Tuesday, October 31, 2023

We Have Lost An Amazing Man

One of, if not THE most revered and respected and beloved men in Tallahassee died yesterday at the age of 94. Alexander Dumas Brickler. 

You see that face? That is the face of a man who delivered over 30,000 babies in his life. And one has to wonder how many births he attended, as a mentor or just...because. I have spoken about him many times and always with great reverence because I have known and respected him through infrequent but memorable interactions since 1978 and because of facts I know about him and have learned about him and because of the gentle, knowledgable ways that he has always demonstrated. 

The last time I can recall actually seeing Dr. Brickler was when Lily was in labor with Owen. He was head of the midwife practice then who was taking care of my girl and although he did not do the delivery, he was there, popping in and out to check on things the way he did, dressed in scrubs and probably talking to my still-in-utero grandson in the same calm and soothing way he talked to us, but of course in the silent method of communication he used to talk to the being-born babies. The nurses claimed that he could do that. Talk to the babies before they were born. 

Lily put it so well in a text today after we all got the news that he had died. 
"And mom, why do I just picture his ghost self still scrubbing up every day and walking the halls of the l&d like nothing's changed?"

I think there are many, many people who will always think of him that way and honestly, if I believed in heaven, I think that Dr. Brickler's idea of it would be an endless Labor and Delivery unit with so many mothers and babies to take care of. To safely deliver the babies into their mother's arms. 

I wish I had the words to truly describe how much Dr. Brickler is admired around here. I wish I had words to truly describe how proud people are to be able to say, "I'm a Brickler baby." 

Here's the article that ran in the paper today about him. 

I used the picture that ran with the article because I love it so much. 


I called the urologist today and made an appointment for Thursday. This kidney stone is giving me the same symptoms that the other one did and they are all too familiar. I do not want to wait until I have to be driven to the ER in the middle of the night seeking morphine. I am sure there will be a scan to see where the stone is now and then a plan of treatment will be made depending on the location of the little motherfucker. I am not looking forward to any of this. I am vastly unhappy about it, in fact. But it must be done. I remember how with the last stone I felt terrible for at least a month before the real pain began- the gastric problems I had, the malaise. My walk yesterday, and one I took at the beach, both gave me the same feeling of what I can only describe as "pukiness".  Amazing how a stone in the kidney can affect so many other parts of the body. 

Strangely enough- when I had my very first kidney stone, when I was pregnant with Jessie, I went to the hospital and before they diagnosed the stone, Dr. Brickler came in because I was pregnant, to check things out and give his opinion. As always, he was very quiet, and calm, and I distinctly remember him being there and feeling that things would be okay because...he was there. Just that. His presence. 

I wonder how many women have known that same feeling when he entered the room where they were laying in travail. A feeling that all would be well because he was there. 

How incredibly lucky Tallahassee has been to be the place where A.D. Brickler lived and so skillfully practiced his art and his science. 

He will be sorely and deeply missed, not only by the tens of thousands of families whose lives he touched in such profound ways, but by his family for whom I wish peace and comfort in the knowledge that he will not be soon forgotten. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 30, 2023

It's Not Joy That Things Spark. It Is Memory

Today has been a struggle. I'm always in a state of what I call "existential angst" when I wake up but some mornings it's not a joke at all. Those are the days that tears are involved and I truly wonder why in hell I'm still here with everything in and on my body breaking down and hurting and then of course I feel guilty because I have a BEAUTIFUL life and I have a BEAUTIFUL home and I have an incredibly BEAUTIFUL AND LOVING HUSBAND AND FAMILY and in all regards, I am about as healthy as a woman my age should be and so on and so forth and let me tell you something that you probably know as well as I do- guilt only makes us feel worse and compounds the feelings of worthlessness and here you have the necessary ingredients of a really bad mental soup. And let me hasten to add- it's not like I'm feeling poor me, oh, poor me. It's more like I'm feeling Jesus Christ you silly, pathetic bitch. Shut the fuck up. 

So. I procrastinated as long as I could and then I took a little walk. When I passed Harvey's on the way home, he yelled out "hey" to me and I yelled out "hey" to him and I think he said something about good for me for walking and I said something like I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to do it and he said that he can't and indicated a bad leg. I told him that I really like all of his new pots of sago palms. The man must have a dozen of them at least and he keeps arranging them in different places in his yard and in different ways. He said that he's trying to get rid of all the junk in his yard and make things look nice. I told him it was looking pretty good already. He weed-whacks his yard daily as far as I can tell. 
Bless Harvey. 

So then I came home and hung some laundry on the line and didn't do much of anything else for hours. I have been contemplating all those mugs you see up there in that picture and wanting to get rid of most of them because honestly- how many mugs does one couple need? But just as with everything else I own, there are emotional attachments associated with each one which is exactly how the woman in the book I just read started- each and every thing that came into her life became a totem, a memory for something she did not want to forget. I honestly do not think I'm in danger of becoming a hoarder but I completely understand that sort of illogical thinking, attaching emotions to objects, as well as thinking that I might well need whatever that object is sometime in the future. 
But come on. 


Another thing I wanted to clear out was the CD's I had crammed into drawers. I haven't listened to most of those hundreds of CD's in years. Listen- I have the first CD I ever got. Joni Mitchell's "Blue." I looked at the mugs. I looked at the drawers. I opened the drawers and began to look at the individual CD's and I was just so overwhelmed. 
So I went to the GDDG and got some boxes out of their recycling container and came home and did get rid of all but one row of the mugs and then I went through the CD's and got rid of many of those. Many. 
But not all. 
Which does not feel like success, somehow. 
Still, it's something. 

And then I cleaned all of the pictures and the seashells and tortoise shells and the stuff on top of that little vanity that all those CD's had been stored in and cleaned the vanity and polished the glass and put everything back together although I did toss a few things or at least move them to other places which is not really the answer to the problem but again, it's a start. 

At least it looks a little better. 

So that's what I did. 

A few pictures.

That's an aloe vera blossom and as you may be able to see, the bed it's in is completely full of aloe vera plants, each of which has saw-tooth edges that will cut you like, well, a saw. Also, dewberry vines which have the sharpest little prickles you ever did see. Or feel. And cleaning that area up is also on my endless list of things I need to do. I should probably just get rid of all of the aloe veras. Once again- when was the last time I used aloe for a burn? 
Uh...I have no idea. 

But then we have these. The first of the camellia sasangua to bloom in my yard this year. Just knowing that the camellia japonica will be blooming in a month or two is reassuring and a bright glimmer of goodness.

Please forgive my whinging. Hopefully I'll have a better mindset tomorrow. 
"Mindset." Now that's a word, isn't it? Wouldn't it be great if we could just change our mindset as easily as changing our clothes? 
"Hold on.  This mindset just does not suit me. I'll be right back with another."
There are those who say we can. Happiness is a choice! 
Yes. And losing weight is easy. Just eat less and exercise more! 
Am I right?


Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 29, 2023

I'm THAT Grandmother

We had such a good time with our boy last night and this morning. While I was cooking supper, he and his Boppy were playing Wii games that they've been playing together since Owen was a little child. As I cooked pasta and made an Alfredo sauce, I could hear them laughing and yelling in excitement from the Glen Den. 
It made me so happy. 

While we ate, we watched a National Geographic special on Chichen Itza and recent findings from that site. It was fascinating and before we were done watching it, I'm sure that Owen was a tiny bit tired of us telling him, "We've seen that!" "We've been there!" "Boppy climbed all those steps!" "Look! It's the jade jaguar throne!" "Chac Mool! He's the rain god!"

As we watched, I was so grateful that we have seen at least that wonder of the world and I hoped with all of my heart that my grandchildren will get to see places of amazement too. 

After supper Owen and I talked about a lot of things. One of them was religion. He's been very influenced by his dad and other grandmother who take the kids to a church on Sundays. It's not really what you'd call an evangelical church- it's Lutheran- but it's a different sort of Lutheran church. I've been there two times. Once for a funeral and once for Owen's Baptism which Lily acceded to because it meant so much to Jason's mom and oh hell, why not? The church has a rock band and they sing praise songs and the spirit moves folks to stand up and put their arms in the air and close their eyes, and so forth. 
And I'm sure you know how I feel about all of this. 
The subject came up somehow related to communion and I, because I'm an asshole and because I am not afraid at all to tell the grandchildren what I think about religion, said something to the tune of, "And you know what communion is, right?"
And he said, "The body and blood of Jesus," and I said, "Yeah. Cannibalism."
Ooh boy. 
I should not have done that. If there's one thing I've learned in my many, many hours of listening to Mormon Stories podcast it's that if you present a believer with facts disproving their beliefs, the believer closes the door even tighter and holds their faith even closer. 
Oh well. He's fourteen years old and if he believes in a literal heaven and hell that's fine and he has a lot of time to figure out stuff on his own and there's nothing wrong with another adult in his life giving him a completely different viewpoint. 

But it ended fine and with a hug and a kiss and he took his shower and got in his bed and I'm pretty sure he was asleep within seconds. 

This morning of course I made pancakes and bacon. He kept thanking me for all of the "delicious foods" I'd made for him. I have to say that last night's supper was a feast. For sure. He and I talked more this morning but mostly about things we agree on like- we both hate milk. We talked about school a lot and he really likes his classes and is a bit surprised to find that he's quite good at math and science. His grades are terrific and he's taking all advanced classes. He is not thrilled with his Spanish teacher. 

So it was a very good visit and if he went away thinking that his Mer is a certified loon, well, I'm sure it's not the first time he's had that thought. He is just such a fine boy and he really does think and he really does care and he is kind. 

I've mostly spent the rest of the day just relaxing. There was nothing I had to do and so I didn't. I did finally get a pair of Mr. Moon's overalls mended. I've been working on that in short little bits for a month or more. 

I probably could have finished it in less than three hours if I'd just kept my butt on the couch and done it. But I didn't. While I finished up, I began watching a very sweet movie. I remember when I first saw the trailer of it quite a long time ago I thought, "I want to see that movie!" 

I'm about halfway through it and it's as sweet as it looked. 

I also finished listening to an audio book I started last week that thoroughly kept my attention. 

Excellently written characters and a story line that kept me involved. Terrific narrator. 

If you are triggered by hoarding disorder, probably not for you. If, however, you merely struggle as most of us do with letting things go but want to, helpful. 

I guess that's it. 

It's been a good weekend. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Our Biggest Boy Is Here!

It is Owen's night to stay in Lloyd! I made him pose for this picture and when I took it I told him that it was for the blog and that although I knew I had told him this many times, there are people who have been reading my blog since his mama announced her pregnancy. 
He said, "Yes, you've told me," and then he said, "Didn't she tell you the day Obama became president?"
And she had. I told him how incredibly moved I was to think that my grandchild would grow up in a world where there was no doubt that a Black man could be president of the United States. 
And of course I teared up because that is what I do. I must have the leakiest tear ducts in the South Georgia/North Florida area. 

As I always do, I asked him when we made the plan for him to come and spend the night, what he wanted for dinner. 
"Hmmmm..." he said. "Pork chops and pasta!" 
I spent some time today looking up recipes for things like pasta with a butternut squash sauce and I got the things I might need for that at the store before I picked him up but when I quizzed him more closely on what sort of pasta dish he was thinking about, he told me that he wanted pasta with a white sauce. 
"Like Alfredo sauce?" I asked. 
"Exactly!" he said. 

I will do my best. I also got the pork chops and artichokes. He loves artichokes. So do we. 

Oh, he's my darling boy, that Owen! 

I did a lot of laundry today and washed the sheets on the bed Owen sleeps in and got that remade. I do this when any of the grands spend the night. I want them to have visceral memories of the good-smelling, clean sheets when they stayed with us. Clean sheets and yummy food. And a Boppy that plays Wii with them and a Mer that reads books to them. Although...sigh...Gibson is the only one who will let me read "The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza" at this point in time. 

Sweet Gibson. He gave me the best hug in the world when I went to pick up Owen. Maggie gave me a hug too but she was worried about her hair which she said was "turning red" in some mysterious process I do not understand. 
She already knows more about beauty than I do. 

Owen is so proud of having gotten a new job. He has to go to the DMV to get a government ID. "And so it begins," I told him. And so it does. Why are children so eager to grow up and leap to the finish line of childhood? I do not know but I know that I did it too and it's the natural way of things, a beginning of the process wherein they think they are ready to leave the nest far before we can even begin to believe that they may have the wings to fly with. 

I better go get those pork chops and artichokes going. I need to grate some Parmesan too. Of course. No purple cows for Owen anymore. He has outgrown them and in fact, doesn't much care for desserts. I did buy some fancy English biscuits. Ginger with dark chocolate coating. I thought that sounded sophisticated. If he doesn't like them, I know I will. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 27, 2023


That's what the sky and gulf looked like this morning when I got up. I knew it was packing-up day and I do not like packing-up day. I do not like packing for the trip or unpacking when the trip is over, either. This is enough to make me really have to want to go somewhere to make it worthwhile. The skies we've seen this past week alone have been packing-worthy. It looked like it was finally settling down as we were leaving- the sea flatter than it had been since we got there. I did not see one person in the water the whole time we were there. The constant rip current warnings probably had something to do with that. 

I'd mostly packed up the kitchen last night and it really wasn't that big a deal to get everything else loaded up this morning. We stopped by the realty agency from which we'd rented on our way off the island and presented the woman behind the desk with our keys and a list of the issues we'd found at the house that really need to be dealt with. These ranged from not being able to get out of the door to the top balcony to there being not one piece of outdoor furniture on the lower deck that wasn't cracked. Some of the chairs were even missing legs. 
Not classy.
Lights that didn't work. A toilet that was iffy. Blinds that didn't work. Etc. The house was fine, really, but when you're paying Plantation prices you should get at least get access to the best beach-viewing place in the house. And have chairs that are safe to sit in when you're on the deck. 
The lady wrote everything down and then most likely threw the list away. 
Ah well. 

We stopped in Eastpoint and had breakfast at the Mexican restaurant. Which was good, as always. 

Then the drive home. I read some of the car-trip book we've not yet finished from our trip to NC out loud and I swear, it seemed like it only took a half hour to get home. 

Home. Oh, my beloved little nest. 

Look what I found when I walked into the kitchen. 

I knew that Jessie and the boys and Vergil had all come out to the house to check on the cats and I thought that Vergil was doing something for Glen having to do with figuring out a way to put up some siding on the house in a place that needs it. Turns out, though, that what Vergil had really been doing was...

Well. Setting up this.

I saw a ton of boxes in the dining room and said, "What the heck is all going on here?" And then I turned around and there was a brand new turntable. Stereo. Record player. Whatever. Thing you can play real vinyl records on. 

I cried. I literally did cry. 
Vergil helped Glen shop for it, and Jessie and the boys unboxed everything and then Vergil set it up. I am so thrilled. 
I waited until I had everything brought in from the car and put away, and a load of laundry started before I played it. And I've still only listened to half of it. I am saving/savoring it. The stereo sounds great. 
There's also a blue-tooth function where I can put the record on and then listen through my airpods while going about my life in the house if I want. This, of course, may or may not be utilized but I have paired the speakers with my phone. 
My Lord. 
Who could ever have imagined such technology back in the olden days when I was listening to the Stones on my wooden radio with the Bakelite dials? 
You know, Boomers get a lot of shit for being...well, Boomers. But you know what? We've really had to learn and adapt to so much in the last twenty years that the Gen-Whatevers have pretty much grown up with. Our Boomer brains just don't have those same grooves but we learn. We do adapt. And by the way- didn't our generation invent a lot of that technology? Initially, at least. 

Well. Enough of that. This album was recorded the old fashioned way and as Keith said, it was really meant for vinyl to hear it properly and all that's old is new again, as dear Joanne says. 
From what I've listened to so far, I really like it. I think Mick Jagger had some angry ya-ya's to get out when he was writing a lot of these songs. And that's okay. I will tell you that I was quite impressed with Paul McCartney's fuzz-bass playing on "Bite My Head Off". It's serious kick-ass bass. 

So. Friday night and we are home. It was a lovely time away and being at the beach always satisfies and feeds my soul like nothing else. The ever-changing sky and water, the sound of the waves and the palm fronds rustling in the wind. Strangely enough, I think that my two favorite things about the whole week, excluding just being with my sweetheart and celebrating us, was that few minutes down by the bay in the little estuarine park, listening to and watching a mockingbird singing his heart out, and watching Brad helping Mr. Moon fish. 
Gosh. I must be getting old. And that is okay. 

The cats are fine. Jack showed up immediately after we got home and accepted our love and apologies. Maurice, on the other hand, stayed away long enough for us to worry a bit. But she has just shown up, acting as if she wants a little affection. 

Right after I took that picture, she tried to bite me. 

I expected nothing more. Or less. 

Mr. Moon has gone to a celebration of life for a friend's daughter who died by suicide this week. He has grieved for his friend since he heard the news and absolutely had to be there. A beautiful seventeen year old girl. 

Oh, let us be kind to each other. Let us say something sweet to everyone we can. Let us smile at friends and strangers in such a way that says I am human and you are human too, and because of that, we both inevitably struggle, but for this second, in this place and time, we are two humans together and I see you. 

I see you. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 26, 2023

I Do Love An Island

I took this picture of a scarlet hibiscus this morning and sent it to a friend. I said, "I love hibiscus. They are so gaudy and just put all their parts in the air for all to see." No shame in those pretty's game. 

Today was our last full day and we'll supposedly be leaving here by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow and the thought of having to pack everything up and haul it all down to the car is depressing but at least we don't have to haul it UP the stairs. We have truly realized that we are not in the market for any house that has stairs and no elevator. Forget it. 

Yesterday we went to Apalachicola and had an anniversary luncheon. It was delicious! 

I got the fried shrimp basket. 

Mr. Moon got the fried oyster basket. We shared. It wasn't fancy but it was perfect. 

I went to my two favorite shops, the Grady Market and River Lily and also to my favorite, favorite shop- the book store- Downtown Books and Purl. Which also sells the most beautiful yarn you've ever seen as well as crochet hooks and knitting needles. And of course a cat. I have been adoring the woman who owns that shop for years and years and years. It's a tiny place but it's filled with the BEST stuff and we always talk about books and the how-you-doin's? and I just really enjoy seeing her. I think she enjoys seeing me too. 
She wanted to show me two new books that she had on Japanese mending and my golly- it's just what I've been doing and what dear Boud does.  These books didn't have especially fancy techniques but showed the beauty of imperfect, visible stitching to mend tears and the wear of beloved garments. The bookstore lady told me she's been mending all of her clothes because she loves doing it and she loves her clothes and she doesn't want to buy any new ones.
My sewing soul sister. 
I showed Glen some of the pictures in the book and said, "Look- see- this is what I've been doing!" I think he was quite surprised to see that my funky method of patching is not just a messy quirk of mine but a sort-of art form with tradition and everything. 
So that was a precious little visit and I bought Ann Patchett's new book as well as beautiful tiny bamboo crochet hook. I restrained myself from buying any yarn. I did fondle some but when I found myself making moaning noises I knew I had to gird my loins and leave that part of the shop. 
Oh my god. I just realized...Ann Patch-ett. 
Well. There's a little cosmic pun. 

We had another sunset walk last night and then Glen grilled us steaks and I made a salad and it was delicious and we have about four pounds of steak leftover but we are taking that home with us because tonight we are getting pizza from the original pizza joint on St. George Island- B.J.'s pizza which is right next to the world-famous and notorious bar named Harry A's. St. George used to be funky. I miss that funk. At least some of it is still here. 

But today we went on one of our drives to look at houses on the beach and on the bay because we like to do that. We found a little bird-path, nature walk that was so pretty down on the bay. 

It reminded me so much of Dog Island. How I wish we could still make that work. But we just can't. I stood underneath a pine tree and watched and listened to a mockingbird singing his heart out and it was beautiful. 

Well. Speaking of birds. 
We actually went and sat on the beach today. It has been so windy and the sea so rough that we haven't been able to but today we did. I sat under the umbrella and read New Yorker magazines and Mr. Moon set up his fishing poles and next thing you knew- here came Brad. 

That bird knows more about surf fishing than 99 out of 100 fisherpeople. He absolutely knows what it means when a pole begins to bend and flies right to it. Or walks, with those backward-bending knees. 
I swear- I know he thought that he was part of the fishing process. 

He stood there like a statue for hours, looking out to sea with Glen. And finally, his patience was rewarded. 

He got a little catfish. After he ate it, he went right back to his post to help the human and over the course of a few hours I think he got 3 or 4 fish. 

After awhile, I decided to take a walk which, for some reason, just about killed me. But I revived when I got back to the house and drank a bunch of water and laid down on the bed in front of the fan. 
Still. I am most grateful we are getting pizza tonight. 

So that's a little window into what our last two days have been like. It's been a lovely, lovely, get-away even though this house has more than a few flaws. I may discuss that later or I may not. But hell- it's on the beach. Hard to complain. Total first world problems. 

And I will be glad to get home to my own little nest where there is no ocean or bay but many trees and also mockingbirds and my husband and my cats. We've had a very fine anniversary celebration and I am as grateful for it as I can imagine being but not nearly as grateful as I am for the man I've spent the last forty years with and what all that has led to. 
I am a lucky woman. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Sweet, Sweet Day

From breakfast at the Mexican restaurant to going into Apalachicola to shopping at the Big Pig to driving around the island and walking to the piece of beach that leads to The Cut and having a nap back here at the sorta-funky-but-it's-great Sun Bird, and playing cards, and then taking a sunset walk, it's been a great day. 

Just perfect. 

Pictures from our walk. 

This is a sponge. But what is that bizarre gut-looking stuff there? 

Any suggestions? Aliens? 

Big ass house. 

Small ass house.

Biggest ass house. You can't get the scale here. It looks like the Mayo Clinic or something. Like a house I'd see on a trashy real estate show where people sell giant glass houses in Beverly Hills for a million billion dollars. 

No words. Just...oh hell. Really? On the beach? Get the fuck outta here. 

Dead, drowned, and beached palm tree. 


Pretty little birds. 

Great Blue Heron

Same heron flying off with the nice whiting the man in the picture just caught and gave to him. 

Moon. Water. Air. Life.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 23, 2023

I Wish You Could Hear The Waves

 We've made it! Stopped at the what is now being called the Blue Pig, I see, although I will always and forever call it the Little Pig. Blue Pig has history though, as the store it now occupies was known as The Blue Store. 
We're big on tradition here in the south. 

Not going to write a whole lot because I want to make our shrimp supper but I will say that the house we've rented is...interesting. The very, very best thing about it is that it's on the west end of the island and is in (oh god, forgive me) a gated community called (mea culpa, mea culpa) The Planation. 
See above about tradition. 

But it is beautiful, with only houses and jungle and beach and a nicely maintained bike/walking path and if someone offered to give me one of these houses, I would take it and deal with the guilt later. 

This house is not one of the newer ones. It's seen some things, this house. And there are steps and stairs and more steps and stairs and Lord, getting everything moved up and in was an effort. 
But the view makes it all worth while. 

We went for a sunset walk. 

I haven't seen dolphins yet but I've seen pelicans. And crazy alien jelly fish. And the tiniest little baby fish I've ever seen that had washed up on the beach, and the way the setting sun casts light and shadows on the water. 

Mr. Moon took this one. 

Love from St. George Island, Florida. 

Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 22, 2023

We Are All Strangers In A Strange Land But We Don't Often Talk About It

 In my next lifetime, if my karma's not good enough to be a dolphin, I would like to come back as a stand-up comedian. I love making people laugh. I distinctly remember being in 6th grade and having a friend named Martha Kirk who was an easy laugher. I decided that I mostly liked her because she laughed at the things I said that I meant to be funny. I also realized that she laughed at just about everyone who said anything the slightest bit funny. 
You did not have to be hilarious to make Martha laugh but I enjoyed her company, even knowing that I probably was not as hysterical as she made me feel. 

Isn't it amazing that at the advanced age of eleven or twelve, two little girls had already figured out how to make themselves feel more comfortable in social situations- she to laugh frequently, me to try to make people laugh frequently. 

So all of this is just to say that sometimes I say things that are a bit outrageous just to get someone to crack a smile. The thing I was going to say on this post at the very beginning was this:

"The most constructive thing I've done all day is to treat a yeast infection."

Funny? Not funny?

True though. 

I've probably been talking about my nether regions a bit too much the last day or so but we all have nether regions and although men don't get yeast infections, they do get kidney stones. 
So let's get over it, okay? You have no idea how much I censure myself here. I wish I didn't sometimes. Wouldn't it be a refreshing change if we could honestly discuss things that are happening in almost all of our lives because we are human beings with bodies and emotions and who have maladies and we experience changes due to age, and we have memories of when things were different? 
But no. For so many of us, such topics make us uncomfortable or even repelled. How many of us were taught that any discussion of such things was forbidden, only to be spoken of to our doctors or our therapists and often even not to them due to the deep shame that talking about them might cause?
And how many of us have actually had deep and real conversations with others in which we allow ourselves to cross those invisible but clearly laid-out lines and have felt such relief to know that others have some of the same thoughts and problems that we have? Have had similar experiences? Who know of which we speak? 
I have. 
But...we do not want to offend. We do not want to scare away dear friends with thoughts and worries that are perhaps too honest. 
Hell, I don't even want to lose readers because something I say may make them uncomfortable. 

Sometimes though, I go for the laugh. 

And sometimes I just don't care. And even saying that makes me worry that I have offended someone because I am, as we all are, complex and interesting creatures who will probably never stop trying to make ourselves comfortable in social situations. 
I'll say one more thing about this. There is what I consider to be a very dangerous and outdated and ridiculous belief that there are some things we "just don't talk about." And I am as guilty of avoiding those places and spaces as anyone else. 

Which is probably why I want to be a comedian. Those people can say whatever the fuck they want and get away with it and get paid for it and make people laugh and recognize their own experiences in it. 
The jester may have been the most valuable member of a king's court. 

I haven't felt very funny today. Mostly I've felt weighed down by my inability to enjoy the anticipation of a tiny little get-away with my husband to a beautiful place because of my anxiety and endless worry. I have a million worries, from getting out of Lloyd early enough to do some grocery shopping at the Little Pig on St. George to what to pack for our trip. Not clothes, so much, although those too, but should I take some good knives? A cast-iron skillet? Can't forget medications. And supplements. And the emergency hard drugs. And vodka. And the martini shaker. And what spices can I not cook without? Oh Jeez. It's too much for my tiny brain. We're only going for five days (four nights) and we can buy anything on the island and if we can't, there's always Apalachicola. And we can always do without. We could do without food entirely for that amount of time and not die. 

These are the times when I feel the most crazy. When I'm doing something that should be pure pleasure but which, instead, causes me such great anxiety. 

The ugly little stone in my right kidney has made its presence known all day but it is not nearly to the painful point. It is just...there. It twinges, it aches a little. Nothing much. But oh, it feels just way too familiar. I watch. I wait. 

And you know what? By this time tomorrow, I will be on St. George, watching the sky turn colors in the sunset. I will see the Gulf which is connected to all of the seas on this planet just as surely as all of the seas are connected to all of us with our salty blood. The moon is almost full and we will watch that rise above the water and it will be beyond gorgeous. And all will be well. 

My posting may not be on its regular schedule and frankly, I hope it's not. I hope that I can break out of routines and ruts for a few days, at least. 
I was not born to be wild. Obviously. But at least I can try to be a little more spontaneous. 

Mr. Moon just called. He said it's beautiful at the coast right now and that he can't wait for us to be there. I'll be so glad to be there too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 21, 2023


With the release of Hackney Diamonds the old boys have been doing press out the yang. They seem to be on a brutal schedule of interviews with everyone from Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show to Scott Simon on NPR. I just listened to that interview (it was with Keith) and it was terrific. They also played an invitation-only gig at a small club in NYC two nights ago which was packed wall-to-wall with celebrities. Of course. 

The Good Lady GaGa came on for "Sweet Sounds of Heaven" which they did for an encore. 
Now that was an invitation I would have accepted had it been offered. 
Sadly, and rather unbelievably, it was not. 

I love all the interviews except for the fact that as I said yesterday (I think) they get asked all the same questions over and over and over again. I don't think I've learned one damn thing that I didn't already know but I will say this- Keith has an incredibly good memory and can repeat, almost word-for-word things he described in his memoir, "Life." So I figure that on the whole, he's telling the truth, at least as he remembers it. 

But oh, just hearing that voice of his makes me happy. His low, growly laugh, his use of musical slang. I do believe he's as authentic as a man in his place could be. Although- who else is in Keith Richards' place? Not even Mick because he's in his own place, related but not the same. Scott Simon asked Keith if it's possible for anyone to imagine what it must be like to be Keith Richards and the man replied, "I have no idea what anyone's imagination is like," which I thought was a pretty honest answer.

I did have an emotional reaction watching Jimmy Fallon's interview with Keith on The Tonight Show. It's the second part of the interview, and a guitar is involved. It's an acoustic guitar, obviously made just for Keith. He explains in this clip how he plays with five strings, not six. He talked a great deal about that in his book, about how, when he discovered taking that extra string off, his playing was so changed and so expanded. Let's face it- the man has never done a thing like he was "supposed to do" his entire life. 

So here's the clip. 

There was just something so dear to me about watching him play the most iconic and recognizable beginning riffs in the history of the world, that he had written, that are absolutely a part of my DNA now, on an acoustic guitar. 
He is Keith Richards. There is no other one. 
And...of course I was completely impressed when he stood up from his chair with seeming ease still holding the guitar. 
And he's funny as hell. 

I do go on, don't I?
Well, la-di-dah.
I feel no need to defend my love for the man. As I have said many times, I didn't care a thing about Keith Richards until I read his memoir and after that, it was true love. He is a fascinating, incredibly intelligent, gracious man who has lived the most outrageous life while at the same time, remained married to his wife of forty years, is a devoted and loving father and grandfather whose kids seem to adore him and who got through all of the outrageousness because of that love and...music, specifically, The Rolling Stones. Which is his end-all and be-all. 
Scott Simon asked him if the Stones ever think of just kicking back in the sun and retiring and he said, "We do kick back sometimes but I've got a band, man! I've got a band! This is what I do!"

Well. What a world it would be if we all had something we feel that way about. 

Believe it or not, I'm alone again. Mr. Moon has gone down to his friend's house in Eastpoint and they are watching an FSU football game and will get up early in the morning to go fish. 
This man. 
But here's the house he's rented us for our anniversary. 

Dolphins. I am going to see dolphins. I just know it. 

The only thing I have to really worry about right now is that this fucking kidney stone that I know I have on my right side has been griping me. I am hoping with all of my heart that it follows the same path as the last one (ha-ha!) and gives me warning before it really decides to go on the move into the ureter because I do not want to go through that again. So. I will watch my discomfort level, I will watch for blood in my urine. I will pay attention to gastric distress. I will take some heavy drugs with me to the beach. Not in order to party like a rock star but in case of an emergency. 

Talk to y'all tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 20, 2023

There ARE Good Things About Living In Florida

I took a walk this morning but instead of heading west towards Harvey's and the county line, I went east and then south on Highway 59 which is not a great place to walk because of all the trucks that travel the road but there's plenty of shoulder to walk on and it takes me across the bridge over Lloyd Creek and after about three quarters of a mile, I can walk down this pretty little dirt road. It's so quiet on that road and I hardly ever, ever see a car on it. It's shaded and I love it but it's not a long road at all. It ends in a serious-looking gate after less than half a mile, but I like to walk it anyway. Almost directly across 59 from that road is another country road, this one paved but not much wider than the dirt one. There are a few houses on it and lots and lots of beautiful trees.  I walked that road long enough to give me three miles total after walking back home and that was enough for me. It is definitely cooler but it was pretty warm by the time I was back on the highway heading home. 
I crossed the railroad track and took this picture.

You've seen this view many times if you've been here awhile. That is directly behind our property. 

As the firespike has really gotten its bloom on, I'm realizing that I've planted it in different places all over the yard. Now isn't that a perfect plant- root it, stick it in the ground, and literally forget about it? 

Oh, how the hummingbirds love it! And in a month or so I'll cut some of those blooms and stick them in water for the winter and come spring, they'll be plenty rooted to plant and forget until a year from now. 

When I came close to the side of the house by the kitchen door, I could smell the heavenly tea olive which you have also seen way too many pictures of. But it is such a crazy thing to me- that such tiny, tiny blossoms can create such a sweet and pungent perfume. 

You can smell it from quite a distance. It's a little gift of nature and even as I curse whoever planted all of the damn invasive things in this yard, I give thanks to whoever planted that tea olive. 

So. Next Wednesday will be Mr. Moon's and my thirty-ninth wedding anniversary. 
I know. Really? How the hell did that happen? I suppose it's quite easily explained by the facts that neither one of us has died nor have we gotten divorced. I mean. Let's get real. 
Of course there's far more to it than that but it's insane to think of how quickly the time has flown since we stood under some ancient oaks in one of the parks in downtown Tallahassee and said our vows in front of far more people than you would have imagined being there, considering it was less than a week from when we decided to get married. It was perfect.
And on Monday we are going to go to St. George Island and stay until Friday in a house on the beach. I am so excited! Right there, on the water, with balconies, just us. It is going to be lovely. It's an older house (although not that old) and it's far too big for two people but they just don't make beach houses for two these days. It's in the area of St. George Island called "The Plantation" which is gross and disgusting and gated but it will give Mr. Moon access to what they call "the cut" which is where the Army Corps of Engineers did indeed make a cut between what is now called St. George Island and Little St. George. 

When I think of the Army Corps of Engineers I always think of the saying, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." 
However, The Cut is a renowned fishing spot and you know my man...

I have been craving the water and this is going to be so sweet. We can go to Apalach and shop and dine, go to the Little Pig and do our shopping, buy stone crabs (it's the season!) and cook them up in our own kitchen. We will drive to East Point to the Mexican restaurant for breakfast and...well. We will enjoy. I will walk on the beach, I will read my back issues of the New Yorker. We will see dolphins! Hell, I may even jump in the Gulf if it's not too cold. 

It's time for me to leave my sweet little nest for awhile. I need to do this. You know how much I love my house, my home, my yard, my garden. But the thought of spending a few nights in a place where we can leave the windows open to be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves is very fine to me. 

Meanwhile, the zinnias continue to surprise and delight me. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon