Thursday, February 29, 2024

Swift Recovery

Except for a tiny bit or remaining soreness in my arm, I have felt absolutely fine today. It's so funny. I really did feel like hell yesterday and today it's like nothing ever happened. I even got the laundry hung on the line and although it was fairly late by the time I pinned it up, it all dried except for Mr. Moon's overalls which needed about ten minutes in the dryer. 

I've been in an excellent mood all day, enjoying the feeling of normalcy. A friend came out to pick some salad greens and cooking greens and he and Mr. Moon and I went to the Hilltop for lunch which was pretty great, as always. Whenever anyone comes with us to the Hilltop for the first time and asks what sort of food they have, I always say, "What kind of food do you like?" 
They probably have it. Definitely with a country spin on it but it'll be there on the menu somewhere. Mr. Moon got chicken wings, Chip got a shrimp po-boy, and I got a chicken salad salad which is a scoop of their very delicious and also unhealthful chicken salad on a bunch of lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers and black olives and a bunch of pickled peppers. Banana peppers, sweet peppers, and jalapeƱo peppers. A slice of dill pickle came with it. It was practically a pickle salad. I did not complain. 
The only thing that wasn't very enjoyable was the sight of the guy's butt crack who was sitting directly across from us who had his back to me at the picnic tables where we ate. It started out at about four inches of butt crack and then, as his pants crept lower and lower, more and more inches appeared. Finally, I got up and moved to the other side of my husband so that my view was obscured by Chip. 
I mean, we all have butt cracks. It's just the human body. But as I told Glen and Chip when we left, I'd get tired of looking at the Mona Lisa after awhile. 

I finally got my pie made today. It surely looks good. I hope it tastes good. 

I even did the egg wash on top and sprinkled Turbinado sugar over it. If you're in the need of sugar and fat, a good pie is about the best choice you can make except for doughnuts. Look how red that juice is! Red as a daddy cardinal. 

All right. Now I want to talk about Billy. Some of you have heard many, many stories about our friend Billy. He is someone that became friends with my Hank about a quarter of a century ago. Boy, that sounds crazy. If you did a search of the blog for him, you'd probably get infinitely endless hits. I talk about him and his wife Shayla and their son Waylon a lot. Billy and Shayla got married in this back yard and I got to do the honors. Hank was the best man. I'll never forget that wedding or that day. Billy is...well. He's Billy. He's like no one else. He's funny and he's incredibly sincere and he's the best daddy. Every Father's Day I tell him that I wish I'd had a father like him. And Billy didn't have a father. But he knows how to love, he knows how to be responsible, and he is there for his boy. 
Anyway, anyway, here's a picture of Billy that I stole off Facebook.

Billy's the guy on the left wearing the pink shorts and who, if you'll look closely, has a blue-painted thumbnail. That photo was taken at a beard competition at the local Highland Games a few weeks ago. There were 12 guys competing, three competitions, and three runner-up spots. 
Billy won second place. 
Which is awesome! 
But here's the really awesome thing. 
When I asked Billy if I could post the picture here on my blog, he said, "Yes ma'am! I'd be delighted. You can also know that I introduce myself at every competition as a proud trans man who has wanted a beard his whole life. My voice shakes every time but I still say it."

Big breath in. Big breath out. 

That is Billy. This is Florida.

Billy works for the Trevor Project which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping prevent suicide and providing crisis intervention for LGBTQ young people 24/7. 
Billy is one of their counselors. 

So I wanted to talk about that and brag a little about Billy's beard and honestly- don't you think he should have won? 
Next year. Next year, baby. 

That's all I got today. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Not At My Best

That is one cluster of camellias. I mean, all those flowers are on the same stem. I don't think I've ever seen camellias grow like this. As I said yesterday, we're having an amazing camellia bloom this year.

Man. I have felt like shit today. The arm where I got the injection hurt so bad I was having a hard time getting dressed this morning. I've had zero, zero energy and I ache all over. I just HURT. However, I finally got tired of that and took an Ibuprofen about an hour and a half ago and feel somewhat better. I've reacted to every one of my covid immunizations this way although I think this one may have been one of the worst. My body does not like covid one damn bit and my immune system is primo when it comes to detecting it and launching an attack. 
Yay, me! 
So I haven't done anything. I washed one load of clothes, put them in the dryer, and then forgot to turn it on. Went back a few hours later, opened the door, saw the wet clothes, sighed, closed the door and turned it on. Just yesterday I had vowed not to dry clothes in the dryer on these beautiful, breezy days and I had thought about putting the wet clothes in the basket and taking them out to hang but there was no part of me that thought that was a good idea. 
Obviously. I didn't even have the wherewithal to dry them in the machine. 

I did not make my strawberry rhubarb pie. I did not do anymore weeding. I did not rake up all the sticks in the back yard left by the tree-cutters that need to be gathered and toted to the burn pile although Mr. Moon did tell me when he left for town that it would be great if I did. He was joking. I think. I told him, "That's not even funny."
I have not been easily amused today. 
Hell- I even took a nap! I never nap these days. I get plenty of sleep at night but this afternoon I just couldn't sit up any longer. I got cozy on my bed and Jack came in and glued himself to my hip and I read for a little while, put my book down, snuggled into my covers and conked out for an hour. 

Okay. Here's a thing I did. I walked ten feet out the back door and picked camellias. 

When one is presented with such a magnificent display of blooms, it seems as if it would be a sort of sin not to bring a few of them into the house. 

Here's another picture. 

August and his little sister Sophie who is not so little any more. Sophie and the boys are like litter mates. I swear. That's how they play. They tangle and tug and sometimes nipping is involved. Mostly on Sophie's part.

Have you seen the latest about Trump? The Supreme Court has agreed to review Trump's immunity claim as pertains to his actions leading up to, and on the January 6 insurrection. 
Let me just say this- if he gets away with this, if he can be declared immune to charges based on being the president at the time, we are done as a nation, as a democracy. I'm not sure we're not there already. To think that this man who is nothing more than a colossal business failure, a toxic narcissist, a man as ignorant about history and world affairs as my cat, a rapist, an abuser, a serial cheater, a tantrum-throwing, dictator-lover, dictator wanna-be, pathological liar, misogynistic, dead-souled person could be where he is now in the election process in this country terrifies, horrifies, and completely astounds me. The fact that there is even any controversy over whether or not he is immune from prosecution for treason says all we need to know. 

We are in deep trouble. 

But hey! Camellias! 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Getting Vaxxed Up

This, my friends, is what the green curry with tofu Bento box at Japanica looks like. I have spoken of it so many times. Well, that's what it looked like today. The curry is always different depending, I suppose, on who's in the kitchen and what vegetables are on hand. More broccoli!

I took myself there after I got my Covid booster. I have been so far behind with my immunizations but a friend recently got shingles which reminded me that I absolutely must get that (those- there are two) shingles vaccines because I seriously do not want to mess with that shit. Now- what is the connection between the Covid booster and the shingles vax? Well, for whatever reason I have been feeling like I needed to get the Covid shot before I got started with the shingles shots and to tell you the truth, I don't think I ever got a flu shot last year and so there's that and so it had become a rather big deal in my mind. Just like when you know you need to dust the bookshelves but then you remember that before you do that, you need to go through and cull a bunch of them because you know you'll never read them again but you have to get boxes to put the ones in you're going to be donating or whatever and you have to figure out that part of the project and where should you get boxes? and then before you know it, you've completely decided to let the books marinate in their own dust and age because it's all JUST TOO MUCH!
Like that. 
And besides, one has to plan for a day of not feeling well after getting a vaccination if one reacts to these things and I do, so that's got to be part of the situation. Also, an appointment must be made to get the shot at some locations and Publix is one of those and it's so close and handy I like to go there. But finally, yesterday, with my friend's encouragement, I made the dang appointment and went in today and got the booster. 
Boy. That was a long story. Almost as long as I had to wait. That Publix pharmacy was busy as hell. But I was patient and had no deadlines of any kind and after it was over, I decided to go get lunch. And so I did. 
I had a very nice conversation with a woman sitting at a table across from mine. She was about to leave and I had just gotten there and we talked about everything from how much we love Japanica, to little children (she has a niece she adores and I have grandchildren), and technology and real estate and how much Tallahassee is growing and expanding and so forth. She lives in Monticello so we're practically neighbors. 
I really enjoyed that. After she left I read some NYT's articles on my phone while I ate my lunch and it was swell. I brought home half my curry and rice so there's lunch for tomorrow. Hurray!
And then I went to another Publix to do my actual grocery shopping and bought approximately one of everything in the store except for the things on BOGO in which case I bought two. Strawberries were on sale and they had some luscious looking rhubarb and I decided that it was time to make a strawberry, rhubarb pie and so I shall. I think that rhubarb may be more of a Yankee thing than a southern thing. I do not really know. I guess someone eats it because they sell it here. The only way I've ever eaten it is in a pie with strawberries and that was from when I was a little girl and my grandparents would take me and my brother to the Anchor restaurant in Sebastian for supper. My grandmother did not like to cook at all and frankly, she wasn't very good at it so when she'd tell my grandfather, "Let's go get a hamburg tonight," I was thrilled. 
It was at the Anchor restaurant where I learned to love clam chowder and strawberry rhubarb pie. 

Boy. I sure am wordy today. 

I finished listening to Colson Whitehead's "Crook Manifesto" a few minutes ago and I am so very sad about that. It was one of those books...
I may start it at the beginning and listen again. Both "Harlem Shuffle" and "Crook Manifesto" have so very many characters in them that I find myself stopping the narrative and going back to make sure I know who's being discussed so it wouldn't be a waste of time to listen to the whole thing again. The characters are incredibly colorful, and they all play their own unique roles. I read Shuffle twice and I think that helped me remember who was who and what was going on better for Crook and I sure do hope that there's a third book cooking to make it a trilogy. The author may be bored with his characters but I'm sure not and I don't think he is either. 
I have, at certain times in my life, written fan letters to authors and I am feeling like I want to write one to him. A few of the people I've written have written me back but that's not why I do it. Of course, it's thrilling when that happens but I really just want to tell them that the worlds they have created with their words have meant a great deal to me. 

So that's my world today. The camellias are all blooming like I've never seen before and while I was sweeping the front porch in preparation for putting the plants back out there, I saw that my native buckeye is starting to leaf and bloom. 

That stalk reminds me of the Bendy Men they put in front of stores and shops to draw attention. I do love a good Bendy Man. I am proud of that buckeye. When I planted it, it was just a little thing and it is growing up, slowly but surely. 

Again, thank you all for your input and comments about forgiveness. You have given me much to think about. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 26, 2024

Sort Of Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

I cannot possibly tell you all how much I appreciate the thoughtful and wise and empathetic and often very personal comments you left on yesterday's post. I felt, even as I tapped the cursor on "Publish" that I had not expressed myself very well. That the subject of forgiveness is so many layered and complex that even trying to come up with a definition of it is impossible. And many of you noted that what forgiveness means to you is probably different than what it may mean to others. In just now looking up a definition of the word, I see that some believe that there are three types of forgiveness. They are exoneration, forbearance, and release. I understand what exoneration and release mean but I am not quite sure about forbearance. Does that mean to simply not bring the subject up again? To say, "Yes, it happened, but we shall not discuss it further"?

Of course exoneration is hardly appropriate in many cases where someone has caused another great pain. And release is what a lot of you practice or try to practice. But I think that many of us forbear. 

I do not know. 

Another thing I don't know is how one would go about releasing the burden and the pain of what someone has done to hurt us. I probably dream about my stepfather at least once a week. Sometimes I scream at him if he tries to get near me. Sometimes, I just avoid him. But these dreams are always awful. I'm used to them and they are as much a part of my dream world as messy houses and needing to take care of children and not having the ability to feed the people I am supposed to feed. I think I understand why these themes are so commonly part of my sleeping mind's ramblings, but that does not seem to help to get rid of them. 
In other words, I do not seem to be able to release them. 

Well. That's enough of that subject for awhile. 
I've had a lot of time to think today and I'm never sure whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. But I took a walk and found pretty areas on the road's shoulders where blooming violets have created a sort of treen and purple quilt. 

That's just a little patch in one of those areas. See those round leaves and the oblong ones with sort of serrated edges? Those are the two main weeds I pull from my garden and other parts of my yard. They are dollar weed and betony and they both have long, fleshy white roots that snake through the dirt and are hard to completely dig out because they love to snap if you tug them instead of digging them. I do not mind them at all though, in the wild. 

And I did some weeding of those this afternoon. It was not fun, even though I was listening to "Crook Manifesto" as I worked. Being on my knees is not easy. To put it bluntly- it fucking hurts. I am the sort of person who likes to look at a task and give myself a definite portion of it to do if I know I cannot do it all. "I will finish this row and then that one," I will vow. But I am finding now that I can't really do that. I can go as far as I can go and then I have to stop. It's very much the same with walking. I used to feel as if I could walk across the world, given a path and decent shoes. That the only thing that could make me stop would be the need to eat and sleep. And I walked fast. 
Those days are over. I damn well should have walked across the world while I was able to do it. But I am grateful that I can still weed and walk at all and we are having such perfectly perfect days that being outside is a joy. 

Here are some azaleas blooming in my side yard over by the church.

I wonder how old that bush is. I picked some and brought them in along with two sprigs of the tea olive. 

I keep trying to come up with new ways to describe the scent of those tiny tea olive blooms and today I think I will say that they are what angels make perfume out of.

The photo at top is my dismal attempt to get a shot of the camellia blooms. I swear- they are already loving getting more sun. The Japanese magnolias are also in there as are several GD bamboo plants that I missed last spring when it was time to kick the sprouts. I need to cut them out of there and be more vigilant when it comes to seeing them when they shoot up through the other plants. Soon, it will be time to kick the bamboo. Can you believe that? 

We are having leftover buffet tonight which always makes me think of what a guy I knew used to say sometimes when he ate supper with us which was, "Um, I'm not sure I've ever seen this exact combination of foods before."
We will have some of the velvety black bean soup I made yesterday, a few spoonfuls of some seafood au gratin with rice, and a salad. Also, some of the sourdough bread I baked yesterday. Finally- a loaf I was not ashamed of. 

Be well, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Trigger Warning- Sexual Abuse Discussed. Also Forgiveness

Let's talk about forgiveness. It's Sunday, after all, and religions seem to be of the opinion that forgiveness is a really Big Deal. Especially the Christian religions. 
How many of us remember chanting the Lord's Prayer? Hell, we had to say it at school when I was a child, right along with the Pledge of Allegiance. That's why my generation turned out to be so patriotic and god-fearing. 
The version of the Lord's Prayer that I learned used the word "trespass" instead of "sin" in the part about forgiving us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. 
My grandfather had a sign on his river lot that said "No Trespassing" so I was somewhat confused about that for a long time. I can't remember when I got it all straightened out in my mind but eventually I did. 
There's a lot packed into that line though. Asking god, Jesus, whoever, whatever, to forgive us our sins, to begin with. The concept of making little children believe that they're already sinning is pretty sick in my opinion. I was a very serious child and at an early age I was constantly worried about everything in the world and one of those things was that I was not as good as I should have been which is so ridiculous. I was the best little girl in the world. There's a whole lot more that goes into that whole situation but suffice to say, I was probably born feeling guilty and the Lord's Prayer reassured me that indeed I was. Of what, I do not know, but surely something. Lots of somethings, probably. And then there was the part about how we should forgive those who trespass against us. 
What? I mean, a child really does not have the concept of anyone trespassing against them except for maybe a friend taking their favorite marble or something. Were we supposed to just forgive them for that and let them keep it? Meanwhile, the real sins against children are most often committed by the adults around them, the very people they are taught to respect and obey whether parents, teachers, or clergymen. Which is incredibly difficult as a child to understand, if not impossible. 
Now I'm going to get real personal here. Even though I knew that what my stepfather was doing to me was not at all right, I had no words or knowledge or concept to frame that not-rightness as something evil. It took me years and years and years to finally admit to myself and then to others that what he had done had been abuse and that I was not the only child in the world who had been abused. I knew from my mid-teens, I think, that what he'd done had affected me in many ways, and none of them good and slowly I began not just to fear him but to hate him. 
Years later, when I was in therapy with a very good therapist, we discussed the concept of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a big thing in our culture, our Christian culture and even a newer-age culture. You gotta forgive so that you can heal. I have no idea how many times I was told this and in the sexual abuse survivors group I went to, many of the women repeated this caveat and said that they had forgiven their abusers. Meanwhile, over the weeks and months and year or so I attended that group, I came to realize that their so-called forgiveness certainly had not healed them. And when I discussed this with my beloved therapist she said quite calmly that there were two things that survivors of abuse did not have to do.
1. Confront their abuser.
2. Forgive their abuser. 
Eventually, I did confront my abuser but only via phone and that was a short call. Just long enough to tell him that I remembered what he had done, I knew what he had done to my brothers, and that what he had done was unforgivable. 
And in my mind, I feel the same now. 
"Don't forgive for the abuser, forgive for yourself!" is the advice so often given. And for the life of me, I cannot figure out how that works. First of all, some things are absolutely unforgivable. Should Hitler be forgiven? And if so, what the fuck does that mean? I get so confused. I've been told that forgiving someone doesn't mean that what they did wasn't wrong, just that you...what? Can let go of it? 
How do you let go of someone who killed six million Jews and who knows how many other people? Why would you want to? You have to remember. You have to. It must be remembered.

And of course I'm not comparing what Hitler did to what a pedophile does. But. If you added up all of the numbers of victims of pedophiles whose lives were irrevocably damaged, it would be well into the millions. And just as the families of the Holocaust victims suffered because of Hitler, the families of the victims of pedophiles have suffered too. The thing that has brought me the most anguish in my journey as a child sexual abuse survivor is the knowledge that because of what was damaged in me as a child has affected how I have been a mother to my children and how I have been a wife to my husband. Because of what happened to me as a child, barely older than Maggie is now, I have coped in ways that were not healthy to me or my family. I feel no need to list those things. I am not proud of many of them. But I assure you- it's a long list. 
And how can I forgive the man who generated this grave unfairness that has affected those I love the most? 
What does the Bible say about the sins of the father? 
"The Lord...visits the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:6-7 = Deuteronomy 5:8-10)"

I beg to differ. I think it passes down way farther than that. 

Look- I'm as apt as the next person to forgive something that someone we love does or says that may have hurt us in some way. Even deeply. We are humans. We make mistakes. And yes, I would like to be forgiven for doing those things too. But if we forgive these things, are forgiven of these things, there is an implied message that the sin will not be repeated. That an effort will be made to make reparations. But sometimes, that is not the case. Not the case at all. 
And as I see it- there's no purpose in ginning up forgiveness for that which is quite literally unforgivable. I think of the abused woman whose husband tearfully begs forgiveness every time he's physically assaulted his wife. What good does it do to her to forgive him?  Believing that forgiveness is somehow holy or simply the right thing to do puts her in a position in which she will be assaulted again. 
I had a friend who did that. She finally, finally, made her way to leave her husband and yet, at the end of her life when she was suffering from dementia, he abused her in ways that I cannot bear to think about. I will never forgive him either. He's dead now, and although I do not believe in an afterlife, I would wish that he burns in hell. 

As I see it, some people do not deserve forgiveness. Perhaps I am just a horrible, angry person. 
So be it. 

Tell me- what do you think about forgiveness? What does it mean to you? Is there something I am missing about it? 

Well, Happy Sunday from the Church of the Batshit Crazy.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Sleepover Report


When Maggie was leaving to go home today, I told her that I didn't think I'd ever had a sweeter sleepover with my grandchildren than the one we had together. And she smiled that darling smile and thanked me again for asking her over. 
It was lovely.
Now I'm going to tell you something- Maggie can be a...well, how do I put this? She can be a force of nature. The child can throw a fit with the best of them. If she doesn't get her way with her mama she will throw down. Her temper is fiery. Her temperament can be volatile. She is the most emotive and demanding of all the cousins. 
This does not surprise me. 
Her mother was exactly the same. If not worse. I thought Lily would break me. And she almost did. I doubt there was ever a trip with her out of the house when she did not throw a fit. Tantrums were her love language. She kicked. She screamed. She wanted what she wanted and if she didn't get it, there was no peace for anyone. And I hear that one of Mr. Moon's sisters was much the same growing up. So perhaps this sort of thing is genetic. I'd already had two children when I had Lily so I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing when it came to mothering. 
I was disabused of this belief by the time she was three months old. She never slept, she cried endlessly. It's like she did not want to be here, she did not want me as her mother, and she was not pleased with anything on this earth. 
She finally grew out of this phase when she turned eighteen and we got a townhouse in Tallahassee and moved her in to it. She started Community College and lived on her own and immediately, we were all happier, Lily probably most of all. And she decided that she loved me, that it was okay FOR her to love me, and we've pretty much been tight as ticks ever since. And I have to point out that she never acted out at school. Not ever. And she was pretty sweet with her Daddy. 
Because of course.
And now she's the greatest mom herself, she is so good with customers at her work, she is an altogether amazing woman. 
And she is Magnolia's mother. 
So knowing how Magnolia can be, I am so gratified when she is here and is as sweet as tupelo honey. I mean truly. 
Last night she found two books for us to read. One, the heartbreakingly beautiful, "It's Time To Sleep, My Love."

And the other was "Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed." All my littles have loved this book and no matter how many times I've read it, I love it too. 

And she read it to me. With expression, as we used to say. 
And then I kissed her goodnight, pulled up her covers, and she was asleep. And she slept the sleep of the innocent and charmed all night long. 

We had our pancakes this morning and she helped me make them, cracking the eggs and mixing the batter. She got to ride on the four-wheeler with Boppy down to the Post Office. And then, while I was washing the dishes, she started playing on her own. She played with every doll and stuffed animal in this house. She created stories for them all. She did this for at least an hour. I used to do this too, and I love seeing her entertain herself this way with her own imagination. When it was time for her to go home, she did not want to leave but her Boppy had told Lauren that he'd help her trim branches at their house and he needed to get over there to do it. 
"Why can't I just stay here while he does that?" she asked. 
And when I told her that no, that was not the way it was going to be, she said, "Okay," and got ready to go. She must have told me ten times how much she loved being here and I told her the same. 
"You've been so good and so helpful," I told her. 
"And no fighting!" she said. And then she corrected herself. "I mean, no arguments."
I told her how proud I was of her and I was although of course Boppy and I let her do mostly whatever she wanted but she didn't ask to do anything outrageous. And that is the joy of being a grandparent. Our responsibilities towards the grandchildren are mostly to keep them alive and fed while they're with us. And while it sometimes seems that as a parent, our entire job is to deny our children the things they want- candy, more TV, staying up late, not eating vegetables, and on and on, and on, as grandparents we can indulge them in ways that parents can't. I mean- to a degree, of course. 

So it was a beautiful visit and I am honestly VERY proud of Magnolia June.

And it's been another beautiful day. I did a little garden weeding, listening to Colson Whitehead's "Crook Manifesto" which is the follow-up novel to "Harlem Shuffle" which I loved so much I read twice, once by eye, once by ear. He is an amazing author and I love the way he moves his plots along, as gracefully and purposefully and artfully as the way a pretty snake moves through the grass. 

The mulberries are starting to leaf. If you look carefully, you can even see their tiny fruits forming. I wonder if this year will be a good year for mulberries or not. Our crop varies wildly from year to year. 

And here are some more anoles. They seem to have chosen this place of peeling paint by the kitchen steps as their favorite gathering spot. 

Oh, how I love their clever little hands. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, February 23, 2024

Our Girl

She is here! I went to pick her up at after-school and we had such a lovely conversation on the way home. When we got to our house she exclaimed, "We're here! My favorite place in the world!" 
Now you know that made me so happy. 

She wanted to do her puzzle first thing so she worked on hers and I worked on mine. She insisted that it would fit on the table and she was right. Next, we smushed down the rising bread dough and she helped me roll it into a loaf. She is very excited about having that with her meatballs and spaghetti and she and I will make the meatballs here in a moment. 

Before she got here I spent the day doing homey things and also took the trash where I saw Miss Shelly, a woman I met on my walks long ago. We have a mutual affection. We bitch about our weight and talk about our yards and so forth. It was really nice to see her. She told me what that bus-stop looking bench is for. It's where Amazon workers wait for the vehicle that picks them up to take them to work at the giant distribution facility one interstate exit away. We both agreed that we were glad we weren't working there. 

Candie was here today and so my house is nice and clean and I did the bed sheets because I actually take great pleasure in that whole process. After I made the bed up I brought out Dorothy Anne, Rosa, Emily, Zippy, and the baby monkey that Lily made me when she was a little girl to greet Maggie when she got here. 

When Maggie saw them she said, "It's like they're waiting for me!" 
"They are," I said. She put her things in that room because as usual, she will be sleeping with me. I always give her the option of sleeping in the guest room. I assure her we have night lights and that the bed is so cozy but she always politely declines and says she'd rather sleep with me. She's a good sleeper so that's okay. And Mr. Moon probably loves sleeping in the guest room.
I ain't gonna lie. I snore.  

And of course she had to play with her Linda Sue treasures. 

Some of my little dolls made their way into her imaginary world too. That girl can create an entire alternate universe to step into at the drop of a hat. I love how she always wants to do the same things every time she's here. Today she wanted to play with one of the very old pillow-cover dolls that were Hank's and May's when they were little. So I let her. 

"You better put her up now," she said. "She makes me nervous that I'll break her."

She asked me a little while ago if it bothered me that she asks me so many question. I told her that no, I loved it when she asked me questions.
"Because it makes you feel smart?" she asked. 
"No, because it makes me feel needed," I said. 

And that's the truth of it. 

Off to make meat-balls!

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 22, 2024


I swear to goodness, you guys sure have some serious opinions about pools. You know that old adage about not discussing politics or religion? I think we should add swimming pools to that list. 

The pool thing is nothing more than a vague idea of something we could do now that the trees are gone. As the title of the post said, it was a fantasy we were entertaining. A fantasy we may entertain for awhile. But please be assured that we are very aware of the cost and effort that maintaining a pool requires. We have been there and we have done that. And there are companies whose sole purpose is to maintain pools for owners because it is NOT an easy job. We know. We tried to do our own for awhile when we had one and it became apparent to us that we had no idea what we were doing and it was best to pay the experts to come and spend forty-five minutes every two weeks or whatever it was, to take care of things. And honestly, that's about as long as it took those guys. 

On to another very important matter. Did you know that it's National Margarita Day? Well, it is. And it is also the day that the new Publix Liquor Store opened and Lily, despite being so recently recovered from Covid, was back at work in her brand new space! 

She texted the group this morning with a picture of some earrings she'd just made because she got up too early due to nerves. 


As one does, of course. Wake up early and whip up a new pair of margarita earrings. Far better, I suppose, than waking up early and whipping up a blender full of margaritas. 
Well. I guess it depends on the circumstances. 
I went to see her at her new job after Jessie and I had lunch together. Lily looked happy and that makes me happy. She has her own little universe there. Liquor bottles can be really interesting, can't they? And so many different types and names and labels. She showed me a bottle of 25-year old Scotch that was behind a locked-glass door that cost $599.00. And it was not a big bottle, either. 
"Wow!" I said. And I told her that back in the old days, people used to say that buying cocaine was god's way of telling you you had too much money. "And drinking that Scotch would be..."
"God's way of telling you you had too much money!" she said. 
Ummm-hmmmm. But honestly, if someone loves Scotch and has the money to pay for that bottle, who am I to judge?

I did not buy any Scotch. Or anything at all, actually, although I am certain I will at some point. The package of twenty-four tiny bottles of Tito's intrigued me and reminded me of Kathleen whose mother told her to always keep some gin in her purse in case she got the vapors. 
I am almost seventy years old and I still do not know what the vapors are, although they could be hot flashes, I suppose. I don't think that gin would help that. Or perhaps just anxiety, another thing that often torments women of a certain age. Or maybe the having the vapors is just code for "There is no way I can stay in this room with these assholes without a drink for one more second." 
I did not buy the 24 pack of Tito's either. 

Jessie and I had lunch at a Japanese place which is not Japanica. I'd eaten there recently with a friend of mine and enjoyed it very much but I think that I got a different sort of curry that day than I did today and I didn't like it as much. It was pretty good but not the heavenly stuff I remembered. But we had fun. She especially enjoyed it when the server asked if he could take our plates yet. I was still eating my noodles and told him that no, he could not yet take mine and if he tried, I'd stab him with my chopsticks. 
Maybe you had to be there but it sure made Jessie laugh. 
I felt vindicated when he said, "Oh, you're still working on that," indicating the noodles. If there's one thing that servers should stop saying it's "Are you still working on that?"
Honey, when I'm eating, I am not working on anything. I am eating. I am enjoying. I am savoring. I suppose the question would be appropriate if one was a sailor in the 18th century and your meal consisted of hard tack. That might take some work. 
The meal was heavy on the broccoli as it was in both the curry and the steamed side-vegetables. I had already planned to cook broccoli tonight and I think I still will. The recipe sounds intriguing. "Broccoli With Sizzled Nuts and Dates" from the NYT's cooking app. Ellen, from "Stuff From Ellen's Head" told me she made it and it was good. 
Not like I'm going to overdose on broccoli. 

Ms. Magnolia June will be spending the night tomorrow night. In a big turn-around, she has told me that instead of her usual Mer dinner of fish and cheesy noodles, she wants spaghetti and meat balls. Just like Gibson's frequent choice. So you know what I'll be cooking tomorrow night. She also inquired as to whether we would be serving purple cows. I assured her that yes, we would be. I ordered an Eboo kid puzzle to do with her and I hope she likes it. It's probably too easy for her but it won't be for me. 

Mainly the part about being on the floor. 

Well, speaking of food, as I so often do, I better go make our supper, broccoli included. 

Thank you for being here. I really just felt the need to say that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Entertaining Fantasies And Recognizing Realities

 Looking up through the magnolia grandiflora. 

There is simply no way to judge the size of that tree from the photos but here's a shot of how big each of the leaf clusters is.

If you look at my header picture you can see the tree behind the right dormer and chimney. And this is a tree that I would never cut down unless there was some absolutely do-or-die reason. The trees can live to be 120 years old or more. I wonder how old ours is. In one of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' books, she says that a new magnolia will not sprout while the mother tree is alive. I don't know if that's true but ours certainly hasn't sent up a shoot to grow into a baby. 
On top of all of that, the blooms of the magnolia are the queens of all the tree flowers, big as dinner plates with thick, white waxy leaves and they smell of lemon-scented heaven. 

And now our magnolia has even more room to stretch out. Also, it is more fully in my sight as I sit on my back porch, nothing in front of it to block my view of its glory. This morning Glen and I sat in some chairs underneath it and looked at the empty space before us. It was cool and the sun shining on us made me feel as if I was melting into a sweet, sticky honey-like bliss.

For years now, I've been talking about putting in a pool where those trees were, or at least in part of the area. And doesn't that sound like heaven? When I was growing up, having a pool was the absolute most rich-person thing you could do. I did not know one person in Roseland who had a pool although the woman we called "Aunt Dot" who ran a childcare business in her house did have a pool and when I went there in the summers we were in the water for at least four hours out of six. I was as much merchild as I was human child. 
And of course, there was The Pool. The pool in Roseland that my feral friends and I discovered at the end of a white sand road down by the river. It was an an abandoned piece of property. There was a little cabana house and the burnt ruins of a big house. We thought we'd discovered the lost continent of Atlantis. That pool was big enough and magnificent enough, even in its near-ruination, to hold all the magic in the world. And then of course, I re-found it when I was all grown up and two beautiful men had bought the property and made the pool magnificent again and rented out the restored cabana house where we love to stay. 

Sometimes real life beats the hell out of fiction. 

I did actually get a pool of mine own in the house we lived in before this one. That pool was about the only thing I loved about that house. Well, the pool and the back porch which was as wide and long as the trailer I lived in back in the late '70's. 
God, I loved that pool. It was just so pretty. And of course it was fun to have. But when we found this house, I let that pool go like a shiny nickel through a hole in my pocket. 
But here we are, me in my dream house, Mr. Moon with his dream Garage Mahal, and a pretty big space that a pool could conceivably go in. The cost of a new pool is astronomical but if we really wanted to go that way, we could. I know the kids and grandkids would love it but there are a lot of reasons it's not a great idea. 
The cost, of course, and after the expense of putting it in you have to pay for maintenance unless you want to do it yourself and we do not. The mere idea of having heavy equipment and so many people putting a pool in is enough to make me shudder. I sort of thought I'd die when the roofers were here for a week. 

Oh well. It's a thing to think about. It's so interesting to have options, to consider different things. 
A small fruit orchard or a swimming pool? I know which one would be the most environmentally friendly. No confusion in that area. 
But then I think of what it feels like to swim naked at night under the moonlight and how good it feels to get in the water after a hot walk or spending hours working in the yard. 

Meanwhile, here we are with our magnolia tree and this house I love so much and the Wacissa River right down the road. I wouldn't have to share a pool with all of Jefferson County but the springs are prettier and colder and clearer than any pool could be. 
A lot to consider. 

I saw Beautiful Brenda at the Costco today and I am kicking myself for not asking her if I could take her picture. I could not take my eyes off her gorgeous mermaid eyes. We had a little catch-up chat and she's going through some stuff and I hate that for her. She's so cheerful and hard-working. 
I hope she knows her worth in this world. I hope she knows how beautiful she is. 

I would wish that for all of us. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Bye-Bye, Bradfords

Well. There you go. 
The Bradford pears are as gone as Bradford pears can be. I was truly having my doubts about whether or not we'd made the right decision in having them removed but for right this second, at least, I am not unhappy about it at all. In fact, I feel a sense of peace looking out from the back porch. There's a lot less going on now. But it's more than that. It's like, "Oh. That's what it's supposed to look like."
Is it possible that those trees were so obviously out of place here that their presence felt somehow disturbing to me? 

Watching the father and son work together to cut those trees down and clear the yard of branches was truly something. I woke up to see this.

That's the father. He was buckled in, strapped in, and chain-saw welding. A tree monkey. A chain-saw cowboy.

He was perching on extremely small branches and dangling in thin air. He was cutting, trimming, and moving with a swiftness that defied belief. 
When he'd come down and take a breather, he'd say, "I'm not as young as I used to be."
I told his son that although he may not be as young as he used to be, he sure is nimble. 
"Yep," the son said. "Sixty years old and still in the trees. And he's had three heart attacks."  
"Excuse me," I said, "But holy shit!"
"I know. He has three stents. The doctors say that the work he does is why he's probably still alive." I could just feel the admiration shining off the son. I thought about how I'd feel if I had a husband who did work like that and had had three heart attacks. 
"Are your parents still together?" I asked. I am a nosy bitch.
"Nope," he said. "They're divorced. She's remarried and living in Virginia. But she used to work with him. She did what I do now."
Another holy shit was in order. 

Families. Not only do we all personally have a story, our families do too. Absolutely. I'll never forget a birth I attended when I was working at the Birth Centre and discovered that the mom, the dad, the grandparents and all of the aunts and uncles, worked in sheetrock. That's what they did. I'm not sure why that detail has stayed with me but it has. I just loved the image of the sheetrock installing family welcoming a new member into the family. I wonder if that baby grew up to be part of the family business.

Mr. Moon went back for another load of compost this morning and although I offered to help shovel it, he asked if I'd finish up the last of the weeding instead. 
I was quite happy to do that. I really want to plant my beans now but it's not quite time yet. They need more heat, I think. Although this weather has been perfect for us, cool, and clear without a cloud in the sky, the summer vegetables would probably like the soil to be a little warmer before we set out plants or push seeds into the ground. 
I have to say that the way the air feels, dryer, and cool in the shade, warm in the sun, along with the way the sky looks, has given me such primal pleasure that I can't help but feel content. Another one of those days in which the thoughts that so often torment me seem so far, far away. 
And don't think I do not recognize and appreciate that because I do.

Mr. Moon just went out to check the fire that the tree guys started and which has been slow-hot-burning since yesterday. I took it's picture earlier this afternoon.

Again- scale is impossible to get but those are some very large logs. Some of the wood went to someone who wants it for lumber and carving so that's not all that came down. When Glen expressed surprise that trees so freshly cut would burn, the boss-dad said, "Aw, they'll burn fine if the fire is hot enough."
And it is, obviously. That man knows more about trees and wood than I can even imagine. 

So that's the end of the story of the Bradford pears and the beginning of the story of what comes next to live in that space. Just as we humans are adjusting to the trees being gone, so are the birds and the squirrels and the cats too. Both Jack and Maurice have been walking around back there, trying to figure it out, I think. Maurice especially has been disturbed by the activity and the noises. I think she is a very intelligent animal and it's so hard on her to realize that something out of the ordinary is definitely going on without being able to understand exactly what or why. And she's an anxious cat, prone to worrying. Jack, on the other hand, doesn't seem too perturbed. I think he is more at peace with the fact that humans do weird shit all the time. 
We should all be more like Jack. 

Here's a picture of a brown anole, another invasive that has made its home in a place that it did not originate from. 

These we let be. They are here to stay.

Love...Ms. Moon