Tuesday, April 30, 2024


This gecko was in my kitchen sink when I went to get my coffee this morning. I had a tiny freak-out. As nature-girlish as I sometimes seem, I HAVE NO DESIRE WHATSOEVER TO PICK UP REPTILES WITH MY BARE HANDS. 
No. No, no, no. 

And why would this happen when Glen is out of town? 
Oh hell. Why wouldn't it? 

I'm sorry. I really am a wimp when it comes to scaly, crawly, possibly moist things. I admire them, I love to take pictures of lizards sunning in the daytime or on the screen at night. They are fascinating. I am not overly afraid of snakes unless they are venomous. Frogs and toads are very cool and incredibly interesting and also vitally important to our ecosystems. But I am not picking any of these lovely creatures up. 
I'm simply not. 
So of course I texted Glen who is, of course, in Alabama, a picture of the gecko with the word, "HELP!"  
He advised me to throw a towel on it, wrap it around the lizard, and toss it outside. 
Uh, no. I might inadvertently have touched it. 

Now you can trap a bee or a wasp with a jar and a saucer (and in fact I just did that) but what sort of device would there be that I could flatten against the curved sink that would contain the gecko? 

I sent the picture to the children too. Hank suggested that I lean a stick of some sort in the sink that would reach the top so that the little guy could climb out. I guess that although geckos can walk across a ceiling, they can't climb out of a damn sink. I knew he'd fallen in because he'd knocked a school picture of Waylon off the shelf above that had been propped up on a little bottle. 
So first I put a wooden spoon in the sink for the gecko to use as a bridge and then I found a ruler which seemed like an even better choice. But then the gecko climbed into the drain. 
By now I was ready to call Morgan, who lives next door and who is a Jefferson County Sheriff. Surely he would know what to do. But look- that's just not the right thing to do. I need to save Morgan for bigger emergencies than that by which I mean if a snake gets in the kitchen. 
Which has happened before.

So I just left the gecko and his props right where they were and then later, I ran the water into the other side of the double sink, hoping not to drown the poor creature, which made him come back up into the sink and when I got back from my walk I saw no sign of it and so it's either down the drain somewhere or free-ranging in my kitchen which is probably fine because they eat bugs but oh Lord, I do not want to see him again. 

My walk was okay. It looks like Harvey is for sure taking apart the trailer on his property. He was sitting in his chair with his back to the road so he didn't see me or if he did, he chose to ignore me and I just walked on past. I made another detour into a relatively private area to pee today, but not the one with the trail cam. This one is not in downtown Lloyd. There are planted pines and all sorts of bushes and briars so I have to be careful but a bright pink object got my attention. I thought maybe it was a piece of trash, but no! 

The blossom is pretty small and it's just as delicate as you can imagine, growing right there by itself amongst the dewberry brambles and other assorted wild things. I so wanted to dig it up and bring it home but I knew its thorns would cut me and beside that, I didn't have anything to dig with so I let it be. I'll be checking on it though to see those buds open up. 

I went to Publix this afternoon. As usual I thought I needed only a few things but of course "need" is a rather subjective word. But I didn't go too crazy. I got to see Lily because she was working in the liquor store. I asked her how she likes her new house which oddly, I don't think I've asked her since they've been staying there. She says she loves it and the way it's laid out but it will be a lot better when they get things unpacked. I have no idea how she gets anything done with a job and three children. Eventually, it will all be sorted and arranged and won't that be wonderful?

Mr. Moon called me last night at the ungodly hour of 11:42 p.m. He had forgotten that he's an hour behind me in Alabama. 
"You're pretty bold to assume I'm still awake," I said to him. 
"You're right," he said. "I'm sorry."
I told him it was alright. I was actually still awake, reading an article about Percival Everett that was published in the New Yorker.  
I had just finished my second reading of "James" and then found the article which seemed like a fine example of synchronicity. Everett is a fascinating man. I also just finished listening to his book The Trees a few hours ago. So in the last few weeks, I have read James twice with my eyes and  I Am Not Sidney Poitier and The Trees with my ears. I have a copy of his Dr. No on my vanity and I will probably crack that one open tonight. 
Yes. I am a little obsessed. 


Thirty-five years ago today I was in early labor with Jessie. I have been thinking about that all day long. I told her yesterday, "I know this is crazy but I wish you could have been at that birth. I mean...I know you WERE but I don't think you remember that much of it."
She laughed. She understood. 
Oh, how swiftly those thirty-five years have flown. She is a grown woman now, with two babies of her own. I don't have the words in me right now to express how grateful I am for my four births, all resulting in healthy babies who have grown up to be the joys of my life. 

I'll probably talk some more about this tomorrow. You know me. 

Now it's time to go cook some salmon for my supper. I haven't done much today but I did take that walk, I did do my shopping, and I did sit down at the piano. When I was with Lily I looked at the time and said, "Oh! I've got to go! It's almost time to play piano!" 

I even have a schedule for when Glen is gone. I'm crazy. I know it. 
Oh well. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, April 29, 2024

Appreciating My Life

It took me until almost 1 o'clock this afternoon to get out the door for a walk. First off, I slept until the birds were already napping again. Ooh boy. But so what? And then I had to spend some time looking at reviews of the Stones' show in Houston which were all pretty positive. It would seem that Mick's ability to move and dance and sing at the age of eighty is universally regarded as a wonder. I love that Keith appears to be recycling his stage clothes from past tours. Why not? 

When I finally started walking, an old man (and by that I mean even older than me) was pulling out of a driveway blocking the sidewalk and he didn't seem to want to pull on out and let me by. Then he rolled down his window and started talking to me. 
Oh great.
Typical old white man questioning began.
"You from around here?" "Where do you live?" "In one of those little houses?" "Oh, that Bond house? You kin to them Bonds? What was that man's name?" "You live in this area all your life?"
Why do old white men feel so entitled to answers to questions like this? Turns out he doesn't even live in Lloyd. He lives in Monticello. He does own some property here including the little house whose driveway he was in. He rents it out and told me that the last tenant destroyed it. I find this hard to imagine. She had put all sorts of plants and little fountains around the yard and made it so pretty. But, perhaps she trashed the inside. I have no idea. 
Meanwhile, the old man's hearing aid kept screeching and I think he must have had it turned way up because he was barely whispering which meant I could hardly hear what he was saying over the sound of his running truck. 
I would so much rather have an encounter with an old Black man. Here's what they generally say: "How you doing, baby?" 
At which point I melt.
Finally, I had finished the inquisition in a satisfying manner, I guess, and he introduced himself and I introduced myself and we shook hands though the window of his truck and off he went, back home to Monticello and I continued on my walk. 

I wanted to see what they've been building on Notre Dame Street so I walked down that way. I've been hearing the work going on for a few weeks now. 

Kind of a sweet little house, isn't it? At least that's what it looks like at this point. It's gone up pretty darn fast. I think they're going to put in a few more. At least they're not pre-fab.

At this point in my walk I already had to pee pretty badly which is quite a distraction for me. I'm always looking for places to duck behind trees and bushes where no one will see me and also, doesn't have so much poison ivy and briars that I'm in danger of being shredded and welted. I was in the "downtown" area of Lloyd and it's not easy to find a place there. I finally decided to take the little path I've taken before that's near the big Baptist church that leads into a sort of bamboo and wildlife jungle. I have discussed this path before and the ridiculous situation that I got myself into involving a trail cam. You can read that HERE. It is, in my opinion, one of my funniest posts. I looked for the trail cam today and it is still right there. 

I did not, however, pee in front of it. I found a different place that I checked thoroughly to make sure that I was not being videoed. 
I did laugh.

The old house that Liz, from Field And Fen said was creepy, is being painted. I agree with Liz. It is sort of creepy. The man who used to own it was definitely creepy. He's dead now so that part of the creepiness equation is done with. 

I have to say that I am truly curious as to what it looks like inside. Were the creepy old man and his wife hoarders? They had moved out of the house and were living in a modular home beside it by the time I moved here. I'm pretty sure she's dead now too. Perhaps whoever is trying to bring this place back to life is a relative. A lot of trees and bushes were taken out last year around not only the house but the modular place too. 
Well, another mystery of Lloyd.

Mr. Moon is safely in Alabama and already out on the water. I am so happy for him. Last night he completely threw me off by saying, "I just don't know what I'll be eating for dessert on this trip."
"What?" I asked. "You can buy ice cream at the store or go to a bakery and get a cake. Get some mint Milano's." 
I totally did not understand that he was asking me why I hadn't baked him cookies to take. Oh Jesus. And I would have made him some right then, if I'd had any chocolate chips, which I did not, so at nine o'clock at night I made him some chocolate/coconut/oatmeal/pecan/raisin bars.
How could I have forgotten his cookies? 

I don't even know if the damn things were edible. I wrapped them up in aluminum foil when they were still way too hot to do that but I wasn't staying up another minute. At least he knows I made the effort and that I do love him. 

As if there were any doubt about that. 

Here's Maurice, helping me weed in the garden. 

And here is a cluster of those incredibly beautiful velvety roses.

I am swooning. 

I sat down at the piano this afternoon and I enjoyed it very much but I had to abandon any thoughts of it sounding even a millionth of a way like real music. 

It was painful. But it was fun. 

Look! My beans are coming on! It's about time to get ready for canning. I am so excited.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, April 28, 2024

No Title

One of the things I love about having taken out the Bradford pears is the fact that I get more sky-view. Every morning when I get up, I go out to the back porch and I think of Ross and I look up and I am always comforted by what I see, no matter the weather. 

We still don't know what we want to do in that space. I really think I would love a pool but the thought of having workers in my backyard for weeks and possibly months is not a happy prospect. I am notoriously bad at being able to envision things that are not there and so it's hard for me to imagine what a pool would look like in that space and what would I want surrounding it? Palm trees? A little fruit arbor? A patio of sorts with a covered area? 
I need to start looking online to find ideas. There is nothing in this world wrong with having a little dreamy dream of what is mostly a fantasy. 

I did a little more packing at Lily's today. It was truly a group effort as Jessie and Vergil were back along with Candie and her husband, and May and Michael. Lauren had to work. It was actually rather fun being with my kids, all of us repeatedly asking, "What the fuck is this?" when we'd uncover something like a rotisserie rod or a solar phone charger in a drawer or a cabinet. Candie is the leader in ruthlessness. "Throw it away!" she said, over and over. "Trash it!" Much of this happened while Lily was at the new house waiting on a plumber because of course, there was a slight plumbing problem and so we were free to use our own judgement about many things. She's at the point though where throwing things away is fine with her. 
This is all such a good lesson for all of us. "Use it or lose it," has taken on new meaning although perhaps "Lose it if you don't use it," would be a better way to put it.
I think Gibson is having a rather hard time with the move. For the past few years, his bedroom has actually been the living room of their house. They had a den where they mostly gathered, and a large dining room too. So the boy's room was enormous and not having a door didn't seem to be a problem for him. He is quite worried now that his bed is going to take up half the space in his new room. We keep trying to reassure him that he'll be fine, he'll grow to love it, and that this will help him to only hold on to the things he really wants. 
I surely hope that's true. Sweet Gibson. 
I'll tell you one thing I know for sure- none of us, especially Lily and Lauren will be sad not to have to drive down the gravel, rock, and red clay road that leads to their house. It is a torture on cars and since the big rain we had a few weeks ago, there are trenches and ruts in it that are approaching river bed dimensions. They will now have a real, true road that leads right up to their house which will be a delight. 

Mr. Moon is packing to leave for Alabama tomorrow morning and Maurice is worried, as she always is when he brings out the duffel bag and starts filling it up. 

She's been waiting for me outside the kitchen door today and following me wherever I go. It's as if she's pretty sure I'll be staying here but needs to watch carefully to make sure. Poor baby. Mr. Moon is her human and although she likes me okay, he is the one that represents safety and security for her. 
I know how she feels. 

I, for one, am very glad that my husband is going to get away for a few days of fishing and recreating with his fellas. My god, but he needs that and deserves it. I am sending him away whole-heartedly and even told him a few minutes ago to take his time because a few days by myself is just what I need. "The piano has been calling me," I told him. "It wants me to play it."
I am remembering last year, when Mr. Moon went on this trip. He'd just had a procedure to get a needle biopsy of a lump in his leg and he went immediately from that to jumping in his truck, even though his leg was leaking all sorts of fluids. He tied a bandana around his calf and took off north.
He's gotten oysters to take with him as that's become part of the routine of the trip. The men eat them raw and they eat them grilled and for all I know, they make Oysters Rockefeller too. Whatever. Oysters must be involved. 

I'll probably be doing more to help Lily while he's gone. There's still a lot to do although today the guys got the big things moved. The beds and the sofa and dining table all went over yesterday and today the refrigerator and credenza and some other very heavy things have been put into their new places. By the way- Lily did buy that white, round oak table at the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus Thrift Store and it's already on their new beautiful back porch. That makes me happy. 

And so it's been another Sunday and one in which I got to see most of my children and all of my grandchildren. Owen hugged me and I kissed him on the cheek while Levon was in the kitchen with us and I said, "See Levon, Owen hugs me and let's me kiss him," and he said, "Ugh." 
Owen said, "You won't hug MerMer?" Levon just made a face and went outside. He's his own man, that one and I respect that and I love him so.

I imagine the Rolling Stones are all backstage at the Houston NRG stadium, whatever that is, doing their ancient backstage rituals and waiting for that magical moment when they are announced. 
Oh, how I wish I could be there and yet...
Will they begin with "Start Me Up?"
I sort of hope so. 
It makes me happy to think of the Old Boys taking the stage once again, doing what they do, what they invented, what they they do and have done for sixty years, better than anyone else. 
"Start Me Up," Mick sings. "Start me up and I'll never stop, never stop, never stop."

That's a promise that has been well kept. 

I better go make some supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Letting Go And Moving On

So who remembers this? My Lord. I made that little duck for Owen when he was a very young thing. It was sort of supposed to be a baby chick but the feet rather betray the true species of the little creature, don't they? He's the softest thing, made from an old cashmere sweater that had shrunken into baby size. Jessie found it today when she was cleaning and packing one of the kids' rooms in the move. None of the kids were very invested in it and so she was going to keep it but then she told me that I should keep it with my dolls and so I shall. 
Little Quackie. 

Yes. Today is the day. And this move is not going to go easily or quickly. They are spending the night in the new house tonight and the beds are either moved or are being moved. This is not easy at all for either Lily or Lauren or the kids. Lily and Lauren are excited to have a new house but the whole process of finding the house and getting it ready to move into and now making the actual move has been and is just ridiculously difficult. And the kids? Well, their rooms in the new house are not quite as big as the ones they have now and for the most part, the house where they've been living is the only one they've ever known. Owen may remember the duplex that they lived in when he was born but I doubt that Gibson does because he was so young when they moved and Maggie was literally born in that house. 

Of course it's always this way when a family moves. Even if it's a good thing, there are going to be negative aspects of changing locations and it's just so damn hard, packing up a life, deciding what to take and what to let go. It's emotional as hell. 

I was there for about three hours this afternoon and in all that time, I only cleaned out and dealt with two large bookcases. There are now many, many books in my car and in Jessie's to donate. I saved back a few children's books and stopped on my way home to put most of them in the little free library down the street. 

My husband got home about 12:30 last night. He hadn't been kidding about me not waiting up for him. So he'd worked 18 hours. This morning, he and Vergil met up at the new house and finished up what Glen's been working on and then, amazingly, he came home. As his daddy used to say, he'd done all he was big enough to do. 
I am so glad he knew when it was time to stop although honestly, it was probably time for him to stop about last Tuesday. 

Oh well. He is alive and sitting in his chair and finally resting. 
I felt guilty leaving Vergil and Jessie and Lily and Lauren to come home myself but I am playing the old lady card. Owen is helping a lot and Gibson is helping too. August is being as helpful as he can be and Levon and Maggie are mostly staying out of the way although the temptation to play with forgotten and rediscovered toys is huge. 

Being a part of this has given me even more impetus to get rid of things myself. I was telling Mr. Moon the other day that we really need to clean off the refrigerator. I have pictures hanging on it that Owen made me before he could really write his name. 
He is fourteen now. 
I have a TELEPHONE LIST on it. Written in beautiful cursive which I used to be good at. 

And of course, that is just one tiny area of my kitchen, my house, my life that I need to declutter. 

Change is hard. Always. But we manage, usually, to push on through and we survive. Lily will too. She is so much stronger than she realizes. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, April 26, 2024

Miracles And A Hymn Here At The Church Of The Batshit Crazy On A Friday Night

My left eye felt like something was in it all day yesterday. And it was sort of red and felt irritated but I couldn't see anything in it. Isn't it odd that we use the very organ to look at what we are trying to inspect on ourselves? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense but if you think about it, it does.

The point of this being, last night I kept waking up and my eye felt way more irritated and I worried about it in an irrational manner as one does when one wakes up in those deep, somehow liquid hours of the night when neither time nor thoughts flow as they should. When I got up (late) I looked in the mirror which I generally avoid doing as much as possible and I looked positively demonic. Not only were both of my eyes red, but my eyebrows, which would be more appropriate on the face of an ancient old man of the forest, were sticking all up. I'm not kidding. I scared myself. So I pruned those bad boys above my eyes and decided to just see what happened with my eyes and by golly, one of them isn't red at all anymore and the other one looks much better. The irritated feeling has mostly gone away although the one that's still red feels a little itchy. So I don't know what's going on. Gibson did have conjunctivitis a few weeks ago but I wasn't around him and besides that, I don't get all up in the grandchildren's eyes. So maybe it's allergies or maybe I did have a little something in my eye or maybe I do have an eyeball melanoma which was the main thing I was worried about at three in the morning. 

Friday. It's Friday. I've had a very hard time just enjoying that fact and I'm blaming it on my husband who was at Lowe's at six o'clock this morning and who has worked all day long at Lily's house and who also managed to renew all our license tags for boats, cars, trucks, and trailers, AND finish the process to get his dealer's license WHICH HE NOW HAS! 
So knowing all of that, it was hard for me to just be lazy and enjoy myself although I mostly fought through that guilt. Sort of. There is no such thing as "guilt-free" in my world. 
And no, he is not home yet and I doubt he will be for many long hours. Good thing I can make my own martini.

I had a sort of, if not epiphany, then stark realization this morning when I was reading Ellen's blog post HERE. 
Ellen is the only person I know in our blog community who has a sort of similar life to mine when it comes to yard maintenance. She does a much better job of it and spends more time doing it than I do, but when she talks about hauling branches to the burn pile I know exactly what she's talking about.
So my realization is that I don't know if I really WANT to spend the rest of whatever life I have digging up crocosmia and border grass. This does not mean that I don't want this yard and this house. I very much do. But I somehow need to get help. My old pal who owns the landscaping company did not come by and I think I should call him and actually pay him to give me advice and suggestions for people to help me. Right now I feel completely overwhelmed, not only by the regular stuff taking over every square inch of this little place that it can, but also by the fact that since we got the Bradford pears cut down, every stinking damn one of their roots and stumps are sprouting new trees. When I tell you that my backyard looks like a fucking Bradford pear tree farm, I am not exaggerating. And Mr. Moon has not had the time to mow them down.  
This is almost terrifying. 

And when I went out this afternoon to get the laundry off the line and take a picture of the confederate jasmine, I saw this:

Obviously, the bamboo is not done with me yet. So I kicked all that I saw. 
The jasmine I went to take a picture of is also an over-grower, as we might kindly say, meaning it takes over everything it can get its little tendrils on. Why did I plant this shit? 

Yes. Yes I do always have dirt under my fingernails. 
Doesn't the jasmine look so sweet and innocent? Well, if you had one single strand of it, that would be fine, but when you have a wall of it, or several walls of it, which is what happens when you plant it on a fence, the scent becomes so overpowering that it's like living in one of those shops I talked about the other day. That's probably what my eyeball is allergic to.


I went out to the garden just to check things out. The acorn squash is really coming along. 

Is that an acorn squash? 
The potatoes are looking droopy and are turning yellow and I keep telling Mr. Moon to reach into one of those bags to see if he has any potatoes because in my experience, when the plants start dying back, it's time to dig. He says it's not time and that he doesn't want to feel around in the dirt because it would "upset their life-style" which cracked me up so much. Don't tell him but I stuck my fingers in one of the bags today (thus the dirt under my fingernails) and felt a potato that may be as big as a baseball. They're supposed to bloom before you dig the potatoes but again, I've had years when that just didn't happen and I have no idea why. 

After being outside for about twenty minutes, I had almost died from the heat so I came back in. I simply cannot tolerate the heat and humidity any more. I sweat like a blacksmith in August. In hell. 

Lord, Lord. I sure am making myself sound attractive, aren't I? First with the eyebrows and red eyes, then the dirty fingernails, and now the sweat. Well guess what? I am NOT attractive. Not even remotely. 

Here is today's winning photo. 

No, it is not a lizard with multiple sets of rabbit ears, it is an anole eating a winged insect. 

All right. Many of us fight going gently into that good night with various and disparate means. We can rail against the ravages of time, we can deny, deny, deny. We can do all the right dietary/supplement/physical activity things. We can get surgery to try and undo what time has written across our faces, our bodies. We can stay engaged and active, do crosswords and learn new languages. We can yoga and we can tai chi. Some of these things may extend our years a bit, some may make us feel, if only for a moment or so, the way we did when we were young and juicy and full of it all. 
For me, I sometimes get those moments in a dream and they are potent and powerful. And sometimes, all I have to do is go to YouTube. 

That was the Rolling Stones in 1995 at the Tokyo Dome. Keith and Mick were "only" about fifty-two then and people had been asking how long they thought they could keep this act going since they were  twenty-five. 
I came across this video via a FB post today and I don't think I've ever seen it. I seriously doubt that many of you will watch it and that is A-OK. I know I'm a little crazy about those old boys. Especially Keith. And he does shine in this video. (Go to 7:13 if you don't want to watch the whole thing.) But what I love the most about it, is the pure joy that you can see on the performer's faces. The absolute dedication to what they do and why they do it. The genuine affection they have for each other. And of course, I love the audience's reaction when Charlie Watts is introduced. 
In two days, those old boys will be opening their summer 2024 tour in Houston. 

Just knowing this is a tonic to me. They aren't a nostalgia band. They are a working rock and roll band. And I truly believe what I've heard Keith say in many interviews which is that with each performance, they are trying to make it better, play it better, be better. 

Well. Mr. Moon just called and he said that not only should I not wait supper on him, but that I shouldn't wait going to bed on him either. 
Oh dear god. And he's still lighthearted sounding. His joy in doing what he's doing for his family is not unlike Keith Richards' joy in doing what he's doing with his band. 
Another reason I love that man.

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, April 25, 2024

In Which I Hang Out With Bob And Kevin And Discuss Many Things, Including Male Pop Stars With High Voices

There's one of the tiny bean blossoms that I finally got a picture of this morning. And here's one of the vines' tendrils, gracefully snaking its way to the top of the fence post. 

While I was out there, I took pictures of two of the types of basil I'm growing.

This is African basil. I've had a plant of that get as big as a kitchen table before. 

Thai basil, which is more delicate. I love the taste of both of them. 

Y'all- it's been a day. I did a few things around the house this morning and then drove in to town and did my Costco shopping and then I met Mr. Moon and our realtor at the attorney's office where we signed the papers for Lily's house. Before too long, the house will be in her name but there are finances associated with the divorce that have to come through for that to happen. Meanwhile, she is free to move in whenever she wants.
Saturday has been set aside for the family to help her and Lauren. For whatever reason, our family does not hire movers. I guess because we're stubborn and stupid. Also cheap. Maybe? Or perhaps it's not just me that feels the need to suffer unnecessarily. Frankly, I don't see how they'll be able to get the kitchen stuff alone all moved over in one day. It's going to take some time but if Lily's out of her old house by May 1, she's going to save a lot of money. This, too, is part of the whole divorce situation. 
And poor Lily. Today was "bring your kid to work day" and she ended up being the caretaker for fifteen employee's children at her Publix. Which was no doubt far more exhausting than tending the liquor store. Tomorrow she and Lauren are going to chaperone a field trip from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. 
Yeah, she and Lauren both will be all ready to move house on Saturday. Craziness. 
Of course it will get done. Just as I am sure the painting will get done. Mr. Moon and I got to see each other at the signing today and then we sat in the car in the shade in the parking lot and ate sandwiches I'd bought at Costco. 
Very romantic. 
"I love you!" I yelled at him as he walked across the parking lot to his truck. 
I have no idea when he'll be home tonight. 

After our lunch, I went to Jessie's house to get the tags that I need to pick up August and Levon from school. It was a Levon piano lesson day and Jessie had to work. They both wanted mulberry pie with ice cream on it for a treat which is exactly what their mother had said they could have so that worked out well. I had a micro bite of the pie and it was damn good. 

After they finished and wiped their faces

it was time to load up to go to piano. That went well. Levon seems to have a pretty good grasp of it for a kindergartner. August read his book and I read my New Yorker magazine. 

Back in the car and on to Publix. "Why don't you do your shopping later?" asked August. 
"Because I don't want to," I said. He did not challenge me on that. 

They were good boys and didn't bug me to buy them anything. Oh wait. That's not true. They wanted some BabyBel cheese and I got them some. Why not? They started calling themselves Bob and Kevin so I did too. 
"Bob and Kevin! Y'all stop that!" 
I finally asked why they they chose Bob and Kevin and was informed that Bob and Kevin are minions. 

There you go. That explains everything. 

We drove back to their house and before too long, I was on my way home. 

And now I've unloaded the car and put everything away and I am so very, very tired. 
On top of everything, one of the things I did this morning was to actually call the dermatologist and make an appointment for a screening. I cannot even remember the last time I saw him and I have little...things... all over my face and body that definitely need looking at. It was horrendously hard for me to make that call but I did it and I'll be going to see him in May. I'm relieved that I made the appointment but I swear- that sucked up about 75% of my emotional energy. God, I'm a wimp. 

Hearing the news about Harvey Weinstein just about wiped out the other 25% I had left and I haven't had nearly enough time to process that. I guess that Trump's brain did not explode in the courtroom today (dammit) and also, WTF with the Supreme Court?

I don't know. I don't drive this train. I'm just holding on for all I'm worth.

Love...Ms. Moon

Blossom of the Little Gem magnolia. It's only as big as a salad plate. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

I Got Out Of The House

 It was easier to get up this morning. I knew that I was going to go to Monticello with Jessie and that's always a good time. She's been looking for a dresser to go in her bathroom and has had no luck in Tallahassee. So I got up and got busy and did my little chores and went through my routine of reading blogs and reading the news and doing a crossword, blah, blah, blah. 
She came and picked me up in her silent car and off we drove to Monticello, our little county seat and the only real town in all of Jefferson County. I've posted pictures of the courthouse many times before and that one was taken from an upstairs window in the antique and vintage store where we were shopping. 

Before we started shopping though, we went to eat our lunch at the Mexican restaurant, Rancho Grande. I love this place and I especially love how the owners have survived and thrived in this tiny southern town with their incredibly hard work and good product. They started out in a little funky place, bought the land next to it, and built a beautiful restaurant and cantina. It's always full of customers and I've never had a bad meal there. Our server today was a young woman who barely spoke any English and who looked, as I told Jessie, as if she'd been drawn by a Disney animator. She was so pretty, like a Disney princess, with an almost unbelievably beautiful facial bone structure. 
Our food was good and we ate too much and then began our shopping which was probably not the best order of doing things but we'd been hungry. 

Here's just a random picture of a house in Monticello. 

The whole town is filled with graceful old homes, some of them small and simple, some more grand. I like the one in that picture. It is a large house but not so big that you'd feel completely lost in it. Nice design and straight lines, no fancy trim or doo-dahs, but simple and elegant in my opinion. 

Monticello has been growing, bit by bit over the last decade or so. New restaurants have opened and taken hold, new shops appear to be thriving. There is still Wag the Dog though, the thrift store run by the local animal shelter, the farmer's market where you can buy raw peanuts in fifty pound bags along with fresh vegetables and frozen shelled peas, and the Winn Dixie too. It really is a nice place and everyone seems to be courteous and kind. There's a fine library where our friend Terez works. That guy is in the local newspaper about every three weeks. He's a local celebrity as well he should be. We noticed today that the new restaurant where Glen and I ate a few weeks ago is going to start serving sushi in a separate little part of the place. And there are two coffee shops, one with a bakery that serves breakfast and lunch, and the other with all the fancy drinks. We are getting so sophisticated here! 

Jessie wanted a coffee today so we tried the the coffee shop with the fancy drinks only to find this on the door.

Really, Jason? You had to have your appointment today? Well, we forgive him as we know all about hernia surgeries around here. 
I loved this.

So on we went. We visited a few of the smaller places and saw a lot of cool stuff but no dressers that would have worked. I do have one major complaint about the shops and that is the nasty artificial scents they all seem to have. They are headache-inducing. What is the deal with this shit? It used to just be potpourri but it seems now to have far exceeded what even the most chemically enhanced potpourri could achieve on its own. How do people stand to work in a place that smells like that for eight hours a day? Ten minutes is my limit and they are not a pleasant ten minutes either. 
And the funny thing is, Jessie and I had just been talking about how people don't wear perfume or cologne as much any more. How women used to have their "signature" scent and didn't feel dressed without dabbing a bit on their pulse points. It's become less prevalent as people have become more aware of some people's intolerance for perfumes and perfumed body products. And yet- these places of business have so much smell in them that a scent-o-meter would explode. If there were such a thing. And I think there should be. 

This place doesn't have any weird smells though.

That's the big antique store where I got Dorothy Ann and a few other cherished things. They always have decent stuff there. It's also where I got my bright red tea trolly. They did have a dresser that was not bad and it was a reasonable price but it wasn't quite the one. 
It would have done, you know? 
But there's always the sense that the perfect, right one will appear. 
So it was not purchased. 
Funnily enough, the dresser in my bathroom (Jess and I both have very large bathrooms) is one I bought because it would do until I found the one I really wanted and that was about thirty-six years ago or so. At least. It has "done" for quite awhile and by now, I probably wouldn't trade it for anything. 

All right. I'm about to have a little birthday eve telephone chat with Ms. Lis! Glen's still not home. My god, I've barely seen him in days. I've got our supper mostly ready. I made up a little pan of kitchen sink chicken enchiladas that are going to be a shame and a sin after my lunch at Rancho Grande. Oh well. I'll make some nice guacamole to go with them and it'll be fine. The man is so tired when he gets home that I could serve him gruel and he would not even register what it was. 

Thanks for coming along with me to Monticello. I know I've written about it a lot already but it's part of my world and I feel quite lucky to have such a charming little place to visit right down the road from me. 

Y'all have a nice evening. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Just One Of Those Days

 It's like Jurassic Park around here right now, except in miniature. The anoles are out and about, skittering and sunning and flirting. I've seen several males puff out their pretty rosy throats for the admiration of lady lizards. I watched a couple today on the porch screen. He was all, "Hey baby! Look at this!" and she did take a few hesitant steps toward him and then turned and danced away. I do not know if she was playing hard to get or simply not interested. 

Today was one of those days. I woke up and laid in bed, unable to find my way out of it. I usually don't feel that way. I may not want to do whatever it is I need to do when I get up but I manage to get out of bed and get started with my day at least. But today I just couldn't seem to muster any enthusiasm for any of it. What's the point? I kept wondering. I thought Mr. Moon had probably already left to go paint but I heard him getting something out of his bathroom and I called to him. He came and laid down beside me and kissed me and I said, "I can't seem to get out of bed today," and he said, "And I can't seem to stay in it," and then he was off and of course I had to cry a little tear because...well. 
Turns out he'd spent most of the night on the guest room bed due to terrible leg cramps. And yes, he does everything that people can do for leg cramps. He's drinking tons of water and has begun putting Liquid IV in it. He takes leg cramp tablets. He drinks pickle juice. He's been taking a hot bath with Epson salts before bed. He has always been prone to leg cramps and it's a matter of circulation and that's all there is to it. All the magnesium in the world is not going to change that.
So, no, he probably did not have a great deal of sympathy for me, moaning about having to get out of bed as he'd gone through a torturous night and still gotten up and had his breakfast and was about to go put in another ten or so hours. 
You cannot stop this man. 

I moped around some this morning and eventually got myself out to take a walk. I did not enjoy that walk. It felt so forced and uncomfortable. I walked down a road that I don't usually take and a bulldog came out of a gate which I will admit scared me some. I have known bulldogs that were gentle as lambs. I've had bulldogs that were gentle as lambs. And I have seen those same bulldogs go into fighting frenzies when some evil spirit overtook them. This was a pretty one, gray with white ears, and I was leery as I walked by it. I don't know if it was a male of a female. Not that it matters, really. There was a Fed Ex truck right behind me that had just delivered a package to what I believe is the house that the My Gypsy Soul Boutique lady lives in. The driver in the truck followed close behind me (and there was plenty of room to pass) and I am thinking that the guy was making sure the dog didn't attack. I spoke gently to the dog and he (or she) did go back onto its property and the Fed Ex man sped off. I was grateful for his presence. I have been bit before while walking but not for a very long time. 

One of the nice things about the walk today was that the magnolias are all opening and I can actually smell them, even though they must be at least twenty or thirty feet up in the air. 

This one has a few open blossoms, a few spent ones, turning brown, and two (that I can see) buds. 

There's a house a few doors down from us that I've taken pictures of before. No one has lived in it since I've been here and no one has done anything with it or to it either, except for a tiny bit of work that someone did on the front door. It's state of disrepair has suddenly accelerated and I think that it's because the roof is leaking badly now and windows are open in it as well. 

And that will be it for that house. Once the roof goes, it's all over. It's hard to tell but the siding on the top story is buckling and I've never observed that before. I guess we have another fally-down house on our hands. I have no idea who owns this house. 
It makes me sad but at this point, it would take so much time and money to even try to restore it that I don't know that anyone would take it on. 

Here's another picture that I took but this one does not make me sad.

That's a branch of the new leaves and baby berries on a Yaupon Holly. I've written about it before. It is definitely a native plant and is the only plant in North America that is a source of caffeine. Supposedly it was used by Indigenous people here. I've heard it said that they used it ceremonially but I have to wonder if that was its only use. Perhaps they made a weaker brew of it just to help them get through long days. 

Here is a picture of the border grass I'm always bitching about having to pull up. I worked on that for a bit.

Border grass, mondo grass, monkey grass. Call it what you will, it's a bitch.
And here's what the root system looks like. 

I always refer to it as being almost like a net of nylon and truly, that's not a lie. That shit is strong. 

Here's a very good thing.

That, my friends, is a rattlesnake bean blossom which means we'll be getting beans soon. I noticed today that bees were buzzing about the bean plants and so I investigated more closely. Most of the tiny flowers are purple and I'm not sure why that one's white but it is. I was having a hard time getting a decent picture of them and that's the only one that was even slightly in focus. 

And that's all I need to talk about right now. Tomorrow will be better. I know it will be. I also know that some days, getting out of bed and taking a walk is a pretty big achievement. 
I know this but I don't think I believe it. 

We go on.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, April 22, 2024

Another Day In Paradise, Part Twenty-Seven Hundred And Eight

 I laughed like a drunk chimpanzee when I saw this on Jeff Tiedrich's "Everyone's Entitled To My Own Opinion" substack post today. I learned about Tiedrich from Ellen at Stuff From Ellen's Head. I read Tiedrich everyday and there is no one in the world better at coming up with profane paragraph-long descriptions of Donald Trump. 

It's been a slow day here for me. I spent a great deal of time this morning re-wrapping Lis's birthday present to mail. The woman from whom I bought the gift on e-bay gift-wrapped it for me and I, thinking we would be taking it with us to give to Lis personally, unwisely unwrapped the mailing wrapping because I could have just slapped some new address information on it and sent it like that but no, I had to see the gift wrap and it was so sweet and pretty. 
I have said it before and I will say it again- I am the world's worst wrapper. Not just of gifts but of anything. It took me forever to wrap that box this morning. I'd gone to Publix on Saturday specifically to get two brown bags to use and I got those and scissors and tape and packing tape out this morning and proceeded to do a terrible job of covering the box and, hoping to somehow disguise my ineptitude, I started cutting up one of my old Virgin of Guadalupe calendars and taping those to the top and sides of the box and so now the whole thing is covered in a layer of packing tape, looks like it was mailed from the Vatican, and will probably need a scalpel of some sort to get it open. 
Oh well. 
And of course the post mistress said absolutely nothing about my box decorations, just asked me if it contained anything perishable or potentially dangerous or hazardous, told me how much I owed her, and gave me my receipt and the slip with the shipping number on it. 

And then, because it has been such a beautiful and cool day, I took a walk. 

That is the midpoint of my walk when I go to the county line and back. Those trees knock me out every time. I never get tired of seeing them, never lose my appreciation for their beauty. Unfortunately, the house and yard you can see on your left is the place where there is so much trash strewed around that it's always been a mystery to me how it manages to get so spread about. They also keep some hens and a rooster in a tiny net-tent sort of thing that is barely big enough for the chooks to stand up in, much less move about and that always hurts my heart. 
There may be good reasons that these people live like this but it is a curiosity to me. The contrast between those graceful, spreading trees and what lies below and beside them is so stark. 

I just lost about five paragraphs of what I was writing. Now how in hell does this happen? I have no idea and yet, somehow it does. I was talking about a book that I started listening to a few days ago whose main character was so completely unlikeable that I just could not get very far into it and sent it back through the cybersphere to Hoopla. 
Now I am listening to a book that I found via a New Yorker (or was it a NYT's?) article about the funniest American novels. It's another book by Percival Everett- I Am Not Sidney Poitier. I had written down the titles of some of the books in the article that sounded as if I would like them, and this was one of them. I am not sure if it's one of the funniest books I've ever read, but I am certainly enjoying it. I am so glad that I have finally discovered Mr. Everett's work. It is filled with absurdity and beautifully written. I highly recommend it. 

The rest of my day was mostly spent outside doing more yard work. It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of it that needs to be done. But I was cheered by the presence of Maurice who came out to be with me, making her purpose quite clear instead of pretending otherwise. 

Oh, our crazy sweet girl. 

My husband has been at work over at Lily's new house since before I got up this morning. 
He is so determined to get everything done that he can to make that new house a sweet home for our baby and her babies. 

He is such a good man and a good daddy. We talked on the phone this morning and he made me laugh so much. As I told Jessie a little later, "Your father is a character." 
And he is. 
He is a character of good character. Hard to beat that. 

Love...Ms. Moon