Thursday, August 31, 2023


That picture is not from the hurricane. It is from right this second. I think we're getting more rain now than we did during the storm. It is POURING DOWN. 

Y'all- it's been a ride. 

Like I said, the storm itself wasn't bad at all for us. I mean, it was bad enough to take down trees and take out power for most of Leon and Jefferson Counties. Leon is where Tallahassee is, Jefferson is where we are. The sheriff's office in Jefferson County is saying that it's going to take a week or two to get everyone's power back on. Now, because we have the generator, I'm not worried for us. 
Well, that's a lie because I worry about everything and worrying about a massive piece of equipment that provides electricity for our entire house is a more appropriate thing to worry about than most of the shit I worry about. 
BUT, most of the people around here do not have a generator or if they do, it's a small one that can keep their refrigerators powered and perhaps allow the use of a few lights and a fan. Many people have wells that they depend on for their water and that requires electricity to pump it so it's not just power they are doing without- it's water, too. Which is worse. 

Shit is real. 

I never posted last night because very soon after I posted yesterday after the storm, our internet connection went out. And of course our cell reception was almost nil. I could walk to the church yard next door and make a call or text but not from here. That came back stronger last night so we didn't feel quite as isolated. But somehow the lack of internet just about killed me. I had no idea I was this addicted. I think that part of that is the fact that I am so fully reliant on my routine and a good part of that involves wifi capability. And even before the storm I had been experiencing anxiety. A bad case of it, and yesterday it increased incrementally to the point where I felt sick with it and then it crossed over into crying and, well, it was not pretty.

But I slept. I slept and I slept and I slept. And woke up, crying again. However, as the day progressed, I began to feel less anxious, less depressed, and then magically the internet reappeared and I feel so much better now and am wondering what the fuck, Mary? What was that all about?
I guess they don't call it crazy for nothing. 

I was having a hard time even reading but I could sit down and listen to a mindless podcast and work on my jigsaw puzzle for periods of time. That helped. 

One missing piece. I got this puzzle new out of the box so I don't know what happened to that piece. My theory is that Jack knocked it off the table and Ralph ate it. 

Look how lucky we are:

That's how close that huge branch came to hitting the fence. Like, six inches and it would have crushed the fence. Of course, it would have been nice if it hadn't taken down a power line but it could have done both and yet, did not. Mr. Moon has not chainsawed it up and hauled it to the burn pile yet. I think we are both in a state of ennui from the whole experience we've gone through. And it is still so very hot. And so very, very humid. He did clear a large branch that fell to the side of the driveway and I've picked up some smaller branches and taken them to the pile. It's going to be a massive pyre by the time we've gotten everything cleaned up. Got any corpses you need burned? 

All of my children except for Lily got electricity back before dark last night. Lily lives in a fairly distant part of Leon County, not so far from here, at the end of a long dirt road. The kids are with their dad who does have power so they're okay. 
Again- we are so lucky. 

This is how crazy I was last night- I had picked a few little twigs of a blooming Abelia plant while I was making a phone call from the church yard and then picked a little branch of Beauty Berry. I came in and put them in a vase and later on, I was trying to tell Mr. Moon how much I loved Abelia and why and I was crying so hard I could not talk. 
The story is simple. The first time I was ever aware of this plant was when I was living with an amazing woman right after I had moved to Tallahassee and Abelia grew in our yard. She told me how much she loved it with its browns and pinks and whites and I saw it through her eyes and found it beautiful. I have ever since. And the thing was, is that when I was living with that woman I was in one of the darkest depressions of my life at the age of nineteen. It had been going on for months and months and I had no idea what was wrong with me and it was so hard to find anything that I found beautiful. 
But Paula gave the Abelia's beauty to me and she she shared her home and her joy and her laughter and her constant enthusiasm about life, and loved me despite my darkness. 

And that's what I could not say out loud last night. 

Here's what the sunset looked like from Old Lloyd Road after the storm had passed. 

The birds have been back to the feeder since yesterday afternoon, gobbling up seeds, feeding their young'uns, cardinals and finches and doves all sharing. 

The torrential rain has almost stopped. There will be more to do tomorrow. We woke up this morning to find that another limb had dropped without us noticing it. A large pecan branch with a huge wad of mistletoe. 

It's bigger and heavier than it looks. It had fallen right beside the generator with some of it's branches actually on the precious machine. I was able to pull it away a few feet, but just. It's too heavy for me to drag to the pyre. 

Please know how incredibly grateful I am for all of the care and concern y'all have offered to me. Comments have been lovingly read, emails, too. I appreciate you all so much. The grace you extend to me and to mine is beyond belief and I thank you with every bit of my heart.

Love...Ms. Moon


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Storm Report

 Just a little check-in here to tell you all that we appear to have survived. To be honest, I slept through a lot of the storm. I think the main forces of it passed to the east of us and those people are the ones to worry about now. It's almost up to Georgia at this point, but weakening. 

We had some rain and some big winds and everyone's power is out in the area. Of the kids, only Jessie has power. Our generator is purring right along though and we are in fine shape. That branch in the picture above fell just a few hours ago. It's a water oak branch and we should have taken that tree out years ago. It landed on the power line that leads from the road to our house but the power was already out when it fell so...

I'm sure there are more branches down. I've heard a few go. But nothing on the house and all is well. 

I'll check back in tonight. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Hurricane Preparation

 Here's the latest tracking map from the National Hurricane Center and it's not changed a great deal since yesterday. 
We are going to get a storm. Possibly a category 3 storm although maybe "only" a category 2. This means that we'll be getting a lot of rain, some very high winds which often spin off tornadoes, flooding, and huge tidal surges. We don't have to worry about those here in Lloyd but the coast is going to be a mess. Not only will the storm be causing those, the moon is also full. 

Quite frankly, even a tropical storm has higher winds than I want to deal with. Here we are in an area that from overhead looks like a rain forest, and with the right factors in place, even the slower winds can cause significant damage to trees and buildings. I just told Glen that I really do not want to hear that rip and tear sound that a giant tree makes before a massive part of it falls to the ground. You hear that sound, wait for a few heartbeats and then feel the ground shake as you hear the tree coming down to earth. 

Rob Nucatola is not mincing words but he is being reassuring about the fact that Idalia is not going to squat over us unleashing its fury for a very long period of time. It appears to be a fairly fast moving storm. They have called for everyone in a county east of here to evacuate and for people in surrounding counties to do the same if they live in low-lying areas or trailers. 
That's a lot of people. 

So what did I do to get ready today? 
Well, I went to lunch with Jessie and was then going to go to a doctor's appointment with her. When we got to the office, we were informed that they were running an hour and a half late so Jessie took me back to my car at her place (which is right down the road from the hospital) and went back to see the doctor. I stopped by Lily's Publix, mainly because I wanted a Lily hug, and got a few things, none of them which we desperately need. Having a generator puts a whole new spin on things. But I had a few things on a list anyway and I got them and because a hurricane is coming, I bought a bag of chips and some cilantro to make guac with. 

Honest to god, I just couldn't think of anything else we might need. Lily said that a group of college girls came in and asked if they had flashlights. 
"Not any more," said Lily.
"Oh. Well, can you tell us where the canned tuna is?" She directed them to the aisle of the store where they could find the canned tuna. Let us hope that they have a manual can-opener. 

There's a train going by heading west. No doubt that'll be the last train traveling down those tracks for quite awhile. It sometimes takes weeks to clear the tracks of detritus. 

It's been quite a long time since we really got a big storm here. And hell, I'm looking out at the back yard thinking we should have put the outdoor chairs up and the trash cans should have been tucked away but we haven't done any of that. We pushed the front porch plants closer to the wall and there are some backyard plants that I brought in including my pretty culinary ginger plant, my new basil plant, and my sea grape. Everything else is going to have to root hog or die. 
I worry about the squirrels and birds and all the animals who do not burrow in the ground or deep inside hollow trees and even some of those are at risk of losing their shelters if the trees fall. 

I worry about my children and their safety. They are all born-and-raised-in-Florida and they know about hurricanes. I think they'll all be okay. And they know that if power goes out for a long time, they can come out here and stay afterwards because unless a tree falls on our generator, we should be set. Our friend Tom is coming to spend the night on our couch. He lives in the woods in a trailer of greatly advanced age and if it had ever had any stability, it no longer does. 

So I think we're all set. Or as set as can be. We're on Lloyd municipal water services so that shouldn't be a problem but I'll probably fill up the canning kettle and some other water-holding vessels just in case. 

I feel certain we'll be fine. There will be a lot to do to clean up afterwards. As I always say, "And the voice of the chainsaw was heard in the land," after a hurricane. Everyone's out trying to clear their driveways, get trees off their houses and cars.

Thank all of you so much who have commented, leaving me sweet and supportive messages. We'll be okay. If we have to move to the hallway underneath the stairs of this old, old house we will. We've got a full storey above us in case a tree does fall and truthfully, the wood and other materials this house was made of are about as strong and trustworthy as you can get. 

I'll report in tomorrow or as soon as possible. 

Don't be worrying. We'll be fine. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Probably the last zinnia bouquet of the summer. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Future Tripping For No Good Reason

I'm just going to say it- I've had an absolutely shitty day today. 

I think I'm having major anxiety. That or, you know- a heart attack. Could be that but I'm betting on the anxiety because of this coming storm. Possibly coming storm. 
As I just wrote a friend, it's not like I've never done this dance before. Hell, y'all have seen me get worked up many times about storms that didn't end up coming anywhere near here. And this could be just like that. That graphic up there is from the New York Times and I'm thinking they are being pretty dramatic with all of the reds and yellows. Here's a table they also posted.

And honestly- this sort of "information" is just about useless. 

I just checked my favorite Meteorologist's Facebook page and here's what he just posted:

#TropicalThoughts Monday August 28, Evening Edition :
Just a quickie while taking a short break from the drive to read the latest from the NHC and peek at the satellite imagery…
IDALIA is not a Hurricane yet, but it’s getting awfully close. The convective bursts near that core (thunderstorms) are getting impressive and the whole satellite presentation is also getting more impressive.
It’s still SOUTH of the Western Tip of Cuba.
The computers are still a little too different from each other for me to feel comfortable buying any of what they’re selling - that cone is going to shift more, likely once IDALIA gets farther N. So let’s still not get hung up on the current cone, we expect it to change still. And remember, small changes in location and movement now means LARGE changes in where the storm will eventually go 48hrs from now.
I’ll have the full battery of info tomorrow morning, when I’m back at the station. And I think we should have a better feel for the “where” part tomorrow too. I will be surprised if it is not being called a Hurricane by then. And it’s gonna get stronger, probably a whole bunch. And it feels like a large chunk of the W Coast of the FL Peninsula will be first up to deal with it. But tomorrow I should know more.
I trust him.
So many of the damn meteorologists are huge alarmists which is probably great for their numbers on social media and TV and in print media but they're not doing folks any favors with their hype and horror. Yes, hurricanes can be and are fucking dangerous and people can die and the storms do unfathomable amounts of damage to homes and forests and beaches and commercial property. We all know this. But what good does it do to alarm an entire state when the computer models are still all duking it out?
A few days ago, Nucatola told people that although there was no way to tell yet if what was then a tropical depression was going to become a threat, it was a good reminder to get things ready because this is the time of year when we need to be prepared.
Perfect. And correct.

Universities and schools in Tallahassee have announced closures starting Wednesday. So has just about everyone else. Except the Waffle House, of course. If they close, it is beyond dire.

And here I am completely stressing out while writing about the uselessness of stressing out. We have a good solid house that has survived who knows how many hurricanes in its over 160 years. Our kids have good houses and can always come stay with us if they want. We have a generator that kicks ass and runs everything. We have food. And of course Publix reopens the second a storm has passed, using massive generators. This is not like living in Miami in the 1800's.

And as I write this, we're just about to get what looks to be a very good thunderstorm. Not related at all to Idalia.

And that's what the National Hurricane Center has posted this evening. That dang old cone of uncertainty that Nucatola warns us about.

I think I better just go make our supper and get my shit together.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, August 27, 2023

A Frolic Of A Post

 This might be one of my favorite pictures of all times. Both of those boys love their Boppy so much. And he loves them. 
Here's another one. It's blurry but it's still beautiful. 

We had such a good time with them. They were the very best boys and as cheerful and amiable and amenable as two boys could be. There was no fussing, even when we made them turn the TV off. Maybe an "Oh, man!" from August but they got over it. 

And the dumplings did not disappoint last night. One of the boys, I can't remember which but I think it was Levon, said they were soft as marshmallows. Well now. I consider that hight praise indeed.

The gooey stuff on the little plate is ranch dressing that cucumbers were dipped in. 

We had to eat on my grandmother's old folding sewing table that the Singer fits in and I think that was also one of her bridge tablecloths. We couldn't use the regular dining room table because it has my puzzle on it. But we made it work. This morning I said to them, "Just think, this table belonged to my grandmother and I bet she never once thought that one day her great, great grandsons would be eating their pancakes on it!" 
They were not that impressed. 

After supper Levon wanted a bath in my bathtub and August wanted a shower in Boppy's bathroom. Plenty of water was used by both of them. Levon lounging in the warm water of the tub that I sprinkled Epson's salts scented with lavender in, and August dancing about his grandfather's big shower with Eucalyptus oil sprayed on the walls. He said it smelled good and I told him it was good for his sinuses. 
And it might be. 

After baths they let me read more books! Oh gosh. It was just the sweetest. Levon wanted Banjo Granny and August asked for The Owl and the Pussycat which I love beyond reason. 

There were a few others and then it was time for kisses and good-nights and that was that. I warned them not to come into our bedroom until seven a.m. unless it was an emergency.
"What would be an emergency?" asked Levon. "Fire?"
"Yes, fire," I said. 
Then lights out, and they were asleep in minutes. 

The were in our room at 7:01 a.m. 

Of course there were pancakes this morning. 

Apple, peach, blueberry and oat bran. Very tasty. August ate four. And sausage. And eggs. 

And then it was time for them to play by themselves for awhile. 

Another game. 

Then the excitement really started. We played Monopoly, Jr., the advanced version. Ooh boy. 
Let me tell you something. Mr. Moon is the most competitive man I've ever met when it comes to games. I think because of his years in sports, he learned early not to personalize the other team. They are just opponents and your mission is to beat them and win the game. This seems to be true, even when your opponent is a seven-year old boy. 
Between that and August and Levon's excitement, I got a headache. I am not even kidding you.

I finally had to call it done for my own health and sanity. 

And that was the big sleepover. All the boxes were ticked. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the brown cows before bed. I believe that brown cows (root beer and vanilla ice cream) have replaced purple cows as the go-to dessert. I am afraid that this is one step closer to the "hard stuff" and that soon all of the grandchildren will be demanding bourbon and branch with perhaps a shortbread cookie and a few dark chocolate almond M&M's on the side. 

Here's one more picture.

Know what that is? 
Mr. Moon and the boys set up a trail cam last night to see what animal it was that had dug a hole in the old kitchen garden. 
Possum! And by the looks of it, a mother. Possums are marsupials who carry their babies in a pouch where they nurse. Frankly, although I very much realize the benefit of possums (they eat ticks for one thing), they freak me out. Looking at that picture you may understand why. 
I told Mr. Moon today that marsupials are so odd to me. That they're like an animal that the creator made a few varieties of and then said, "Well, that was interesting experiment. Let us move on."
The possum is the only marsupial native to North America so there is that. 
Did you know that when threatened they play dead to the extent that saliva runs out of their mouth? And it's probably not an act but a reaction. 

Yeah. You probably did not need to know that. Well guess what? I probably did not ever have to see it and yet I have! 

Gotta go cook some squash. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Boys In The House

Look who's here! It's spend-the-night night for these two boys. In that picture, August was creating a game to play with marbles and was cutting up an egg carton for that purpose. He is such a little engineer. So is Levon, actually. While August was creating the marble game, Levon was setting up dominos in pleasing patterns to knock over. They let me read to them and I was just so damn happy. I love that fact that August and Levon getting better at understanding the jokes in books. We laugh and laugh and laugh. There is just nothing better. 

They tell me that school is going great. Levon loves his kindergarten teacher who was August's kindergarten teacher. August has three teachers this year- that's how they're doing it at his school. One for math, one for English, one for...I don't know. What do you study in second grade? He says he'd rather have his old kindergarten teacher. 

They do like their new puppy who has a name- Sophie! Jessie loves that name so much and she loves that puppy so much. Sophie has now slept through the night two times. Big progress. She peed on the couch but Jessie was at work so she probably did not get taken out as often as Jessie takes her out. 

Besides playing marbles, and dominos, and reading, and giving me reports about school and their new puppy sister, the boys have also watched The Batman Lego Movie. I had no idea such a thing existed but indeed it does and what a cast of actors who do the voices! My Lord. They were so excited I'm surprised they didn't pee on my couch. I made them and their grandfather popcorn and put a whole bunch of butter on it and nutritional yeast and salt and now they they're going to try and hook up the Wii game thing. 

And that's about all that's been going on here. Of course I'm simmering chicken and onions and green beans and carrots and celery for chicken and dumplings. I hope they come out better than the last ones I made which was in North Carolina when I was at the tail end of being sick. They were not my best effort. In fact, August tried a dumpling and said, "These things are hard as rocks!" 
He was not far from wrong. I have no idea how I made hard dumplings but I sort of did. 
"You're lucky I made dumplings at all," I told him. I was not offended in the least though, and even laughed. I mean, he was just telling the truth. They were...filling, shall we say?

It did not get up into the hundreds today, temperature-wise, but it was close. For some damn reason Mr. Moon and Vergil decided that it was time to go set up the deer feeder and trail cams at Tom's house in preparation for this year's hunting. 
"Do you really think you have to do this on the hottest day of the year?" I asked my husband.
"Yes," he answered. "Yes I do."
I told Jessie that if he had a heart attack I'd kill him. 
He didn't have a heart attack so all is well. 

And I've just been informed that the Wii won't work with our new TV without something that I have no knowledge of. This is a bummer. I guess I better get in there and make some fluffy dumplings. I swear to you, it never occurred to me before that I could make dumplings that weren't fluffy but now that I've done it, I am quite worried that I've lost my touch. 

We shall see. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, August 25, 2023

Saved Up Pictures, Words From May

I've been saving this picture for a day when I've not taken any photos to post and today appears to be that day. It's the picture Levon drew for my birthday and I just love it. That's Levon and MerMer there, under the rainbow. I adore the way children draw people and the way their drawings evolve as they get older although mine really haven't. I still basically draw humans as stick figures. If I'm feeling especially talented (haha!) I draw people that are more representational of the essence of actual human beings than realistically. 
Because I can't. As with the truck or bicycle or tractor, I honestly do not seem to have any idea what a person looks like. 

I have had zero energy today. The heat is back and perhaps that is the reason. I no more would have taken a walk this morning than I would have jumped off a hundred foot cliff into a shark-filled ocean. 
No way. 

So I did a bunch of laundry and went to town to pick up a few things. I purposely went at a time I could eat lunch because I was craving a turkey Rubin from a local restaurant so I took myself out for one. It was delicious and I read a short story as I ate, in one of the ten or so New Yorker's that I have stacked up, as pure and undefiled (meaning unread) as a Mormon teen bride getting sealed in the temple to her virgin twenty-one year old groom. 

So that was awesome. 

And then, you know- Costco and Publix, same as always. 

May and Michael are up in New Jersey, visiting family of Michael's and May sent us some group texts and a little video last night of the Stone Pony in Asbury Park that they got to step into for a few moments. For those of you whom the name "Stone Pony" means nothing, here's a little backstory. 
Anyone who's ever been a fan of Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band knows about this place and I suppose it is a sort of a stop on the pilgrimage of the Holy Church of Rock and Roll. My kids got raised on Bruce and the E. Street Band and that is some of the music that got me through some of the toughest times of my life, right up there with the Beatles and specifically George Harrison and John Lennon and also the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, etc. 
Anyway, May, who I've always said is the best writer in the family, wrote these words after I asked her if she'd had a little quiver of excitement being there, and if she could feel Bruce?

"I did, even more so because the lady there was pissed off lol. It felt real, but just like a tourist destination. She was like, Yeah, you can come in but I"m not getting paid to help you. I love that. It smelled so good, obviously clean, but you could smell the wood and the memories of smoke and beer and a little bit dirty. I could've curled up and taken a nap. 
It was as if someone wrapped up my childhood memories and made them a place that everyone wants to be a part of. I'm glad, glad that even though the Stone Pony isn't my childhood, I can see it through those eyes, and see what it was when it was young. You gave us that. I could see you dancing on that floor so clearly."

Wow. Just, wow. 

Hank and May's daddy is a guitar player and they did spend some time in divey bars when they were kids when their dad was setting up equipment or breaking down equipment or rehearsing. Whatever. Bars are not a foreign country to them. And come to think of it, Mr. Moon and I used to take them every Friday afternoon to a local beer garden although that was outside. It was a well-patronized tradition, called "Hippie Hour" as so many of us there were of that ilk, and many of us had children who came along with us to enjoy the live music and Shirley Temples and friendly dogs. 

But the dancing part. Oh, the dancing part of May's words. What a dancer I used to be! I loved dancing more than anything, and nothing made me happier than a dance floor in front of a good band. And wouldn't I have loved dancing at the Stone Pony in front of a fledgling Bruce? And so would have May because she is every bit the dancer her mama is, and more. 

Well. There you go. That's my musings for the day, inspired by my daughter. 

I've saved another picture that I found, and I don't even remember where, for a day when I could use it and I think that today is the day. Here it is. 

In 2009 I wrote a blog post about Clarence and Bruce and you can find it HERE.  It is called "Holy Kisses" and I just reread it and it ain't bad. 
Clarence Clemons died in 2011 and now his nephew plays with the E. Street Band but there is no kissing going on between Bruce and him as far as I know. 
When Clarence died, it knocked me out. For whatever reason, it really did hit me hard and I cried a lot for a few days. Looking at that picture and remembering the concerts I'd been to and seen the Bruce-and-Clarence-love in person, I don't wonder any more. 

It's always about love, isn't it? 

Well, it's Friday. A holier day than Sunday if you do it right. 
I don't know if I do it right but I do have my rituals and they have been fulfilled once again- clean sheets and a martini. I'm not religious but I am faithful. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Always More To Learn

Today was a tiny bit cooler and less humid than it has been. High of 94 degrees, humidity around 50%. Not so bad, honestly. By Saturday we're supposed to be up in the triple digits but next week looks to have some cooler weather coming, some days not even predicted to get up to 90 degrees. It is amazing how just a slight change in the temperature with a small drop in the humidity can make such a difference. 

So I took a walk this morning and I didn't feel close to death at any point. I also did not pee in front of any trail cams as far as I know. I checked the area carefully before I commenced. It would be so great if I could walk more than a mile and a half before having to pee but I suppose after four babies and being the age I am, I should just be giving thanks for not having to wear Depends.

Well, this is fun, isn't it? 

I have been feeling lately as if I am truly substandard when it comes to making sourdough loaves. I think I just never really learned to do it right and treated my dough too much like I've always treated yeasted dough and that didn't really bother me overmuch until recently. My bread tastes delicious and has a decent rise to it, but as I mentioned a week or so ago, I have a friend who is a master sourdough baker and she sends me photos of her loaves and I do believe that she could put Martha Stewart to shame when it comes to beautiful loaves of bread. 
Does Martha even make sourdough? I have no idea. 

Cry your heart out, Martha. 

My friend's loaves are works of art. I would hate to cut them but I would because I know they taste amazing. 

So today I'm trying to make a loaf that's at least a little more traditionally sourdough-pretty and I think I'm probably rushing the process more than I should but I'm going to see what happens. I can't even begin to tell you how many recipes for sourdough there are online. Recipes and techniques and rules and suggestions and so much of the information is adamant that this is the right way to do it, but then you read another recipe and it's, no THIS is the way to do it, much of it all contradictory. But I know without a doubt that my friend's bread is perfection and so I am trying to adapt at least some of her recipes and techniques in the loaf I'm making today but I don't have a digital scale, which she swears by, and I haven't really exactly followed her instructions but I have followed some of them and have abandoned my own method for the most part which has not been giving me what I want. 

That's a lot about sourdough. But it's interesting to me. Baking bread, especially sourdough, is one of those things like gardening where you can do it your entire life and still never know everything there is to know about it. There is always so much more to learn. Seems so simple to mix flour and water and salt and sourdough starter and wait for the bread gods to make it happen, just as it seems so simple to put seeds in the dirt, and water them and expect to get gorgeous tomatoes, sweet, juicy melons, and fine, fat pods of peas. 
There are literally an infinite number of factors involved. And always, ALWAYS, infinite room for improvement. 

I also weeded another row in the garden this afternoon. I'm getting there. I didn't work for long, but enough to make me feel as if I've accomplished something today. I am getting itchy to start thinking about that fall garden I talked about. If I was a religious woman, I'd say that god put me on earth to grow stuff in the ground and then cook it. The urge to do those things is powerful and I do not know what I'd do if I wasn't able to obey those urges. I wonder who I'd be if I was raised and lived in a city? 
Well, I would not be who I am and that's for sure. 

All right. I've asked my friend who bakes the bread if I could post pictures she's sent me of her loaves and she said that I could and could also identify her AND to please link her Substack which is

Because I think of Rebecca Loudon as being a rock star whether in the area of poetry, baking, or playing the violin, I am thrilled to be able to do this. Here is a picture of two more of her loaves. 

The front loaf is plain sourdough and the one behind it is a double chocolate, olive oil sourdough. 

I mean...I mean...well, DAMN. 

She is bona fied, y'all. 

I feel so lucky to be able to call her my friend. She has taught me more than anyone can know. Including me. My sourdough will never compare with hers but she gives me a star to aim for. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


All right. Let's discuss. 

I obviously did not make it clear in yesterday's post that the little cement block house on St. George Island is not actually being considered as a house for us to buy. I mean, I do sort of love that funky old fifties style and I remember my stays at the Starfish with great fondness and I'm sure I would have a great time in that little house but it is not what we need and definitely not what Mr. Moon wants in a waterfront house. It's funny. When I first started visiting St. George Island, there were so few houses on it. And most of those were indeed the cement block houses, built right on the sand. There were a few wooden houses and a few houses built on stilts but it was mostly very quiet, very laid-back, very much a place for local people to go to the beach with the family. There was a hotel and it's still there, although it has doubled and tripled (at least) in size. I think all the rooms had kitchenettes, as they catered to folks who were coming to the beach to fish and hang out with the kids and there really weren't any places to eat. There was a tiny store that everyone called The Blue Store, and a convenience store where they sold gas and beer and bread and peanut butter, etc. 

Farther back than that, ranchers grazed cattle on St. George. I guess they barged them over the bay. You can still see fence posts here and there, but mostly in the water. 

Anyway, things really started changing in the 80'. I've said before that when we started renting our Starfish apartment in the summers, there was nothing between it and the ocean except the street and there was very little traffic on that. 

Now, that part of the island looks like this. 

If you enlarge the picture and look to the extreme left you can see a bright green building. That may or may not actually be the Starfish. If it's not, it's close. And see those weird buildings across the street from it? Those are what we called the skinny houses, and they started building those, one at a time, during our summers there. They are all rentals. And hell, if someone offered me one for free, I'd take it! Right on the beach with a lot more room than it would appear from the outside. 

I've stayed in one or two of them and they're not bad at all. 
It ain't how it used to be. 

Here's some of the "real" houses on the beach. And they go for astronomical prices. Someone a long time ago bought up the entire west end of the island and turned it into a development called "The Plantation" which is a gated community. 
Because of course. 
And the biggest and most expensive houses are mostly there. 

How about that charming, cozy little miniature Versailles? 

Oh Lord. Some people have more money than sense. 

So all of this is mostly just to put that little cement cottage in perspective of what's available on the island. Want to book for a vacation? I just looked up a listing for one of the skinny houses. For a mere $2,175- $3,400 a week, it can be yours! Price depending on the season, of course. Housecleaning fees and taxes not included. 


So another thing I wanted to talk about was why Mr. Moon and I are looking for a waterfront house. 

Basically, we want a house on some sort of water where he can fish and we can both enjoy sitting by the water and watching the sky, the birds, the serenity that only water brings. 
I grew up in Roseland where I lived almost on the Sebastian River, right down the road from the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean. All of those bodies of water were very formative in my childhood and I am not sure I would have survived without them. 
Glen grew up in Tennessee where he did not live especially close to any water but loved the rivers and lakes his family took him to and he fell in love with fishing with his daddy. He dreamed about living on the water and when he got the opportunity to move to Florida, he jumped on it. 
And here we are. Both of us loving the water so much and we are at a place in our lives where if we want to buy and enjoy a place on a river or a lake or a bay (or an ocean?) we probably can if we choose carefully. Neither one of us has any desire to live in a waterfront condo or in a tightly packed situation. We both love trees and wildlife, quiet and natural beauty. His tastes differ from mine in many ways, but basically, these are the things we love. We would not be moving there full time. This is something we've had to discuss. He would not mind that at all but I have no desire to completely move out of this house. We may be forced to by age and disability at some point but not yet. 
Besides, I can't be that far from my children and grandchildren. 

So. Here we are with our agreements and disagreements and what we are willing to compromise and what we are not. I would really love to be able to swim in any water we live on and he must be able to fish in it, and to use his boat in it. 

And that's what we're working with here. Dog Island was this place for us for many years but it is no longer really doable for us now. 

I suppose we are looking for our little cottage in the Isle of Wight (if it's not too dear.) We have scrimped and saved. 

Now. In current news, this little guy was slinking along the screen on my back porch today. 

I took the picture after he had already slithered out to the steps. Sorry that I didn't get the handsome head. I felt sure that it was not a coral snake, which is truly deadly, but a King snake. Still, I had to look up pictures and how to ID the little critter. There is a rhyme that is supposed to be helpful in this regard which goes something like, "Red touching black, safe for Jack. Red touching yellow, kill a fellow."
But who the hell can remember that? Not me, baby. 
And this one is definitely sporting the safe for Jack pattern. 
It must be a baby because King snakes get very large. 

All right. Off to make supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. I see after posting this that some of the pictures are not enlargeable. I am sorry. Do you have a magnifying glass? It's really not that important. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Communication And House Hunting

When Jessie and Mr. Moon were on their adventure, she gave him a little come-to-Jesus talk about how he and I need to communicate our wants and needs better, especially when it comes to finding a house on the water that would make us both happy. We needed to define our terms better. Be less vague. Be able to agree on parameters. 

Jessie has always been the one to tell you the damn truth. She's been like this since she was tiny. "Do you like this dress, honey?" 
"Not really, Mommy." 
This is how she earned the title "Mean Aunt Jessie." Well, that and the fact that she's so sweet that it's funny to call her that. 

And when we were having lunch the other day, she gave me the same little talk. Same advice.

And she isn't wrong. 

So today Mr. Moon and I did some internet waterfront house searching. We started out with houses on lakes and went on to bays and then rivers. We found two on the Ochlockonee River in Sopchoppy, Florida that looked rather charming. Mr. Moon called about one and got some details and the guy said that no one was there and the house was unlocked so go ahead and see it on our own, if we wanted. 

We wanted! 

So we got in the car and drove down that way, had lunch at a barbecue joint, and found the house. 
We both wanted to love this house. Really and truly. It was right on the water and the pictures showed a nice dock and the house looked as if it had some charm to it. There were actually two houses. One on the river and one behind it that is sort of a guest house or a rental house. 
The Ochlockonee is a beautiful river and the property is very close to a state park and the house was in the woods and well... it sounded so promising, right? 

Pretty back yard leading down to the dock on the river. A boat lift. American flag. Etc. 

Lovely screened in porch to sit on and view the river and birds and wildlife and sunsets. 

And so forth.

And when we pulled up, I was still high-hoping it. First thing I saw was an old chicken coop. 

Yes! I thought. This is my house!
There were all sorts of plants that I love like lilies and ginger lilies and clumping bamboo and scuppernong grapes, sweet as candy. 

Everything but the back lawn was pretty overgrown but all in all, it looked like real old Florida to me and we could have done something with that yard. There was even a place for a garden. 

There was a magnolia tree right beside the house where you walked down to the river and the river was so pretty. 

Cypress trees, a sycamore tree. Sweet. 
And then we went inside. 

Ooh boy. 

The kitchen, which looked okay in pictures

was a tear-out in my opinion. The stove was (gasp) one of those burnerless deals. Flat top? Whatever. No thank you. The cabinets were originals, I'm thinking, from 1976 and were made from pressboard. 
Just not very pleasing. 

And the bedrooms- my lord. The windows were few and tiny and the rooms were dark and every where we looked there were funky things going on that were going to need a lot of work. To say the least. Mr. Moon, who knows these things, detected termites. There were floors and windows that needed replacing, every wall needed repainting. There was plenty of storage area- I'll say that for it. 
In a way, it was the opposite of that house we looked at on Highway 98 which I am just now realizing was actually quite a bargain and we should have bought it but it too needed things like a new roof and a new AC system. And yes, it was absolutely over-cluttered and overfilled with objects d' art and also lots of other stuff but at least most of those things were of good quality and I have to say- good taste. 

Light fixture in this house we looked at today.

I am not sure what it was made of but Mr. Moon did hit his head on it. 

We didn't even bother to look at the guest house. There's an older lady living in it and we didn't want to bother her. As I said to Glen, there's nothing about that place that can undo what's in this one. 

So that was that and we were disappointed, for sure, but the thing is, we did some exploring together, we talked rationally and reasonably, we agreed on what to go look at, and we did and we had fun. 
I read out loud to him there and back. We never did finish "Crazy in Alabama" on our trip to North Carolina. And we enjoyed that. Me the reading, him the listening. We laughed and I woman-splained what mansplaining is. He had honestly never heard of mansplaining and he admitted that he is guilty of it at times but he's always been aware that it's not a cool thing to do. 

So all-in-all, it was far from a wasted day. 

And I did find a house on St. George Island that we could consider. It's right across the street from the beach with beach access, was built in 1956, and, well, it does appear to have running water! I showed it to my husband who laughed. 
"It's the Starfish!" he said. The Starfish was the cement block apartment that we rented on St. George years ago that I talked about recently. And honestly- it does resemble it. Probably built around the same time. Back when people were not afraid of building on the sand out of concrete. Or cement. Whatever. When screened in porches were just a frou-frou fancy thing that rich people had. 
I wouldn't mind owning it though. And that's the truth. 

Glen was not convinced. 

We're having fun.

Love...Ms. Moon