremely invasive coral ardesia which is swiftly taking over. Since that happened in one of the wooded, wild sections of the yard, I let it be. Soon enough the insects and fungi, water and sun will take it back to the earth. 

And then, because I was already sweating and filthy, I attended to the other thing I'd been meaning to do which was to pull some crab grass from the kitchen garden where the bananas grow. That crab grass has been been bugging me for weeks and I have to look at it at least ten times a day. 

I really should make that spot into something more esthetically pleasing. Perhaps take out everything but the roses and bananas and plant herbs in there. That would be the right thing to do. There is some mint over beside the pretty little tiled bird bath but it's hidden by the pinecone lilies and volunteer golden cherry tomato vines. There's also a gardenia, a giant tropical plant that I always forget the name of, a sago palm, some of the wild pink phlox, four-o'clocks, chenille plant, and Virginia creeper. Plus other stuff. 
Perhaps this winter I will attend to that. 
But at least the crab grass is gone from that particular bed. 

At that point, Mr. Moon had kissed me good-bye, told me he loved me, and with an almost inappropriate amount of joy, left to go pick up his friend Rob and drive to the coast. I took a shower which was delightful and folded some laundry and put it away and now the bed is made up with clean sheets, of course, and I took a few porch pictures when the sun had come out and was making merry with its light after being hidden behind the rain clouds. 

My dump-scored Monstera. Well, part of it. 

A Rex begonia that I do not remember where I got, a clivia lily that Lis gave me, a Swiss cheese plant that Lily gave me, and some Swedish ivy that Jessie gave me. The lily is on a typewriter that Mr. Moon brought me home from...the dump. It is sitting on the base of what used to be my grandfather's shop stool.

Now. Can you see what is happening here? 

The spider plant in the blue pot sent out a baby which has rooted in the pot belonging to the giant begonia. Those sneaky spider plants! 

One of my bird's nest ferns, basking in the sunlight. I do love a bird's nest fern. 

And now the sun has gone back behind the clouds and the weather widget looks like this. 

I am pretty sure that the weather in Florida is a big influence when it comes to Florida Man. And Florida Woman. There is absolutely no constant you can hang your hat on. Except for heat and humidity. It's enough to make anyone crazy. 

Ooh boy. I can hear thunder. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Thursday, June 22, 2023

Another Day, A Few More Quarts Of Pickles


It was still raining when I got up this morning. I slept late, probably because when it's raining, the light falls differently, making me feel like it's still early. And lucky for me, I have the luxury of sleeping until I feel like getting up. 

What a luxury!

But the sun soon came out and I took a short walk. Although it wasn't quite as hot as it could have been, I was still very sweaty by the time I got home but at least I didn't feel like I was dying which was nice. 

I spent some time this afternoon shopping online to find a bathing suit that doesn't look like an outfit of torture. This has been an ongoing project. The other day I actually googled, "comfortable bathing suits for fat old women."

Here's one of the images that came up. 

As I have been known to say- I shit you not!

I did not buy that one. Frankly, it does not look comfortable in the least to me. 

So I got an old lady suit from Land's End but I got it in red so WATCH OUT WORLD! At least they'll be able to find my body if I get pulled out by a rip tide (aka Under Toad) in the ocean. 
Speaking of finding bodies in the ocean- oh hell. What can you say? We are all so fascinated when the truly rich get killed in horrible ways that involved them spending gazillions of dollars for the experience. What about all the people who drown trying to flee the horrors of their home countries by sea in rickety old boats or on rafts? The mothers and children? No one wants to even think about that, much less talk about it. 
God. What a weird world we live in. 
Again I say- I shit you not.

I'm listening to a book that Lily recommended. It's called Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing and it's by a woman named Lauren Hough. 

It's a series of essays about her life and my god- what a life. I'm not even halfway through it and I'm already completely astonished at its power. Once again, someone is teaching me more about life than I ever wanted to know and yet- my god, I should know. 
Ms. Hough is not only a lesbian who was honorably discharged from the Air Force during DACA for coming out as gay, she also lived all over the world as a child when her parents were in the cult commonly known as The Children of God, or later on, The Family. 
She has a great deal of trouble with the word "family" now and one can understand why. 
In the part of the book I'm listening to, she's living in Washington, DC, working as a bouncer at a gay bar, and living in abject poverty. You want to learn about the America that so many marginalized people live in? Read this book. I have a feeling we've only touched the surface of what she's lived through at this point in her story. 
One thing that really hit me hard is her saying that only those who have truly been poor- going to bed hungry, not knowing where you're going to sleep tomorrow poor- will do a kindness for you and not expect anything in return. 
I could write my own entire essay tying this in to right-wing politics, but I won't. 
Powerful writing. 
A book I doubt I'll be forgetting any time soon. 

I think I may have made the last pickled green beans for the summer this afternoon, not because there are no more green beans but because I have had enough of that particular project. I did indeed get out the quart jars and filled four of those with beans, brine, and spices, and canned them. It was so much easier as I only needed to trim the ends because the jars were tall enough to accommodate all but a few of the very longest ones. 

And my refrigerator is still filled with beans and I don't even want to think about what's on the vines. 

I'm going to cut this short today. I'm going to make enchiladas and that takes some time, even though I am going to cheat and use canned sauce. I will be adding tomatoes and peppers from our garden, though. I picked a gorgeous giant jalapeno today and that will be part of the sauce. 

Oh! Lily and Lauren and the kid crew will be returning from Lauren's parent's house tomorrow. I hear they have had a wonderful time. 

Lily says that Maggie has been in heaven because of all the animals. They have about 25 goats now because the man goat got in with the women goats and knocked all of them up. I guess that goats really are randy. And fertile. 
I will be glad to see them when they get home and I hope that we can take some nice little jaunts to the river. Perhaps Maggie can adopt an alligator. 

Thanks to all of you who told me that I need to cut the tops of my garlic before it blooms. I will have to discuss this with Tom. Sounds sensible to me. 

Also, thank all of you who have suggested that I volunteer in a library, reading to children. It is a wonderful idea and one I have considered for a long time. The thing that holds me back is the thing that holds me back from so many things- social anxiety. And, oh, you know- that little agoraphobia problem. 
Well, perhaps I can jump those hurdles. We shall see. In the meantime, Terez is on his way to Chicago! As much as that man loves his hometown of Monticello, I think he yearns to experience new places and new experiences and so he should! Hopefully, he will be coming back. He's threatened not to. 

Meanwhile, I am thinking that perhaps I could pay my grandchildren to let me read to them. Why not? It would be a win-win situation as far as I can see.

Love...Ms. Moon