I realize that I have lost touch with the entire universe in the past months and I didn't even have the decency to explain where I've been. That is totally unfoxlike and I hope you will forgive me.
First, there has been a population explosion of epic proportions here in my community. All of a sudden dogs, bears, rabbits, tigers, leopards, sharks....started moving in. I can only speculate that, once they read my blog, they were attracted to my wit and generous, caring spirit. It might have been that the human around here started making and buying softies like there was no tomorrow.
The fallout is that a fox can never find a spare moment to collect his many, golden thoughts. So my blog remained untouched for months. This is not about laziness. I repeat--Foxes are not lazy. Foxes aren't selfish either. (Disregard that memo from the Department of Agriculture on: Self Interest Runs Rampant Among Foxes) I decided to open up my blog to all my softie friends here so you will soon see blogs written by Seamus, Shortbread, the Safarai Social Club, Apple Pie and a host of others.
Hope to see you around the blog!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Tired of the same old candidates with the same tired lies? You don't have to throw your vote away on the lesser of two evils. No! Caste a vote for Shortbread! He is running for best softie in the 2007 Holiday Softies Awards.
Shortbread pledges a cookie in every paw, a smile on every face! If elected, he promises to spread cheer and general zaniness to all. He'll even help rake your leaves if you want him to.
Caste your vote at Softie Central: http://softiescentral.typepad.com/
While you are there please vote for Shortbread's friend Sick Doll, Bronchitis in the Worst Gift Ever category. She was made by my good friend Tracy.
Together, we can make a difference! Or at least have fun trying...
Sunday, October 28, 2007
My friend Pistachio--you remember her---the one who doesn't like to be compared to Martha Stewart... Anyway, she has plowed into yet another big project.
When I stopped by her house today it looked like a fabric store. She had felt and fleece and feathers strewn everywhere. I was a bit apprehensive about asking what she had jumped into this time but I couldn't resist. Foxes are naturally curious as well as mild risk-takers.
She told me she is making a softie for the Softies for Mirabel campaign. What's a softie? Who is Mirabel? What does it have to do with all that fluffing? I don't know so I asked Pistachio.
Mirabel Foundation supports children who have been adversely affected (effected? I need to ask Charles Torte about that word) by parental substance abuse. A softie is a stuffed animal or a doll made from cloth. And the folks at the Softies for Mirabel campaign are making softies--handmade cloth dolls and stuffed animals--to be given to children whose parents have a substance abuse problem.
The concept of Pistachio making softies, whether it be for Mirabel or anyone else, is just too weird because Pistachio herself is a softie. Actually, I'm a softie. I tried to think about that but it all got too existential and philosophical. Pistachio suggested that I not tax myself and instead enjoy some of her cranberry-almond buckle. It was great.
So, if you know someone crafty (other than me, of course) tell them to check out the Softies for Mirabel link on my blog. Maybe they can figure out where softies come from....
Ahhh... Fall. It's a word that doesn't sound good when mentioned in the same sentence as staircase, vase or stock market. But it's lovely when it means falling temperatures and falling leaves. There's nothing I enjoy more than a nice hot slice of pumpkin pie smothered in real whip topping. And there's nothing better to work up a healthy appetite while that pie is baking than an afternoon of raking leaves. That was my plan one fine, sunny afternoon this week.
Things didn't turn out quite as I invisioned though. It all started out innocently enough. I stepped out the back door with my bamboo rake. Foxes are traditionalists when it comes to raking leaves. No monster-sized plastic rake for me! I walked out into the pale afternoon sun made just a bit nippy by a sharp western wind. The piles of leaves grew as I tidied up the yard, whistling Berlioz as I worked.
And then Shortbread and Pup popped up. Literally, they popped up from the leaves. They planned to help me. Shortbread disappeared over to Pup's house for a few minutes before coming lumbering up my drive in a massive blue dump truck. The two of them set to work transferring my leaf piles into the truck bed. They scattered at least a quarter of the leaves back all over the yard in the process.
I figured my tranquil afternoon was gone the moment they showed up but I had no idea what was to come. Shortbread decided to drive the leaves to the town drop off center. I had no idea a dump truck could do 80mph...on a dirt road. I found out all sorts of things that afternoon. Like that Shortbread doesn't have a license to drive a dump truck. (Don't tell Charles Torte.) And that he and Pup had no idea how to get the leaves out the back. They climbed up just at the moment when the truck started dumping. Down went the leaves. Down went Pup and Shortbread....into the gigantic pile of leaves.
The ground crew at the city drop off centered kindly loaned me a rake. (Sadly, it was one of those evil plastic ones but sometimes a fox has to make sacrifices when it comes to one's friends. I did finally find Pup and Shortbread. They were fine. It takes more than a few leaves to keep them down. We did make it back to my house safely although hardly sanely.
So the moral of the story is....I have no idea. Don't rake leaves around dogs? Never get in a dump truck with Shortbread? Hire a lawn service? Anyway, we survived and the pumpkin pie was delicious.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Long has the world held the myth that dogs and foxes are sworn enemies. Not so! Foxes have no natural enemies save for fox hunters and I cannot even speak about them without spitting.
Truthfully, foxes and dogs get along quite well. We both like to romp in the leaves, zip down to the ice cream parlor, engage in a rousing game of backgammon. I do think that, in general, foxes have higher literary standards and are much less likely to follow commands but these are piddly differences not worth considering.
The house next door to me has been bought by a scrappy little guy named Pup. This week he has became fast friends with my house guest Shortbread (who, incidently has informed me that he intends to winter over with me here in the deep south of Michigan if he is able to secure a local source of his beloved butterscotch.) And I like him too--him being Pup although I like Shortbread as well.
Pup likes to fetch sticks. He is collecting them in order to test some rather avant garde theories on suspension bridges. He loves to go for long walks, watch Charlie Chan movies, research Spanish explorers and eat colby-jack cheese. But his passion in life is Oreos! After being warned by his doctor on the risks of chocolate poisoning and transfats, Pup cut back to three packs a day and switched to low fat. Still, it's a sight to behold--the crumbs really fly once he rips into a pack.
Having a passion in life is nice. It's so much nicer than nibbling lettuce three times a day while secretly yearning for a Blizzard. I'm not sure that Pup should be consuming that much caffeine (did I mention he's a tad hyper) but at least he enjoys himself. Yes, pour the milk, dunk the 'o's and don't forget to enjoy yourself!
Despite late season twisters--and I don't just mean dancing to 1950s music--and more warm weather, I have accepted that the summer growing season has come to an end. Saturday, Shortbread played a lament on his bagpipes. Then, we began the finally harvest for 2007. I'll admit to wiping a tear from my eye. What fox does not cry at the sound of "the pipes" and the fall of the garden?
As the autumn leaves flitted in between the tired tomato plants, I stopped to reflect on this year in my bountiful garden: the beautiful blossoms, the bright red plumpness of my tomatoes, the sight of bean plants bending softly to the ground, burden with green....ahhhh. I knew my garden would continue to provide me a rich yield of happy memories even into the long, dark winter months.
But, in the meantime, I had a little problem. Normally, I shake my tomato plants until the orbs plunge gently to the rich dark soil. Sure, a few splatter but I stand assured (in my raincoat to keep dry) that their seeds will put forth another crop of plants next year.
Alas, most of the tomatoes were still green and, try as I might, I could not shake them. Finally, Nutmeg and Shortbread decided they should climb up to fetch what would not come down. We foxes like to stay firmly on the ground so I directed picking from below. (Charles Torte says my grammar is horrible even for a fox.)
Finally, the skywalkers stripped the bushes of the last of their fruit. Or are tomatoes vegetables? And who gets to decide? Was this part of the original naming thing with Adam? Are books written on this? I know not!
What I do know is that my friends and I shall enjoy some lovely stewed tomatoes in a few weeks. Then, I will sit back beside the fire and dream of another year, another summer, more days in the joy of my garden.
Monday, October 15, 2007
After my rave review of The Three Sisters Restaurant, my friend Rhododendron is irked at me. She sent me an email today:
"Dear CremeBurnt, Three Sisters is fine but what about my place?! What? I'm not good enough for your blog. It's always the same with you foxes. No respect for rabbits."
Truthfully, which we foxes actual are almost all the time, I don't think of Rhoda's restaurant very often because it's in Kentucky. However, she's a good friend, always up here in Michigan to visit her cousin Pistachio and so I really should mention it. And, I want to state for the record that we foxes have lots of respect and admiration for our bunny friends.
Rhoda, as she is known to her friends, runs a lovely little garden oasis called Rhoda's Deli. She serves interesting if slightly exotic dishes such as keystone pie, black current licorice pudding and her signature dish Rhododendron Soup with a Crabgrass Salad.
I can't say that all her cooking is exactly to my tastes but I do know she does a brisk business among the herbivores. Add the fact that's her cafe is a hop, skip and leap from Louisville, on the picturesque shores of Goose Creek and you can see that she does not hurt for business.
So next time you are down for the Derby, stop by Rhoda's Deli and sample the hop cuisine. And be sure to tell her a fox sent you.