Friday, May 31, 2024

Just Another Me, Me, Me! Post. I Probably Am A Narcissist

I got that done yesterday and for whatever reason, it gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. So much of what I do doesn't seem to make much difference at all which is basically how "woman's work" works. It is the constant running on the hamster wheel of doing one little thing after another that keeps it all moving. But once in awhile, a chore gets done that is noticeable. And with that comes a certain satisfaction. 

I have not felt much satisfaction today. I have been anxious and have spent the day catastrophizing and beating myself up. It started when I woke up to find no Mr. Moon in the house. Then I remembered that he had to be at Tom's early to meet with a plumber but in the seconds before I remembered that, I absolutely thought, Well, he's finally done it. He's gotten so sick of me and my craziness that he's left.
And it's gone from there. 
I went to the post office and my two dresses had arrived. Hurray! Brought them home, thought one of them was fine, while the other one is too large and, in fact, makes me look like a plump little child wearing her mother's silk nightgown. Plus, the style of it does not suit me.
Not the look I was going for there. 
Later on when I decided to wear the dress that did work to go do my shopping in I realized that with a bra on it does not fit me very well and in fact, is a little snug and instead of looking like a plump child in it, I merely look like the fat old lady I am. 
Nothing really looks good on me and the shame I hold due to being overweight causes me such great mental anguish which I know is ridiculous but here we are. I compare myself to everyone I see in public who is anywhere near my age. This is not a healthy thing to do if one is seven years old, seventeen years old, or seventy years old. But I can remember comparing the size of my thighs when I was sitting on the edge of a pool at the age of seven or eight with the other girls' thigh thickness. And of course I did it at seventeen. Did I look like Twiggy? Did I look like Joni Mitchell? Did I look like Joanna C. who was in all my classes? 
No. I did not. I did not compare favorably to any of them when it came to thinness. Did I then begin to count every calorie I put into my mouth including those from a piece of gum?
Yes. Yes I did. And did I beat myself up if I exceeded eight hundred calories a day? Oh, you know I did. 

I have told these stories before. 

Always the same sad song. 
So that happened wherein I was reminded that not only am I a bigger woman than I want to be, I am also mentally unhealthy for my lifelong obsession with my size. 

Lily called and asked me if this summer I could perhaps do something with her children on Thursdays and/or Fridays because both she and Lauren are at work and although Owen is surely old enough to babysit, it's probably pretty boring for the kids, just being at home, and that's a lot on Owen. Of course I will! But today I just did not have it in me and that made me feel incredibly guilty. I will gladly take those kiddos to the river or to lunch or bring them here to play or...whatever. But today wasn't the day and saying "no" to anything my children ask of me (and they don't ask much) is almost impossible and it makes me feel so selfish and so inadequate as a mother, as a grandmother. 
So there was that, too. 

I did stay busy all day long. I picked another gallon of beans or something close to that and I washed the sheets and did other laundry and I went to Costco and Publix and got what we needed, came home, unloaded everything, put everything away, made up the bed with the clean sheets, folded and put away the rest of the laundry. I ate my healthy lunch of a bowl of black bean soup and then felt guilty in Publix because I bought two different cuts of pork. I compared myself to other women. I got called "m'am" by an old man and I know he was an old man because he was wearing a shirt that said, "Don't Underestimate An Old Man." 

Ah well. This was just one of those days. And even as I obsess over all of these things, I know how lucky I am to be relatively healthy, to have the energy to do what I do, to have the husband that I have who has not left me due to my craziness and who looks so handsome in his new glasses. And let us not forget that I don't even have to think about what my groceries cost. The fact that the machine at Public that takes your debit card was being ornery was more of an irritation than what my can of stewed tomatoes cost is a telling detail. 

Glen got the yard mowed this afternoon AFTER he'd helped get Tom's Tiny Home hooked up to water and the septic tank and tied it down. He does not complain, he does not whine. He appears to love me as I am which is almost impossible for me to believe. 

It is Friday. The martini glasses are in the freezer. We have crab legs thawing for our supper. (CRAB LEGS!) And there are those clean sheets on the bed. 

The Weatherfords made it safely to Black Mountain and all is well. I know they are glad to be there. Jessie said it was cool enough last night to sleep under a duck and a fuzzy blanket. She took a walk this morning down to their own little piece of land where they're going to move their RV. 

One day they'll build a house there. They've already done a lot of work getting the site ready. 

I think tomorrow I'll do some garden weeding and perhaps can some more beans. Billy and I were texting today and I told him I was picking beans and that I have already put up 24 pints of them. 
He responded, "Jeebus. You can stop whenever you like, Mary. This isn't Little House on the Prairie." 
I texted back, "But I'm a peasant and I love growing and canning my own food."
And dear Billy said, "And I love whatever makes you happy so please continue."
To which I said, "Stop making me cry."

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Let Us All Praise Stormy Daniels

Photo from New York Times

Thirty-four felony convictions. He was found guilty of thirty-four felony charges. 

I have no idea what this is going to mean for the man, his supposed empire, his campaign, or the country but this is a startling moment in American history. And I cannot commend those jurors enough, nor could I find more delicious irony than in the fact that an adult film star with whom he had sex when his wife was at home with her newborn son, was able to bring this whole case to light. 

Turns out you can't always just grab 'em by the pussy. Not without consequences, anyway.

Photo from The New Yorker Magazine

And in another bit of irony, he can indeed still run for president but he cannot vote for himself because he is a convicted felon and he will probably not have served his sentence by the election. Whatever that sentence will be. Of course they will try to get him acquitted and of course he is already using the convictions as a campaign fund-raiser ("I am a political prisoner!") but in this one specific case, we are allowed to celebrate that justice was done and done by a jury of his peers. It is not a joyous celebration, but a quiet and deeply felt one. 

That's going to be it from me today. Everything here is fine. Our regular programming will resume tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Doing My Job

I took this picture yesterday because Maurice was just being so Maurice. This is something she does regularly. She gets on the table and snugs right up to the MacBook, making sure to have at least a little bit of her body directly on it to prevent me from typing, and then she flicks that tail like a metronome or like a teacher, drumming her fingers on her desk waiting for you to explain why your homework is late AGAIN. And if I should even dare to try to put my fingers on the keyboard she reaches out to slash me with her evil claws and makes that noise she makes. 

She's such a love.

I felt like I had another very productive day but actually, it wasn't that productive. I did stay busy. I picked green beans which took quite awhile. I go down one side of the row one way, then come back on that same side the other way and am always astonished at how many I miss on that first pass. Then I go to the other side of the fence and do the same there. There is also an overhang on that side with wire so that the vines make a little arbor that the beans dangle from. And again, I find beans that I missed on the side of the fence I just did and I reach through the wire to get those too. It's an art! 
I found this little guy on a leaf when I was picking this morning. 

I took his picture quickly and then let the leaf drop back where it had been so that he was in the shade. 

Last night before I went to bed I made a sponge with my sourdough starter and some flour and water and I also set black beans to soak. So I made the dough this morning and left it to rise and also made my black bean soup and it's been cooking most of the day. Not really great choices for a summer supper but that's what I wanted to make. 
When I was in the garden I picked these. 

I had no idea what type of peppers they were but I have quite a few. I sent that picture to my kids to ask for an ID and they told me I had shishito peppers and Lily said that she'd told me to get them which of course I have no memory of. Supposedly, if you blister them in a very hot skillet or under the broiler or in the air fryer, sprinkle them with a little salt and lemon juice, they are amazing. Every recipe I've read online has comments to that effect. So we shall try some tonight with out black bean soup. I am very excited. 

I took the trash, I went to the post office, I took books down to the little free library. I did laundry. And then, I got started on this project.

That's the side of the house by the kitchen and that paved part leads to the steps going up to the little kitchen porch. The border grass and a few crocosmia have rooted in the tiny strip of dirt beside the pavement and Mr. Moon has expressed a wish for it to be taken out as he could easily be tripped up on it due to his neuropathy-related balance problems. Now you know how much I hate those two plants. They are ridiculously tenacious. The border grass had actually grown UP the side of the steps. 

Now what I want to know is- where did the plants get the dirt to grow in? Did they bring it themselves somehow? What sort of botanical magic is this? There are even places where the border grass is growing directly on the cement. So I worked on that for awhile and I can finish it up tomorrow, I'm sure. I never seem to get any outdoor project completely finished because I'm always feeling the need to deal with another one. But I am not complaining. Truly, I love doing these things for the most part although unless they are in the shade, I can't work at them for a very long time. 

Meanwhile, Saint Mr. Moon is over at Tom's, augering deep holes to put posts in to use as supports for the tie-downs for the Tiny House. He's not going to let a little thing like the possibility that Tom will never live in the house stop him from finishing his job. He started it and he will finish it. 

I need to read the latest updates on the Trump trial. The last I'd read, the judge was about to give the jurors their instructions but I just checked a minute ago and it would seem that a few other things have happened. I would be more excited about the prospect of Trump being found guilty and sentenced to prison time but I have a strong suspicion that his minions would vote for him in November even if he were locked up. And you would think that the damn founding fathers might have foreseen something like this happening and dealt with it in the Constitution but no, they did not. And really- who can blame them? None of this makes any sense.  
We're all living in Crazy Town and I am so fearful of the outcome. 


The bread is out of the oven, the beans are nice and soft, the red onions to go on top are in their fast-pickling brine, and soon I will be chopping cilantro, peeling and slicing avocados, and oh yeah- slicing our first regular-sized tomato of the season. I'll let you know what I think about the shishitos. Have you ever tried them? If so, what did you think? 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Baptism Ritual At The Wacissa River

The flat dumplings came out fine and the boys said they did like them but not as much as the fluffy ones so we'll go back to the tried tried and true for future sleepover suppers. 

Would you look at those children's eyelashes? 

They gobbled them down and then Boppy headed them off to the shower while I sat at the table and leisurely finished my own bowl. After they were clean and in their pajamas, Boppy did the honors and made the root beer floats. Then teeth-brushing and tucking-into-bed where we read a book called The Little Tiny Rooster or something like that. The little tiny rooster saved the flock from a fox and all was well. That's the basic plot. 
I kissed them good-night and told them not to get up until 7:00 and they didn't. 
As far as I know, anyway. 

I really thought I slept poorly last night. It seemed to me that I was awake every ten minutes. However, this morning I discovered that we'd had a huge thunderstorm around two a.m. and I missed the whole thing so I guess I slept better than I thought. We didn't get much rain but I guess even a little is better than none. 

This morning after pancakes and bacon Levon asked me if I'd read him some books and of course that is nothing short of glory for me. He wanted to hear Amos and Boris for at least the thirtieth time and I was so very happy to read it to him. If there's another children's book as filled with feelings and philosophy as this book, I don't know what it is. I think that Levon has BIG feelings himself and perhaps he can identify with the tiny mouse and the huge whale who also have such immense emotions. By then August had joined us and he reminded me that we had not yet read Babar and the Wully-Wully so we read that too. I could have gone on all day long but if we were going to the river, we needed to get on with it and so we did. I packed watermelon and tortilla chips and salsa and we all put on our bathing suits and I sunscreened them up and off we went. There weren't too many people there and the teenagers obviously don't make it until afternoon because there were few there, doing their preening and daredevil jumping from the rope swing and walking in groups in front of opposite sex groups, and all the attention-getting things that teenagers must do because hormones force them into such displays. They have no more control over these activities than a peacock has when it comes time to spread his tailfeathers. 

The boys mostly played in the sand.

When Boppy and I got into the cold water though, they followed us and soon they were swimming around like little guppies and jumping off the dock with other little boys who all looked exactly alike. I am so very anxious when I'm the one in charge of making sure my grandchildren do not drown or get eaten by a gator. Overly anxious, to tell the truth, but I can't help it. It's the way I am. And of course the children all dart and run and go underwater and so I am constantly wondering where each of them is, having one tiny panic attack after another. 
But I did enjoy being there and I loved that first mermaid dive into the cold, cold water, feeling re-baptized once again. Washed clean of the heat, the stickiness, my sins and sorrows. 

After a few hours we came home and Levon wanted a peanut butter, honey, and raisin sandwich and I heated up chicken and dumplings for the rest of us for our late lunch. And then, after awhile, it was time to take August and Levon home and so I did. Levon fell asleep and August read his book, laughing out loud at the funniest parts. I delivered them to their mama and I am not going to talk about how hard it was to leave. 

I know. I KNOW. I'll see them very soon. 

There's a hawk in the back yard. He or she was sitting on one of the Bradford pear stumps a few minutes ago and then flew up into the magnolia branches. I rarely see a hawk perched that close to the ground. A Carolina wren whistled alarm notes for quite awhile and just now I saw the hawk swoop through the yard again. I have no idea what it's looking for. No babies chicks, that's for sure. But all activity at the bird feeder has ceased and I do not hear even a single chirp from the birds. 

Here's what August built today out of Lincoln Logs.

A two-room house and a very fine wagon. Could architecture be in his future? I had an uncle who was a well-known architect and of course, his daddy is an engineer. It is nice to see a child building something that does not involve Legos. 

And here's a picture of the African basil. 

Wasps are doing dizzy dives all over those blossoms getting drunk on sweet nectar, I guess. 

I'm going to make another squash soup. Tomorrow I have to pick beans. 
This is summer. And here come the cicadas, tuning up once again. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Monday, May 27, 2024

Skinny Legs And All

We've got two boys here tonight and for part of tomorrow. Their mama was scheduled to do an all-nighter tonight and knew she'd need to nap tomorrow, plus they are not leaving for NC on Friday, they are leaving Thursday which means they have two days to get everything they are going to need for the summer packed up. It seemed like the most sensible thing to have the boys stay with us so that their mama and daddy could get things together. It turns out that Jessie got called out for work so she doesn't have to go in which is probably a huge relief as she can get more packing done. 
Also, we get to spend some time with August and Levon before they leave. 

I picked them up and we stopped at Aunt Lily's Publix to get a few things we needed and to see Aunt Lily. The boys were very good for me. Of course they asked for everything including Fruit Loops granola bars but they took my "no's" seriously and didn't belabor the point or badger me. They each got a free cookie in the bakery which is a Publix thing, and they seemed pretty happy with that. 
We got our bread and our nectarines, our dark chocolate M&M's for Boppy, chicken for our chicken and dumplings and I also bought frozen dumplings. 
What? Frozen dumplings, Ms. Moon?
Well- here's the deal. I always make the kind of dumplings I was raised on which are the fluffy kind. Glen, however, was raised on the flat ones that are sort of like big noodles. I've never mastered the trick of making those dumplings. I think you have to grow up in a kitchen with someone who does make them to really understand the process. But they do make some fine frozen ones. 

Anne made these, obviously. 
I asked the boys if they'd like to try the flat kind tonight and they said they would and so I bought a box of them and we'll be eating those. I've already boiled the chicken and have broth simmering with carrots and green beans, onions, garlic, celery, and mushrooms. I'll add the chicken back in when it gets cool enough for me to take it off the bone. And then the dumplings will go in. 

Supper in a bowl. I'll cut up some cucumbers as that is the traditional meal for the boys. We also got vanilla ice cream at the store because they want root beer floats for their go-to-bed treat. 

I'm already tired this evening and I really haven't done much. I worked outside for a little while this morning, pulling up a few things, trimming those crazy roses that send their thorny branch-arms out far enough to grab us when we walk from the house to the clothesline. If those roses were an animal, they would be Maurice who will also reach out and give you a nice little slash as you walk by her when she's sitting on a table or chair. 

Right now the boys are watching some horrid thing on TV having to do with Ninjagos, whatever they are. Mr. Moon has run over to Tom's to check on him because he never answers his phone. Tom's latest plan is to get a different old friend of his who lives across the state, to come and help him repair his trailer so that he can move back into it. "I have the tin," he told Glen. 
Glen is at the point where he just shakes his head. We've got to get hold of this guy and tell him what the real deal is before he comes over with a truck full of carpentry tools. Do I seriously think that Tom would just continue to live in that ancient, crumbling, now tree-smashed trailer with that lovely Tiny House right next to it, locked and empty? 
Yes. Yes I do. 
What can you say? Glen's done his job and that's all he can do.

It's been so hot here and it's going to get hotter. There's no rain in the forecast until a week from Sunday and that's only 55%. How can they forecast that far ahead? They can't. Not really. The cicadas are singing their chant of rising and falling notes, the cardinals are chipping their evening songs, the air is still. The air conditioner runs continuously and the house is blessedly cool. We've got two cute little boys here and I've made up their bed in clean sheets. They won't notice but I will know. It matters to me. Tomorrow morning there will be pancakes, of course, and bacon. We're talking about taking them to the Wacissa. I got cut-up watermelon at Publix and we can take that in a cooler. School's out so it'll be a scene but we don't have to stay too long. 

It's summer. No doubt about it. Hurricane season starts on Saturday. "They" are forecasting a season with fewer but more powerful storms. 
This is not my favorite time of year in Florida. 
However, I'm thinking that we will be eating tomatoes from the garden sometime later in the week and that helps a little bit. I wonder if I'll make a tomato pie this summer? Wouldn't that be grand?

Well. That chicken's probably cool enough to handle now. 

Y'all take care.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, May 26, 2024

A Sweet Sunday With My Baby

Does anyone have any idea what you're looking at in that picture? 
Here's a hint- do not try to wash an ancient feather pillow. 
That's what I did yesterday and the fabric of the pillow completely dissolved in the washer from age. When I opened the machine to transfer my clean things to the dryer, for one horrified second I was afraid that somehow I had managed to run the decapitated head of an old woman through the normal cycle in my washing machine. 
Or was it a dog? 
But of course it was neither, just that old pillow but it was a good warning to me not to wash my oldest feather and down pillows. The feathers and down can take it but the pillow covers may not. I know I've talked about this before but I have pillows so old and so flattened out that the pillowcases I put on them weigh more and have more bulk than the pillows themselves. I have pillows that traveled with me to Mexico in the 1980's. I have fine, newer, fluffier ones too and I use them but for the life of me, I can't seem to get rid of the old, old ones.
And yes, I am aware that those flat pillows probably have more mites in them than they have down. 
I am at peace with that. 

Mr. Moon got home last night in very good spirits. He'd had a wonderful time and they caught fish. Lane snapper and grouper and, oh, hell. I don't know. I do know that twice sharks took their fishes from them as they were bringing them in. I also learned that Mr. Moon's fishing buddy was leaning out of the boat to cut the line of a fish that had a shark attached to it and he wanted to save the lead weight so he cut below it which meant that due to the strain that had been on the line with the shark pulling it, it sprang back and hit him right above the eye. He bled like crazy and got a knot there for sure. 
I guess that's why they call it sport fishing. 
Next weekend is the beginning of snapper season and they plan to go out again, but for two days in a row instead of just one. Oh, the joy! 
He is a very happy man today and will be grilling a piece of grouper for us tonight. Right now he's out in the garden, planting crowder peas. We didn't do much today. I picked more green beans of course and now have about a gallon of them. I'm going to cook some tonight with a few of our potatoes to go with the fish. I'd usually cook grits to go with fish but I made grits for our weekly Big Breakfast this morning. Grits, eggs, bacon, and biscuits. I have recently learned something which I wish I'd known for the previous almost seventy years of my life which is that when you use self-rising flour, you do not need to add a tiny bit of soda to the mix if you are using buttermilk. I had always been told that for some unknown to me chemical reason, that tiny bit of soda was necessary, but no, it is not. My biscuits this morning were lovely and when I cleaned up the pantry a few weeks ago, I found a forgotten jar of leftover peach preserves that I made in July of 2021 and I opened them up this morning. They were as fine as fine can be. Peach preserves are Mr. Moon's favorite and that's another reason he was so happy today. I remember when we bought the peaches that I used to make those preserves. We were on our way back from our annual North Carolina visit to see the Weatherfords and we saw signs for "Fresh Peach Ice Cream" which Glen could not, would not pass up. We stopped and there was a large farm stand sort of thing where many, many people were buying and eating that peach ice cream and buying peaches, too. Glen decided that we needed to buy a crate full of them. 
"Why?" I asked him.
"Because you can make peach jam!" 
"Oh yeah?" I muttered. 
But I did and we have been in search of another crate of peaches ever since. We don't even remember what state we were in. Georgia? South Carolina? Alabama? 

Our this-year's annual trek has been all planned out and the house has been reserved for us to stay in. It's the same house we stayed in last year which we all fell in love with. Absolutely the most perfect Air BnB or VRBO we ever rented. A beautiful old house on a little chuckling creek with every amenity known to exist. The sort of house that picky old me would move into exactly as it is and be very, very happy. And the woman who rented it to us is the sweetest and obviously most thoughtful landlady on the planet. 
So that's settled. 

Jessie and Vergil are leaving next Friday, I think, to go to Black Mountain, NC, for the summer as they always do. That's where Vergil grew up and where his family lives. It's a beautiful thing that they do this for themselves and for the boys. And this year will be even more special as August and Levon will be going to sleep-away camp at the camp that Vergil's stepfather used to be part owner and operator of. The whole family has put their hearts and souls into that camp. It's where Jessie and Vergil got married. And...Jessie is going to be the camp nurse for the week they're there! It's a trade! 
Oh, those little guys are going to love it. 

Having said all of this, most of you know how difficult it is for me to say good-bye to that little family every June. And this is why we go stay in N.C. for a week every summer. We always choose a week where Vergil's sister and her family will be gone on jaunts of their own so we're not taking time away from the cousins all being together. But even knowing that we'll be seeing them very, very soon, it's hard. 
Hell, going to lunch with Jessie is about 75% of my social life. And you know how much those little boys amuse me. And Vergil- well, he's such a good man and we love being around him. I think the boys might be coming over to spend the night and hang out this week so that Jessie can work and they can get some packing done without distraction. 

So that's what's going on here in Lloyd. It's not been a bad Sunday at all. Both Glen and I have taken it easy, both of us feeling somewhat guilty about that but at least in Glen's case- he surely deserves it. He just brought in the garlic he pulled and now my porch smells delicious. 

I actually did some eBay shopping today. I've bought two new Eeboo jigsaw puzzles and two (TWO!) dresses. Golly, I hope they fit and that I like them. Old Mer is about to turn seventy and needs something that will cheer and delight her. One dress is linen and, in fact, might be the same exact dress as the one I was wearing at Owen's graduation and if so- that is absolutely fine. The other one is a very, uh, Boho pretty dress made of silk. I was dithering on buying it but then I saw that it had pockets and that was that. A sign from god. 
I fear that one of the dresses will be too small and one will be too big. But sometimes you just have to throw caution to the winds, as it were.
And I know I will love the puzzles. 

Here's the last thing I will say- the New York Times review of the Rolling Stones concert at the Metlife stadium (The Rolling Stones Really Might Never Stop) was was incredibly positive. The way it ended was this:

"At a time when their few remaining peers are wrapping farewell tours and bands that have been together for half as long are running on fumes, the Stones are an anomaly. It’s not that their show is devoid of nostalgia, but it’s not coasting on it either. They don’t look like they did in the ’70s — who does? — but when their sound is gelling they are able to tap into some kind of eternal present. For better or worse, they seem intent to be the last band of their generation standing, to ride rock ’n’ roll all the way to its logical endpoint. Astoundingly, they don’t sound like they’ve reached it yet."

See- I'm not the only one who feels like this. 

Gold rings on ya.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Great Mystery And Message Of Found Objects

I woke up this morning and although I felt fine and rested, I just did not have the motivation I had yesterday. I was not shockked. Where and how I got that motivation, I do not know. It was definitely an aberration. 

So I wasted too much time reading blogs and doing a crossword and looking at stupid FB reels WHICH SHOULD BE ILLEGAL. Not me watching them but the reels themselves which I guess are TikToks, because they are as addictive as meth and just about as good for you. 
Okay. Let me be clear- I've never done meth. Okay? Just to set the record straight. I know that with me you can never be sure but somehow I have avoided that drug. 

I did, however, finally make it out to the garden where I did some weeding. I can only take so much of being out there in the sun, though. The heat just feels wicked and after awhile I had to come back inside to cool off but I really wanted to do some weeding in the little bed by the garden where the bananas and roses and pinecone lilies are so I did that and then I went back around to the front of the house where I pulled more crocosmia. That bed is where I found the marble I'm holding up there in the top picture. I love finding things in this yard. Bottles and shards of crockery, old railroad things, wagon wheel rims, strange tools, rusted and now useless but still interesting. 

That's an old pair of shears I found. Of course I hung them on a wall. You just never know what you'll find in the yard but I've found a nice little collection of toys. Some are little figures of plastic animals which are not really that old, and I've found quite a few marbles. 

That's my little windowsill menagerie. They make me smile to look at. There's a poker chip I found and I found a guitar pick in the garden once. There's a special magic in finding things that someone else dropped and left behind, don't you think? Holding it in your hand, wondering what the last person who held it was like, what their life was like. 
Once, a very long time ago when Hank and May were still very young and we lived about ten miles from here on a piece of property that was still mostly woods, I found an arrowhead in our dirt driveway. I was astounded. 
I'll never forget the way I felt, holding that very solid piece of such utilitarian artwork in my hand, seeing where the maker had chipped pieces off to make it sharp and fit to pierce the skin and flesh and muscle of a deer, as if I was suddenly and oddly aware that I was not quite alone there in that yard where I lived with my husband and babies and dogs and a cat. It was such tangible evidence of life before me. It felt like a message from a time long ago. A message that simply said, "I was here."

Of course I still have it. And I know that arrowheads are found all the time but this is the only one I ever found and I will never forget that moment- finding it, picking it up, wondering at it. It was near sunset and my husband was not at home, my children were in the house, and for that moment I was alone, but as I said- not alone. 

And those were very lonely days for me. I realize now that I was suffering from depression and not for the first time. My then-husband was away from home a great deal. He had not really wanted to settle down and although I know he loved his children very much and even loved me, he was resentful of the restrictions that marriage and a family put on him. And so that feeling of a different presence there when I saw the arrowhead was even more powerful, I guess. Not in a way like the spirit of someone was now hanging out with me but like a reminder that we come, we go, the world goes on and people have probably had the same feelings I did, the same hopes and dreams and disappointments and I was holding that truth in my palm. 


Mr. Moon texted me just a little while ago that he was back onshore and all was well. I have no idea when he'll be in. They have to clean the boat and possibly clean the fish if they caught any, and attend to all of the chores that must be done after a day on the Gulf. 
I am so very fine with being alone at sunset now. Probably because I know that my partner, my husband, will be home when he can get here. For forty years he has always come home. How grateful I am that even when I'm alone now, I am not lonely because I know he'll be here eventually. 

I am so lucky.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, May 24, 2024

Lagniappe: Keith Joy

A Whole Lotta Love

I do believe that Maurice was beyond herself with joy when she realized that both of her humans were working in the garden today.  Mr. Moon was harvesting the potatoes out of their bags and I was picking beans, the rest of the carrots, some squash, and one little cucumber. And cherry tomatoes. 

Our experiment of growing potatoes in the bags did not produce a giant yield. It was rather sad. We're thinking that maybe they just didn't get enough water. Anyway, we got what we got. I obviously let some of the carrots get way too big. Here's what they looked like, scrubbed up a bit.

Should I tell my carrot joke? I know I've told it before but it's a good joke and since it's one of the only two jokes I know, I enjoy telling it. 
First off, let me say that I am not making fun of any races, creeds, or countries of origin. This joke must be told with a sort of Slavic accent to be funny. Maybe Slavic. How would I know? 
Here goes.
So two women were in the fields harvesting carrots and one of them pulled up a huge carrot. She looked at it and said, "Ach! Dis reminds me of my husband!"
The other woman looks at the carrot and asks in wide-eyed wonder, "He vas dat big?"
"No!" the other woman replies. "He vas dat dirty!" 

So okay. Was that offensive? I hope not. Have I ever told you the cow joke? 
Doesn't matter. I'll save it for another time. That's the only other joke I remember. 

I got a lot done today. It was supposed to be a Candie day but...once again she couldn't make it. Honestly, I don't think I have a cleaner any more. So I finished up my wood-preserving dusting with the piano and I did three loads of laundry and I cleaned the toilets and I brushed the dirt off the potatoes and set them in a cool, dry place to cure. 

That's in the guest room, right in front of the old fireplace. As you can see, these potatoes will be blessed. I'm pretty sure that all potatoes are blessed but these will be super-Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and an angel blessed. 

I planted the hydrangea that Jessie gave me for Mother's Day beside the back steps. 

It was NOT happy in the pot it came in but it's already looking better than it did an hour ago. I watered it in good. 

And I guess that's about it. You don't need to hear about my trip to the trash place although I will show you this picture. 

In case any of you were wondering how the almost-dead poinsettia that I got at the dump was doing- it looks like this now! I am so proud. Look at all those little baby leaves. 

Goodness. I forgot to mention that Mr. Moon has taken off for the coast to spend the night at his friend's place so that they can get up early in the morning and go fishing. Yesterday he said to me, "Well, it looks like our fishing trip may be on."
"Fishing trip?" I asked. 
"Yeah. I told you about it. Twice."
"Was I in the same room when you told me?"
"Hmmm... Maybe?"
I am SO glad he's getting to go do that thing that makes him so very happy. And I'm here in Lloyd, fine as I can be. I can certainly make my own martini and there are clean sheets on the bed. 

The magnolia blossom you may have noted in the picture above with today's harvest? 

It is a little beaten and battered but I can't tell you how heavenly it's making my kitchen smell. It came from the magnolia tree right by the garden. Mr. Moon reached up and brought the branch down to pick it. 

And since it's Friday, I will offer you this video of The Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter that they played in East Rutherford, NJ last night. Please do not feel as if you must watch it. However, watching the way Mick Jagger interacts with the amazingly talented Chanel Haynes is a thing of eternal...what's the word? Hotness? 
Yeah. Something like that. 
And Keith and Ronnie demonstrate once again the ancient art of guitar weaving as Keith calls it. 


Be still my lonely little heart. 

And here's a picture of my darling May that Rachel posted on FB today.

Oh my goodness.  
She just called me from Bainbridge. They are having a very lovely time and are in love with the little shotgun house. Of course I am now weeping. I should have made her another one of those cakes to take with her. 
Next year. 

Happy Friday, ya'll. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, May 23, 2024

This Woman, My Child


Nine years ago that's what my May and I looked like. That was a Christmas day and the picture was taken at Lily's where we'd all met up for Christmas morning. 

Yesterday was the seventeenth anniversary of the beginning of this blog and one of the reasons I am so glad that Hank urged me to start it is that I have pictures like that and posts like THIS to look back on, to remember, to be my memory for me. It's a post that I wrote in 2008 about May and her birth day. May sometimes seems to get short shrift around here and she does. That's because she is almost always working, and if she isn't working, she's at home with her beloved, Michael, and their dear cat, Lupita, doing all the things that May hasn't had time to do and by that, I guess I mostly mean laundry, shopping, and resting. 
I don't think she does a lot of resting though. 

But I just reread that post and it is still the absolute truth and still describes May perfectly. It's funny- this morning I sent an e-mail to a friend and noted that "thirty-six years ago, I was in labor with May" which was an unintentional lie. It was forty-six years ago. 
Honest mistake and not made because I can't imagine being old enough to have a forty-six year old child but because I do not look at May and see a forty-six year old woman. She looks exactly the way she's always looked- strong and beautiful and light-filled. 

Mr. Moon and Jessie and I went to where she works today to see her and give her a few little things. There was a mother and her son there who appear to eat at Midtown Pies frequently. The little guy had just graduated either from Pre-K or Kindergarten, I'm not sure, but his mama told us that he says, "May is my best friend." 
Smart kid. Lucky kid. 

So we got to see her and I got to hug and kiss her and tell her how much I love her and it was sweet. Plus we also got pizza which was delicious. I forgot to take a picture! What is wrong with me? 
Well, I may be able to attribute my forgetfulness to the fact that I am indeed old enough to have a forty-six year old daughter. 

Tomorrow she and Michael are going to go to Bainbridge, Georgia for a few days where they will be staying in a beautiful, historic, shotgun house. A shotgun house is generally a small house which was built all in a line so that if you shot a gun from the front door, it would exit the back door. It does not look unlike a Tiny House but it is somewhat bigger.

It looks perfect to me as a place to spend a birthday weekend. Everything you need, nothing you don't. add to the appropriateness of their choice, her daddy and I got married in Bainbridge, Georgia at the county courthouse in 1975. I believe I've told that story before but I may tell it again sometime. So that's interesting. 

After one last good hug from May, Mr. Moon and I drove to Costco where he had an appointment for an eye exam. He never did find the glasses he lost while chopping bamboo at Tom's. Jessie joined him there to help him pick out his frames. 
Here are the ones they (she) chose.

He says they look like safety glasses but I quite like them. He never would have listened to me but we all listen to Jessie, aka Mean Aunt Jessie. 
She is the boss of us and always has been. 

In other news, Levon had a little kindergarten graduation today. Yes, we have those too although this one was small and short and guests were sensibly limited to two per child. Jessie and Vergil attended and Jessie said that after the ceremony and performance, little girls were lined up to hug Levon. The teacher told his parents, "Levon is quite the lady's man."
I am not surprised. He got THAT from his Boppy. 

Happy birthday to my daughter, my May, who announced her presence with light before she was even conceived. I guess we could say that she was a light in her mama's eyes. 
And will be always. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, May 22, 2024



Well, I am at it again. There are seven pints of beans in that canner and I have three more ready to go in when those are done. This will mean that I've already canned twenty four pints of beans and honestly, that's probably enough for our bean needs but I can give some away which will be nice. You'd be surprised at how many people I offer fresh vegetables to who have no idea how to cook them. I can't imagine never having cooked fresh green beans. One woman I offered some to told me that she had no idea what to do with them because her mother never taught her. 
I'm sorry that happened but damn- you could probably find a video on YouTube that would explain the process to you. I'm pretty sure there are YouTube videos on how to perform appendectomies, rebuild a car engine, and roof a house. 

I'm sorry for being bitchy. I'm tired. I worked out in the garden for a whole hour today which was all I could handle before I started feeling slightly nauseous. I really thought I'd been out there for at least two hours but no, just one. I pulled up the one remaining collard plant and the rest of the kale, all of which had been laced to the stems by little green worms. And then I did some weeding where the kale had been because we're going to plant crowder peas there. 
I spent the rest of the day snapping beans and doing all that canning stuff which is a process, I have to say. Not hard, but time-consuming. Pole beans are honestly pretty easy to prep for canning- just snap the ends off, snap them in two or three pieces, and then blanch them. You don't even have to blanch them but if you do, it's easier to fit them into the jars. 

The best news of the day is that the Tiny House is in place and now open! Hurray! Glen sent me a little tour video and I'd love to share it with you.   

I think Glen's proud of himself and I may be even prouder of him than that. Not just for all the hard work he's put into this project but also for being so forbearing and patient with Tom. Okay, he did cuss him out a little one time but he has not thrown any machetes and stalked off to get in his truck and come home. 

So that's really the big deal around here. 

The place on my chest that the dermatologist froze yesterday looks DISGUSTING. I mean, I'd post a picture but I do have some respect for your sensibilities. 

Here's a few pictures from today. 

Baby figs. Of course the birds and squirrels will eat 95% of them. 

Blueberries. Again with the birds. 

Lace cap hydrangea. 

And I think that's all. I'm going to go make some stuffed peppers with ground venison which will make my husband so happy. He deserves that. 

Love...Ms. Moon